The Curmudgeon


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Save Even More Lives With Our New Urban Sharpshooter Programme

One or two small clues have emerged as to the extent of Britain's support for the Arab spring; particularly in Bahrain, where demonstrations in March were put down by twelve hundred Saudi troops trained by British military personnel. Britain has been training and supplying the Saudi national guard since 1964, and recent goodies include armoured personnel carriers, weapon sights, CS gas grenades, "search, public order and sniper training" and, most democratically of all, "urban sharpshooter programmes". The national guard was set up because the royal family didn't trust the regular army to support it; a feeling with which Daveybloke's Cuddlies can no doubt identify, given their apparent determination to treat the police and armed forces with the sort of insouciant contempt that Conservative governments usually reserve for nurses and teachers.

As might be expected, Labour and the Conservatives were as one over this matter. A Labour MP and former chair of the Wogs, Frogs and Huns Select Committee said that arming dictatorships against their own people meant striking a "difficult balance" between ignoring and improving; it seems all that profiteering by Britain's arms dealers was part of a concerted attempt to induce the Saudi régime to allow women to drive cars. A spokesbeing for the Ministry of War and the Colonies said that the Gulf states were "key partners" in the war on the abstract noun; in Standard English, this appears to mean that the House of Saud hates Iran as much as we do. The spokesbeing also claimed that, by arming dictatorships against their own people, "we help to save lives and raise awareness of human rights". Those protesters in Bahrain must simply have failed to raise their awareness high enough. Let's hope the urban sharpshooters helped.


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