The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chemical Warfare

Some of the Gulf's most decent Arabs are facing criticism over their forthright stance on law and order. The government of Bahrain has ordered 1.6 million tear-gas canisters, which amounts to one canister per head of population with four hundred thousand to spare. The government of Bahrain has also ordered 235,000 grenades of various types, just in case anyone should fail to take the hint. The suppliers are DaeKwang Chemical of Seoul, and it is by no means clear that their products are clearly marked Not to be Used for Internal Repression, as any weapons shilled by Daveybloke and his chums are marked as a matter of course. Indeed, Human Rights Watch accuses the Bahraini government of using tear-gas "disproportionately and sometimes unlawfully", and claims that security forces like to bestow it upon residential areas even when there are no protests. No doubt such measures, which include shooting canisters into houses and at people's heads, are intended purely as a preventive measure against something worse, like the Liberal Democrats clobbering the British poor. According to Physicians for Human Rights, thirty-nine deaths in Bahrain have been attributed to tear-gas; and the US has stopped exporting it there, presumably pending a gentlemen's agreement on the use of drones against uppity Shia. Aside from weapons sales, Britain has made its usual constructive contribution by doing a bit of urging.


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