On 13 August, the Observer newspaper published an article entitled “Role of UK police in training Bahrain’s forces ignores abuses”.
The Guardian, Observer and Independent newspapers have a long track record of condemning the British government for facilitating the training of security forces in other nations. These newspapers may give lip service to opposing most forms of discrimination; but still there is a strong underlying racist element in such reporting which is virulently against any sort of dealings with these nasty “Arab regimes”. Their hatred is particularly sharp for the GCC monarchies.
This readiness to attack the governments of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia at the smallest provocation rules out any consideration for how these “regimes” can improve their human rights record without support from the likes of the United Kingdom. In many case the facts of the reporting are taken in their entirety from London-based opposition sources with whom many of these journalists enjoy an uncomfortably close relationship.
These reports completely miss the point that over the past five years the Bahrain security forces have undergone a transformation unprecedented in almost any nation. In 2011 it was painfully clear to many of us here on the ground that the police were woefully unprepared for managing wide scale outbreaks of public disorder (and let’s not believe that this is simply an “Arab” phenomenon; in recent weeks and years we have seen major outbreaks of rioting and disorder in American cities, in European capitals and even in London in 2011)....