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UK training Saudi forces used to crush Arab spring

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Guardian

Britain is training Saudi Arabia's national guard – the elite security force deployed during the recent protests in Bahrain – in public order enforcement measures and the use of sniper rifles.
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jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

We laud the nations of Europe for their social democracy, but when you think about it, all those great achievements- universal health care, strong workers' rights, guaranteed retirement security- were made in the past, by a far greater generation of French and Germans and Britons and Spaniards and all the rest than we have today.

Could anyone really picture the current crop of UK politicians creating the National Health Service? Would the current French government have created anything like the strong retirement safety net that exists today?

The Europeans started with a better social safety net than the United States did, but we can't let that mask the craven nature of their current leaders. In turn, we must recognize that the citizens of France or Spain or Italy who take to the streets in protests against austerity have just as much legitimacy as the nascent leftist protestors in the United States. They have more than we do, but that means they also have more to lose.