I felt my fists clench tighter and tighter as I watched the breakdown of law and order escalate. I wanted those young coppers to use more force. Eventually I started to feel that I wanted them to use maximum force to stop the madness. To get rid of the scum who were threatening the safety of the society I and my family live in. I wanted those stupid, wanton, ungrateful, disrespectful bastards to be stopped with any means available. I wanted the army to help the police. I felt utterly furious. My anger increased to the point that I didn't care if a rioter received some of the medicine they were inflicting on our police. Live by the sword, die by the sword. I just wanted it to stop. I didn't care how it happened. If I'd been there, and I'd been in control, and had lethal weapons at my disposal, I would have been tempted to use them. Only extreme force could stop it - at least that's how I felt watching the footage. At any moment, a gun's going to be fired by those crazed bastards whose only excuse was that they were 'anti-pig'. And then how will our police react? Thankfully we didn't have to find out. But as I watched, I imagined these weren't the streets of Tottenham, Croydon and Manchester. These were the streets of Aleppo, Benghazi, Cairo, Tripoli, or Damascus.... If our police had been there, instead of theirs, and they had been shot at, how would our police have reacted, and how would the British public have reacted in their defence, or otherwise?
It's clear. We condemn the law keepers in totalitarian states, but we applaud our own.
We, the wonderful, perfect Western 'democracies' are providing support to street rioters throughout the Arab world. We're saying to their own law and order police and troops, "Let the thugs take over your streets. And if you don't let them, we're going to give them guns to force you out of power. We're doing this because we think your thugs will be less aggressive and violent in suppressing dissent in your countries than you are." Truth is, we have absolutely no idea who these 'reactionaries' are. All I know is that they look like even nastier versions of our own thugs - whom I would have sanctioned our own police force to have dealt with severely.
Using violence against anyone has to be a very last resort. But perhaps it is a justified resort if your life, your family's lives, and the lives of the people whose job it is to protect you are being directly threatened by people you and your neighbours didn't sanction or request to take over your street.
So I ask these questions. How differently would our government have reacted compared to the Assad or Gaddafi governments if rioters had started to use guns? And more importantly, how would we, the law abiding, horrified, terrified public have felt about our own boys in blue (or khaki) using decisive force to bring safety back to our own streets if they had been fired upon? I for one would have said 'they had it coming to them' - or at least that's how I felt watching the video clips.
Let's not kid ourselves that the thugs in Libya, Egypt and Syria are any different from the disaffected, disrespectful, mob-powered thugs we saw on our own streets last summer. We should no sooner be arming these unknown, violent Arab thugs than we should be arming our own.