HORSE TRADING WITH A TYRANT
[ 1 October 2017 ]
On this day the Bahrain News Agency announced that earlier the same day Queen Elizabeth had given a three year old prize stallion to Bahrain’s murderous tyrant, King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa. The gift was handed over in a formal ceremony by the British ambassador to Bahrain during a show of horses from the Royal Stables. Such gifts are only ever authorized by the British government when it is keen to deepen ties with a foreign ruler.
A month earlier Amnesty International had issued a damning report accusing the Bahrain regime of “dramatically” escalating a clampdown on dissent, including the closure of the country’s last independent newspaper Al Wasat and the use of arbitrary arrest, disappearances, torture and rape to silence democracy activists. The gift of the horse was seen as a green light from the British government, keen to develop its business and strategic ties with the country, that the brutal crackdown on democracy would not negatively affect relations.
UDR SOLDIERS, MANY WITH TERROR LINKS, ALLOWED TO KEEP WEAPONS IN THEIR HOMES.
[ 1 October 1974 ]
On this day, a Northern Ireland Office report notes that Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldiers, many of them members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) , with known terror links, were allowed to keep machine guns and rifles at home. The paper stated that members of the UDR were allowed to take back to their homes a total of 950 rifles, 434 sub-machine guns and 1,866 pistols for personal protection. It also observed that “some people,” had been joining “the RUC ( Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve ) only in order to have legal access to a weapon.”
According to the army’s own internal assessment between five and fifteen per cent of UDR soldiers were members of either the UDA, UVF or other paramilitary loyalist groups. This was despite the fact that in 1974 alone loyalist terrorists killed 131 people, in Northern Ireland and the Republic.