Dictators and despots such as Gaddafi, Ahmadinejad and Assad rejoiced at the news of the riots shaking the UK. In particular, Libyan and Iranian leaders Muammar Gaddafi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad showed the best of their creativity, issuing statements condemning the "brutal repression" perpetrated by the British government against "peaceful demonstrators."For the two dictators, riots in the UK are an opportunity to present themselves as the victims of what they call a "double standard," claiming that the international community is imposing sanctions only on countries opposed to the West and, while allowing "violations of human rights" to take place with impunity in the West .
Libyan FM: Cameron should leave after popular uprising
The Libyan Foreign Minister, Khaled Kaaim, has accused British Prime Minister David Cameron of having declared war against the British people; the British Telegraph describes his remarks as "a caricature of the Western response" to the Libyan regime's massacre of the population using aircraft and tanks against demonstrators. "Cameron and his government must leave, after the popular demonstrations against them and after the violent repression waged by the police against those who participated to these peaceful rallies," declared the Libyan FM. "These manifestations show that the British people reject this government which is trying to impose itself by the use of force… Cameron and his government have lost all legitimacy."
Kaaim also called upon the UN Security Council to put an end to this "flagrant aggression against the human rights of the British people." The farce hit its peak when Libyan state television accused British Prime Minister of using Irish and Scottish "mercenaries" to tame the riots in English cities. His declaration comes after Western accusations that Gaddafi is hiring African mercenaries to fight against Libya's opponents. "The rebels of Britain approach Liverpool in hit-and-run battles with Cameron's brigades and mercenaries from Ireland and Scotland. Allah is Greatest," said a Libyan TV's morning program.
Ahmadinejad denounces the "UN's silence"
The Iranian regime has also proclaimed itself a defender of the British people's human rights. The Chairman of Iran's Majlis (parliament) Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi, criticized the British police for the "brutal treatment" of protesters: "Recently, the British government is seeking to use the army to repress its people; this is while the army's duty is to protect and safeguard the territorial integrity of the country, not to repress the people," Boroujerdi said, adding that British statesmen had brutally cracked down on their compatriots. The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also called on its nationals to avoid travelling to the UK.
Ahmadinejad personally intervened to denounce the "UN's silence" regarding the British government's "violation of human rights." The Iranian president stated that "if only one-hundredth of these crimes would have been committed in a country hostile to the West, the UN and all the organization that pretend to defend human rights would have made themselves heard… this is a test for the Security Council to see whether it dares to condemn one of its permanent members."
The Iranian leader went on to condemn "the savage behavior of British police," and admonish a British leadership that "instead of sending their troops to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, in order to pillage their petrol, they would better think about their people."
The deputy Chairman of Iran's Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Mohammad-Karim Abedi, went so far as saying that "The Islamic Republic of Iran as an establishment, which considers itself an advocate of the rights of nations, cannot remain silent on the British kingdom's crimes," and claimed that the British PM should be tried for "war crimes." The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports that the commander of Iran's Basij force, Mohammad-Reza Naqdi, is ready to deploy peacekeeping forces in London. "Unfortunately the crimes and violence of the autocratic British kingdom continue against the country's deprived [population], and not only has the advice of well-wishers had no effect on the conduct of the regime's repressive police force, but we are witnessing the deprived people of this country being called a bunch of thieves and looters," he said. Naqdi then continued, "If the UN General Assembly approves, the Basij Organization is ready to send a number of Ashura and Al-Zahra brigades to Liverpool and Birmingham as peacekeepers to monitor the observation of human rights laws and deter the use of force."
In the meantime, the Iranian State-run media keep showing over and over the images of British riot police chasing and hitting some of the protesters. The AP reports that Iran is also planning to stage a state-organized protest against the U.K. to denounce the "savage aggression" used by British police on demonstrators. MEMRI also reports that the Iranian Majlis National Security Council member Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash has warned that the Parliament would work to close the British Embassy in Tehran if the suppression of protests continues -- a pretext to retaliate for the opening of the British Embassy gates in Tehran in 2009 to Iranian protestors. The British embassy in Tehran responded to the allegations, asking the Iranian Foreign Ministry why Tehran rejected the visit of Dr Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran and former Foreign Minister of the Maldives.
Syria's ambassador accuses UK of "hypocrisy"
Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja'afari, described the British government's behavior in handling the riots as full of "hypocrisy". "To hear the Prime Minister of England describing the riots and the rioters in England by using the term 'gangs,' while they don't allow us [the Syrian government] to use the same term for the armed groups and the terrorist groups in my country -- this is hypocrisy. This is arrogance," he said.
Gaddafi, Ahmadinejad and Assad hanging onto power
The London riots have been used by dictators in the Middle East as a pretext to settle old scores against the West. Even though the accusations against the UK might appear ludicrous to most Westerners, the arguments advanced by these illiberal regimes seem to have a solid appeal in other parts of the world, such as Zimbabwe, where human rights are constantly violated. The President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, said with a feeling of superiority towards the UK, that Zimbabwe, a former British colony, "doesn't have fires" such as those the UK is experiencing. Mugabe then added that the British government should deal with its own problems of human rights rather than judging his country. These declarations came just after the discovery of a torture camp in Zimbabwe.
Although the riots in the UK have revealed social and racial tensions, these rioters have had no social demands. Rioters in the UK have been looting, ane scaring religious minorities such as Sikhs and Muslims. In Birmingham, three Muslims were killed by rioters, while trying to defend their neighborhood. As the AP reports, "While the riots that have swept England this week have involved looters of every creed and hue, the street anarchy also sometimes has exposed the racial fault lines that run beneath the poorest urban quarters." Protesters in Libya, Iran and Syria are, instead, fighting to have violent despots step down from power.
According to the Libyan and Iranian regime, the British government has lost "legitimacy" because the British people are "demonstrating" against it. However -- even without taking into account that the rioters in the UK are not demonstrators but looters -- if one should follow the Libyan and the Iranian regimes' logic, as the Libyan people have been demonstrating since February, and the Iranian people for more than 20 years, both of those dictatorshipsshould step down. Instead, they are still hanging onto power -- Assad's trops shting even at people refuse tto shoot protestors,and Fhadaffi's troops perpetrating non-ending war, deploying tanks and snipers to "shoot anything that moves," blowing up oil pipes, torturing and raping women, and gunning down protestors by any means at hand.