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London and Washington provide other crucial political support too. An international commission of inquiry last November, headed by Egyptian lawyer Cherif Bassiouni, into regime brutality uncovered systematic violations. The inquiry called for the release of all “prisoners of conscience” and other human rights reforms. Yet, the Al Khalifa rulers have simply ignored those calls for reform, continuing to attack peaceful protesters, saturate Shia villages with tear gas and lock up hundreds of youths, as well as human rights activists such as Nabeel Rajab and Zainab Al Khawaja. The British and American governments have remained silent in the face of these ongoing outrages while the supply of weapons continues unabated – $53 million dollars worth earlier this year from Washington alone.
London and Washington, and their mainstream news media, indulge in the cynical charade that the Al Khalifa regime is “trying to implement reforms” and engage in a “national dialogue”. But when will these governments get the fact that the Bahraini people don’t want to dialogue with a reprehensible, murderous regime? They want this regime to simply get off its throne and the people’s backs and let them elect their own government.
Last year, in December 2011 – one month after the Bassiouni report – Bahrain’s King Hamad was once again entertained in Downing Street by David Cameron. Then, as last week, the British prime minister lent diplomatic legitimacy to the Bahraini dictatorship by talking up its supposed willingness to reform and oversee human rights improvements. Britain announced that it was sending a senior police officer, John Yates, to assist Bahrain with reforms. Yates was to be joined in Bahrain by an American police colleague, John Timoney, in the supposed endeavour.
What has transpired over the past year is an even greater deterioration in human rights – proof again that both London and Washington have absolutely no desire to reform the despotic rule of their “key” Arab ally.
The bigger picture is that the Bahraini kingdom is an integral part of the Sunni Arab Gulf dictatorships that are central to safeguarding British and American imperialist interests in the region. As with Bahrain, these absolute monarchies are the historical creation of Britain. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the former Trucial States of the United Arab Emirates, and Oman were set up by the British with the precise remit of thwarting democracy and human rights. Their function, later underwritten by Washington, was to ensure the flow of oil to Western companies and banks. That is why the invasion of Bahrain by Saudi Arabia and the UAE last year and the ongoing brutal repression of the Bahraini population were given tacit support by London and Washington.
Democracy in the Middle East cannot be tolerated by Britain or Washington. Such a development stands in complete contradiction to Western capitalist interests. That is what the Bahraini foreign minister was alluding to when he said Cameron and King Hamad would be discussing “regional stability” – stability not for the populations, but rather for Western corporate interests and their ruling Arab thugs.
The henchman function of the Persian Gulf monarchs has grown even more important in the wake of the Arab Spring. These dictatorships are not just ensuring that the Persian Gulf kingdoms and their vast resources remain subjugated to the Western masters. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have emerged as providing a cutting edge in Britain and America’s overarching scheme for regime change in the wider region as seen in NATO’s criminal re-conquest of Libya and the ongoing covert wars of aggression against Syria and Iran.
Only days before Cameron feted the Bahraini despot in London, a 16-year-old boy, Husam Al Haddad, was shot in the back and then beaten to death by Al Khalifa’s death squads. Husam was peacefully protesting for democratic rights in Bahrain.
Tea and cakes in Number 10 Downing Street? Well, that’s just a British deft touch of nicety for public consumption of the barbaric special relationship.
© Copyright Press TV – Published at Set You Free News with license
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