By RODNEY SHAKESPEARE
All decent people know about the torturing of democrats in Bahrain. All decent people know of the deaths, the poisonous gases and the nasty practice of blasting lead shot into somebody’s eyes.
And most, but not all, decent people know about the nurses who were tortured to write false confessions saying when a person had been brought into hospital with large wounds they (the nurses) put their hands into the wounds to make them even bigger (by ripping the flesh even further apart).
Yes, bigger and further apart. Imagine the pain. Incredible as it might seem, nurses were tortured to say that they had broken the humane injunctions of the Hippocratic Oath and, instead of helping to heal, were deliberately making ghastly wounds even ghastlier.
Why were the nurses tortured into making false confessions? It was done because the regime was using ‘dum-dum’ (or hollow-jacketed) bullets which, on impact, explode and make a hole at least the size of a baseball and sometimes that of a football. In an attempt to conceal the use of dum-dums the killer-Khalifa regime ordered the torturing of the nurses.
So there is a brutal, vicious and extraordinarily spiteful regime in Bahrain, yet it is one with which the UK is in a deep, and very happy, relationship. For example, when explaining why the UK has recently decided to establish a new naval base in Bahrain, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond made the most fawning, obsequious creepy-crawly speech that could ever possibly be made. Amongst a shoal of sick-making sycophancies he smirked, “Your security is our security. Your prosperity is our prosperity. Your stability is our stability.” Ugh!!
Giving a summary of the situation Hammond said, “This is about protecting Britain’s interests in the Gulf.”
Really? What ‘interests’? Exactly what ‘interests’? Of course, there is undoubtedly a Dalek robot in the UK Foreign Office which, in a croaking monotone, keeps repeating, “British interests, British interests, British interests…..”
But what ‘interests’? Exactly what ‘interests’? We know that the killer-Khalifa regime likes purchasing poison gas to suffocate and lead shot to blast into faces. We know that, no doubt on the advice of Colonel Ian Stewart MacWalter Henderson the grisly former General Director of Security and head of the State Investigation Department, it likes to have instruments of torture. But is the selling of military and torture hardware really what Is meant by ‘British interests’?
Moreover, if anybody actually makes a list of (claimed) other interests, there arises the big, and very telling, question ‒ If there was to be a democracy in Bahrain, would genuine UK interests, in total, be any bit LESS than what they are at the present?
Indeed, by trading with a democratic population all of whom have access to proper income, would not the UK’s interests be MORE than what they are at present?
And that brings us to a most important bit of history which today’s UK government is determined to hide. In the 1820s, South America was ruled by vicious, corrupt, Spanish colonial autocracies very much like the killer-Khalifa regime in Bahrain today. Yet the UK rightly decided to support the overthrow of the autocracies and, to this day, the UK has had, and has, remarkably successful trade and political relations with South American countries.
Putting things bluntly, it is not enough to make the moral and political case against torture, suppression of democracy and autocracy just because, all the time, that robot is croaking, “British interests, British interests, British interests….” What matters is whether, with a democracy, UK interests would be smaller than they are today, or very much larger…..
Of course, we must not forget that UK politicians are given gold coins by the killer-Khalifas and the royal family gets jewels, so THAT could be what the Dalek is croaking about. But the personal interests of politicians and the royal family are most certainly not the interests of modern democracy.
And putting things even more bluntly, I often wonder about brave people who protest against the latest atrocity committed by the regime’s ghoulish security agents yet those same brave people often seem to manage to slip in a remark about ‘British interests’ thereby implying that Nothing Can be Done. These remarks are insidious and completely undermine all effort to get democracy into Bahrain because they imply that Nothing Can Be Done to change UK foreign and trading policy.
Indeed, even the best and bravest democrats shoot themselves in the foot by implying, if not openly saying, that Nothing Can Be Done about Bahrain because the UK has ‘interests’ in Bahrain.
Thus everybody, particularly those splendidly brave democrats, needs to learn that the UK’s and the West’s long term interests are to be in normal, balanced relationship with democracies throughout the Middle East rather than in corrupt relationships with hated autocracies.
When is the UK, for one, going to stand up publicly and denounce the out-dated, spiteful regimes of the Persian Gulf? Could not, for once, the UK show some genuine leadership instead of being a mere lick-spittle groveling to the Americans and Israelis?
Is it too much to hope that the UK will give a lead in democracy and so make a genuine furtherance of UK interests? Yes, it is too much to hope – our government is hopelessly corrupt.
Is it too much to hope that all those who fight so bravely for democracy in Bahrain will now direct at least some of their efforts to pointing out where the UK’s long term interests truly lie? No, it is not too much to hope and I look forward to hearing more Bahraini democrats pointing out that the Dalek is really only upholding the interests of a corrupt few and not the true long term interests of all the British people.