British Embassy Promotes Despotism in Bahrain 59

The British Embassy in Bahrain is promoting the appalling attack on human rights in that country – on the official British government website.
The views expressed can be reasonably described as fascist:

So-called human rights organisations, which unfortunately are largely administered by ex-ideologists and even terrorists, today propagate their own version of the word ‘freedom’, solely to take it away from others. They dismiss any notion that the minute someone’s freedom intrudes on that of another person, it becomes an act of violation. For absolute freedom is absolute chaos. Like any other state of being, it must be accountable. But in today’s world there is a frequent tendency for the press to brand those in power as ‘baddies’, and the real wrongdoers as victims.

During the last two years Bahrain has suffered hugely damaging media-inspired attacks on its image and integrity – without checks being made as to their veracity – whether news or comment.

Another thought…as much as beasts cannot be left to roam freely, so in human society the feral element’s freedom should be under control.

Respect for freedom should really start from an early age. Otherwise our society will only breed ranks of the undisciplined – staining the values of freedom.

Freedom of thought, thinking and writing, should all derive their essence from graceful wisdom, not from the dogma of hooligans.

And a second essay:

During the past two years Bahrain has gone through a phase during which misleading information has ripped our society apart through sectarian tension.

Writers took the opportunity of the unrest to promote their political views. Some fabricated stories which supported the opposition; others decided to turn the table and depict a whole segment of the society as traitors – such was the shameful role played by state television and other loyalist media outlets.

By using the term freedom of expression in the wrong context, both sides played a dangerous role in promoting sectarianism and dividing society.

It is beyond satire that the headline on all this is “blockquote>British Embassy Bahrain marks the World Press Freedom Day.

Apparently the Embassy commissioned these essays from Bahrainians to mark the occasion. Extraordinarily, they have published two essays from pro-despotism propagandists. If they had published two balancing essays from the majority community, I would have viewed the inclusion of the fascist views as wrongheaded but defensible. As it is, this is an appalling disgrace to the foreign office.

Here are some genuine press stories the Embassy might have noted, but didn’t:

Bahrain doctors jailed for treating injured protesters

Teenager Killed in Bahrain on Protest Anniversary

Bahrain Protest Crushed By Security Forces

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59 thoughts on “British Embassy Promotes Despotism in Bahrain

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  • MJ

    “So-called human rights organisations, which unfortunately are largely administered by ex-ideologists and even terrorists”

    We can only be grateful that those in Syria are such a decent and principled lot.

  • John Goss

    If Anwar Abdulrahman and Citizens of (for) Bahrain (and the British Embassy) really believe in freedom of the press they would not take such a pro-government stance with derogatory criticism of ‘opponents’. It would seem without the ‘opponents’ the real news would not emerge from these sheikdoms. There is a British Embassy disclaimer at the end of each article but that means nothing if there is no balance with an opposition viewpoint. It might just as well be recent broadcasts of BBC Newsnight where all invited guests speak in the same gibberish. Freedom of the press does not exist in any country, but probably less so in Bahrain, and these government sock-puppets appear to be concerned that the internet has opened up possibilities of the truth emerging which might bring their sweeteners to an end. I still live by the credo of “publish and be damned”.

    Thanks again for being on the button.

  • Kempe

    The Embassy has put the usual “get-out” clause at the bottom each essay but rather than promote their views don’t you think they’ve been allowed to damn themselves out of their own mouths (or keyboards)?

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that article,an atrocious circumstance and typical for the them and us attitude that forges our FO relationships.
    I needed that to come down from yesterdays blues.

    Bahrain has opted to oppress its Shia community and Israhell is bombing the living daylight out of Syria. Are we now seeing the next conflagration been set into motion?

    I had a word with Richard Bacon MP at the count yesterday, he told me that he sat down with the IAEA negotiator in Vienna and that the latter categorically ensured him that Iran has NO weapons grade material.

    We talked a bit about the foaming at the mouth incident in Syria, to which he smiled. He’s a Tory who is despised by his local Tories, they even tried to depose him and he says his bit on tax evasion.

    did I just say this?

  • King of Nothing

    “Despotism” surely. Unless they really do have a depot problem 🙂

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    O/T – OR NOT

    Israel once again has violated Lebanese air-space to launch an attack on Syria. When will this feral turf, this uncontrolled perfidy, be sanctioned by international law?

    Weitzman said, “The most important part of the Jewish people is already in the land (of Israel) and those who are left, are unimportant”

  • Emmy

    That Britain continues its colonial policy on Bahrain is hardly surprising, nothing changed from the days of the past. That this stance is appalling to any who values democracy and Human Rights is obvious. What has changed though is because of the internet, we can actually see it as clearly and as timely as never before in our history. If there is a Foreign Relations Parliamentary Committee around, it would be interesting to ask the question of who actually formulates the particular policy of Britain towards Bahrain, to whose benefit this is and where does a country draw the line between economic or political gain and Human Rights standards.

    For domestic politics, the obvious danger is that their endorsement abroad because of its visibility becomes a de facto endorsement domestically. Have the people who made these Foreign Policy decisions considered the implications to UK political life if such blatant disregard to Human Rights where to be endorsed by the established parties that currently govern? The internet era exposes the “One rule for them, one rule for us” British foreign politics. It also highlights the danger of ideological contagion that the established governmental power might not have bargained for. That the UK government through its foreign policy is planting the seeds of fascism domestically might not be the most comfortable conclusion. That the Tory party would be digging its own grave, undermining its own political support by endorsing absolute despotism is at least a very unwise decision, at a time of great political shift in the UK.

    Thank you for bringing this topic up for discussion.

  • April Showers

    This is Alistair Burt’s patch. (MENA)

    He visited Bahrain in March. Note how he bats these searching questions away like the true professional that he is.

    Someone has created this spoof Twitter page for the UK Ambassador Iain Lindsay.

    Incidentally Burt is a Conservative Friend of Israel.

    Lindsay found time to honour Thatcher.
    The British Embassy in Bahrain celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday on 18th April, with more than 200 guests.

    His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa with the Ambassador, Iain Lindsay photo

    The Embassy was proud to receive His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, as Guest of Honour, representing His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The Ambassador, Iain Lindsay, invited guests to join in loyal toasts to Her Majesty The Queen and to His Majesty The King. The Ambassador also paid tribute to the late Baroness Thatcher, whose funeral took place on 17 April, with a minute’s silence.

    Speaking at the event, the Ambassador said:
    “In the last year we have seen strong progress in the bilateral relationship with Bahrain which saw visits to the UK by His Majesty The King and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation and we are marking this by showing a film tonight that recorded that memorable day. I am delighted that His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister, has been able to join us this evening for a celebration of UK and Bahrain’s long and close friendship.”

    The theme of this year’s event was the GREAT Campaign, launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in September 2011 and designed to showcase the breadth of Britain’s strengths.

    The Ambassador expressed his gratitude to British Airways, EuroMotors and HSBC for their generous sponsorship of the event. He also thanked the St. Christopher’s School choir, for performing during the evening, the crew members of HMS Shoreham and HMS Ramsey, and the Bugler and Pipers of the Public Security band.

    Pass the sick bag.

  • nevermind

    Mark G. wrote
    ‘Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and like Diego Garcia British governments are ignorant towards abject citizens expelled or living in dominion.’

    Just as in Vietnam, the indigenous Baharna are mostly Shia whilst the Bedouin’s are supporters of the Sunni rulers.

    Bahrains dictators, with our help and that of the US, will ever further clamp down on human rights, denounce torture, humiliate and decimate those that oppose their sole rule. The fifth fleet is their guarantee and one day, the helicopters will leave taking them into exile.

    That is the only guarantee of their actions.
    They have clearly dehumanised themselves by their actions to ever be considered worthy of being part of a society they have so brutalised and degraded.

    To attack doctors who have sworn to help all is fascist, how dare they attack these benign humane global values which underline much other humanitarian law.

    But then I read up on Wikipedia that’

    “In 1927, Rezā Shāh, then Shah of Iran, demanded the return of Bahrain in a letter to the League of Nations. A move that prompted Belgrave to undertake harsh measures including encouraging conflicts between Shia and Sunni Muslims in order to bring down the uprisings and limit the Iranian influence.[55] Belgrave even went further by suggesting to rename the Persian Gulf to the “Arabian Gulf”; however, the proposal was refused by the British government.[52] Britain’s interest in Bahrain’s development was motivated by concerns over Saudi and Iranian ambitions in the region.”

    This little speck of ground has caused strife since its existence and it always had links with the Persian empire, a small pawn for the superpowers to push around on their map of middle east ambitions. The west is at war with many people, hence my comparison with Vietnam after the French left and the US stepped in.

    Once the population galvanises its thoughts and actions, the destabilisation of indigenous Shia, and for that matter, the ruling Sunni families and others,those who came to live there can only result in the same clashes we have seen in almost every arab spring, Iraq is still tearing itself apart.

    Whilst we wait and rebuild and buy their oil and are in control of chaotic circumstances. Chaos sells arms and more chaos in Bahrain will result in more for us.

    The over arching idea governing western thought is fascist, as it undermines, open rifts and deploys boogie’s that cause strife inj societies, false flag incidents and hey presto another oil rich nation at each others throat, in religious chaos, fighting a feral war with each other.

    whilst we wait and see what comes of it, advise cajole and steer, whether its the runaway chief superintendent, or the Bernie Ecclestones of this world, its all part of the big show.

    A war with Iran will set Bahrain alight, imho, not because of Irans interference, but because of internal strife that is self generated by the Al Khalifa’s, pirates and robbers by ancient trade.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    @ Craig :

    I note that the ‘second essay’ you partially quote also includes this :

    “others decided to turn the table and depict a whole segment of the society as traitors – such was the shameful role played by state television and other loyalist media outlets.”

    Unless I’ve misunderstood the meaning of the above, doesn’t that provide (a bit of ) balance?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    @ Mark Golding :

    “When will this feral turf, this uncontrolled perfidy, be sanctioned by international law?”

    I think that Orwell would have put that sentence into the ‘foaming at the mouth’ category, wouldn’t you agree?

  • craig Post author


    The second essay is a tiny bit more balanced, but not much, and still very plainly pro-government – it’s just a bit more clever propaganda, really.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    Thank-you Emmy for clasping the deadly thorns of despotism and revealing them ‘in flagrante delicto’ with superior piercing telltale petioles of guilt, shame and disgrace.

    The wheel is turning in British politics driven by a frustration and the abiding bitter pill of hypocrisy, insincerity, mockery and deceit fed to us by those in power, those baby-kissers who deem to represent us, an informed British people.

  • Villager

    Craig, educating HabawRita:

    “The second essay is a tiny bit more balanced, but not much, and still very plainly pro-government – it’s just a bit more clever propaganda, really.”

    Too subtle for some, especially the likes of tired (and tiring) schoolmasters turned Internet-Auditor-(General is too good a word, so i’ll just say)-Superintendents.

    PS Good one Jake!

  • Tim Hoddy


    I’m quite appalled by these two essays being published on a UK Govt. website.

    To whom would it be best to complain?


  • craig Post author

    I think it is best to complain in writing to your own MP. Then a Foreign Office minister will have to reply.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    @ Villager :

    nice to hear from you again, Sir, I was beginning to fear that you’d followed Mary into retirement!

    Anyway, what do you think of Mark Golding’d prose, as in the example I gave in my earlier post?

    Or this example, if you prefer :

    “Thank-you Emmy for clasping the deadly thorns of despotism and revealing them ‘in flagrante delicto’ with superior piercing telltale petioles of guilt, shame and disgrace.” ?

    Do you think he’s taking the piss?

  • Michael Culver

    At least the people of Bahrain who protest will be spared the attentions of Ian Henderson deceased.His speciality was shoving glass bottles up anuses or vaginas or both,a little trick he perfected in Kenya on Mau mau freedom fighters and civilians.There was a case in the high court last year about the latter.However as torture has now been more or less accepted as a rational response to any perceived threat,real or imaginary,we should assume that his replacement,who he?,will have learned to fine tune the questioning and bring it up to a new Yoo defined level of illegality.Sadism and hypocrisy what a sick sick country is this.

  • April Showers

    @Michael Culver Ref Ian Henderson.

    The good do indeed die young. Henderson was 86.

    ‘According to Emile Nakhleha, a Research Professor at the University of New Mexico who spent a year in Bahrain as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in the early 1970s, the main mission of Henderson’s security service was to penetrate dissident and pro-democracy groups and defeat them. “The Security Service under Henderson’s supervision and control commonly practised fear, intimidation, and ‘enhanced interrogation methods’,” he has claimed. “Henderson perceived all human rights advocates and proponents of the constitution and an elected parliament as ‘radicals’, ‘extremists’ and ‘terrorists’. Many were arrested without due process or clear charges and often beaten and tortured.” Some Bahrainis referred to Henderson as the “Butcher of Bahrain”.’

    His obituary.

  • Villager

    Mary, you never seem to cease to amaze me with your research! Glad to see you keeping it up — and keeping us all up to speed.

    Everyone reading this blog entry should also read Shashank Joshi’s piece linked above. Here’s an excerpt anyway:

    “Kudos to the British Embassy in Bahrain for getting out the real message of the day: Bahrainis just aren’t responsible enough for freedom of the press! If only they would see that, perhaps they would stop their troublesome agitation for democratic rights.

    This is not the first time that the Embassy has lost the plot. In March, Brian Whitaker noted that the Ambassador had been quoted as criticising Human Rights Watch after the group said there had been “no progress on key reform promises”. (In an entirely unrelated development, the Ambassador also observed that “British companies should be able to pick up at least £1bn worth of business here over the next five to 10 years”).

    In case you need reminding, Freedom House judges that Bahrain’s press is “not free”, noting that last year “the government’s censorship and intimidation of journalists intensified”. The Committee to Protect Journalists says that “the authorities continued to restrict critical reporting and independent news coverage”. A recent US State Department report concluded that Bahrain has “limited freedom of speech and press through active prosecution of individuals under libel, slander, and national security laws; firing or attacking civilian and professional journalists; and proposing legislation to limit speech in print and social media”. I could go on. Perhaps the Embassy in Bahrain has dozens of corrective posts pointing all this out, and these are imminently going up – but no sign of these yet.

    Unless the British Embassy in Bahrain was attempting some form of elaborate satire, publishing these diatribes against actual press freedom would be a bizarre and offensive thing to do on any day, let alone this one.” Who is the twit of the Ambassador in Bahrain anyway? His comment re the billion pounds over 5-10 years (chicken-feed) makes him sound like a bloody pathetic mercenary.

  • John Goss

    Another thing I like about this blog is the new information that comes to light, keeping the debate focused, as in the recent comments by Mark Golding, Michael Culver, April Showers and Villager which show Bahrain to be one of the most oppressive places on the planet.

  • Villager

    Habbabkuk (La Vita È Bella)

    Habba, Sir, if I were to admit that i do follow Mary because i find her research very helpful, would you admit that you stalk-followed her out of the blog?

    At any rate, i’m glad the atmosphere at the blog has improved, not least because Craig’s been posting regularly.

    As for Mark, I think he’s just flowering in the Spring, but keep in mind a flower doesn’t care who comes to smell its perfume.

    TC, have I missed any apostrophes?

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