British weapons for Bahrain tyranny

This video says about itself:

Bahraini troops shot at protesters near Pearl Roundabout and wounded many, a doctor of Salmaniya hospital said, a day after police forcibly cleared a protest camp from the traffic circle in Manama.

Dr. Ghassan said: “There are many casualties with head wounds.”

The demonstrators made for Pearl Roundabout, where army troops who took it over after the police raid on Thursday opened fire.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

UK accused of ‘double standards’ over weapons exports to Bahrain

Rights groups say situation in flashpoint country is being ignored while ‘commercial interests‘ are put first

Alistair Dawber

Friday 30 March 2012

A Bahraini human rights organisation has issued a stinging rebuke of Western governments and their attitudes to what it describes as a desperate situation in the country, saying that many are putting commercial interests ahead of human rights.

On Wednesday, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) was among the winners at the Index for Censorship awards ceremony, and yesterday it reiterated its case that the situation in the tiny Gulf state was being ignored.

“It is largely about arms sales,” said Maryam Al-Khawaja, head of the BCHR’s international operations. “The West is guilty of double standards. The US, UK and France attack Russia for providing weapons to Syria, but that’s exactly what they are doing for the Bahrain government; Russia is criticised for a naval base in Syria, but the US has one here.

“How can it be that bodies like the UN intervene in Libya and openly talk about backing those wanting greater freedoms in Syria when the intervention here is on the behalf of those that continue to crack down on these demands?”

In February last year, at the height of the unrest, the British Government said it would review arms exports to Bahrain, which at the time included crowd control measures such as “CS hand grenades, demolition charges, smoke canisters and thunderflashes”.

According to research by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, several licences were granted for arms exports, including in February and March 2011, and during the height of the violence. In April last year, an export licence for “training hand grenades” worth more than £70,000 was issued, and was followed later in the year by licences for the sale of “body armour” “gun silencers” and “weapons sights”.

It is not possible to tell if this equipment was used by the Bahraini government. Since January 2010, more than £7m of military export licences have been granted to British companies by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. …

Denis MacShane, the Labour MP who challenged the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in the Commons last year over arms exports to Bahrain, said Britain should be ashamed of its record of arms sales to Bahrain. “Last year’s review… was utterly cynical and the Government should be ashamed,” he said.

Denis MacShane is very right that the British Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government “should be ashamed” about its cozy relationship with the bloody absolute monarchy in Bahrain. However, Mr MacShane should be ashamed himself on quite some non-Bahrain issues. As a Blairite right-winger within the Labour party, MacShane promoted xenophobia and supported Bush and Blair’s wars in Iraq and elsewhere. The parliamentary Labour party expelled him because of a corruption scandal.

The Bahraini government says it has made progress in implementing reforms suggested in the wide-ranging Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report. The report was backed by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and in parts was damning of the state’s response to the uprising, between the largely Shia opposition, the majority in the country, and security forces backing the ruling Sunni elite.

The Foreign Office has said that it believes there is room for further reform by the Bahraini government, despite

lack of

evidence of progress.

Britain gives £500,000 to Syrian rebels

Britain will provide £500,000 in aid for the Syrian opposition groups inside the country. It is intended that some of the money will be used to secure evidence of atrocities committed by the forces of Bashar al-Assad.

The remainder of the funds is expected to be spent on communications and medical equipment and civic society projects. The money comes on top of the £450,000 that has been given over the past eight months to rebel groups outside Syria.

The international Friends of Syria group meets in Istanbul this weekend to discuss more backing for the opposition, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar pressing for rebel militias to be given military support.

Kim Sengupta

David Cameron is on tour, touting for trade for his arms dealer chums in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Burma: here.

Google Bahrain and you will see how inexcusably the popular uprising in the Persian Gulf sheikhdom is being blacked out by the mainstream media and how discriminatingly the Western leaders ignore the vociferous demands of a nation for democracy and social justice: here.

Teams are making preparations just in case the Bahrain grand prix is called off at the last minute: here.

Bahrain should ‘immediately release’ hunger-striker Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja: here.

Bahrain’s legal system under scrutiny for abuses: here.

Saudi Arabia and other US-backed Gulf monarchies agreed at an Istanbul summit on Sunday to create a multimillion-dollar fund to bankroll the waning Syrian insurgency: here.

USA: Generals Who Don’t Just Fade Away: The Newest in Self-Dealing Maneuvers. Dina Rasor, Truthout: “As I mentioned in an earlier Solutions column, it was a tradition for ex-generals to enter the civilian business world. It was even considered unseemly for a retired general to go work for a military company after World War II, but unfortunately, a large percentage of current retiring generals go to work for defense companies, giving ‘advice’ and claiming not to lobby”: here.

Self-Dealing and the War Service Industry, Part III: The Payoff. Dina Rasor, Truthout: “In this third installment of our series, we will go back and find out where their fellow government protagonists went after shamelessly helping KBR to the detriment of the government. It is a tale of government employees like Smith and Greenhouse trying to do the right thing but not being able to follow it through because of the brazen behavior of their bosses and fellow workers. Many of the people who were responsible for the lack of oversight and the acquiescence to KBR’s demands flagrantly used their cozy relationships with KBR and other companies to land great post-retirement jobs. Their self-dealing shows a corrupted system that eats up honest government workers while rewarding those who don’t rock the boat for contractors”: here.

25 thoughts on “British weapons for Bahrain tyranny

  1. Pentagon Installs Comprehensive New Radar System In “Arabian” Gulf

    U.S. Air Force
    March 28, 2012

    New radar helps Airmen defend Arabian Gulf
    By Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Grewe
    727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron

    SOUTHWEST ASIA: Airmen defending the Arabian Gulf have another arrow in their quiver thanks to a new radar system installed at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing here March 18.

    The TPS-75, or “Tipsy-75″ as the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron calls it, is a powerful air surveillance radar capable of providing long-range, real-time radar coverage.

    Airmen assigned to the 727th EACS use the TPS-75 to provide 24-hour air defense and surveillance for unknown threats over the entire Arabian Gulf region. The new system gives the radar operators both a bigger and more detailed picture as they monitor all aerial activity in the area.

    “Our job is to constantly watch the skies,” said Lt. Col. Steven A. Breitfelder, the 727th EACS commander. “Our operators defend the Arabian Gulf and its surrounding countries by monitoring the area for enemy aircraft.”

    The 727th EACS set a goal for increased radar coverage to improve their current mission capabilities. Airmen began looking and coordinating with the host nation in January to find a suitable site able to support the TPS-75.


  2. Bahrain says gunfire killed young protester

    The Associated Press

    Posted: 03/31/2012 03:27:24 AM PDT
    Updated: 03/31/2012 03:27:25 AM PDT

    MANAMA, Bahrain—Bahraini officials say a young man was killed by gunfire during the latest anti-government protests in the Gulf kingdom.

    The Interior Ministry says 22-year-old Ahmed Ismail died from a “live bullet” on Saturday and that an investigation is under way.

    Street battles occur nearly every day between security forces and protesters from Bahrain’s Shiite majority, which seeks to break the Sunni monarchy’s hold on power.

    Police often use tear gas and rubber bullets, but reports of regular gunfire are rare.

    The death could boost pressure on Formula One organizers to call off the April 22 Bahrain Grand Prix. The race was canceled last year in a blow to the country’s leadership.

    More than 45 people have died in Bahrain’s unrest since February 2011.


  3. ‘Regime gunmen’ kill Bahrain protester: opposition

    (AFP) – 2 hours ago

    DUBAI — Gunmen killed a 22-year-old protester near the Bahraini capital early on Saturday, said the main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, blaming militants loyal to the regime.

    Ahmad Ismail Hassan was wounded in the stomach when men in civilian clothing fired on protesters calling for “democracy and an end to dictatorship” in Salmabad, on the southern outskirts of Manama, Al-Wefaq said in a statement.

    Doctors were unable to save him, it said, adding that “regime militants” carried out the shooting.

    Al-Wefaq’s accusation came a week after the group said that a man and a woman died of asphyxiation caused by tear gas grenades fired by Bahrain’s security forces to disperse protests in Shiite villages.

    On Thursday, hundreds of protesters staged a sit-in outside the offices of the United Nations in Manama demanding action over the “excessive” use of tear gas against demonstrators.

    Bahraini police regularly clash with demonstrators who take to the streets in Shiite villages despite a brutal crackdown last year on a month-long protest that demanded democratic change in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom.

    According to an independent probe, 35 people were killed in the unrest between mid-February and mid-March 2011.

    Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.


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