A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Reminder of Britain's Security Legacy in Bahrain

During Bahrain's current troubles,there has been little talk about the legacy of British rule, and the post-independence role of British security advisers, in the island Kingdom. This post from Adam Curtis at the BBC, complete with lots of old BBC video clips, reminds us of the legacy of Charles Belgrave and more notoriously, Ian Henderson. I'm not the sort to blame colonialism for every single flaw in modern Middle Eastern states, but it's certainly not entirely innocent. And a note: though Ian Henderson, the British policeman who ran security fot decades in Bahrain after establishing his credentials suppressing the Mau Mau in Kenya, only retired in 1998,the last I heard he is still alive and living in Bahrain.

Though there are a lot of old video clips of historical interest, I'm not going to label this one "nostalgia," since I doubt if very many are all that nostalgic for this aspect of the past.

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