In case it's not common knowledge, Bahrain - which has just seen peaceful protesters shot dead - is an awful, repressive place. The Sunni rulers have long remained in place through the use of secret service repression and a policy of importing Sunni Muslims from other countries to rebalance the native population, which is 75% Shia.
Saudi Arabia is providing tactical support and large amounts of cash as Bahrain's oil money disappears (the last thing the Saudis want is a democracy on its borders), but the muscle comes from the British. They gave Bahrain a savage secret policeman - Colonel Ian Henderson - and provide all the weaponry and training required to keep a dictatorship in good running order. Why? Because Bahrain's an ex-British possession and democracy comes a bad second to oil and an obsessive desire to control dark-skinned foreigners. Henderson learned his torture skills in Kenya at the fag-end of empire, before being transferred to the Bahrainis.
Documentary about torturer Henderson.
BBC news article about his involvement in torture.
I wonder what the UK government has to say about what's going on today.