Africa, the Middle East, and Asia in the Era of Independence
During the era of decolonization, Western colonial powers tried to maintain control of their holdings, either through direct military intervention or through more subtle economic tactics. Local leaders were often supported if they agreed to repress popular uprisings, especially those motivated by the desire for democracy. Often times the Cold War offered Western powers a pretext for their draconian measures: “Perhaps we’re supporting a tyrant but it’s necessary. If we don’t keep control at whatever the cost, then this country might go red and fall in line with the communists. These puppet dictators are a means to an end–albeit a noble end.” This happened in South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Those with a more cynical view on the matter suggest that these harsh and repressive Western-supported tactics were done to guarantee “client states”; that is, states who would be beholden to Western interests and who would supply natural resources (ie. oil) as conveniently and cheaply as possible.
Read/Watch this Adam Curtis blog from the BBC. In it he takes a look at the repressive history in Bahrain and Britain’s involvement in it.