by Finian Cunningham
April 26, 2011
The British royal wedding is turning swiftly into a public relations
disaster, with news that Bahrain’s Crown Prince is respectfully turning down
his invitation to the event because of the “situation reigning” in the
Persian Gulf kingdom.
However, the real story behind the headlines is that the diplomatic shuffle
reveals that the British establishment is well aware of the vicious
repression being conducted by the Bahraini rulers along with the armed
forces of neighboring Gulf states, including Western allies,
the United Arab Emirates
Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
reportedly said that that he did not want his presence to “tarnish” the
royal wedding due to take place at Westminster Abbey in London this Friday.
The Bahraini prince was among 40 monarchs from around the world who have
been invited by the British establishment to join some 2,000 other guests,
including government leaders and celebrities, at the nuptials of Prince
William and his long-time fiancé Kate Middleton.
William is the son of Britain’s heir to the
Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad
The British royals were in recent days coming
under fire in some of the UK press for inviting the Bahraini prince, who is
also the deputy supreme commander of the Bahrain Defence Forces.
Despite a lack of coverage in the British and Western mainstream media
generally, nonetheless there has been a public outcry in Britain over the
brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. More than 30 civilians have
been killed in state violence - which escalated on March 16 after Saudi-led
forces from the other Gulf countries entered the diminutive island of some
700,000 indigenous population.
Thousands others have been injured from army and police opening fire on
peaceful protests. Up to 1,000 people have been unlawfully detained, or
“disappeared”, including doctors, nurses, lawyers, human rights workers and
Four people, including Bahraini journalist
Karim Fakhrawi , have died while in custody, showing signs
of torture. The
Shia majority in Bahrain is particularly targeted by the
Sunni rulers and their Gulf allies. Hundreds have been sacked from
workplaces, accused of being supportive of the anti-government uprising that
began on February 14.
While the ongoing violations, including the military take-over of hospitals
and unlawful detention of injured patients, have elicited condemnations
...along with Washington and other Western
governments, has been conspicuously muted.
Bahrain’s former colonial ruler, Britain, and the U.S. government are well
aware of the repression.
The U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in the strategic
Persian Gulf island, which serves as a listening and watching post for
Western geopolitical power projection in the region, in particular against
Iran. It beggars belief that Western governments are unaware of the
repression. Indeed, it is most likely that these governments have given
their approval to the Bahraini and Gulf rulers carrying out the crackdown on
the pro-democracy movement and the Shia population generally.
Only days before the Saudi-led forces moved into Bahrain, the Bahraini King
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received separate personal visits from U.S. secretary
of defence Robert Gates and Britain’s top national security advisor
Sir Peter Ricketts, the latter reporting directly to British prime
minister David Cameron.
Britain and the U.S. are major suppliers of military equipment to Bahrain -
including teargas, helicopters and armored personnel carriers that are being
deployed to crush the pro-democracy protests.
Britain has a particularly important role in the repressive policies of the
Bahraini regime. When Britain granted nominal independence to the oil-rich
sheikhdom in 1971, many of the British state security personnel remained in
place. The head of Bahrain’s security between 1968 to 1998 was Colonel Ian
Henderson, who is believed to still act as an advisor to the king.
Henderson has in the past been the subject of
several reports by international human rights groups for his involvement in
overseeing torture and repression in Bahrain. 
Since the latest crackdown began, the Bahraini rulers and their Gulf allies
have sought to legitimize the state of emergency declared on March 14 as a
necessary measure to crush a “subversive plot” in the country and the region
fomented by Iran.
U.S. secretary of state
Clinton has endeavored to shore up such claims by denouncing
But as the British royal wedding fiasco indicates, Britain (and the
acutely aware of the disturbing humanitarian concerns in Bahrain.
Officially, the Bahraini Crown Prince “uninvited” himself.
In a statement, he said:
“I was hoping that the Kingdom of Bahrain
would have a high-profile representation at this glamorous event, thus
reflecting the friendship bonding our countries. However, the current
situation reigning in Bahrain prevents me from attending.”
The bets are that the British foreign office
became alarmed at the growing media controversy in Britain over the planned
attendance at the wedding by the Bahraini monarch and advised the latter to
If the British government really did believe the official justifications for
the repression in Bahrain, it would not have made such a move. The Bahraini
monarch’s wish not to tarnish the occasion seems to be an off-guarded,
inadvertent admission that there are disturbing violations being perpetrated
by the regime. And the British government knows full well that it is
harboring a dirty little secret in Bahrain and that more media delving could
But the British establishment has not limited the damage entirely.
Still planning to attend the royal wedding is
one of the princes from the House of Saud. Which will bring up more
questions about Britain’s connections to the repression in Saudi Arabia
against its own pro-democracy movement as well as the latter’s ongoing
involvement in Bahrain.
Furthermore, the guest list points to cynical double standards in Britain’s
As media analyst Paul Kane points out:
“It is so telling, on so many different
levels, for example, the contrast between Bahraini rulers, who get
invited to the British royal wedding - something that is taken to
epitomize and define the gentility and nobility and cultural achievement
of the western elites - and Libyan rulers, who get munitions, presumably
loaded with depleted uranium, on their heads.”
Britain’s Royal Wedding
A Big Day For The Global Oligarchy
by Finian Cunningham
April 28, 2011
A Celebration of the Dictatorship of
Global Capital over Democracy
The British royal wedding can be seen as a modern-day repeat of the “bread
and circuses” policy of ancient Rome.
In the waning days of that empire, the rulers
sought to distract the masses from their grinding misery and the unwieldy
wealth and corruption of the elite by sporadically throwing scraps of bread
to the hungry public while saturating them with spectacles of gore and
Today, the British public - grinding under massive austerity budget cuts,
unemployment, poverty wages, social deprivations and crumbling services -
are thrown scraps of feelgood comfort from the much-hyped wedding between
Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton.
William is the grandson of
Elizabeth II and son of the heir apparent to the British throne,
Prince Charles. Fawning media coverage will present it as a day of romance,
nationhood, nostalgia and pride.
Meanwhile, the spectacles of gore and bloodlust - admittedly despite much
public opposition - are located thousands of kilometers away in the Middle
East, Iraq, Central Asia, Afghanistan, where over a million civilians have
been killed in British-backed “wars
against terror” that have yet to be sated even after eight and 10
years of butchery, respectively.
the latest spectacle opens in North Africa, Libya,
where over the past six weeks Royal Air Force warplanes have been bombing
and killing civilians in the name of “peace” and “humanitarian concern”.
The day before the wedding, the British
government announced that troops are to be dispatched to the borders of
Libya to provide “humanitarian corridors” for displaced civilians - many of
whom will have been displaced by RAF ground attack aircraft.
Of course, the British Empire has long ago waned as a singular entity and
its elite is not alone in lording over their masses.
The same bread and
circuses charade is being played out in varied ways by the other Western
...that comprise today’s global Empire
But what should be appreciated from the display in Britain is the revelation
- albeit unintended - of raw state power. Behind the translucent wedding
veil, what can be seen is raw state power that blows away any vestige of
illusions of parliamentary democracy, illusions that are not just peculiar
to Britain, but to all the Western powers. In short, the empire of corporate
and financial aristocracy that has emerged in late capitalism is now
asserting itself increasingly and more blatantly as a dictatorship of
All political parties, whether Conservative, Liberal or Labour in Britain,
or Republican, Democrat in the U.S. etc., are seen to be willing servants of
Bear in mind that London’s royal pageant is being imposed, without any
public question, at an estimated cost of some $70 million, most of that for
state security against any sign of popular protest. When the wider cost to
the economy of the British government’s declared “public holiday” is
factored in, the total cost may be $10 billion - this as the British
exchequer is embarking on implementing austerity budget cuts of $130
The bill for the royal wedding will be footed by
the British public through future deeper cuts in jobs, education and health
services, and social welfare programs. This as the British government
unilaterally adds to the public debt the cost of RAF bombing sorties in
Libya, estimated at over $1 billion a month, and its other even more costly
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So where is the democracy in that?
Austerity budgets imposed against public
will, a deficit substantially increased from a royal pageant imposed without
democratic consultation, and war expenses loaded on to the suffering public
- even though these wars are opposed by the majority of voters.
That is dictatorship by elite government for an unelected elite.
dictatorship manifests in the U.S. and other Western powers. Ordinary
Americans in particular may look at the British royal wedding pageant with
mild fascination as some kind of “old Europe curiosity”.
But in spite of its supposed revolution against
European monarchs, the U.S. has today reinvented its own corporate and
financial aristocracy that rules and plunders without democratic
accountability in alliance with the oligarchies of Europe.
The real world nexus for
our global oligarchy is seen graphically in the
power of oil companies and the transnational banking system.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, one of the
world’s top 10 richest individuals,
has a personal fortune that is reckoned
to far exceed her country’s $130 billion deficit cuts. She is a major
shareholder in Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum - these companies
along with Exxon and Chevron make up the “four horsemen” of global Big Oil.
As Dean Henderson, author of
Big Oil and Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf,
“The Four Horsemen have interlocking
directorates with the international mega-banks.
Exxon Mobil shares board
members with JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of
Canada and Prudential.
Chevron Texaco has interlocks with Bank of
America and JP Morgan Chase.
BP Amoco shares directors with JP Morgan
RD/Shell has ties with Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, N. M.
Rothschild & Sons and Bank of England.”
“Information on RD/Shell is harder to obtain
since they are registered in the UK and Holland and are not required to
file 10K reports. It is 60% owned by Royal Dutch Petroleum of Holland
and 40% owned by Shell Trading & Transport of the UK. The company has
only 14,000 stockholders and few directors.
The consensus from
researchers is that Royal Dutch/Shell is still controlled by
Rothschild, Oppenheimer, Nobel and Samuel families along with the
British House of Windsor and the Dutch House of Orange.” 
Such global connections bestow on the British
monarch the epithet of “the world’s ultimate insider trader”.
Scott Thompson writes:
“[T]he Queen is the world's ultimate
‘insider trader’. She not only gets tips from British financiers, but
also has access to all the state secrets, through the [Privy Council]
Thus, if the Queen learns from among all public and private
British Empire intelligence and economic warfare entities reporting to
her, for example, that Nigeria is about to be destabilized, she can
immediately call her broker.
Under the secrecy laws of the British
Empire, it would be unthinkable for anyone to consider pressing charges
of insider trading and conflict of interest against the sovereign: In
fact, only a handful of trusted advisers would ever know.” 
To put these connections of the House of Windsor
to the global Empire of Capital in a real world context, we should factor in
The war in Iraq, according to recent
WikiLeaks, and others, was most certainly about
gaining access for Big Oil and British Big Oil in particular,
despite the arrogant assertions by former British prime minister
Tony Blair that such claims made at the time of the U.S./British
invasion of Iraq in 2003 were “absurd”. 
The present NATO war in Libya has an
uncanny resemblance to British and French war planning for that
country several months before any sign of alleged popular uprising.
NATO’s military intervention in Libya
was precipitated by Muammar Gaddafi’s move to put a financial
squeeze on Big Oil to compensate for more than $2 billion in
reparations extracted from that country over a frame-up for the
Lockerbie bombing in 1988, according to former U.S. intelligence asset
The subjugation and integration of
Libya’s independent financial system within the global banking
system, the same system in which the British monarch is a major
Libya’s vast untapped oil wealth - the
largest in Africa - was impeded by a leader considered unreliable to
the long-term interests of Big Oil.
The reconquest of Libya by Western
militarism provides a strategic bridgehead for global Capital to
thwart pro-democracy uprisings across the Middle East and North
Africa - uprising that represent threats to the profit interests of
Big Oil and its shareholders, including the House of Windsor.
On the last point, it should be noted that
Western governments have been aided and abetted by dictatorial monarchs from
the Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.
The Persian Gulf monarchs are among the guest
list attending the Big Day for the British royals. The delegation from the
House of Saud is particularly noteworthy, given in its ongoing involvement
in the vicious repression of the pro-democracy movement in Britain’s former
colony of Bahrain.
But the royal wedding is not just a peculiar Big Day for the seemingly
quaint House of Windsor. It is in many ways a celebration of the
dictatorship of global Capital over democracy in Britain and elsewhere
around the world, including the ‘Republic of the USA'.
As the assorted
global dictators assembled in London’s Westminster Abbey might say in
harmony with the happy couple:
“Till death do us part”.