Totally agree with you. But at the same time, it seems the "friends" we would like to be with, generally speaking are all wealthy. Co-incidentally.If we judge every country by the standards of the Guardian sneering mastabatori elite, we'd never talk to anyone.
If you want to be listened to in the Middle East, get inside the tent, be trusted, be friendly and be the person that can whisper discretely 'have you thought about doing something slightly differently' - shouting loudly, making people look bad in a culture where pride and station dominates anything else is a surefire way to be ignored.
Bahrain has been a friend of the UK for 200 years, they are VERY good to us, and we get a great deal in strategic access and value. There are ways and means to have challenging conversations, but suddenly refusing to talk to your friends and pompously preaching human rights isn't the way to do it if you want to effect real change.