Saturday, June 18, 2011

USA Still Defending Brutal Crackdown in Bahrian & Chossudovsky: Bahrain killings approved in the White House

Chossudovsky: Bahrain killings approved in the White House

Hillary Clinton Bahrain
Hillary Clinton and Obama administration ignores the brutal crackdown in Bahrain.

Is the Obama administration not aware of what's happening in Bahrain or just too afraid to take on Bahrain and the Saudis or it is merely in America's interest to ignore what is happening in Bahrain.
And why do they keep bringing up Iran as somehow orchestrating the protests in Bahrain.

Bringing up Iran is like the "Terrorist Card" to be shuffled out whenever the US needs an excuse for criminal or bad behavior-The Iranians made the Bahraini people rise up and it had nothing to do with the oppression by the government in Bahrain.
The USA claims that the Bahrain government like the Saudi government are bit by bit instituting reform which is just pure BS. Bush previously made the same claims about Saudi Arabia that its record on Human Rights was improving even though it hadn't and isn't.
She ignores the fact that political activists and medical personnel are being sentenced to death for their activity : taking part in protests, publicly criticizing the current regime in Bahrain, or giving medical treatment to protester and critics of the Bahrain's government and Royal Family.
Clinton assures Americans that Bahrain is one of America's important partners in trade and the War on Terror.
She continues with the administration's position that Bahrain has the right to crackdown kill or incarcerate peaceful demonstraters
She doesn't criticize the Bahrain government for targetting doctors and other medical personnel as being part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government.
The Bahrain government accuses doctors of giving aid and comfort to the enemy by giving medical assistance to protesters wounded or beaten by government forces.
Under international law doctors and other medical personnel are permitted to give medical aid to anyone who needs regardless of their political afiliation .
Whereas the use of force by the USA and Nato in Libya to support the violent uprising against Qaddaffi.
She has left the impression that the uprising in Bahrain is not a legitimate popular uprising but that it is really the work of foreign influence ie Iran.

Because Bahrain and the USA are not signed onto to the International Criminal Court a group of lawyers are getting around this by suing the UK which is a signatory to the International Criminal Court and has sold weapons to the Bahrain which are being used for repression of government critics and protesters.
UK to be sued over Bahrain crackdown Press TV Mobile.flv

A group of lawyers are set to take the United Kingdom to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague over its role in the brutal crackdown of Bahrainis.

The lawyers from Lebanon, Spain, France and Italy accuse Britain of selling arms, including sniper rifles, to the Manama regime and training Bahraini police forces, who are accused of using heavy-handed tactics against anti-government protesters in the Persian Gulf sheikdom, a Press TV correspondent reported.

'West condemning Bahrain is phony'

Despite the United Kingdom and the West criticizing Bahrain's brutal crack on anti-government protestors, they are still giving them “the red carpet treatment,” a political analyst says.

Press TV interviewed Head of Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh from London, concerning the West's condemnation of the Bahraini government's brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors.

Press TV: The US shows support but then condemns the violence and [it] has put Bahrain on the list of human rights abusers. What is the United States sending?

Shadjareh: Well, it seems to me that there are two tracks here, both by Bahraini government and international community. On one track is the action, and on the other track is the talking. We are seeing certain soft talks by the Bahraini government on one side, and the harsh sort of response in support of the Bahraini people by the British government and the European government and the same form of resemblance of that from the United States.

But it seems as though that there has been an agreement between the Bahraini regime and the West that we will talk but we will not do the walk, and the reality is that differently from the European point of view, and the United Kingdom's, it seems that the signals that have been told to them that we are going to criticize you, but we are not going to take any action. We will criticize you, and we will let you carry on and we will give you the red carpet treatment. And indeed on Sunday we will have the situation that UNESCO is having its 35th session of protection of heritage and the chair of that committee is going to be Bahrain. And one of the royal families is going to be flying in to actually chair the committee on heritage when they are destroying the heritage of Bahrain.

" Bahrain Shi'ite cleric says cosmetic reform not enough " Reuters, Fri Jun 17, 2011

...Sheikh Issa Qasim, a spiritual leader of Bahrain's majority Shi'ite population, told crowds packed into the small Diraz mosque they should remain peaceful in their calls for democratic reform but said they should not let go of their demands.

"It is not reasonable and one should not be deluded into thinking the people, after much fatigue, suffering, and the dearest of sacrifices, will accept coming up empty-handed," he said. Dozens died in the unrest.

"The people did not mobilise in order to receive cosmetic reforms," he added, as the audience shouted: "No more humiliation."

The Sunni rulers of Bahrain, where the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is based, crushed weeks of pro-democracy protests mostly joined by Shi'ites, accusing them of a sectarian agenda with backing from Shi'ite power Iran.

The opposition says the charges are intended to distract Arab states and Bahrain's U.S. allies from its political demands such as more representative elections. Some activists have called for the abolition of the monarchy.

...Sheikh Issa's speech came hours before a planned rally by the leading Shi'ite opposition group Wefaq, which is expected to draw a large turnout. The opposition demands the release of detainees and a halt to the dismissals of students and workers before the talks.

Bahrain Shiites hold another mass rally (AFP) –June 17, 2011

DUBAI — Thousands of Shiite Bahrainis rallied Friday outside Manama in the second mass demonstration organised by Al-Wefaq opposition group since a mid-March crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Demonstrators gathered on the island of Sitra south of Manama for the rally, a week after another protest was held in another Shiite village with the blessings of the authorities, according to Al-Wefaq's Facebook page.
Al-Wefaq leader cleric Sheikh Ali Salman told the protesters that the opposition was not against dialogue but that it needed the right interlocutor and officials.
His remarks came more than a week after King Hamad named the parliament speaker, Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Dhahrani, to lead a national dialogue starting July 1.
"The success of dialogue, reform and transition to democracy need officials that believe in it. One of the problems of the past was that many officials did not believe in democracy and reform," Salman told the crowds.
"We need those who believe in reform and democracy to occupy posts of responsibility," he added.
King Hamad had named his son Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad to lead a wide-reaching dialogue with the opposition when Shiite-led protesters were occupying Manama's central Pearl Square, demanding democratic reforms.
The opposition demanded a proper constitutional monarchy by which the prime minister would be elected, and vesting the elected chamber with exclusive legislative and regulatory powers.
Bahraini security forces in mid-March drove protesters out of Pearl Square and launched a crackdown on Shiite activists that led to the arrest of hundreds of people, while some 2,000 were dismissed from their jobs.
Authorities said 24 people were killed in a month of unrest in the Shiite-majority kingdom that is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty.

Bahrain tries teenager over protests PressTV , June 18, 2011
A 15-year-old Bahraini boy has stood trial for participating in anti-government demonstrations, as the Saudi-backed regime continues its brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.

According to rights activists, Yousif al-Basri, who was reportedly tortured in prison, is scheduled to appear before tribunal on Sunday.

Earlier on Saturday, lawyers from Lebanon, Spain, France and Italy accused Britain of selling arms, including sniper rifles, to the Manama regime and training Bahraini police forces, who use heavy-handed tactics against anti-government protesters in the Persian Gulf sheikdom.

Anti-government protests against the rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain began in mid-February.

Previous to the protests in Bahrain guest workers or foreign workers were treated rather shabbily by the Bahrain government and by businesses operating in the country but suddenly the government has used any criticism or alleged attacks on foreign workers as proof that those in favor of reform have no sympathy for these workers but that the government does???

So now the Bahraini government says one of the reasons for its use of police and military is to defend foreign workers from attacks.

"Spare us Bahrain's sudden 'concern' for its Asian expat workers
The regime is trying to pit abused foreign workers and working-class Bahrainis against each other to justify its brutality" by Fahad Desmukh Guardian UK, June 18, 2011

Since the Bahraini regime launched its crackdown on protesters in March, the government and its apologists have tried to justify state brutality by pointing to violence inflicted upon expatriate labourers – supposedly at the hands of protesters.

"Poor, innocent, Asian expats" is how they are now described. But just a few months ago there was little concern at a national level about the abuse of migrant workers. They represent 54% of Bahrain's resident population, and as in the neighbouring Gulf monarchies, they constitute the bulk of the workforce. Most are from south Asia, and they are arguably the most marginalised community in the country.

Now their welfare has suddenly become a matter of concern for the regime and its apologists. After the start of the crackdown, the foreign minister scurried between the different expatriate community clubs and embassies, hailing the "strong relations bonding" them to the kingdom of Bahrain. Local state-run television suddenly started broadcasting news bulletins in Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog.

It all seems rather disingenuous. As a long-time "expat" myself, my initial reaction is to ask why there has never been this level of outrage from those same quarters when Asian workers have been brutally abused by their Bahraini employers or have been killed in the workplace due to criminal negligence. And why is it that when I tried to air my political views about Bahrain several years ago, I was put on a blacklist and banned from entering the country again?

In 2004, I started blogging about the increasingly active opposition political scene in Bahrain, taking photos and reporting on street protests and demonstrations that would otherwise get little coverage in the local English-language press. I am a Pakistani national, but aside from the few years I spent abroad for my university education, Bahrain was the only home I had known.

In July 2006, a policeman rang my doorbell and gave me a letter instructing me to present myself to Bahrain's notorious National Security Agency the next morning.

I was interrogated by two officers who took on exaggerated and almost comical versions of good cop/bad cop. They did not seem to be aware of my blog but they had certainly been keeping tabs of who I had been meeting and who I was speaking to on the phone. They wanted to know why I had been meeting foreign journalists and academic researchers who were visiting Bahrain.

"This envelope has everything about your past, your present, and your future, so you had better tell me everything you know!" barked the "bad cop" pointing towards a brown envelope on the desk.

After a few hours I was told I could leave "for now" but that I would be called back again in a few weeks when I would have to "really reveal everything".

I left Bahrain two weeks later on an already scheduled trip. When I returned, I was told by the immigration officer at the Bahrain airport that I was no longer allowed to enter the country, on orders from the interior ministry. I have been living in Pakistan since then.

As an expatriate in Bahrain you can earn some money and have a decent life, as long as you are willing to abdicate your right to comment on what is happening around you. You exist as an alien no matter how long you have lived there.

Bahrain shares this rule with the rest of the monarchies in the Gulf, where labour rights for migrant workers are dismal, although Bahrain is marginally better than the rest in terms of labour legislation. And attempts by migrant labour to organise for their rights could well land them in jail or on a plane back home with huge debts to pay off.

Expatriate workers in Bahrain are also used by the regime as a means to suppress the local population. The most obvious is the mass recruitment of expatriates in large numbers into the police and military who are used to suppress any political opposition to the regime with brute force. (Indeed, it was under a Briton, security chief Colonel Ian Henderson, that torture in Bahrain is reported to have really flourished).

But the more subtle way that expatriates are used to suppress is by dividing the workforce. Bahrain has a long history of radical labour activism going back to the discovery of oil in the 1930s. There was a large overlap between the political opposition and the workers movement at the time, and strike actions were a favourite tool to pressure the government. But this ended in the 1970s when large numbers of migrant workers from south Asia were recruited.

The presence of so many foreigners in the workplace who were largely unaware of local politics and fearful of getting involved made it difficult for all workers to organise with efficacy. Combined with a brutal crackdown (including the start of systematic torture), the popular opposition was all but crushed by the 1980s and has never been able to fully recover from.

Even today, despite recent labour laws allowing migrant workers to join unions, few of them do so for fear of landing in trouble with their employers and being deported.

In the aftermath of the government crackdown on protesters, there were several incidents of disturbing violence against migrant labourers (leaving at least two dead and 34 injured). While there is little evidence to conclusively prove it was carried out by pro-democracy protesters, there is no doubt that the crackdown did heighten anger towards foreign workers (especially Pakistanis who are employed in the riot police and military in large numbers).

and so it goes,

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