Thursday, February 07, 2013

Update Bahrain : Washington's Hypocrisy and Double Standards Continue

Kingdoms of Loathing: Kuwait & Bahrain step up crackdown on opposition

Published on 5 Feb 2013

The Gulf kingdoms of Bahrain and Kuwait are seeing fresh public outcries against the country's unelected rulers, who have been stepping up their crackdowns on dissent for the last 2 years. Calls for more rights and Democracy are increasingly met with arrests and brutal force, as the conservative monarchs refuse to concede. While the West is accused of turning a blind eye to violations by its key Arab allies, as Lucy Kafanov reports.

Bahrain Police beat and spit on an unarmed activist Truthloader YouTube

Independent commission details abuses and human rights violations of protesters in Bahrain by its security forces. It also concluded that the reform movement was homegrown and was not connected to Iran or other foreign entities.

The US acts as if just having such a report is somehow progress but the report is meaningless if no actions are taken. As we see 2years later the crackdown on protesters and the oppression specifically of Shiites in Bahrain continue and Obama keeps sending more arms to Bahrain so they despotic monarchy can continues its draconian actions against the majority of its own citizens who want reform.

Independent Commission: Bahrain Tortured Activists in Deadly Crackdown PBS

Uploaded on 23 Nov 2011

Young people and police clashed Wednesday in Bahrain as an independent commission released its findings on the upheavals that shook the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom earlier this year and the deadly crackdown that followed. Margret Warner reports.

Bahrain Backlash: Doctors on trial for helping protesters

Published on 22 Mar 2012

Amid ongoing unrest in Bahrain, the regime's cracking down on non-violent protesters, as well as people who've been helping them. A group of doctors are on trial, after treating wounded anti-government demonstrators last year. RT's Paula Slier has the latest.
Correspondent with Global Research Finian Cunningham was in Bahrain and witnessed some of the doctors treating the wounded during the crackdown. He thinks the Bahraini regime is persecuting the medics to keep them from telling the truth.

120 killed in Bahrain - 60 by Tear Gas
Deadly Use of Tear Gas in Bahrain
Protest have continued in Bahrain on an almost daily basis since they began Feb. 14, 2011 when they started in the Pearl Round About. The protesters initially were asking for reforms not necessarily Regime change. The government's reaction has been a brutal crackdown which is still going on.

The Obama government in Washington and the Saudi Monarchy give unconditional moral and material support to the monarchy in Bahrain and ignore human rights violations The USA and other Western nations have incorrectly characterized the popular uprising as being fomented by Iran for which there is no evidence.

The Bahraini government was criticized for using live rounds on protesters so they changed tactics and now use massive amounts of tear gas ostensibly for crowd control. But it is believed that the use of tear gas is just another means to cause extreme physical and or neurological damage and death. Out of the 120 people who are known to have been killed since 2011 approximately 60 have died due to exposure to large amounts of tear gas.
Bahrain as one of the documentaries made about Bahrain's struggle has put it simply that Bahrain is Shouting in the Dark and its desire for reform and justice is ignored by the rest of the world.

If as the rulers of Bahrain and the Obama administration claim Iran was giving material support to the Shia in Bahrain they surely would have smuggled in weapons instead some protesters resort to weapons of choice for the oppressed such as rocks and Molotov cocktails. When the Hungarians in the 1950s used such weapons against Soviet Troops the USA defended the people using these against the Russians. The USA and the West also defended and gave material support to the people of Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviet Army occupying Afghanistan. Unfortunately this had several unintended consequences which were the Taliban take over and the creation of Al Qaeda. Washington and the West have also encouraged and defended the protesters demanding reforms in Iran as they have in Syria and Libya.

When the police or military resort to violence against peaceful demonstrators time and again it may be permissible to fight back with any means necessary. When those who protest peacefully are met with violence and human and legal rights violations the case grows for sympathizing at the least with the frustration of protesters though not necessarily approving of protesters resorting to violence.

For instance in both Libya and Syria Washington and its allies had no problem defending and even aiding those using violence to overthrow either regime. So if its considered to be acceptable in those cases than why not in Bahrain, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.
Instead Washington has developed fairly obvious double standards in defending or criticizing reform or regime change movements depending in the end not what is best for the citizens of these regimes but rather Washington's overall agenda concerning these Regimes and their geo-political agenda and strategies in the region.

From the point of view of committed pacifists there is no point at which violence becomes acceptable. Instead the pacifist would insist on non violence and would conclude that if the government and its security forces become unreasonable then you increase protests and allow for an increase in fellow protesters voluntarily allowing themselves to be arrested. As Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. said and did they filled the jails . They also used tactics which made obvious how brutal and oppressive those in positions of power could be while the protesters made clear that what they were fighting for was not in any way unreasonable ie that Black American should be treated fairly and justly and that they have the same rights as white Americans. During the Civil Rights movement as each night Americans watched on their televisions as fellow citizens who happen to be black were brutally beaten and arrested because they wanted their rights to be defended the tide turned which led to some substantive changes in law to protect the equal rights of all Americans including Black Americans.

The reform movement in Bahrain is erroneously characterized by the Bahraini Regime to the outside world as being a sectarian struggle in which the Shiite majority want to oust the Sunni Muslim Regime to be replaced by an extremist Shiite Regime which would enforce a strict Sharia Islamic Law similar to that of the Taliban on all the citizens of Bahrain. The USA and West tend to use or accept this erroneous characterization as a way to discredit the reform movement in Bahrain. The Western Media then without any real investigation into the reality on the ground in Bahrain repeat these unfounded claims. The Western Media also accepts the baseless accusations that the reform movement is exclusively made up of Shiites.

In fact the movement includes many Sunni Muslims many of whom are middle class professionals including lawyers, doctors , teachers, journalists etc. but the fact is that the majority of the population of Bahrain are Shiites so the protest simply reflect that reality. It should be noted again and again that given the population of Bahrain of approximately 750,000 people the protests have been significant in size as tens of thousand take part in frequent demonstration all across the country. The biggest demonstration in the capitol was estimated at 250,000 which is one third of the population . To reach a similar number for instance in protests in the USA would mean having some 25 to 30 million protesters hitting the streets in Washington. So the numbers are in fact impressive.

At the moment all protests have been banned and the congregating of more than 20 people in public is illegal no matter its purpose. So more than 20 people congregating even on a beach could be characterized as an unlawful assembly. In America itself many cities have informally instituted such a ban so a few hundred or thousand Occupy protesters even with a permit can be blocked from marching and even beaten and arrested at the discretion of local authorities as they did in New York City, in Chicago in Portland or at Berkley even though the protesters were peaceful. In the US the police will act in such a way to increase tension to create a volatile situation in which some protesters then fight back and then the police use these minor incidents as an excuse or rationale to attack larger groups of peaceful protesters.

The Mainstream Media in America then focus on a few trouble makers or show video clips out of context ignoring what actually happened before their was push back or simply approve of brutal unwarranted police over-reactions and police brutality. The Media and US government and police forces have a long infamous reputation for opposing citizens exercising their rights to freedom of assembly the freedom to protest and to gather to ask those in power for a redress of their grievances. When it is merely theory and hypothetical the US government and its quisling Media are in favor of these freedoms but not when certain groups try to act upon these rights and freedoms.

When it came to the Tea Party protests for instance we rarely saw such a hostile and such a massive presence of force of police and security personnel. The police seemed to treat the Tea Party protesters with respect and even ignored their shouting and verbal threats at Town Hall Meetings and even those openly carrying guns or signs calling for the assassination of the president or other members of the Obama administration or those who supported his legislation. But with Occupy the response of the police has been decidedly different .

As the saying goes if the police arrive in large numbers in battlefield gear/ riot gear then they will eventually put such gear to use . Just coming dressed in such a manner to a peaceful protest creates apprehension and intimidation which creates an us against them mentality which is far more likely to end in verbal and violent confrontations. One can only conclude that when it came to Occupy the police forces across the USA were informed by the FBI and Homeland Security that in just one example that these protesters were intent on deliberately harming and even murdering police officers and destroying public property . It has not helped that Obama as president and the DOJ did nothing to investigate these local police forces or those who gave the orders to bash and brutally attack protesters as if the protesters were armed to the teeth "terrorists".

Given this new reality in America of seeing citizens protesting especially if they are seen to be on the politically left as the enemy it is fair to say that Americans in general can be duped and suckered in to believe people protesting in Bahrain are really part of front groups for certain extremists or paid for by the Iranian government and can therefore be categorized unfairly and unjustly as being "terrorists". Once that categorization can be maintained then the government is deemed to be within its rights to brutalize , arrest and placed in indefinite detention and then tortured or killed. So America and the West has ignored the fact that doctors, nurses and other first responders have been sentenced to prison terms for treating those who took part in street demonstrations who were physically harmed by the police or military. Given the Hippocratic oath all first responders are expected to treat anyone who has been harmed without regard to race, religion or political affiliation.

The Bahraini government as part of its strategy has attacked the religious freedom of Shiite in various ways such as destroying that is bulldozing Shiite Mosques and preventing Shiites in some areas of the country from taking part in Friday prayers and sermons .

In their typical double standards on human rights and their hypocrisy on religious freedom Americans and the West are all for religious freedom for all religions but appear to cherry- pick which religious groups they will defend and those they will not . Religious freedom is supposed to be granted to all religious groups . But it appears the American government has refused in the case of Bahrain to defend the religious freedom of Shi'a Muslims in that country or their counterparts in Saudi Arabia . The Saudi and Bahraini Regimes are not strongly condemned by the West for religious intolerance and suppression of targeted religious groups ie Shiites. So America gives these countries a free pass on the rights of all religious groups and so it appears these American friendly states are exempt from ensuring that all their citizens enjoy religious freedom .

How does one account for this ? Part of the explanation for this double standard is that the USA for whatever reason characterizes Iran as being an enemy of America and America's allies and of America's long term interests in the Middle East.
The majority of Iranians and its government are Shia Muslims whereas the majority of Saudi Arabia's citizens and its Regime are Sunni Muslims.

Now putting aside the fact that Asama Bin Laden and the 9/11 terrorists were Sunni Muslims and that the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan are also Sunni Muslims it appears that the American government tends to demonize in this case not Sunni Muslims but rather Shia Muslims who had nothing to do with 9/11 or many other terrorists attacks. And this is primarily because Iran is a Shia run state. So all Shia are demonized and marginalized . In fact it is wrong to demonize or marginalize all Shiite or all Sunni Muslims as if all members of either group are extremists or in the less than sophisticated definitions used by America and its allies "the good guys " or " the bad guys ".

As has been pointed out in posts on this blog the Saudis like the Irananian Regime both adhere to variations on Islamic Shariah law . One of the differences is that no matter how flawed the political and justice system is in Iran it is far more democratic than Saudi Arabia's Regime which is an old fashioned despotic monarchy which is also the case in Bahrain and other states such as Kuwait. And no matter what the 'spin' is coming out of Washington Saudi Arabia has never implemented any sort of real substantive liberal or democratic reforms for instance women in Saudi Arabia are still not allowed to drive in the Kingdom.

So Washington ignores the oppression of Shia Muslims in Bahrain because they want to keep Bahrain as an ally since the American fifth fleet is based in Bahrain and because Bahrain is basically a satellite state of Saudi Arabia.

The Obama Regime without any hard evidence is also promulgating the erroneous notion that the uprisings in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are not homegrown but are part of Iran's grand conspiracy against these regimes.

Film animation short putting in simple terms America's hypocrisy in its policies in the Middle East

Bahrain and Obama's Great Contradiction

and so it goes,

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