Why Is the UK Facilitating Oppression in Bahrain?
28 February, 2014 – Huffington Post
He’s put teenagers in prison for calling him names, and made treating wounded protesters a crime punishable by death. He’s a pretty nasty guy, the King of Bahrain. However with such high stakes in the stability of the Kingdom of Bahrain, it comes as no surprise that Bahrain’s fellow conservative Gulf Arab states and other Western countries continue to bolster support of the controversial monarchy of the world’s smallest desert Kingdom.
Of chief interest to the US is the maintenance of the Navy’s Fifth Fleet which has been based in Bahrain for 40 years, and is a counterpoint for Iranian military in the region (and monitors the flow of oil in the Gulf region). Since Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama’s inauguration, more than $100million in aid has been sent to Bahrain, and the Pentagon has overseen plenty of arms deals. Is it just me who thinks that perhaps Obama shouldn’t have been put into the same category as Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King?
Then comes big brother Saudi Arabia, whose support of the Bahraini monarchy is an extension of its protection of all Gulf monarchies. The effect of sending in 1,000 troops when the protest began in 2011 was to send a clear message to Shi’ites living in Saudi. Particularly now that Iraq no longer has a powerful presence in the region (understatement of the year), the Gulf states feel that the balance has been offset. Iran’s power is making Gulf Arab leaders jittery, and Saudi’s intervention in Bahrain during the 2011 protests sent a clear message of warning to Iran to stay away.
Without question the Bahraini government’s manipulation of power is morally unsound. That much is surely undebatable. Reports of torture, rape, corruption, discrimination and oppression dominate the political landscape. In light of gross human rights violations and wrongdoing, the natural assumption would be that ‘Great’ Britain will review the type of business, if any, that they conduct with the leaders of Bahrain. We are a civilized country after all, the land of tea and crumpets, not to be associated with a despotic regime. Apparently satire isn’t dead after all. …more