Human Rights and ...
Follow
Find tag "#5thfleet"
70.8K views | +1 today
Human Rights and the Will to be free
Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Why Obama Supports Tyranny Over Democracy in Bahrain

Why Obama Supports Tyranny Over Democracy in Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

".....

The Bahraini regime's repression has not let up. Human rights groups have documented killings, beatings, torture, arbitrary arrests, disappearances, harassment, the destruction of more than 40 Shia mosques... on and on.

U.S. support has kept up throughout. And it isn't because the Obama administration actually buys into the lie about this being a sectarian conflict. Instead, Bahrain provides the U.S. with one of the most important elements of "power projection" in the world.

Stationed in Bahrain is the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, which gives Washington control over the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf, through which over 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil transits. This represents American Empire writ large, and it is afforded to Washington because it bribes the despotic regime in Bahrain with money and weapons -- a deal that could change if the people have more of a say in their government's policies....."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Critical Read: The real motive behind FT article “America Should Pull its Fleet Out of Bahrain”* | Facebook

Critical Read: The real motive behind FT article “America Should Pull its Fleet Out of Bahrain”* | Facebook | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Pearl Revolution Political Center - مركز 14 فبراير السياسي wrote a note titled Critical Read: The real motive behind FT article “America Should Pull its Fleet Out of Bahrain”

 

The article is interesting for indirect reasons. There obviously must be serious concerns within the US and British ruling class about Bahrain's despicable international image and their association with it. That the FT would publish this is a sign of discomfort. So airing this viewpoint probably lets a bit of steam off the US and British establishments and creates an impression that there is a distance between them and those "awful repressive" Bahraini and Saudi regimes.

The article gives a flattering impression that the US/UK are fundamentally concerned about human rights and democracy and that somehow these powers are misled by "those nasty Gulf Sunni monarchies". Note advice in the article for the US (and Britain) to support more reformist elements in the Bahraini regime. I think it is debatable if there are genuine reformist elements in the regime. But the article and the FT are giving the impression that there are. There may be those figures like the Crown Prince who can use the language of reform, but that does not mean that they are serious about reform. In some ways, such elements are more problematic that the hardliners.

So, the article and the FT is subtly giving the Bahraini regime a kind of whitewash by saying that there are decent, reformists in the Bahraini rulers, and we need to support them. We are basically right in being an ally with Bahraini rulers, but we need to choose the better, more reformist rulers. This lets the US and Britain off the hook of responsibility for all the decades of supporting the regime and setting up its torture apparatus.

Also, the writer assumes that the US and Britain would be motivated by concerns for human rights and democracy, and that these powers need to make better choices in regards to Bahraini/Saudi policy. I disagree with that assessment. The US and Britain do not care about rights. They are fundamentally aligned with Saudi Arabian and Bahraini despots because that alignment secures their strategic interests. The US and British foreign policy is opposed to democracy, human rights and international law.
I think this quote from the article signifies the underlying false assumptions of the author regarding US/British foreign policy:

"To end the current violence and the regime’s human rights violations, three steps must be taken. First, western powers must strengthen the pro-reform faction in the ruling family. Second, Washington should urge the king to remove the prime minister, his uncle, from office; many Bahrainis think he symbolises corruption, repression and unyielding opposition to political reform...Third, America should send a clear message to Bahrain’s regime to halt violence against the Shia and act on all the recommendations of the Independent Commission of Inquiry."

The US/UK governments have shown no concern so far about "wanting to end violence". They have supported this regime all the way, in particular with arms sales. Also, the Bahraini king is invited to Britain's Buckingham Palace to celebrate the British monarchy's anniversary. Even if these powers advise getting rid of PM Khalifa that does not mean any substantive change towards democracy. It is more a PR exercise just like the Western-backed BICI inquiry and report. Recall that the BICI inquiry was set up just after the Crown Prince went on high-profile visits to Downing Street and Washington in June 2011.

I believe the Western sponsors advised the setting up of the BICI inquiry as a way of whitewashing the Bahraini regime's international image and the Western powers alliance with it. The Western powers have better sense of PR gimmickry as countless British public inquiries have shown in the past, for example Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

As for the US Navy Fifth Fleet, the authors says: "Its presence has arguably increased Iran’s belligerence and given Sunni regimes, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the false impression that Washington has given them a license to kill their own people."

He repeats a false flag about Iran's alleged belligerence (no evidence, just a disgraceful assertion), and he asserts that Fifth Fleet has given "false impression" that Washington has given a license to kill their own people". Well, the visits by Sir Peter Ricketts and Robert Gates to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia only days before the Saudi invasion of Bahrain on 14-15 March 2011 were not false impressions; they were unmistakable green lights for murderous repression.

The author concludes: "Moving the US military presence from Bahrain to “over the horizon” would be a clear signal that Arab dictatorship will no longer be tolerated, whether in Bahrain, Syria, Saudi Arabia, or elsewhere."

Syria is erroneously categorised with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The violence in Syria is being orchestrated by the US/Britain and other NATO powers along with their allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain precisely to inflict Syria with the kind of anti-democratic Arab regime that the US/Britain supports elsewhere. Contrary to his assertion, Arab dictatorships are very much tolerated by the Western powers. They are in fact deeply supported and required by Western powers in order to protect their vital strategic interests.

In short the article is inherently flawed in its premises and assumptions regarding the nature of US/British foreign policy as being a force for good. The article has a superficial progressive appearance in that it calls for the US Fifth Fleet to quit Bahrain.

This suggestion will not be seriously considered as an option by the US because of the fundamental nature of the US and British policy that the author seems totally unaware of. However, by publishing this view on the Fifth Fleet possibly moving from Bahrain (there is no chance) this merely gives the US and British political establishments the appearance of having concerns for human rights and democracy. I think the undeclared point of the article is to subtly whitewash the images of the US and Britain with regards to Bahrain and the Arab World. But this feel-good article is a dangerous concealment because it disinforms the reader as to the real nature of the Western governments.

The real proof of any presumed concerns about human rights and democracy among Western governments would be to halt immediately all weapons sales to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia from US, Britain and France. Let's see the FT publish an article calling for that. It would not because those arms deals in the face of repression against civilians show the real relationship between the West and its dictator clients. And the chance of such cessation of arms deals is zero.

* Comments by a researcher interested in the Arab Spring and Bahrain in particular.

Original article URL
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/540243ac-8d35-11e1-8b49-00144feab49a.html#axzz1t3Nua9Do

Arabic translation by Bahrain Mirror
http://bahrainmirror.com/article.php?id=4098&cid=79

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

The Scoop Deck – Bad in Bahrain

The Scoop Deck – Bad in Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

CO's in Bahrain are loosing their careers over immoralities.......Is this how American should act in a predominantly Muslim nation in which we are guests?!  Deplorable!  US SHOULD LEAVE BAHRAIN AND RETHINK ITS FIFTH FLEET PLACEMENT!  

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Why US Support for Sadistic Tyranny in Bahrain Continues « Antiwar.com Blog

So long as the peacenik, Nobel laureate Barack Obama continues to support Bahrain, it is his administration that is committing crimes of torture and repression in Bahrain.

But it will continue. One primary reason is that the press simply doesn’t care. The White House press corps doesn’t ask why American tax payers are donating money to this dictatorship. The nation’s top newspapers don’t have headlines about Obama’s relentless support for sadistic cruelty and authoritarianism in Bahrain. In fact, I was surprised last week when Nicholas Kristoff wrote about this issue in a New York Times Op-Ed. It was a rare event. Without a press corps willing to ask tough questions, and without an electorate that gives a shit, these policies will continue forever.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

U.S. Has Few Options to Curb Crackdown in Bahrain

U.S. Has Few Options to Curb Crackdown in Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Though the Persian Gulf island nation is a close U.S. ally and the host of its Fifth Fleet, there's not much that American pressure or diplomacy could do that it isn't already.

 

[Really! 1. Economic sanctions against the regime until it reinstates the Constitution.

2. No arms , and no arms to its big brother, Saudi Arabia until democratic reforms are enacted.

3. Pull the 5th fleet out of Bahrain and site HR abuses as the cause.

4. Support the democracy protesters, openly and behind the scenes.

5. Support reformists in Iran so as to destabilize Iran's government and cause it to involve itself with domestic issues and not colonizing the gulf.  Thus, affording Saudi Arabia enough security to allow Democracy in Bahrain.

6.Take the Human Rights issues and torture evidence to the UN and ICC and seek international action.

7. Try implementing a US foreign policy grounded in something other than empty rhetoric , ie real tangible action!

8. Forced disappearances, illegal detainments, civilian trials in military courts, and all prisoners of conscience being discussed with the regime at any/all venues public, private, and international.

....etc, etc, etc..... ]

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Opposition sees future without U.S. fleet - Washington Times

Opposition sees future without U.S. fleet - Washington Times | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The leader of this island kingdom’s largest opposition party says that a future, democratic Middle East would eliminate the need for the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf.

“I believe that a democratic system inherently guarantees long-term stability and allows achieving cooperation between democracies,” said Ali Salman, secretary-general of the Wefaq National Islamic Society.

“If this region sees the emergence of a democratic order, I think there will be real stability in the medium- and long-term. There would be no need for any [foreign] forces to be present to guarantee the flow of oil.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Why the U.S. needs to switch its allegiance in Bahrain

Why the U.S. needs to switch its allegiance in Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

It is not in America’s strategic interest to alienate democracy activists in Bahrain or to be seen as a nation that arms the riot police who shoot at civilians. Such a short-term approach backfired in Egypt when the dictatorship was overthrown. If the United States is looking to protect its long-term strategic interests in Bahrain, its best course is to plant itself firmly on the side of democracy.

Brian Dooley, Silver Spring

The writer directs the Human Rights Defenders Program at Human Rights First

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Arab Monitor -White House deliberately misled Congress about secret deal with Bahrain

Arab Monitor -White House deliberately misled Congress about secret deal with Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

“The terms of the extension” beyond the originally envisaged deadline, writes Lippman, “have never been made public. The agreement’s existence is classified. Not even Congressional Research Service analysts, who write detailed reports for Congress and often have access to classified material, were aware. A comprehensive CRS report on the situation last month said flatly that the defence pact would be up for renewal in October. In effect, White House secrecy on this issue put the research service in the position of reporting misleading information to Congress.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Fault Lines - The US and the New Middle East: BAHRAIN - Pt 1.

Oil, the 5th Fleet, Arms deals, & combating Iran: The REAL motivations behind US policy towards Bahrain. View the Saudi sacrileges, hear the US foreign policy personel rationalize our policies, witness the American hypocrisy!
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

U.S. said pressuring Bahrain on reform: Threatens pullout of Navy's Fifth Fleet

A senior Bahraini cleric linked to the Sunni kingdom said Washington was threatening to pull out the U.S. Navy from Manama. The cleric, National Unity Assembly president Abdul Latif Al Mahmoud, urged Bahrain to allow the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet to leave rather than cave in to pressure from Washington for rapid reform.
"Let these troops and facilities leave," Al Mahmoud said. "We are ready to starve to death for the sake of our dignity and honor."
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Finding Plan B for Bahrain and the US 5th Fleet....

Finding Plan B for Bahrain and the US 5th Fleet.... | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

More than two years of protests against the dictatorship in Bahrain has left the U.S. government struggling to find ways to pressure the regime into reform. U.S. Navy Commander Richard McDaniel's paper underscores the pressing need for the U.S.....

Until now, Bahrain's ongoing human rights violations have not prompted the U.S. government to withdraw the fleet. Thousands of arrests, widespread torture, dozens of deaths and a failure to bring senior officials to justice has not met the threshold of unacceptability and shamed the U.S. into leaving. But there is growing disquiet in the State Department and elsewhere that a real solution to the political crisis in nowhere in sight, that Bahrain is a volatile and unstable ally, and that a new plan for the fleet should be considered. Voices in Congress have also started to publicly question the suitability of Bahrain as a host for the U.S. Navy.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

"The Interest of the U.S. in Bahrain is to Maintain the Fifth Fleet, Period"

04/07/2012 Journalist and anti-war activist Don DeBar says that maintaining the Fifth Fleet is the only interest of the U.S. in Bahrain. "The Bahraini people...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

With Bahrain home to 5th Fleet, US faces dilemma over crackdown on protests

With Bahrain home to 5th Fleet, US faces dilemma over crackdown on protests | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The noncommittal U.S. stance has disappointed human rights activists in Bahrain.

“We are victims of being a United States ally,” said Nabeel Rajab, director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights who said he has been a regular victim of police abuse. “We are victims of being in an oil-rich country that many people don’t want to upset and anger.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Cancelling Bahrain Arms Deal Assures US National Security | Fair Observer°

Cancelling Bahrain Arms Deal Assures US National Security | Fair Observer° | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The human rights implications are obvious, but the more pressing matter is the fact that these weapons are designed to check Iranian regional influence but would in fact do the opposite. The sale would give protesters a strong reason to turn to the Iranian government for support, thereby inviting a stated enemy of the US to increase its influence over a key regional ally. It is in the American national interest to not make this sale.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

PULL THE 5TH FLEET OUT OF BAHRAIN: PETITION

http://is.gd/Qf9qa5 Here is the petition to pull the United States 5th Fleet out of Bahrain!  If you agree that American Foreign policy should be something more than empty rhetoric, then please sign the petition!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

State Department issues travel alert for Bahrain

State Department issues travel alert for Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
The State Department has issued an updated travel alert for Americans traveling to Bahrain, a tiny island nation in the Middle East that hosts a sizable U.S. Navy presence and has seen a series of protests and crackdowns since early this year.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

U.S. Base In Bahrain In Danger

U.S. Base In Bahrain In Danger | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The United States is quietly looking for another country, on the west coast of the Persian Gulf, to host an American naval base. This is because months of political unrest in Bahrain has put the American base there in danger. So the U.S. Navy is looking at the possibility, and cost, of moving the Bahrain base to Dubai or Qatar. The navy is not happy about making the move, as it would be expensive and disruptive. But if the unrest in Bahrain continues, and escalates, there may be no choice.

 

Continuous , amplified protesting until America leaves the Base.  Then you have a new ally against the regime.  America will be free of its Khalifa dependency and can influence/demand human rights and reforms!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

AFP: US-Bahrain defense pact renewed

AFP: US-Bahrain defense pact renewed | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

As early as 2002, the administration of former US president George W. Bush and the Bahraini regime secretly extended the accord for another five years, to 2016, The Washington Post reported. But Pentagon officials declined to confirm those dates to AFP.
A US official who requested anonymity, however, said that "it would be accurate to say that it goes beyond that date" of October 2011.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

US fleet may quit troubled Bahrain

US fleet may quit troubled Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
THE US Navy is looking at plans to move its Fifth Fleet away from Bahrain amid fears over violence and continued instability in the Gulf kingdom.


Politicians in Washington are concerned the navy's continued presence a few kilometres from the centre of the capital Manama lends tacit support to Bahrain's suppression of the opposition, amid allegations of systematic human rights abuses.
more...
No comment yet.