Human Rights and the Will to be free
73.4K views | +1 today
Follow
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!

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!

US says China to allow activist to leave

US says China to allow activist to leave | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Chen Guangcheng offered fellowship by US university and will be accompanied by his family, state department says.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Let's talk a REAL Palestinian state proposal......

Let's talk a REAL Palestinian state proposal...... | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

US & Israeli hypocrisy with regards solving this grave issue...

 

http://latuffcartoons.wordpress.com/

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

UNITED STATES STRATEGICALLY CONFRONTED WITH CHINA-PAKISTAN-SAUDI ARABIA TRIANGLE

The United States policy establishment and the plethora of think-tanks that abound in Washington seem to be totally oblivious that a strategic triangular relationship comprising China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia is confronting the United States in South West Asia. China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia strategic triangle is not a newly emergent military configuration. It commenced with the China-Pakistan strategic nexus in the 1960s and expanded to the China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia strategic triangle by the 1980s. ....

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

The Saudis, Wahhabism, and state sponsored terrorism.....Please Read and ask why is the US allied with this?

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/congress/sc062603_alexiev.pdf

 

 

The Saudis have a long history of militant/terroristic Islam.  Wahhabism is their creation and DOES NOT represent the teaching of The Prophet, Muhammad!

 

Why is America an Ally of this Government?  Why are we in 2012 allies with a Gov't that spawns the attacks of 9/11/01? 

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

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Situation in Bahrain | The White House

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Situation in Bahrain | The White House | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

....

We continue to underscore, both to the government and citizens of Bahrain, the importance of working together to address the underlying causes of mistrust and to promote reconciliation. In this respect, we note our continued concern for the well-being of jailed activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and call on the Government of Bahrain to consider urgently all available options to resolve his case. More broadly, we urge the government to redouble its ongoing efforts to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, and renew our call for the government, opposition parties, and all segments of Bahraini society to engage in a genuine dialogue leading to meaningful reforms that address the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.

[Sounds like the American regime is saying:

'Yasqot Hamad' to the Bahraini regime........]

 

Y A S Q O T _____H A M A D  ! ! !

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!

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!

Inside Story Americas - US double standards in Bahrain

Is the US guilty of the same behaviour it accuses Russia and China of, in protecting its interests in region? Guests: Michael Singh, Brian Dooley, Jean Francois Seznec.

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

Congressman James McGovern : Latest News : U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern: Statement on Bahrain

Congressman James McGovern : Latest News : U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern: Statement on Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
 

Washington---Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA) today urged the Bahraini government to allow Bahrainis to assemble and express their p ...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

U.S. must bring pressure to bear on Bahrain

U.S. must bring pressure to bear on Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

As President Obama said in a searing statement Saturday, by rejecting the regime and its criminal brutality “we stand for principles that include universal rights for all people and just political and economic reform.”

For that stance to be effective, however, it must be consistent across the region....That’s why U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf emirate of Bahrain continues to be disturbing.....The United States has exceptional influence in Bahrain, in part because the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet is based there. But the Obama administration has mostly refrained from using that influence. ....U.S. criticism of Russia for continuing to arm the Assad regime will sound more credible when American military aid to Arab allies engaged in repression comes to a complete and unambiguous halt.

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

Members of Congress Request NGOs’ Access to Bahrain | Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

Members of Congress Request NGOs’ Access to Bahrain | Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Eleven members of Congress co-signed a bipartisan letter to the King of Bahrain, Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, requesting Bahrain “reconsider the recent travel bans on non-governmental organizations (NGOs)” and “immediately reverse its position and allow NGOs to enter Bahrain and carry out their important work.” Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), Freedom House, and Human Rights First are the three most recent NGOs to be barred from entering the country. ...

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

Bahrain doctor: If US loses the faith of people like me, it loses the Mideast

Bahrain doctor: If US loses the faith of people like me, it loses the Mideast | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Washington’s tepid response to Bahrain's crackdown on nonviolent protesters has forced me to question what America really stands for. Obama must tell the ruling family to stop attacking protesters and to drop sham charges against medics like me and hundreds of others.

By Nada Dhaif / May 1, 2012

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

Catastroika (English subtitles) | ENOUGH!

Catastroika (English subtitles) | ENOUGH! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The creators of Debtocracy, a documentary with two million views broadcasted from Japan to Latin America, analyze the shifting of state assets to private hands.

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

Occupy the DOJ: Activists Protest Injustice of Criminal Justice System | War Is A Crime .org

Occupy the DOJ: Activists Protest Injustice of Criminal Justice System | War Is A Crime .org | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

‘West doesn’t care what Bahrain does to its people’ — RT

‘West doesn’t care what Bahrain does to its people’ — RT | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The pro-democracy protests in Bahrain have been going on for more than a year now but the West will keep on turning a blind eye to human rights in the country as long as it acts in accordance with US interests....
Some 7,000 marched on Saturday calling for democratic reforms while denouncing this year’s Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix. They say the event glorifies the repressive Sunni government, which has been cracking down on the massive protests by the Shia majority for the past year.
Police fired dozens of rounds of tear gas in the village of Diraz outside the capital Manama on Saturday evening to keep anti-government demonstrators away from a main road on the eve of the global sporting event.
One demonstrator was found shot dead after overnight clashes with security forces, adding fuel to the fire of the protesters’ outrage.
The government has spent US$ 40 million on hosting the Grand Prix and is refusing to cancel the event, hoping to demonstrate that the country is back to normal after the unrest of the Arab Spring.
But the Bahraini people disagree with their government. Opposition activist Sayed Ahmed says the people think the race is “racing on our blood.”

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

This Jewish American will not be silenced in his views about Palestine!

When faced with illegal Governmental oppression, civil diobedience is not just a RIGHT, it is a moral imperative!

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

US Supports Human Rights and Democracy? Tell it to Al-Khawaja!

US Supports Human Rights and Democracy? Tell it to Al-Khawaja! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

...

Barrett: Well, that is a very, very good question. It is stunning- the hypocrisy, coming out of Washington and these human rights issues. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is a classic nonviolence activist and pro-democracy activist.
If the words coming out of Washington were matched by deeds, he would be lionized by the US government; he would be all over the front pages of American newspapers and Fox and so on.
But of course that’s not happening, because the US has its fifth fleet in Bahrain and the US has made these unholy alliances, not only with the al-Khalifa regime in Bahrain, but also with the other retrograde [Persian] Gulf monarchies.
So he is entering the third month of his hunger strike and in very terrible shape, and Obama, the man who was supposed to be putting a new face on America’s Middle East policy, is keeping quiet and that tells you a lot about who really controls the political process in Washington DC and the way the media isn’t covering this in the US, tells you a lot about who really controls the media here.
Press TV: Who, who controls the media in the US when you say that? Who are you referring to; when you say media are controlled?
Barrett: Over the decades…, media in the US is controlled in a number of ways.
One is, by actual Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] people, who are planted in various media operations.
The agency also deals directly with the owners and CEOs of media companies and there has been this total conglomeration of media over the past couple of decades and now about six organizations control just about everything that Americans see in the media.
So there is a combination of government interference in the media, secret, covert operations with the media and the media being bought up by a very, very small number of wealthy individuals, who operate with the US government.

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

The Al Khalifa rulers are just puppets. The puppetmaster we need to deal with is America.’

The Al Khalifa rulers are just puppets. The puppetmaster we need to deal with is America.’ | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Tensions between the US-backed regime in Bahrain and pro-democracy protesters are reaching incendiary levels as the life of a prominent human rights activist on hungerstrike hangs perilously in the balance.

For more than a year, largely peaceful rallies have persisted in Bahrain despite a brutal crackdown by Saudi-backed forces. Now, demonstrations in solidarity with imprisoned hungerstriker Abdulhadi Al Khawaja are occurring on a daily basis in villages and towns across the Persian Gulf kingdom – defying intensified state repression.

And the Bahraini uprising, led mainly by the 70 per cent Shia population, is increasingly strident in its calls for the downfall of the unelected Sunni monarchy. The prospect for some kind of compromise leading to a constitutional monarchy – a “settlement” being pushed by Washington – is now viewed as anathema, well past its sell-by date.

Paradoxically, the conflict, chaos and blinding tear gas on the streets seems to be clarifying for the Bahraini people what needs to be done to achieve their democratic freedom.

Furthermore, anger is mounting towards the US government, which is seen more and more as the political guarantor of despotic rule by the Al Khalifa monarchy.

Significantly, in response to Bahraini security force violence and the tin ear of the island’s ruling dynasty, protesters appear to be resorting to violence as their last-resort means of political expression, with youths throwing petrol bombs and barricading off streets with burning vehicles and tires. .....

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

Secretary Clinton's Remarks With Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal

Secretary Clinton's Remarks With Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
March 31, 2012

[US BS and rhetoric ad nauseam......]

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

US Arms Deal with Bahrain as Crackdown Continues

NAIMAN: Well, it was reported on Friday that the Obama administration has informed some people in Congress that he intends to sell new weapons to Bahrain. This comes in a context where a previous package that the administration put forward was paused after congressional opposition because of human rights concerns in Bahrain.Since this report came out last week, some members of Congress have objected. Senator Wyden and Representative McGovern are circulating a letter to their colleagues asking them to contact Secretary of State Clinton saying, you know, despite promises of reform, the government of Bahrain hasn’t delivered. They’re still attacking peaceful demonstrators. They’re still blocking human rights observers like Human Rights First and Physicians for Human Rights from entering the country, contrary to their promises, and that this sends the wrong signal to government in Bahrain and people in Bahrain of tacit U.S. support for the Bahraini government’s crackdown on peaceful protesters.

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

US asks Bahrain to do more to heal rifts after unrest - AlertNet

US asks Bahrain to do more to heal rifts after unrest - AlertNet | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"We continue to receive credible reports of excessive force by police, including widespread and sometimes indiscriminate use of tear gas," said Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner.

"We urge Bahraini authorities to ensure compliance with international doctrines of necessity and proportionality."

Posner also said in a statement that charges against those accused of offences related to political expression should be dropped and peaceful protests allowed to go ahead.

Fourteen opposition figures convicted of leading the protests are in jail, some serving life sentences.

Opposition parties, which this week launched a week-long sit-in to put pressure on the government, have said their protests will not stop until the ruling Al Khalifa family ends its monopoly on power and the 14 are released.

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

U.S. envoy urges renewed Bahrain crisis talks

Envoy pressing for talks between the Sunni monarchy and Shiite-led opposition, aimed at ending year-long unrest in the Gulf nation.

Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner also raised deep concerns Thursday about possible escalating violence before the uprising's one-year anniversary next Tuesday.

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

Democracy 2.0 | Great scoop.it site, give it a try!

Democracy 2.0 |  Great scoop.it site, give it  a try! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
How can we fix and upgrade our broken democracy...
more...
No comment yet.