[News] Long live 'our' Gulf bastards

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 11 18:38:47 EDT 2012

Long live 'our' Gulf bastards

By Pepe Escobar

Life is a golden gift from Allah if you're a certified member of the 
Gulf Counter-Revolution Club (GCC), also known as the Gulf 
Cooperation Council; Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and 
the United Arab Emirates can torture, kill, repress and demonize 
their own subjects - in full confidence the "master" will let you get 
away with it.

Just as the Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty in power in Bahrain is vowing, 
publicly, to keep arresting, tear-gassing, raiding their homes, 
confiscating their jobs and forcing pro-democracy protesters to live 
in non-stop fear, Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa 
is being hosted in Washington by the Barack Obama administration.

Prince Salman - who Bahraini propaganda sells as a "moderate" - 
showed up at the US State Department side-by-side with Secretary of 
State Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton. Those who "die" are 
evil dictators of the Muammar Gaddafi variety; "our" bastards get to 
party in DC after being extended a red carpet welcome.

Is there any Arab Spring-related repression and killing going in 
Bahrain? According to Clinton, of course not; these are only 
"internal issues" - in her own words.

What this means in practice is that Clinton subscribes to the 
official narrative that the sectarianization of everything happening 
in Bahrain is to be blamed on the protesters - and not the 
al-Khalifas, who for a year now have been destroying Shi'ite mosques 
and investing on all-out demonization of all things Shi'ite (blame it 
on "evil" Iran).

The al-Khalifas have been way wilier than President Bashar al-Assad 
in Syria; they have killed only an acceptable number of people. But 
why is Bahrain substantially "different" from Syria? Because "it 
hosts the US Navy's 5th Fleet, helping the US military project its 
might in the Gulf and contain Iran"; and that's not a 
neo-conservative talking, but Washington director of Human Rights 
Watch, Tom Malinowski.

A bunch of cowards
Here is Libya conqueror Clinton:
Bahrain is a valued ally of the United States. We partner on many 
important issues of mutual concern to each of our nations and to the 
regional and global concerns as well. I'm looking forward to a chance 
to talk over with His Royal Highness a number of the issues both 
internally and externally that Bahrain is dealing with and have some 
better understanding of the ongoing efforts that the government of 
Bahrain is undertaking. So again, His Royal Highness, welcome to the 
United States.

Here's a Bahraini government spokesman telling it like it is to 
Reuters only one day before the Clinton-Crown Prince schmooze:
We are looking into the perpetrators and people who use print, 
broadcast and social media to encourage illegal protest and violence 
around the country. If applying the law means tougher action, then so be it.

Translation: we will keep going on a rampage because the masters in 
Washington have our backs covered.

Not a word from the Obama administration on the arrest of top 
Bahraini human-rights activist Nabeel Rajab, who Amnesty 
International declared a "prisoner of conscience", as well as calling 
for his immediate release. Activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, for his 
part, has been on a hunger strike for three months, protesting his 
life imprisonment by the al-Khalifa regime.

R2P, "responsibility to protect", that oh so lovely doctrine espoused 
by the Three Graces - Clinton, US ambassador to the United Nations 
Susan Rice and Special Assistant to Obama Samantha Power - does not 
apply to civilian protesters, the majority of them Shi'ites, in 
Bahrain. They have been yelling for their basic human rights - of 
which they don't have much - to be protected for over a year now.

Bahrain's Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa - whose 
Medieval methods would lead Egyptian Omar "Sheikh al-Torture" 
Suleiman to blush with envy, not to mention Prince Nayef from the 
House of Saud - has been in power for 40 years.

And Bahrain's King Hamad has been oh so generous; after all he 
commissioned a report on the repression. Needless to say, the report, 
even highly sanitized, hasn't been implemented.

What makes it even more tragic is that these people are cowards. It 
would take just a single word from Clinton or Obama for the 
al-Khalifas to immediately stop their concerted repression, using 
their hardcore Sunni police force recruited from Pakistan, Syria and 
Yemen; release the thousands of prisoners; and rehire the thousands 
of workers who were laid off because they are "subversive". Here's why.

There has been a rumor in Britain that Nasser Bin Hamad, the son of 
Bahrain's King, might be banned from attending the London Summer 
Olympic Games this summer. There are graphic reasons for it; he 
personally threatened many athletes, on top of being accused of 
torture. So what did he do? In haste, he deleted all his threatening 
tweets. Expect Nasser to be partying in Mayfair in July.

Pepe Escobar is the author of 
How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 
2007) and 
Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent 
book, just out, is 
does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com

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