Washington has been arming Bahrain’s ruling dynasty against protesters, and now demanding that the “dictator must go” in Syria. Why such a difference? Right – Bahrain hosts the US’ Fifth Fleet, the “free world” defender crucial in containing Iran.
They insist that the Syrian “dictator” step down from his post, while experts say the violent opposition receives not-so-humanitarian aid from the West to achieve its goals.
At the same time, Bahraini demonstrators face the grenades and tear gas the al-Khalifa dynasty has been importing from the US to maintain “stability.”
Last year, human rights groups and members of Congress forced the Obama administration to suspend an arms deal with Bahrain. But this time around, there’s a legal loophole that can be used to avoid Congressional approval.
Rallies ahead of the first anniversary of anti-Khalifa protests were violent enough to be stopped with military means – but not violent enough to get Western media attention.
More clashes with riot police marked the Bahraini opposition movement’s one year anniversary. After rallies ahead of the date, police were determined to prevent opposition members from reaching the Pearl roundabout, a significant landmark for the movement. According to various reports, there were many injuries and arrests.
“One of the most undemocratic countries in world, Saudi Arabia, is oil-rich and obedient to the West – which happens to be highly dependent on its natural resources,” Middle East expert Tariq Ali says.
It seems that many dictatorships are kept afloat as long as they can be of use.