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1 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 10:41:25am

See also Bahrain sentences protestors to death, medics who treated protestors to jail

I think it's also crucial to mention that Bahrain crushed the protests in March with military help from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

2 Gus  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 10:44:33am

re: #1 000G

See also Bahrain sentences protestors to death, medics who treated protestors to jail

I think it's also crucial to mention that Bahrain crushed the protests in March with military help from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Thanks. I was looking at that before. Tweeted.

3 HappyWarrior  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 11:08:06am

Can someone tell me why we're allies with these guys?

4 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 11:36:18am

re: #3 HappyWarrior

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

See also from [Link: www.state.gov...] :

Bahrain promulgated a constitution and elected its first parliament in 1973, but just 2 years later, in August 1975, the Amir disbanded the National Assembly after it attempted to legislate the end of Al-Khalifa rule and the expulsion of the U.S. Navy from Bahrain.

That seems to be the reason for the USA backing the authoritarian rule there (as well as in other Arab countries).

More:

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Bahrain's strategic partnership with the U.S. has intensified since 1991. Bahraini pilots flew strikes in Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, and the country was used as a base for military operations in the Gulf. Bahrain provided logistical and basing support to international maritime interdiction efforts to enforce UN sanctions and prevent illegal smuggling of oil from Iraq in the 1990s. Bahrain also provided extensive basing and overflight clearances for a multitude of U.S. aircraft operating in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Bahrain deployed forces in support of coalition operations during both OEF and OIF. Bahrain has delivered humanitarian support and technical training to support the reconstruction of the Iraqi banking sector, and has offered support for each stage of Iraq's political transformation. Bahrain has also cooperated effectively on criminal investigation issues in support of efforts against terrorism; the Bahrain Monetary Agency (which became the Central Bank of Bahrain in September 2006) moved quickly to restrict terrorists' ability to transfer funds through Bahrain's financial system. In October 2006, Bahrain joined the U.S. and 23 other countries in a Proliferation Security Initiative interdiction exercise in the Persian Gulf.

U.S.-BAHRAINI RELATIONS
The American Mission Hospital, affiliated with the National Evangelical Church, has operated continuously in Bahrain for more than a century. Bahrain has also been a base for U.S. naval activity in the Gulf since 1947. When Bahrain became independent, the U.S.-Bahrain relationship was formalized with the establishment of diplomatic relations. The U.S. embassy at Manama was opened September 21, 1971, and a resident ambassador was sent in 1974. The Bahraini embassy in Washington, DC, opened in 1977. In October 1991, Amir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa made a state visit to Washington. In 2001, Amir Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa made his first visit to the U.S. after succeeding his father in 1999. He returned to Washington on an official visit in January 2003. King Hamad made an official visit to Washington in November 2004 to meet with President George W. Bush and cabinet-level officials. In January 2008, President Bush made the first visit by a sitting President to Bahrain. King Hamad visited Washington in March 2008.

Bahrain and the United States signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement in October 1991 granting U.S. forces access to Bahraini facilities and ensuring the right to pre-position material for future crises. Bahrain is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. The U.S. designated Bahrain a Major Non-NATO Ally in October 2001. Bahrain and the United States signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2004.

See also [Link: www.state.gov...]

5 Obdicut  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 11:50:12am

re: #4 000G

The Amir is every much the tyrant Hussein was.

6 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 11:58:54am

re: #5 Obdicut

The whole Khalifa clan is, IMHO. Dunno if they nerve-gassed anyone as of yet, though.

Anyhow, the common pattern here seems to be that the U.S. is afraid of getting kicked out of the countries if they let them have anything resembling democratic rule, with the following erosion of presence and cooperation in military, security and trade. So they end up backing the authoritarian regimes.

This is a legitimate fear, I think. But will backing tyrants help in the long run? This is truly the age of the masses, and in terms of foreign policy, this means huge challenges for the U.S. I do not pretend to have the answers, and sometimes there might not even be one. Rather than being evil, I believe the U.S. is just often in a Catch-22 situation.

7 HappyWarrior  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 12:06:57pm

re: #4 000G

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

See also from [Link: www.state.gov...] :

That seems to be the reason for the USA backing the authoritarian rule there (as well as in other Arab countries).

More:

See also [Link: www.state.gov...]

Thanks it was honestly kinda a rhetorical question since I figured the alliance seemed to be strategic. It's the old idealist in me but I hate seeing us allied with governments like this one and then decrying other governments. It makes us out to be hypocrites.

8 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 12:09:04pm

re: #7 HappyWarrior

Thanks it was honestly kinda a rhetorical question since I figured the alliance seemed to be strategic. It's the old idealist in me but I hate seeing us allied with governments like this one and then decrying other governments. It makes us out to be hypocrites.

I don't think hypocrisy can be avoided in foreign policy. But the level of degree does matter...

9 laZardo  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 12:20:23pm

This is why I fail to see any sort of non-economic reason we're in Libya. If the Russians didn't have a base in Syria, we would've "intervened" by now too.

10 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 12:23:12pm

re: #9 laZardo

This is why I fail to see any sort of non-economic reason we're in Libya. If the Russians didn't have a base in Syria, we would've "intervened" by now too.

Non sequitur. Not invading all dictatorships does not mean invading some dictatorships is pure economic self-interest.

11 HappyWarrior  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 12:29:24pm

re: #8 000G

I don't think hypocrisy can be avoided in foreign policy. But the level of degree does matter...

Yeah I agree with you there. i just try to imagine myself in this case as a Bahrainian dissident hearing our president and others condemn dictatorial regimes like Syria and then being seen all smiles and handshakes with their own tyrannical government. Not going after Obama specifically here since it is unavoidable but I agree the degrees do matter.

12 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 12:31:10pm

re: #10 Sergey Romanov

Non sequitur. Not invading all dictatorships does not mean invading some dictatorships is pure economic self-interest.

Word. For instance, I also saw the conspiracy theory put forward by some Communists that Russia and China only did not veto the Libya resolution so that the USA would bleed dry there, counting on the rebels to throw them out after Gadafi was removed. That's just as plausible and evidence-backed as laZardo's theory.

13 _RememberTonyC  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 4:38:31pm

In that part of the world, even so called "moderate" regimes are brutal. Remember that next time you hear about those intransigent Israelis. Look at the neighborhood they live in.

14 Achilles Tang  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 10:09:25pm

re: #5 Obdicut

The Amir is every much the tyrant Hussein was.

No he is not, which is not to excuse excesses that may have occurred.

However the politically naive should bear in mind that Iran considers Bahrain cultural part of Iran, just like Hussein considered Kuwait a part of Iraq.

Simplifying may be intellectually convenient, but nothing ever is.

15 Achilles Tang  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 10:15:03pm

re: #9 laZardo

This is why I fail to see any sort of non-economic reason we're in Libya. If the Russians didn't have a base in Syria, we would've "intervened" by now too.

We intervened to a to a very limited extent for the usual humanitarian reasons that you can piss on if you want, and because there was not a government on the planet that didn't want to piss on Ghaddafi (or however you want to spell it), and because he was an insane loose cannon (brain) that could do great harm to us if we didn't keep kissing his ass.

16 laZardo  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 11:35:41pm

re: #15 Naso Tang

What is with the constant straw man argument that I support Gaddafi somehow? Seriously, that's getting annoying.

I just think the rebels should've done the hard work themselves without any active intervention - the kind that has proven to result in "blowback."

17 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 3:57:41am

re: #14 Naso Tang

Excesses? Jesus, dude. That's sad.

Are you just playing a numbers game? What's your criteria for saying that he's not as much of a tyrant?

18 Achilles Tang  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 5:27:26am

re: #16 laZardo

What is with the constant straw man argument that I support Gaddafi somehow? Seriously, that's getting annoying.

I just think the rebels should've done the hard work themselves without any active intervention - the kind that has proven to result in "blowback."

Constant? What is your problem? I didn't say you supported Ghaddafi in any shape or form, constantly or once.

19 Achilles Tang  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 5:48:07am

re: #17 Obdicut

Excesses? Jesus, dude. That's sad.

Are you just playing a numbers game? What's your criteria for saying that he's not as much of a tyrant?

?? Surely you know something of the history of Ghaddafi. Obviously you know nothing of the history of Bahrain. It has had the present monarchy, whatever ones thinks of monarchies, for some 200 years.

It has a history of connection to Iran, which has its eye on it in part due to a large Shiite population that would like it to be more of a theocracy like Iran.

Given the bad blood between Shiites and Sunnis and other branches of Islam (everywhere) the ruling family, and the government ministries have kept the Shiites from having comparable power and events in other countries have prompted the demonstrations we have seen.

Unlike the other Arab countries, the demonstrations in Bahrain are largely religious based and quite openly supported by Iran. It would be foolish to imagine that they don't help in some ways, which is the primary reason Saudi and the UAE were willing to help the king in Bahrain.

None of this is said as an excuse for the violence that occurred, from both sides, and I find that the arrest of these doctors is troubling, but I am also willing to consider that we don't know the whole story from the news we see here.

As to my criteria, they are based on having spent much time, many times, in Bahrain in calmer times.

20 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 7:15:46am

re: #19 Naso Tang

Oh, claims of personal authority. Okay. Never mind.

21 Achilles Tang  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 8:04:53am

re: #20 Obdicut

Oh, claims of personal authority. Okay. Never mind.

What's with the attitude? We can share opinions on this without that tone.

I gave you facts and personal experience. If you think the latter is of no value I suggest you take much more care with your own posts in the future.

22 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 8:32:35am

re: #21 Naso Tang

Share experiences all you like, but don't expect me to go "Oh, okay, that settles that." Tell me what it is you saw that convinced you, as compared to your experiences in Iraq. Don't just assert it. If you want to actually share personal experience, then do so.

They're both tyrants. They both use violence to oppress, up to the point of death, their citizens. If the Bahrainians protest more, they'll kill more of those protesters, arrest and torture others.

So in what way are they not tyrants like Saddam?

23 Achilles Tang  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 9:02:35am

re: #22 Obdicut

Share experiences all you like, but don't expect me to go "Oh, okay, that settles that." Tell me what it is you saw that convinced you, as compared to your experiences in Iraq. Don't just assert it. If you want to actually share personal experience, then do so.

They're both tyrants. They both use violence to oppress, up to the point of death, their citizens. If the Bahrainians protest more, they'll kill more of those protesters, arrest and torture others.

So in what way are they not tyrants like Saddam?

Have I said I expected you to say the above?

Calling out "tyrant like Hussein" is no different that a Tea Partier calling Obama a dictator, or worse. There can be no further discussion when labels lose their meaning like that.

By any account you want, Bahrain has been a peaceful open and liberal society with absolutely no comparison to Iraq, or many other places. Unfortunately they have not integrated the Shiites (who have not always been a majority) well into that society, and had they done so Bahrain would not be as free or as liberal as it has been, because their tendencies go towards the Iranian model.

I think it is all very sad and distressing to see how this hate swells up into violence and, cynically speaking, I don't think there can be a tidy solution because of the ages old religious differences involved.

I suppose I would rather see a hard nosed western oriented government than a fundamentalist western hating government.

24 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 9:14:28am

re: #23 Naso Tang

Calling out "tyrant like Hussein" is no different that a Tea Partier calling Obama a dictator, or worse. There can be no further discussion when labels lose their meaning like that.

Then stop talking after you say that.

I think the same way. I think if you can't recognize that someone who arrests his political opponents is a tyrant, then there's no point in talking to you.

25 Achilles Tang  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 11:31:55am

re: #24 Obdicut

Then stop talking after you say that.

I think the same way. I think if you can't recognize that someone who arrests his political opponents is a tyrant, then there's no point in talking to you.

Did your wife beat you up or something? Your style is piss poor childish and rude. Do me a favor and don't comment on my posts and I won't on yours.

26 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 11:33:17am

re: #25 Naso Tang

Nope. I'm going to continue to respond to yours, especially when they're weak and ill-thought-out.

And again, I'm amazed at your ability to become hypocritical within two sentences.

27 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 6:06:07pm

re: #19 Naso Tang

It has a history of connection to Iran, which has its eye on it in part due to a large Shiite population that would like it to be more of a theocracy like Iran.

You are saying that the Shiite population of Bahrain wants Bahrain to become more of a theocracy like Iran? Seriously?

Unlike the other Arab countries, the demonstrations in Bahrain are largely religious based and quite openly supported by Iran.

Dude, you have no idea. Or maybe you do and just conveniently forget to mention that the Shiite population makes up the vast majority of the country's population, yet is systematically kept from positions of power by the Sunni monarchs. This is about lack of opportunities, and the status quo Sunni-supremacist tyranny preventing any change of that.

None of this is said as an excuse for the violence that occurred, from both sides,

MBF

I am also willing to consider that we don't know the whole story from the news we see here.

Are you at least willing to admit that the reason "we don't know the whole story" is because Bahrain is not a free country?


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