U.S. establishment hypocrisy on Bahrain


19 September 2011.

On 26 August 2011, there was an entry on this blog about Anti-democratic hypocrisy in Qatar and the USA concerning the bloody crackdown by the royal dictatorship in Bahrain on the pro-democracy opposition.

My blog post was a reaction to another blog post, on the site of the Council on Foreign Relations in the USA. I agreed in itself with that CFR post that the Qatar absolute monarchy is hypocritical in claiming to support democracy in Libya while helping to drown the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain in blood.

However, I then wrote:

So now, after the parallels between my blog and the CFR blog, the difference. As the CFR blog which I quoted is by Elliott Abrams.

I then proceeded to quote Wikipedia on Elliott Abrams:

Elliott Abrams (born January 24, 1948) is an American lawyer and policy analyst who served in foreign policy positions for two Republican U.S. Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. He is currently a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.[6]

During the Reagan administration, Abrams gained notoriety for his involvement in controversial foreign policy decisions regarding Nicaragua and El Salvador. During Bush’s first term, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs. At the start of Bush’s second term, Abrams was promoted to be his Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy, in charge of promoting Bush’s strategy of advancing democracy abroad. His appointment by Bush was controversial due to his conviction in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra Affair investigation.

I continued:

In Nicaragua and El Salvador, the US Reagan administration supported Rightist death squads.

By the way, the Bahrain dictatorship does not only have the support of Qatar, but also of a far bigger country: Elliott Abrams’ USA.

So, one should not just, like Abrams does, point out the hypocrisy of the government in Qatar, but also the hypocrisy of the establishment in Washington, DC.

Today, it looks like the neo-conservative Elliott Abrams has listened to my very non-neo-conservative blog.

For today, the site of The Atlantic magazine in the USA publishes an article by Abrams, titled U.S. Hypocrisy on Bahrain.

Originally, that article was published on the Council on Foreign Relations site. The probability that Abrams listened to Dear Kitty. Some blog, gets less if one looks there, as the title U.S. Hypocrisy on Bahrain is absent there.

Granted, in his new article, Mr Abrams indeed has problems not just with Qatari, but also with United States policies on Bahrain:

In Bahrain, American silence and inaction in the face of human rights abuses has produced resentment toward the United States. Here is what The New York Times reported last week:

“As the status quo endures — some believe that the king may introduce reforms this month, while others remain skeptical — anger among many Shiites toward American policy has deepened. Though some appreciated President Obama’s criticism of the crackdown in May, many lament what they see as a double standard. In contrast to the treatment of Syria and Libya, they point out, no administration official is calling for sanctions against Bahrain, a country where the United States has its largest regional naval base, for the Fifth Fleet. “Democracy isn’t only for those countries the United States has a problem with,” said Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.”

However, the article by US Republican Abrams, though making some correct points, is basically a partisan attack on the Democratic party of current President Obama. While United States hypocrisy on the Bahrain dictatorship is not a Democratic problem, but a problem of the whole United States establishment, both Republican and Democrat.

The Bahrain monarchy did not suddenly become a dictatorship this spring. There was already dictatorship, oppression, and torture in Bahrain during pre-Obama U.S. administrations, both Republican and Democrat. Including the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush in which Elliot Abrams served. Served without ending Washington’s support to the Bahraini dictatorship, as far as I am aware.

Abrams continues:

The resentment felt in Bahrain can be dangerous to U.S. interests; indeed in the future it can endanger the presence of the Fifth Fleet there. I recall well the Nixon Administration’s support for the Greek coup in 1967, an act for which the people of Greece have still not forgiven us.

While I earlier in this blog … sort of … “defended” the Democrat Obama administration against partisan Republican Abrams, here I feel that … sort of … I have to defend Richard Nixon against fellow Republican Abrams. Nixon became president in January 1969. The 1967 coup was while Democrat Johnson was president. One should sharply criticize the Nixon administration for many things, including supporting the post-coup Greek dictatorship which lasted until 1974.

Like U.S. hypocrisy on the Bahrain dictatorship today, U.S. hypocrisy on the Greek dictatorship in the 1960s-1970s was a bipartisan establishment problem.

6 thoughts on “U.S. establishment hypocrisy on Bahrain

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