Bahrain has been in the news over the last year or so for largely negative reasons – shooting and tear-gassing peaceful protestors that were fighting for the so-called quintessentially American value of democracy.
But, unlike Syria and Libya, Bahrain has never been subject to Western sanctions and bombs.
The question is why…
Bahrain is a Shia-majority country, but ruled by Sunni Khalifas. The US supports the latter because it fears that if democracy had its day, Shia Iran would create a satellite state in their Western-alleged move for ‘regional dominance’.
Fear of Iran is why the US continues to support Sunni Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has ruled since 1971, and now serves as the world’s longest-serving unelected prime minister.
Fear of Iran is also why the US supports Bahrain’s monarchical King, who has unleashed his security forces on peaceful, democracy-seeking protestors.
We also shouldn’t forget that Bahrain is home to the US navy’s fifth fleet. This is why, in 2002, George Bush deemed Bahrain a significant non-Nato ally and why Hilary Clinton, in 2011, called it a ‘model partner’.
A ‘model partner’, of course, that’s as un-American as it gets!