Brutalization in Bahrain: why are the press and international community covering up human rights abuses?
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
The mainstream media from around the world along with much of the international community was quick to jump on Muammar al-Qaddafi for suspected human rights violations and quickly intervened with troops on the ground and sustained bombing runs which have no end in sight.
Similarly, we are hearing almost daily of the abuses handed out by Bashar al-Assad in Syria against armed gangs and peaceful protesters.
Yet, when egregious human rights violations are occurring in Bahrain, with plenty of video evidence to prove it (which was not the case in Libya and is largely not the case in Syria), the international community and the press are completely silent.
How can anyone justify bombing one country into the stone age for alleged human rights abuses while allowing another to continue brutalizing civilians with the evidence to back up the accusation?
The answer is simple: Bahrain serves the United States and has done so since at least 1947 and arguably longer. Even more damning is the fact that the Bahraini police and Special Forces have been using tear gas and weapons manufactured in the United States.
This same tear gas, which is manufactured in Pennsylvania according to Nabil Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Deputy Secretary General for the International Federation of Human Rights, has been the cause of the deaths of at least 10 people in a 10 day period.
Rajab says that the people of Bahrain view the United States in a very different light after February 13th when they witnessed the US ignore the Bahraini uprising and subsequent crackdown while continuing to provide the Bahraini regime with aid and weaponry.
The major problem here is one of massive hypocrisy: when America is lauding movements in Syria, Libya, and elsewhere, they are supporting the brutalization of pro-Democracy protesters in Bahrain.
This makes it clear that the US really has no interest in human rights, peace and freedom. Instead these factors only are considered important when it directly benefits the United States in one way or another.
Clearly, because the United States has the headquarters of the Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain and the corrupt rulers of Bahrain have made many trips to Washington in the past few decades, there is more allegiance to the oppressive rulers than to the rights of the people in Bahrain.
The U.S. embassy in Bahrain at Manama was established in 1971, the Bahraini embassy in Washington, D.C. was established in 1977. Since then, a Defense Cooperation Agreement was signed in 1991 allowing American forces to use Bahraini facilities while also allowing American materials to be pre-positioned in Bahrain.
Amir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, then the head of the ruling family of Bahrain, visited Washington in 1991, Amir Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa visited in 1999 after taking his father’s place and again in 2003, and then King Hamad met with then President Bush and cabinet members in 2004.
To top it off, in October of 2001, Bahrain was designated as a major non-NATO ally to the United States.
Clearly, Bahrain and the United States have strong ties that are not easily broken, even when it comes to egregious violations of international human rights law.
This provides just another example of how duplicitous Washington really is and how little they care for the sanctity of human life and the right of every person of every nation to live without fearing for their lives.
The following are videos of some of the horrific human rights violations occurring in Bahrain. Some of these are incredibly disturbing.
This is a video that includes several incidents, all of which are despicable. We not only see Bahraini police forces in riot gear set a garage full of hiding civilians on fire but we also see a man sitting on the ground get kicked repeatedly for no apparent reason, again by a police officer.
Viewer discretion is highly advised. There are blood curdling screams of women and children that can be heard as the blaze grows.
In the next video we see a man on the ground being kicked in the ribs by police. A woman, likely his spouse, attempts to push away the Bahraini police who are beating this man for no reason. The woman is sprayed in the face with mace, forcing her to retreat.
The man continues to yell defiantly as police kick him in the ribs and hit him with batons. We hear the firing of what is likely tear gas in the background as women scream and men chant “Allahu akbar”.
Then a few moments later we hear more shots ring out, likely still tear gas although perhaps live fire given the fact we do not know what ammunition is in the shotguns carried by police. They might also be firing “beanbag” rounds used by American police or rubber bullets as well, both of which can be lethal.
We cannot tell what other weapons the police have, although we do see them holding shotgun-like weapons. We can see tear gas guns allegedly provided by the UK, although they could very well be provided by the US, being fired repeatedly.
Later, when the man attempts to stand up, he is hit yet again with a baton, sending him right back on to the ground. As he is lying on the ground, in no way attempting to fight back, a police officer leans down and hits him in the head.
As the police appear to be retreating, they fire more tear gas canisters and are followed by a group of women holding out what appears to be the Qur’an while yelling. However, they quickly retreat amidst screaming, likely because police were aiming their weapons at them. We then see more women retreating into clouds of tear gas as a large group of police officers come down the alley from another angle.
These two videos alone provide more compelling evidence than was ever presented before the United Nations Security Council drew up plans to invade Libya.
Where is the public outcry? Where are the calls for sanctions or intervention? It is painfully obvious that the United States is putting selfish military interests before the plight of the people of Bahrain.
This points to ulterior motives that must have pushed the Western world into invading Libya as clearly human rights violations are not a matter of concern.
In the following video we clearly witness Bahraini police making a concerted effort to run over protesters. Luckily the protesters were able to avoid being hit.
In the following video we see a group of peaceful protesters moving down the street to which authorities respond with a hail of gunfire. It appears that multiple protesters were shot and/or killed in the attack.
In the following video we witness a larger-scale protest under siege from security forces with large clouds of tear gas and protesters running while carrying what appear to be wounded individuals.
How can America pretend to care about human rights when they pick and choose when to care? The lives of Bahrainis are no more sacred than the lives of Libyans, Syrians or any other person from anywhere in the world.
Those of us who consume alternative news must spread this information far and wide. This is a perfect example of how little the United States and the West in general really cares about human rights and how much they care about military power.
We must stop allowing our governments to use us as collateral to intervene when it benefits them while ignoring real human rights violations that are happening right before our eyes.
We must stop our Western governments from being able to continue their charade of caring about human rights. We must expose the fact that only those who don’t serve Western interests by allowing military bases or kowtowing to the Anglo-American-Israeli Empire are targeted for intervention while other regimes that are loyal to the West and Western interests are allowed to brutalize their people.
Only through the spreading of this information can we combat these types of issues as unfortunately our government in Washington couldn’t care less about a small segment of the population or the abuses of populations abroad.
Only when we are able to rally a majority of Americans against these types of abuses in our name will we be able to truly make changes.
Keep in mind that we are creating a new generation of enemies every time we carry out this hypocritical foreign policy agenda. If we allow our government to continue these practices, we can guarantee that the United States will be loathed by the Middle East and all oppressed peoples for the foreseeable future.