US Concern for Rights Conspicuously Absent in Bahrain

It is becoming painfully obvious that the United States is hostile to the “Arab Spring.” In Egypt, U.S. military aid programs remain in force, and in Yemen a “secret” U.S. war may be in the offing. In the United Arab Emirates plans may be afoot to develop a for-profit rapid reaction force (to crackdown, surely, … Continue reading “US Concern for Rights Conspicuously Absent in Bahrain”

Bitter Divides Persist Below Bahrain’s Relatively Calm Surface

When Bahraini ambassador Houda Ezra Nonoo arrived in Washington three years ago, she was greeted as the representative of a close U.S. ally with a reputation for more openness and tolerance than most Gulf nations. Nonoo was also a novelty as a woman representing an Arab country, and even more unusually, a Jew — one … Continue reading “Bitter Divides Persist Below Bahrain’s Relatively Calm Surface”

Experts Skeptical About Bahrain Dialogue

As Bahrain’s government launches its much-touted “national dialogue” with members of civil society, experts are expressing skepticism that it will defuse growing tensions in the strategically located Gulf kingdom, let alone promote genuine reform. Strongly supported by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, the dialogue, which formally got under way Saturday, is supposed to … Continue reading “Experts Skeptical About Bahrain Dialogue”

Sunni Monarchies Close Ranks

Reports that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering some form of membership for two non-Gulf states—Jordan and Morocco—confirm that the conservative Sunni monarchies of the Middle East are closing ranks against Iran, Shi’ite-led Iraq, and the democratic wave sweeping the region. GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani made the announcement Tuesday after a summit of … Continue reading “Sunni Monarchies Close Ranks”

Murder in Bahrain

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been one busy official of late. Last week, on a surprise visit to Afghanistan, he managed to apologize for U.S. helicopters killing nine boys collecting wood on a hillside in Kunar Province, even as he announced that a negotiating team would soon be dispatched from Washington to work out … Continue reading “Murder in Bahrain”

Saudi Intervention Likely to Bring Regional Blowback

Saudi Arabia’s incursion into neighboring Bahrain is a risky move that could further inflame domestic unrest in both countries and give a propaganda boost to Tehran’s campaign to cultivate the Arab street. Saudi authorities and officials from the United Arab Emirates—which sent 500 police to augment 1,000 Saudi troops—said they had entered the island kingdom … Continue reading “Saudi Intervention Likely to Bring Regional Blowback”

America in the Middle East: US Policy Fails Its Purchasers

Can anyone doubt that Israel and its American friends direct U.S. Middle East policy? Do senior members of the administration ever dispute the axiom that Israel’s enemies must be America’s enemies? Does Congress or the corporate media ever question the huge financial, military, and diplomatic support Israel receives? Every year witnesses the shameful spectacle of … Continue reading “America in the Middle East: US Policy Fails Its Purchasers”

A Crazy Prophet

“Why don’t the masses stream to the square here, too, and throw Bibi out?” my taxi driver exclaimed when we were passing Rabin Square. The wide expanse was almost empty, with only a few mothers and their children enjoying the mild winter sun. The masses will not stream to the square, and Benjamin Netanyahu can … Continue reading “A Crazy Prophet”

Bahrain and the Freedom Contagion

“Saudi Arabia did not build a causeway to Bahrain just so that Saudis could party on weekends. It was designed for moments like this, for keeping Bahrain under control.” —Dr. Toby Jones, expert on Saudi Arabia at Rutgers University If Saudi Arabia was rattled by the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, they will … Continue reading “Bahrain and the Freedom Contagion”

Bahrain: Days of Rage, Decades of Oppression

“Bahrain has one of the most advanced medical systems in the Middle East, the best ICT sector in the region, and the fastest growing economy in the Arab world. “But despite all these accomplishments, the country seems to be missing just one little thing: a doctor who can identify signs of torture.” – Benjamin Joffe-Walt, … Continue reading “Bahrain: Days of Rage, Decades of Oppression”