Monday, 21 March 2011

One Rule for Libya Another for Bahrain and Saudi

Whatever some on the left may say, Western decisions over where and how to intervene in the ongoing Middle East chaos are not, and will not be primarily about whether counties have oil, nor about human rights. Such decisions are about naked self-interest and hurried judgements as to which dictators can survive and which are likeliest to be most sympathetic and receptive to Western interests in future.

ÖMER TAŞPINAR, a columnist at Turkish daily, Today’s Zaman sees that:

“Washington is engaged in a high-wire balancing act. Not only is the American superpower unable to shape events, it is also unable to adopt a consistent policy. Realism and idealism, the two most powerful -- and often clashing -- currents of American foreign policy are creating embarrassing double standards …”

“ … when it comes to a country like Bahrain, where the US has vast military and security interests at stake, the rights of citizens are secondary to these “realpolitik” considerations.”

“According to the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom [sic] … Bahrain has the freest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region and is tenth overall in the world.” says Wikipedia.

“Petroleum and natural gas, the only significant natural resources in Bahrain, dominate the economy and provide about 60% of budget revenues.”

With the King of Bahrain a solid and respectable Sunni whose interests are safely and inextricably allied with Saudi Arabia and the Western order, as against the Shia of Iran, it seems clear that he is a safe pair of hands, whatever his little local difficulties with impudent subjects - in sharp contrast to the turbulent revolutionary Muammar Gadaffi, who has never been a true friend of the West or of the Sunnah.

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