NOVFEBAPR
02
201320142015
40 captures
01 Aug 2013 - 08 Mar 2021
About this capture
OPINIONS
Trending Topics
The Post’s View
Applying pressure on Bahrain
By Editorial,
GIVEN THE CIVIL WAR in Libya and serial massacres of opposition demonstrators in Syria , it’s not surprising that another ugly campaign of repression, in the Persian Gulf emirate of Bahrain, hasn’t gotten much attention. In its own way, however, Bahrain could prove crucial to the outcome of this year’s Arab uprisings — and to whether it advances or damages the strategic interests of the United States.
Bahrain is host to the U.S. 5th Fleet, which patrols the Persian Gulf and is vital to the containment of Iran. But the island’s ruling al-Khalifa family, which has long been closely allied with the United States, is ignoring the objections of the Obama administration by systematically persecuting those who joined a pro-democracy movement earlier this year. Since the crackdown began March 14 more than 800 people have been arrested, mostly from the majority Shiite community; many have been tortured and four have died in custody. More than 1,000 people have been fired from their jobs in a country of 700,000. Government employeees are being pressured to sign oaths of loyalty to the Sunni regime.
On Sunday authorities began a trial for 21 leading activists accused of plotting to overthrow the government. The unlikely conspirators range from the leader of Bahrain’s most militant Shiite organization, who returned from exile in London during the protests, to the head of a secular and liberal Sunni party, whose headquarters were recently burned down. Others hauled before the court include prominent human rights activists, Shiite clerics and bloggers. The accused have not been allowed contact with their lawyers and were granted a single phone call with their families. Most say they have been tortured and some have been seriously injured.
The regime’s crude political strategy is to claim that its opposition is inspired and controlled by Iran — though there is no evidence that Tehran had anything to do with the mass protests or their secular, pro-democracy agenda. Those on trial are accused, implausibly, of having ties to “a terrorist organization abroad working for a foreign country.” In the end, Iran is likely to be the beneficiary of the repression, which has had the effect of polarizing the country along sectarian lines and eliminating proponents of moderate political reform.
The Obama administration encouraged the reform route, which was briefly pursued by the regime’s most liberal member, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa. But since Saudi Arabia sent troops to the island on March 14,the regime has practiced unrelenting sectarian repression, with Riyadh’s backing. Reluctant to criticize massacres even by U.S. adversary Syria, the administration has been especially circumspect about Bahrain. Its mild message, reiterated last week by the State Department, is that “there is no security solution to resolve the challenges Bahrain faces.”
The administration clearly is trying to protect the strategic relationship with Bahrain. But by tolerating the repression it is endangering long-term U.S. interests, since the crackdown is likely to boomerang, sooner or later, against both the Bahraini and Saudi ruling families. The best way to protect American interests is to tell both regimes that a continued security relationship with the United States depends on an end to policies of sectarian repression and on the implementation of moderate reforms. Meanwhile, it’s time to start looking for a new home for the 5th Fleet.
Reprints
Top Opinions Stories
Most Popular Videos
The Post Most: Opinions
1
A progressive battle in upstate New York
2
Why Russians feel adrift in a post-Soviet world
3
The U.S. hypocrisy over Russia's anti-gay laws
4
I'm black. I'm a guy. And I'm obsessed with figure skating.
Connect with PostOpinions
Facebook: Become a fan of Washington Post Opinions
Voice Your Opinions
Contact the reader representative
Have questions about Post content or practices?
Send a letter to the editor
Write a response to a piece in The Post.
Submit an op-ed
Make an argument about a topic in the news.
TODAY’S OPINIONS POLL
If the Senate passes the farm bill, should President Obama veto the legislation?
Yes
No
Submit
Next
Review your answers and share
Sign in to have your score recorded »
Join a Discussion
There are no discussions scheduled today.
SUBSCRIBE
PostTV
Politics
Opinions
Local
Sports
National
World
Business
Tech
Lifestyle
Entertainment
Jobs
More ways to get us
Newsletter & Alerts
Washington Post Live
Reprints & Permissions
Post Store
e-Replica
Archive
Twitter
Contact Us
Help & Contact Info
Reader Representative
Digital Advertising
Newspaper Advertising
News Service & Syndicate
About Us
In the community
Careers
PostPoints
Newspaper in Education
Digital Publishing Guidelines
Partners
washingtonpost.com
© 1996- The Washington Post
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Submissions and Discussion Policy
RSS Terms of Service
Ad Choices
Real EstateRentalsCarsToday's PaperGoing Out GuideFind&SaveHome Services
HomePostTVIn PostTVPoliticsIn PoliticsCongressCourts & LawThe Fed PageHealth CarePollingWhite HouseGovBeatMd. PoliticsVa. PoliticsD.C. PoliticsBlogs & Columnsniraj_chokshiPaul Ryan: Immigration reform this year ‘clearly in doubt’Post Politicsniraj_chokshiSunday show roundup: Focus on Christie and immigration reformThe Fixchristopher_federico‘State of the Nation’: The week in one songThe Monkey Cagereid_wilsonWashington State to pass Dream ActGovBeatjosh_hicksFederal worker retirement eligibility to skyrocket by 2017The Federal Eye Josh HicksOpinionsIn OpinionsToles Cartoons Telnaes AnimationsThe Post's ViewLetters to the EditorLocal OpinionsColumnist IndexFeatured Blogsalexandra_petriFAA bats drone beer delivery out of the skyComPost Alexandra Petrigreg_sargentSunday Open ThreadThe Plum Line Greg Sargented_rogersPelosi fizzles on ‘The Daily Show’PostPartisan Ed Rogersjennifer_rubinChristie accuser steps forwardRight Turn Jennifer RubinLocalIn LocalD.C. Maryland Virginia Crime Education Obituaries Transportation Weather Blogs & Columns Blogs & Columnsjason_samenowPunxsutawney Phil sees shadow, 6 more weeks of winterCapital Weather Gang Jason Samenowlauren_mcewenFree and EasyGoing Out Guide Lauren McEwenwpadminChinese New Year parade to impact D.C. trafficDr. Gridlock wpadminSportsIn Sports Redskins/NFL Capitals/NHL Wizards/NBA Nationals/MLB D.C. United/Soccer Colleges AllMetSports Blogs & Columns Other SportsBlogs & Columnskatie_carreraOpen thread: Caps vs. Red WingsCapitals Insider Katie Carreradan_steinbergG-Wiz takes amazing tumbleDC Sports Bog Dan Steinbergmark_maskeManning named NFL’s MVP for fifth time The Insider Mark Maskeadam_kilgoreNats, Fister avoid arbitrationNationals Journal Adam KilgoreNationalIn NationalEnergy & EnvironmentHealth & Science Education National Security InvestigationsInnovations Know MoreReligion On Giving CorrectionsBlogs & Columnsmatt_mcfarlandThe spacecraft that takes amazing photosInnovationsnia_malika_hendersonMichelle Obama’s money-making magic (video)She The People Nia-Malika Hendersonwill_baudeOriginalists need not be naive perfectionistsVolokh Conspiracy Will BaudeWorldIn WorldAfrica The AmericasAsia & Pacific Europe Middle East National Security War Zones Special Reports Columns & BlogsBlogs & Columnsmax_fisherUkraine’s crisis, explained in two minutesWorldViews Max Fisherterri_ruparSatellite photos show Syria’s destructionWorldViews Terri Ruparmax_fisherHow Johansson got mired in a MidEast controversyWorldViews Max Fishermax_fisher9 questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to askWorldViews Max FisherBusinessIn Business Economy IndustriesMarketsPolicy & RegulationKnow More World BusinessCapital BusinessOn Leadership On Small Business On I.T. Blogs & Columnsmichelle_singletaryFor job security, try something on the sideThe Color of Money Michelle Singletarylydia_depillisPutting a Walmart promo in contextWonkblog Lydia DePillisjena_mcgregorAt Microsoft, would an insider CEO be the best choice?On Leadership Jena McGregorTechIn TechnologyInnovation Green Technology The Switch Photo Galleries Blogs & Columnshayley_tsukayamaNintendo’s next market: Old peopleThe Switch Hayley Tsukayamatimothy_b_leeGive Bill Gates a Nobel Peace Prize.The Switch Timothy B. Leeandrea_petersonHere’s why Amazon Prime’s price may go up by $20 or moreThe Switch Andrea PetersonLifestyleIn LifestyleAdvice Carolyn Hax Food Express Home & Garden Style Travel Weddings Wellness Magazine KidsPost On Parenting Blogs & Columnssandi_moynihan#Cheesepocalypse: Surviving the Super Bowl without VelveetaThe Style Blogemily_heilJoe Biden’s cheesesteak run to Capriotti’s The Reliable Source Emily HeilEntertainmentIn EntertainmentBooksComics Going Out GuideHoroscopes MoviesMuseums Music Puzzles & Games Theater & DanceTV Blogs & Columnsmichael_cavnaRIP, Morrie Turner: Paying tribute to ‘Wee Pals’ pioneerComic Riffs Michael Cavnalauren_mcewenFree and EasyGoing Out Guide Lauren McEwenJobsIn JobsMoreClassifiedsCarsDealsReal EstateRentalsPhotosBlogsDiscussionsFind&SaveObituariesArchivesTopicsWP Wine ClubWP BrandConnect
Winter OlympicsWaxmanSuper BowlPutin
The new world of the newly insuredPHOTOS | Super Bowl recipes12 new events to watch at the OlympicsPHOTOS | The week’s best news photos