A Tale of Two Countries: Bahrain and Libya
14 Feb, 2012 20:10
Society-wide, violent social upheavals triggered throughout the Muslim World were dubbed an “Arab Spring” by the Western governments. But when comparing Libya and Bahrain, the full force of US and European double-standards becomes flagrantly evident.
A year ago, two Muslim countries – Bahrain and Libya – went into “Arab-Spring” mode. Revolt in Bahrain, a country aligned with Western interests, began February 14, 2011. The next day, a revolt followed by war and invasion was unleashed on Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, a sovereign country not aligned with foreign interests.The question here is: Why were Libya and its leadership so utterly overrun, bombed and murdered by the Western powers using the deceitful UN Resolution 1973 and NATO forces, while Bahrain was meted out soft treatment based on Western understanding, patience and goodwill?First and foremost, both Bahrain and Libya literally float on OIL.Naturally, the UK, US and French governments – and the boys financing them at Exxon Mobil, Texaco, BP, Shell, Total, ENI, Elf, Chevron – will swear time and again that oil has nothing to do with all of this. That all they want is to see Arabs enjoy “democracy,” “human rights” and “free trade…”!The Case of BahrainRun by a king – Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa – and his uncle, Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the government (almost all manned by the Al Khalifa family) immediately cracked down on protesters with tremendous violence. So much so, that a month later (March 2011) Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates sent in troops to “restore order”… so the US could smile again.More torture; more bloodletting. An independent report issued last November by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry concluded that the government systematically tortures prisoners, commits gross human rights violations and refuses to allow international human rights organizations into the country. Somehow, that never seems to bother the Obamas, Camerons and Sarkozys of the world.At one point it got so bad that Obama sent his then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to Bahrain to see what was up.Question: Why send the Pentagon boss and not, for example, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who in mid-March 2011 visited Tunisia and Egypt to ensure those countries installed “the kind of democracy we want to see”?Answer: Because Bahrain is home to US Naval Forces Central Command’s Fifth Fleet.So, dear King and PM Al Khalifas: take your time, clobber as many protesters as you need, get your act right, and please make sure our fleet is safe and sound and happy. End of story.The Case of LibyaLibya was run by a long-governing, popular revolutionary leader – Muammar Gaddafi – who in the last decade of his rule, had begun to re-approach Western Powers, and was implementing a gradual (too gradual!) succession, transferring power to his well-educated and articulate elder son, Saif-al-Islam.Gaddafi even organized meetings and summits with EU partners, in one of which – an Arab League Summit in his home-town Sirte in September 2010 – Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi even kissed Gaddafi’s ring, Mafia-style!But all of that came too late. The Gaddafis made the worst mistake any sovereign country can make nowadays: they trusted the Western Powers. Huge lesson there!Contrary to Bahrain, which houses US Naval forces; or Egypt, which is aligned to Israeli geopolitical interests; or Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE, which are playing fields for Western oil companies, Gaddafi’s Libya kept its oil revenues for the Libyan people. They ran a central bank totally independent of the US Fed, Goldman Sachs, European Central Bank, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC…They even planned to introduce a gold currency – the Gold Dinar with real intrinsic value – to trade North African oil, which would have swept aside the US Dollar and Euro funny-money paper currencies that have been hugely eroded by the bail-out of the Mega-Bankers running the US, UK and EU, as the Chinese understand so well… In other words, Libya was a sovereign country.To add insult to injury, once the uprising began a year ago, Gaddafi immediately accused one of the West’s favorite sons: Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda! It seems the Western media forgot to tell you that the very first country that requested that Interpol issue an international arrest warrant against Osama was… Libya!Yes! Gaddafi ordered that, after Osama and his CIA-trained al-Qaeda boys murdered several Germans in Libya in 1998 (only Sky News seems to have briefly mentioned this on May 2, 2011).That was long before all the “al-Qaeda bombed our embassies in Kenya and Sudan, blew up the USS Cole, and did 9/11” rhetoric.Quite embarrassing for the US, UK and Israel!Particularly now that Al-Qaeda is joining forces with Syrian “freedom fighters.” Ah… one can almost see them fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with John McCain and Joe Lieberman, who recently called for the US to “arm Syrian rebels.”Funny world, isn’t it? All these violent revolts, bombs, civil wars, invasions and murders done in the name of “democracy” and “freedom,” where the Western Powers and their media tell us in glittering lights who are the “good guys” and who the “bad guys” …but, are the Arab people better off today than a year ago?Are Bahrainis and Egyptians happier today? Are Libyans, Syrians, and Yemenis better off today? Did the “Arab Spring” reach Palestine?Is there more peace, sovereignty and true democracy in the region?Take a second look at what’s happening in the Middle East and the world; think with your brain and not with the Global Power Masters' – and maybe then things will start looking mighty different!Adrian Salbuchi for RTAdrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina. www.asalbuchi.com.arThe statements, views and opinions expressed in the story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.