Category Archives: Bahrain

UK Refuses to Back UN Statement on Bahrain Rights Abuses

Jamie Merrill reports for Middle East Eye:

The British government has refused to back a joint United Nations statement criticising Bahrain over its deteriorating human rights record, Middle East Eye can reveal.

The Gulf kingdom has been on the receiving end of fierce international criticism after it resumed executions earlier this year, amid warnings the country was on the brink of a “human rights crisis”.

Human rights groups have described prisoners being burned with cigarettes, given electric shock and burned with irons, among other forms of torture, but to the dismay of campaigners, officials from the UK Mission to the UN in Geneva have refused to back a planned statement condemning the country’s actions.

Britain signed the last joint-resolution on Bahrain in 2015, but a foreign office source told MEE that it would refuse to back a new joint motion on the country being proposed by the Swiss government this week.

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Why Did the Saudi Regime and Other Gulf Tyrannies Donate Millions to the Clinton Foundation?

Glenn Greenwald writes for The Intercept:

As the numerous and obvious ethical conflicts surrounding the Clinton Foundation receive more media scrutiny, the tactic of Clinton-loyal journalists is to highlight the charitable work done by the foundation, and then insinuate — or even outright state — that anyone raising these questions is opposed to its charity. James Carville announced that those who criticize the foundation are “going to hell.” Other Clinton loyalists insinuated that Clinton Foundation critics are indifferent to the lives of HIV-positive babies or are anti-gay bigots.

That the Clinton Foundation has done some good work is beyond dispute. But that fact has exactly nothing to do with the profound ethical problems and corruption threats raised by the way its funds have been raised. Hillary Clinton was America’s chief diplomat, and tyrannical regimes such as the Saudis and Qataris jointly donated tens of millions of dollars to an organization run by her family and operated in its name, one whose works has been a prominent feature of her public persona. That extremely valuable opportunity to curry favor with the Clintons, and to secure access to them, continues as she runs for president.

The claim that this is all just about trying to help people in need should not even pass a laugh test, let alone rational scrutiny. To see how true that is, just look at who some of the biggest donors are. Although it did not give while she was secretary of state, the Saudi regime by itself has donated between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, with donations coming as late as 2014, as she prepared her presidential run. A group called “Friends of Saudi Arabia,” co-founded “by a Saudi Prince,” gave an additional amount between $1 million and $5 million. The Clinton Foundation says that between $1 million and $5 million was also donated by“the State of Qatar,” the United Arab Emirates, and the government of Brunei. “The State of Kuwait” has donated between $5 million and $10 million.

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Torture, Imprisonment and Killing in Bahrain

Patrick Cockburn writes for The Independent:

Phillip-Hammond-Bahrain1.jpgBahrainis are calling their government’s intensified repression of all opposition “the Egyptian strategy”, believing that it is modelled on the ruthless campaign by the Egyptian security forces to crush even the smallest signs of dissent.

In recent weeks leading advocates of human rights in Bahrain have been jailed in conditions directed at breaking them physically and mentally, while others, already in prison, have been given longer sentences. The Bahraini citizenship of Sheikh Isa Qasim, the spiritual leader of the Shia majority in Bahrain, was revoked and the headquarters of the main opposition party, al-Wifaq, closed and its activities suspended.

Bahrain, once considered one of the more liberal Arab monarchies, is turning into a police state as vicious and arbitrary as anywhere else in the region. Mass protests demanding an end to the Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty’s monopoly of power during the Arab Spring period in 2011 were violently suppressed with Saudi military and financial help. The authorities agreed to an international investigation into what had happened that revealed widespread use of torture, unjust imprisonment and killings of protesters. Repression continued over the following five years but failed to eliminate entirely the protest movement, despite imprisoning at least 3,500 Bahrainis.

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UK Weapons Sales to Oppressive Regimes Top £3bn a Year

Jamie Doward reports for The Guardian:

The UK is selling record quantities of arms – including missiles, bombs and grenades – to countries listed by the Foreign Office as having dubious human rights records. Several have been accused of war crimes or suppressing popular protest.

More than £3bn of British-made weaponry was licensed for export last year to 21 of the Foreign Office’s 30 “human rights priority countries” – those identified by the government as being where “the worst, or greatest number of, human rights violations take place”, or “where we judge that the UK can make a real difference”. Listed countries that last year bought British arms and military equipment include:

  • Saudi Arabia, which has been accused of perpetrating war crimes in Yemen.
  • Bahrain, which used troops to quell protests following the Arab spring.
  • Burundi, which is being investigated by the UN for human rights violations.
  • The Maldives, which in 2015 jailed its former president, Mohamed Nasheed, for 13 years following what critics said was a politically motivated show trial.

Figures shared with the Observer show that in 2014 the UK licensed just £170m of arms to 18 of the 27 countries then on the “priority countries” list. The massive increase in sales was largely attributable to sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

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Bahrainis Rally Against Regime, Formula One Racing Event

Press TV reports:

Bahraini people have held an anti-regime demonstration in the Persian Gulf kingdom ahead of the upcoming Formula One Grand Prix

The demonstrators carried anti-Formula One banners reading, “Racing on Persecution” and chanted slogans against the race during their march in the village of Diraz, west of the capital, Manama, after Friday prayers.

The second round of the Formula 1 season is scheduled to take place in Bahrain this weekend.

Such protests have been held annually in recent years ahead of the major sport event.

Bahrainis slam the hosting of the Formula One race as a failed attempt to restore Manama’s international image.

Manama hopes the event will highlight progress and improvements in the country’s human rights situation.

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The Arab Spring began in hope, but ended in desolation

Patrick Cockburn writes for The Independent:

arab-spring-graphic-2.jpgArab Spring was always a misleading phrase, suggesting that what we were seeing was a peaceful transition from authoritarianism to democracy similar to that from communism in Eastern Europe. The misnomer implied an over-simplified view of the political ingredients that produced the protests and uprisings of 2011 and over-optimistic expectations about their outcome.

Five years later it is clear that the result of the uprisings has been calamitous, leading to wars or increased repression in all but one of the six countries where the Arab Spring principally took place. Syria, Libya and Yemen are being torn apart by civil wars that show no sign of ending. In Egypt and Bahrain autocracy is far greater and civil liberties far less than they were prior to 2011. Only in Tunisia, which started off the surge towards radical change, do people have greater rights than they did before.

What went so disastrously wrong?

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FIFA needs change, but this democracy-crushing choice is grim

Marina Hyde writes for The Guardian:

In any sane world, the spectacle of a man from one of Earth’s most oppressive regimes pontificating about a presidential election would be regarded as so obviously absurd as to be self-satirising. And yet, as hardly needs explaining, Fifa is not a sane world. Never mind Kansas, Toto – I don’t think we’re even in Oz anymore. Is there a world beyond even the world that’s through the looking glass, a place where the Red Queen and Humpty Dumpty actually seem quite rational compared to some monstrous arsehole from the Bahraini royal family presenting himself as a change candidate?

The monstrous arsehole in question is Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, whose ascent to football primacy has been a classic riches-to-riches story. Wondering what he might have achieved had he not been held back by his connections is one for another day. He can only play it as it lays, and Sheikh Salman currently declares himself under increasingly heavy pressure to stand as a candidate in Fifa’s presidential election.

According to his good self, he is being urged to stand “by a growing number of senior football administrators, Fifa members and personalities of public life”. And shame on all of them – but we’ll come to that shortly.

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US Cheers “Reforms,” Resumes Bahrain Military Aid

Jason Ditz reports for Antiwar:

Praising the island dictatorship for its “reforms,” the State Department today announced that the US is ending all restrictions on military aid to Bahrain, though they declined to say exactly how much new military aid would be involved in this.

The US made some restrictions on its provision of military aid to Bahrain back in 2011, when the country violently cracked down on pro-democracy protesters. The US has made some sales of weapons to the Bahraini government since then, but insisted that the arms were not of the sort that could be used to suppress dissent.

Rights groups are harshly critical of the US decision, saying the Bahraini “reforms” amount to virtually nothing, and that Bahraini prisons are still filled to near bursting with Shi’ite political prisoners involved in the demonstrations calling for more representation in parliament.

Though official stats are not kept, Shi’ites are believed to be a substantial majority in Bahrain. The royal family is Sunni, however, and has historically kept Shi’ites out of positions of import. The government has accused Bahraini Shi’ite politicians of being pro-Iran, and has accused the protesters of being a “Iranian terror plot” against the royal family’s continued rule.’

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Bahrain is ruthlessly crushing dissent and torturing its own citizens, yet Britain is heaping it with praise

Daniel Wickham writes for The Independent:

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond met with the Crown Prince of Bahrain earlier this week. He was there to discuss their “shared regional and strategic goals” and “reaffirm the UK’s commitment” to strengthening their ties with the Gulf monarchy.

Just a day earlier, a Bahraini court had extended the detention of one of the country’s most prominent human rights activists, Nabeel Rajab, for another two weeks. His alleged crime? Tweeting about torture and the war in Yemen.

Hammond has previously told the House of Commons that Bahrain, a long-standing ally and former protectorate of the UK, is “a country which is travelling in the right direction” and “making significant reform”. Last April, the Foreign Office even went as far as to predict that the country’s “overall trajectory on human rights will be positive” due to the “judicial and security sector” reforms being implemented. Delighted by the assessment, pro-government media in Bahrain repeated the Foreign Office’s claims with approval.

A year later, Amnesty International have published a report which points to a much bleaker picture of Bahrain’s alleged progress in implementing reform. Their research finds that, contrary to the Foreign Office’s predictions, “the human rights situation today remains dire and little has changed in practise”.’

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Formula One: Bahrain GP goes ahead but human rights concerns remain

Giles Richards reports for The Guardian:

Protestors march against the presence of Formula One in Bahrain before the Bahrain Grand Prix.[…] The issues in Bahrain were returned to the spotlight earlier this week when Amnesty International published a report condemning the continuing human rights violations and a lack of reform that was supposed to have occurred after the 2011 uprising.

Formula One has long-insisted this is none of its business. “We’re not here, or we don’t go anywhere, to judge how a country is run,” Bernie Ecclestone pointed out two years ago. The damning Amnesty report, however, was preceded by another announcement with considerably less fanfare. In it the group Americans for Democracy on Human Rights in Bahrain said that it had concluded an agreement with F1 that the sport would begin a policy of analysing the human rights impact it might have on host nations. “Formula One Group has committed to taking a number of further steps to strengthen its processes in relation to human rights,” it read. So now it seems, to some extent, it is Formula One’s business.’

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Bahrain: Democracy Behind Bars

IDEX 2015: Arms exporters eye deals at Middle East’s largest defense show

Stanley Carvalho reports for Reuters:

‘International firms will scramble for new orders at the Middle East’s largest arms show which opens in Abu Dhabi next week as oil-rich Gulf states load up on weapons in a region rocked by instability and violence.

The Middle East is the largest market driver in the industry with billions of dollars spent annually on buying military equipment, from drones and jet fighters to guided missiles.

Around 1,200 companies from 55 countries are showcasing their latest military wares and technologies at the biennial International Defense Exhibition (IDEX), starting Sunday in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.’

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Building a British naval base in Bahrain is a ‘symbolic choice’ – for no clear reason

Patrick Cockburn writes for The Independent:

‘[…] The most powerful figure in Bahrain is widely regarded as being not King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa but the Prime Minister, Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa who has held his office since 1970. Calls for his resignation were one of the main demands of demonstrators three years ago, but he has steadfastly refused to step down.

Bahrain was a British protectorate from the 19th century until independence in 1971, ruled by the al-Khalifa dynasty that has long looked to Britain to shield it from international reaction against domestic repression. From the mid-1960s the head of security on the island was Ian Henderson who had played a role in the suppressing the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in the 1950s. Successive periods of protest were harshly dealt with. Since 2011 Britain has played a role in muting the international reaction to the suppression of the protests by emphasising that a dialogue is under way and reforms are being introduced, though nobody else sees any sign of these going anywhere. It has played along with Bahraini government claims that Iran is orchestrating Shia dissent on the island though there is no evidence for this.’

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British military base in Bahrain is a ‘reward’ for UK’s silence on human rights, say campaigners

Jamie Merril reports for The Independent:

‘The Royal Navy will set up a permanent base in Bahrain, to the dismay of human rights campaigners who say the base is a “reward” for the British’s government silence over torture, attacks on peaceful protesters and arbitrary detention in the tiny kingdom.

British minesweeper vessels have operated from temporary structures at Mina Salmon port for several years, but speaking in Bahrain the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond announced a new deal with kingdom for a £15m naval base. It will be able to host destroyers and the Royal Navy’s powerful new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, which are currently under construction in Scotland.

Britain closed all is major bases east of the Suez canal following major defence spending cuts in 1971 and while the return to the region has been welcomed by defence sources, it has been widely condemned by Bahraini human rights activists who have attacked the British Government’s ongoing support for the “repressive regime” in Manama.’

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Bahrain: An Inconvenient Uprising (Documentary)

‘Like many countries in the Middle East and beyond, Bahrain erupted with anti-authoritarian protests in 2011 when the Arab Spring took the region and many of its repressive leaders by surprise. While Arab Spring uprisings found favor with many in the West, unfortunately for the people of Bahrain, their own revolution was largely forgotten. But it never went away – for three years, near-nightly protests have been brutally quashed by militarized security forces. Earlier this year, VICE News correspondent Ben Anderson travelled to London to speak with Nabeel Rajab, the unofficial leader of Bahrain’s uprising, and then headed undercover to Bahrain, where he met activists, protestors, grieving parents, and alleged torture victims.’ (VICE News)

Gulf Nations Split With Qatar Over Terror Funding Ends

Jason Ditz reports for Antiwar:

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s very high profile eight month split with member nation Qatar has come to an end today, as Saudi officials announced an “understanding” had been reached.

The dispute centered around Qatar’s funding for the Muslim Brotherhood, which increased significantly after last summer’s Egyptian coup. The other GCC nations have been more favorable to the Egyptian junta, and accused Qatar of undermining stability both in Egypt and in their own nations.’

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Privacy Group Targets British Spyware Company over Bahrain Surveillance

Cora Currier reports for The Intercept:

Featured photo - Privacy Group Targets British Spyware Company over Bahrain Surveillance‘The rights group Privacy International asked the British government this morning to investigate a surveillance company for enabling spying on Bahraini activists in the U.K.

The company in question, Gamma Group, is a U.K.-based firm that provides surveillance software and other “lawful intercept” technology to governments around the world. Among their products was FinFisher software, which lets spies remotely monitor a computer they’ve infected — accessing files, web traffic, Skype calls and more. Privacy International asked the U.K.’s National Crime Agency to investigate the company.

“Companies like Gamma have been enabling repressive states’ unlawful conduct, but then seeking to suggest that they bear no responsibility for the products that they supply,” said Adriana Edmeades, Privacy International’s legal officer.’

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Inside the secret world of Gulf ‘GONGOS’

Alastair Sloan reports for Middle East Monitor:

‘[…] The GNDR is known as a “GONGO” – or a government organised non-governmental organisation. These are organisations which pose as “civil society” organisations, but are usually set up or funded by governments to achieve specific domestic or foreign propaganda aims.

When GNDR published their supposed human rights index in 2013, which put UAE at number fourteen globally, it was enthusiastically reported on by state-sponsored or state controlled media in UAE and other places in the Gulf, but ignored elsewhere.

Perhaps more discerning editors sniffed a rat when the group claimed that “2000 international observers” had ratified the index, but yet not a single one could be named.

What makes GONGOs especially relevant in the Gulf (and there are a few more GNDR lookalikes floating about), is how seriously these Gulf states take their international public image. Qatar, UAE and the other members of the Gulf Co-Operation Council each spend millions on Western public relations to “launder” their own reputations and discredit their opponents. GONGOs are just another part of this propaganda machinery.’

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Bahrain Drain: Why the King’s Sunni Supporters are Leaving for Qatar

Justin Gengler writes for Foreign Affairs:

More than three years after Bahrain forcibly ended the largest popular uprising in its history in February 2011, its political outlook remains bleak. The question of reforms continues to divide its ruling family, anti-government protesters and security forces clash on a regular basis, and a prolonged deadlock between the ruling al-Khalifa regime and the opposition is further amplifying persistent sectarian tensions. And now the government’s main support base — its small but pivotal population of Sunni tribal groups — appears to be slowly leaving the country, locking Bahrain in a bitter dispute with its historical rival Qatar.

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Jailed for Protests, Activists in Egypt and Bahrain Turn to Hunger Strikes

Robert Mackay reports for The New York Times:

‘Three years after they helped lead street protests demanding democracy in Egypt and Bahrain, prominent Arab Spring activists in both nations are now starving themselves in prison, hoping to draw attention to intensifying crackdowns on dissent there.

Following prison visits this week, relatives expressed fears for the health of at least two of the activists on hunger strike: Ahmed Douma, a leader of Egypt’s April 6 Youth movement who was sentenced to three years in prison after the military-backed government banned unsanctioned street protests last year, and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, the founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, who was given a life sentence for his role in the 2011 protests.’

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Bahrain Government Hacked Lawyers and Activists with Spyware from UK/German Company

Fahad Desmukh reports for Bahrain Watch:

FinFisher Servers‘New evidence has emerged suggesting that the Bahraini government infected the computers of some of the country’s most prominent lawyers, activists and politicians with the malicious FinFisher spy software (also known as FinSpy).  The infections would have enabled the government to steal passwords and files, and spy through an infected computer’s webcam and microphone.  The list of 77 computers infected by Bahraini authorities was part of a massive leak of data this week, purportedly hacked from the servers of the UK-German surveillance software company Gamma International — the makers of FinFisher.

The new data seems to directly contradict earlier claims by Gamma that it does not do business with Bahrain and that its software is used primarily to target criminals and terrorists. Bahrain Watch said the information added to the growing body of evidence suggesting that Gamma may have have violated UK export laws on surveillance technology, and called on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to renew criminal investigations into the company in light of the new evidence.’

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Bahrain on PR drive with eight page supplement in today’s Telegraph

Editor’s Note: Bahrain is on a PR drive with an eight page supplement included in today’s Telegraph. The corporate controlled media is more than happy to accept the dosh of despots and other corrupt entities in exchange for publishing material written by swanky public relations firms. And it’s not just the Telegraph that does it, even the lefty press have been known to publish puff pieces on countries like Azerbaijan and Qatar. It’s all money at the end of the day. Bahrain is a fine example of how our governments like to be selective when it comes to condemning countries for their undemocratic practises. For more information on Bahrain, go here.

Photo Credit: Campaign Against Arms Trade

Bahrain slashes U.S. human rights report

From Xinhua:

‘Bahrain on Saturday strongly condemned and questioned the findings of the U.S. State Department ‘s 2013 Country Report on Human Rights in the kingdom. The U.S. report sharply criticized Bahrain for what it claimed as arbitrary arrests, torture and other strings of human rights violations. But Bahrain’s Interior Ministry counteracted each points stated in the report, starting with the so-called 52 deaths during the 2011 unrest.

The ministry said that an independent inquiry, Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, found 35 deaths were linked to the unrest from February to April of 2011… The U.S. report also mentioned that Bahrain’s security forces used excess force to quell anti-government protests, but Bahrain said “more police officers died last year than rioters.”‘

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Patrick Cockburn: Prince Andrew praises Bahrain, island of torture

Patrick Cockburn writes for The Independent:

Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa shows the UK's Prince Andrew round the Bahrain International Airshow (16 January 2014)‘The Duke of York will be the keynote speaker at a conference in London this Friday celebrating Bahrain as a place of religious freedom and tolerance of divergent opinions. Speaking during a visit to Bahrain last month, he said: “I believe that what’s happening in Bahrain is a source of hope for many people in the world and a source of pride for Bahrainis.” This is very strange, as the island kingdom of Bahrain has a proven record of jailing and torturing protesters demanding democratic rights for the Shia majority, an estimated 60 per cent of Bahraini citizens, from the Sunni al-Khalifa monarchy. In its annual report on human rights, the US State Department identifies many abuses, the most serious of which include “citizens’ inability to change their government peacefully; arrest and detention of protesters on vague charges, in some cases leading to their torture in detention”. It draws attention to the fact that “discrimination [has] continued against the Shia population”.’

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Thousands of Bahrainis march for democracy ahead of F1 race

Farishta Saeed reports for Reuters:

Bahraini hold up the national flag during a demonstration against the Formula One Grand Prix in the village of Shakhurah, west of Manama, on April 4, 2014.(AFP Photo / Mohammed AL-Shaikh)Tens of thousands of mainly Shi’ite protesters marched for democratic reforms in Bahrain on Friday, two days before its annual Formula One motor race turns international attention toward the Sunni-led kingdom. The protest, organized by al-Wefaq Islamic Society, the main opposition group, drew an estimated 20,0000 men and women who marched with national flags and posters in northwestern Bahrain demanding reforms and release of prisoners.

The tiny Gulf Arab monarchy, a U.S. ally, has suffered sporadic unrest since an uprising led by its Shi’ite Muslim majority in early 2011 demanding reforms and a bigger share of power in the minority-led government. The turmoil forced the cancellation of that year’s race, but the event went ahead despite continuing unrest in 2012 and 2013, with Germany’s Sebastian Vettel winning both times. This year’s race is due to take place on Sunday.

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The Arab Spring Never Quite Ended in Bahrain

Olivia Becker writes for Vice News:

[…] The government’s brutal crackdown on opposition leaders and anyone involved in the anti-government protests was widely documented in 2011. The most notorious incident was the violent night-time raid in Pearl Roundabout in Manama, known as Bloody Thursday, that killed four and injured nearly 300 protesters.

Although sectarian conflict is behind the current unrest in Bahrain, the causes of the ongoing political stalemate has deeper geopolitical roots.

The financial and military support the current regime in Bahrain receives from the surrounding countries, including the US, plays a direct role in preventing any solution from being reached.

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What’s Really Going On: Bahrain vs. Ukraine, Can You Spot the Difference?

From chycho:

What amazes me is that sane intelligent people have become hysterical by consuming western mainstream media propaganda designed to divert our attention away from the root cause of what ails our society.

For example, with the Ukrainian crisis shock doctrine tactics are being used to bombard us into a frenzy, the ultimate purpose for which is to distract us from the great gameZbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard (2), our economy’s addiction to indefinite growth, the transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street (2), the resource warsThe Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the geography of energy pipelines, the misconception of American exceptionalism and how it influences our foreign policy specifically on how it relates to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the significance of war being a racket (2), and the inverted totalitarian nature of our governments waging war on information (23).

To have a better understanding of what all this is about, below you will find a brief summary of what’s been going on in two major conflict zones, Bahrain and Ukraine. Can you spot the difference?

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Jordan Sends Riot Troops to Bahrain to Help Al Khalifa in Suppressing Protests

Jordan Sends Riot Troops to Bahrain to Help Al Khalifa in Suppressing ProtestsFrom Fars News Agency:

Speaking to FNA, Bahraini opposition activist Ebrahim Al-Aradi said that the Jordanian riot forces have already arrived in the Persian Gulf country via Manama International Airport. “Eyewitnesses have approved the news reports by media sources and it seems that they will join the Bahraini security forces to suppress the upcoming February 14 protests,” he added.

He underlined that it is not the first time that the Al Khalifa regime seeks help from foreign forces to suppress the popular protests as the Saudi and other Persian Gulf Arab troops joined the Bahraini security forces in suppressing the people at the onset of protests more than two years ago. Yet, Al-Aradi underlined that the Bahraini people will mark the third anniversary of their revolution on February 14 irrespective of all suppressive measures.

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Bahrain: National dialogue talks collapse

Arabic writing on the poster reads, "Conscience of the people," with a picture of jailed opposition figure Khalil Marzooq in Manama, Bahrain (September 2013)From BBC News:

Bahrain’s government has officially suspended national reconciliation talks, which had already been boycotted by the main opposition group.

The Sunni-led government said it made the decision because of the refusal of groups from the country’s Shia majority to attend the talks.

The talks were intended to resolve tensions after the government repression of mass protests in 2011.

Dozens were killed and many opposition supporters were jailed in the unrest.

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Amnesty International: US-Backed Bahrain Dictatorship Targets, Tortures Children

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John Glaser writes for Antiwar:

One of America’s best friends and allies is torturing children, even as they continue to receive U.S. aid, weapons, training, and defense guarantees [according to a new report by Amnesty International].

These are not the first revelations of Bahraini children being abused by the U.S. backed regime. “Bahrain security forces routinely detain children without cause and subject them to ill-treatment that may rise to the level of torture,” Human Rights Watch said in a report last September.

[…] And it’s not just the children. The regime continues to imprison political dissidents. Protests have been outlawed, specifically “sit-ins, rallies and gatherings in the capital Manama.” It is also illegal to “incite hatred” against the security forces (whatever that means), and people can be thrown in prison for calling the king a “dictator” on Twitter (something that has happened to at least eleven people).

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