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'US runs crackdown on Bahrainis'
Tue, 08 Mar 2011 12:44:41 GMT
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Protesters want democracy in Bahrain
Bahraini protesters take their demonstrations to the US embassy for its role in the political, military, and economic suppression of the nation.

In an interview with Press TV, political analyst Kamel Wazni from Beirut talks about the leading role that US and western-backed governments are taking in Bahrain's response to protester demands for democracy and the downfall of the monarchy.

Press TV: Many thanks for being with us. Zooming in on Bahrain for a moment, we have these more strategically-pinpointed protests now, for example, outside the US embassy. But Bahrain has made little headway in terms of protesters' demands, why is that?

Wazni: We have to point out that the United States' administration was very comfortable up to this point because the demonstrators haven't raised against the US, or the Navy that is, actually, stationed in Bahrain.

Today, after almost two weeks in Bahrain, the people of Bahrain decided to surround the US embassy because the United States always claimed that they supported democracy, and they support the movement of the people to voice their opinion and to call for change, have been silent about the government of Bahrain. There are rumors, maybe some facts, that the Americans are running the day to day operations of Bahrain. The undersecretary for the near East of the United States has been in Bahrain a couple of times in the past week, and has, probably, given orders to Bahrain on how to counter the demonstrators.

Today, the Bahraini people came out and said, hey, you're the United States...we question your interests here in the country. Obviously, this cannot resonate within the Obama administration because the Obama administration knows that up to this point they think they've been lucky because the Bahrainis didn't go against them. They know Bahrain is a strategic point for the Americans. They have the 5th Fleet, they have 2,300 Americans; I call it the mini-Pentagon of the Middle East. They actually run their operations for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and they spy on Iran. So, it's a strategic location for the United States. And the United States, from day one, doesn't want to be involved directly in what has been taken [place] in Bahrain. And the Bahrainis kept it with the king and with the government of Bahrain as the situation evolved. But the Americans are, actually, calling the shots.

The Bahrainis decided to go to the US embassy, the protector of the monarchy of Bahrain, and they wanted answers from this embassy that is supporting the monarchy and running the show in a daily basis.

Press TV: If you could answer briefly, there are those who say that America, or other countries, let's not just focus in on Washington, are meddling, or they have a hand in everything that's going on right across the region. Do you agree with that? Or in places like Washington, there was a scramble now, just trying to keep up with everything that's going on. It's not just one country. Everyday, somewhere seems to be added to the lists of protests.

Wazni: Well, obviously, the United States is the main concern because they have a direct involvement with the Middle East. And they have the biggest force in the Middle East. And they also claim that they want to be the superpower in the Middle East. For that, all the regimes that were supported by the United States, they're falling one after the other.

So, now the US administration feels that their policy, their role in the Middle East is at a point of no return. They feel their power is being diminished because all their allies in the region are under attack or ousted from power. But they have priorities on how they allocate their interests.

Obviously, Bahrain is a strategic location for the United States because now, as you mentioned, the United States is keeping two fronts. One, the economic front with the rising prices of oil. Obviously, this has implications for the US and world economies. But, mostly, for the US economy because now we hit a new high for [oil]. It's been the highest since a couple of years, I think since 2007 or 2008. And there's fear in the United States that any sustained rise in oil can bring another dip to the US economy. The US economy hasn't recovered from recession yet. I think, economically, it could be a major disaster for the US.

In the political and military front, it's also devastating for the United States because here the people want to assert their power; they had enough with the policy of the United States backing these dictators. We want to take things by our hand, and we want a new world without American interference or American power on the ground. This is what it means to have those demonstrators in Bahrain around the US embassy, and the message is very clear. Obama's administration, his policy has failed the people.

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