Pro-Democracy Movement in Bahrain IGNORED in US Media
... because they don't want you to know about it
By Winter Patriot on 4/5/2005, 7:49pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Winter Patriot

He's preaching the spread of democracy all over the world, and especially in the Middle East. Sounds great, doesn't it? He wants you to think so! But he doesn't want you to realize this: George Bush [or his inner circle] will decide which governments are democratic, which are autocratic; which will stand and which will fall. And the decisions will have nothing to do with democracy.

One case in point was mentioned recently by fellow guest-blogger Jaime in his excellent item, News You Might Have Missed. Here's another example for your consideration:

Pro-Democracy forces in a Middle-Eastern country turned out more than ten percent of that nation's population out for massive and peaceful demonstrations. It happened a week and a half ago, in Bahrain. Did you hear or read anything about it? Don't feel badly if you missed it; the way it was played in the major media, it's almost as if they wanted you to miss it!

Never fear! The Brad Blog is here! You haven't missed anything!

And so on. And on and on and on.

Any idea why "the US ruling elite" doesn't want you to know about what's happening in Bahrain? Are you way ahead of me here or shall I spell it out?

Given the Bush administration's incessant proclamations of its dedication to the struggle for democracy and against tyranny, one might anticipate the administration embracing the demonstration in Bahrain as an indication of a democratic wave sweeping the Middle East.

After all, here were tens of thousands openly defying a regime that suppresses freedom of speech and assembly, discriminates against the majority of the population and routinely locks up those who criticize it.

But George Bush did not take to the airwaves proclaiming his desire for the liberation of the people of the Bahrain—as he has done in relation to Iran and Lebanon—nor did he suggest sanctions against the tyrannical monarchy, as he has implemented against the Syrian regime.

Rather, there was an embarrassed silence, both in Washington and the media. The events in Bahrain cannot be reported because they expose US policy as a lie.

It's out in the open again. The dreaded L-word. Oh well. I will stop calling them liars when they stop lying. If that ever happens. Which I doubt.

Washington is not condemning this tyrant, because he is a pliant and valued instrument of US imperialist policy in the region. The small gulf emirate he rules serves as the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet. Some 4,500 US military personnel are deployed there, occupying a 79-acre base. The Navy and Marine components of the US Central Command are also based there, and the royal family allowed the use of its territory for carrying out military attacks on Iraq.

Economically, the autocratic regime has likewise subordinated itself to Washington, signing a free trade pact last year that effectively abrogated an existing customs union joining it with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. US firms dominate the oil sector.

With a population and landmass that are both approximately equivalent to those of Indianapolis, Indiana, Bahrain has been designated as a “major non-NATO ally.”

Last November, when King Hamad flew to the US, the White House celebrated him as “the first Arab leader to meet President George W. Bush since his re-election as US president.”

During the visit, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell lauded the King for sharing the US commitment to “help the Iraqis have their election.” That the election staged in his own country was so blatantly rigged that political organizations representing the majority of the population boycotted them went unmentioned.

You can read the entire article here.

Meanwhile, so-called "conservative" commentators continue to spread the same kind of manure that is so easily refuted by this story. In a piece about Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank, Aljazeera provides the following very interesting quote:

Stephen Hayes, a columnist at The Weekly Standard - an influential US conservative magazine - says Wolfowitz's clear vision and strong ideas are exactly what the World Bank needs.

"Wolfowitz, like the president who appointed him, is an unapologetic proponent of liberal democracy and free-market economics, and he would most certainly like to see both take root around the world," he wrote in a recent article.

Yeah, right! You tell 'em Stephen.

What a putz!

Bush is "an unapologetic proponent of liberal democracy"? Sure he is! Or at least he may become one, some day, but first he will have to learn that democracy is a system in which the votes are counted by neutral observers, and liberal is something more than a slanderous term to be used against all truth-telling opponents.

The democracy movement in Bahrain is another great story. It's too bad we can't read about it in the major media. It's too bad we will never see anything about it on TV. Oh well. We're getting used to the idea that our major media are broken. Maybe we can't fix them; maybe they are too far corrupted to ever be saved. But it's becoming clear that we can fill the void that they have created.

As Brad says, "Be the Media". Nobody else will do it for us.

How can we be the media? Here are a few suggestions:

Tell your friends about The Brad Blog.

Join the Velvet Revolution if you haven't done so already. The more of us there are, working together, the more we can accomplish.

Support the Paper Chase, and be creative about how you do it.

More ideas? Feel free to post them.