Excellent analysis from Doyle McManus of the LA Times. He concludes:
So the aim of U.S. policy in the short run is to head off that crisis [an overthrow of the monarchy in Bahrain] before it happens — to persuade all sides to de-escalate and start negotiating. The long-term aim of U.S. policy is to strengthen the crown prince and the modernizers, but also to keep the Navy headquarters, which means not rocking the boat too hard.Indeed.
Standing for democracy and monarchy at the same time has always meant walking a fine line between change and stability, but it is especially difficult now. An increasingly educated public, with access to news from the rest of the world, can tell the difference between ersatz democracy and the real thing.
In Bahrain and elsewhere, history is calling our bluff.