Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bahrain Monarchy to Ban Main Opposition Party; US Acquiesces

Al-Jazeera reports that the Sunni Bahraini monarchy has begun legal steps to ban the Shii Wefaq party, which is the single largest political party in Bahrain's parliament, with 18 out of the total of 40 seats.  The regime also hopes to ban a smaller, allied party, the Islamic Action party.   Quite a trick: If your chief political opposition is bugging you, then simply have them made illegal.

All this will proceed, of course, with the implicit encouragement of the Saudi regime (which treats Bahrain - as Caryle Murphy put it recently in Global Post, in an extremely informative piece - somewhat likes the US treats Puerto Rico). 

And, it will proceed with no effective opposition from that great champion of democracy, the United States, who evidently has done no more that to express "concern." This, of course, after Bahrain's security forces have shot and killed numerous protesters, have pulled wounded protesters out of hospitals and into detention, and have stoked fear among the doctors and nurses in those hospitals.  But the US has more important imperatives:
  • don't do anything to piss off the Saudis
  • don't do anything to mess with the Fifth Fleet's welcome in Bahrain
  • don't do anything that might in any way be perceived as helpful to Iran, who simply must - must, mind you - be behind these protests by those pesky Shia on Bahrain.

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