Grand Prix Hypocrisy in Bahrain
Money trumps justice.
by Stephen Lendman
Al-Khalifa despots rule Bahrain repressively. Bahrainis want democratic change. In summer 2010, sporadic protests began. In mid-February last year, major ones erupted.
They continue daily nonviolently. Courageous Bahrainis brave vicious security force attacks. Saudi troops are involved. In March 2011, they entered Bahrain guns blazing.
They remain. They're terrorizing Bahraini men, women, children, doctors, other medical professionals, journalists, human rights activists, and foreign observers. So do state police.
They're beating them, arresting them, torturing them, imprisoning them, and killing them. No matter. Let the race begin.
On April 13, Formula One's (F1) governing body announced Bahrain's Grand Prix will go ahead as planned, saying:
"Based on the current information the FIA has at this stage, it is satisfied that all the proper security measures are in place for the running of a Formula One World Championship event in Bahrain."
"Therefore, the FIA confirms that the 2012 Gulf Air F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain will go ahead as scheduled on Sunday, April 22."
In protest, Bahraini youths promised "three days of rage" from April 20 - 22. In 2011, they and human rights activists got F1's race cancelled. It's governing body did the right thing. This year, president/CEO Bernie Ecclestone claims all's well. We're coming, saying:
"I know people who live there, and it's all quiet and peaceful." At age 81, perhaps senility replaced reason. Money always matters most. Bahrain's 2010 F1 Grand Prix drew 100,000 visitors and grossed half a billion dollars.
The Al-Khalifa monarchy wants it this year for reasons besides revenue. It's seen as a way to improve Bahrain's image and create an illusion of normalcy despite daily state-sponsored terror against peaceful protesters.
Amnesty International (AI) highlighted "flawed reforms," saying: