Bahraini Unrest Stirs Unease in Washington - by Stephen Lendman
After months of ruling Al Khalifa family crackdowns against nonviolent protesters, political opponents, human rights activists, medical professionals, independent journalists, and others wanting democratic change, reports suggest Washington may move its Fifth Fleet elsewhere.
According to the Australian and London Times, "Sources in Washington and the Gulf confirm (a) growing consensus" around the idea of relocating away from Bahrain because of unease over violence and instability.
On July 21, Hugh Tomlinson said:
"Politicians in Washington are concerned the navy's continued presence a few kilometres from the centre of the capital Manama lends tacit support to Bahrain's suppression of the opposition, amid allegations of systematic human rights abuses."
Other concerns are that violence and instability may compromise base security. According to one source:
"There was talk on Capitol Hill about moving the fleet within days of the protests breaking out, and that increased in March and April as people realized that what was happening in Bahrain ran counter to our interests."
In mid-March, however, Obama backed Saudi troops invading Bahrain guns blazing, attacking peaceful protesters, arresting opposition leaders and activists, occupying the country, denying wounded men and women medical treatment, and enforcing Al Khalifa family imposed martial law.