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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/18/11

Clinton and Gates Preaching "Restraint"

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Preaching "restraint", Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Bahraini officials to halt the violence and initiate political reforms that could satisfy the protestors.

For those few still in the dark, Bahrain is home to the U.S. 5th Fleet and that fact alone reflects the hegemony we exercise over the kingdom.

Bahrain an island nation located in the Persian Gulf is a country of some 730,000 people of which 60% are Shiite Muslim, while the King, Hamad Al Khalifa is Sunni. The army and police are mostly hired foreigners and also Sunni. Therefore it is quite different than mostly Sunni Egypt where the army is made up of conscripts who connect directly with people (all men in Egypt are required to serve in the army).

After initially offering an apology to the protestors when two were killed by his security forces (and saying there would be an official investigation) the king has since acted brutally ordering his forces to attack a peaceful encampment of sleeping protestors in the middle of the night Thursday morning killing and wounding scores of people and destroying the encampment.

The hospital, Salmaniya Medical Complex, (where the dead and wounded were taken) is where the protestors have relocated (with security forces massed around the perimeter).

The now mourning protestors have vowed never to give in and shout "you can't keep us down".

Back to Clinton and Gates and assuming their statements are pure political posturing of the Obama administration; what ALL the Arab protests have in common is they all want their leaders to step down, not "reforms" by these regimes (as recommended by the U.S. Secretaries). ALL these rebellions are beyond that now (too little, too late).

Of course the complicating factor for the U.S. is in every Arab country we have backed ALL these dictatorial regimes actively oppress its people (though we justify our support in the name of maintaining stability and fighting terrorism) putting us on the wrong side of the peoples revolt fighting for their emancipation and the right to choose their own leaders in free and democratic elections.        

It is miraculous that these people inspired grassroots rebellions do not focus and rebel against U.S. government policy that supports these tyrannical regimes. It would be completely understandable yet it seems the protestors identify more with the American people (or at least our own revolutionary heritage in fighting off tyranny).

A few final words; hopefully somewhere in the deep bowels of the White House there is some strategic critical thinking going on vis-Ã -vis   our current focus on fundamentalist, Jihadist Muslim extremism and our absurd "war on terror".

None of the Arab rebellions have anything to do with terrorism. It is our endless unnecessary wars and occupations in Muslim countries and our support of the dictators and kings and their tyrannical regimes that help to manifest and perpetuate the terrorism against us.

We need to end our wars, withdraw our support of omnipotent rulers and close the hundreds of military bases scattered all over the world (where the people hate us and don't want us).

It would serve to end our current militarism and imperialism and reduce (and eventually dry up and eliminate) the terrorism our current policies exacerbate. And it would contribute to real stability in the world.

While we're at it shut down the CIA, severely cut defense budget expenditures and stop all funding of private mercenary contractors operating everywhere.

That would be a good "start".  

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