By Timothy V. Gatto and Finian Cunninghan
This third interview with Finian Cunningham, an Irish journalist now living in Manama, Bahrain, is probably the most telling yet. The arrest of 47 medical personnel and the subsequent torture after their arrest for crimes against the government in Bahrain belies this notion expressed to President Barack Obama that "everything is returning to normal" in Bahrain. With the presence of the US 6th Fleet in that country, our government surely knows that the massive reprisals by the monarchy in Bahrain are still continuing, right up to the present day.
Mr. Cunningham has bravely offered us a glimpse into this nation and a personal accounting of what's tagging place. We read about Syria and Libya, but hardly anything about Bahrain. This is probably due to the vested interest we have because of our fleet. We discuss this in the interview and come to some very sobering conclusions about U.S. foreign policy.
We get a view of America from Cunningham and also in the way that the average Bahraini views our foreign policies in action. I believe many Americans will come away from this interview, deeply ashamed of our government's failure to stand behind a secular, pro-democracy movement. I came away from this interview very frustrated, feeling that we had lost a perfect chance to solidify our standing in the Arab world by not supporting a popular movement of a people demanding democratic rights.
The human rights violations that are occurring in Bahrain are staggering to say the least. Cunningham recounts the arrest of a twenty year old college student that was arrested for reading a pro-democracy poem that she wrote. She is charged with hate crimes against the government and sedition. In the U-Tube video below we see a column of SUV's stopping to fire on Shia Muslims' on their way to Friday evening prayers.
From Finian Cunningham;
It shows cavalcade of ministry of interior jeeps rolling into a Shia village called Ma'ameer, not far from the capital, Manama, on the night of 5 June, 2011.
Police get out of jeeps and start firing randomly and gratuitously at the villagers who were holding customary Shia religious event in their Mosque.
This kind of police raid on Ma'ameer happens almost on a nightly basis, and not just in Ma'ameer but in all Shia villages of Bahrain and districts in Manama.