Middle East Protests Continue – Bloodshed in Bahrain
February 19, 2011 · Posted in Foreign Policy
The Times reports Carnage in Bahrain as the Military Opens Fire:
As a heavy moon rose above Bahrain’s Pearl Roundabout, the locus of the island nation’s protest this week, the army opened fire on a group of men who had just sat down for evening prayer. The military fired live ammunition from nearby buildings or from tanks — it was hard to tell because of the ensuing melee. Canisters of tear gas rained down.
The men scattered as they tried to outrun the billowing wave of tear gas. They squatted in the wing of a small mosque nearby, where another reporter and I joined them, seeking refuge. The wails of sirens rent the air. “We were peaceful,” said Hussein Mashkoor, 25, a technical consultant. “Can you see any armed people here? We want a kingdom with a King but where the people have the right to choose their government.”
Wonder what side the US government will be taking here?
The kingdom has a small but well equipped military called the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF). The BDF is primarily equipped with United States equipment, such as the F16 Fighting Falcon, F5 Freedom Fighter, UH60 Blackhawk, M60A3 tanks, and the ex-USS Jack Williams, an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate renamed the RBNS Sabha. The Government of Bahrain has a cooperative agreement with the United States Military and has provided the United States a base in Juffair since the early 1990s. This is the home of the headquarters for Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT) / United States Fifth Fleet (COMFIFTHFLT), and about 1500 United States and coalition military personnel.
By the way, Bahrain is a country with a largely Shiite population, subjugated by Sunni (US backed and supported) leaders.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
At any rate. It’s refreshing to see the people stand up for their rights in the Middle East and to see this spread like wildfire.
If this isn’t the beginning of some epic blowback to misguided decades of Western meddling in the region, then I don’t know what is or ever could be …