Amidst America’s contradictory comments regarding the events in our region, one particular statement always stands out, namely the call for restraint. The day before yesterday, the Americans reiterated this same statement, when commenting on the Joint Peninsula Shield Force entering Manama, at the request of Bahrain.
The fact is that the U.S. administration must now unify its stances, for the contradictory statements coming out of Washington have become more than just a perplexing matter, they are also suspicious. How can the U.S. Defense Secretary say that Bahrain must enact quick reforms to put an end to Iranian interference – as if reform was a political tactic – whilst the Americans are also issuing statements saying that protests in Yemen are not the solution, and that there must be dialogue? Why does the government of Bahrain have to act immediately, whilst the demonstrators in Yemen have to wait? This is not right, and it raises both suspicion and doubt. Furthermore, here we see Colonel Gaddafi using aircraft to bombard his own people, and the U.S. administration does not see the urgent need to impose a no fly zone over Libya, but instead it is busy pressurizing Bahrain. Meanwhile, Gaddafi is threatening the international community, saying he will team up with al-Qaeda, yet at the same time the Libyan leader accuses the revolutionaries of being agents of the same terrorist organization!
As I said above, the United States – rather than trying to understand what is happening in our region – continues to distribute statements, and media leaks right and left. Sometimes Washington criticizes the Saudi media, other times it claims that the Saudis are taking things personally. Then the US returns to say that Bahrain should accelerate its reform, and that America supports international values, whilst ignoring what is happening in Libya, and demanding that the demonstrators in Yemen be rational. This is not to mention the fact that the US is ignoring what is happening in Iran, where the state oppresses its minorities. The Iranian opposition has been trying to come out and protest in Tehran, only to be subjected to oppression, with its key figures being arrested. This is a perplexing matter indeed, but it clearly tells us something, namely that Washington does not have a true grasp of what is going on in the region, and its current assessment of the situation makes it too weak to act.
In the past, Washington ignored the threat that the Huthis were being financed from Iran, and the matter ended with Saudi security forces clashing with them. Today the US believes that what is happening in Bahrain is a democratic demand, whilst ignoring the fact that Bahrain is not a purely Shiite state, there are also Sunnis. The US has also ignored Iranian statements, not far from suggesting that Bahrain is part of the history of Iran. Washington has concluded a truce with Iran, and acquiesced to its nuclear program, despite the fact that the threat of Iran possessing a nuclear weapon is not the only issue, but it is enough to look at what has happened recently in Japan. This is one of the world’s most advanced countries, when it comes to dealing with earthquakes and natural disasters, but now the world is nervous, fearing the consequences of nuclear power. What would happen in Iran, an area already prone to earthquakes, where there is no real infrastructure to deal with such disasters?
This is not an attempt to avoid reform, or democracy – under which Washington effectively handed Iraq over to Tehran, and left us with the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is unacceptable to hand over our necks and our futures to Iran. It is up to the U.S. administration itself to coordinate its statements, rather than demanding restraint from the Gulf.