Bahrain: US Ally Kills Children… So When Is NATO Intervening?

Finian Cunningham
Thursday, September 1, 2011

This is the face of state terror against civilians in the US and British-backed Gulf oil kingdom of Bahrain – the latest victim a boy shot dead by police. But there will be no call by Washington or London for a Libya-style NATO intervention to protect human rights here. No call for regime change. No call for an international crimes tribunal.

Fourteen-year-old Ali Jawad Ahmad was killed on 30 August when Saudi-backed Bahraini riot police fired a tear gas canister at the youth from close range. On the day that was supposed to be a celebratory end to Ramadan – Eid al Fitr – people across Bahrain were shocked by yet another “brutal slaughter of innocents” by the regime and the stoic silence of its Western backers.

The teenager was among a crowd of youths who had gathered in a peaceful protest following morning prayers in the mainly Shia village of Sitra, calling for the overthrow of the unelected Sunni monarchy.

The Bahraini protests against the US and British-backed autocratic rulers have been continuing for nearly seven months despite the military intervention of Saudi Arabia in the Gulf island to crush the pro-democracy movement. Nearly 40 civilians have been killed by state forces since the uprising began in mid-February; thousands more have been injured, imprisoned, tortured or sacked from jobs.

But the relentless repression – condemned by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and several other rights groups – has failed to halt the pro-democracy campaign. The resilience of the protesters is all the more remarkable given that their cause has been met with cold indifference from Washington and London, and from much of the mainstream media.

While Western governments have been quick to condemn the rulers of Libya and Syria for alleged human rights violations – launching a full-scale military onslaught on the former and mounting diplomatic sanctions against the latter – these same governments have continued to give full backing to the Al Khalifa dictatorship in Bahrain.

The mainstream media agenda has dutifully followed suit. While the BBC, CNN etc have descended on Libya and Syria to champion the cause of armed rebels with dubious credentials, these same media outlets have virtually ignored Bahrain where the pro-democracy movement is supported by a majority of the population and which has so far remained peaceful in the face of gratuitous state violence.

The latest victim of state terror in Bahrain is at least the sixth person to die from the indiscriminate lethal use of tear gas by Saudi-backed pro-state forces. Ironically, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as other Gulf sheikhdoms such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, have lent diplomatic and military support to NATO’s interventions in Libya and Syria to allegedly defend human rights. Yet these autocrats have been murdering unarmed civilians in Bahrain with impunity and Western imprimatur.

For several weeks since the Bahraini regime’s initiative of so-called “national dialogue” failed to engage opposition groups, there has been a massive stepping up of indiscriminate use of tear gas in villages deemed to be supportive of the mainly Shia-led pro-democracy movement.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Riot police have attacked villages on a daily and nightly basis, firing tear gas into homes. Families have had to flee their dwellings in the middle of the night, sometimes by carrying children out of bedroom windows using ladders. Those unable to move – disabled, sick and elderly – have been trapped indoors during these attacks and some have died from acute exposure to the tear gas. The youngest victim was five-year-old Mohammed Farhan [1].

Pro-democracy sources have labelled the deployment of tear gas as a deliberate tactic of “toxic terrorism”. It is the regime’s way of coercing the opposition groups to enter the dialogue process – which the opposition has dismissed as an empty public relations exercise designed to shore up the status quo of the Al Khalifa dynasty.

It is scarcely believable that Washington or London is unaware of the Bahraini state terror over recent months and in particular the massive, indiscriminate use of tear gas on civilian homes. Bahrain – a former “protectorate” of Britain – has close links between its ministry of interior and British security personnel. The Gulf island is home to the US Navy Fifth Fleet, from where the entire Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea down as far as the coast of Somalia are surveyed. The territory of Bahrain is less than 60 kilometres long and only 17 kilometres wide.

Two of the Bahraini villages that have been subjected to heavy tear gas attack are Ras Rumman and Bilad Al Qadeem where the British and US embassies are located. As one pro-democracy activist commented on being asked about official British and American knowledge of improper tear gas use: “They must smell it everyday coming under their doors.”

But the issue for many Bahrainis is not just mere knowledge, but rather direct approval by Washington and London of what is a state terror tactic against civilians.

They point out that the upsurge in tear gas deployment followed the visit to Bahrain in the beginning of July by Jeffrey Feltman, the US roving ambassador for the Middle East. Feltman, who was previously ambassador to Israel and Lebanon during the Israeli invasion in 2006, was a strong advocate of the Bahraini regime’s national dialogue, urging “all moderates” to participate.

It seems more than conceivable that someone with Feltman’s hawkish credentials would have advised the US Bahraini clients to resort to a more coercive policy if the opposition shunned the talks process.

Feltman has visited Bahrain on at least eight occasions. One of those visits was just before the Saudi-led invasion of Bahrain. “Every time this guy Feltman comes to Bahrain, we see a drastic increase in repression and deterioration in human rights,” said one pro-democracy activist.

At least three US companies have been identified as suppliers of tear gas to Bahrain, including NonLethal Technologies, Combined Systems and Penn Arms, all based in Pennsylvania [2].

More recently, Bahraini sources have noted that newer types of tear gas canisters do not bear the usual manufacturer markings [3]; that the canisters are larger therefore dispensing much more smoke [4]; and that the toxicology is much more potent, causing victims to go into convulsions similar to the symptoms of nerve agents [5].

So, given that the Bahraini regime can kill civilians and children without a murmur from Washington or London, then it is reasonable to conclude that their avowed noble interventions in Libya and Syria are as pungent and as thick as the smokescreens hanging over Bahraini villages.

Finian Cunningham is a Global Research Correspondent based in Belfast, Ireland. He was expelled from Bahrain for his critical journalism on 18 June 2011.

This story first appeared at Global Research.

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Comment Rules

18 Responses to “Bahrain: US Ally Kills Children… So When Is NATO Intervening?”

  1. Our politicians display hypocrisy of the first magnitude. And we should all tell them to their face.

  2. We have our fleet there, since it’s a port for the 5th fleet.. Hey, it ok.. That’s the way these globalist think.

  3. ur

    (in part)

    “Israel’s Operation Summer Seeds
    by Stephen Lendman”

    “Ahead of the General Assembly’s likely granting Palestine statehood recognition and full de jure UN membership in September or early October, Israel is preparing its army and arming settlers for disruptive protests”.

    “Aside from Washington’s illegal planned veto, if a Security Council resolution is introduced, Netanyahu apparently abandoned plan A, replacing it with a disruptive plan B.”.

    “Arming settlers with tear gas, stun grenades, and perhaps other weapons is also planned, allegedly “as part of the defense operation.”.”.

    “This time, however, it will be against a sovereign internationally recognized independent state, able to file a formal State to State complaint against Israeli officials.

    In addition, as Boyle explains, it “can ratify the Genocide Convention and sue Israel for Genocide at the World Court, pursuant to” previous advice he gave Arafat and Abbas.

    Moreover, it can “get a temporary restraining order” against Israel, requiring either Security Council enforcement approval, or if Washington vetoes it, to the General Assembly under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution overriding it.

    In addition, it can use this procedure to halt settlement construction once and for all and perhaps regain lost land.

    These prospects frighten Israel and its Washington paymaster/partner. So they’re are pulling out all the stops to prevent Palestinian statehood or at least disrupt it if achieved to maintain hardline policies, claiming they’re in self-defense.”.

  4. Klinton, Notbright, Blair and thousands of others in the USA, Nato and EU are war criminals because of what they did to Serbia, a small country that did nothing but protect its citizens from the muslim onslaught.
    Milosevic! Milosevic! Milosevic!
    Mladic! Mladic! Mladic!
    Karadzic! Karadzic! Karadzic!
    Heroes not war criminals!

  5. I can say now more than ever, FUCK THE NEW WORLD ORDER THOSE SICK SATANIC SCUM BAGS!!

  6. This title is retarded, it’s giving fake credibility to NATO as the international police (global constabulary) with some sort of moral authority.
    It should have said NATO kills children, who will defect from their ranks and kill NATO commanders.

  7. Thank you for this report, Finnian. More reason for us to speak out against the selective law enforcement that goes on in our country today.

  8. While the Tory criminal dictatorship junta in BP-imperial-fascist Bahrain is certainly a psychotic mass murdering mafia it is far more decent than the criminal pedophile homosexual slave tyranny of BP-Kuwait.

  9. If the leader is not being controled properly by the globalist scum bankers he going down otherwise killing of their own is praised secretly by the UN.


  10. ..’approval by Washington and London of what is a state terror tactic against civilians.’

    Of course. This speaks volumes about how ‘democratic’,’liberal’ and Humanitarain these Regimes , I mean (puppet) Governments really are.

    Indeed, if the people of both countries rose up against the the ever increasing Tyranny of the US and the UK regimes against their people, then I am sure the same approach of the unlected Bahrain Dictatorship.

  11. I don’t care if foreigners kill other foreigners, especially if they’re not Europeans (who I identify with).

    It’s not my business.

    George Washington said to steer clear of foreign entanglements. So they’re killing kids in Bahrain, what should we do? Send an army to stop it? Have the UN send troops?

    They’ll work it out themselves.

  12. Wait, isn’t Bahrain one of our guys? obviously they are having a hard time dealing with all the Muslims there right? I think they let us have secret cia prisons in their country, or sell us oil cheap or have some company with the Bushes going back to 1973. Yeah, well there is obviously a logical explanation, we can trust the USG to do whatever is needed to fight whatever!

    You know, I bet this is Ron Paul’s fault.

    • They are the Tory-corporate muslim-fascist Soul Wash™ business criminals! The problem they have is with people who want FREEDOM from established Tory-corporate-muslim fascism

  13. The mainstream media has gone very quiet on this one. Don’t hold your breath waiting for slimy David Cameron, sneaky Sarkozy or slippery Obama to call for NATO intervention on this one. One rule for Libya and Syria, another rule for our ‘friends and allies’.


    • Yeah okay and read this too before subjecting yourself to anymore brainwashing.

      Sarah Palin is a spy. A Coup d’etat began with Sarah Palin’s run for office in the 2008 presidential election.

      She was planted as McCain’s running mate for a reason. Everything about her is a total fabrication. If you think McCain and Sarah planned on “reforming Washington” by getting elected you’re wrong. In addition, when a Coup happens the military doesn’t announce it on the front page of the news. They try and keep a lid on it.

      Whether you believe it or not it’s the truth. Obama is not the president, he’s the acting president. He disappeared for 2 weeks after his election win only to reappear looking exhausted sitting next to John McCain, with a bad poker face, for a press photo shoot. Obama is now a Pentagon puppet.

      Here’s what Obama, Osama, Biden, Bin Laden, the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists, and Sarah Palin had to do with the last presidential election and the military’s overthrow of our government. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret.blogspot and learn the biggest story ever in the history of the world.

      • Go to the website wellaware1dotcom

        I’m curious to know what you think.

        (The website you recommended was interesting.)

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