Bahrain: The Key to Saudi-Qatari Servitude

Neo-Con's pet project in Bahrain serves as point of leverage for Saudi-Qatari capitulation.
by Tony Cartalucci

April 11, 2012 - Like an axe poised above one's neck at execution, the despotic hereditary regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have the specter of their own US-fueled "Arab Springs" looming over them, ever ready to be triggered. A constant reminder of this is the destabilized Sunni royal family in Bahrain, in the epicenter of Saudi and Qatari power.
Image: A map of eastern Saudi Arabia featuring the island nation of Bahrain situated between Qatar and the Saudi mainland. Bahrain, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is a despotic Sunni monarchy - selected by the West to be made an example of and to keep its neighbors in check and on board for the current "Arab Spring" blitzkrieg upturning the rest of the Arab World. (click image to enlarge)

The Bahrain protests, like those of Egypt, Libya, Syria, Myanmar, North Korea, Thailand, and beyond, were trained, equipped, and supported by the US State Department. Leading opposition organizations, such as the US-based "Witness Bahrain" and Bahrain Center for Human Rights, are partnered directly with US State Department-funded fronts like the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) while a high-profile self-proclaimed leader of the protests, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was regional coordinator of "Frontline Defenders," a Ford Foundation, Freedom House, American Jewish World Service, Soros Open Society Institute-funded "human rights" advocacy group. Al-Khawaja is now carrying out a "hunger strike" while in prison.
Image: Screenshot from Front Line Defenders - yet another disingenuous "human rights" advocacy front funded by Fortune 500 corporate foundations, including the US State Department-funded Neo-Conservative-lined Freedom House, Wall Street speculator George Soros' Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and the Sigrid Rausing Trust. Note the "Hunger Strike for Freedom" banner on the right-hand side for Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja. The Bahrain protests are a carbon-copy Western destabilization as seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria. (click on image to enlarge)

Al-Khawaja has received the full support of of his Frontline Defender sponsors, including Freedom House who has even farcically changed their Twitter icon into a "Save Al-Khawaja" banner and has been relentlessly tweeting as of late in regards to the "pro-democracy" struggle in Bahrain. As noted, Freedom House is anything but a "human rights" advocacy organization, and is instead leveraging the cause of human rights for overtly self-serving corporate-financier global hegemonic objectives.

: Noam Chomsky in 1993 on the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Freedom House's umbrella organization: "It's about what you would expect from a bipartisan democracy campaign - it's an attempt to impose what is called democracy, meaning rule by the rich and the powerful, without interference by the mob but within the framework of formal electoral procedures."


As covered in "NED & Freedom House are run by Warmongering Imperialists," Freedom House, in tandem with its umbrella organization, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) (which funds directly the Bahrain Human Rights Society) are run by some of the most overt warmongers and corporate-financier interests imaginable and have demonstratively abused their positions within so-called "human rights" and "democracy promotion" organizations to outright topple targeted nations.

: A screenshot of Freedom House's Twitter page as of April 11, 2012, shows a "Save Al-Khawaja" icon where Freedom House's own logo is usually seen. Freedom House, a notorious Neo-Conservative front, has been uncharacteristically focused on Bahrain lately in tandem with the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), the reincarnation of William Kristol's Neo-Conservative Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Coincidentally, pressuring Saudi Arabia and Qatar's neighboring monarchy seems to coincide with Washington's requests for Saudi and Qatari support with military operations versus first Libya, and now Syria.

Joining Freedom House in a recent torrent of attention given to the often neglected protests in Bahrain, is the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) which is for all intents and purposes the Project for a New American Century's (PNAC) latest reincarnation. Notorious Neo-Conservatives William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Dan Senor, Eric Edelman, Ellen Bork, and Jamie Fly - all of whom operate in and out of Fortune 500-funded think-tanks like the Brookings Institution, Harvard's Belfer Center, and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) - constitute FPI's membership and churn out primarily pro-war endorsements, just as PNAC did before it. Their most recent work involved promoting the NATO-led evisceration of Libya and its handing over to Al Qaeda's Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). They now seek a repeat performance in Syria.

Video: "The Unfinished February 14 Uprising: What's Next for Bahrain?" US State Department funded POMED and Neo-Con meddlers of FPI converge to conspire over Bahrain's future in the US-engineered "Arab Spring."

FPI in February of 2012 held an event titled, "The Unfinished February 14 Uprising: What's Next for Bahrain?" in partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy-funded propaganda front Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). Speakers included Neo-Con Elliott Abrams of the CFR and Joost Hiltermann of the Soros-funded International Crisis Group (ICG) which played a pivotal role in the destabilization of Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria.

Image: Screenshot of FPI's April 11, 2012 Tweet regarding its collaboration with NED-funded POMED in calling for the release of US-backed Bahraini opposition leader al-Khawaja from prison. FPI, in tandem with NED and Freedom House have been uncharacteristically interested in Bahrain lately, coincidentally, just as they need Saudi and Qatari backing for another push against Syria. Bahrain is Washington's point of leverage against these two Sunni monarchies. (click image to enlarge)

The sense one gets from listening to the 90 minute FPI-POMED event is of stretching out the conflagration in Bahrain for as long as possible while ultimately threatening neighboring Saudi Arabia. And while Bahrain has, like Libya, Syria, and Egypt responded to street violence with security forces wielding deadly force, Bahrain is not spoken of in the same "dire" and "urgent" terms as Libya, Syria, or Egypt were. Panel members at the event note that the fate of Bahrain is tied directly to that of the Saudis, and that the survival of the Bahraini Al Khalifa royal family is "existentially" linked to the House of Saud. Certainly then, US subversion turned up sufficiently as to overthrow the Al Khalifa family would in turn "existentially" threaten the Sauds who are themselves sitting upon a powder keg of instability resultant from decades of despotic rule.

Saudi Arabia's stability is owed to its immense security apparatus, constructed, armed, and funded by the United States. In many instances, the US has cooperated operationally with Saudi security forces in maintaining internal order. To simply pull the legs out from under the Saudis, especially after allowing Bahrain to fall entirely, would be a simple matter. What then are the Saudis paying in return to keep this card from being played? Where does the "soft spot" of humanitarian concerns in Bahrain come from amongst Neo-Con warmongers within both Freedom House and FPI? Quite clearly in the case of Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria, it is a crass, clumsy pretext for naked military aggression. In Bahrain's case, it is much more nuanced.

Photo: Saudi troops were "allowed" to enter Bahrain and help crush US-backed uprisings. Little to no mention was made across Western media primarily because Saudi Arabia and neighboring Qatar had already fully committed to supporting Western ambitions in Libya.

Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have provided immense resources to the West's "Arab Spring" blitzkrieg starting in Tunisia, across Libya and Egypt, and now embroiling Syria. Qatar provided troops, aircraft, arms, and cash for Libyan terrorists as they swept the government from power and has throughout the "Arab Spring" provided 24/7 propaganda via Qatari government run Al Jazeera, which masquerades as a news agency. Tellingly, "requests" for Saudi arms and support for US-led NATO operations against Libya came in tandem with news of a planned "day of rage" aimed at Saudi's ruling family. The date came and went with little consequence, after Saudi Arabia and Qatar pledged full support against Qaddafi.

Similarly in Syria, both kingdoms are likewise providing arms and cash, and even "wages" for Syrian terrorists to take up arms against the Syrian government. And as the next step comes for Syria, backing NATO-member Turkey in establishing Washington prescribed "safe havens" and "humanitarian corridors" in a Libya-style escalation, the West has begun to predictably turn the screws on Bahrain.

Image: From the beginning, the uprising in Bahrain bore all the markings of the US-engineered "Arab Spring" sweeping the Arab World. Even the CIA-funded "Otpor-fist" would find its way into Bahrain's protests.

It is quite clear then that Saudi and Qatari support for the US-engineered "Arab Spring" is born not out of altruism or fellowship, but out of fear for their own survival, with unrest already being triggered and encouraged by the West in at least Saudi Arabia, and with Bahrain resigned to a slow burn, briefly fanned by the West at junctures such as these, where a great amount of support is required against Syria to overcome recent setbacks. It is difficult to sympathize with either Qatar or Saudi Arabia, who have committed as much in the betrayal of their neighbors on behalf of Wall Street and London as they have against their own people. One wonders if amidst their spectacular betrayal of their Arab brothers, whether or not they realize they are next when Syria and Iran falls.

There are no seats at the tables on Wall Street or in London for the despotic regimes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Ultimately, their self-preservation lies in both reforming themselves and balking foreign meddling in their backyard - not facilitating it.

Editor's Note: Bahrain is the home of the US Naval Forces Central Command and 5th Fleet meaning that the US has a significant military presence on the island nation and can at any time breath new life, support, funds, and even weapons into either the Bahraini opposition to inflame the protests or government forces to crush it. It is the ideal foreign-destabilization scenario.