Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Reasons Bahrain should be Returned to Iran; video


Bahrain is a creation of Western imperialist (U.K.) powers in order to control it's oil, resources, period and policed by foreign forces; test case for U.S.?

World News
By Dallas Darling
01/03/2012


What nation has 70 percent of its citizens Shia Muslims but only 13 percent serving in the government, 5 percent in the judiciary, and 0 percent of senior positions in the Ministry of Defense and the Nation Guard? Out of a population of 535,000, what country had over 300,000 of its citizens protesting against government abuses and paramilitary Special Security Forces-90 percent who are non-citizens? What nation has arbitrarily arrested 1,500 of its citizens, tortured 1,866, has fired thousands accused of violating freedom of speech and assembly laws, and destroyed over 40 mosques? What country ranks first per capita in political prisoners but will receive $53 million in weapons from the U.S.? (1)


    With an endless cycle of repression and killing, including one of the worst human rights records, one should ask, then, if Bahrain should be ceded to Iran. For centuries, Bahrain belonged to Iran (Persia). This changed in the 15th Century when European colonists seized ports in the Persian Gulf, so as to monopolize trade routes to the riches of India and China. Ports soon turned into colonies where valuable resources were exploited. With the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the British won virtually total control of the Persian Gulf. Britain signed the General Treaty of Peace with the sheikh of Bahrain in 1820, which included other Gulf Nations that had been wrested from surrounding nations.(2)
Bahrainian protester after being shot by Saudi forces
(Reason 1: Many Bahrainis want to reunite with Iran. Why not hold a national referendum? From a moral and land-rights perspective, it would help right past wrongs and promote unbreakable cultural and religious bonds. Would the act of returning Bahrain to Iran foster better relations and provide more stability in the Persian Gulf?)

 

   The General Treaty of Peace was anything but peaceful. To protect their lucrative trade and colonial dominance, challenged by the French, Russians, Germans, and Ottomans, Britain forced Bahrain to sign the Exclusive Agreements. Bahrain was unable to negotiate with any foreign power or formulate any foreign policies without British Consent. In addition, Bahrain could not sell, cede, or lease any territories to any power other than Britain. Meanwhile, Britain remained the imperialist power on the eastern coast of the Persian Gulf, dividing Iran with Russia in 1907. Until 1971, Britain administered much of the Persian Gulf through either Bushire, Iran or Bahrain.(3)

     (Reason 2: The Exclusive Agreements did little for socioeconomic reforms. They stunted democratic movements and Arab nationalism, strengthened dictatorships of the sheikhs, and prevented Bahrain from becoming economically diverse. Would ceding Bahrain to Iran increase economic diversity and help grant access to the Bushire nuclear facility?)

Injured Bahrainian, in shock, in hospital
After World War II, colonialism collapsed in the Persian Gulf only to be replaced with Western corporations and the tyranny of market economies. Bahraini "independence" from Britain was overshadowed with United States' military and economic domination, which started in the 1930's, and specifically since the U.S. made oil a national security priority. Since the 1930's, then, the U.S. has not only developed Bahrain's oil industries but it militarized Bahrain, and much of the Gulf region, to protect what it thought was its oil. Military and naval base-leasing agreements also forced Bahrain to grant U.S. complete access to its military facilities.(4)

    
    (Reason 3: The tyrannical market and militarization of Bahrain caused several massive protests against the U.S., like the one during the Six Day Arab-Israeli War. A 1981 revolt to reunite with Iran brought only more repression and bloodshed.(5) Would returning Bahrain to Iran prevent current and future bouts of unrest, even a possible war?)



    Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution should have been a sign for the U.S. to exit the Persian Gulf. Instead, and having lost Iran to an alternative democracy, the U.S. started the Iraq-Iran War, fought the U.S.-Iran Tanker War, and massacred 296 innocent Iranian civilians over the Persian Gulf in 1988. It increased sales of sophisticated weapons, now being used to crush peaceful demonstrations and murder innocent civilians. While enlarging its naval and military bases, Washington has considered locating an advance headquarters of the Central Command (CENTCOM) to Bahrain.(6) Bahrain is a forward military base for U.S. overt and covert operations, a kind of School of the Gulf States.

Photo: Max Becherer/Polaris, for The New York Times
(Reason 4: At one time, Bahrain's economy was diversified. Fruits, vegetables, cereals, animal husbandry, and, of course, its renowned pearls were plentiful. Western addiction to petroleum, globalization and militarization has devastated Bahrain's economy and environment. Would ceding Bahrain to Iran reverse these vicious and rapacious forces?)

    Western imperialism and its oil industries in Bahrain, along with the Persian Gulf, have raised the standard of living for millions. But it has also caused economic disparity, by enriching rulers, and initiated a disproportionate amount power and violence, by providing sophisticated weaponry to sheiks. While Western hegemonic influence has produced numerous revolts, large engineering and infrastructure and industry projects has caused a cycle of dependency and debt, even poverty. Permanent U.S. bases and troop presence has generated resentment and frustration. It is little wonder that the Persian Gulf has been home to radical and extreme anti-Western and U.S. ideologies.
There were hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq-Iran war
(Reason 5: If the U.S. would have approached the Gulf States differently, perhaps with more cultural and religious sensitivity, the retaliatory attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 more than likely would not have occurred. Unless the U.S. and Western powers return Bahrain to Iran, will there be future corrective attacks?)

    
    Ceding Bahrain to Iran would prove to the world that the U.S. is not trying to monopolize foreign policy in the Persian Gulf. A retreat "East of the Suez" by the U.S. would encourage more "indigenous" popular movements while easing its own financial burdens-or "dilemmas of overextension." It would reveal an anti-unilateral side of the U.S. which is lacking. Imagine if Iran had colonized the eastern Gulf of Mexico, or Florida, and had established many naval and military bases. Imagine if it had warships constantly patrolling the Gulf of Mexico, and that it was supplying military aid and training to a dictatorial regime in Florida, one constantly suppressing and imprisoning and killing U.S. citizens.

Destruction of Pearl Roundabout by government forces
(Reason 6: Weapons sales of $35 billion to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will cause more bloodshed. The U.S. mistakenly believes it is destined to militarily dominate the world. This idea upsets the balance of power. Theodicies-narratives of providence and redemption end in disaster. A strong Iran would challenge America's theodicy narrative.)

    Now imagine ceding Bahrain to Iran. When the U.S. colonized Iran after World War II and backed its ruler, shah Reza Pahlavi, it encouraged the shah to lean heavily on the imagery and history of the Persian Empire. But now that Iran has won its independence and has established a viable and democratic society, one different than the U.S.'s quasi religious-secular-corporate democracy, it has become an imaginary threat. Someone once said that hypocrisy was a lie in action. It also distorts memory and perception and clouds the imagination. So-called democratic empires that fear the rise of strong nation states, while ignoring their own imperial ambitions in the same region, are doomed to fail.


    (Reason 7: Political hypocrisy fosters retaliatory attacks. The U.S. and the al Khalifa Dynasty, which has ruled Bahrain for over 200 years, should abdicate in favour of a more democratic society. How many more innocent Bahraini citizens, the youngest one being 5 days-old, must die in the name of foreign imperialism and U.S. national security?)



Dallas Darling (darling@wn.com)

(1) See: "The Bahrain Uprising in Numbers" by Rannie Amiri, December 29, 2011. Antiwar Forum Thanks to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and other NGOs for helping compile these figures.

(2) Page, Melvin E. Colonialism, An International Social, Cultural, and Political Encyclopedia. Denver, Colorado: ABC-CLIO, 2003., p. 465.

(3) Ibid., p. 466.

(4) Jentleson, Bruce W. and Thomas G. Paterson. Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997., p. 128.

(5) Ibid., p. 128.

(6) Ibid., p. 128.


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