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US making concessions to Riyadh over Bahrain: Analyst

Bahraini protesters hold placards portraying Sheikh Ali Salman, detained head of the Shia opposition movement Al-Wefaq, Manama, June 12, 2015. ©AFP

Press TV has interviewed Colin Cavell, a former lecturer at the University of Bahrain based in West Virginia, about Washington’s decision to resume providing Bahrain monarchs with military aid.


Following is a rough transcription of the interview.


Press TV: The United States is saying that the Bahraini regime is making human rights progress thus that relation especially in dealing with giving them equipment, or selling equipment to them can be resumed. Your take sir.

Cavell: As much as the United States wishes to dress this up as some sort of humanitarian gesture, because supposedly the Bahraini regime has improved its human rights situation, the entire world outside the United States knows this is not true, that the regime is brutal, that the regime continues to arrest people, tortures people, and kills people.

What this represents from the US perspective is a concession to Saudi Arabia to show that it is supporting Saudi Arabia in its efforts to maintain its hegemonic status in the region as well as a concession to the defense industry in the United States to get some profit.

But from the Bahraini people’s perspective, this is a betrayal of all democratic values, this is blatant hypocrisy on the part of the United States and this sends a message to the Bahraini regime to continue to arrest, torture and kill anybody who opposes that monarchical, dictatorial regime.


Press TV: What do you see taking place now? Is this sort of like a green light now for the regime itself towards the protesters who are fighting for democratic process, but now the United States is basically saying that things are getting better, although on the ground perhaps people would see it in a different light.

Cavell: Things are definitely not getting better. In fact, the repression is more severe than it ever was in Bahrain. To say that there has been improvement is to completely blind oneself to the reality.

The United States knows nothing has gotten better, but as the State Department spokesman added in his comment, he said this is basically in the interest of the United States. So for reasons of state, they are resuming the military sales to Bahrain because the United States wants to maintain Saudi Arabia as the regional hegemon and to maintain a grip on the region.


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