ISSN 2330-717X

The Arab League’s Hypocrisy – OpEd

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After the Arab League hypocritically suspended the membership of Syria amid the mounting pressures of NATO and the United States, the resurgence of violence in Egypt, the increasing use of excessive force in Bahrain and Yemen, and the unrelenting massacre of innocent civilians by the barbaric regime of Al Khalifa and Ali Abdullah Saleh have once again attracted the attention of conscientious observers in the international community.

According to official figures released by the “Bahrain Center for Human Rights” website, so far 44 Bahraini citizens are killed at the hands of the mercenaries of the Al Khalifa regime. The 6-year-old Mohammed Farhan, 14-year-old Ali Jawad Alshaikh and 15-year-old Sayed Ahmad Saeed Shams are among the martyrs. The Bahraini organization reported that many of these martyrs have been killed while in custody. The Center also published documents indicating that more than 1,500 Bahrainis, 100 of whom were women, have been incarcerated since the eruption of turmoil in the Persian Gulf country on February 14, 2011 and that more than 90 journalists have faced life threat during the same interval.

It’s also said that the Bahraini government has blocked access to more than 1000 opposition websites, which are mainly used to organize and plan protests and mass demonstrations in the country.

The Bahraini regime commits all of these aggressive and brutal actions with the direct involvement of the Saudi Arabia and the implicit support and backing of the NATO and the United States. The author of the “Hidden Harmonies China” blog in his post on March 14, 2011, referring to recent human rights violation in Bahrain with the flagrant, duplicitous support of the White House, wrote that “the entry of Saudi security forces to crack down on the protesters with deadly force is a complication for US policies, to say the least, since the US is reluctant to criticize its oil ally dictators in the region.”

He also called Bahrain the “Las Vegas” of the Middle East, host to the US 5th Fleet and a haunt for the rich Saudis who are forbidden by Islamic laws to indulge in alcohol and other immoral enjoyments at home, “but who often vacation in Bahrain for these reasons.”

Bahraini citizens have uploaded several videos on the internet, showing the cruel and ruthless torturing and persecuting of the protesters by the Al Khalifa lackeys. These videos depict Bahraini forces using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters and killing many of them. Some of these videos also show the Saudi and Bahraini cars nonchalantly running over Bahraini children and women, killing them at once.

The US-Saudi project of crackdown on the Bahraini people was also empowered by many of the European cronies of Washington. In July 2011, Germany sold a set of 200 62-ton Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia, an act which sparked a huge controversy among the German parliamentarians and anti-war activists. According to Daily Telegraph, Wolfgang Gerhardt, former leader of the Free Democrats and junior collation member to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats also considered the act as “unacceptable.” Despite all this, the USD 1,252 million-agreement was signed and the Saudi government dispatched many of these newly-bought tanks to Bahrain to accelerate and facilitate the bloody clampdown on the protesters.

The situation in Yemen, however, is far more deplorable and appalling. Allvoices.com has reported that as of September 25, 1,870 Yemenis had been killed in the revolution; the majority of the martyrs were reported to be unarmed civilians taking part in anti-government demonstrations.

The Yemeni dictator, who has remained defiant in the face of frequent calls by the tribal leaders, opposition groups and demonstrators to step down and give up power, has turned his country into a bloodbath, making the Yemeni uprising the longest and most devastative revolution in the wave of protests in the Middle East. The protests in Yemen started on February 3, 2011 and have continued so far. The only reaction of the international community to the brutality in this country has been an indecisive and faltering resolution by the UNSC which has called for “an end to violence” and asked President Ali Abdullah Saleh to accept a peace deal brokered by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council. However, Abdullah Saleh, who is tacitly supported by the US, has kept up with the brutalities and according to Yemen Times, 94 protesters have been killed after the Security Council adopted the resolution 2014.

A report published in Yemen Times on November 17 revealed that “ninety-four Yemenis were killed and over 800 injured since UN Resolution 2014 was issued on October 21.”

“Tentative reports show that over the last three weeks in Yemen, 124 homes, seven mosques, six public institutions including one hospital, two community wells, and 17 vehicles were effectively destroyed,” Yemen Times reported.

In the days leading to the detainment and death of Muammar Gaddafi, the Western mainstream media were only talking about the Libyan civil war, and the reason was clear, NATO had secured a UNSC resolution to enact a no-fly zone over Libya and it was in the interest of the US and its European partners to cover the tumultuous situation in the North African country. However, the reports and news regarding the carnage in Bahrain and Yemen were predominantly shunned and boycotted, simply because these two despotic regimes were the close allies of the US in the Middle East.

In a report published in Independent Australia, Zaid Jiani alluded to the violent crackdown on the protesters in Bahrain and Yemen and posed the question that “is the media downplaying these events because the two dictatorships are firm allies of the West?”

“A Think Progress analysis of press coverage by the three major US cable news networks -CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News – from March 14 to March 18 finds that Bahrain received only slightly more than ten percent as many mentions as Libya and that Yemen received only six percent as many mentions as Libya.”

Now what concerns the independent thinkers, scholars, university professors, journalists and peace activists is that Syria has become the target of international pressure, simply because it has strong ties with Iran and resistant groups in Lebanon and Palestine, while the reactionary regimes of Bahrain and Yemen are getting away with the felonies they had commit by the virtue of their alliance with the United States.

Arab League has hypnotically suspended the participation of Syria while it has taken no practical step to normalize the situation in the turbulent and chaotic Yemen and Bahrain in which innocent people are being killed on a daily basis by their tyrannical rulers and their loyalists

All that can be said is that the performance of the Arab League in neglecting the situation in Yemen and Bahrain and exaggerating the unrest in Syria which is mainly caused by the foreign intervention and the West’s indifference toward the plight of the suppressed nations in Yemen and Bahrain is an all-out hypocrisy and a clear, undeniable exercise of double standards. Who can really devise a clear-cut solution for this unsolvable dilemma?

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Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist, writer and media correspondent. He represents Fair Observer and Your Middle East in Iran. He also conducts interviews and writes commentaries for the Iran Review news and analysis website as a staff writer and reporter. His articles and interviews have been published on Tehran Times, Press TV, International Policy Digest, Foreign Policy Journal, Global Research, Turkish Weekly Journal, Strategic Culture Foundation, Al-Arabiya, Counterpunch, Voltaire Network, Baltimore Chronicle and Opinion Maker. He currently blogs for The Huffington Post and writes op-eds for the UK-based Middle East Eye. In 2009, while an undergraduate student of English Language and Literature, he was selected to represent the Middle East students in the International Student Energy Summit 2009 in Calgary, Canada. Kourosh Ziabari is working with Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations as an Iran analyst. He has conducted interviews with some 380 prominent world leaders, politicians, diplomats, UN officials, academicians, public intellectuals, authors, media personalities, journalists and historians. Kourosh Ziabari is the winner of the silver medal at the National Festival of Superior Iranian Youth. He has won three awards in Iran's National Press Festival and also been a member of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing. He was a member of Stony Brook Independent magazine's editorial board and a member of the Kenya-based World Student Community for Sustainable Development. In June 2015, he received a fellowship from Deutsche Welle / European Youth Press to attend and cover the Global Media Forum 2015 in the German city of Bonn. In August 2015, he was named by the Hawaii-based East-West Center as a Senior Journalists Seminar Fellow 2015 to travel to the United States, Malaysia and Pakistan for a reporting and dialog tour aimed at bridging the gaps in the relations between the United States and the Muslim world. He is also a recipient of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism awarded to him in November 2015 by the FNPI foundation in Colombia.

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