MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Although normally the Washington Post (WP) editorial board hawks war, it sharply criticized the White House for its hypocrisy on denouncing cruel dictators who defy the United States while embracing cruel dictators who are pro-US, particularly when they ship us a lot of oil and allow the Navy's 5th fleet to establish headquarters there.
The case in point here is the Obama administration's ongoing support for the reigning al-Khalifa family in Bahrain:
Bahrain’s leaders regularly assure the Obama administration that they are open to reforms and compromise with their opposition. But massive human rights violations, including the torture of detainees, continue. Leading political figures and human rights advocates remain imprisoned.
Bahrain has violently suppressed dissent, but what drew the ire of the WP editorial board was the apparently trumped up arrest of a moderate opposition leader Khalil al-Marzooq.
Instead of US national leadership protesting his detention, the WP is astonished by the State Department's position that al-Marzooq and the opposition to the dictatorship "were withdrawing from the national dialogue":
Fearful of compromising a naval base that backs up U.S. operations in the Persian Gulf, the Obama administration refuses to hold the Khalifa regime accountable. Incredibly, the State Department’s response to Mr. Marzooq’s arrest was to express disappointment with the opposition for withdrawing from the national dialogue. That myopic attitude will only encourage more repression and further political polarization in Bahrain — and endanger the very U.S. assets that the administration sees itself as protecting.
This is an astonishing warning coming from the WP, which has for the last few years been a clarion voice for the preservation of US empire. In terms of Bahrain, it appears to at least for the moment understand the glaring hypocrisy in US Middle Eastern selective support of brutal dictatorships when it comes to the "Great Game" of oil.
As for the 5th Fleet anchored in Bahrain, don't forget that the Pentagon is the largest consumer of oil in the world. That's an important yardstick to consider when looking at different standards for US policy toward dictators.
(Photo: Prop Times)