The world has wisely intervened in Libya to stop a tyrant from killing his own people. But it wonâ??t do the same for pro-democracy forces in Bahrain, Yemen and other places in the region.
Barack Obama helped engineer regime change in Egypt and joined the Anglo-French-led attack on Libya that should lead to regime change there. But these allies, including Canada, wonâ??t help topple other autocrats who are also attacking their citizens.
This cynical, self-serving response to the Arab Awakening is sowing the seeds of future conflicts between Arabs and the West and, therefore, Muslims and the West, the very divide that Obama has tried hard to bridge.
All states work in their own interests but few claim the moral leadership that America does.
After siding, albeit reluctantly, with the peopleâ??s revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt against pro-American regimes, Obama has reverted to Washingtonâ??s old double standard of one law for allies, another for adversaries.
Dissidents in Iran and Syria will, therefore, be cheered on and materially backed in their heroic bids to unseat their regimes. Stephen Harper will be among those beating the drums hard.
But he and others wonâ??t be speaking up, except in banalities, in support of dissidents elsewhere, not just those in Bahrain and Yemen but also in Algeria, Jordan, Oman, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. The autocrats there, repressive in varying degrees, will be counselled against using violence but not penalized for resorting to it, some more viciously than others.
The U.S. wants these allies to reform, not fall.
Bahrainâ??s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa uses far more foreign mercenaries than Moammar Gadhafi. He and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been no less brutal than Gadhafi. Yet thereâ??s no call to the United Nations for a no-fly zone over either country.
No bombs will be dropped on Bahrain, host to the U.S. Navyâ??s Fifth Fleet and also home to an American air base. Nor is Obama pressuring Saleh to quit. Saleh is an ally in counterterrorism efforts against Al Qaeda and provides fuelling facilities for American warships.
Letâ??s not forget what the Arab autocrats, and the other regional actors, have been up to.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia did not seek United Nations permission to send troops into neighbouring Bahrain to save King Khalifa.
The latter is a fellow Sunni ruling over a majority Shiite population thatâ??s systematically discriminated against. The Shiites are routinely abused by an army thatâ??s exclusively Sunni, its ranks recruited from Pakistan, Jordan, Syria and Yemen, many of whom are granted citizenship to alter the demographic mix.
The Bahraini Shiites are also demonized as a fifth column for Shiite Iran. This even though there is no evidence of Iranian meddling.
The Bahraini Shiites are making political, not sectarian, demands.
The second reason for propping up Khalifa is to avoid a possible domino effect that the fall of one monarchy may have on all the others in the region â?" American allies all, sitting on oil.
There are two views on Abdullahâ??s move. Having failed to convince Obama not to abandon Egyptâ??s Hosni Mubarak, a longtime American client, he was swift to protect Khalifa, a Saudi client. Or that Abdullah did consult Obama and arrived at a quid pro quo â?" the Arabs would cut Gadhafi loose and the West would not interfere in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
There is no mass protest movement in Saudi Arabia. But the most potent opposition comes from Shiites, a persecuted minority in that country. They live in the oil-rich eastern province, across a 23-kilometre causeway from Bahrain.
The Shiites in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are thus doubly damned â?" for making the same political demands that other Arabs are making and for being Shia.
The Arab uprising, as transformative as it already has been, has run not only into stiff domestic resistance but also geopolitical realities, regional and international.
American flirtation with the Arab spring is coming to an end, if it has not already. The new world order is beginning to look like the old world order
Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. This is a very interesting and timely topic as this is a continuing event in Africa and the Middle East. The following passage is a reaction on the article you have listed. This is what is expected of you side by side with stating the answer to the question asked so as to explain the Obama-double standard that the author believes is displayed. If you have any questions, just let me know via the feedback section. May I advise reading the listed references as well for it discusses this very topic too and might give you more additional insight. Good luck with your paper.
OTA 105878/Xenia Jones
Washington's Double Standard
Article: Siddiqui: The U.S. double standard
Author: Haroon Siddiqui
Publisher: The Star, March 23, 2011 issue
The solution provides a sample review of the article listed below. The article tackles the so-called US double-standard in relation to dealing with other nations due to US Policies on foreign affairs. Additional resources on the topic have been listed for further study of the matter.