This Week in Democracy Promotion, Bahrain Edition

Glenn Greenwald highlights the fact that the Obama Administration is doing something about the Bahrain regime’s crackdown on pro-democracy protestors… by selling the government more weapons.

Does anyone really think US intervention in Libya is about human rights?

2 thoughts on “This Week in Democracy Promotion, Bahrain Edition

  1. I think there were several reasons (alliance politics, etc) for the intervention – but protecting East Libyans (which was thought to be easy and cheap) was part of the story and had substantial support within particularly vocal parts of the chattering classes and the administration. What causal narrative would you tell?

    And it isn’t all that odd to see a state pursue hypocritical policies or deploy (or even act on) different rationales for different cases. Realpolitik is believed to suggest US policy towards Bahrain regardless of what the US does in Libya or why. One could argue whether the US’s Bahrain policy is indeed in the national interest, but surely the perception that it is matters a lot (and this isn’t just a simple MIC story).

  2. I should have inserted a “just” in there. Sure, human rights played a role – but it’s doubtful that the intervention has actually saved more lives than it cost, given that Gaddafi was on the verge of total victory when the intervention came. There would have been many executions but not much more fighting. I think it was done for domestic political purposes. If Gaddafi had prevailed, there would have been many more “the West stood by while…” stories a la Rwanda. Plus, the Europeans wanted to intervene, in part to prevent a flood of asylum seekers.

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