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Why’s Bernard Kouchner keeping silence?

BAHRAIN AND THE "DOCTORS’ PLOT": Why’s Bernard Kouchner keeping silence?

Will the internationally-recognized Transitional National Council be created in Bahrain? Will the UN pass a resolution, condemning the "doctors’ genocide"? Will the members of Bahraini royal family considered persona non grata? Will the Bahraini foreign accounts be suspended? Surely, not. At least, not until there’s an American military base in this island state.

This year’s trend is covering the Middle-Eastern events. Admit that the reasons are aplenty — the NATO bloc and its pocket collaborationists pay titanic efforts for the news from North Africa and adjoining territories kept coming. Military operations, palms, desert, atrocities of tyrants, heroic rebels — and don’t forget the oil contracts — here’s the TV scenery for 2011.

Meanwhile, if set a goal to find a region of the globe that suffers the most from state weakness, corruption and tyranny, reporters of the most competent media won’t have to fly over the hills and faraway. It’d only take to go to Kosovo, for instance. U. S. reporters are having the easiest time of all — they only have to look at their southern neighbor over Rio-Grande. There, in a fairytale country of Mexico, policemen from small towns — from guards to sheriffs — apply for unsolicited dismissal because of the drug lords’ threats.

Intimidating executions of family-members of bloggers and journalists, who still risk writing about the Mexican state of affairs, surprise no one at all. News about Mexican doctors and field engineers, extracting a hands grenade from the head (!) of a street peddler — one of many that explode at "peaceful" American streets — comes as a routine weather forecast. Yet, the wish of a certain man to head the police department in a distant town is truly considered a sensation. On the 30th of September Acapulco schools are guarded by army units — local cartels demanded teachers to pass a half of their wages into their "fund". At the same time Texas Governor Rick Perry officially asked President Obama to consider an opportunity of preventively sending American soldiers to the neighboring Mexican territory, because the internal Mexican affairs echo in Texas too. By the way, Perry will run for presidency on behalf of the GOP.

What a sensation it is! Yet, neither Kosovo, nor Mexico are of any interest for the global media. We’ve repeatedly mentioned that the latter suffer from a certain selective approach in their work. This is applied to the event coverage and the very strategic choice — which events and in what country to cover at all and which are to be left in shadow.

Assuming (with the equal initial conditions) that events Y took place in country X, which the government reacted in the way Z, information resumes and reaction of the "global community" happen to be completely different. Surely, we can’t have even a hint of suspicion regarding the presence of certain spinmeisters, adjusting and creating the "proper" XYZ coverage that television delivers into every home.

Once Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Libya and Tunisia were on the agenda of the day, the scenery was the same. Judging by the broadcasted picture, common folk got sick and tired from the terrors of dictatorship managed to flags, up-front international recognition, patriotic tees and caps and artillery with a government. Then they invited Western journalists and went bringing the tyrant down and building the better tomorrow. When the ruler wasn’t particularly influential, authoritative and resourceful, he was brought down easily. Hosni Mubarak’s lot makes an example of that. And when the majority of Libyans failed to understand that steady, calm and sated life means nothing without free elections and ability to choose from two or more contenders, it was decided to point this fact out and separate true values from the false ones (as the NATO bloc understands them). Missile strikes formed the term base of new Libyan democracy: you have Gaddafi — you have the bombings, no Gaddafi — no bombings.

Any attempt of "bad" Oriental rulers to protect the state was presented as "genocide of his own nation". Having been met with an appropriate rebuff from the arsenals’ guards, failed rebellious robbers were instantly proclaimed to be "regime victims". Attempts to attack the military barracks could have hardly gone without victims either. However, some people have been "the satraps brought down by peoples’ anger" and others — "innocent victims of blood-frenzied militarists". Employees of information agencies did their best to portray the apparent attempts to secure the normal operation of infrastructure of large cities as atrocious repressions and displays of ferocious nature of existing regime. And if some of demonstrators ended up in jail... Regardless if poor fellow was fiery revolutionary with an aphorism book of the local social prophet or merely some small-time looter, who naturally considered robbing the showcases the most appropriate occupation for the time, all of them were squeezed into the description of a prisoner of conscience. Global community then exclaimed its readiness to help them by any means necessary.

That happened until the revolts took place outside of the allied states of America. Bahrain makes up a vivid display of that. Bahrain and the USA show a profound example of cooperation — Obama’s administration earmarks Bahraini King on a regular basis — he thanks him with hosting the largest USAF base in the region and place for stationing the 5th Fleet of the United States Navy. Obviously, having been carried away with some general rush, certain groups of people made their mind for starting a protest in Bahrain in February of 2011. Events that followed have clearly demonstrated that there are countries to demand democracy and reforms and there are some, where people have to know better. No one stood upon ceremony during the crackdowns in Bahrain — rallies were dealt with armored machinery, helicopters and soldiers, shooting to kill. According to official data, about one and half thousand people were arrested (and 30 killed) during an almost instantly oppressed rally. Much more were wounded and most of the wounds were bullet wounds. In order to complete the picture, we have to specify that an entire Bahraini population makes up approximately one million people.

For some reason, leading TV channels haven’t sent their top reporters to emotionally cover the situation like they’ve done with Libya. The U. S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton hasn’t stood up with claims that Bahraini King Hamad ibn Isa Al-Khalifa "lost his legitimacy". Instead, her associate Jeffrey Feltman was sent to Bahrain in order to assist the crisis settlement. The U. S. President’s office has timely talked the neighboring states into lending Bahraini King their armies, in case if his own troops won’t be enough.

Inter-confessional conflict is a special of Bahraini events. The majority of population professes Shiite Islam in this country. At the same, majestic family of King Hamad Al-Khalifa is Sunni. Thus, Bahraini conflict may not only be considered an oppression of people’s revolt, freedom of speech and democracy, but also the infringement of people’s rights on religious grounds. So, the protesters demanded to end up the Shiite discrimination — especially prominent during employment process.

Bahraini "stabilization" drew no public protests all over the world somehow. The following events haven’t triggered negative reaction either. Dissenters gathered at the so-called Pearl Square. As far back as in February a symbol of Manama (Bahraini capital) stood there — six white sails, connected as a pyramid, with a stone sphere portraying a pearl, resting on top of it. And in March, in order to prevent it from becoming a symbol of protests it was destroyed by bulldozers and other construction machinery. Along with that ancient Shiite mosque, which allegedly served as "nest and headquarters of plotters", was destroyed too. However, the demolition of the main capital attraction is trifle comparing to the fact that the members of Bahraini royal family took the most active part in the interrogations of protesters!

A bit of pre-history comes first. After crackdown — or should we say execution — of the rally, logical stage of "witch hunt" started. Doctors, who worked in the hospitals, where crowds of victims with various injuries were brought, happened to be the...main enemies of monarchy and public prosperity. Accusation (and the verdict that followed) was built on a captivatingly plain logical assumption. Where do we find the most people with bullet wounds after a coup attempt? That’s right, in the surgery and traumatic surgery departments of hospitals. A man — surgeon, traumatologist, anesthetist or chief medical officer himself — surrounded by rebels is anything but a rebel himself. If we put it this way, he’s more of a gang leader than a chief physician, though.

As the Bahraini media reported, vigilant law enforcement officers discover the "deposits of medicaments, weapons and ammo" in the hospitals. Weapons are a separate case, but medicaments in a hospital? Man, that’s suspicious! The most curious fact though, is that doctors were charged with theft of those drugs and...illegal presence in the hospital during the riots. Unfortunately, peculiarities of Bahraini legal system left us no opportunity ask a logical question — where are surgeons supposed to be (according to Bahraini judges) during the riots, when the hospitals are flooded with patients with bullet wounds? And on top of it doctors were accused of deliberately not helping their patients and saving less people than they could. 20 doctors were put in prisons for 15 years.

However, during the trial doctors have mentioned plenty of curios details — for example, that Bahraini princess Noora bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa has personally tortured the doctors. The Times wrote this, referring to the prisoners themselves as the source. Al-Khalifa is a lively girls, she works in police as a secret drug enforcement officer. According to the doctors, during the interrogation princess batters them with a rod and rubber hose, touched them with a bare electric cord. According to 36-year-old Nada Dhaif, Princess Noora battered the testimony out of her in March. "She hit me in the face, then started beating and insulting me, calling me a ‘Shiite pig’". A victim says that at first she didn’t see her tortures because of the bandage that was put over her eyes. But in the end of interrogation the woman, whom her warders called princess, tore the bandage from her eyes and Nada saw her face.

Great is the wisdom of Bahraini court and ruling family. Their verdicts are well-weighed, their thoughts are clean and cause no anxiety among the international human rights (and sports) bodies. "Doctors without Borders" are silent and such is an outstanding humanist Bernard Kouchner. Global community doesn’t give a damn thing about Bahraini torture victims.

Here’s yet another vivid example. Two handballers from Bahraini national team — brother Ali and Mohammed Mirza — were condemned to 15 years of imprisonment for participation in the anti-governmental rallies, illegal possession of weapon, theft of money and burning the farm, belonging to one of the members of ruling Sunni dynasty. Criminals were so sly that they’ve managed to commit all those atrocities, while participating in the international championships.

Will the internationally-recognized Transitional National Council be created in Bahrain? Will the UN pass a resolution, condemning the "doctors’ genocide"? Will the members of Bahraini royal family considered persona non grata? Will the Bahraini foreign accounts be suspended? Surely, not. At least, not until there’s an American military base in this island state.

By Alexandre Vishnevsky




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