Thursday, February 17, 2011

NYT Nicolas Kristof: Brutal Crackdown in Moderate Bahrain

Nicolas Kristof's latest is from Bahrain. With some detached disbelief and sadness, he reports on the government's brutal treatment of the peaceful demonstrators in a modern, moderate country like Bahrain.

Well, all I can say is that Hosni Mubarak was a "moderate" leader for the West, unless you are Mitt Romney who thought Mubarak was a "monarch-type" person.

From Nicolas Kristof (2/17/2011 New York Times):

As a reporter, you sometimes become numbed to sadness. But it is heartbreaking to be in modern, moderate Bahrain right now and watch as a critical American ally uses tanks, troops, guns and clubs to crush a peaceful democracy movement and then lie about it.

This kind of brutal repression is normally confined to remote and backward nations, but this is Bahrain. An international banking center. The home of an important American naval base, the Fifth Fleet. A wealthy and well-educated nation with a large middle class and cosmopolitan values.

To be here and see corpses of protesters with gunshot wounds, to hear an eyewitness account of an execution of a handcuffed protester, to interview paramedics who say they were beaten for trying to treat the injured — yes, all that just breaks my heart.

Read the full article at the link. But here are the last paragraphs, which I could sense his welling anger:

In the hospital mortuary, I found three corpses with gunshot wounds. One man had much of his head blown off with what mortuary staff said was a gunshot wound. Ahmed Abutaki, a 29-year-old laborer, stood by the body of his 22-year-old brother, Mahmood, who died of a shotgun blast.

Ahmed said he blamed King Hamad, and many other protesters at the hospital were also demanding the ouster of the king. I think he has a point. When a king opens fire on his people, he no longer deserves to be ruler. That might be the only way to purge this land of ineffable heartbreak.


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