An opposition literally getting away with murder.
In an excellent and very enlightening recently published article in the Boston Review “Writing Human Rights and Getting It Wrong”, June 06 2016, Alex de Waal writes candidly of errors he had made in reporting on Human Rights violations in Africa. He spells out the corporate psychology behind his reporting, on how the “West likes morality plays with clear heroes and villains, in which we (the west) play the role of savior”. How human rights organizations and societies should make no distinction between political allies and adversaries but don’t, are never neutral. That they never apply the rule that “All” including friends should be held to the same standard but knowingly instead manipulate the truth, based on the principle of F.E.A.R. - false evidence assumed real as a standard of proof that is often little more than hearsay, generally seldom sufficient to be considered as burden of proof in any court of law. The intent being rather to generate “Howls of fury and denial from the accused” their quarry. The more, the louder the denial the better, a bonus in their no smoke no fire scenario guaranteed to ensure, some mud will stick. The real damage they knew only too well as stories gained momentum would be done by further blanket endorsements from other rights organizations, careful packaging through apparent innocent engagement with mainstream media outlets.
Of Human Rights organisation De Waal states that, “They consolidated as a kind of Global Ethics, Inc., accommodating their own critique to power, especially American power. Too often, their concern has been to influence U.S. government power at the margin achieving that goal has blunted their political principles”.
Furthermore he says of these organisations, “We believed we could surpass merely reacting to events. We could set agendas. Some humanitarians did so by using their moral and media clout to call for the great power of the day—the United States—to bend its coercive capacity to those agendas”.
Given Alex de Walls’ lifetime of commitment to Rights, this is a refreshingly frank appraisal of the subterfuge and the extent of the subversion of the ideals now offered by Rights organizations. However what he does not report which compounds the situation, in my opinion, making matters worse, is that the US State Department and Human Rights officials - staff, have now become virtually interchangeable. A prime example is Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, who worked previously at Human Rights Watch. He left his activism behind, I think not. Is de Waal right then on who is “setting the agenda”? No, to me the Rights movement and its’ institutions do not use influence or coercion rather I see only full-blown collusion between all critical entities. I base this conclusion not on hearsay but on my own personal experiences here in Bahrain; a reality that I now take as fact.
Bahrain is a prime example. Having lived and worked here for nearly 35yrs I find those that discount my first hand experienced of the so-called Arab Spring which arrived in town back in February 2011 as blinkered, rather prejudiced rather naïve. Excuse me I tell them but I was here you were not, I could not avoid being heavily engaged. I saw what happened myself; it was after all, hard to ignore events unfolding outside my door, within full view of my office windows. I saw, I witnessed, and even recorded those events on film. I was then totally unaware however of all the players involved, especially entities in the wings such as the US State Department and its’ MEPI program. Also of how all-hostile players including the Sate Department were collaborating to project, to craft a narrative that would gain world attention. Five years on, yet despite rapid and progressive change in Bahrain, featuring an international report and a national dialogues and a lot of sole searching, it remains a narrative that many hostile organisations to Bahrain desperately seek to maintain at any cost. The mud slinging against Bahrain and selected personalities continues apace irrespective of dramatic and significant changes to the status quo, to government policy and security operations. The truth sadly no longer matters; to the opposing players the hope for an outcome fitting their “crafted narrative” remains the same. It is an objective which for them, the end really does justify the means. Define people and organisations with emotive labels and consistently maintain those in the narrative at any cost, irrespective of the truth.
Remember Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni the Emeritus Professor of Law from de Paul University and his BICI report. Bahrain accepted its outcome without reservation. A big mistake given that it is now used as a big stick irrespective of the completeness of the application of its recommendations. With the report in hand it is so easy to criticize the Government of Bahrain alone, when in the original brief of the report totally ignored, did not include any investigations into the crimes, from murder to arson to kidnapping, by those that opposed the government in 2011. Rights abuse assessment in any conflict according to de Waal as has already been said, should be applied to “ALL”, particularly when carried out by ones associates, ones friends. In the case of the BICI report this was never the case but that’s not surprising, when you realize Bassiouni served in numerous United Nations positions and as a Consultant to the US Department of State and Justice on many projects. One often overlooked consequence of this purposeful “slight” oversight, the opposition literally got away with murder, at least a dozen Asian migrant workers died at their hands while others fled their homes in terror and had to seek sanctuary in clubs hostels and embassies. Well-documented facts. Yet all those party to our local “Global Ethics, Inc.” without exception claim they, the demonstrators, the opposition was only ever peacefully seeking equality and democratic change. What I saw, witnessed and personally recorded contradicts such statements completely. Events were often nasty, violent and at times the mob mentality of the demonstrators was extremely frightening. In many cases the police opposing these mobs were unarmed and hopelessly outnumbered. I photographed in its entirety one such confrontation through my office window. Peaceful is a word in such circumstance that would ever enter ones mind thus I find it truly offensive, criminal in fact to find peaceful used as the key word in the descriptive language describing the mob violence of 2011 and the occasions it has reared it ugly head since.
Yes things did go on in 2011 that Bahrain as a nation, could never be proud of but, nit-picking those events, using the BICI report to then selectively taking one out of context, insert it into today's headlines as if it were now the present day case. Reiterating, re-emphasizing and repackaging it to fit the agreed “crafted narrative”, in favour of the selected good guy, of an opposition, the people standing against tyranny. This is totally wrong and represents a grave miscarriage of justice.
The narrative has changed, the government has moved on. Irrespective of what the opposition might say a large majority of Bassiouni’s recommendations have been fulfilled and the accepted outcomes of the National Dialogue have been applied. A new round of parliamentary and municipal elections despite boycotts and threats of violence against participants from our “Global Ethics, Inc.” groupings have taken place resulting in independents replacing sectarian blocks as the majority in Parliament. A massive majority of the electorate tuned out ignoring the threats to ensure they had representation of their choosing. Substantive changes including intensive training by western forces of the police and security apparatus to now include prisoner rights, access to checks and balances via the office of an Ombudsman and prison inspections by the Red Cross and others have been successfully implemented. This week for instance saw another enormous step forward in my opinion with the passage into law on the segregation of Religion and political parties. The Bahrain of 2011 is now very much a thing of the past, the Arab spring here had no bong, its is now seen for what it was, an attempted sectarian coup d’état.
However the fact remains that the country is still on occasions thrown into turmoil when, like so many places in the world it sadly suffers first hand from acts of extremism, of bombings or other terror attacks. Which often result in the death and maiming of police officers but they have also killed innocent civilians, soft targets, more Asian migrant workers. Many terrorists’ organizations here as elsewhere in the world use NGO’s, human rights advocacy groups to legalize their propaganda for larger audiences, comprehension of this deceptions or the terrorist agenda that it serves is thereafter well hidden by the rhetoric of human rights and democratic ideals. Only last month a policeman was killed, the nineteenth to die since 2011 and two others were grievously injured in a terror attack. In all since 2011, a further 500 plus police have suffered life-changing injuries and several thousand more minor wounds. When caught perpetrators are always portrayed as innocent, in exile they are proclaim themselves as martyrs to a just cause. This is the reality - peaceful? These people are not.
Waved away by the foreign press as a trifling inconvenience or as a consequence of a legitimate struggle against intransigence and tyranny rather than being seen for what it is, the manifestation of a sectarian hand, of interference by foreign countries, Iran in particular and organisations such as Hezbollah aided and abetted by sectarian Human Rights organisations. Extremism feeds on ignorance and intolerance and western media naivety or laziness if you prefer. These Human Rights advocates continue to justify many an extremist agenda providing both legitimacy and further fuel.
In looking for facts on Bahrain it is high time that the media looked beyond this “crafted narrative” and to realize they are being used, that the voice of those represented by our “Global Ethics, Inc.” groupings are not the majority and most definitely are not the people of Bahrain. The "People" are represented by the 54% of the electorate that turned out in 2014 to vote (lets not forget to do so they had to ignore the very real threats of violence and intimidation). The people are certainly not the 33% based on previous turnouts that could not be bothered or the 14% based on the same, that boycotted the election and the National Dialogue. It this 14% that people in the press claim as the majority and talk about them only requiring equity and justice without comprehension of the "created narrative' behind their attempts at anarchy, at a Shiite Jihad in pursuit of Velayat-e faqih.
Where are the inquiring minds to question the facts put forwards by a growing Human Rights business and it is a business whom despite full knowledge of these facts remain selective in their denunciations, the application and definition of "All'. From the UN as “Global Ethics, Inc.” to every sympathetic media outlet they can access, they continue to corrupt the truth, rework their narrative, to condemn the Government and as a consequence the 54%, the clear majority that endorsed the status quo at the last elections. They continue to set the agenda thus the mud slinging will continue until someone brave and honest enough in main stream media calls them out, asks to examine their evidence for physical proof.
If you made it thus far may I suggest you read again “Writing Human Rights and Getting It Wrong”, by Alex de Waal then look at today's headlines, media feeds on Bahrain, look to the sources, the authors. Draw you own conclusions but I for one refuse to allow “Global Ethics, Inc.” to call the shots, to set the agenda any longer.