POMED Executive Director Stephen McInerney explains why the United States should increase its reproach of Bahrain in light of recent human rights abuses.  

“Our challenge in a country like Bahrain,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last November, is that the United States “has many complex interests. We’ll always have to walk and chew gum at the same time.” The growing problem is that the United States does plenty of “walking” — maintaining our strategic alliance with the Gulf kingdom in the short term — but little or no “chewing,” or taking meaningful steps to spur the political reforms needed to preserve Bahrain as an ally in the long term.

A late September vote on Bahrain’s nominee for the advisory committee of the U.N. Human Rights Council gave Washington an easy opening. In a letter to Clinton early that month, 14 nongovernmental organizations, including the Project on Middle East Democracy, Human Rights Watch and Freedom House, urged the United States to oppose the candidacy in light of Bahrain’s egregious record on human rights.

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