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If people ever wondered how foreigners could hate the United States so much, there is a simple formula for how it happens:

   - People live under an oppressive regime that quashes any chance at expanded freedoms or a move to democracy using horrific methods, such as torture and/or executions.
   - The U.S. government financially and rhetorically supports the regime and, by association, supports any oppression, torture, or executions.
   - The oppressed people’s anger at both their own government and the U.S. grows to the point of desperation and they decide to strike back…

For examples, see Egypt, UAE, or Saudi Arabia, the countries where most of the hijackers on 9/11 were from.

The formula continues in countries around the Middle East, including Bahrain.  Since the uprising began in 2011, nearly 100 people have been killed, almost 3,000 have been injured, another 3,000 have been arrested, and possibly over 1,800 have been tortured.  The U.S. government’s reaction to this: keep selling arms to the government.

Now, in a move drenched in irony, Bahrain’s news agency is reporting the government will not tolerate upcoming protests planned for August 14, the anniversary of Bahrain gaining independence from Britain:

   

“The government will forcefully confront the suspicious calls to violate law and order and those who stand behind them through decisive measures,” BNA quoted Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa as saying after a meeting to discuss preparations to confront the planned protests.
This comes just after the government deported an American teacher for criticizing the government on the Internet.

But a special report by Reuters today about an American citizen being held on seemingly false charges by Bahrain reveals another reason why U.S. actions in the past decade have had an appalling aftershock in oppressive places such as this.  From the article:

   

The young man was blindfolded, cuffed and driven to an undisclosed location where, he says, he was ordered to stand on one leg for four hours. He says he was beaten repeatedly as threats were made to rape his mother and sisters until he confessed, falsely he says, to attending a memorial for a dead protester and throwing a stone at a burning police vehicle…When asked to comment about Maidan’s account of his treatment, the office of the Bahraini government’s spokeswoman told Reuters in a statement that it has a “zero-tolerance” policy towards torture.
Hmmm…I wonder where the Bahraini government got the idea that putting someone in a stress position for hours at a time and verbally threatening the well-being of their family does not equal torture?

And we must also wonder how many Bahraini people already hate the U.S. for its support of these actions.

Originally posted to Sparking the Left on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 03:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by More and Better Democracies.

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