US Silent as Bahrain Acts Just Like Libya

Just because they're allies doesn't make the crackdown right: Nicholas Kristof
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2011 1:57 PM CDT
Nicholas Kristof: Bahrain Crushes Protesters as US Stays Mostly Silent
A Shiite Bahraini youth holds a piece of wood in the streets of Malkiya, Bahrain, Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Bahrain's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators is getting more and more violent, and the regime is now getting help from another US ally, Saudi Arabia. Where, wonders Nicholas Kristof, is the outrage from American officials? It's easy to condemn the likes of Moammar Gadhafi, but things get pretty quiet when our friends are the ones behind the brutality, he writes in the New York Times.

"Today the United States is in a vise—caught between our allies and our values," Kristof writes. Hillary Clinton has criticized Bahrain, but hers is a lone voice. "The administration as a whole should speak out forcefully," he writes. "If the brave women and men demanding democracy in Bahrain have the courage to speak out, we should do so as well." (One bright spot: Kristof says a protester shot at close range with tear gas canisters in a widely circulated video has survived. Click to see the clip.)

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