This gif is from an anti-monarch protest in Bahrain. Read on if you aren’t familiar with the uprising currently taking place in the country.
Since Valentine’s Day 2011, Bahraini’s have been holding massive and extremely popular pro-democracy protests against the monarch which has ruled since the 18th century. The largest anti-monarch demonstrations has recorded over 525,000 people protesting (CNN estimate) the regime. That is nearly half of the countries population.
Last October, Bahraini authorities indefinitely banned all protest gatherings and rallies, suppressing any sort of dissent on the small island.
Human Rights activists recently pressured members of Congress to force the Obama Administration to suspend an arms deal with Bahrain, but Obama continues to use a legal loophole to avoid congressional approval and arms the monarch with armored vehicles equipped with turrets as well as helicopters and other materials which are used against the pro-democracy protesters.
Although the administration said it didn’t sell flash grenades and tear gas to Bahrain, multiple sources have confirmed that U.S. made tear gas is currently being used by the paramilitaries suppressing the protest. The tear gas alone is to blame for over 34 deaths including the death of a 6-day-old baby (graphic) and allegedly blinding a 18 month old toddler.
According to a leaked document by research and advocacy group Bahrain Watch, Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior is planning to import 1.6 million tear gas canisters and 90,000 tear gas grenades. An incredibly enormous amount, especially when you consider that the population of Bahrain is only 1.3 million.
Coincidentally (or not), the country is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, miles away from the neighboring country Iran. That might explain Obama’s reasoning for supporting the regime while denouncing Syria’s.
To read more about the situation in Bahrain, check out my tag or simply Google it.