Bahrain attained its independence and broke from the United Kingdom in 1971. Ever since, the small nation plays a moderating role in Arab League politics. It is also a close ally of the United States which has set up its military bases in the gulf nation.
We now analyze the impact of Obama’s re-election for the second term on the Arab countries, particularly Bahrain. A quote by a professional analyst named Ahmed el Morched sums it all: “As Bahrain citizens, we hold a keen interest in how Obama will handle our internal wrangles. Also whether he will be unbiased in his judgments without the influence of the Jewish lobby” (Ozer, 2011). Over the past 20 months, the Arab world has witnessed sporadic uprisings. Some of these uprisings are ongoing, for instance in Syria where President Assad has vowed not to step aside. Diplomatic ties between Washington and Iran have collapsed over the decision of the later to pursue nuclear power. Bahrain which had attained the image of a modern, stable and business-friendly country was not spared during the uprisings. On February of 2011, half of the nation’s citizens, estimated at 300,000 people marched for respect for human rights and greater political freedom. The Sunni-led government response was brute force that to this day has torn the fabric constituting the Bahraini community at it seams. During the cracks down, opposition leaders have had their nationalities scrapped, up to 6 percent of the workforce suspended and captured citizens during the crackdowns have been turned political prisoners.
Given the deteriorating U.S.-Bahraini relations, it has been noted that the Middle East nation has been ground zero over failed attempts by America to reconcile ideals and interests in the Arab spring. The Iranian President, Ahmadinejad Mahmoud has criticized the military presence of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that were deployed to counter the will of the citizens (Ozer, 2011). The Iranian President feels the Sunni-led government in Bahrain is corrupt and backed by the U.S. because of its compliance and cooperation.
However, majority of the Arab countries remain optimistic that Obama’s re-election will bring positive changes in the region. This is because it is his second-term and he will not be acting out of pressure to fulfill interests of certain groups. Given the already existing ties between the U.S. and Bahrain, the most powerful nation on earth can play a role in pushing forward attempts of national reconciliations.
Ozer, M. (17 Mar 2011). Ahmadinejad: US accountable for Bahrain crackdown. Question More.
Available at http://rt.com/usa/news/ahmadinejad-usa-accountable-bahrain/ [Accessed 13