I’ve commented before about how the Obama administration sold out the Bahraini people by cutting a deal with Saudi Arabia – Washington stands by while the Kingdom ruthlessly crushes the Bahraini uprising in exchange for Saudi support for Operation Libyan Freedom – and how prestigious media outlets like the New York Times failed to report on this little fact.
“As the status quo endures — some believe that the king may introduce reforms this month, while others remain skeptical — anger among many Shiites toward American policy has deepened. Though some appreciated President Obama’s criticism of the crackdown in May, many lament what they see as a double standard. In contrast to the treatment of Syria and Libya, they point out, no administration official is calling for sanctions against Bahrain, a country where the United States has its largest regional naval base, for the Fifth Fleet.”
Just like in previous articles, no mention of the deal. At the very least, Shadid could at least research the lead Pepe Escobar provided – a no brainer for a big time reporter like Shadid; instead either he or The Times editors decided to remain silent, and an important betrayal remains hidden; at least for now. Even the story proved to be untrue, it’s still not beyond the realm of possibility that the neocolonial Obama administration – the same one that has rained drone missiles on Afghan and Pakistani civilians in the name of fighting terror – would cut a deal like this. At least the Times would be doing its job.
It’s worth noting that this meek reporting on the U.S. role in undermining democracy in Bahrain contrasts with the outrage the Times rightly expressed toward the Islamic Republic’s crackdown on journalists and activists in their quest for democracy. It’s the kind of pattern associated with state-run media that functions more as a propaganda mouthpiece than a credible news outlet; much in the same way the Iranian government-run PressTV has reported on the U.S.-Saudi deal and the Saudi-backed crackdown – in greater depth and quality than the Times – while remaining silent about Tehran’s own repression.
It’s all about priorities, I suppose and for the Times, protecting Washington from scrutiny ranks higher than uncovering ugly truths.