Iran meddling in Bahrain, Gates says while in Saudi Arabia, which just invaded Bahrain

Posted on April 12, 2011

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"Yes, I totally agree: 'meddling' does not include physically entering a sovereign country at the behest of a brutal dictator to violently quell popular protests," Secretary Gates exclaimed to the Saudis.

In his recent visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that Washington has “evidence” that Iran has been “trying to exploit the situation in Bahrain,” explaining:  “We also have evidence that they are talking about what they can do to try to create problems elsewhere as well.” The Secretary likely figured that such a profound declaration would be nowhere more appropriately made than in the democratic people’s republic of Saudi Arabia, which has merely invaded Bahrain, and has not gone as far as to meddle per se–so would be the most astute judge as to what exactly meddling and/or interference might consist of–if of course the terms didn’t apply to the act of sending 1,200 Saudi troops into Bahrain in mid-March to quell a popular protest that threatened the enlightened, yet simultaneously merciless, rule of King of Bahrain, Hamad bin-Isa al-Khalifa.

Meddling, or “creating problems”, Gates’ Saudi counterparts explained to him, (1) does not include drawing on one’s expansive oil wealth to prop up a neighboring failing autocracy–through contributing to a $600 million loan for electricity projects in the country, for example (together with UAE and Kuwait) , and (2) would certainly not apply to carrying troops across another country’s borders in order to free up the domestic forces needed to storm protest camps in Manama and violently break up anti-government rallies.

At the same time, Secretary Gates made clear that his acceptance of such an impressively logical line of reasoning had absolutely nothing do to with the United State’s sale of  (1) $60 million worth of Boeing’s F-15 jets, helicopters, munitions and infrastructure improvements to Saudi Arabia or (2) Lockheed’s proposed $6 billion Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system to the UAE. In a joint statement, both sides agreed that their actions “could in no way be considered interfering in the internal matters of Bahrain, unless of course the definition of the word ‘interfering’ was expanded so to apply to countries other than Iran, which wouldn’t make any sense to do unless we were Iran, which we aren’t.”

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