Bahrain Buys Old Illusion: Summary of Crown Prince's Historic Visit

2023-09-25 - 12:13 p

Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad's visit to Washington ended with a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Despite the Crown Prince's resonant statements in Washington about the historic new security agreement, the visit passed quickly without leaving a striking imprint, as the Crown Prince did not meet with US President Joe Biden. He even did not have a chance to meet Vice President Kamala Harris, whom he met on his previous visit to the United States back in March 2022.

Salman bin Hamad returns to Manama with an agreement that he may soon discover that is of no use, as in conclusion, despite the many analyses, he bought the old illusion that there is an Iranian threat that the country must be protected from.

On the other hand, the United States is concluding an agreement to return Iranian funds held abroad, and try to take advantage of the quiet return of Iranian oil to the markets in order to control prices. The matter of rereferring the Iranian nuclear file to the UN Security Council is an issue that has in fact been withdrawn from circulation.

The most important question the media has not talked about is: What is the financial cost of this new agreement? How much will Bahrain pay for the illusion of protection from either a Muslim neighbor, or from its people? Bahrain has paid a lot to Britain; how much wealth will go to the United States as well?

Did Bahrain need a security agreement, or real solutions to the political crisis it has been plagued with for 12 years, and urgent solutions to the economic crisis: inflation of public debt, increasing unemployment and widespread poverty?

What will the new security agreement offer, the greatness of which the crown prince has elaborated on without providing a single piece of information?

Bahrain was an American protectorate before the new agreement and remained an American protectorate well after. The United States was providing security and political support to the regime in the face of the opposition and remained in this position after the fact, as the United States affirmed before the agreement that it was committed to protecting the ruling authorities in the Arab states in the Gulf and still reiterates this commitment to its promise.

The new or upgraded security agreement that official newspapers have begun to promote and dissect may be nothing but an illusion that Washington has marketed to Manama. What great security threats now beset the small island? And what enemies threaten its entity, its territory and its people so that the two sides consult to decide the appropriate way to respond?

As America strengthens its security, economic and political hegemony in Bahrain, it is elaborating on security guarantees to respond to "ongoing aggression." Where were those security guarantees for the UAE and Saudi Arabia during the Yemeni missile response to the countries of the coalition of aggression, the New York Times asks?

If the cordiality between the two sides is as big as the "strategic agreement", why then did Washington exclude Bahrain from the economic corridor plan?

It may not be an exaggeration to say that the security agreement entails nothing new... Bahrain will remain a political, security, and economic subservient country to the United States, and will continue to squander oil revenue here and there in search of illusory protection.

Arabic Version