Press TV has conducted
an interview with Kevin Barrett, co-founder of the
Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance, from Madison, to shed light on the US
recent remarks at the UN General Assembly, calling Bahraini popular
uprising “a sectarian one.”
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Let us look at some of the US statements made there
and most of all, I am going to start with what the US President Barack
Obama said at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which he said that the
uprising there is a sectarian one.
Now, what is interesting about that is A) that they angered the
regime, but at the same time it could be a positive and a negative, that
there is a problem and the negative being that is the sectarian one
which is not with the cases there. what do you make of the US President
Barack Obama’s statement there at the UNGA?
Barrett: I think President Obama put his foot in his mouth
once again and managed to alienate both sides in Bahrain, just like
he managed to alienate both sides in Egypt by seemingly offering
lukewarm support to [ousted Egyptian] President Morsi, while at the same
time acquiescing in this brutal coup d' état that overthrew Morsi, and
then allowing [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and the Israelis
to pressure him to keep the aid flowing to this brutal regime in Egypt.
He [Obama] alienated both sides there and now he has done the same thing
Nobody in Bahrain really wants to think about this as a sectarian
conflict; the Al Khalifa dynasty which is just another of these
[Persian] Gulf sort of puppet autocratic dictators that was, you know,
created by the West, the country was carved out by the West and these
wealthy little sheikhdoms were created and they have reached the end of
their run now, but the Al Khalifa regime does not want to think of
themselves as a sectarian government and the democracy movement does
not want to think of itself as sectarian either. It sees itself as a democratic
pro-justice and Islamic movement.
So, I think when Obama is calling it sectarian, he is not winning
any friends anywhere, although there may be some truth in what he is
saying. In fact, the real issue is one of Islam and democracy; that is, a
populous Islamic wave has been rising in the Middle East for several
decades now and at the same time better literacy and communications have
led to higher aspirations for democracy.
So the whole region is moving towards winning independence under
some form of Islamic democracy and the old guard and all of these
countries as the other guest [Richard Millet] said very well is doing
what it can to try to hang on to power.
So, yes, I think it is true that the Al Khalifa dynasty likely even
the Ibn Saud dynasty next door - which has invaded Bahrain and propped up all of
these repressive measures - is terrified about what the future may bring
as the people of the region become empowered and seek to control their
own destinies. And I am sure the US is afraid too.
Press TV: Many around the world who are aware of the uprising
in Bahrain are looking for the two countries in particular to see they
are going to make any moves and those two countries being the US and the
UK; the report that you may be aware of, the senior advisor to the
regime there on policing and securing John Yates, basically, the former
assistant commissioner of the Scotland Yard, is known that he has
accompanied the Bahraini ministry of interior officer on many trips to
London, that they have met with the members of Britain’s MI5.
Do you think that the UK in any sense is giving the regime there directions to handle the uprising that is taking place?
Barrett: I think that is very likely; the British government
has been instrumental in propping up these [Persian] Gulf monarchies. It actually created them and it continues to advise them. Essentially
all of these [Persian] gulf sheikhdoms are artificial creations of
Western imperialists, who went in to carve up the region and managed to
prop up their favorites, these thrones.
And now that those thrones are tottering and getting ready to
collapse, I think that the British who are the most experienced Western
imperialist at dealing with the Middle East are probably taking the lead
in handling the relations with this Al Khalifa dynasty, with advising
them on how to deal with this.
Obviously the US is also playing a big part. The US has its Fifth
Fleet based in Bahrain and it is absolutely crucial to US projection of
power in the [Persian] Gulf and in the Middle East. The US of course knows
that if democracy breaks out in Bahrain, the people of Bahrain are
probably not going to want to keep that base in their country.
In the same way, the people of the Middle East in general are not
going to want to keep US military bases throughout the region and they
are not going to want to keep this genocidal Zionist settler colony in
So, this democratic wave in the Middle East is threatening to
liberate the region from this sort of a century of all the Western
colonial domination and that is the real issue that underlies all of
these sort of surface sectarian battles.
I would agree with the other guest that, yeah, there
are sectarian tensions but why? The answer is that the Saudi ruling
family and its allies and the Israelis in particular are fanning the
flames of these sectarian tensions by demonizing Shia movements.
So, there has been this axis of resistance that is
threatening to free the Middle East. And in order to try to stop that
process, the Ibn Saud family and the Israelis and of course their
American sponsors have all teamed up to bombard the region with
anti-Shia propaganda designed to try to whip up sectarian tensions and
anger the Sunni majority against the Shia, get them fighting each other
in a classic divide and conquer maneuver in order to try to hold back
this democratic Islamic awakening.
reason they are doing that is that the Shia movements such as Hezbollah
and of course the Islamic Republic of Iran have succeeded to a certain
extent in challenging Western and Zionist domination of the region and
in forging alliances with other Muslims, with Sunni Muslims and with
even relatively secular people who are interested in justice.
Press TV: Well, I am not going to comment on that last part
of your statement that is the beginning of that statement Dr. Barrett, I
would like to ask your reaction when Richard Millet says that the UK
does not have any right to interfere another country’s affairs. We have
cases where Britain and the United States have come out, like we see all
the threats that are leveled against Iran for example from the US,
countries like the US, like the UK, they can do something but they are
deciding not to.
What dynamics are involved behind that decision?
Barrett: Well, the final remark by the guest was quite
extreme - that he cannot blame the UK for supplying weapons to this
repressive government; well, sure you can; how can anyone not blame
them? It is completely against all human rights norms. But yeah, in
terms of the larger issue of these Western powers not having any
business, getting involved in this..., can try to control these
countries in regions; I agree with that and I wish that the leadership
of the Western countries would also agree with that.
Unfortunately as we all know, these Western countries are constantly
interfering in internal affairs of other nations, including launching
invasions, including murdering activists with drone strikes, murdering a
lot of by-standers and wedding party guests and women and children with
these drone strikes, in arming very unpopular governments to the teeth,
which has recourse what is happening in Bahrain; and with propping up the
Saudi government which would not last for ten minutes if the US were not
completely dominating that country that cannot even fly their own planes or operate their military equipment and yet they
are buying more American military equipment than almost any other country, just
piling them up and letting Americans keep it going.
It is just really sad the way that this Middle Eastern region has
been willing to acquiesce in domination by the UK, the US, the Zionists
and these Euro American based outside forces. So I am really kind of
confused about where the other guest is coming from.
On the one hand, he is saying that these countries like the US and
Great Britain should not be interfering in the region, and then he is saying
that we should not blame them for arming this Al Khalifa dynasty to the
teeth as it represses its own people; that seems to be a contradiction.
Labels: al-khalifa, axis of resistance, bahrain, ibn saud, Israel, middle east, morsi, Netanyahu, Obama, saudi arabia, saudi israelia, sectarianism, shi'a, Sunni, unga