In a disturbing development, foreign boots are now on the ground in Bahrain. At the request of the government, troops from a number of Gulf States have entered the small island kingdom with the ostensible purpose of protecting oil refineries and other key sites. However, given the fact that the other Gulf States have vocally condemned the pro-democracy protests underway in Bahrain, I am a bit nervous that there may be other intentions for these troops. It doesn’t help that Saudi Arabia, whose troops are now on the ground in Bahrain, recently outlawed all public protests (not that anyone is surprised by Saudi political oppression). While Bahraini officials are downplaying the move, Al Jazeera reports that Bahraini human rights activists are deploring what is cleraly foreign support for the beleagured monarchy.
“This is an internal issue and we will consider it as an occupation…This step is not welcomed by Bahrainis. This move is not acceptable at all. It is a repressive regime supported by another repressive regime.” -Nabeel Rajab, Bahrain Center for Human Rights
With all of the debate over international intervention in Libya, it’s easy to forget that some countries don’t hesitate to jump right in.