Bahrain and Yemen

It really pains me to do this. To turn on an ally at time of war. But it must be done. The War on Terror is about the very definition of "good" and "bad". The Bahraini dictatorship has gone too far - adding insult to injury by putting pro-democracy activists on show trials. This is contrary to what the War on Terror is about.

Military bases in friendly dictatorships like Bahrain are a means to an end, not the actual end. The actual end is worldwide liberal democracy. There is no evidence that the people of Bahrain are nasty like the Saudis, where democracy would mean the empowering of an enemy. Bahrainis are more likely to be neutral, and probably won't accept US bases on their soil, but aren't actually wanting to harm the free world.

If we were facing an existential threat, I'd sell out the Bahraini people. But we're not. Losing the Bahraini base will only be an annoyance. The free world is ridiculously strong at the moment, and the actual problem is lack of political will to go to Iran, not the lack of a suitable base to do it from. As they say - use it or lose it. Time to lose it.

I'd rather reinvade Iraq to get access to Iran than sell out the Bahraini freedom fighters.

If we were initiating the liberations ourselves, then of course the obvious sequence is to start with enemy countries first. But you have to deal with the world as it is, not how you would like it to be. And the fact is that some allied dictators have populations that have started revolutions, and we will be on the wrong side of the War on Terror if we fail to support their aspirations for freedom. Show trials are a slap in the face of the free world.

I'm not sure we should vacate the bases and then turn around and start launching an attack in favour of the freedom fighters, but at least we should vacate the bases. I know it hurts having spent so much effort building them in the first place, but just consider this to be one of the losses in the War on Terror. Not everything goes your way in a war.

Note that free Libya is something that has greatly strengthened the free world. We may actually have a candidate for NATO membership there. It should be a successful liberal democracy. And because of this, Iraq is not so important anymore. Iraq will be a less successful democracy.

Yemen has more scope for militarily supporting the revolutionaries, as I don't think there's an actual base there. It's very bad form to invade a country you're already a guest of (as is the case in Bahrain). So the first thing to do is to cease being a guest. China was similarly condemned after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Time to do the same with Bahrain and Yemen. As painful as it is to see these nation-states cease to be allied, it needs to be done. The goal of worldwide liberal democracy means that dictators need to be abandoned eventually. The time has come prematurely for a couple of them.

Note that I am constantly reevaluating the world. A couple of months ago I would not have been so bold to say "give up the Bahraini base", because it was still unclear what was going to happen in Libya. But with Libya entering the free world we have a stronger base in the global ideological war.

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