Tuesday at the White House, President Obama justified the illegal war in Libya by repeating the U.S. claim that our actions are "protecting the Libyan people from potential slaughter." Some slaughters are justifiable in the eyes of the U.S. government of course. Conventional wisdom places those our forces commit and those committed by our allies in a special category. The Bahrain monarchy's assault on Shiite pro-democracy protestors is one recent example of this double standard.
On the very same day Obama defended NATO's "humanitarian" intervention in Libya, he held a meeting at the White House with Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa - the Crown Prince of Bahrain. Bahraini troops recently attacked protesters in several villages. The monarch just lifted the country's three-month long emergency rule on June 1st and two days ago 23 doctors and 24 nurses who treated wounded anti-government protestors were charged "with attempting to topple the kingdom's monarchy." Human rights groups have pointed out that our close ally's move against the medical workers violates the Geneva Convention. Democracy Now! reported that the official White House statement regarding the meeting with the Crown Prince unsurprisingly failed to mention the government's recent harsh crackdown. Bahrain also happens to be the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.