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Apr-24-2011 14:44printcommentsVideo

We Americans, Bahrain and Syria

This update on the bloodshed in Bahrain and Syria is also a tribute to all of the world's Revolutionaries and Freedom Fighters.

Violence in Syria
Government violence in Syria leaves scores bleeding and dead.

(SALEM, Ore.) - People in America are proud, sometimes tough as nails, but they don't know a lot about the type of bravery found in the hearts of Revolutionaries, like those currently being slain by government forces in Syria and Bahrain.

The recent Murder of our friend and writer Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza set me on a course of studying Revolutionaries like Vittorio's grandfather, who was an Anti-Fascista Revolutionary in Italy during the Second World War.

A threat to the status quo, they are always branded as something they are not, these men and women who, like Thomas Jefferson and Paul Revere, are willing to go all the way for their ideals.

Americans worrying about paying this month's car insurance payment are not thinking about things that are important, their economy is pricing them out enough that many in the U.S. are distracted and certainly don't have time for involvement in politics, and that is unfortunate.

The video clips below from both Syria and Bahrain are horribly graphic; a boy shot in the back of his head with his brains hanging out while a man I presume to be his father, screams his name repeatedly. Prior to that, the man with the camera, the same man, shows his fellow demonstrators all lying on the ground shot and severely injured.

Another man who is clearly alive, has had his chin blown completely off, leaving only a bloody gaping hole where both his chin and mouth were supposed to be. Yet he is looking around and his friends pat him on the back, as there is little they nor anyone could probably do.

This is the reality of state sponsored terrorism in places like Bahrain and Syria, Egypt and Libya; and the manifestation of excessive courage for the benefit of mankind. These men let their bodies be riddled with bullets because they know that nine was more than eight; 76 is more than 75.

Numbers count in this world and to simply give life up in order to raise the number of dead that a reporter like myself turns around and writes about; that is a spirit of man that should never be blasted away with American manufactured and supplied M-16 rifles. Perhaps I should specify here; the Bahrain military uses the M4, that is the new specialized version of the M-16 being carried in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. troops.

Their security forces killed at least nine citizens; firing at thousands who attended funeral processions Saturday.

The violence in the street from military thugs happened just a day after these security forces in Syria killed at least 76 people.

Amnesty International, one of the world agencies calling for an end to the madness, released a new briefing paper:

"Bahrain’s allies must take stronger action to address the rapidly worsening human rights crisis in the small but strategic Gulf state."

The mounting death toll prompted two lawmakers to resign in disgust.

They walked out of the government as others walked into the line of fire like sacrificial lambs to better the future of their nation, of their people.

Americans know no such devotion; the strongest we have shown in any recent history has taken place on battlefield sands- combat situations, so I've been told by many while covering operations in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, time and time again, that they fight for their buddy, their brother; they aren't fighting over political ideals. Maybe they are to a degree, but what a different situation it becomes when your nation is ruled by tyrants and you are willing to subject your body to bullets to stop it. Like the famous words of famed UC Berkeley activist, the late Mario Savio, "You have to place your body upon the gears..."

The United States isn't some haven for freedom lovers. The freedom to carry deadly weapons is not the kind of freedom I am talking about.

People who challenge the status quo here, like anywhere else, have always been in danger, and nothing has changed. There are people as small minded as Joseph McCarthy in the ranks of the GOP right now and more are sure to follow. The Democrats, with a few exceptions, aren't making a meaningful difference in the bigger picture, in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. It looks like a dim future in a nation devoted to greed and war; misinformation through a controlled media, and economic sanctions of perceived enemies which really mostly impact families.

The U.S. has many good people and many good points, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking that, as our world reputation remains soiled, your 'freedoms' aren't 'fleeting' and this is too long of a list to name, but from the piss test to Bush's policy of homeland insecurity and threats of things that don't exist and no focus on what clearly does, life-ending things like Israel's hundreds of undeclared nuclear warheads, for example.

Plus, we have been tight with all the wrong people; dictators in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, and the tyrants of Israel from where the whole Middle east problems spin out.

U.S. politicians view great men like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who are loved by the common man in his nation with great disdain when in fact his devotion to his people is extremely measurable. I know the wealthy land and business owners of Venezuela hate him, but he has the backing of the majority of his people if a President ever did. The rich there are like the rich here; limited in size and only able to muster support they can buy and pay for. Again, the Revolutionaries in the Middle east are fighting for what is right and unfortunately, it flies in the face of American interests, just like Hugo Chavez.

Stranger than fiction Order Now

And all the while, the seemingly 'good' United States has done so much harm on this planet with its own hands that the lives and costs could never be tallied. People in America get up and eat breakfast, drop their kids at the baby sitter, and go to jobs that are in many cases, secure and well-paying.

People used to do that in Iraq until George. W. Bush's ambitions took flight. We've stressed over gas prices and tea partiers while our planes blow people from the face of the earth with explosions so fierce that anyone who ever hears F-16's in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, absolutely, wonder if they are in the last moment of their lives. And we Americans are so proud. The biggest lie in American folklore is that those planes are the "sound of freedom". That is a load of bullshit if there ever was. They are the sound of oppression and occupation and pending death, and that is all.

So we drag along our embarrassment for our country's deeds while Amnesty International calls on governments with close ties to Bahrain to press for an end to the crackdown on those calling for change.

“North American and European governments, so vocal recently in espousing the cause of human rights in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, need also to speak out loudly about what is going on in Bahrain” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“To avoid the charge of double standards, they must be much more robust in pressing the Bahraini authorities to uphold their international human rights obligations.”

The organization said the Bahraini government launched a clearly planned and orchestrated crackdown on 16 March, using excessive force to suppress protests calling for political change and reform. Obviously those policies remain in effect with this government always a good friend of the U.S.

From Bahrain: International pressure needed now to halt spiraling human rights crisis - Amnesty International: - Amnesty International

Security forces used shotguns, rubber bullets, tear gas and, in some cases, live ammunition, sometimes at very close range, and in circumstances where the use of weapons such as shotguns and other firearms could not be justified.

Requests by Amnesty International delegates who visited Bahrain from 1-8 April for meetings with senior security and military officials responsible for law enforcement were refused, the authorities saying that information on orders given to police and security forces was considered a “state secret”.

The government’s relentless crackdown, its declaration of a “State of National Safety” and the use of this to arrest and detain incommunicado protesters and political activists has further exacerbated tension between Sunni and Shi’a Muslim communities, the briefing paper said.

More than 500 people have been arrested in the last month. The vast majority are Shi’a Muslims who were active during the protests. In virtually all cases, weeks after their arrest, their whereabouts remain unknown.

Some detainees have reportedly been tortured or otherwise ill-treated following arrest. At least four detainees are known to have died in custody in suspicious circumstances.

The detainees include medical doctors and nurses, mainly from the Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain’s main hospital. The exact reasons for their arrest are not known but they appear to have been targeted for allegedly supporting protests by treating protesters, criticising the government in the media and participating in the protests.

Witnesses told Amnesty International that during the crackdown in March, security forces fired tear gas at the complex, where some protesters, including injured people receiving medical treatment, were also said to have been arrested and taken away.

Security forces were also alleged to have encircled the centre and prevented injured protesters gaining access to medical care.

Other sources, however, allege that some medical staff refused to treat Asian workers who had been injured while the government maintains that its forces took control of the complex because it was being used as a base by protesters.

Amnesty International says hundreds who joined the protests have were cut loose from their government jobs, and that includes university professors, school teachers, doctors and nurses. Additionally, many workers were not paid in March.

The government has justified the dismissals by claiming that employees breached their terms of employment by protesting. It seems clear however that they are facing retaliation for their political positions. It is also a sign that under the current leadership, those continuing to protest will see their livelihoods impacted. Making matters worse, is the fact that over the last month, there has been a dramatic deterioration in human rights conditions in Bahrain.

So watch this video from Bahrain and see what one more friend of America's is willing to do to its own citizens. The Third Palestinian Intifada is scheduled to launch on Israel on 15 May 2011. It is tragic that the United States and its allies have allowed the world to progress from a delicate state of semi-balance to one of potentially full-blown impending doom.

We Americans were crazy for thinking that Obama would be anything new or different, or for assuming that he would even be a man about the real duties of his elected position as what really amounts to the top leader of the free world. How ironic. I will never say he isn't one of the smartest and brightest, but I believe that he's in it for a second term and for personal gain. Too bad, but then to think we ever would have a positive outcome after Bush is pure foolishness.

Very Graphic: Violence and bloodshed in Bahrain

Bahrain's army deliberately kills peaceful protesters with live rounds ( automatic weapon )

Martyr Reda Bu Humaid After Being Shot\ الشهيد رضا بو حميد بعد إصابته

Very Graphic: Syrian Forces Open Fire On Demonstrators

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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Sophie-BH May 3, 2011 5:28 pm (Pacific time)

I always get this heartwarming feeling when I read articles like this one. Thank you for the support, Tim.


Vic April 27, 2011 12:53 pm (Pacific time)

Great article..Thank You !


Jiff April 26, 2011 3:20 pm (Pacific time)

From all people in Bahrain, longing for freedom: thank you Tim.Your contribution towards ending our suffering will be rewarded by the God.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.