In its April 14 editorial “Bahrain’s slow burn,” The Post retreated to a false correlation between the situation in Bahrain and that in other Middle East countries experiencing unrest.
The editorial dismissed the steps that Bahrain has undertaken to enact meaningful security reform. With the help of former Miami police chief John F. Timoney, Bahrain has developed a police code of conduct, installed video cameras in all interrogation rooms and accelerated the retraining of thousands of police. These changes are only a down payment on the full reform program Bahrain has committed to.
The Post also seems to cling to the notion that the situation in Bahrain is characterized by a “pro-democracy” majority fighting an oppressive government. It ignores the information that journalists are finally reporting about the anti-democratic views of much of the opposition and the use of violence by small groups of demonstrators. Students of history should not be surprised by this: Radical oppositionists traditionally seek to sharpen divisions because they hope to thrive in a polarized environment.
The United States and Bahrain have been friends and allies for decades. During this time of turmoil, Bahrain has valued the United States’ counsel and accepts the harsher words that sometimes urge us to do better.
Bahrain is moving forward, but we recognize that our citizens may be disappointed with the pace of change. The government is working hard to continue reform that addresses the legitimate aspirations of all of Bahrain’s people.
Houda Nonoo, Washington
The writer is Bahrain’s ambassador to the United States.