Better Reputations, Better Results: “Perception Management” in Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain is recruiting a veritable army of Mad Men, ensuring the brutal crackdown of its own citizens over the last two years stays out of international media headlines and the global consciousness. The constitutional monarchy wants the world to forget how it allowed its military to fire upon mourners at a funeral.[…]

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Reporting on repressive regimes in the Gulf

Mariwan Hama shares his experience investigating human rights abuses in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, touching on nation’s security complex, geopolitical context, changing ethnic configuration, and current political events. Hama spent five days earlier in the year visiting Bahrain with Human Rights Watch, documenting the ongoing struggle for democracy in a repressive regime successfully tempering[…]


Will al-Thani of Jordan be the First to Go?

In the third wave of the Arab Spring monarchies are on their heels King Abdullah al-Thani’s attempts to placate Jordan is going up in flames, to the Arab Spring chant “the people want the downfall of the regime” seen from Sidi Bouzid to Deraa. After closing roads with flaming car chassis, protesters tried to storm[…]

“Battleship 2012” – more than a game, more than a movie

Persian Gulf: US and Iranian naval activity could be the blockbuster of the summer Recent history has seen US military forces focused on the ground, but the summer has brought an old battleground to the forefront: the sea.  Specifically, the Persian Gulf in which merchant ships, national navies, and pirate forces consistently vie for an[…]

How’s that double standard working out for ya?

Bahrain: How’s that double standard working out for ya?   It is no secret that there is a clear double standard in US policy regarding the popular protests sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa. The US will intervene–whether in physical or more rhetorical forms–where it benefits or at least does not negatively impact[…]