High Stakes over Bahrain

(Washington Post) David Ignatius - The Obama administration and its support for democratic change in the Middle East has been on a collision course with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other traditional monarchies of the Persian Gulf. U.S. officials have been arguing that Bahrain's Sunni monarchy must make political compromises to give more power to the Shiite majority there. The conservative regimes of the Gulf on Monday backed Bahrain's ruling Khalifa family with military force. "We don't want Iran 14 miles off our coast, and that's not going to happen," said a Saudi official. The Bahrain issue is the most important U.S.-Saudi disagreement in decades. The Obama administration, in effect, is altering America's long-standing commitment to the status quo in the Gulf, believing that change in Bahrain is inevitable and desirable.

2011-03-16 00:00:00

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