Bahrain’s crown prince: Not a fan of democracy

With the growing chaos on the streets of Manama, the powers that be at WikiLeaks realized that it would be a good time to release a slew of U.S. diplomatic cables related to Bahrain. The cables contain some interesting revelations about the country’s ruling Khalifa family. Crown Prince Salman, for example, isn’t a huge fan ...

KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images
KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images
KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

With the growing chaos on the streets of Manama, the powers that be at WikiLeaks realized that it would be a good time to release a slew of U.S. diplomatic cables related to Bahrain. The cables contain some interesting revelations about the country's ruling Khalifa family.

Crown Prince Salman, for example, isn't a huge fan of democracy in Iraq. In a November 2007 meeting with then U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker there, the crown prince, who is the king's eldest son and his heir apparent, remarked that the U.S. strategy of securing its interests through democracy would continue to founder in the absence of a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If that proved impossible, he urged the United States to "drop democracy promotion as the main element of its strategy in Iraq and the region."

Rather than promoting democracy, the crown prince said the United States could "rely instead on traditional power politics -- i.e., identify strong groups that would support U.S. policies, and stand by them."

With the growing chaos on the streets of Manama, the powers that be at WikiLeaks realized that it would be a good time to release a slew of U.S. diplomatic cables related to Bahrain. The cables contain some interesting revelations about the country’s ruling Khalifa family.

Crown Prince Salman, for example, isn’t a huge fan of democracy in Iraq. In a November 2007 meeting with then U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker there, the crown prince, who is the king’s eldest son and his heir apparent, remarked that the U.S. strategy of securing its interests through democracy would continue to founder in the absence of a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If that proved impossible, he urged the United States to "drop democracy promotion as the main element of its strategy in Iraq and the region."

Rather than promoting democracy, the crown prince said the United States could "rely instead on traditional power politics — i.e., identify strong groups that would support U.S. policies, and stand by them."

"You did it in the Cold War," he said, according to the cable, "and you can do it now."

With the Bahrain regime seemingly intent on crushing the incipient demonstrations, that’s not exactly the message protesters are hoping to hear from their leaders.

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