MANAMA/WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | bahrain

MANAMA/WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is watching the continuing protests in the Kingdom of Bahrain with great apprehension. The ruling al-Khalifah clan is among the West's closest partners on the Arabian Peninsula for insuring western hegemony over the area's resources. German President Wulff had planned to visit Bahrain this month to broaden the two countries' mutual relations. In light of the Bahraini repressive forces' disreputable massacre of demonstrators, the German president canceled his visit at the last minute. Bahrain has a particular importance to the West as a military base. Bahrain serves as a base for operations in Afghanistan and for the coordination of western military interventions off the coast of the Horn of Africa. Germany is contributing to Bahrain's arms buildup, most recently with the delivery of submachine guns and ammunition, such as were recently used to suppress the protests. Over the next few days the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff will be visiting the Gulf States to coordinate the next steps to be taken. As Saudi Arabia declared in connection with the upcoming visit, the Saudi government will intervene "with all its capabilities" to keep the al-Khalifah clan in power. This frees the West to apply the PR measure of calling for moderation toward the protests, without running the risk of losing its feudal partner regime. more…