Hypocrisy, we are all hypocrites. However, what distinguishes one hypocritical person from another are two things. One, the level of hypocrisy. Two, the way you explain yourself and your actions.
Recently, many countries have been critical of Bahrain’s actions, especially with regards to Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, who is currently standing trial for a coup d’état attempt. I won’t go much into unnecessary details regarding his case, but will just try to simplify things for you all. Really, it is not very complicated to understand everything that Bahrain is currently going through.
First, allow me to dip myself into hypocrisy, then I will touch upon how a country goes by explaining its actions. As I have mentioned, what distinguishes one country from another is the level of hypocrisy, not whether one country does what it preaches. We all tend to sometimes do what we tell others not to do. For example, In the history of mankind, there was never any colonizing power worse than Great Britain.
The United States, a great ally, and I country I admire a lot, for its people, morals, and just about everything else, has a government that for matters of national security, is willing to ‘do the necessary’ at any cost. I can go on and on about each and every ‘democratic’ country in the West. I bet you that if you look closely into each of them, you will find more skeletons in their closets than any GCC state. The rendition program by itself is one huge broccoli to swallow without even touching political corruption.
But that’s them, and the problem is that we always find ourselves trying to compare Bahrain to the West, why is that? Why can’t we just say this is how we do things here, and if you don’t like it, then talk to your government, or send us a letter? Well, because of two reasons. One, we haven’t been doing things right, and two, we haven’t been explaining ourselves at all!
Obviously, Bahrain is a relatively new country with a new government and a fresh governance structure. The structure of government was put in place around ten years ago to fix things and make Bahrain more aligned with the developed nations of the world. That’s what they should do, but they really haven’t been doing things right at the required speed. For example, we have a lousy judicial system that needs to be revamped and work with some common sense. If the judicial system totally ignores a very important factor called ‘TIME’, then the law will not be very well respected. I, for example, purchased property that was supposed to be delivered to me by 2010, instead, the owner refurnished his house and built a private tennis court. Should I form a gang and go claim the tennis court and some of his couches and new silverware? Or should I spend thousands more to keep the lawsuit running in court so that two generations later my great grandkids can get some amount that would be good enough (after adjusting for inflation) for a new swing in the garden?
Everyone reading this can find similarities in his or her own country, but some countries, like Greece, continue to absorb masses of visitors despite the issues they are facing. The UK, which is not facing petrol bombs, but daily terrorism threats, will host the most watched event in the world, the Olympics, this summer! Why can they do this, while we struggled during the Formula One with few burning tires, petrol bombs, and one hunger striker? The ability to explain ourselves. (Note: Israel has more than 1,500 Hunger Striker in their prisons, who happen to be Palestinians)
When I first went to Washington, D.C. as the Media Attaché in July 2011, I was told that my task was to reach out to the media and answer queries with regards to Bahrain. For that reason, I needed to have the answers ready before facing questions, and the ability to answer questions ‘the right way.’ For the first month and a half, the people I worked with got me in touch with journalists so that I would do my job. What I found out was shocking. Most journalists only knew where Bahrain is located during February 2011, let alone knowing our history, culture, and religion. Talking to them was really a waste of time, because I’d have to spend at least an hour introducing Bahrain.
So I decided to move to Think Tanks. There, I clicked right away, and made many friends as well! Think Tanks in America have tremendous weight and influence in domestic and national decision making. Politicians secretly listen to Think Tanks and publically listen to public opinion, which is henceforth shaped by the ‘Media.’ However, if one is able to explain things to Think Tanks, and let them answer the ‘Media’ questions, then results would be magnificent, and that’s what I did. The reason is that no matter what I said, I had zero credibility, because of who I am. I hate lying, and I never did, but somehow I looked like a mixture of Bin Laden and Fidel Castro in the Media’s eyes! Have you seen Harold and Komar Running Away from Guantanamo movie? Remember when Komar was in the aircraft looking back at an old lady and how she saw him? Well, that was me!
Still, I invited many researchers to Bahrain and told them to roam around the Island. They saw firsthand the spiritual links to Iranian clerics as well as signs of Alda’wa party in some villages. Some researchers were also dumbfounded on what they have found in bookstores inside some of the villages. They went back to D.C. and delivered the message. (Of course, I didn’t do this alone, special thanks to unnamed Bahraini patriots in the I.A.A. and our Embassy in D.C.) But what about continuing the job and emulating it in UK and Europe? This is a question that only us Bahrainis can answer because PR agencies don’t speak from the heart, we do.
The recent constitutional changes we have witnessed gave us a big win over the diminishing, much negative, and talkative opposition. We have the upper hand now and nothing to be ashamed off. This won’t allow me to claim that tennis court, but for Bahrain, we now look more of a real constitutional monarchy than before. If we don’t go out explaining ourselves, our system, our successes, challenges, and regional politics, then the world would continue seeing us all Bin Castro. Really, there’s nothing to be ashamed off. We are who we are. Hi everyone, my name is Saqer, I’m happily married, father of one boy and three girls, I have a Ph.D. in Political Science From CGU, I’m a Sunni Muslim, a member of the Bahraini Royal Family, and my goal is to enter heaven. For that, I need to be a good husband, father, citizen, employee, and most of all, a good person.