from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by firstname.lastname@example.org (As’ad AbuKhalil)
Even the New York Times noticed: “Dealing with other countries in the region is more complicated, however, particularly if they are strategic allies — which was true of Egypt and which prompted criticism that the White House was initially reluctant to put more pressure on such a crucial partner. The same complexities apply to Bahrain, an island state that is home to the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Two protesters have been killed in Bahrain. The authorities also blocked a video channel that was carrying images uploaded by demonstrators in Pearl Square, a traffic circle the protesters have dubbed Bahrain’s Tahrir Square. But on Tuesday, Mr. Obama did not mention the violence in Bahrain and chose to draw his distinction between Egypt’s successful uprising and the 2009 crackdown in Iran.
“What’s been different is the Iranian government’s response, which is to shoot people and beat people and arrest people,” he said. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton drew a similar distinction in a speech on Tuesday on Internet freedom. Both Egypt and Iran temporarily shut down the Web and cellphone networks, she said. In Iran, she said, “after the authorities raided homes, attacked university dorms, made mass arrests, tortured and fired shots into crowds, the protests ended. In Egypt, however, the story ended differently.” In addition to those two countries, Mrs. Clinton listed China, Cuba and Syria as other nations that have censored Facebook and other social networking services. A senior administration official said the White House had been consistent in calling for all these countries to respond to the demands of their frustrated young people, to allow them to assemble freely and to avoid violence. But the official said there were deep differences between Iran and Bahrain.”