Bahrain upheaval tests Obama backing for democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama, struggling to find his footing in the upheaval shaking Bahrain, has urged the kings of that island nation and its ally, Saudi Arabia, to show restraint in dealing with protesters. 

The calls to the monarchs Wednesday reflected the cautious approach Obama is taking in Bahrain after openly supporting anti-government protesters who forced out autocratic leaders in Tunisia and Egypt – both longtime U.S. allies. 

Obama doesn’t want to sour the longstanding alliance that allows the U.S. Navy to maintain strategic port facilities in Bahrain for the powerful 5th Fleet, a bulwark of U.S. power in the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Its presence is key to containing Iranian political and military ambitions in the region. 

Bahrain has a Sunni monarchy, but it has a Shiite majority. A change in its leadership could be a boon for Iran’s Shiite theocracy.

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I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

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