US stands silent as the UAE jails dissidents

Break the Silence in the UAE
By Hannah Gurman

As democratic uprisings have spread across the Middle East in the Arab Spring, the U.S. response has been as notable for its silences as for its selective words and deeds on behalf of the democracy movements in the region.

It took weeks of incessant protest in Tunisia and Egypt before the Obama administration was willing to say much or do anything to support the protesters. And while the United States intervened in Libya to protect civilians being killed by Gaddafi, it has responded to the uprisings in Bahrain and Iraq with a particular quiescence. The Obama administration has hardly said a peep about the need for democracy in Saudi Arabia or the other oil-rich states of the Gulf, even as the regimes of these regions are cracking down on the small but growing number of democracy activists in their midst.

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