James Forsyth

Eastern promises | 18 February 2011

Eastern promises | 18 February 2011
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Events in Bahrain are yet another reminder of why the supposed choice between stability and democracy is a false one. The idea that in the medium to long term backing a Sunni monarchy in a Shiite majority country is a recipe for stability is absurd. If this was not enough, by backing the minority monarchy the West is ensuring that, for obvious reasons, the opposition to it will become radicalised and anti-Western.

The West is where it is. It, sadly, cannot start again from scratch in the Middle East. But it cannot allow itself to continue being the allies of those who brutally repress the aspirations of their own peoples - a policy that would ensure this troubled part of the world grows even more hostile to Western interests.