Beleaguered Bahrain Echoes “Ghaddafi Defense,” Drugs Did It!

Beleaguered Bahrain Echoes “Ghaddafi Defense,” Drugs Did It!

By Tony O'Neill 05/23/11

 If you’re agitating for democracy in the Middle East, most of the region's dictators agree, there can only be one explanation: You're high!

Image: 
His Highness Shaikh Khalifa.
Photo via globalsecurity

Maybe we’re making assumptions, but here at The Fix we’re pretty sure our readers know some of the common side effects of being under the influence. Glassy eyes? Constricted pupils? Euphoria? How about a thirst for democracy?

Adopting what is becoming known as “The Ghaddafi defense," the head of Bahrain’s military is claiming that drugs are to blame for the pro-democracy protests which have resulted in a spiraling death toll as security forces continue their brutal crackdown. While amateur videos of unarmed protesters being mowed down by government forces have been making headlines around the world, Marshal Shaikh Khalifa claims that Bahrain has been the victim of “a conspiracy involving foreign agents and financing,” in which “young people were given pills which affected their minds and made them do unusual things” (all this according to Bahrain’s official state news). The “drugs made them do it” defense echoes Col. Muammar Ghaddafi’s spirited assertion in a broadcast on Libyan state television, during which he claimed protesters in his country had been “drinking milk and Nescafe spiked with hallucinogenic drugs.” And who is behind this nefarious plot to drug and radicalize the youth of Libya?  Why, everyone’s favorite bogeyman, Al Qaeda, of course.

In response to the Libyan dictator’s accusations, a jokester claiming to be Osama Bin Laden recently wrote on Twitter, “Sorry I haven't tweeted much lately. Been busy drugging & arming Libyans.”

Still, it makes us grateful to recall just how bad some people have it on other parts of the world.  After all, not every country has it as good as the citizens of the United States of America. Just imagine living in a country where suspected involvement with drugs could lead to your arrest and incarceration by state forces.