While much uncertainty surrounds Bahrain's tamarrod, one thing is clear: The only way forward for stability is through serious dialogue, accountability, respect for human rights and democratic reforms that allow for the realization of the Bahraini people's aspirations. In this vein, human rights promotion should be a top priority for U.S. national interests, out of recognition that such efforts are crucial for safeguarding the U.S.-Bahrain relationship over the long-term.
Since the onset of democratic uprisings, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been muddled by inconsistent reactions from U.S. leaders. With August 14 rapidly approaching, the United States has a chance to change this trend with Bahrain – and hopefully help to spare the Bahraini people another bloody episode like that of February 2011.
Husain Abdulla, originally from Bahrain, is the founder and director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain.