Washington has been relatively muted about the Bahrain crackdown. While the United States sent observers to the joint trial of human rights defenders Abu Deeb and Jalila al Salman, it has not publicly stated whether it thinks their trial met international standards.
The costs to the United States of failure to promote peaceful democratic transition in Egypt should not be underestimated. The uprising in Egypt, and in other countries of the region, has presented the U.S. commitment to promoting human rights and democracy around the world with a stern test.
The United States should review its relations with all authoritarian regimes to give human rights greater attention. While it may cooperate with them on counter-terrorism and other shared interests, it cannot turn a blind eye to the abuses these regimes commit.
While time drags on without meaningful reform, the protests across Bahrain intensify, some of which have developed a violent edge. The regime needs to find something better than its current Ostrich Strategy if it's to convince anyone that it is serious about reform.
Egyptians will go to the polls tomorrow to vote in their first-ever competitive presidential election. Whoever wins will have legitimacy in a contest in which tens of millions of voters will choose from a broad range of candidates.
The collapses of authoritarian regimes of the last 15 months should have taught U.S. policymakers one lesson: the old formula of tolerating and colluding with authoritarianism in return for (an often illusory) stability does not work.
Ignoring the human rights and democracy conditions that Congress has placed on U.S. foreign assistance to Egypt would be seen as the U.S. government giving its unconditional support to anti-democratic forces in Egypt.
Karnes County, I hope, will provide a new model for more appropriate detention conditions -- a model that will mean little if it is not just a first step in transforming all facilities where ICE holds immigrants.
When Arben's visa was denied, a staffer at one office told me that my only options were to divorce Arben or move to Kosovo. I don't think I should have to do either of those things. I married Arben for better or for worse. I take that vow seriously, and I want to make my life with him.
Egypt's democratic transition faces two main threats: subversion by anti-democratic religious extremists; and obstruction by an authoritarian military junta loathe to yield power to civilian rule. Those who support continuing democratic progress in Egypt must oppose both.
Bahrainis who stand up publicly to promote human rights risk harassment and arrest. Human rights defenders remain in constant jeopardy from the Bahraini dictatorship. Despite those threats, they continue to document human rights abuses and work for political freedom.
The quality of the U.S. relationship with Egypt will be determined by the progress Egypt makes towards democratic governance that protects and upholds the basic rights and freedoms of all of its people.