The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

In March 2011, just weeks into the crisis, Faleomavaega emerged seemingly out of nowhere — he has no history of commenting on Middle East affairs — to enter a 2,500-word statement into the Congressional Record that closely echoed the Bahraini government’s spin. “Bahrain is under attack,” he said, painting protesters as violent, Iran-backed vandals representing “the worst kind of seditious infiltration from a foreign enemy.” He praised the Crown Prince for supposedly meeting protesters’ demands for democratic reforms. “Mr. Speaker,” Faleomavaega said. “I have to ask why the demonstrators returned to protesting again, even after all their demands were agreed to.” Just days before, the government had torn down the iconic Pearl Monument at the center of the protests, and Saudi Arabian tanks had rolled into Bahrain to back the government crackdown. Meet Bahrain’s Best Friend in Congress | ProPublica