The clip is only a minute and a half, but the White House video of President Trump meeting the king of Bahrain last week caps years of misguided American policy on the kingdom. It’s also been followed by a sharp, violent attack on internal dissent against the monarchy.

In the film the pair sit awkwardly and exchange stiff, stilted conversation, but Trump’s message is clear. “Our countries have a wonderful relationship together, but there has been a little strain, but there won’t be strain with this administration,” he said, suggesting Bahrain is about to enjoy a new era free from White House criticism of human rights abuses. “We’re going to have a very, very long-term relationship. I look forward to it very much - many of the same things in common,” said Trump.

Two days after the meeting Bahrain’s security forces attacked an 11-month protest near the house of senior Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim. Demonstrators had gathered to protect the cleric after his citizenship had been stripped last June. Five people were killed in the attack, and hundreds arrested.

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