The Fire in Bahrain: Futile Dialog and Dirty Compromise and an Extended Pogrom………


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The People of Bahrain will gather for huge protests on Wednesday August 14. The people of Bahrain, most of them, have been in a state of rebellion since February 14, 2011. The ruling family is determined to thwart them by imposing a lock-down across the country, especially the capital Manama. Barbed wire and tear gas and contingents of foreign mercenaries are being used to keep the people out of the capital. Much of uncooperative foreign media is being kept out.
The ruling Al Khalifa clan of Bahrain have been whittling away the basic freedoms that were guaranteed under the covenant they made with the people who voted for independence and a constitutional monarchy some 42 years ago. Repression and corruption have become a hallmark of Bahrain, as the rulers and their tribal and foreign allies painted a phony picture to the outside world, focused on the capital Manama, of a peaceful progressive financial center and tourist destination. As the people protested, the rulers took a page form the Saudi book of repression and ended the experiment in parliamentary politics for a generation. Which gave them the chance to establish one of the most corrupt systems, of its size, for looting the potential wealth of any Arab country.
When they finally agreed under pressure to restore some form of electoral politics, they had by that time unilaterally changed the constitution to make the elected legislature only partly elected, then they made it toothless. When the people protested, the rulers responded with an extended island-wide pogrom that has lasted since February 2011 and continues today.
The politics itself angered the people of Bahrain, people of all sects, but what made this an even more serious matter was the regime policy of discrimination, in effect a form of Gulf apartheid, against a majority of the population. There can always be room for compromise over politics, but there can be no compromise over the basic human rights, especially equality. That is why all the attempts at a “dialog” have been and will continue to be fruitless. When the basic right of equality is at stake, words like “dialog” and “compromise” sound like dirty words, at least they do to me. And in the context of the basic right of equality words like “dialog” and “compromise” are in fact dirty words that lead nowhere, except maybe to more “dialog” and compromise”.