Category Archives: Arab Revolutions

A Saudi Cause Célèbre: a Policy of Apartheid, a Media Empire……..

        
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  Can the Saudi army & Abu Dhabi mercenaries crush her spirit?

The chief editor of

Asharq Alawsat, the Saudi daily owned by prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz and run by his son, is here telling the United States administration to stop issuing statements about Bahrain and the Saudi invasion of the island. When this guy writes like this, it can only mean that he got his orders from his lords and masters to say so.

Its title in Arabic is a tough sounding “America Must Control These Statements!”. He is referring to US concern about Bahrain and the killings of civilians by regime security mercenaries. The headline is translated by the newspaper to a milder “America’s inconsistent statements”. He is also saying that allowing free elections in Bahrain would “hand the island to Iran”, a typical Wahhabi refrain against free elections anywhere, even in the oppressed Arabian Peninsula which is about 90% of the “right sect”. He, a foreigner to Bahrain, is also casting suspicions of disloyalty on a majority of the people of Bahrain. Even though it was the ruling oligarchy that betrayed the country by inviting foreign forces to invade.

They have mobilized their vast media (all owned or controlled by Saudi princes), their hired Salafi shaikhs, and their paid ghost newspapers in some states of the Persian-American Gulf (the worst two dailies in my hometown, the worst two in the Middle East, with suspicious financing, fall in that category). They focus now on Bahrain more than anything else, having made the al-Khalifa Apartheid policy against the people of Bahrain their cause célèbre.

They will lose in the end because they are on the wrong side of the move of history. They have no cause beyond keeping in power a grasping and corrupt regime that is a smaller version of their own. Besides, the fear that kept these twits in control is gone. I am not talking about just Bahrain. There is no fear…….
Cheers
mhg

mailto: m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com”>m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Bahrain: the Economics of Corruption 101……….

        
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   Spirit of Bahrain



Bahrain’s Shi’a are also under-represented in the bureaucracy, which is increasingly staffed by puritanical Salafists hostile to Bahrain’s majority on theological grounds. Perhaps most irritating of all, the monarchy is believed to have extended citizenship to as many as 100,000 Sunnis Yemen, Syria, Jordan and Pakistan, who form the backbone of the security services. Foreign Sunnis get a government-built house after five years of military service – but Shi’as say they have to wait 15 or even 20 years………. Even though Bahrain’s king would like to see military action against Iran, he has refrained from saying so in public, for fear of sparking of a rebellion by his subjects. Following independence in 1971, Bahrain established a parliament and a constitution which guaranteed basic rights for all citizens. But in 1975, the monarchy promulgated a new security law, which allowed for the detention of political prisoners for up to three years without trial. Bahrain’s parliament protested – and was promptly dissolved…….. For several years, Bahrain was characterised by brutal authoritarianism: through the 1990s, Saudi troops repeatedly quelled riot
ing by the emirate’s Shi’as, and memories of those dark years have been revived by recent events…………..”

For many years
, the average people of Bahrain lived in sectarian peace. When they voted for independence in 1970, it passed because they all voted for it. The real troubles started with the ruling oligarchy, the al-Khalifa and a few families who hang around them, their tribal allies. Bahrain is a resource-poor country, with a large ruling family, many shaikhs, and a hungry group of elite retainers and hangers-on of the rulers. The current king has at least three wives and more than two dozen children. The limited resources could not keep all these shaikhs of the ruling family, and their tribal retainer families, in the style of their richer neighbors, the true petroleum princes. Yet the al-Khalifa had to live in the expected style of Arab oil shaikhs. They could see the Saudi princes treat the country and its resources as their own private feudal fiefdom (they still do, more now than ever). They could see the ruling family of Abu Dhabi treat the country’s resources as their own private wealth, throwing occasional crumbs at the people.


The easiest
, the only, way was to apportion more of the country’s meager resources to the elite and less to the rest, to most of the people. That became easier to do after the constitution was suspended and the real parliament dissolved by force in 1975. Then some quarter of a century later they established a fake electoral system where they always had a majority, and they made sure the security forces and the military were composed of the “right sort” of people. But there aren’t enough Bahrainis of the “right sort” to police the country. Besides, Bahrainis of any religion or sect were unlikely to abuse and torture their own compatriots no matter of what faith or sect. So, what to do? They started importing mercenaries from other countries. They also started encouraging the growth of a nasty Salafi contingent (Salafi as in Islamic Heritage groups and Wahhabism and Bin Laden and all that).


The ruling
family has had 35 years to divide the people and plunder the island(s) of Bahrain. Plunder through abusing the revenues or stealing (I know: it ain’t polite, but it is the only way of putting it succinctly) public land which was blatantly expropriated, actually privatized, for the members of the ruling family and their retainers and their families.

This is the story, more or less. The rest is fear-mongering among the eternally sectarian-conscious people of my Gulf (I know we are), and fear-mongering among foreign policy makers and some idiotic advisers who are made to believe that the ayatollahs will be strolling around Lulu Square and to the gates of the headquarters of the Fifth Fleet. 

End of the story, more or less (more less than more).
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

My Gulf Wins a Prize: the Least Charismatic Leader(s) in the Whole World………..

        
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Can the Saudi army & Abu Dhabi mercenaries crush her spirit?

The protesters’ disruption of the harbor, which was reportedly purchased by the conservative Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa for ‘one dinar’, was an important symbolic gesture by the opposition. For the United States, the intervention is a slap in the face. On Saturday, March 12, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Bahrain, where he called for real reforms to the country’s political system and criticized “baby steps,” which he said would be insufficient to defuse the crisis. The Saudis were called in within a few hours of Gates’s departure, however, showing their disdain for his efforts to reach a negotiated solution. By acting so soon after Gates’s visit, Saudi Arabia has made the United States look at best irrelevant to events in Bahrain, and from the Shiite opposition’s point of view, even complicit in the Saudi military intervention. The number of foreign troop is so far very small and should not make one iota of difference in Bahrain’s balance of power. The Bahraini military already total 30,000 troops, all of whom are Sunnis. They are under control of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa and supposedly fully faithful to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. Bahrain also has a similar number of police and general security forces, mainly mercenaries from Baluchistan, Yemen, and Syria, reputed to be controlled by the prime minister and his followers in the family……..”

I think, nay I know, Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman is arguably the least charismatic leader in the whole wide wonderful world, and possibly one of the most corrupt, probably got that one dinar back, and then some. But he is certainly not the least avaricious leader in the world: he got that one dinar back out of the sweat and blood of poor Bahrainis (okay, I did not say he is some kind of a leech; no sir, I’d never say that). Yet he has lasted at his job for 40 years (fortyfuckingyears!). That is almost two generations of poor Bahrainis who have to watch his visage on state TV and in the oligarchy media every single day and listen to quotations of the usual inane bland statements that only some leaders on my Gulf seem to have a knack for! Most of these sayings and statements, either in Manama or Riyadh or Shaikhwhatshisarse in Abu Dhabi, make Mu’ammar Qaddafi seem downright entertaining. I suspect some of these potentates can make Yasser Arafat and Lieberman (Avigdor not Joe) sound like fun persons by comparison.
Actually Qaddafi has been the most entertaining of Arab leaders: you can spend two hours listening to his nonsense without completely understanding what the hell he is up to. Yet you keep on listening (well, for only about two hours or so). On the other hand, some of our Gulf potentates I mentioned above can make you fall asleep in less than fifteen minutes (the average limit of their speechifying ability).
Which tells you something about the state of their, or is it our, politics.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

What Bob Gates Did not Know, Crushing the Spirit of Bahrain……….

        
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  Can the Saudi army & Abu Dhabi mercenaries crush her spirit?
Top U.S. defense and military officials were given no indication during recent visits to the Middle East that Saudi forces would deploy to Bahrain, the Pentagon said on Monday. “We have communicated to all parties our concerns regarding actions that could be provocative or inflame sectarian tensions,” Colonel Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. The Pentagon said neither Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was in the region last week, nor Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had no prior knowledge of the deployment by close ally Saudi Arabia…….

Okay, the US has its biggest naval base in the region in Bahrain, and the US secretary of defense visits Manama, and one day later the Saudis invade. Do you believe the US administration did not know? If you do, I still have that old lame camel that is in perfect condition for sale.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Qaddafi Tanks, Saudi Tanks, Ba’athist Tanks ………

        

                              Summer

 

   Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter      Target of Saudi tanks in Manama
The council of ministers has confirmed that it has answered a request by Bahrain for support, Riyadh said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency……
Sounds so much like the statement aired on Baghdad Radio when Kuwait was invaded……

Gaddafi tanks reach centre of Zuwarah, west of Tripoli….. Alarabiya (Saudi)

“Saudi tanks reach Manama, capital of Bahrain…” Me (and news agencies)
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Zenga Zenga in Occupied Bahrain: Manama as Prague or Kuwait City?………….

        

                        Summer

 

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Forces from neighboring Gulf Arab countries will help maintain order in Bahrain, Arabiya TV reported on Monday, and an adviser to Bahrain’s royal court said their forces were already on the strategic island. “Forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council have arrived in Bahrain to maintain order and security,” Nabeel al-Hamer, a former information minister and adviser to the royal court, said on his Twitter feed. Gulf Daily News, a newspaper close to Bahrain’s powerful prime minister, reported on Monday that forces from the GCC, a six-member regional bloc, would protect strategic facilities. A Saudi official said Monday that more than 1,000 Saudi troops, part of the Gulf countries’ Peninsula Shield Force, have entered Bahrain where anti-regime protests have raged for a month…….


The lines have been drawn on the Gulf: which is what the worried al-Saud dynasty has wanted since they hosted Bin Ali and supported Mubarak last January. They, like other oligarchies on MY Gulf, have wanted a sectarian divide between the people of the region (I mean the Arab side of the Persian-American Gulf). It is the old policy of ‘divide and rule’.
The rapacious Bahrain oligarchy did a masterful job of terrifying a section of their population into throwing in their lot with the rulers and against their own self-interest. In this task, and as usual, the al-Khalifa have had the strong support of the Salafi movement, always the mercenary force willing to do the bidding of the despots in the Arab world these days. They usually do it for reasons to do with Salafi doctrine, or for sectarian reasons, or for material gain. All three of the above in the case of Bahrain (and Saudi Arabia).

This invasion of Bahrain is being advertised in Gulf semi-official media as a “police” force. They claim the GCC Peninsula Shield agreement allows it. In fact the GCC agreement allows helping a member against foreign invasion, not against popular uprisings. They certainly did not interfere to protect Kuwait in 1990: they chickened out against an outside invader (Iraq).

This is a Saudi invasion against the people of Bahrain. The talk of UAE participation probably means they may have sent a hundred or so people along with the Saudis. The UAE has very few natives to form a real army: its population consists mostly, nay overwhelmingly, of foreign expatriate laborers and housemaids.
This is a Saudi invasion to save the nuts of the al-Khalifa from the fires of their own greed and corruption and their insistence on their Apartheid policy. Just as the 1968 Soviet invasion was against the people of Prague and the Ba’athist 1990 invasion was against the people of Kuwait. Anybody who was against those invasions has to be against this one. After all, a pig with lipstick, even a brotherly or sisterly pig, is still a pig. The pig has just strolled into Manama inside a tank.
The good news for the people of Bahrain and other Arab states is: the fear is gone. It may be zenga zenga in Manama………..
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Saudi Arabian Regime Does a Saddam! Invades Bahrain! ……..

        

                        Summer

 

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Media now confirm that Saudi National Guard forces have crossed into Bahrain. Gulf media claim the forces are from the GCC, but they are in fact Saudi forces bent on subjugating the people of Bahrain and effectively annexing their country in everything but name.


  • What is the difference between the Iraqi Ba’athist invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and this Saudi invasion of Bahrain in 2011?
  • Both invasions were acts of aggression against the peoples of the two countries. 
  • In both cases the aggressor uses force to crush any opposition by the people.
  • In both invasions the invaders are there to impose a regime against the will of the people.
  • The people of Kuwait faced the soldiers of the dynastic Ba’athist regime, and the people of Bahrain are now facing the Wahhabi troops of the absolute tribal polygamous monarchy across the Gulf. 
  • There is nothing that a regime can do that is lower than invite foreign troops to enter the country to act against its own people. The al-Khalifa have just done that.


Can we say that our cause was better than your cause, and our resistance was better than yours? That would be hypocritical.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

On my Gulf: of an Uprising, a Vanished Fear, a Threat of Invasion……

 

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“Thousands of protesters blocked King Faisal Highway, a four-lane road leading to the financial district of the capital, Manama. Security forces dispersed about 350 by using teargas, the government said. Police moved in on Pearl Square, occupied by members of the Shiite majority calling for an elected government and equality with Sunnis. Witnesses said security forces surrounded the tents, shooting teargas and rubber bullets at activists……..”


They never learn, these potentates. This is the same old Arab story, especially in Bahrain, but with a new twist this year. People rise demanding their rights to democracy and equality and justice; the rulers refuse and crack down; with time the protesters lose heart and go home. It happened several times in Bahrain over the past couple of decades.
This time there is one big difference, a decisive difference: there is no fear! The people are not afraid anymore, and this is why they have been threatening the people with foreign intervention: it worked before, but it will not work this time around. This may explain the “rumor” that they spread today about Saudi military intervention. A possible trial balloon? The oligarchs are reminding the people of Bahrain that they, the rulers, have fellow despots across the bridge with well-armed troops, and that these foreign troops may not be as “merciful”. But the problem the al-Khalifa face is what all Arab despots have been facing in this beautiful year of Arab revolutions: there is no fear! The fear that the despots relied on so much is gone from the Bahraini hearts, just it is gone from most Arab hearts.

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

GCC Support Libya No-fly Zone: now about a Gulf Exclusion Zone for Bahrain……..

        

                        Summer

 

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ABU DHABI // The Gulf states last night threw their weight behind the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya, as they took a tougher line against what they termed human rights violations by Col Muammar Qaddafi’s regime. “The ministerial council demands that the Security Council take the steps necessary to protect civilians, including a no-fly zone in Libya,” the Gulf’s foreign ministers said in a joint statement late last night after a meeting at the Emirates Palace hotel. Calls for the imposition of a no-fly zone to protect rebels from bombing raids by Col Qaddafi’s military have been gathering pace in recent days. Gulf officials expressed growing frustration with Col Qaddafi’s violent repression of rebels calling for an end to his four decades of rule, saying Libyan authorities have rejected humanitarian aid from the Gulf and refused to distribute it to its citizens…….

That is a good precedent. A no-fly zone may be just what the doctor ordered for Eastern Libya. But what about a similar zone for our Gulf? Like a zone of exclusion where no military forces can cross, like across the bridge-to-Bahrain zone? That would keep certain foreign troops from entering Bahrain to help shoot down its people, if it comes to that again. There have been some reliable reports that Saudi forces helped the al-Khalifa put down the protests of the 1990s. There have also been some reports that Saudi ‘assets’ tried to help during the current uprising. Hopefully it won’t come to that. But would the potentates of the Gulf agree to that kind of ‘zone of exclusion’? Would Western powers agree to it?
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Saudi Daily Column Hints at Term Limits for Saudi Kings………………

        

                        Summer

 

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The other reason is the length of the individual rule. While the Saudi regime renewed its popularity through new leaders taking turning ruling, the regimes in Egypt or Tunisia were not renewed, nor was the regime in Libya or Yemen. All these years that Qaddafi ruled all by himself, Saudi Arabia saw several kings: King Faisal, then King Khalid, then King Fahd, then King Abdullah….. Four kings changed while Qaddafi remained in power…….

This regular columnist for the Saudi semi-official daily Asharq Alawsat (owned by Prince Salman) is obviously saying that individual Saudi kings did not rule for that long, and that this is a good thing. He says that Mubarak (who he used to praise before last February, and they all wanted his son to inherit the throne) and Qaddafi lasted too long, did not allow others to take their turn.
This writer has one or two problems, or maybe both: (1) either he does not realize that Saudi kings give up power not willingly but because they die! The only Saudi king to give up power before he died was Saud who was overthrown by his brother Faisal and some of his other brothers in a palace coup. (2) He is just being cute here with us readers, thinking us too stupid to get point (1). That is: he is trying to pull a fast one.
 
The point he is making is that leaders, including kings, should not last long (although Saudi King Fahd ruled for about a quarter of a century). Now this is something the Saudi princes may not look kindly on. I mean King Hussein of Jordan ruled for over forty years, and his son may rule for forty more. King Faisal may have ruled for almost that long had he not been shot by a nephew. If the al-Saud dynasty lasts, some young king will come to power who may rule for forty years. Is he saying they should be overthrown after, say, ten years? Interesting concept.
Cheers
mhg





m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com