Can the Saudi army & Abu Dhabi mercenaries crush her spirit?
“The path to such a solution can be achieved in two steps: firstly by establishing a truce based on the ending of opposition protests, the release of all opposition leaders and activists, and the withdrawal from Bahrain of all GCC forces. Secondly, a time-bound national dialogue of two months should be possible based on the principles of enhancing political representation and accountability and the sharing of power. This dialogue should also serve as the basis for talks aimed at achieving the far-reaching goal of a “constitutional or parliamentary monarchy” in the country. It is a goal that King Hamad has previously set and which the mainstream opposition parties are demanding. It is now time to put aside sectarian concerns and deep seated existential fears and get on with the job of achieving this for the future of Bahrain, the Gulf region, and the entire Middle East.……..”
A reasonable idea, but it is not gonna happen. A constitutional monarchy is exactly what the Saudis, and their Emirati sidekicks, went into Bahrain to prevent. The opposition wants this type of solution, has called for it (in spite of some noisy emotional and unrealistic minority demands that are being exploited by the regime and its Salafi allies around the Gulf). There is also a hardline wing of the al-Khalifa clan that wants a Saudi style absolute monarchy. This group is lead by the powerful and highly unpopular old prime minister Shaikh Khalia Al Khalifa (try reading it backwards) who has been in power 40 years. He is no sweetheart: maybe his mom didn’t love him enough as a child (just speculation). He is determined to die in office, in the true fashion of Arab leaders. Besides, Bahrain is unique in the world in another respect: most of the land is now in private hands, mainly al-Khalifa and their cronies (estimates range up to over 80%). This could only have happened through extra-legal means or some funny creative means that any true parliament worth its name would want to investigate. We are talking major medieval-style corruption here.
They may eventually come back to something like this proposal, but it will take some more agony and bloodshed for the people of Bahrain, and probably for the occupation forces as well. Unless the outside world, what is called the international community, gets some courage, finally decides to put its foot down and impose an solution. How about a special UN mediator?
““The new potentials created by the recent developments can reinvigorate and promote Iran’s regional power in political, cultural and social dimensions,” Deputy Head of the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Gholam Ali Rashid said. He described the new developments in the region as the beginning of a new era which will serve Muslims’ interests and will endanger the interests of the western countries. Decreasing enemies’ concentration on devising and hatching new political, security and military plots against Iran is the least benefit of the recent developments for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the commander continued……..” Fars News (Iran)
This Iranian commander seems to agree with some Arabs in the Gulf region who claim fear of the mullahs. I doubt his claim that regional uprisings against dictators and absolute monarchies will strengthen the Iranian regime. On the contrary, if more of the Arab regimes are overthrown by popular uprisings, this will increase the likelihood of an Iranian spillover, especially now with many Iranians restless about their government and the economic crisis of the country. Arab revolts will encourage the Iranian youth to demand real change.
Which means, if you want change in Iran and reduced power for the theocracy, then you should wholeheartedly support Arab revolutions from North Africa to the Gulf. Does this mean that, say, the kings of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia or the oligarchs of Abu Dhabi should support Arab revolutions (and not only in Libya and Syria)? Well, yes: if’n they ever ask me, I’d advise them to go for it and scream “er7l, er7l, depart, depart” as they look in the mirror.
“Bahrain announced on Sunday that it had foiled a plot to subvert security and stability in the Gulf region. “An external plot has been fomented for 20 to 23 years for the ground to be ripe for subversive designs,” His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Supreme Commander, said. He pointed out that if this subversive plot succeeded in one GCC country it might then spill over. “I here announce the failure of the fomented subversive plot,” the king said during a meeting with the Peninsula Shield Commander and officers. The king paid tribute to GCC leaders for their keenness to deter dangers jeopardising Bahrain, reflecting strong fraternal historic relations, common destiny and firm commitment to the joint defence agreements………”
Okay, this king (former emir) of Bahrain may have saved the Arab world, nay the whole world, from some ‘external threat’. The Angry Arab blogger commented earlier, perhaps half-seriously or maybe just half sarcastically, that al-Khalifa may have saved the world from a Martian invasion. But the king did not mention an “extraterrestrial” threat, just an “external one”. But you never know, he may have got his words mixed up, busy as he is doing ‘kingly’ things to his poor people. Besides, a plot that is in the making for 20 or 30 years (the king couldn’t make up his kingly mind) reeks of something out of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, the B/W version. It takes long for the ‘pods’ to mature and hatch, as I recall. Which reminds me, the king’s security and military (probably with occupation forces) have been busy snatching bodies around the country.
No, don’t even think about a Nobel, certainly not for “peace”.
“AL KHARJIYA, Bahrain (AP) — It was just after midnight when armed men in military uniforms came to the hospital bed of Ali Mansour Abdel-Karim Nasser, who was injured by pellets fired during a clash with riot police. He said what came next was worse: he was bound, beaten and mocked in the hallway of Bahrain’s main state-run hospital. “I did not talk. I did not argue with them. I just cried,” he told The Associated Press in his mostly Shiite village, Al Kharjiya, about 20 miles (15 kilometers) from the capital Manama. The Salmaniya medical complex — now under military rule — appears to be one of the last main targets of Bahrain’s Sunni rulers trying to crush a pro-democracy uprising by the country’s Shiite majority. The hospital treated hundreds of injured demonstrators and its morgue held some of the dead since the revolt began last month in the strategically important Gulf country, the home of U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. For many Shiites, the sprawling complex — sitting between fancy shopping malls and Western-style cafes in central Manama — is as much a symbol of the rebellion as the city’s Pearl Square, which protesters occupied for a month. Authorities regained control last week and destroyed its landmark 300-foot (90-meter) pearl monument to wipe out what Bahrain’s foreign minister called “bad memories.”…….”
It is not inconceivable that some clever al-Khalifa will hit on the brilliant idea that Salmaniya Hospital represents “bad memories” and should be torn down. I have read a few tweets (in Arabic) from Salafi Wahhabi kooks that it may be better if “they” can also be turned into bad memories. I suspect I know who these people are, the “they” the Salafis are tweeting about. None of these tweets were from Bahrain: all from other GCC states, from two countries only. I wonder wtf the Iranians are tweeting about all this: nothing of interest from Khamenei’s tweets, and Ahmadinejad thinks tweeting is a waste of time. King Abdullah probably thinks it is unmanly for someone with a goatee to go around “tweeting”
- (Tweet) Winnipeg Free Press: Bahrainis abandoned in their time of trial…..
- (Tweet) Bahrain Online: Isa Radhis body retained by authorities after family refused to sign that he passed away in a car accident……
- (Tweet) Bahrainis call for civil disobedience……
- (Tweet) In Karzakan #Bahrain now. Banner says “Their weapon is violence, Our weapon is civil disobedience……
- (Tweet) Bahrain: Journalists Denied Entry at the Airport…..
- (Tweet) Kuwait medical volunteers denied Bahrain entry because many of them were Shi’as…..
- (Tweet) #Bahrain police car chases unarmed men, shoots them, leaves them to die…..
- (Tweet) #14feb #bahrain #lulu Isa Radhis body retained by authorities after family refused to sign that he passed away in a car accident……
- (Tweet) Isa Radhi Al Radhi confirmed dead.Authorities request family sign that death was car accident,they refuse……
- (Tweet) #14Feb #Bahrain #lulu :Isa Radhi Al Radhi from Sitra confirmed dead…….
- (Tweet) @Wefaqsociety: we will not forget him forever………
- (Tweet) LiveBahrain: Nasrallah: what is the difference between Al Khalifa and Al Qaddafi?….
(Tweet) JustAmira: The Allah Akbar (God is Greater) chants have started. Let’s hope they aren’t followed by BOOM BOOM BOOM #Bahrain…
(Tweet) draddee: #Bahrain funeral turns into defiant protest. Demolishing the #Lulu monument is idiotic & desperate
“Al-Qaradawi, who is the president of the World Federation of Muslim Scholars, was vocal in amassing Egyptians against the ousted Egypt President Husni Mubarak, and egged on other revolutions that took place or are taking place elsewhere in the Arab World, but kept quiet for Bahrain…….”
Qardhawi is certainly not silent about Bahrain anymore: he is siding with the oppressive al-Khalifa and the Saudi invaders.
Now Alarabiya (Saudi owned and managed by some little prince) is building up this Qardhawi dude, and this always makes me suspicious. It is now making Qardhawi the hero of the Egyptian revolution. He hung around in Qatar, then flew in and tried to claim a role in sending Mubarak to Sharm el-Shaikh. Maybe he fancied himself another Khomeini.
Now the Saudis are using him as a tool to justify their invasion and occupation of Bahrain. I have never cared for “television clergy”, be they Sunni, Shi’a, Episcopalians, Baptists, or other Evangelicals (I have never seen any Jewish TV rabbis, but no doubt they have them too). There is always something “oily” and hypocritical about most of the television clergy, whatever faith. There is also something of a different kind of “oil” about this Qardhawi guy. Normally I don’t pay attention to him, but when a royal Saudi network builds him up I perk up, get suspicious.
Qardawi’s son converted to Shi’ism a couple of years ago, but he has not ‘come out’ yet, presumably at the request of his father who would lose his position. I am not sure HTF one converts from one Islamic sect to another: I mean it is not like converting to something like Catholicism).
“Prince ALWALEED: Let me tell you, the so-called day of rage should be changed to some other word, please. Should call it day of allegiance and love to the King Abdullah. Today if you’re on the streets, people have the flags up, they were just themselves and say, `We will not tolerate and accept any sort of demonstration here. We’re happy with our king, we love our king, and we will not accept any outside interference at all,’….. You know, we have issues, sure, internally, like any other country, and we had some demonstrations in the Shiite province in the east coast. And we had maybe around 40, 50 demonstrators yesterday. And the whole thing, you know, just faded away after they had discussion with the authorities over there. We had issues in the past, we resolved them internally and amicably. …….. So really, this whole thing should be changed from day of rage to day of allegiance to the king……Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I mean, look, having said all that. King Abdullah is not going to take this for granted at all. King Abdullah is a reformer. King Abdullah is a reformer since he became the king almost five years ago. And it’s a process, it’s an ongoing process, you know.…….. I mean, this show, for ladies driving, yes, I’m for it. And listen, the fact that I would publicly and openly, this shows that in Saudi Arabia there’s an open debate….. So really, we are heading in the right direction. Maybe not the same speed that you’d like us to, but each country has to move at the speed that it needs. And exactly that’s what President Obama said today, that each country should change in the Middle East at its own speed, its own pace, and without outside interference……”
So Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdelaziz al-Saud thinks the term “day of rage” should be changed to “day of allegiance” or “day of love for the king”. He may be right to pile
praise on King Abdullah. Compared to who is lining up too replace him, he is not bad. They better pray that Abdullah lives a few more years, pray that a couple of the other princes pass away before him (you know the two I’m referring to).
Now, assuming he means changing the term across the Arab world: in Libya it would be “a day of love for Mu’ammar”, in Bahrain it would be a “day of love for Hamad and Khalifa” (okay the uncle is a bit too much to stomach). Imagine if he lived in 1943: what he would say about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising? “Let’s not get carried away, let us not call it a ‘Warsaw Uprising’, no, let us call it a ‘day of love for uncle Adolph and uncle Hermann‘ or, better yet ‘a day of bonding with the SS'”.
“Without outside interference” indeed! They are shooting protesters in Qatif as I type right now. What was going on in the head of Maria Bartiromo during all this? I would not want to guess, not publicly.
(He may be right to pile praise on King Abdullah. Compared to who is lining up too replace him, they better pray that he lasts a few more years).
Defiance Destroying Lulua
“MANAMA, Bahrain — Bahrain on Friday tore down the protest movement’s defining monument, the pearl at the center of Pearl Square, a symbolic strike that carried a sense of finality. The official news agency described the razing as a facelift. “We did it to remove a bad memory,” Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, said at a news conference. “The whole thing caused our society to be polarized. We don’t want a monument to a bad memory.” …..”
Silly al-Khalifa: they think by tearing down a monument that they themselves had erected will mean “mission accomplished”. The real monument will outlast them. The Bahraini minister, who styles himself a “bon vivant”, talks about “erasing a bad memory”. I imagine that to most of Bahrain’s people he and his family and their corrupt retainers and their Apartheid policy and their invited foreign invaders are the “bad memory”.
Can the Saudi army crush her spirit?
“You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world….” The Beatles
“Mr. Maskati is a 24-year-old human rights activist who not long ago felt so close to achieving Egypt’s kind of peaceful revolution, through a dogged commitment to nonviolence. Then the Saudi tanks rolled into Bahrain, and protesters came under attack, the full might of the state hammering at unarmed civilians. “We thought it would work,” Mr. Maskati said, his voice soft with depression, yet edged with anger. “But now, the aggression is too much. Now it’s not about the protest anymore, it’s about self-defense.” The Arab Spring is not necessarily over, but it has run up against dictators willing to use lethal force to preserve their power……At first, they seemed an unstoppable force, driven by the power of demographics — about 60 percent of the population across the Arab world is under the age of 30………”
It is now clear that the forces of Arab despotism and reaction have recovered from the initial shock of the revolution and have regrouped. The revolution seemed to cut through the decrepit old Arab system like a knife through rancid butter, moving from Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen to Bahrain to Libya and beyond (perhaps to Saudi Arabia). Now the revolution has stalled in the desert of Libya and in the burned and bloody streets of occupied Bahrain. In Libya, Qaddafi has redeployed his oil money and his Western weapons and may have bought himself a reprieve. In Bahrain the people were on the verge of defeating their despotic rulers, when U.S officials started visiting with more frequency just before Saudi arms intervened by invading the country and occupying it.
The Saudi strategy for defeating the Arab spring is simple: to co-opt it in North Africa (Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya) with money and through Western allies, and to crush it by force and genocide in Bahrain and the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen is getting bloodier as the dictator clings to his capital city.
The Saudi invasion of Bahrain, aided by the United Arab Emirates as a baggage carrier, came only a few hours after the US Defense Secretary left Bahrain, possibly with Jeffrey Feltman still in Manama. Or maybe not: Feltman has visited the island several times in only a few weeks and is becoming gradually known in our region as a Shi’a-baiter to a Wahhabi degree (you’d think he is running the al-Khalifa campaign the way he runs the right-wing March 14 campaign in Lebanon, or that he is running for office over there).
In any case, Saudi money has bought the king (formerly emir) of Bahrain to such a degree that he has invited them in to occupy the country and subjugate its people. A king inviting a Wahhabi force to subjugate his largely Shi’a people: it is like inviting Nazis into a Jewish neighborhood. But Saudi money will not subjugate a country like Egypt the way it did under the stagnant Mubarak. It may rob the revolution of some of its gains if the Egyptian people are not careful. Saudi money and force will not subjugate the people of Bahrain for long either; they barely escaped their last intervention in Yemen. Besides, they will probably have more fires to put out at home in the coming months.
As for the West: well, how many ways can one spell ‘hypocrisy’? The West was eager to keep the old order in North Africa until it was too late. Now they are eager to take on Qaddafi. In Bahrain, where people are being killed and displaced by a corrupt kleptocratic regime, the West is largely turning a blind eye with a soft unconvincing “Oh, you shouldn’t!” No doubt dreaming of huge weapons deal from the al-Saud and al-Nahayan clans.
Can the Saudi army crush her spirit?
“American officials want Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to allow political reforms that could lead to more representation for Shiites under Sunni rule. During his telephone conversation with the Saudi king, Mr. Obama called for an end to the violence that has accelerated in Bahrain over the last few days. He asked for a “political process as the only way to peacefully address the legitimate grievances of Bahrainis and to lead to a Bahrain that is stable, just, more unified and responsive to its people,”……..”
So Obama is discussing the future of Bahrain with Kin Abdullah, a foreigner to Bahrain.
So tell me again: who did you say rules in Bahrain?………..
It is clear to me that the king of Bahrain is now a satrap (wali in Arabic, which is worse) of the Saudi monarchy. His avaricious clan are now allowed to continue their plunder of Bahrain, but its politics are left to the big boys across the causeway. The shots now are called from Riyadh not Manama.
Let this be a lesson for other states on my Gulf: never invite Saudi (or Iranian or Iraqi) troops to prop up your regime. If you have to do that, then it is time to do a Bin Ali or a Mubarak and get the hell out of Dodge.