Tag Archives: United Arab Emirates

Gulf of Mercenaries: OMG, the British are Coming Back……….

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Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seem to be in a race to see which one can establish more foreign military bases and which one can hire more foreign mercenaries. I once suggested that the Persian-American Gulf should be renamed the Gulf of Mercenaries, mainly because of these two countries’ penchant for importing foreign mercenaries to crush dissent and help stifle reform.

The British were in Bahrain for a long time as colonial masters. They had military bases on the island, and they helped the Al Khalifa ruling family and their tribal allies keep absolute political control and enabled them to continue looting the country. They left at the beginning of the 1970s although their bureaucrats continued to call the shots in many local institutions.

The U.S. naval base is a more recent development in Manama and it is largely considered a ‘non-political’ presence. It is a port of convenience and has no internal role. The Saudi military presence is an even more recent development, and it is a totally political and domestic security presence. The Saudi forces entered the country to help the Al Khalifa crush the “Arab Spring” popular uprising of 2011. They are now in the country as a permanent presence.

Then there is the huge contingent of foreign mercenaries imported from such humorless places as Pakistan and Jordan and Syria. They are definitely a political presence.

The British government has done its best to support the repression in Bahrain, it has even sent its unemployed princes and princesses on occasional visits to Bahrain. Just to enhance the ‘legitimacy’ of the ruling sectarian elites. Even as it has called for sanctions, nay even war, against the Syrian regime.
Now the British are reported to be in the process of re-establishing a new foreign military base on the island. That seems like a purely political presence, since Bahrain does not face any external threat other than from the foreign mercenaries imported by its regime.

Sovereign countries have the right to allow foreign bases on their soil: nothing unusual about that. Especially if they face external threats. Provided these bases do not interfere in domestic politics. But will the small island sink under the weight of all these foreign bases and imported mercenaries?………
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter


Jordan and UAE: Humorless Sisterly Blackmail and Crackdown on Free Speech……….

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“The Jordanian authorities have arrested a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood for criticizing the United Arab Emirates, the spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political wing said Friday………… Mr. Bani Rushaid accused the Emirates of sponsoring terrorism and questioned the legitimacy of its rulers…………”

Jordan is well known by now as not a very humorous country. The United Arab Emirates has been below the radar on this issue. Now the ruling brothers who own Abu Dhabi and rule the UAE have finally ‘come out’. They want their strange country not only to remain politically humorless, but they aspire to make it even less humorous, along the Jordanian model. Now that is understandable, since some 90% of the population are temporary imported foreign labor who probably don’t find much humor in their situation nor in dangerous local politics.

So the Jordanians have no doubt given in to some serious sisterly blackmail from the equally humorless potentates of the UAE. It would be costly not to give in, especially on the even of the next Gulf GCC summit.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum