Skip to comments.Why Bahrain blew up: An ill omen for the Saudis
Posted on 02/18/2011 2:08:12 AM PST by Scanian
Bourguiba Square in Tunis, Tahrir Square in Cairo, Azadi Square in Tehran -- and now Pearl Square in Manama, capital of Bahrain.
For the last four days, thousands of protesters, encouraged by other popular uprisings in the Middle East, have been demonstrating against what they call "the despotic rule of minority over majority."
On Monday, police killed two protesters and injured 11 others. At least 50 were arrested.
The sudden explosion has surprised many observers. Bahrain, the smallest of the 21 Arab states, is often deemed a success story -- the only Persian Gulf Arab state to have made its fortune without oil, and a haven of moderation. Unlike their sisters in Iran and Arab countries, for example, Bahraini women enjoy full equality and aren't forced to wear the government-decreed hijab.
Yet Bahrain suffers from a fundamental weakness: Its ruling family, the Al Khalifa tribe from eastern Arabia, is Sunni Muslims, while almost 70 percent of the population are Shiites.
Fear of the Shiites has always been a factor in shaping Al Khalifa's policies. In 1979, the Shiite mullahs' seizure of power in Iran, across the water, raised that fear dramatically. The result was a repressive policy designed by Prime Minister Sheik Khalifa Al Khalifa, who established himself as the archipelago's strongman. Part of that policy consisted of granting Bahraini nationality to thousands of guest workers from Arab Sunni states, especially Sudan.
In the 1990s, the emir, Hamad bin Issa, changed course. He transformed the emirate into a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, retitling himself king in the process. The idea was that the Shiite majority could find a voice through the parliament without challenging Al Khalifah's domination.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
This is like a Tom Clancy novel. Scary.
just another front in the Shiite war against secular governments everywhere.
Just forming the Arab Union. NWO all the way.
Bahrain is too rich. They need to redistribute their assets to the “poor people” and “the children” in Egypt aka the money-grabbing-power-hungry new worlders what their money.
I know that is satire but truthfully, if the Arab oil states would organize their resources to re-settle the Pallies in various countries and find honest work for them, the Mideast problem would simmer down very quickly.
But of course, they never will-—they like having the Israeli scapegoat too much.
They've been in a state of "dramatically raised fear" for more than 30 years? Hoe kay.
Muzzies live in a state of perpetual anger, do they not? So why not fear as well?
I see them all as an extremely paranoid bunch.
I see the islamderthals are back out in the streets of Cairo this morning. Thousands are celebrating the return of a radical cleric.
Saudi might have a sudden decline in population, that would be the only significant effect from such an attempt.
Yeah, where will the Saudis go for whores on Wednesday nights? They built a $4 billion causeway across the Gulf so they could drive to Manama.
Ever since the Tianamen Square, which they prefer to forget now, the media just loves the squares. With well-defined boundaries, those revolutions seem neat, hence easy to write about, and allow for an easy filing of reports: you know where to go for the events, no informants are necessary...
Bahrain is the “Sin City” of the Middle East.