Home > Current Affairs > The Bahrain Regime has Sealed its Fate

The Bahrain Regime has Sealed its Fate

As some of you might have heard:

Bahrain square becomes new center for Arab anger

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP); 15 Feb 2011— Thousands of protesters took over a main square in Bahrain’s capital Tuesday — carting in tents and raising banners — in a bold attempt to copy Egypt’s uprising and force high-level changes in one of Washington’s key allies in the Gulf. The move by demonstrators capped two days of clashes across the tiny island kingdom that left at least two people dead, parliament in limbo by an opposition boycott and the king making a rare address on national television to offer condolences for the bloodshed.

Security forces — apparently under orders to hold back — watched from the sidelines as protesters chanted slogans mocking the nation’s ruling sheiks and called for sweeping political reforms and an end to monarchy’s grip on key decisions and government posts. The unrest in Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, adds another layer to Washington’s worries in the region.

For a while, I watched the news unsure about their final outcome. However, events in the last 24 hours have convinced me that the current bahrain regime has sealed its fate. You might remember a similar early prediction made by me about events in Egypt which turned out to be correct.

So what makes me think that events there have taken a different path? Here is the list..

1.The previous lethal crackdown on protesters only made more people show up for the next round of protests.

If more people come out for the funeral processions of those killed in the previous rounds of protests against a totalitarian regime, the jig is effectively up.

2. Did I mention that the not-so-well-off plebs are Shia and the royal family is Sunni?

A good analogy for the Shia-Sunni divide are the numerous Catholic-Protestant wars and conflicts in pre-modern europe.

3. The current regime in its infinite stupidity has allowed the army (mostly sunni) to fire on the funeral processions of the protesters (mostly shia). Because we live in the 21st century, they cannot kill thousands of people and get away with it- it looks really bad on TV and the internet (plus everybody on the ground has a camera-containing cellphone).

However every protester killed will result in an even bigger funeral procession in the next few days. Do you see the problem? The Bahrain army has more than a few mercenary Pakistani Sunni soldiers. Did I also mention that said Pakistani soldiers are treated poorly because they are non-arabs muslim?

4. The current regime lacks an understanding of PR in our connected digital age.

CNN: Doctor killed trying to reach wounded protesters in Bahrain

Update at 10:41 a.m. ET: CNN quotes witnesses as saying four people have been killed after soldiers fired on demonstrators today in Bahrain. Update at 10:19 a.m. ET: CNN reports that one doctor was killed and paramedics injured trying to help protesters injured by gunshots in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. CNN quotes witnesses as saying soldiers opened fire on demonstrators.

5. If the current regime looks shaky, the US will abandon it.

Bahrain is home port to the US 5th fleet. Given the choice between severely antagonizing local people and withdrawing support from the current regime to start talks with the next one, what would you do?

Bahrain is currently a fairly liberal arab society, and a semi-democratic government would be a minor change from the status quo for the US. But they should rightly fear being seen on the wrong side of history.. Cuba and Guantanamo bay anyone?


Categories: Current Affairs
  1. almost 40 yoV
    February 19, 2011 at 12:50 am

    My prediction is that the Nigerian and his pet manhating lesbo will bungle up yet another chance to be on the right side of history.

    They´re having serious problems hiding their hypocrisy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Vy8fFnz18

  2. YSV Rao
    February 21, 2011 at 4:41 am

    I dont think much would come out of these Bahraini protests.Bahrain is perhaps the only GCC country that always allowed protests and some degree of criticism of the regime.True firing on the funeral procession was a mistake(especially since funerals are really big deal for Shias) but the Sunnis will most likely end up placating them through bribes and cushy jobs as we have the Big Shia up North breathing down the islands neck was waiting to take control as it did with Gaza,Lebanon and Iraq.If a Shia comes to power(many Bahraini Shias “Arabs” are of Iranian ethnicity) ,Iran will own the Persian Gulf and the oil shipping routes of much of the worlds supply.GCC,U.S and Israel will never allow that.

    BTW I dont buy that article about Pakistani regular being treated badly by their Bahraini counterparts.Firstly it is written by a Paki with some axe to grind against the regime,secondly the writing leaves a lot to be desired-this was not written by a journalist at all!

    Most of the militaries in UAE,Oman and Bahrain are comprised of Balochis both of Iranian and Pakistani origin with a smattering of Bedouins and Iranianized Arabs at the top.Their force projection capability is an absolute joke.A well equipped paramilitary force of Kerala can over take them easily!

  1. February 20, 2011 at 3:07 am

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