Bahrain: What are the implications of recent events on the region ?
The Bahraini causeway, built in the late 70s-early 80s, was more of an umbrilical cord than a bridge. With it, a mother-child relationship was built between a Saudi in Ascendancy and a Bahrain in decline. Today, more than any day, this relationship has taken on a turn to the darker side. Over it, the Saudis have deployed light armored vehicles of the Saudi Army (or possibly SANG, Saudi Arabian National Guard) to Bahrain, with the UAE sending a police force. While this force of 1,800 is relatively small and lightly armed compared to the Bahraini army of 30,000 men, its main intention is to send a clear message to someone: Iran.
If youve read wikileaks on what people are saying behind the scenes about Iran, you know that they view it as a threat to be taken seriously. And now that the Iranians know what the politicians in the UAE and Saudi are saying about them, I suspect they have gone into a greater state of alert and cautiousness.
I dont believe the Iranian government brewed the Bahraini uprising, I think it was more due to the stupidity, short-sightedness, and racism of the Bahraini regime. However, I do think that now, they will be a greater part of the uprising.
Behind the scenes, I greatly suspect that something is cooking.
The massacre of peaceful protestors by the Bahraini army reeks of "Bloody Sunday". An incident in which the British army murdered unarmed protestors, and which lead to many many IRA signups, and the prolonging of the troubles.
If this sort of terrible treatment by the Bahraini government continues, then what I expect could happen, is that the Iranians will begin to send over Dhows full of AK-47s, RPGs and mortars to disaffected and radicalized cells in the Bahraini Shiite population, and a Guerrilla war will start to break out. This is text-book insurgency territory. A large suppressed population, foreign paramilitaries, and a neighbor in Iran which is armed to the teeth in small arms and looking to wreck havoc on the GCC.
And not a country will be spared.
Already, i'm receiving these "BBM" Blackberry Messenger forwards from different people with these gasoline-on-the-flame sorts of jokes which address Shiias directly (note that the Shiias are a significant minority of Emiratis), and paints them all as "people who want Iran to take over Bahrain".
On another note, if I start to hear this crap about Sunnis and Shiias in the UAE, then I will be an even firmer proponent of secularism, which does not incorporate what happened 1400 years ago into modern government upon which millions depend.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we in the Gulf look like we are in desperate need of an "Arabian Gulf Secular party".
This is how our dear friend Muammar repays his people for 42 years worth of patience. Mercenaries, who come from merciless cultures, are flown in to serve as his "Ghulam Guard". But this idea is as old as Islamic empires themselves, the idea of a Ghulam Army of Mamluks.
The use of mamluk soldiers gave rulers troops who had no link to any established power structure. Local non-mamluk warriors were often more loyal to their tribal sheikhs, their families, or nobles than to the sultan or caliph. If a commander conspired against the ruler, it was often not possible to deal with the conspiracy without causing unrest among the nobility. The mamluk slave-troops were strangers of the lowest possible status who could not conspire against the ruler and who could easily be punished if they caused trouble, making them a great military asset.
In effect, Qaddafi has gone back to the dark ages.
Comrade Muammar Qaddafi, its been a long time coming !!
He has been the longest serving Arab dictator. He dragged Libya, a wealthy and resource rich country, into wars with:
The US (1986)
He ruined its economy with his eccentricities, and made sure that his people suffered badly under his tyranny. I have been calling for the overthrow of this Tyrant since 2005. He is a barbaric backward person who has robbed, clobbered and terrorized his people. Libya is supposed to be richer than the UAE, it has more of everything that the UAE has. However, 30% of all Libyans are unemployed. And I suspect that Qaddafi has huge savings and assets, and were talking in the Hundreds of billions of dollars. Its time for him to go and to take his damned sons with him.
Its started in Bahrain now, and its gotten pretty bloody pretty fast. The security forces have been clamping down brutally on all those who dare to resist them. But then again, thats because they're all from Egypt, Yemen and Pakistan.
In a cry back to the Abbasid Caliphs, the King of Bahrain has put in his very own Ghulam army of foreign men whose only link is with the King himself. This is no doubt very canny, cunning, and can only be done when you have some financial backing. I am sure that all Gulf states will be watching closely. Expect every GCC state to expand on its use of these Janissaries very soon.
In order to win this ala Egypt, there would either have to be a change of heart by the army (highly unlikely), the King would have to stand down because of a change in heart (highly unlikely), or the Bahraini police and army would have to be routed and defeated with a march on the Kings very nice palace taking place ala the Bastille (almost impossible).
And in any case, casualties will be very high unless a middle ground is found. The Bahraini Army by firing on protesters has dishonored itself completely, and shown it is completely unprofessional and a HATRED FOR THE CIVILIANS IT SHOULD BE DEFENDING.
Therefore I think the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands should pursue an embargo on spare parts for the weapons they supplied to the Bahraini military. Also the US should send a strongly worded statement to the Bahraini government clearly stating such actions will be subject to sanctions. But the US has always had double standards, so I think this sort of thing will continue.
Arab children, Corn ears of the future, You will break our chains. Kill the opium in our heads, Kill the illusions. Arab children, Don't read about our suffocated generation, We are a hopeless case, As worthless as a water-melon rind. Don't read about us, Don't ape us, Don't accept us, Don't accept our ideas, We are a nation of crooks and jugglers. Arab children, Spring rain, Corn ears of the future, You are the generation that will overcome defeat.
The activist in question of course is called "Hassan Mohammed Al Hammadi" and is currently residing on Khor Fakkan, which follows Sharjah.
I will give you a rough translation or summary of the events. Basically after friday prayers, Hassan decided to give a speech at his local mosque, about a topic related to what is currently occuring in Egypt. The Criminal Investigation depeartment picked up on him and he is currently jailed in Abu Dhabi.
Emirati Human rights activist Ahmed Mansour meanwhile, states that this is a part of a wider campaign by the government that has shown an unrestrained crackdown on the citizens of the UAE, since the death of Sheikh Zayed.
According to Ahmed, many Emiratis have been:
Denied jobs in government security serves
Banned from travel
Fired from their jobs
Accordingly, many of these peoples families have been targeted by:
Firing them from their jobs
Not allowing them any chance of promotion
Denying their Children University Scholarships.
I'm not sure of the validity of the usually-dramatic Al Jazeera. However this has caused me to be more careful. If such acts indeed take place, then these acts are backward, wanton, and are nothing the UAE, which portrays itself as a moderate and developing country, should associate itself with.
The good job that the ruling families have done with the UAE must not be negatively affected with these terrible (if actual) things.
This is the old Russian fairy tale. The tsar is a great father figure, a revered and perfect leader. It's just that he does not know what his underlings are doing. He doesn't realise how badly the serfs are treated. If only someone would tell him the truth, he would end injustice. The tsar's servants, of course, connived at this.