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Attacks on Shiaa's Shops in Bahrain....
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Given the ongoing persecution against Shia workers (over 3,500 sacked); the preposterous use of military show trials to prosecute dozens of doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers and athletes; the widespread condemnation by human rights groups of illegal mass detention and torture; the targeting of independent journalists and bloggers; the expulsion of hundreds of students and academics – the liability of the Al Khalifa regime to Washington’s foreign policy credibility grows ever more unwieldy by the day.
Added to these barbarities against peaceful civilians is the recent massive teargas deployment in Shia villages that are deemed to be supportive of the pro-democracy movement. Every night, villages are smothered in teargas by regime forces firing thousands of canisters into streets and homes. Local people have described the deployment a deliberate policy of “toxic terrorism” and “collective punishment”.
The insoluble dilemma for the regime is that such fierce repression has signally failed to quash the pro-democracy protests. After nearly six months of state terrorism, the Bahraini protests against the regime have become more determined with 200,000-300,000 out of a population of less than 600,000 participating in demonstrations every week.
However, unfortunately for the US-backed monarchy, these initiatives have not bought off the opposition, which continues to take to the streets calling for the downfall of the regime. Hence the regime has reneged on its initiatives and is resorting to full-on repression, which in turn is only emboldening the pro-democracy movement even more.
If U.S. MENA policy is to successfully adjust to the new conditions of the Arab Spring, the citizens of the United States must get directly involved in MENA policy, helping the administration counterbalance the anti-democratic forces represented by the Saudis, big oil, AIPAC, and so forth. The alternative to genuinely supporting democracy in the Middle East and North Africa is failure in the region. But the necessary paradigm shift requires the democratization of American MENA policy through involvement from civil society; it cannot, and will not, come from above.
September 15, 2011 - Six months after Bahrain's brutal crackdown on democratic protests, sectarian tension is brewing.
US State Department: July-December, 2010 International Religious Freedom Report...
A host of authoritarian regimes will be entertained in London today at one of the world's largest arms fairs, despite concerns over how readily unpopular dictatorships turned to live ammunition to suppress popular revolutions during this year's...
Ever since the Arab Spring began, Washington has been faced with the question of how to ease autocrats from power.
....How Washington should now proceed is an open question. If Crown Prince Salman is serious about reform, then the United States should apply steady pressure on the regime to move beyond phony attempts at national dialogue and return to inclusive talks that embrace the spectrum of political opposition. Prince Salman would essentially have to pick up from the point where talks broke off in March.
The objective of such a process would be a transition to a constitutional monarchy, the redrawing of electoral district boundaries to more fairly represent Shia constituencies, and the empowerment of parliament to elect the prime minister.
The Obama administration could aid this process by proffering incentives, beginning with assurances that it will stand by the monarchy and provide further military assistance, including joint training exercises. The Obama administration should also laud any tangible steps toward reform as evidence of the regime's willingness to open up. (Among other benefits to Bahrain, such support could help restore its reputation as a regional banking center, which suffered when Moody's downgraded Bahrain's government bond rating following the crackdown.)
BAHRAIN HAS BECOME the hidden story of the Arab Spring. While the popular uprisings in Libya, Syria and Yemen have dominated the news in recent months, far less attention has been paid to the tiny but strategic Persian Gulf emirate, which hosts the U.S. 5th Fleet. That’s partly because Bahrain’s ruling al-Khalifa family deflected criticism from the massive crackdown it launched in March by promising to initiate a dialogue with its opposition and implement political reforms. The regime, however, hasn’t delivered — and now it is risking a new explosion of unrest that could destabilize not just Bahrain but the region around it.
The relative success of isolating the Bahraini movement by fomenting sectarian fears is regretfully a sign that the Arab Spring has not succeeded in doing away with sectarian prejudices that are not only impeding effective solidarity, but threaten to tear up some Arab uprisings.
Part of the problem is that the Arab uprisings have not yet radically changed the official Arab order that consists of governments that have fed sectarian divisions to ensure their longevity. The fact that Bahrain's population is 70 per cent Shia but is ruled by an authoritarian Sunni royal family have made it possible for governments to claim an Iranian scheme to undermine the stability of the Gulf and consequently the Arab world.
An exclusive interview with Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahraini Center for Human Rights...
Rajab:" Well, you have to take something into consideration. Any democracy in Bahrain will have an impact in Saudi Arabia. And democracy in Saudi Arabia is something that they don't want to see.
Iraq becoming a democracy is a threat, which is not as close as Bahrain. Now, in Bahrain, which is walking distance from Saudi Arabia, democracy is reaching a close distance and is very dangerous to the Saudis. This is how they view it.
From the other side, you have to take something else into consideration, that we have realized those revolutions in the Arab Spring, that the Saudis influence in some European countries and the United States is more than the influence of those European countries and the United States on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region.
That's why we have seen how much Saudi Arabia could silence, and the Americans could silence some of the European countries into saying anything or taking any strong decision on the Bahraini situation.
We have seen how much crime is being committed by specific countries and ignored by other countries. Unfortunately, we have realized that democracy in the United States and some European countries are important only to those countries they have a problem with, but not to those dictators whom they have a good relationship with, like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
See how much Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries come when the American president speaks and criticizes the situation in the Arab region when he talks about democracy, human rights, values and principles.
Saudi Arabia is always ignored, although Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest human rights violators in the region. But it is almost always ignored. Why? Because of the Saudi influence.
Unfortunately, the Saudi influence is very strong in the United States. It's very strong in Europe. That's why they could silence those countries in criticizing Bahrain. That's why for many months people were killed, a thousand people were fired, mosques were being demolished, people were arrested, systematic torture, houses being robbed by the army...in complete silence from the Western countries and the United States. Unfortunately, this is something you have to take into consideration. .... "
أنتاج شبكة ذو الفقار الإسلامية تهدي هذا العمل إلى الشعب البحريني و نبيل رجب...
He runs impulsively and courageously, carrying his country’s flag as if he were carrying his own dream. He looks young, athletic, and fearless.
The message is clear: Bahrain urgently needs to move towards reform and reconciliation through a political process - but that is impossible unless the bloodshed ends. It is a lesson the security forces should have learnt a long time ago.
مونتاج لتدشين العودة للميدان...
The crackdown here has won a tactical and perhaps ephemeral victory through torture, arrests, job dismissals and the blunt tool of already institutionalized discrimination against the island’s Shiite Muslim majority. In its wake, sectarian tension has exploded, economic woes have deepened, American willingness to look the other way has cast Washington as hypocritical and a society that prides itself on its cosmopolitanism is colliding with its most primordial instincts. Taken together, the repression and warnings of radicalization may underline an emerging dictum of the Arab uprisings: violence begets violence.
“The situation is a tinderbox, and anything could ignite it at any moment,” said Ali Salman, the general secretary of Al Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest legal opposition group. “If we can’t succeed in bringing democracy to this country, then our country is headed toward violence. Is it in a year or two years? I don’t know. But that’s the reality.”
BBC2: How Facebook Changed the World: The Arab Spring - Bahrain Part البرنامج الوثائقي "كيف غير الفيسبوك العالم: ربيع الثورات العربية" الذي عرض على قناة بي ب...
History of the Bahrain Revolution ....
The Government of Bahrain has requested a possible sale of 44 M1152A1B2 Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), 200 BGM-71E-4B-RF Radio Frequency (RF) Tube-Launched Optically-Tracked Wire-Guided Missiles (TOW-2A), 7 Fly-to-Buy RF TOW-2A Missiles, 40 BGM-71F-3-RF TOW-2B Aero Missiles, 7 Fly-to-Buy RF TOW-2B Aero Missiles, 50 BGM-71H-1RF Bunker Buster Missiles (TOW-2A), 7 Fly-to-Buy RF Bunker Buster Missiles (TOW-2A), 48 TOW-2 Launchers, AN/UAS-12A Night Sight Sets, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $53 million.
AlKhalifa = TERRORIST!
Cameron is an obvious MORON!
Ian Birrell: We bombed Gaddafi, but now we court Bahrain. Is our foreign policy based on ethics, or commerce?
The West's foreign policy has more faces than a totem pole.....total hypocrisy!
The Al Khalifa regime of Bahrain has given up power and resorted to the use violence.
نريد البحرين يكون فيها الشعب مصدر السلطات - عدالة للجميع, أمن للجميع - لا للتمييز, لا للتجنيس السياسي,لا لسرقة مقدرات الشعب, لا لسلطة الفرد نعم لسلطة الشعب م...
E for security for Everyone — no discrimination, no political naturalization, not to steal people's capabilities, not the authority of the individual Yes, people power ! ...
Interview with Saeed al-Shahabi, Bahrain Freedom Movement...
However, from the perspective of the people, they are also aware that the pressure is too much and also at the same time that their demands are non- negotiable. They do not want to compromise again with this regime because they have tried it for the past forty fifty years of protest of demonstrations and the only thing they have achieved so far is more killings, more torture, more repression, more naturalization aiming at changing the demographic balance of the country and in light of all these facts I think they have come to the conclusion that simply there is no way of co existing with this regime
قامت قوات الامن واثتاء قمعها لمسيرة جمعة التحدي بقرية النويدرات بتمزيق العلم البحريني واهانته دون الإكتراث لما يحمله العلم من معنى.
SF's insult Bahrain and the National Flag!
The international community must press Bahrain to drop all charges still pending against prisoners of conscience and to quash the sentences of those that have been convicted.
Earlier in the year, President Obama pointed out that "mass arrests and brute force are at odds with the universal rights of Bahrain's citizens" and recalled the necessary constitutional separation of powers -- particularly between the executive and judicial. Reporters Without Borders urges the United States to renew its pressure on Bahrain, a leading U.S. ally in the Gulf, and to secure the support of Saudi Arabia, whose has strong influence over Bahrain. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia must work together to pressure the Bahraini authorities to cease violating their citizens' rights to free expression and assembly by arbitrary arrest and prosecution, to release prisoners of conscience, and to continue the national dialogue in good faith.