Tensions continue to rise in Bahrain between the ruling Sunni family and majority Shia anti-government protesters—and a peaceful resolution is increasingly unlikely.
If the human cost is daunting, so too is the increasing sense that this conflict is on an inevitable path toward escalation. The window for a political solution at home is fast closing. Protesters are expanding their repertoire of resistance to include Molotov cocktails and more direct attacks on police. A counterrevolution against the protesters is also growing stronger and more radicalized. In early April, the first reports surfaced that civilian assailants of one sect were targeting another.
It didn’t have to come to this. More than perhaps any other of the countries touched by the Arab Spring, Bahrain had several critical chances to resolve the crisis without the bloodshed and turmoil that has marred recent events. Yet at every juncture, the opportunity for an exit from conflict was ignored. Part of that story is about a radical polarization of Bahraini society. But equally important are the changing geopolitics of the Arab Spring.....'