Bahrain’s fight affects KSA

Whether you’re for or against the protests in Bahrain, here’s an interesting article I came across that is written in a different perspective than the articles circulating the internet…

The Gulf’s terror of democracy” By Pepe Escobar

Some highlights:

“…tiny Shi’ite-majority Bahrain borders the large Shi’ite majority oil-producing parts of Saudi Arabia. So no wonder King Abdullah had barely set foot on his carpets when he went pre-emptive to quell any possible democracy-yearning moves, launching a US$35 billion program that includes one year of unemployment benefits for jobless young people, and adding into a national development fund which helps people to buy homes, set up businesses and get married.”

“And guess who was there to greet King Abdullah and discuss the “crisis”- code for The Great 2011 Arab Revolt? That’s right – his Sunni neighbor feudal monarch, King Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain.”

“The Shi’ite rebellion against the over-200-year-old al-Khalifa dynasty – invaders from the mainland, by the way – has in fact been going on for decades, and includes hundreds of political prisoners tortured in four prisons in and around Manama by Jordanian “advisers”, and a regime whose army is mostly composed by Punjabi and Pakistani Baloch soldiers.”

“The record of how US foreign policy has nimbly adapted to the great 2011 Arab revolt yields a few lessons. Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak and Bahrain’s King Hamad are “moderate” and certainly not “evil”; after all they were and are, respectively, pillars of “stability” in MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa). On the other hand, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad are really bad, because they are not submissive to Washington’s diktats.”

“This explains the instant US revulsion (by the State Department, and only this Wednesday by President Barack Obama himself) at Gaddafi’s bombing of his own people, while US corporate media and scores of think-tank analysts scramble to see who comes up with the most elaborate adjectives crucifying Gaddafi…Meanwhile, on the other side of MENA, there was hardly a peep when Hamad’s repression apparatus – partly imported from Saudi Arabia – killed his own citizens at the Pearl roundabout.”

“For the moment there’s a lot of rhetoric about “stability”, “calm”, “security”, “national cohesion” and nothing about serious electoral and constitutional reform.”

“Thousands of workers at the huge Alba aluminum plant have already made sure that a very powerful industrial and trade union movement backs the mostly Shi’ite protesters. The head of the Alba trade union, Ali Bin Ali – who happens to be a Sunni – has already warned that they could go on strike at any moment.”

“The great 2011 Arab revolt, for all its specific reasons in different countries, is definitely not about religion (as Mubarak, Gaddafi and Hamad have claimed) – but essentially working class unrest directly provoked by the global crisis of capitalism.

 

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