Bahrain Demonstrators Repressed

Bahrain police abruptly broke up a peaceful demonstration in downtown Manama on Sunday, deploying tear gas and rubber bullets at close range.

Despite warnings by US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates that half-measures are insufficient, the Sunni Bahrain monarchy has found itself unable to offer any substantial concessions to the Shiite citizen majority.

Bahrain is an absolute monarchy where the king appoints the 40 members of the senate. The 40 members of the lower house are elected, but gerrymandering prevents the Shiite majority from attaining a majority of seats in it. Besides, the lower house of parliament is relatively toothless, and it can be overruled by the appointed upper house. Both can be over-ruled by the king.

The monarchy allows the US Fifth Fleet to use a naval base at Manama for hist HQ, a key military asset for Washington that the Pentagon would be loathe to lose.

Aljazeera English has video of the repression of protests

Some legislators are calling upon the king to declare martial law.

The Guardian goes further and reports that the Bahrain government may ask Saudi troops to come in to quell the protests. This step would be a game-changer in Bahrain, and it is hard to see how the Sunni monarchy could retain any legitimacy at all among its Shiite subjects if it took this desperate step.

19 Responses

  1. what your are looking at here is just one side of the story, what realy happend was those anti government people where blocking the roads and didnt allow people to go to work, the government sent them police men with no weapon to move them, but got stabbed by swords and bumped by cars, after that happend, the government sent police with tear gas to stop was is going on. At the same time they attacked University of Bahrain, Stole alot of its computers and broke almost what ever they where able and attack students to. This was all shown clearly with pictures and videos

    • Spoken just like a slave, “got to get to the work/field’s”, to do god’s work.

    • Sorry I prefer to believe my own lying eyes thank you very much. Too bad we won’t get to see any of those videos that would support your ridiculous contentions. All foreign journalists are in the process of being expelled and domestic journalists are being violently attacked and jailed by the regime.

  2. Somewhat misleading opening line…pray do tell what you would have the police do when the “peaceful demonstrators” block a cross-town highway at morning rush hour? Lay down and further allow civic disobedience? In which democratic country would that have been permitted, let alone a GCC country?

    Watch other clips and you’ll see the “peaceful demonstrators” were pretty effective at running down policemen with their vehicles — attempted manslaughter charges for anyone?

    I can understand the need to support anti-monarchists; not so sure you want to be supporting anarchists. That way is feeding into the sectarian BS (egged on no doubt by vested interests) and the fast oncoming wreck called civil war.

    BTW, I have a vantage point in that I work here and use that road to get to work.

    • Boo hoo, to hell with freedom I have to get to work, thank god the American Founders didn’t harbor this selfish attitude, or we would still be “servants/subjects”.

  3. CONFIRMED: Via Al Jazeera

    link to english.aljazeera.net

    “About 1,000 Saudi soldiers entered Bahrain early on Monday morning through the causeway to Bahrain,” the Reuters news agency reported a Saudi source as saying, referring to the 26km causeway that connects the island kingdom to Saudi Arabia.”

    The Bahraini king is a traitor “inviting” a foreign military into his country to fight his own people.

  4. Doubt that the King will ask the Saudi military to save him. Of course, history does allow that kings can pay folks to come in and help if they wear his colors (uniform) into battle. But Saudi military units, no way, never happen. (Well not in the next 24 hours;-)

  5. Saudi forces just entered Bahrain allegedly to protect government buildings. This is the country that with the Gulf States are requesting a no-fly-zone over Libya. I would assume that now western government will surely move to protect like in Libya the popular bahraini revolution… wishful thinking

  6. Former UK ambassador Craig Murray writes in his blog:

    “A senior diplomat in a western mission to the UN in New York, who I have known over ten years and trust, has told me for sure that Hillary Clinton agreed to the cross-border use of troops to crush democracy in the Gulf, as a quid pro quo for the Arab League calling for Western intervention in Libya.”
    link to craigmurray.org.uk

  7. Mini-biography of the Arab League members.

    Voted for No Fly Zone in Libya, in an effort to assuage
    their angry populations (and to payback Gaddafi for
    calling it irrelevant?)

    Note to readers: Democracy is not just about being allowed
    to choose who will rule you, its more about human rights.
    Dictators and Absolute Monarchs are weak in this area.

    Algeria: Officially a Republic: People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, recently lifted its 19 year old Emergency Rule(Feb. 2011), in transition, future unknown.

    Bahrain: Constitutional Monarchy a la Middle East, re:
    toothless National Assembly.

    Comoros: Union of Comoros, a federal republic since 2008.

    Djibouti: Officially a Republic, dominated by the People’s
    Rally for Progress party, last election, President re-elected with 100% of the vote.

    Egypt: Officially a Republic, Ruled by a succession of Military Dictators since independence in 1953. Emergency Law declared since 1967. Potential transition.

    Iraq: Republic, roiled in sectarian war/politics since USA
    invasion. Previously was run by Saddam via Iraqi Ba’ath
    party.(1979-2003)

    Jordan: Constitutional Monarchy a la Middle East, can
    suspend Parliament, did so during 2001-2003.

    Kuwait: Constitutional Monarchy a la Middle East, re: can
    dissolve the National Assembly.

    Lebanon: Parliamentary Democracy, distorted through
    unequal division of parliamentary seats by religious groups. i.e. Christians get 50% with 39% population.

    Libya: Absolute Ruler, would seem to want to establish his
    family in power perpetually, proto King/Emir.

    Mauritania: Officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, it has been ruled by military strongman Muhammad Ould
    `Abd Al-`Aziz since 2008

    Morocco: Constitutional Monarchy a la Middle East, re:
    can dissolve Parliament.

    Oman: Constitutional Monarchy a la Middle East.

    Palestinian Authority, elections overdue.

    Qatar: Emirate i.e. Absolute Monarch

    Saudi Arabia: Absolute Monarchy

    Somalia: Ruled by the Transitional Federal Government,
    in the midst of a civil war.

    Sudan: Officially a Republic, al Bashir has managed to hold
    on to power under a variety of guises since his 1989 coup.

    Syria: Officially a Republic, ruled by the previous Presidents son via Syrian Ba’ath party, Emergency Law declared since 1963.

    Tunisia: Officially a Republic, ruled by Constitutional Democratic Rally party since 1956 and President Ben Ali(1987-2011), In transition, future unknown.

    United Arab Emirates: Federation of seven Absolute Monarchies.

    Yemen: Republic, dominated by the General People’s Congress.

    Compiled from Wikipedia, feel free to correct/modify/add.

  8. I guess the west already lost its power over Arab artificial countries.
    Arab Revolution started in Libya, then Tunesia, neighbour of Libya, then Egypt, also neighbour of Libya.
    This is because Tunesians and Egypts were and are still able to receive Libyan Television broadcastings.
    Juan Cole, I guess you underestimated the power of Libya in exporting the World Revolution.
    From now on, history will be written by the peoples, not by some nuclear lobby or military-industrial complex.
    The second Millenmium is history.
    Welcome in the Third Millennium.

  9. So that’s why Gates was there, to green light the invitation by the House of Khalifa to the House of Saud to carry out an invasion Bahrain.

    The last time the House of Saud invaded Bahrain was in 1802, on that occasion House of Khalifa asked the Ottomans & Brits for protection.

    I’m reminded of Hungary ’56, Czechoslovakia 68, and Afghanistan ’79.

  10. Who care the camels will not be pested tonight the males are other occupied

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