Shiite Demonstrations in Bahrain
Violent demonstrations broke out in Bahrain protesting the US fighting in Karbala.
“Violence broke out on Friday after police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of mainly Shia Muslim demonstrators demanding the withdrawal of US forces from the southern Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala. One police car was set on fire. “Death to America…death to Israel,” chanted the protesters in the pro-Western Gulf Arab state, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.”
You wonder whether, when Bush gave the order to get Muqtada “dead or alive”, initially to the Spanish and then to the US military, whether he even knew that a majority of the population in Bahrain, where the US has a major naval base, is Shiite or that they would mind if the US army demolished much of the Mukhayyam Mosque in Karbala trying to get at Muqtada’s militiamen.
In all probability? No.
Could these dmonstrations in Bahrain be significant? Yes. Bahrain has a Sunni monarchy. Lately it has taken baby steps toward democracy and more open elections, but these did not benefit the Shiites because they wanted even more open elections, and boycotted them. Therefore, the Sunni fundamentalists largely won the seats (and the Sunni fundamentalists don’t even represent most Bahraini Sunnis much less the Shiites). So the situation there is potentially volatile. The US is doing nothing to make it less so, and everything to exacerbate it.
The other shoe? Will the Shiites of al-Hasa in Eastern Arabia, where the oil is and where there are 5,000 Americans at Dhahran, be the next to riot?
It is most unwise for the US miitary to fight in downtown Najaf and Karbala near the shrines. I say it again.