Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bahrain topples its own people

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"March 14, 2011, will go down in history as the infamous day when the House of Saud launched - with full United States backing - a vicious counter-revolution designed to smash the Gulf chapter of the great 2011 Arab revolt. (See Exposed: The US/Saudi Libya deal Asia Times Online, April 2, 2011).

This is the day Saudi troops - with a token few from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - invaded Bahrain, theoretically at the request of the ruling Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty, to "help" in the crackdown on nationwide pro-democracy protests.....

Then there's the new House of Saud/al-Khalifa sport of "smash the mosque". At least 27 mosques and scores of religious buildings have been destroyed - including the 400-year-old Amir Mohammed Braighi mosque. Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs Sheikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdulla al-Khalifa, has claimed, "These are not mosques. These are illegal buildings."

That's the al-Khalifa icing on the cake after they virtually destroyed the Bahraini health care system (run essentially by Shi'ites); fired over a thousand Shi'ite civil servants and canceled their pensions; jailed scores of students and teachers who took part in the protests; beat and arrested journalists; and closed down the only opposition newspaper.

As part of the US/Saudi deal, Bahrain - and by extension the House of Saud - can get away with anything; all praise for the al-Khalifas for hosting the US Navy's Fifth Fleet. No UN sanctions or even a slap on the wrist; no no-fly or no-drive zone approved by a UN resolution; no arming of the "rebels"; no North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing; no burning desire for regime change as in Libya; no Tomahawk diplomacy; and of course no target assassinations.

For the moment at least, sizable Anglo-American investments in Bahrain are "protected"; as for the British merchants of death who sell hand grenades, demolition charges, smoke canisters and thunder flashes to the al-Khalifa repression machine, business can only prosper. "

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