A situação no Bahrain descrita por Greenfield é substancialmente distinta da do Egipto e da Tunísia.
Para além da divisão sunitas-xiitas, o exército é composto por unidades sauditas e de soldados paquistaneses, sem ligação afectiva, ou até com aversão, aos manifestantes xiitas, os quais dedicam aos paquistaneses uma especial aversão racial, bem enraizada no supremacismo árabe do islão, mau grado a sua pretensão universalista.
Não sei como é que é possível andar há meia-dúzia de dias a ler e a ouvir falar da situação no Bahrain sem encontrar nenhuma menção a estas questões. Ou, se calhar, até sei: à incompetência dos jornalistas, em geral - que se limitam a fazer eco do que é lançado pelas agências e pelos grande órgãos internacionais de informação -, devemos somar o viés ideológico que grassa nas ditas agências e órgãos e nos próprios jornalistas.
Vale-nos a rede e pessoas como Greenfield:
As the Middle East violence continues, we move on to Bahrain for a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Saudi forces are battling Shiite protesters in the streets. Naturally the media is misreporting this as government atrocities against democracy protesters. When actually it's another Sunni-Shiite civil war in another Sunni country with a Shiite majority.
If this reminds you of Iraq, you're pretty close. Except that Bahrain is more like Dubai with its own royal family, a business culture built on its proximity to Iran, and much of the country is actually foreign workers brought in by oil revenues. Talk of a democracy movement is senseless, when most of the work in Bahrain is actually done by foreign workers with few legal rights. And no one is talking about giving them voting rights. The royal family has tried to buy peace, and it has worked for the most part, until Iran and Soros came calling.
Bahrain has been dealing with Shiite problems for a long time. That made it ripe for a takeover bid. It also meant that Bahrain couldn't exactly function as a democracy. But in human rights, Bahrain isn't the worst offender in the region by far. But then neither were Tunisia or Egypt. The countries being successfully overthrown are not the worst of the worst. And that's the farce of it all.
This isn't about democracy. It's the old Sunni-Shiite war, with Saudi Arabia and Iran facing off in the middle of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia has put serious forces on the ground, tanks and troops, American equipment. If Israel were doing something like this, there would be UN resolutions flying faster than bullets. But Saudi Arabia gets a pass on running a massacre of Muslim protesters. If the State Department has had anything to say about what the Saudis are doing, I haven't heard it.
But then the US gave Kuwait a blank check to massacre and ethnically cleanse their own Palestinian Arabs after the Gulf War.
Back to Bahrain, the situation won't match up to Egypt or Tunisia, because the royal family doesn't rely on natives to serve as the police/army. Shiite protesters are taking on Bahrain's Pakistani forces and Saudi tanks. The Pakistani imports don't like the natives very much. And unlike Egypt, they're not quite the same religion either. Which means they have a lot less problems shooting at them.
Without a common language or a common religion, and no personal stake in the politics, just getting paid-- they're not going to back down. Egypt and Tunisia have served as a lesson for what happens when governments don't go all the way. And even if the Pakistan mercs back down, the Saudis aren't likely to. The Saudi royal family has been badly panicked by the Iran backed assault on Sunni governments. They intend to make their stand in Bahrain.
Bahrain has one more thing going for it. It's an oil producer. Its oil is running down, but its ruling family knows that it is much less likely to be subject to sanctions no matter what it does. Especially with Saudi Arabia in its corner. When the violence dies down, it can blame the 'foreigners' for doing the killing.
The possibility that Bahrain will fall can't be entirely ruled out. The behind the scenes work on these protests has been carefully orchestrated by Soros affiliated elements within the US government, and international branches of the Soros organization, and it's locally backed by Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Bahrain is a test of wills between them and the Saudi royal family. Like a snake fighting a giant rat, it will be interesting to see who emerges on top.
As a preview, from Front Page Magazine, Nichole Hungerford shows us what we can look forward to from "democracy" in Bahrain
Read more at sultanknish.blogspot.comPressure for governmental reform in Bahrain had been mounting since the 1990s. After succeeding his father in 1999, King Hamad instituted a number of democratic reforms, including restoring the parliament which had been disbanded for 27 years. He released Shiite political prisoners, and instituted constitutional reforms. The result? A powerful Islamist Shia party, al-Wefaq, became the single largest political party in Bahrain; many of its leaders were released from prison or brought back from exile from Hamad’s reforms. By 2006, the Islamists had secured nearly half (18) of the 40 seats in the Bahraini parliament.
Since coming to power, al-Wefaq has called for racial segregation of South Asian residents of Bahrain, who were being harassed by Bahraini nationals. This was viewed as the best way to “deal with” the racial tension between the two ethnic groups. Steven Cook, a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, has called the group’s position on women “outrageous.” “In fact,” he continued, “one of the leaders of Al Wefaq wanted to pass a law such that windows in Bahraini apartment buildings— [so] you could not see out” (emphasis added).
Outrageous is putting it kindly. Al Wefaq believes that all legal changes regarding the role of women and the family should be made by clerics, because they are religious matters. It has organized large campaigns against secular women’s rights movements. As recently as 2009, the party rejected a law that would set the minimum age of marriage for women at 15, claiming that it was “against the principles of Islam.” The outrages go on and on.