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Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's Rulers Goose-Step to the Brink of the Abyss  :      Information Clearing House: ICH

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's Rulers Goose-Step to the Brink of the Abyss  :      Information Clearing House: ICH
The repression has turned into an operation of conspicuous bigotry, brutality, and mendacity that does not bode well for the future of the emirate, political liberalization inside Saudi Arabia, or peaceful coexistence between Iran and the Gulf states.

In recent days, Bahrain has used live ammunition—shotguns—against demonstrators and blanketed Manama with checkpoints, some manned by personnel masked with sinister black balaclavas. After a group of Shia legislators resigned in protest, the government officially accepted their resignations—so they could strip the legislators of their immunity and render them liable to criminal charges. Main opposition newspaper—shut down. Only hospital in Manama—occupied by security forces so that wounded demonstrators can be apprehended, abused, and/or disappeared.

In classic doublespeak, the government declared that the hospital had been “liberated”. “Liberating” the hospital apparently involved beating at least one male nurse senseless in the parking lot.

Beneath it all, a dangerous undercurrent of government fear and rage.

It looks like the Bahrain and Saudi security forces are utterly out of their depth. Their state of reference is pursuing and suppressing terrorists. By treating these peaceful, non-sectarian demonstrators as sectarian terrorists, they seem to be sowing the seeds of the emirate’s eventual destruction.

The expected outcome of systematic government-directed hatred would be ethnic cleansing, but there’s one problem with that. Shi’a are not a marginalized and easily purged minority; they are the majority, accounting for about 70 per cent of the native population. The Sunni—who dominate the island in cooperation with their Saudi allies—are the minority. If one counts the large army of foreign workers in the emirate, the Sunni bosses account for less than 10 per cent of the population.
No wonder the Sunni emir felt he needed some Saudi muscle.

The prognosis seems to be embittered Shi’a majority and paranoid Sunni rulers in Bahrain. Even

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