…from beneath the crooked bough, witness 230 years of brutal tyranny by the al Khalifas come to an end
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Bahrain Burning and another point of view

As the al Khalifa regime grows increasingly desperate so does its arrogance and the intensity of the violence it uses to corral the revolutionary opposition. The regime’s bloody and unrelenting crackdown has been a huge success in hardening the call for the regimes ouster. In Michael Stephens article below he begins with an argument to the regime claims of Hezbollah orchestrated violence being behind recent bombings in Bahrain. He then becomes a regime apologist. Western liberals on board with the myth of infallibility of the Obama Administration and Conservatives dressed clothing of objectivity, misread and mislead regarding the ‘realities’ on the ground that face the Street Defenders in Bahrain.

The Street Defenders emerged out of a black bloc sort of protest movement in Bahrain as a defensive force as Police raped children and routinely attacked Women, even those with infants, in the streets and conducted raids on the Villages with theft, indiscriminate chemical gassing of homes and wanton destruction of personal property. The Villages were overrun by Bahrain’s foreign national (mercenary) police force. The police reveled in unchecked and indiscriminate violence against Shia Villages. The scale of police violence is clearly and directed effort not just a few random “bad cops”.

Hamad’s or rather Secretary Clinton’s, BICI report and the regime hiring of US Chief Timoney had “fuck-all” to do with the cessation of these despicable acts by Hamad’s mercenary police. Now imprisoned Human Rights activists, documented regime crimes for the whole world to see, exposing the criminal police and disenfranchised youth took charge of the Streets as the West turned “deaf ears” and “blind eyes” to a rampant genocidal “crackdown” by the regime. Chief Timoney’s greatest teaching seems to be, how to effectively wound and maim Street Protesters with Birdshot so they can be collected latter at the Hospital or Morgue. Police reform in Bahrain is a myth and will remain so as long as the al Khalifa’s operate mercenaries to police their “kingdom”.

The State Department in Washing has fallen asleep regarding Bahrain and left the crisis to ‘spookish’ Ambassador Krajeski to look after. The State Department’s spokes person, Mark toner, recently had harsh words for the regime in his press conference but that had never been any diplomatic contact until that point with the regime. Toner’s rhetoric feeds Western media demand while al Khalifa’s Public Relations campaign that embellishes stories of opposition bombings and weapons caches that go unsubstantiated but provide a firewall for the regime to continue its unimpeded crackdown.

To be certain the “uprising” in Bahrain comes at an inopportune time for President Obama as he tries to help prop up a failing economy with hundreds of million of dollars in weapons sales supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the US to the al Khlaifa potentate, al Saud. Obama’s war efforts with Syria and Iran put a set of unpredictable dynamics in the mix – though some pentagon asshole will swear “we can do it” given time, money and enough force. The al Saud’s in the meantime provide cheap oil to the US as a firewall in support of US imperialist aggression launched through its ‘democracy wars’ and nation imploding throughout MENA. This is an ugly road ahead and Michael Stephens could do much better rethinking the political realities rather than arguing an Obama-esque ‘third way’ to be found in successful economic reform. Phlipn out.

Bahrain Burning
BY MICHAEL STEPHENS – 7 November, 2012 – Foreign Policy
The island kingdom is descending into violence, and nobody has a plan to restore order.

Violence is once again rearing its ugly head in Bahrain. The coordinated detonation of five home-made explosive devices in the capital of Manama on Nov. 5, resulting in the death of two people and the maiming of another, was not some crude attempt to celebrate Guy Fawkes night, but an escalation of bloodshed that threatens to tip the island kingdom into chaos.

The attack appears to be an amateurish attempt to cause terror and mayhem, achieving no result other than killing innocent expatriate labourers. The quality of the explosive devices was poor, suggesting that the attacks were the work of unsophisticated actors working with little institutional support.

Four individuals were arrested for the bombing just one day after it occurred, with Bahrain officials warning darkly that the attacks “bear the hallmark” of Hezbollah. The link to the Lebanese militant organization is crude: Poorly constructed pipe bombs are not Hezbollah’s style — one need only look at the July attack on the Bulgarian city of Burgas to see the group’s devastating efficiency in killing innocents. So while it is possible that the individuals responsible may hold some affinity for the group, it is highly unlikely a Hezbollah cell is to blame for this act.

Government officials and some of their more hard-line supporters have at times stretched the truth in describing actions by anti-government factions as terrorism, and very rarely has the opposition’s strategy of civil disobedience strayed into violence. But let’s be clear: the Nov. 5 bombings were acts of terrorism, committed by terrorists. The government would be justified in prosecuting the offenders to the fullest extent of the law.

The important question to ask is why terrorist actions are now increasing to what appears to be a sustained level. The fact is, this latest attack is the result of a political reconciliation process that is going nowhere and is radicalizing the Bahraini population in the process. The Interior Ministry’s Oct. 30 decision to ban all protests and the Nov. 7 decision to strip 31 activists of citizenship are just the latest in a series of measures taken in the kingdom that appear oppressive, and serve only to further harden the political battle lines in this deeply divided country.

There is, fortunately, a silver lining amidst this grim news. Some of the reforms proposed by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which the monarchy commissioned to investigate the abuses committed during last year’s uprising, have been implemented: Security reforms have been comprehensive, and some police units’ performance has improved significantly — instances of police brutality have dropped significantly in recent months. Furthermore police units still acting irresponsibly will have to face an independent ombudsman who will judge their actions without political or ministry interference. Additionally, five Shia mosques that were inexplicably razed to the ground last year are also in the process of being rebuilt, with two more scheduled for reconstruction, though there are still 32 lying in rubble. …more

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