Posts Tagged ‘bahrain’

Arab Spring 2.0

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Amazing! Upwards of 200,000 people are in the streets of Bahrain in what could be the tiny kingdom’s largest protest rally ever!

The significance of this gathering cannot be understated, as it represents over 15% of the entire population.

Already the protests are proving effective. The government has now dropped charges on a few of the medics who were imprisoned for helping injured activists during earlier demonstrations.

What an inspirational sight! Can’t wait to see who will be next.

Bahrain Still Brutal

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Pay close attention to what is going on right now in Bahrain (seen above), because what is happening there can happen anywhere.

Don’t kid yourself. Disgusting scenes of heavily armed security forces severely beating protesters and blatantly abusing their authority could very well spring up in our own backyards, should we simply neglect our duty to protect our precious freedom.

Democracy doesn’t happen on it’s own. It takes concerted effort by an educated, empowered and engaged population. When the people get too lazy, ignorant, distracted, or fearful, it leaves the door open for outside entities (like corporations and special interests) to discretely strip the public of their power, step by step.

Embrace your responsibility as a co-creator of a new, more just global civilization. Join the millions of people who’ve already flipped the script from passive to active, from observer to player. Be part of the change this planet needs – we can’t do it without you!

America is Arming Brutal Dictators

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Glenn Greenwald wrote a concise exposé into the hypocrisy surrounding Bahrain and the United States. As Greenwald details, the gap between President Obama’s words and the actions of his administration is quite substantial.

Here’s the abbreviated version:

President Obama, March 19, 2011:

We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.

Reuters, March 16, 2011:

At least five protesters have been killed and hundreds wounded in a crackdown by Bahraini forces on Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch, yesterday:

Leading [Bahraini] political opposition figures have been sentenced to long prison terms, in some cases for life, solely for their role in organizing the large street protests.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, September 14, 2011:

[America’s] DSCA notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bahrain for Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles, TOW Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support worth an estimated $53 million.

So, why on earth would the American government sell weapons to merciless thugs who will, most certainly, use them on the civilian population? Well, the answer is in the DSCA’s press release itself:

This proposed sale will … improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

In other words, Bahrain is loyal to America and it’s largest corporations. As long as the tiny country’s corrupt regime keeps playing the game, any butt-kickings issued by Bahrain’s security forces are free to be stamped with MADE IN THE USA.

Bahrain Cracks Down on Doctors

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Bahrain’s government is brutal. First, they made it illegal to protest. Then, they made it a crime to be injured by security forces. Now, they’ve been arresting medical staff for healing civilians hurt during demonstrations.

Preventing doctors from treating patients? What an atrocious injustice… almost as egregious as the underwhelming silence from the world’s governments.

Where’s the UN Intervention? Where’s the outpouring of support from Obama? Why is Libya treated differently from Bahrain?

The answer, of course, is that Bahrain resides under Saudi Arabia’s protective wing while maintaining strong ties to the United States.

For as long as they hold their political allegiances, it seems Bahrain’s crimes against humanity will go unnoticed by the powers that be. Such blatant hypocrisy!

The only solution, then, is for the rest of us – those amongst us who believe an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere –  to make enough noise, so that our governments have no choice but to listen.

Bahraini Gov’t is Bah-rutal

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

(Now we see the violence inherent in the system!)

In the latest attempt to squash the Arab revolt from within their borders, Bahraini officials have set their sights on scholars studying abroad.

Students in the UK, who were photographed supporting the Bahrain uprising, have been stripped of government-funded scholarships and their parents were told to call their children back home.

The students fear being arrested should they return home, and that their families might be subjected to beatings and torture from the repressive regime.

Clearly Bahrain’s oligarchs are the kind of inhumane, selfish thugs who have no place in a civilized and just world, and are exactly the kind of corruption we will be eradicating as we foster a new peaceful and egalitarian dawn.

Saudis Helping Bahraini King Massacre His Own People

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

(Here we see security forces re-enacting their favorite scene from ‘Fight Club’.)

Civilian casualties are mounting in Bahrain as forces from neighboring countries, including Saudi Arabia, have joined in the brutal suppression of the people’s movement. The King’s hired goons have even resorted to  attacking protesters with stolen ambulances.

Let these events serve as a stark reminder of the importance of keeping power in check. What is happening in Bahrain could happen anywhere, and if we aren’t careful, it might happen everywhere.

We are moving towards a globalized world. Some form of world governance is inevitable as humankind continues to come together. This great unification won’t necessarily be a bad thing, as long as we ensure that the system remains accountable to the people.

Totalitarianism is a real threat faced by our species. And, just like in Bahrain or Libya, sometimes those who hold the power will mercilessly slaughter anyone who expresses dissent, regardless of whether or not the discontent is warranted.

This is why it is so imperative that we reclaim our governments now, while we still can. We have the tools to ensure democracy and enforce transparency in authority. All you have to do is get involved.

Don’t let the tragic loss of our fellow freedom fighters dampen our spirits. Let us channel our anguish and frustration into action, strengthening the resolve of the revolutionary movement.

Second Protester Killed in Bahrain

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The bulk of the Bahraini people, like most people in the world, are underrepresented by their government. They don’t get an equal say in how decisions are made, and that leads to them not getting a fair share of their nation’s products.

Bahrain’s population is entirely justified to be unhappy with the status quo. Yet, should any of these oppressed persons have the audacity to hold a demonstration and say “We are not happy” , armed forced will crash down on them so hard that some of the dissenters will die.

This heavy-handed approach – using riot squads to injure and kill civilians – tends to backfire on the government. Instead of silencing the population, acts of police brutality tend to provoke more activism from the public.

Throughout the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, demonstrators were beaten and killed. This only intensified public outrage,  helping to mobilize a growing segment of the population. The more the state fought back, the stronger each movement grew, ultimately culminating in regime change.

Now, the Bahraini people are on this same path. If the pro-reform movement keeps growing, it will either end in revolution or a massive blood bath.

If you’re wondering which is more likely, probably revolution.

Leaders today face a new threat: cell phone cameras. As much as these dictators would like punish their disobedient ‘children’, with the rest of the world just a single click away, it’s usually better to appease the angry mob and not become a mass-murderer.

Protester Killed in Bahrain

Monday, February 14th, 2011

(clashes between an angry population and those paid to protect the powerful)

Bahraini citizens witnessed a protester being killed during today’s pro-reform demonstrations. Across Bahrain, large groups of dissenters clashed with riot police, leading to dozens of injuries and businesses being closed.

Inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, the Bahrani people held their own day of protest, demanding constitutional reform and  a government that listens to the population.

For too long, the Bahraini people have lived under the rule of an oppressive oligarchy. Bahrain’s royal family aren’t just figureheads, they’re the ultimate arbitrators of Bahrain’s government.

While such an arrangement might be good for those at the top, the further down the hierarchy one travels, the progressively worse the conditions. This leaves the bulk of the population feeling neglected by a system fundamentally lacking in democratic values.

Such injustice fuels the kind of uprisings we see today. As well, authoritarian governments, like those in Bahrain, almost always lead to egregious human rights violations.

For example, according to the US Gov’t, some foreign workers in Bahrain “face conditions of involuntary servitude after arriving… such as unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse.”

In a proactive attempt to squelch the uprisings, Bahrain’s monarchy mimicked a move done last month by neighboring Kuwait, gifting each family 1000 Dinars (approx. US$2650).

Clearly this pittance was not enough to silence all dissent, as thousands came out to show their dissatisfaction with the current regime. More protests are planned for tomorrow.

Hopefully Bahrain will be amongst the countries where a successful revolution brings more power to the people.

More Protests Inbound

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Oppressive oligarchies will continue to crumble as more countries have penciled in their own ‘Days of Anger’:

  • Syria Feb. 5
  • Algeria Feb 12
  • Bahrain on Feb 14
  • Libya Feb 30
  • Morocco Mar 13

Tunisia, Yemen, and Jordan have already seen some fruits from their demonstrations. As more countries’ corrupt regimes topple, fresh energy will be added the already volatile spirits of an oppressed people.

This is probably why Egypt’s Mubarak keeps hanging on, even though he’s been told by millions he should step down. He’s wants to quit. His billions are  surely safe offshore somewhere. Mubarak should just go already.

Despite his claims of staying to prevent the chaos that would erupt in his absence, Mubarak’s reluctance to retire likely stems the intense pressure coming from those who want to see the Egyptian civil uprisings get squashed. When Egypt falls, it will lean heavily into the impending domino effect, leading to a dramatic shift in the balance of power.

No longer will the people be afraid of the government. Now, governments will be held accountable to the people, and this is precisely what authoritarian regimes don’t want to happen.