Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Important piece on Saudi Intervention in Bahrain

Cross-posted with "From the Field"
 
Caryle Murphy provides interesting detail on the March 16, 2011, intervention in Bahrain by Saudi Arabia.  There are a variety of notable elements in the piece:
  • King Abdullah and company have been riled by the U.S. embrace of reform in Egypt and in Bahrain. 
  • They signalled this in several ways, including refusing to receive Hillary Clinton and Bob Gates.
  • Hardliners in Bahrain have been intent to sabotage active reform efforts by the Bahraini crown prince, and the hardliners have willing collaborators in Saudi Arabia.
  • Once "requested",  the Saudis were glad to lead the charge into Bahrain and launch a wave of repression and thuggery against the majority population in Bahrain.
  • Reading between the lines, there is good reason to question how much freedom of action the Bahraini leaders truly enjoy.  The Saudi godfather is not easily ignored, especially given the financial dependence of Bahrain on the KSA.
  • Notable for it absence from Murphy's account is any mention of a significant role by Iran, which has the poppycock peddled by King Hamad in recent weeks.

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