As the popular rebellion of the Libyan people is being crushed by Qaddafi, and the world discusses the possibility of a ‘no fly zoneâ€™ or any other support to the rebellion by the people, a dangerous development took place yesterday as Saudi forces (with support from the UAE) went into Bahrain to quell another uprising there.
Is it the fear of a rebellion in their own nations driving this ? Or is the uprising in Bahrain not a popular one ? It seems more likely that the first is true, though I am getting mixed messages on my twitter a/c from both sides. If the first is true there are lines being drawn within the Middle East with Monarchy supporting each other to stop this uprising for a more democratic form of government. Thatâ€™s dangerous.
But the most dangerous issue is if the democratic uprisings in the Arab world are subverted into a Sunni/ Shia conflict.? Colonial powers over the last couple of centuries have thrived on such divisions to protect their own military and commercial interests.
What is also very noticeable is that the reaction from Western powers has been surprisingly muted. Is it because of the the US bases in Bahrain and Oil interests in Saudi ? I cannot believe that Saudi army would have gone into Bahrain without extensive consultation with the US. That and a fear of Iran would drive the Western Powers to take sides in a potential conflict between Shia and Sunni. That would lead to a world wide disaster.
And as the the US, UK and European governments move to freeze the personal assets of the Monarchâ€™s/Dictators, we must ask the question why people Hosni Mubarak and Qaddafi were encouraged in the first place to park such disproportionate assets in these countries ? There is no sense in suddenly finding high moral ground and freezing assets when for decades these very countries have been encouraging the dictators.
Dubious and double morals I am afraid.