While the US and its partners remain fixated on various potential false flags from Takfiri groups in Syria, a genuine revolt is taking place in the Persian Gulf island state of Bahrain. Demonstrators have taken to the streets in their biggest airing of discontent against the regime since protests were violently put down in 2011.
While small demonstrations have been a fixture of Bahrain’s street politics since 2011, the protests occurring now are bigger than any seen in seven years. The proximate cause for the protests is the continued social and economic discrimination against the island’s Shi’a majority (up to 75% of all Bahrainis) who have suffered abuse under the country’s Wahhabi regime led by the powerful Al Khalifah family which is closely aligned with the Saudi ruling family. For all intents and purposes, Bahrain’s regime is a puppet of the Saudi regime.
Reports have come in that regime authorities have been firing loaded shotgun rounds and teargas at demonstrators, causing carnage and chaos among the unarmed protesters. Because of the regime’s tight control of the country, few international journalists are ever able to get near the front lines of the demonstrations.
In spite of Syria’s war being instigated from external forces, the Syrian government continues to work in the Astana format to engage in dialogue with all factions in an attempt to restore peace to the country. By contrast, the regime in Bahrain has rejected all offers of dialogue and mediation as the continued oppression of demonstrators continues. While the world’s eyes have been naturally focused on the Saudi led war on Yemen, the silent and often lethal oppression of Bahrain’s majority continues to go largely unnoticed. In this sense, Bahrain is something of a Saudi orchestrated experiment in population control, where a united majority of countrymen stand without any assistance against a regime that runs the small country in the interests not of its people but of a foreign power.
A true test of Saudi’s influence in the GCC is how little is said about Bahrain. Unless a neutral international mediator comes in to address the situation, chances are little will change in the small but largely corrupt state.