Saturday, May 28, 2011

FYI: CIA - The World Factbook & BBC Facts on Bahrain

Saudi Arabia Scrambles to Limit Region’s Upheaval by Neil MacFarquhar New York Times , May 27, 2011

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia is flexing its financial and diplomatic might across the Middle East in a wide-ranging bid to contain the tide of change, shield other monarchies from popular discontent and avert the overthrow of any more leaders struggling to calm turbulent nations.

From Egypt, where the Saudis dispensed $4 billion in aid last week to shore up the ruling military council, to Yemen, where it is trying to ease out the president, to the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco, which it has invited to join a union of Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia is scrambling to forestall more radical change and block Iran’s influence.

The kingdom is aggressively emphasizing the relative stability of monarchies, part of an effort to avert any drastic shift from the authoritarian model, which would generate uncomfortable questions about the pace of political and social change at home.

Saudi Arabia’s proposal to include Jordan and Morocco in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council — which authorized the Saudis to send in troops to quell a largely Shiite Muslim rebellion in the Sunni Muslim monarchy of Bahrain — is intended to create a kind of “Club of Kings.” The idea is to signal to Shiite Iran that the Sunni Arab monarchs will defend their interests, analysts said.

...Saudi Arabia is taking each uprising in turn, without relying on a single blueprint. In Bahrain, it resorted to force, sending troops to crush a rebellion by Shiites because it feared the creation of a hostile government — a kind of Shiite Cuba — only about 20 miles from some of its main oil fields, one sympathetic to Iran, if not allied with it. It has deployed diplomacy in other uprisings, and remained on the fence in still others. It is also spending money, pledging $20 billion to help stabilize Bahrain and Oman, which has also faced protests.
Is the author MacFarquhar in this article saying that the notion of Bahrain becoming a "Shiite Cuba" is an exaggeration and shows how paranoid the Saudis really are.
Is the reporter on the other hand using this analogy of Cuba to get more Americans to sympathize with the Saudis .

The analogy doesn't hold because the protesters in Bahrain in the ealy days of the protest were not calling for ousting the royal family but rather wanted reforms which means stopping for instance treating all Shiites as second class citizens.

The New York times doesn't bather about such trivia or other trivial details such as the destruction of the Pearl Mounument or the destruction of Shiite Mosques and community centers or that some protesters are facing trumped up charges and are facing lengthy prison sentences and in some cases execution.

Nor does it bother to mention that though the majority of protesters were Shiites large numbers of Sunnis also took part believing Bahrain needs to reform and to give more help to those who are not part of the rich and or powerful Sunnis who support the Royal Family and its despotic regime. Nor does he mention that the Saudis have themselves been ruthless in cracking down ofn protesters and dissidend in the Kingdom itself and also treats its Shiite population as second class citizens.

Nor does he mention that Saudi Arabia's form of Sharia is not that different to that of Iran .
Women are not permitted to drive and are not encouraged to go into public without the permission of their male guardian or have a male relative as an escort.

Nor does he mention that Saudi Arabia like the Taliban and Iran has a powerful Religious Police Force who enforce Sharia as they see fit so if they wish they can beat up a woman who they believe is not dressed properly or is not accompanied by a male escort or was not given permission to leave their home.

The trials these protesters and members of the media in Bahrain are facing are basically soviet style show trials similar to the bogus Kangaroo Courts held by the US military or JAG or DOJ in dealing with the whistleblower Bradley Manning or those imprisoned at GITMO or other US run prisons in the US itself or over seas.

Somehow the American government and its quisling Media propagandists believe that anyone incarcerated by US personnel in a foreign country has no rights under American law or international law. So American personnel can capture, torture, or kill POWs or other persons of interestsand that 's A-OK.

As we have now witnessed in the case of Osama bin Laden the US government believes it had the right to assassinate bin laden even if he was unarmed and no threat to those who captured him.
So we see all the talk about human rights and freedoms and democracy by the Obama administration or any other federal administration is just a lot of talk -what matters is how an individual or nation acts.

We also saw this in the case of an under cover CIA agent who murdered a couple people in Pakistan is beyond the jurisdiction of the Pakistani government and as far as the US is concerned they don't really care whether what this individual did is murder or not.
Cases like this one occur more often than most Americans would want to know-for instance when an American who is in the armed services is in another country and commits rape or murder the United States insists that the country where the rape or murder occurred has no jurisdiction over an American soldier , sailor marine etc.

While Canada and other nations do trade with Cuba It is paranoid America which is one of the few countries which refuses to trade or have diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The author of this piece also erroneously suggest that Some Bahrainis are using violence against the regime. And if they were so what? In Libya the so called reformers are militarized and are being supported by the United States and its puppet organization NATO.
 So the New York Times as usual is defending the status quo that is the American /Obama/Bush overarching view of the Middle East and Africa based not upon human rights and freedoms or democracy but on what's in it for America.
America is an Empire as the British once had an empire and as the Brits merely regarded all those they conquered as inferior peoples so does the United States.
Take for instance America's war of Aggression against Iraq in which the American government , military and the American elites including much of the so called "Free Press" and the Media saw this as a necessary war and later were pissed off because the Iraqis were not greatful to America .
America did its best in Iraq to destroy its government and its Civil Society and encouraged sectarian violence and then turn around after murdering over a million Iraqis blaming the Iraqi people for the mess the Americans madein Iraq.

We are not supposed to say such things since even Obama gets hysterical as Bush or Cheney or Karl Rove when America 's occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan or its bombing of Libya or its defense of Israel or the Saudis is criticized.

Facts about Bahrain from CIA

CIA - The World Factbook

Central Intelligence Agency


The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent US Government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior US policymakers.
To learn more, visit CIA Vision, Mission & Values.
and from the BBC

Bahrain country profile

Map of Bahrain

Bahrain - which name means "two seas" - was once viewed by the ancient Sumerians as an island paradise to which the wise and the brave were taken to enjoy eternal life.
It was one of the first states in the Gulf to discover oil and to build a refinery; as such, it benefited from oil wealth before most of its neighbours.


Bahrain never reached the levels of production enjoyed by Kuwait or Saudi Arabia and has been forced to diversify its economy.
Bahrainis rally in Manama over plans to raise gas prices
Politics: The Khalifah family has ruled since 1783; Bahrain is now a constitutional monarchy with an elected legislative assembly; majority Shiites are demanding more power from Sunni-led government. The government cracked down violently on pro-democracy protest in 2011
Economy: Bahrain is a banking and financial services centre; its small and reasonably prosperous economy is less dependent on oil than most Gulf states
International: Bahrain is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet. Bahraini-Qatari ties have been strained though they settled a territorial dispute in 2001
The country has been headed since 1783 by the Khalifah family, members of the Bani Utbah tribe, who expelled the Persians. From 1861, when a treaty was signed with Britain, until independence in 1971, Bahrain was virtually a British protectorate.
The king is the supreme authority and members of the Sunni Muslim ruling family hold the main political and military posts. There are long-running tensions between Bahrain's Sunnis and the Shi'ite Muslim majority. On occasion, these have spilled over into civil unrest.
In 2001 Bahrainis strongly backed proposals put by the emir - now the king - to turn the country into a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament and an independent judiciary.
Elections were duly held in 2002 for a 40-member parliament, the Council of Deputies. It was the first such poll in nearly 30 years. The new body included a dozen Shi'ite MPs.
The country has enjoyed increasing freedom of expression, and monitors say the human rights situation has improved. However, opposition groups and campaigners continue to press for political reforms, including greater powers for the elected assembly.
In February 2011 thousands of demonstrators gathered for several days in the centre of Manama, inspired by the popular uprisings which toppled the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Several people were killed in clashes with security forces, and the king responded to public anger by releasing some political prisoners.
Bahrain - a chain of around 30 islands - has been a haven for tourists from the region, who take advantage of its relaxed social environment. A close ally of the US, it is home to the American navy's Fifth Fleet.


  • Full name: Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Population: 807,000 (UN, 2010)
  • Capital: Manama
  • Area: 717 sq km (277 sq miles)
  • Major language: Arabic
  • Major religion: Islam
  • Life expectancy: 75 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Bahraini dinar = 1,000 fils
  • Main exports: Petroleum and petroleum products, aluminium
  • GNI per capita: US $25,420 (World Bank, 2009)
  • Internet domain: .bh
  • International dialling code: +973


King: Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah
Sheikh Hamad's title changed to king when Bahrain switched from being an emirate to a kingdom in February 2002.
Sheikh Hamad
Sheikh Hamad succeeded his father in 1999
He had been crown prince since 1964, when, on the death of his father Sheikh Isa in March 1999, he became emir.
Born in 1950, he was educated at a public school in Cambridge, England, and went on to study at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England, and at the US Army Command and Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In 1968, he founded and became commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF). He served as minister of defence from 1971 to 1988.
The government has over the years faced protests from the Shia majority, with demonstrators saying the ruling Sunni minority shuts them out of housing, healthcare and government jobs.
The country saw a wave of anti-government unrest in 2011 - inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The government used violence to try end the protests, in which some 30 had been killed by mid-April. It also called in Saudi Arabian troops.
Central Intelligence Agency
The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence

World Factbook Title
navigation arrows
View Text Low Bandwidth VersionDownload Publication
Flag of Bahrain
Location of Bahrain
Map of Bahrain
CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE Opens in New Window
Photos of Bahrain
Navigation ArrowVIEW 10 PHOTOS Opens in New Window
Introduction ::BAHRAIN

No comments: