SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) - The future of Bahrain’s revolution has never looked brighter. With regional and international development going against the grains of dictatorial regimes, and with former dictators such as Mubarak, Gaddafi, Ali Abdulla Saleh and Zain Al Abideen bin Ali thrown in the dustbins of history, Bahrain’s dictators are beginning to ponder what the near future is sparing for them. Despite assurances from Washington and London of their “unwavering” support, the people’s power has proven to be more formidable than that of tyrants or foreign aggressors.
History is ripe with stories with tyrants unable to withstand the onslaught of their people despite being supported by the West. There is a limit to what foreign powers can do to save their tyrannical allies. The Shah of Iran had to flee the country in the face of a popular revolution led by a strong leader. The West failed to keep Mubarak in his position despite pleas from Saudi Arabia.
It was also unable to save Ali Abdulla Saleh of Yemen or Ben Ali of Tunis. Once people are mobilised for a just and noble cause, their collective response transforms to an unstoppable psunami that would uproot tyranny and dictatorships. There is always the worry that the Western intervention will undermine the popular efforts to force political changes, but such intervention has not always worked, and that the West had to move backwards otherwise it will confront revolutionaries.
The past month has seen several significant developments including the victory of Mohammad Morsi for the post of President in Egypt. He is the first elected president in the largest Arab country and is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The scene of jubilation at Tahrir Square when his victory was announced sent waves of shiver in the spine of the ruling dictators in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other countries. It is the beginning of serious nightmares in Arab capitals that have hitherto remained immune to revolutionary fervour. However, events can spread rapidly from one place to another.
For Egypt to become under an Islamist president is testimony to the changing times and the doomsday scenario of the discredited Arab dictatorships. Their downfall has become a serious possibility that would become another political psunami.
The Alkhalifa regime has adopted every possible cunning method not to implement any serious reform of their political system. This has come at a cost. The seemingly moderate political societies that had been registered with the regime’s departments have been unable to justify their “moderate” approach to the political crisis.
The regime has not given away any concession that would help its political allies to use as a means of pressure against the more “extreme” elements of the opposition. Instead, the Alkahlifa have escalated their state-terrorism against the main political society. Alwefaq leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, was brutally attacked by the regime’s forces on Friday 22nd June. Other senior members of the opposition were also targeted with shotguns and tear gas canisters.
The events of the past 18 months have established one undeniable fact. If left alone the hereditary dictatorship is incapable of putting its house in order, let alone undertaking serious reforms programme to satisfy the opposition and with them the people. Dictators often overlook the potential of those opposition groups and would thus miss out when the situation becomes tense. Furthermore, the blanket attacks on every demonstration in the country and the carpet-gassing of towns and villages have caused more polarisation of public opinion.
Revolutionary youth have gained the upper hand as the tyrants insisted on dealing with what is essentially a political problem with an iron-fist policy that has spared no one from state terrorism and violence. Bahrain is now on the verge of collapse as gap between the people and the Alkhalifa rulers has become unbridgeable with any means. Each side has lost trust in the other with a net result of total separation between the two; morally, ethically, religiously and politically. Bahrainis have learnt an important and strategic lesson; hold your position and stop talking to the regime.
This policy of constructive wait-and-see will deny the Alkhalifa any political legitimacy and will provide breathing space for the active elements as the next step is considered. As long as the people are willing to sacrifice, the end of their enemy cannot be far away. People’s potential is far greater than that of any tyrant. For Bahrainis time is on their side.
They have given so much sacrifice that they are not ready for any compromise with a regime that has proven to be real enemy of the people. The killings, torture, genocidal policies and absolute authoritarianism are but few manifestations of its enmity towards the native Bahrainis (Shia and Sunni).
The dictator has become outrageous in alienating the people even those who had worked within the political system.
Last month, Islamic Action Society was threatened by the regime’s justice minister with closure in an attempt to blackmail its leaders into submission to the Alkhalifa policies. Alwefaq Society was also targeted for revenge. Its leader, Sheikh Ali Salman was hit with a rubber bullet as he attended a demonstration while another opposition figure was injured. Some of the mosques that had been re-built after being demolished by the Alkhalifa and Alsaud forces have also been vandalised and demolished. The Alkhalifa war against Bahrainis has taken political, human and religious dimensions. These heinous crimes are in addition to the detention of human rights activists including Nabeel Rajab, Zainab Al Khawaja who were taken into custody and released.
These acts add up to make it impossible for any noble citizen to live with the Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship. Both Washington and London have urged the regime and the political opposition to engage in dialogue. The Alkhalifa have never before engaged in dialogue with the people because they never acknowledged the existence of those people.
Every time the societies accepted to take part in dialogue the regime would turn it into a Shia-Sunni debate to affirm its claim that the problem in the country is sectarian. It is thus a futile exercise to link the solution of the political crisis to dialogue because that will not happen.
Last month, the dictator rejected the idea of mediation by outside powers, because any mediation will expose the Alkhalifa agenda that has never accepted the idea of reform, change or political pluralism and participation. The revolutionaries have long ago reached the conclusion that the regime had to go because it is easier to reach the sky than to modernise a regime bent on revenge, dictatorship and despotism. The longer their departure is delayed by forces of counter-revolution, the more bloody that end will become.
Wisdom dictates that friends and allies of Alkhalifa act now to make their departure from the political scene less dramatic or bloody.