Tag Archives: Peace

Bahrain; Sold Out by the World

The world’s media is full of wars and disasters. People fighting and killing other people.

There is a well-known attitude in the media. Good news doesn’t sell. And so good news is rarely reported.

If there is no conflict then we, the ordinary citizens of the world, never get to hear about it.

That was before Twitter and the rest of the social media.

Now I am able to keep an eye on what is happening in distant parts of the world. I am able follow events in a strange series of events in a small island.

Bahrain is an archipelago in the Persian Gulf. Ruled at different times by Sunni and Shia family dynasties, to me it seems somewhat like an Arabic Ireland. In 1820, the Sunni Al Khalifa tribe, immigrant pirates from Kuwait, came to power and set themselves up as a hereditary monarchy. Although the Sunni are only 30% of the population, they are supported by the neighbouring Sunni Saudi Arabian rulers.

A typically repressive regime, the Al Khalifa has allowed a major US base on its soil. All revenues go through the pirates Royal Family and there has been repression of the small human rights group. Many young people, both Shia and Sunni have become frustrated by a lack of opportunity. Following the peaceful demonstrations in Egypt, a similar movement began in Bahrain on 14th Feb, 2011.

Peaceful and refusing to fight back the demonstrators, both Shia and Sunni made regime change their goal. Despite a growing number of martyrs the peaceful ideals of the demonstrators have not changed. Even the take-over of the main public hospital and the beating of patients has only stiffened their resolve.

Having lost the fear of death, the subject population has become virtually ungovernable. The Ruling Family have had to import mercenaries from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia to prop up their increasingly weakened power. Their claims to legitimacy are failing. Yet Saudi Arabia is a major ally of the USA and Bahrain hosts a major US base on its soil. The weakening USA is too scared to do anything about the situation.

I have been lucky enough to find the Twitterfeed of @angryarabiya , a young mother who has been taking part in the marches and vigils of the past couple of months. I have posted a couple of her poems here and here. She has reported the beating, arrest and disappearance of friends, acquaintances and relatives.

Yesterday I woke to her frantic tweets telling the world that her fears had been realised. Her father, husband and brother-in-law had been beaten and  taken away. Just like her Uncle. At least she wasn’t beaten like her Aunt.

Yet, because there is no fighting back by the “rebels” there is little or no media coverage. Just the death and torture of peaceful protesters.

As an online community there is something we can do as my friend tweeted this morning.

To protest/appeal this travesty of justice contact: ambsecretary@bahrainembassy.org and/or

Make a difference, send an email protesting the Al Khalifa regime and their deadly injustices.

A Rant on Terror

Terrorism is such a bad thing that all terrorists should be punished. It would probably be best if they were all killed before they could cause any damage to us.

The problem is that terrorism is like the Hydra. Cut off a few heads and they not only grow back, they multiply. The end result is even more terrorists.

So the current method of attempting to control, reduce and eradicate terrorism is obviously failing.

Just what is terrorism?

At its base, terrorism is the means which some people, yes, terrorists are people too, use to gain political power. It is not to be confused with the individual, random acts committed by the suicidal and mentally ill who suddenly run right off the rails.

The true terrorist leader is older, much more calculating and hides in the background. He uses the very inequalities he seeks to overcome to recruit followers. Whatever his background or origin, his aim is to over throw the status quo creating a new status quo where he is the leader.

A terrorist organisation needs to be looked at as a political organisation.

Just as it would be impossible to eliminate the Democrats or the Republicans in the USA, or the Labour Party or the Tories in Britain, so it is impossible to eliminate the terrorists once they have created  themselves in a country.

Why? Because they represent an ideal, an idea!

Controlling Terrorism.

Terrorism gains its power from using violence as opposed to the ballot box. Modern terrorism gains its members from the disaffected young. The very people who are at their most idealistic and ready to try to change their world. These young people are the lifeblood of the terrorist leadership.

There are two ways of dealing with the disaffected young.

We can try to control them after they have become disaffected or we can stop them from becoming disaffected.

Our current method of attempting to put the genie back in the bottle is obviously failing. The world has become a much more dangerous place since all out war against terrorism was declared. The disaffected young have multiplied in the resultant chaos and have gathered at the banner of the terrorist leaderships.

Another course of action.

Perhaps what is needed is a total redefining of the problem.

Rather than using the old Biblical, and totally human, reaction of an eye for an eye, perhaps the Christian ideal of “turning the other cheek” may be of use. It has certainly never been tried on a mass level.

Maybe the nations of the world should stop the war on terror and concentrate on creating a world where there are no disaffected youth. Cut off the terrorist leadership and isolate them from their powerbase.

A Sort of Conclusion

Could the cost of improving the conditions in places where terrorism is growing be more than the continuing cost of the wars to control terrorism?

Certainly the methods used by our nations is not working.

A change in direction may just create the conditions needed to reduce, if not eliminate, the threat of terrorism.

The real problem is that there are those in power in our nations who would see the proposal of this solution as a new form of terrorism.

A Hippy Feast