Friday, December 08, 2006
The US shoved democracy down Iraq’s throat, it failed, having no legitimacy whatsoever amid a security vacuum. The US shuns Palestinian democracy altogether because it detests the elected Hamas government. While in Lebanon, it hasn’t hidden it’s disdain of the civil protests that will bring down the pro-US government while outwardly supporting the cedar revolution against Syrian de facto rule that used the same tactics last year. Brushstroking all of the above as evidence of expansionist Islamism is the justification of the US’s shift in policy of ‘democratisation’ and in faviour of a ‘new Middle-east’, which we were supposedly witnessing the ‘pangs’ of. So what is the new Middle-East?
It’s a Middle-east of arab countries that occupy the top 3 news headlines on a daily basis; one in a clear civil war; one that is on the verge of one; and one that is the unresolved perennial anathema that is the bain of the entire region. It is ‘new’ because it sets a precedent in pan-regional political instability anywhere in the modern world.
Where does Bahrain fit in the new Middle-East? It maybe small compared to the above, but on such a shaky boat, the region isn't difficult to rock. The Bahraini regime played it shrewdly in two main ways; domestically it thwarted a national constitutional movement by constraining it within a powerless parliament and diffusing it along sectarian lines; and internationally, by showing it’s US masters that the product of any arab democracy is yet another big-bad islamist demon. You still wonder why no organised ‘liberal’ representatives made it through the elections? The concerted electoral fraud is nothing personal against Fakhro, Nu’aimi, or Shareef. Not because they lack popular support, rather, it is exactly because they are ‘non-tainted’ nationalists that they are not politically desirable. Having an islamist parliament suits the current regime just fine, because it's a good excuse not to have one at all in the current regional climate. So with a dollop of salafi candidates, a dollop of cash, a dollop of 8000 floating votes, unleashing the full-force of a defeatist shia majority cramming for pre-restricted minority share of seats, the parliamentary recipe is ready to be served, totally halal islamist ingredients of course - even a teaspoon of 'liberals' in this particular recipe will ruin the sectarian taste. Although the people will ultimately be left legislatively famished, the Khalifa's are rubbing their full stomachs whilst serving a concoction that relieves Condalizza Rice's pangs, who has been convinced that better the undemocratic devil you know, then the democratic one you don't.