The Battle for Bahrain

This is a good report on Bahrain (and Libya) from PBS' Newshour. It features veteran Gulf expert Gary Sick, who on his blog noted this:


I suggested that, in addition to the battles in the streets of Bahrain, there is a battle within the royal family. The king apologized for the one death on the first day, then the security forces launched an incredibly ugly attack shortly thereafter, killing at least 5 more Bahrainis. They then attacked people coming from the funerals today. They have prevented ambulances from reaching the wounded, and they have brutalized doctors trying to tend to the wounded.
On Friday, the king called (via a statement read by the Crown Prince) for the army to withdraw from the streets. Although he is the commander in chief of the army, the armed forces were still in place at last report. So who is in charge? Is Khalifa, the hardline PM and senior uncle of the king, the one who is calling the shots, quite literally?
I also suggested that the GCC FM “emergency” conference in Manama yesterday was intended to assure Bahrain that it had carte blanche to do whatever was necessary to put down the rebellion, regardless of cost. Saudi Arabia, I suggested, was terrified of the consequences of a Shia uprising spilling over into the Eastern Province. And other Arab rulers in the Gulf heartily concur that Bahrain is the place to draw the line, rather than Kuwait City or Abu Dhabi.
This is a shocking video of people being shot by the army. I understand that the army has now retreated but the police is still beating protestors. 
Also see this Economist piece giving the background a few days ago.


Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,