Bahrain: what's going on?

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Ed's picture
Joined: 1-10-03
Jun 27 2017 13:09
Bahrain: what's going on?

Been meaning to ask this for ages but does anyone have a decent handle on what's going on in Bahrain? I frequently see videos on social media of 'revolutionary youth' launching huge molotov cocktail attacks on various state forces or buildings but I've seen very little written about it, which seems odd.

Does anyone know what it's about? From what little I've managed to find, there seems to be a democratisation movement in the country and the protesters are largely Shiite (while monarchy is Sunni). So is it largely a religious conflict or are the revolutionary youth a secular movement, albeit one fighting religious oppression? Or have I just completely misunderstood what's going on?

Just seems like a lot is going on there while very little is being said about it, especially odd considering the region's geopolitical importance and general dominance of regressive conservative religion/politics.

Dave B
Joined: 3-08-08
Jun 27 2017 17:56

I think the Shia Iranian versus Sunni thing is a bit of a smoke screen and super structural froth but not to say that it is completely unimportant.

What we are seeing I think is an indigenous bourgeois ‘democratic’ republican revolt against Arabian feudalism and an interest in the loot from the oil revenues.

The Iranian revolutionary model is appalling to the Saudi monarchy and Arabian feudal ruling class.

They essentially got rid of the autocratic Shah or Tsar and nationalised the oil industry turning it into state capitalist system of production and instituted a theocratic NEP Bolshevik programme.

Gradually introducing more and more democracy as it became safe to do so.

I think still about 70% of the Iranian economy is state capitalist even if the oil industry may skew that somewhat.

I think some of these famous rants by recent Iranian leaders about the evils of ‘capitalism’ and singing the praises of Venezuelan Chavism is partly sincere or at least as sincere as similar stuff from the 1920’s state capitalist Bolshevism.

The indigenous emerging Arabian peninsula capitalist class and ‘middle class’ etc probably like the idea of nationalising the oil revenue stream and spreading around the loot to subsidise the state and develop infrastructure etc.

As long as the idea doesn’t go too far as regards nationalising everything.

In Sunni circles it seems to be represented by the ‘conservative and safe’ Muslim Brotherhood which the Qatar ruling class and Turkey are supporting.

The US is obviously creaming off a considerable portion of the Saudi surplus oil profits and are in danger of loosing control over it.