Bahrain’s royal family has managed to paint the country’s opposition movement as a sectarian affair, involving only Shia and entirely manipulated by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The opposition says that it is not a sectarian uprising, but a political reform movement, and points to members of the country’s Sunni minority (roughly 35 percent of the population) who support their demands.Read more
Last week, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), composed of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain, sent Saudi soldiers and UAE police across the causeway from Saudi territory into Bahrain, as supporters of a Sunni Muslim monarchy, against massive protests by the Shia Muslim majority on the island.Read more
March 11, which social-networking Saudi dissidents had chosen for a “Day of Rage,” has come and gone without the emergence—so far—of a massive and turbulent reform movement like those seen in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.Read more
While political analysts are engaged in the morally elevated task of appraising the effects of events in Libya on the possible spread of democracy in the Arab world, economists are engaged in the grubbier task of figuring out what the effects will be on the economies of their countries. In America, this means taking a guess at the impact of higher oil prices on the nascent recovery.Read more
The controlled public rage against corruption, oppression, and marginalization at the hands of tyrannical Arab regimes that has unfolded in recent weeks is unprecedented and probably unstoppable, but it caught most Western observers by surprise. While they accept the Arab revolt for what it is—a rejection of dehumanizing conditions—most Western analysts have dug out their old notes and recycled their customary predictions: The inevitable outcome will be that Islamists will take over and mobilize the Arabs against Western interests.Read more
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