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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bahrain: Forecasting the Future


By Dr. Robert D. Crane

Finally, the need for justice in Bahrain has become newsworthy. Unfortunately, Bahrain may be the only Muslim country where the ruling regime eventually will be not merely replaced but rather physically annihilated.

When I was Principal Economic and Budget Advisor to the Finance Minister and to the Minister of Industry thirty-four years ago, I was forbidden from including anything Shi'i in the Five Year Plan that I was asked to prepare. All the oil wealth went to the Sunnis. This was supposed to encourage the Shi'a to leave, like the Palestinians in Palestine. While the Sunnis lived in the mushrooming modern apartment complexes, the Shi'i villages had not changed in centuries, but this was carefully hidden from the Western media.

The very able son of the Interior Minister was assigned as my understudy. One day he happened to open the trunk of his car when I was with him. Inside was a veritable arsenal of weapons. When I asked him why all this, he replied, "Because someday the Shi'a are going to kill us, but I am going to help kill ten times as many of them as they can kill of us".

The most enlightened of the Al Khalifa family was the present King Hamad, who was then a young Minister of Defense. He has no power, however, because The Prime Minister of Bahrain, Khalifa al Khalifa, is probably the most corrupt ruler in the Arab world, which is saying a lot. He has called the shots for almost half a century. He had his own Alcatraz Island off the coast where he put the young Shi'a when they dared to return home from studying abroad, what few of them were permitted to study at all.

The Bahrainis have been brutally occupied since the Al Khalifa tribe invaded from Eastern Arabia in 1786. The Sunnis, who then constituted zero percent of the Bahraini population, have managed to build to 30% of the total half million residents, but I would forecast that they will be back to zero percent within the next ten years, unless the people of Bahrain can take over the government peacefully. Unfortunately, the prospects of such a peaceful change are not good.

The problem of replacing injustice with justice in Bahrain is not merely political and economic repression, but religious apartheid, like in Europe during the Thirty Years War from 1618 to 1648. This was resolved only by elevating the Western concept of the State to replace God. This secularization was the source of Communism, Nazism, and political Zionism.

In contrast, the American Revolution was to put God and natural law back as the source of all authority, which is possible only if organized religion does not replace faith as the foundation of human dignity. In America we have not yet declined to the state of the State of Bahrain, but Congressman King's hearings next month may give a foretaste of the future.

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