Friday, August 5, 2011

"Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark"

Anyone wondering why it is that Bahraini society and politics won't soon be returning to normal--National Dialogue or no National Dialogue; BICI or no BICI; September by-elections or no by-elections--need only watch this newly-released Al-Jazeera English documentary of February 14 and the aftermath. No more commentary needed.

Sh. Hamid bin Khalifah Al Thani: expect a call from your friends in the GCC.

Update: Indeed, the Qatar damnations are already flying from Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad's Twitter account:

"It is clear that in Qatar there are those who don't want good for Bahrain. And this movie is the best example of the incomprehensible hate." (29 mins)

"One full hour of exclusive copyright to Al-Jazeera that shows the opinion of one eye only, and excludes the view of the full Bahraini nation. You deserve an Oscar." (24 mins)

Update 2: the Bahrain Mirror has a great article on the Bahraini government reaction to the Al-Jazeera documentary, not least on account of the following graphic:

Update 3: Things are getting testy. Habib Toumi writes for the Gulf News:
Bahrain's foreign minister has denied reports that his country had severed its diplomatic ties with Qatar following the airing of a programme by Al Jazeera English deemed offensive by Manama.


  1. Justin:!/AHAKhalifa241/status/99290893999276032

    ما نشر في قناة الجزيرة اليوم يبرز عداء قطر للبحرين بشكل واضح وهذه كلها فبركات تقوم بها قناة الجزيرة #Bahrain #gcc #Qatar #Bahrain

  2. For the uninitiated:

    "What was published on Al-Jazeera today clearly highlights Qatar's hostility toward Bahrain; these are all fabrications by Al-Jazeera"

    I'm sure only more of this will be coming. "First the Emir met with Muqtada al-Sadr back in May," the Bahrainis must be thinking, "and now this?"

  3. Also, check out Qatar's ruler's son's Twitter account.. Seems like he's getting some bashing:!/MbinH/status/99232538366722048

  4. That's great. It's not like the Saudis don't have TV stations of their own, though. Why don't they just make their own documentary?

    Maybe they can build a new transmitting tower into their soon-to-be tallest building in the world:

  5. Saqir Khalifa was mentioned in the comments section of a few previous posts; I know he's a member of the royal family, but does anyone know how exactly he's related to the king?

  6. Complete and utter one sided nonsense! The Althanis of Qatar certainly have an axe to grind as they just dont seem to be able to get over their history as servants of Alkhalifa - think of that relationship during the Zubara days.

    But beyond the obvious, this so called documentary does certainly provide a good summary of all those who participated in Iran's dirty deeds in Bahrain and their precise crimes. It also shows that the government has been ruthlessly efficient in completing its hit list and everyone that matters is either behind bars or neutralized. It also shows that the village people got their first lesson in real politik, the importance of the regional context (which they never even thought about when they hit the streets), you want to taste freedom? taste it within the confines of your home. Freedom never built an economy. Let AlJazeera's shabby journalism serve as a vivid reminder to anyone who wishes to sell their country again - just go to YouTube and press play!

  7. A very good documentary by aljazeera but a bit late. At one point they said the protestors killed foreigners. When i youtubed the video a man from with a sitra dialect yells "Who killed them?" "They are innocent i swear". Having said that i find it weird it was the protestors who get blamed.

    @Sal Rahim i didnt bother reading more then a couple of your words. I was wondering how the pay is at Qorvis PR Im looking for an internship let me know. Much appreciated.

  8. @Sal Rahim: shouldn't it be the other way around: that the Al Khalifa should have an axe to grind with the Al Thani? The former abandoned Qatar for Bahrain, while the latter seem to be having much more fun these days and the remaining 280 years until their gas runs out.

  9. It seems that Mr FM has finally declared what has been hinted to before in May 2011 by Mr Marshal

    Alwatan news - May 2011 statement by Marshal Khalifa Bin Ahmed: "A gulf country is conspiring against Bahrain "

    and it seems even the government doesn't believe anything is coming back to normal , not before Nov 2012 at least, thus they have requested postponement of F1 (originally scheduled for March 2012)

    This is the same government that in June 2011 thought everything is fine and we are ready to have F1 in Oct 2011. mmm , I'm a bit worried, and I think we should be prepared for one more crackdown before the end of the world in 2012.

  10. @Sal Rahim: Every time I see you comment here, I think of one thing:

  11. ^

    LMAO!...thanks anon I really needed that; sums up my thoughts of 'Sal Rahim's' opinions perfectly.

    Now, does anyone know how exactly Saqer Khalifa is related to the king? 4 months of mediocre blogging and all of a sudden he's given an embassy appointment to the US.

  12. Justin - The Al Thani's generally have a sour relationship with all the GCC royals, simply because they are not considered equals. You have to dig deep to understand that they do not trace their tribal heritage to anything prominent and were always subservient to Bani Utab. But it also doesnt help that they still feel ugly about:

    1) Hawar Islands still hurt
    2) Bahrain generally sided with the former Amir who was overthrown by his son. Speculation even suggests Bahrain might have a hand in trying to bring him back to power (some talk about our very own King Hamad backing a coup against the existing Amir)
    3) Qatar has generally felt lacking and envious of Bahrain's more educated populous and long history of achievements. Remember even the British colonisers viewed it no more than the Gulf's backwater.
    4)Causeway with Bahrain, Gas Supply to Bahrain,Bahrain Labour Office in Doha, and other joint initiatives never took form because of this prevailing bitterness and competitive if not confrontational attitude.

    Lets not forget Qatar suffers from illusions of grandeur and thinks its a superpower able to influence regional if not international events. Consider their role in Libya (and the one fighter jet they contributed to NATO), relationship with Israel, criticism of Syria, involvement in Iraq etc. According to them money can buy everything even Harrods in London and more!!

    We should have invaded in the 1980s when their military was made up of three tanks and 2 dingys.

    Aaaah!! Another strategic failure! I want answers Mr. Foreign Minister, why did we not invade when the world was busy with Saddam Hussein?!?

  13. By "we" I assume you mean Saudi Arabia? That's a lot of natural gas to give to the Bahrainis. They're giving, what?, around 100,000 bpd right now in oil subsidies? Sounds a bit too stingy to think they'd have let you have Qatar.

  14. True, but we will never know now....