Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Bahrain showed the way

It has been tempting for the last two and a half years to ignore Bahrain. Too small and too locked in by its regional and global connections for any other outside influence to mean much. Yet it looks like the case study for Egypt now. Gadaffi tried force and lost. Assad tried force and caused a civil war. Ali Abdullah Salah in Yemen tried force and just about managed to exit physically and financially intact. So its track record has not been great. But the government in Bahrain showed that if you use force, short of all out force, that forces people to choose sides, you might win. Manama in February 2011, Cairo today.