In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

‘Al Khalifa regime teetering on the brink of collapse’

Posted by seumasach on July 6, 2012


6th July, 2012

View video

A Bahraini court has ordered an 11-year-old boy be monitored for a year after being tried on charges of disturbing security by taking part in popular demonstrations against the country’s monarch.

A government statement said the court ordered Ali Hassan does not need to go back to jail, but must be monitored by authorities for a whole year, AFP reported.

The boy was arrested on May 14, but was eventually released from detention in a juvenile care center on June 11. He will remain free, but a social worker will visit him twice during a year, at six-month intervals.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Colin Cavell, a former lecturer at the University of Bahrain, to further talk over the issue.

The video also offers the opinions of two additional guests: Abbas al-Omran, from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, and Osama al-Aradi who is the president of Bahraini Medical Association in Detroit. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Has the near silence of the international community over Bahrain been a green light for the Saudi-backed regime there to continue with their actions?

Cavell: Of course, it is a green light from the United States to allow the Saudis, to allow the Bahraini regime, the 229-year-old monarchy to clamp down on the pro-democracy opposition and as we see in today’s news, they are even going after 11-year-old Ali Hassan who the regime will probably continue to monitor for the next year because they suspect he is probably a terrorist leader, a danger, a threat to the throne.

Yes, I hear from my contacts in Bahrain that the people are now saying, ‘be like Ali’, ‘be truthful’, ‘be courageous’, ‘be like Ali’. He is a modern day Napoleon [Bonaparte], a modern day [Carl Philipp Gottfried von] Clausewitz, a modern day Suleiman the Magnificent; yes, he is a modern day [Ernesto] Che Guevara. I tip my hat to Ali Hassan.

Press TV: Bahrain’s unrest has taken almost the same amount of time that Syria’s has. How do you explain the different approach by the West?

Cavell: The different approach by the West is because they wish to replace the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria with a client regime in order to foster and advance US hegemonic influence in the region. Because of our Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, they are still keeping quiet.

They will eventually require regime structural change in Bahrain should the Obama regime win the reelection in November. But it is interesting that the regime in Bahrain believes that it is stable, believes that it has resolved all of its problems as they are announcing their papers everyday by going after Ali Hassan.

And as Mr. al-Omran just indicated, the children are rising up in Bahrain, the children, and they are being targeted by this regime and being led by 11-year-olds. Be like Ali; Ali is a new hero of the revolution in Bahrain and when 11-year-olds rise up against a regime, that indicates that it is teetering and tottering on the brink of collapse. The Al Khalifa regime, the 229-year-old autocratic despotic monarchy is teetering and tottering on the brink of collapse. ‘Be like Ali’.

Press TV: I would like to refer to a statement made after King Hamad Al Khalifa was hosted by the UK Queen for Diamond Jubilee celebrations. UK’s former Labor Foreign Office Minister and MP Denis MacShane, on Britain’s Foreign Minister William Hague, regarding his position on human rights, said, “This is a sad example of William Hague’s double standards on human rights. He is highly selective which regimes that torture, kill or crush democracy he chooses to criticize”. Kind of put into perspective how not only Britain but the United States and their approach has been on Bahrain.

Cavell: The United States, Hilary Clinton, as Secretary of State, knows that the autocratic regimes are client states in the Middle East cannot stand as they are constituted at the current time.

I know that, as Mr. al-Aradi said, it is difficult to understand why the US is being so two-faced, so hypocritical in the face of these absurd regimes like the Khalifas. But I suggest that following the election, if Obama is reelected, then we will see some regime alteration in the Middle East.

Hilary Clinton, like her husband the former president Bill Clinton, you can say many things about her. But one thing she is not [is] she is not stupid and they know that when a regime has 11-year-old rising up against it, when it has children rising up against it, then that regime is no longer sustainable in the long run.

There has to be change and I say, be like Ali; stand up for the rights of the Bahraini people.

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