Saudis Going Into Bahrain Like Saddam Going Into Kuwait

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. (2002 photo)Image via WikipediaJust because the autocratic regime in Bahrain extended an invitation does not mean the move was legitimate. This Arab wave of democracy does not end with the nefarious regime in Iran ending up with much more regional power. This wave will sweep away the Iranian mullahs from power. That has to be the outcome we have to work towards.

The Saudi king has to go. The mullahs in Iran have to go.

Gaddafi tried to tell the world it was the Al Qaeda playing tricks on him in Benghazi. Should we have believed him? There were people who said if you kick out Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood, a party of Islamists, will take over that important country?

And now there are people who are thinking in terms of a scenario where the Saudi king is still in power a few months from now, and the mullahs are still in power in Iran several months from now.

The whole idea is to sweep them from power. The whole idea is to start afresh. This is not a Shia Sunni fight like the Saudi royals are pressing hard for the world to believe. If the Saudi king tells you he is the person standing between you and Bin Laden, do not believe him. He is the person standing between the people of Saudi Arabia and their democratic aspirations. To that add the people of Bahrain as well.
Wall Street Journal: The New Cold War: For three months, the Arab world has been awash in protests and demonstrations. ...... a dramatic spike in tensions between two geopolitical titans, Iran and Saudi Arabia. ...... On March 14, the Saudis rolled tanks and troops across a causeway into the island kingdom of Bahrain. The ruling family there, long a close Saudi ally, appealed for assistance in dealing with increasingly large protests. ...... shows how easily the old Middle East, marked by sectarian divides and ingrained rivalries, can re-emerge and stop change in its tracks. ...... There has long been bad blood between the Saudis and Iran. Saudi Arabia is a Sunni Muslim kingdom of ethnic Arabs, Iran a Shiite Islamic republic populated by ethnic Persians..... Iran holds in its sway Syria and the militant Arab groups Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories; in the Saudi sphere are the Sunni Muslim-led Gulf monarchies, Egypt, Morocco and the other main Palestinian faction, Fatah. The Saudi camp is pro-Western and leans toward tolerating the state of Israel. The Iranian grouping thrives on its reputation in the region as a scrappy "resistance" camp, defiantly opposed to the West and Israel..... As far away as Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, the Saudis have watched warily as Iranian clerics have expanded their activities—and they have responded with large-scale religious programs of their own there. ...... Spurred on by televised images and YouTube videos from Tunisia, protests broke out across much of the rest of the Arab world. Within weeks, millions were on the streets in Egypt and Hosni Mubarak was gone, shown the door in part by his longtime backer, the U.S. government. The Obama administration was captivated by this spontaneous outbreak of democratic demands and at first welcomed it with few reservations...... In Riyadh, Saudi officials watched with alarm. They became furious when the Obama administration betrayed, to Saudi thinking, a longtime ally in Mr. Mubarak and urged him to step down in the face of the street demonstrations. ..... The Saudis were further agitated when the protests crept closer to their own borders...... As for the U.S., the Saudis saw calls for reform as another in a string of disappointments and outright betrayals..... The Saudis believe that solving the issue of Palestinian statehood will deny Iran a key pillar in its regional expansionist strategy—and thus bring a win for the forces of Sunni moderation that Riyadh wants to lead. ....... the ramping up of regional tensions has another source: fear of democracy itself. ..... Long before protests ousted rulers in the Arab world, Iran battled massive street protests of its own for more than two years. It managed to control them, and their calls for more representative government or outright regime change, with massive, often deadly, force. Yet even as the government spun the Arab protests as Iranian inspired, Iran's Green Revolution opposition movement managed to use them to boost their own fortunes, staging several of their best-attended rallies in more than a year..... Saudi Arabia has largely avoided protests during the Arab Spring ..... "The problem is a political one, but sectarianism is a winning card for them" ...... Iran and Saudi Arabia are, uncharacteristically and to some observers alarmingly, tossing direct threats at each other across the Gulf. ...... the understanding that the kingdom works to stabilize global oil prices while the White House protects the ruling family's dynasty. Washington has pulled back from blanket support for democracy efforts in the region. ....... While Saudi troops guard critical oil and security facilities in their neighbor's land, the Bahraini government has launched a sweeping and often brutal crackdown on demonstrators. ....... forced out the editor of the country's only independent newspaper. More than 400 demonstrators have been arrested without charges, many in violent night raids on Shiite villages ..... In Yemen, the Saudis, also working under a Gulf Cooperation Council umbrella, have taken control of the political negotiations to transfer power out of the hands of President Ali Abdullah Saleh
This is not a Shia Sunni fight. This is a fight between autocracy and democracy. This is a fight between the Arab peoples and their autocratic rulers. Just like the autocrats in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain see common cause, the peoples of Saudi Arabi and Bahrain have to see common cause. They have to rise together.

America has no love affair with the House of Saud. America's love affair is with democracy. It always has been, always will be. But it is for the people of Saudi Arabia to rise, it is for the people of Iran to rise all over again. I remember 2009.
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