ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bahrain's Sunni-Shiite Riots, the U.S. 5th Fleet, and Iran: Stoking the Unrest

Updated on March 18, 2011

Its a little country on a little island, connected to Saudi Arabia by a very long 16-mile bridge. It is ruled by the al-Khalifa family with little oil to export. On one side is Saudi Arabia, on another, Qatar, a little to the north is Iran, which is across the Persian Gulf narrows. The world's shipping lanes that carry oil to it travel these lanes through the Straits of Hormuz, part of which actually travels into Iranian water and past Iranian-held islands. Everyone in this neighborhood knows the value of this real estate: oil, shipping lanes. Everyone knows it would be easy to cause mayhem to the world's oil supply either by catastrophe, accidents or Iranian interference, even little ones, such as terrorist attacks on ships, firing anti-ship missiles at oil tankers. One such event would suddenly make oil prices climb to Mt. Everest highs and spark who knows what else.

Bahrain is home to the US 5th Fleet. We pay them millions each year to base the naval ships there to counter Iran, it is the West's police force. The US presence in Bahrain is low key because of the Sunni-Shiite population. The riots for real democracy are reaching dangerous levels because proof has been found that Iran is stoking them to some degree. But it is also because Bahrain's King has created a Saddam Hussein type situation that existed in Iraq. The rulers are Sunni and in a minority, while the general population ( a total of 600,000) is Shiite. Iran is mostly Shiite. Shiites outnumber Sunnis by 2 to 1. If you are a Shiite in Bahrain, you suffer from " in your face" discrimination daily, like slaves did in America in the 1800s. One member of the ruling family there, said: "Shiites are like carpets. They are better when they are beaten".

True. It seems the ruling powers there are following the Gadhadfi method, that is, using force from its police and Saudi Arabia's 1000 man military force (the US tried to persuade SA not to send them). Protesters are shot at close range, injured protesters both women and men, clubbed, ambulance medics beaten when they try to help. At least 5-10 have been killed. Journalists are threatened if not from America. The Sunni forces actually hunt down the Shiites and threaten or hurt them.

To outsiders, Bahrain seems like an island of a modern civilization and highly educated. A place where, when compared to Iran or Saudi Arabia, women are not subjected to religious customs and other demeaning styles. But like in South Africa years ago, one clearly sees a difference between how Sunnis live and how Shiites live. Your life as a Shiite is far different and far worse. Even American citizens who are Shiite are beaten badly if caught up in the upheaval. This happened to Dr.al-Ekri, a renowned surgeon from Texas, who went to help in the main Manawa hospital. He tried to save a baby during the protests and was caught , handcuffed, beaten badly, stripped and then threatened with rape as police cursed Shiites.

All this plays into Iran's stoking the flames by inciting Shiites to rebel and topple the King, secretly and covertly using Shiites in Bahrain to be their proxy (as they do in Iraq). Iran would love to see the collapse and have a leading Shiite take control (like they want in Iraq). A Shiite Bahrain would probably be Iran's best friend, would kick out the US 5th Fleet, freak out Saudi Arabia (which is Sunni) and endanger the world's oil shipping lanes. 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      7 years ago

      Most westerners have little idea about the Sunni-Shiite issue.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Great analysis Perrya. This tiny country could set the Middle East ablaze. Fear talk is always about Al-Qaeda but a Sunni-Shiite war in the midst of oil country could send the world into a deep recession or depression. We need to tread carefully here.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)