Many are surprised it has lasted this long, and brought down two governments, but now the massive powers of dictators that have been supported by the West and Russia appear to be making sure democracy doesn’t extend beyond Tunisia and Egypt.
The Saudis, asked by the Obama Administration to help Libyan rebels, instead have marched troops into Bahrain to contain protests there by the Shia majority against the Sunni rulers. The U.S. Embassy issued a statement confirming foreign forces had entered Bahrain from Saudi Arabia. Agence France Presse said more than 1,000 troops had crossed the bridge linking Saudi Arabia to the island of Bahrain.
The United Arab Emirates said it had sent 500 police.
Protesters have been demanding the right to freely elect a government. The country is a constitutional monarchy ruled by King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Representatives of Bahraini opposition groups said any intervention by Saudi troops would be a declaration of war.
Supporters of help for Libyan rebels being massacred by heavily armed Gaddafi forces appear to have the support both of Arab royalty, but also critics of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The critics argue help the Libyan rebels would just be another subterfuge. It couldn’t come at a better time for the dictators.
There are signs all may not be well for Gaddafi. On Monday, Moscow froze his assets and banned the travel of Gaddafi or any family members to Russia.
Malcolm Rifkind, a former defense and foreign minister for Britain, wrote in the London Times that it was time to arm the rebels. Agencies