"None of us are free"
By: Kian Mokhtari
"Many Bahrainis blame British national Ian Henderson for the recent violent crackdown on thousands of pro-democracy protesters"; and not without good reason. From Africa to the Middle East, over the last fifty years, wherever Britain's Colonel Ian Henderson has lent a hand to oppressive regimes, reports have emerged of physical, psychological and sexual abuse of political detainees.
Mr Henderson's line of work is to suffocate the cries for justice. Mind you he is certainly not the first, nor will he be the last for as long as humanity takes pleasure in inflicting pain on its own. Ian Henderson's connection with Bahrain goes way back a long way. He served as the head of Bahrain's state security for thirty years until 1998. During his time in the post, he got fabulously rich through introduction of torture techniques to take the edge off the dissenting Bahraini voices. Dozens of reports have been made about his ill treatment of political prisoners to the UN, but to date, none have been acted on by the world body –probably because there's no money in it.
Ian Henderson physically took part and pleasure in the gruesome proceedings of his deviant practices as many older Bahraini Shia citizens would certify.
In his advanced years now, the aging sadist is grimly hanging on as advisor to his raggedy-headed majesty, king Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.
And wouldn't you know it the all out assault on Bahraini Capital Manama's Pearl Square by the Bahraini army had in fact been planned by Mr Henderson. The crackdown left seven dead and hundreds of others wounded. People where even shot at with large caliber machine guns as they made their way to the hospital to find their friends and loved ones.
The raggedy king, whose name and title is longer than Bahrain's coastline, praised his murderous mercenaries for killing his dissenting subjects after the military assault on Pearl Square.
But the demonstrators have seen it all before, especially during the 1980s when the Shia population was mercilessly "put into its place" by Isa al-Khalifa's torturers. The Bahraini people now want king Isa bin whatever, to end his cruel imposition on the Persian Gulf Island. The freeloading, out of touch and glove puppet raggedy doll monarch must vacate his many palaces and take off.
Meanwhile a good cop, bad cop routine -probably also devised by Mr Henderson- has come into play. The Bahraini Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa -al-whatever feels good- "graciously" stepped in and ordered the army to leave Pearl Square.
This is absurd.
So where was the supposedly reform-minded prince all these years? Womanizing abroad or at home like many other raggedy-phony princes from propped up raggedy monarchies in that part of the world?
In any case, the Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa is said to have ordered the military to withdraw from the streets.
However shortly afterwards, protesters stormed the square and took it back. The police fired round after round of teargas and rubber bullets. In fact so much was fired at the protesters that the police ran out of ammunition. And then the "police surrendered".
At this moment his raggedy majesty, king Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa is attempting to hold national dialogue with a nation he has never legitimately ruled over.
This in utter desperation to hang on to his sorry throne.
The streets of Bahrain's capital, Manama are roaring with the sounds of a very long overdue revolution. Massacres of the innocent, torture by hired mercenary deviants like Henderson or heavy police and army crackdowns will no longer suffice. The king is a lost cause and princes from his "right royal household" also must lend an ear to the people's calls for justice.
The people of Bahrain would be well advised to make the necessary arrangements for a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Raggedy, glove-puppet, Western oriented Sheikhdoms are an embarrassment.
By: Kian Mokhtari
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. John F. Kennedy
What has really got on many old hands' nerves in all of Egypt's recent revolution, uprising, palaver, furor or whatever you may want to call it, is the old tactic of trying to bring the military into it.
At first it was President Mubarak's government who tried to calm things in the ancient civilization's streets by sending tanks and troops in. Then it was calls from revolutionary minds that the army should take people's side.
So muscling in on the situation was a first thought for the both sides of the equation. Then the Egyptian army command did the best possible thing; faced with a venomous enemy like Israel on its flank it declared its neutrality in the whole affair to keep in one piece for national defense.
Having lived through one revolution and observed a number of others in just one lifetime, people in my generation believe it does not matter how many people are on the street at any given time. Because estimates in Egypt's case in particular have been much exaggerated in either the people' favor or understated to the Egyptian government's advantage.
So what has to be done is what both Egypt's Western backers and possible future hijackers of Egyptian revolution fear the most: hold a national referendum with foreign observers from a multitude of non-aligned countries to count the ballot.
Now Egyptians are going to have a tough time tagging Mubarak as "a traitor" because of his record. He was a Spitfire fighter pilot who flew against the attempted foreign invasion of the Suez Canal in 1956. In 1962 he converted to Tupolov-16 jet bombers. In 1966 he wrote to the Egyptian high command warning that Israel may be watching the Egyptian Air Force's routine and asked for unannounced alterations to the daily routine of flights. He was reprimanded for his insolence by Gamal Abdel Nasser; but would you believe it, the Israelis in fact had been watching, amazed at the way Egyptian pilots climbed into their cockpits at 7am every morning.
So in 1967 the Israeli air force aircraft arrived at just before 7am and took out the entire Egyptian air force on the ground. Mubarak was hastily reinstated and was given the command of one of the most heavily bombed Cairo airbases. He took command and the airbase was the only military aviation garrison to inflict casualties on Israel.
Then in 1973, as Commander of the Egyptian Air Force, Hosni Mubarak inflicted the heaviest toll on the Israeli air force to date with upward of one hundred Israeli jets brought down.
During the 1973 war with Israel Egypt's armor got bogged down in the Sinai dessert because it ran out of fuel. Saudi Arabian tankers were passing through the Suez Canal –just a stone's throw from Egypt- at that very moment but they refused Egypt's pleas to dock at Alexandria and supply the desperate Egyptian armed forces. The former Shah of Iran finally came to the rescue but his fleet of tankers was far away and simply got there too late.
So Egypt failed to win simply because its Arab brothers proved unreliable partners.
Is it any surprise for Egypt to have opted for peace with Israel afterwards? Almost Every time Palestinians and Israelis had a run-in between 1948-1973 it was either Egypt or Syria or both countries that paid the price in manpower, infrastructure and military losses while Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf littoral states got rich. As for Jordan; actually the King of Jordan at the time was spying for the CIA and he warned Israel of an attempt by Syria and Egypt to recapture territory lost during the 1967 war.
So in Mr Mubarak, we have a decorated veteran who became president of Egypt and kept his country out of war for three decades. But no doubt the third world leaders in their ultimate "wisdom" will tag yet another one of their ranks a dictator, confirming the Western version of history that all dictators, despots and henchmen originate in the Eastern hemisphere -oh great!
My best piece of advice to the Egyptian people is if Mubarak has to go then so be it. But do not throw him to the Western wolves and remember his lifetime of service to Egypt and consider the reasons for his decisions.
As for Palestine; well the problem is the unelected Palestinian leadership that has a penchant for treachery. We can only help people who want to help themselves. With the current Palestinian Authority in charge, it is hard to hold out much hope for a Palestinian future; do you not agree?