What’s there left to talk about?

Dialogue has no place in Bahrain at the moment.

And all space is left to the violence of a government that doesn’t seem to care about its citizens.

Dialogue is replaced with shotguns, tear gas and hundreds of riot police all exerting an inordinate amount of violence against unarmed civilians.

That was what faced unarmed sleeping civilians – men, women, children, old men and women – this pre-dawn residing in the Pearl Roundabout.

One would be forgiven for assuming that at least to those present there, and the families of the four more killed by riot-police shotguns at the roundabout this morning, not only the government has lost its credibility, but also the royal family.

This is a completely unnecessary escalation of events.


With the King appearing on national television offering his apology to those killed in the previous couple of days, one assumes by extrapolation that he would never have authorised nor condones such violence. So did the Ministry of Interior go it alone and completely against the king’s wishes and once again use an indiscriminate and an inordinate use of force?

Regardless. The royal family and the government aren’t gaining any friends now and lost quite a few too. If – and that’s a big – the government does want to restore calm, deep concessions must be offered. Unless we want to see the complete burning of the country unnecessarily.

God bless Bahrain. This time, it’s very difficult.

  • CB
    17 February 2011

    The protesters at the Pearl roundabout are not the voice of the people they are the voice of a faction. The flavor of the protest rally is clearly that of a single faction easily identified.

    This is a struggle for power NOT for rights. We will not lay down our current fair and free government to be ruled by clerics.

    • BahrainiToTheCore
      17 February 2011

      Government goon parroting what the sectarian state TV is saying and repeating over and over again

      there were hundreds of Sunnis yesterday evening at the Pearl roundabout with the many thousands of Shias

      Their hearts is one for this country unlike the the mercenary thugs who shot at the them at 3am

  • Bahrainiac
    17 February 2011

    I am deeply saddened by today’s events. My thoughts are with the injured and the families of the dead.

  • Bahrainiac
    17 February 2011

    http://paper.li/mahmood/influentialbahrainis is blocked!!!!

  • Desert Island Boy
    17 February 2011

    “The protesters at the Pearl roundabout are not the voice of the people they are the voice of a faction”

    But the gun barrel of a Saudi tank, or the bird shot from a hired thug is???

    I’ll agree with you that the only thing worse than the current system is a theocratic one. But what are you doing to get one that is better?

  • Bahraini
    17 February 2011

    The makeup started to peel off this ugly old hag.

  • Fred Willie
    17 February 2011

    We need to remember how it started
    before we view the end and to me the people where certainly not asleep listnen to the loud hailers and the Shia Chants

    facts are facts lets keep things truthful – latest info on mobile 50 police seriously wounded mostly knife wounds 1 dead 100 demonstrators injured with 4 dead

  • Mohdeb
    17 February 2011

    >> there were hundreds of Sunnis yesterday evening at the Pearl roundabout with the many thousands of Shia

    That was right, and there could have been thousands of Sunnis out there as well, if it wasn’t for the unfortunately prevailing distrust between the two sects. Average hardworking Sunnis who can barely make ends meet with their weak salaries and heigh living costs have as much right to be protesting the system as their Shia brothers. The protests were against corruption and unfair appropriation of the country’s income at all levels of the system. Sectarianism only confuses this otherwise clear distinction between two sides: the corrupt powerful against a deprived majority.

  • Fred Willie
    17 February 2011


    The tanks are armoured personel carriers and from the BDF – no foreign ones — rumours of foreign troops are from Syrian TV
    A.B.O.T do a few thousand protesters deserve such a response what idiot is advising the KING me thinks he must be an American

  • Salman
    17 February 2011

    Most of us were asleep, I was woken up by the sound of the loudspeakers with someone saying “do not retaliate we are peaceful and our cause is legitimate”. We chanted “we are peaceful” until they attacked.

    We were surrounded at 3am at the Pearl roundabout and ambushed at 3:03am. We were attacked when most were still asleep and unaware that we had been surrounded by police cars. Most woke up startled at the shocking scene.

    Surrounded from all directions and fired on with tear gas, explosive rubber bullet rounds and I even heard suppressed shots (possibly shotguns). They smoked us out of the roundabout and have surrounded it.

    No one even retaliated. And now they have deployed tanks like its a war zone.

    Real brave to attack unarmed men, women and children in the middle of the night during their sleep!

    Our crime is voicing out opinions peacefully, a right protected by our constitution and was promised to us on national television by the king himself.

    6 martyrs and over 100 wounded not being given access to medical treatment, some are still surrounded at the Lulu Roundabout.

    We will remain peaceful and we will not resort to violence.

    I also just received this message :-

    ‎​منصور الجمري يعلن ان جثتين في القفول تو العثور عليهم الآن … والصحافية نزيهة سعيد تقول انها شاهدت بعينها رجل أمن وضع سلاح مسيل الدموع في رأس مواطن وأطلق فيه

  • Very bad news. And for Bahrain, and for Bahrainis and for the region.
    I hope Bahrainis will stop and external interference.
    I wish everyone there only the best.
    And to you Mahmood.

    The post was been completed and uploaded yesterday, at the time of the police operation , and it is not updated. Still, it talks about possible interference from abroad, a possibility I hope will be avoided in a rational way.


    and on the Athens-nased news portal http://www.theinsider.gr

    • mahmood
      17 February 2011

      thanks Gabriel

  • i correct “any external interference”
    instead of “and”..

  • nader
    17 February 2011

    The Saddest of Days

    It is difficult to understand how leaders thought this course of action was in the best interests of the nation. The worlds press has been reporting from the ground on the behavior of the security forces, under scrutiny after the first 2 tragic deaths. It defies logic. At what level does an escalation of hostilities aid the cause of either camp? Neither the protesters nor the government benefits, in the long term, from this unprovoked and outrageously systematic violation of the most basic rights of man and woman.
    I can hear the deep sadness in all of the posted comments on this blog and others that all ask “What is there left to talk about?”
    I would say, plenty.
    One course of action would have been to leave the protesters where they were, negotiate with them regarding their demands and let time do its thing. The reporters would have left as these protests came off the front pages and headlines and Bahrain could have embarked on an historical Renaissance of development and mutual understanding, even with disagreement over certain issues, to the benefit of all.
    The governments word would have been seen to be good and a tentative trust could have been established.
    However. Now, all the worst traits of our existence have been exposed, like raw wounds. Greater mistrust of authority, amazement at the brazen attack on, let’s be honest, campers, reminders us that our small country has numerous players with the Saudis and Americans commenting on “What they will do” confirming we have no self determination, a deepening hatred of government and a greatly increased risk of further escalation by individuals and groups who feel they have nothing left to lose.
    Today will be remembered as the day the government of Bahrain squandered an opportunity to truly connect with its disillusioned people, to embrace their concerns and work, unified, to overcome their legitimate problems thus engendering more profound association and trust.
    I genuinely thought that after the initial errors of judgment had been addressed and the police pulled away from the pearl roundabout, something great could have been achieved. Now. Who the fuck knows?
    Desperation is an extremely dangerous emotion and I share in that with all people of conscience.
    I implore the authorities to stop this senseless barbarity. Embrace change, don’t fear it.

    • mahmood
      17 February 2011

      Just imagine, if the police came into the “camp” at 3am with bottles of water, sandwiches and garbage bags, handed the protesters the food and drink and then collected the rubbish. What do you think that action would have resulted in? Would they, for instance, carry the officers on their shoulders?

  • Bahraini
    17 February 2011

    Are you being serious? You are one of the biggest hypocrites I have heard of! A week a go you were slamming this so called peaceful protest, and now your idea of it changes to the opposite and you jump on the bandwagon for personal motives(perhaps). The only thing you are doing now is using your sarcastic blog to incite hatred amongst the people and agitating the current situation even more. I hope you understand my frustration about the escalation of events and your attempts to exacerbate the situation is not helpful. No body is getting anything out of this and if this carries on the economy will be on its knees and the country would rife with hatred. Very well done on your efforts on calming down the chaos!

  • Nader
    17 February 2011

    Bahraini, are you talking to me?

  • Salman
    17 February 2011

    This is not for the faint of heart.


    Everyone witness the barbaric attack on the peaceful Bahraini citizens at the Pearl Roundabout.

    Does she look like a terrorist to you?

  • CB
    17 February 2011

    The above picture belongs to Asian child that was attacked by a dog, please don’t spread lies we have heard enough already!!! Grow up!

    See for yourselves…..

  • Mercurious Georg
    18 February 2011

    I sat at work (here in the US) listening to the reports unfold and weeping. I pray that the Bahraini gov’t has failed miserably in crushing the rising tide of protest. Having served in the US Army back in the 80’s I say to the officers and soldiers – you have an obligation to refuse to obey unlawful orders and you have clearly failed to fulfill that obligation. Please, remember once more whom you are there to protect – when you look into your hearts to see the truth of what you have done and what you have failed to do, there will be no room to hide from yourself behind the lies of your government.

  • Bahraini
    18 February 2011

    Nader, no i was not talking to you. I clearly said using your Blog” and im pretty sure its not yours, so next time read clearly.

“We don’t recognize leaders!”