Formula One in Bahrain: Day of Wrath proclaimed for Bahrain Grand Prix

Posted: April 21, 2012 in International
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Just over a year ago, the demonstrations of the Shiite majority in Bahrain were crushed by the Bahraini government / regime. Because the Sunni royal family of Bahrain has called for help, the forces of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rushed immediately to Bahrain. For example “some” Saudi tanks and forces.

Saudi Arabia has sent tanks and troops into the neighboring state, in order to restore the so-called peace. The Saudi tanks were not really good for this order in Bahrain, so the Saudi royal family (regime) has ordered more suitable tanks from the democratic Germany.

The German chancellor Mrs. Merkel has decided with other responsible people behind closed doors to send those tanks as soon as possible to Saudi Arabia. The U.S. President Barack Obama has reluctantly raised the admonitory finger in the direction of the royal family and allies in Bahrain. And then, the news about Bahrain have disappeared from the headlines in the mass media. After all, the Formula One race (Bahrain Grand Prix / GP) was canceled due the suppression of the protest movement last year.

A year later, Bahrain appears suddenly in the news again, at least in the sports section of mass media. On upcoming Sunday, the Grand Prix of Bahrain will take place there. Here, the economic interests have clearly prevailed over politics, sports and humanity. The excitement is now great, because the protest movement, which was crushed last year, was not stifled in Bahrain.

Almost daily, young people go on the streets to demonstrate their protest against the Bahraini government, for a year now. But so far, the Western mass media was willfully blind about them. As part of the Formula One race in Bahrain and in reaction that the Bahrain Grand Prix was not canceled this year, the protesters have now announced “three days of anger”.

The Bahraini Shiites want to draw attention to themselves and to the oppression by the Sunni royal family in Bahrain. The Shiite majority in Bahrain wants democracy and freedom and they are indignant about the fact, that the Formula One race was not canceled.

A golden key can open any door. Cash is king and money makes the world go round, which is proven again and again. The Bahraini royal family and the sponsors of the Grand Prix in Bahrain have no interest in losing this Formula One race in Bahrain; after all, some would lose a lot of money, too. After some have made enough losses last year, they want to let the race take place this year.

Since the arrival of the Formula One teams, there were riots between youths and Bahraini Security / Regime forces. Some team members were witnesses of violence, it is also said that two Formula One-mechanicals have left Bahrain afterwards.

The access road to the Formula One track in Bahrain is backed with armored vehicles; the Bahraini regime will invest heavily to ensure the safety of the racing teams, although the protesters are not really interested to hurt the Formula One-teams. It is sure questionable whether one can expect many spectators on Sunday or during the training runs of this Bahrain Grand Prix this year.

The Shiite majority in Bahrain is outraged and this is understandable. They take to the streets and demand an end to oppression by the Sunni leadership; they demand more democracy and the dissolution of the monarchy in Bahrain. Large sections of the opposition were arrested after the demonstrations last year. The Bahraini regime hoped thus to put back the crowd into silence.

After all, the Sunni ruling family of Bahrain has indeed the support of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the support of the United States of America. Also Britain, France and Germany seem to support this oppression.

But the crowd is not silent in Bahrain and they will sure use the Formula One Grand Prix to draw attention to the precarious situation closely. In contrast to the strange statements by Cameron, there were no real reforms in Bahrain and nothing has improved or changed. However, the protesters are not really supported by the West.

It is finally clear, that some Western governments are more interested to silence this situation and thus some are not really interested to help the protesters in Bahrain. In Bahrain, there is an American military base, Bahrain is near to Iran and some fear that the increasing influence of Iran will also expand to Bahrain.

When they support the protesters in Bahrain, they would support the Shiite majority, the religious group whom they fight in Syria and which has the absolute majority in Iran. They are not interested to allow that the Shiites get more power.

This would be completely against the Saudi policy and the interests of Saudi Arabia. Since it is a fact that some countries get very unstable after the so-called revolutions to overthrow the old regime, they are not interested to risk this in Bahrain. The American military base is much too valuable and strategically important, as that they would put it at risk.

It is questionable how it will go on in Bahrain. But in all probability, the news of demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security forces are likely to disappear again, when the Bahraini Grand Prix has ended on Sunday, without any major incidents.

Then, the Bahrainis are back on their own, without hope of support on the outside. In Bahrain, the West rather supports the royal family, the dictatorship, than democracy. One can only hope that there will be no incidents in Bahrain, where people are injured or even killed.

The protest movement will continue and must fight alone, because foreign countries have different interests. According to statements out of Europe, Bahrain is on the right way, reforms were initiated. Probably these reforms just have to reach the population now. Anyone who believes it… These statements are hypocritically phrases.

But at least, some debates within the Bahraini ruling family could be initiated, since a part of the ruling family has proclaimed “willingness” to implement reforms and to respond to (of course, only some) demands of the demonstrators.

Whether this will happen is debatable. Bahrain is the forgotten, unwanted revolution that is glossed over in the West.

Image: Jon Whiles /


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