March 21, 2011

We have all been following the events in the Middle East and Japan wondering what will be next.

The events in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf are man made and will change that part of the world for the future. When there is civil strife in a country the real danger is what kind of rule comes out the other side, to many times it is worst then what they had.

The out breaks of violence in Bahrain are different then else where. In Bahrain we have the long history of Iran stoking the fires of conflict to over throw the Sunni government to establish a Shiite government aligned with the radicals in Iran. The events of the last few weeks have changed the status of Bahrain as the gate way to the Gulf with the business friendly atmosphere to one which will be much more guarded. One evidence I had of that was when I left a few days before the demonstrations started I had to prove I had a ticket to fly out to enter from Saudi to go to airport. In the past they took your word for it.

I will over the next few post give you some back ground and up to date intelligence on what is going on in as I get updates daily from the region.

There is a lot more at stake then having  some free elections in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia understands that fully. When Saudi Arabia realized several years ago they were the main target of Al Qaeda They started building their prevention and defense to protect their country. Over the last years they realize they could find themselves in the same position as Israel is, surrounded by countries who are looking for opportunities to bring them down. They know the danger of having Iran sponsored terrorist on their borders and what that would do for their security.

It started with the radical groups in Yemen who are armed and trained by Iran and this has turned out to be the border where most of the terrorist who were successfully in making it into Saudi came from. Over the last years they have spent enormous amounts of money and man power to stop them. For the most part they have been successfully.

For the people from the Western world it is hard to understand the deep divide between the people of a country due to a branch of the same religion. The westerner also does not understand the influence and power the tribal make up of the people shape what they do. The tribal relationship is stronger then anything else. The current evidence of that is in Libya where  a man like Gadhafi is able to stay in power 41 years mainly because of his tribal connections.

Saudi Arabia is unique in the region as the vast majority of Saudi Shiite people love and support the King. King Abdullah is a man who loves his people and how a person interacts and handles children is for me a judge of the character of a man. King Abdullah goes out of his way to show love and concern for the children of his country which shows his action not just his talk.

The main reason Saudi cannot let Bahrain fall and come under the domination of the task masters in Iran is that it is only a few miles across the Cause Way Bridge to Eastern Saudi Arabia and a large Shiite population who are at this time happy with their King and country. If Iran has its way in Bahrain they will start chipping away and building divisions in Saudi. Keep in mind that the East in Saudi Arabia  is where most of the oil wealth of Saudi is and is where Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world is located. This is where a large percent of our oil comes from.

There is a lot to look at for us to understand what is is at stake in the region. Also keep in mind that the Middle East and the Gulf are not ready for of a Democracy or Republic as we have. They don’t have the institutions in place or the history of even free elections to know what to do with it. We need to understand we can’t export our way of life with a election and expect everyone to change from things that have been going on for thousands of years in some cases.

Another factor that is effecting these conflicts is the lack of direction and leadership from our leaders in Washington. This reminds me of the Carter years and how we were viewed as weak and ineffective in the world and I am hearing some of the same comments about our current President from around the world as I did with Carter. We are in for a rough two years ahead.

I will discuss in more detail some of these issues in future post. This is the most important time in my life time that I see the need for us to be informed and fully understand what is going on in the world. Remember Knowledge is power and it is only with all the knowledge possible that we will be able to stay free and safe.

Another big question is the future of Libya. Who will be in power and what will be the government be like?

Be Blessed and safe.

Phil Little