04/03/2011

February 28 to March 4, 2011

– Tense face-to-face in Bahrain (Face-à-face tendu à Bahreïn)
01/03/2011 – Le Monde diplomatique

Since February 14, 2011, the Kingdom of Bahrain has been shaken by political and social protests. After a crackdown by the army, an uneasy calm has prevailed since March 17 without the demonstrators have been waived. Since its emancipation of Persian and British control, Bahrain is characterized by constant political turmoil. Indeed, several factors are pushing to popular discontent. The dissolution of the Assembly and the abrogation of the Constitution established in 1973, unemployment and discrimination affecting particularly the Shiites (the majority in a country dominated by a Sunni monarchy) are included. Despite a campaign marred by fraud in favor of the government, the opposition obtained, in 2006, 17 seats out of 40 but his claims have never been taken into account. Discontent grew and led to the events of 14 February, repression, and face-to-face with the government and the pro-monarchy Sunnis. There are some differences between the demonstrators who are calling for the outright abolition of the monarchy and those who favor a constitutional monarchy. For its part, the royal family favors dialogue while the Prime Minister takes a tougher line. In addition, Saudi Arabia and the United States also have interests in the country, adding to the confusion that reigns.

– Oman: an alarm signal in an Arab world that needs change (Oman: un signal d’alarme, dans un monde arabe qui a besoin de changement)
03/03/2011 – El Watan

Recent tensions in Oman Sultanate deemed calm, have shown how the political debate that has taken a new visibility to the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, was installed in all Arab societies. Clashes have taken place recently in Sohar, a port city north of Muscat, between police and protesters who demand better living conditions and the departure of ministers accused of corruption and reportedly killed one person. Faced with the demands of protesters, Sultan Qaboos announced the creation of 50,000 jobs, aid for the unemployed and the establishment of a commission to make proposals to give more power to the elected consultative assembly.

Mediterranean, mirror of the world (Méditerannée : mirroir du monde)01/03/2011 – Confluence Mediterranean

Faced to the sociopolitical turmoil shaking the Arab world, the article highlights two strategic observations. On the one hand, the Mediterranean countries have developed foreign policies and multidirectional diversified international commercial relations. They are not exclusively oriented towards the West, the South-South relations flourish. That is why all the big states (China, Russia, Europe, United States) seem worried by these events in the Arab world and the thirst for freedom that galvanizes people too long oppressed. On the other hand, these social explosions are due to the fact that interdependencies have become global. For several years, the increasing dependence on international markets in most Arab countries, one of whose priorities is to ensure food security in particular cities to buy some sort of social peace. Moreover Internet has been a catalyst for the protest in the street.

– Intervention in Libya would poison the Arab revolution
02/03/2011 – Guardian

The article discusses the possibility of an armed intervention in Libya to end the massacre perpetrated by Gaddafi, after years of support and is firmly opposed. It would be risky as Western interference would provide Gaddafi the pretext of anti-imperialist to emphasize its brutality. In addition, the Libyan opposition fears that foreign operation dispossessed them of their revolution. Finally, responsibility for protection invoked by the West cannot be taken seriously given the selective way in which it is applied. In fact, the Western powers now face a loss of influence in the region with the popular uprisings and the prospect of a representative government. They are determined to appropriate the revolutionary process as far as possible and to limit revolution to cosmetic changes which will guarantee them to maintain control.