Saturday, November 25, 2006

Divide and Conquer

Yesterday at American Footprints, I posted on why Americans should care about Bahrain's elections, citing among other factors the rise there of Sunni/Shi'ite divisions similar to those in Iraq. I didn't know quite where these had come from, however, as they reportedly weren't there twenty years ago. Articles like this one, however, cause me to suspect it might be part of a divide-and-rule strategy on the part of Bahraini leaders which accompanied the transition to democracy. It also may be implicit in the ingrained attitudes of people from areas with no Shi'ite presence, many of shom see them as under Iranian influence. In this context, it's worth mentioning that the Bahraini ruling family still has ties to strongly Sunni areas like Kuwait and Qatar.


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