Is a counter-revolutionary tide beginning to favour the “strongmen” of the Arab world, whose regimes appeared a couple of months ago to be faltering under the impact of the Arab Awakening?
From Libya to Bahrain and Syria to Yemen, leaders are clinging on to power despite intense pressure from pro-democracy protesters. And the counter-revolution has so far had one undoubted success: the Bahraini monarchy, backed by troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, has brutally but effectively crushed the protesters in the island kingdom. Pro-democracy leaders are in jail or have fled abroad. The majority Shia population is being terroriZed by arbitrary arrests, torture, killings, disappearances, sackings, and the destruction of its mosques and religious places.