Both of today's guests argue that the ongoing uproar around the Persian Gulf – notably Saudi Arabia's "act of war" blockade against Qatar, and its proxy terrorist attack in Tehran – has much to do with the struggle for Bahrain, where the Shia-majority population wants to overthrow the Saudi-backed al-Khalifa dictatorship in favor of democracy. (Bahrain is an island off Saudi Arabia's Shia-majority east, where most of the oil happens to be located.) Are the Saudis freaking out because their hideously corrupt regime is about to crumble? Let's ask two experts:
First half hour: Muhammad Ali Carter says Bahrain's massively unpopular al-Khalifa dynasty is caught between a rock and a hard place: The democracy movement's spiritual leader, Shaykh Isa Qassim, is difficult to stop in part because he's not directly involved in politics: "Ayatollah Isa Qassim is now playing the same role in Bahrain that many of his great Shia clerical colleagues have played before him, such as Grand Ayatollah Khoei in Iraq during Saddam’s reign or Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the united opposition, in Iran under the rule of the Shah."
Robert Carter is an English journalist and political commentator based in London, UK. Robert, who also goes by his Muslim name, Muhammad Ali Carter, specializes in Middle Eastern culture, politics and history as well as the current affairs of the global Muslim world. Robert has visited the region many times with a focus on Lebanon, Iran, Bahrain, and Yemen. Robert currently works with Ahlulbayt TV as a TV news presenter but has also contributed for Iraq Insider, Veterans Today, Shafaqna, and Press TV.
Second half hour: Marwa Osman says the Bahrain democracy movement is central to the region's liberation struggle against US-British imperialism and Zionism. She points out that the British and later the US created and weaponized the Wahhabi-Takfiri terrorists to use against the people of the region, and more recently to justify imperialist intervention – including the plundering of the Gulf's oil resources and the use of its geostrategically important position for military bases, such as the US Fifth Fleet's HQ in Bahrain.
Ms. Marwa Osman is a PhD Candidate in Beirut, Lebanon, University Lecturer at the Lebanese International University and Maaref University, and political writer/commentator on Middle East issues with many international and regional media outlets.