Graphic Video Of Army Shooting At Peaceful Bahrain Protestors

As more videos such as this make the mainstream, we are concerned that not only are the days of the current Bahrain King and crown prince numbered (which also implies the future of the US Navy's 5th fleet is uncertain), but that Saudi Arabia, which has supposedly volunteered to get involved in restoring "peace" to its small neighbor, is getting ever more nervous. We continue to be amazed at how effectively the Bernanke Put is working to mask the true level of geopolitical instability. If and when the crowd realizes that Bernanke, who has proven his efficiency at printing dollar signs on pieces of cotton, may be slightly less adept at doing the same with barrels of oil, the outcome will be amusing.

Warning: very graphic.

For those wondering about the composition of the 5th Fleet, we recreate it below courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • Task Force 50, Battle Force (~1 x Forward Deployed Carrier Strike Group)
  • Task Force 51, Amphibious Force (~1 x Expeditionary Strike Group)
  • Task Force 52, mining/demining force
  • Task Force 53, Logistics Force[4]/Sealift Logistics Command Central, Military Sealift Command (MSC replenishment ships plus USN MH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters and C-130 Hercules, C-9 Skytrain II and/or C-40 Clipper aircraft)
  • Task Force 54, (dual-hatted as Task Force 74) Submarine Force
  • Task Force 55, Operation Iraqi Freedom: Constellation Carrier Strike Force; June 2003: mine clearing force, including elements from the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program
  • Task Force 56, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command force.[5]
    • CTG 56.1 Explosive Ordnance Disposal / Expeditionary Diving and Salvage[6]
    • CTG 56.2 Naval Construction Forces
    • CTG 56.3 Expeditionary Logistics Support; Provides logistics support for USN/USA/USMC, cargo movement and customs throughout AOR
    • CTG 56.4 Riverine; Provides riverineprotection of waterways from illegal smuggling of weapons, drugs and people
    • CTG 56.5 Maritime Expeditionary Security; Provides anti-Terrorism/Force Protection of land/port/littoral waterway operations for USN and Coalition assets, as well as point defense of strategic platforms and MSC vessels
    • CTG 56.6 Expeditionary Combat Readiness; Provides administrative “Sailor support” for all Individual Augmentees, and administers the Navy Individual Augmentee Combat Training Course and Warrior Transition Program
  • Task Force 57, (dual-hatted as Task Force 72) Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (P-3 and EP-3 Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft)
  • Task Force 58, Maritime Surveillance Force (Northern Persian Gulf)
  • Task Force 59, Expeditionary Force/Contingency Force (when required, eg. July–August 2006 Lebanon evacuation operation, in conjunction with Joint Task Force Lebanon) In February 2007 it was conducting Maritime Security Operations[8] and as of Nov. 2, 2007, it was running a crisis management exercise.

The key issue now that the public has no trust left at all in the crown prince is that nobody is willing to engage in any form of constructive dialogue, meaning that the only option for King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and his crown prince is to start fuelling the G-6. Also, it may be time for Jim O'Neill to add Bahrain to the N-11: the country's general labor union just announced an indefinite strike starting today.

Full update on the latest events from Bahrain, courtesy of Al Arabiya:

Anti-government protesters in Bahrain swarmed back into a symbolic square on Saturday, putting riot police to flight in a striking victory for their cause and confidently setting up camp for a protracted stay.

Crowds had approached Pearl Square in Manama from different directions, creating a standoff with riot police who had moved in earlier to replace troops withdrawn on royal orders. Suddenly police raced to their buses, which drove away mounting kerbs in their haste to escape.

The emboldened protesters, cheering and waving national flags, ran to the centre of the traffic circle, reoccupying it even before all the police had left. The crowd waved fleeing policemen through.

"We don't fear death anymore, let the army come and kill us to show the world what kind of savages they are," said Umm Mohammed, a teacher wearing a black abaya cloak.

Troops in tanks and armoured vehicles took over the traffic circle on Thursday after riot police attacked protesters who had camped out there, killing four people and wounding 231.

Bahrain's crown prince announced that all troops had been ordered off the streets and that police would maintain order.

"That's a very positive step," Jasim Hussain, a member of the main Shiite Wefaq bloc that quit parliament on Thursday, told Reuters. "They're trying to ease the tensions. I don't know whether it will be sufficient."

"We hope to hear a clear message from the government that it will stop killing people who are protesting peacefully."

Mattar said the king must accept the "concept" of constitutional monarchy, as well as withdrawing the military.

"Then we can go for a temporary government of new faces that would not include the current interior or defence ministers."

He reiterated an opposition demand for the king to fire his uncle, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, crown prince, and prime minister since Bahrain gained its independence in 1971.

"We are not going to enter a dialogue as Shi'ites," Mattar said. "They try to put the issue in this frame. The dialogue should be with all people who were protesting. Some are liberal, non-Islamic. Some are Sunni and some Shi'ite."

Bahrain's general labor union called an indefinite strike on Saturday in protest against "violent acts" by police and demanding the right to demonstrate peacefully.

Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group said on Saturday that the government must resign and the army pull off the streets of the capital before it will take up an offer of dialogue from the crown prince.

"To consider dialogue, the government must resign and the army should withdraw from the streets" of Manama, said Abdul Jalil Khalil Ibrahim, parliamentary leader of the Islamic National Accord Association (Al-Wefaq), the largest Shiite opposition bloc.

Bahrain's general labor union called an indefinite strike on Saturday in protest against "violent acts" by police and demanding the right to demonstrate peacefully.

Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group said on Saturday that the government must resign and the army pull off the streets of the capital before it will take up an offer of dialogue from the crown prince.

"To consider dialogue, the government must resign and the army should withdraw from the streets" of Manama, said Abdul Jalil Khalil Ibrahim, parliamentary leader of the Islamic National Accord Association (Al-Wefaq), the largest Shiite opposition bloc.

"What we're seeing now is not the language of dialogue but the language of force," he said.

On Friday King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa said he had granted the crown prince all powers to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of all gracious citizens from all sections" in the national dialogue.

Bahrain's crown prince appealed on television for calm. "Today is the time to sit down and hold a dialogue, not to fight," he said on Friday.

The monarch's offer of dialogue "is not serious," said the INAA's top MP, urging the authorities to take "serious and sincere measures that meet the requirements of the current situation".

"The situation is complicated and I fear it has run out of control," warned Ibrahim, whose group -- which holds 18 of the 40 seats in parliament -- has pulled out in protest.