Bahrain’s ‘revolutionaries’ spent months preparing for the Grand Prix. They used every dirty trick in the book in seeking to discredit our country. For example; delaying by a fortnight the funeral of the unfortunate “martyr” Ahmed Ismael – shot in a drive-by shooting – to coincide with the arrival of dozens of journalists, and bringing along dozens of firebombs to this tragic event in order to prove their assertion that Bahrain was a violent and unsafe place.

And to some extent, parts of the media played the opposition’s game, by flocking to any village where more than a couple of protesters were throwing rocks at policemen and failing to acknowledge that Ahmed Ismael’s “martyrdom” didn’t come at the hands of the Bahraini security forces.

However, these efforts manifestly failed. The Grand Prix successfully went ahead without incident and most conscientious journalists observed that despite their expectations (generated by relentless opposition propaganda) Manama was not in fact a war zone; and with the exception of a few well-known pockets of unrest, Bahrain is safe, stable and returning to normality.

In short, the opposition’s strategy has been a failure: They failed to disrupt this important event; they failed to convince the world to boycott it; and they failed to exploit this occasion to further their ends. However, they succeeded in revealing themselves to the world as a movement dedicated to achieving its ends through violence, which is increasingly wedded to extremist and intolerant aspirations.

Why did the opposition fail? In order to succeed any movement has to be able to clearly articulate its objectives, its vision for the future. However, the revolutionary leadership is in a dilemma here, because if it clearly set out its genuine objectives it would lose many of its own supporters and all of its sympathy overseas.

Therefore, instead of asserting any kind of positive vision we hear false and hysterical claims: “The

Formula One is taking place over the blood of martyrs”; “The regime is killing us”… Have some self respect! There has not been one incident of deliberate killing of protestors by the Bahrain security forces for many months.

The opposition relies on the fact that 95% of people in the outside world know almost nothing about the situation in Bahrain, so when they holler incoherently about genocide, martyrs, torture and massacres, most people listening to them will naively swallow their lies.

If these propagandists want to wallow in empty talk of martyrs and state terrorism, they should go and live in Syria where a genuinely murderous regime is killing tens of its citizens every day. However, the sectarian and pro-Iranian leadership of Bahrain’s opposition reveals its affiliations and breathtaking hypocrisy by failing to speak out about the Iranian-sponsored mass murder of the Syrian people.

The dilemma for the insurgency in Bahrain is: “Now what?” They staked everything on ruining the Grand Prix and they are now in a strategic vacuum. They have no clear agenda, no rallying point, no plan of action, and no publically declared goals around which they can sustain support.

While this is heartening for those of us who desire stability, security and prosperity for Bahrain; we also know that the opposition aren’t about to give up and go home. They will continue to exploit every opportunity.

Nobody yet knows the circumstances of Salah Abbas Habib’s death; yet this doesn’t seem to matter; the opposition have themselves a new “martyr” who they will ruthlessly make as much political capital out of as possible. So how did they respectfully mark Salah’s funeral? – By attacking the local police station and raining down firebombs on the security forces; and of course the religious leadership ensured that thousands of people were coerced to attend the demonstrations to mark Salah’s “martyrdom”.

And if the violence of these demonstrations had given rise to new “martyrs”, then so much the better, in order to keep the pot boiling, incite impressionable young people against the Bahraini state and spread lies and sectarian hatred.

These deeply cynical and insensitive leaders know that they only need to pull a martyr or two out of the hat every couple of months to keep the streets boiling and mobilize those who look to them for leadership and guidance.

So what is the outlook for the remainder of 2012? Bahrain’s sectarian insurgency didn’t appear spontaneously in February 2011 and it likewise won’t spontaneously disappear overnight. For years we have tolerated burning tires and Molotovs by those who talk the language of democracy and human rights, but yearn for rule by Iranian-leaning clerics.

For a short while, these extremists were bolstered by joining forces with progressives calling for reform. However, the extremists who take to the streets each week shouting “Death to Al Khalifa” don’t share our aspiration for reform; they want no less than bloody revolution and although they comprise a minority within a minority, they are not likely to go away anytime soon.

However, we can take comfort in the fact that those tens of thousands of Bahrainis who joined the protests desiring reform have long since been distancing themselves from the revolutionaries. With the collapse in their popular support these revolutionaries are likely to see their violent demonstrations dwindle from thousands of attendees, to hundreds, to a few dozen; even though the remaining hardcore are likely to be increasingly dedicated to violent and terrorist methods.

We can confidently predict that by next year’s Grand Prix, there will only be a small and discredited minority calling for the cancellation of this event. After the successful hosting of 2012’s Formula One, even the more credulous parts of the world’s media will be slower to question whether this important event should or will go ahead. So while 2012’s Grand Prix doesn’t mark the defeat of the revolutionary movement, it certainly marks the beginning of its slow and painful death.

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