Several days ago when protesters in Bahrain took to the streets their goal was to witness slight changes in their government which would extend power to all members of society. Initially, there was slight desire to overthrow theSunni monarchy which rules a nation in which most people are Shiite. Foreign Minister Khalid al-Khalifa, like President Mubarak in Egypt simply missed the winds of change which are sweeping through the Middle East. His reaction was to use armed force in ending peaceful protests which only resulted in the death of dozens of people. The mood is now changing from “reform” to “revolution.” It is unfortunate that Middle Eastern leaders have never studied the process of revolution. In most cases, they begin with people concerned about a minor issue, but as violence is used to quiet them, their mood turns to anger and eventually to violence and demands for revolutionary change. The media is now reporting how chants have shifted toward demanding removal of King Hamad Isa al-Khalifa and replacement with a democrat society based on the will of the people.
We assume there will be a king in Bahrain–at least for the moment. But, it is clear the king for today will eventually become the ex-king in the future. The government can ban meetings, the government can ban demonstrations, but the government can not ban hearts from desiring change.