The Dominoes Stop Here

The Saudi “Day of Rage” came up way short on the raging. At least for now, it doesn’t look like the Oil Ticks are in any danger of being overthrown or the West’s primary oil apple cart is in any danger of being upset.

Saudi Arabia ‘day of rage’ protest fizzles

A call for protests in Saudi Arabia that had been talked about for weeks drew only a small number of people Friday, allowing the kingdom to keep at bay the waves of political unrest that have battered the Arab world.

The “day of rage” fizzled in all but restive Eastern province, where the country’s minority Shiite Muslims have been holding demonstrations for weeks. Several hundred protesters turned out in the cities of Hofuf, Awwamiya and Qatif to demand the release of political prisoners, according to news service reports.

But no protests occurred in other major Saudi cities, said Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Turki. “You’ve seen the response of the Saudi people,” Turki said. “This is their response to the call for protest.”

See also:
‘Day of Rage’ a damp squib
Saudi Protests Draw Hundreds
Saudi Capital Calm On Day Protests Called
Saudi Arabia calm on planned ‘Day of Rage’
Saudi Arabia ‘Day of Rage’ begins quietly, markets watch protests closely
‘Day of Rage’ muted in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Police Presence Dampens ‘Day of Rage’
Saudi Arabia show of force stifles ‘day of rage’ protests
Saudi Arabian security forces quell ‘day of rage’ protests
Police presence damps Saudi ‘day of rage’
Strong police presence deters rallies in Saudi capital
Police flood Saudi capital
Saudi police block reform protests
Saudi Activists Fail to Gather Amid Heavy Police Presence
Saudi Arabia quashes planned pro-democracy protests
No threat seen to stability of Kingdom
Why Saudi Arabia is stable amid the Mideast unrest
Foreign Policy: Revolutions Won’t Hit Saudi Arabia

With the Saudis effectively keeping a lid on any protests and Gaddafi now routing and stomping the guts out of the “rebels” in Libya, while the West dithers, it seems as though the current wave of political unrest that has been sweeping the region for the last month or so has just about run it’s course for now. Realistically, there’s almost no more virgin territory left for the “days of rage” movement to keep spreading into.

/now it’s just a matter of watching where all the dust that’s already been kicked up finally settles

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Bahrain Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve had anti-government unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria. Add Bahrain to the ever growing list.

Protesters take over square in U.S. ally Bahrain

Thousands of demonstrators poured into the symbolic center of this key U.S. ally late Tuesday in a raucous rally that again demonstrated the power of popular movements that are transforming the political landscape of the Middle East.

. . .

In Bahrain, the small but strategically important monarchy experienced the now familiar sequence of events that has rocked the Arab world. What started as an online call for a “Day of Rage” progressed within 24 hours to an exuberant group of demonstrators waving flags, setting up tents and taking over a square in the heart of the capital city.

Tuesday began in sorrow and violence, when mourners who gathered to bury a young man, killed the night before by police, clashed again with the security forces. In Tuesday’s melee, a second young man was killed by police.

But as momentum built up behind the protests Tuesday, 18 members of parliament from the opposition Islamic National Accord Association announced they were suspending participation in the parliament.

See also:
Thousands of protesters march to Bahrain capital
In Bahrain, protesters bridge Sunni-Shiite divide to challenge monarchy
Bahrain’s Shiite Protesters Gather as Unrest Spreads
Bahrain Protests Update [VIDEOS]
Bahrain Demonstrators Gather Despite Crackdown
Antigovernment Protesters Seize Main Square In Bahrain
Protesters take control of main square in Bahrain
Pearl Roundabout, Bahrain
Angry protest follows second death in Bahrain
Another killed in Bahrain as funeral for fallen protester devolves into clashes
Bahrain mourner killed in funeral march clash
Bahrain Protests Swell With Second Death, Tear Gas at Funeral
Bahrain protest deaths point to excessive force
Bahrain protests: King announces probe into two deaths
US expresses concern over Bahrain unrest
UPDATE 2-US concerned by violence in Bahrain protests
US ‘very concerned’ by violence in Bahrain protests

Country to country it spreads, where it will stop, all the regional despots dread. The fact that Bahrain’s now in play is somewhat unnerving for at least two reasons. First, the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain. The Fifth Fleet strategically controls the entire region and somehow having the command displaced from Bahrain would be a humiliating military disaster. Also, the unrest is now sweeping into countries that border Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia were to descend into political chaos, Western oil supplies would be threatened and oil prices would skyrocket.

/although, I must admit, after all their years of financing worldwide terrorism, I wouldn’t shed many tears if the Saudi royal oil ticks were being dragged through the streets of Riyadh