Saudi Troops Roll Into Bahrain

More crackdowns from frightened Islamic theocracies.

Local residents say they saw Saudi troops driving across the causeway that links the two countries early on Monday.

There was no official comment on the presence of the troops, but a Saudi official said “the force will work under the directions of the Bahraini government and protect vital facilities like oil and power.”

The United Arab Emirates also sent around 500 police officers to calm the protests, according to the foreign minister.

The opposition Wefaq movement, however, described the presence of the troops as “an undeclared war” and “a blatant occupation.”

……Bahrain’s monarchy is closely identified with the Bani Utbah, a central Arabian clan of Sunni Muslim faith that seized power in 1783.

Hamed ibn Isa Khalifa, Bahrain’s king, promised a dialogue with the Shia-faith majority after he acceded to the throne in 1999. But elections held in 2002 were marred by allegations of malpractice, and the Parliament that was installed had few real powers.

Bahrain’s Shias were also angered by claims that the monarchy was encouraging the migration of Sunni Arabs from Jordan and Iraq to change the demographic balance.

Last year, the monarchy cracked down on anti-regime parties, arresting dozens of its leaders.

The Saudi government is deathly afraid that the uprising in Bahrain will encourage the Shia population in Saudi Arabia to get ideas about protesting themselves.

The chaos is just beginning.

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