Despite the fact that stories out of the Middle East are no longer dominating American headlines, does not indicate that catapultic events and inherent troubles are over.
A spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said that nearly 5,700 people are still detained in that country due to concerns about militancy. This week 17 men described by Amnesty International as proponents of peaceful reform were sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy governed by strict Islamic law. The men were charged with attempting to seize power, inciting revolt against the king, financing terrorism, electronic crimes, money laundering, and trying to set up a political party. Some of them were charged with plotting Islamist attacks in Iraq.
The king of Saudi Arabia is King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. He took over the throne of Saudi Arabia in 2005 when his half-brother King Fahd died.
–The NEW YORK TIMES reported yesterday that the “scheming royal family of Bahrain” believes that they were almost overthrown last spring. Critics of the situation in that country say that a complete whitewash of crimes will condemn that country to years of unrest and even volatility.
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa became Emir of Bahrain in 1999 and pronounced himself king of that country in 2002.
An Egyptian-American law professor named Bassioum has been commissioned by the king to give a report about what “happened” last spring in Bahrain. His commission is known as the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (Bici). The Sunni Muslim monarchy and the Shiite Majority now await that report. Mister Bassioum has already said that is was standard procedure to mistreat people, 64 cases qualified as torture, and the reported number of those killed varies.
–The Gulf Corporate Council has assisted the ruling party in Yemen and the opposition in reaching a compromise. The power of President Saleh will be transferred to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Monsour Hadi when he resigns which for a third time has agreed to do. In exchange for his resignation, President Saleh will be immune from prosecution. The resignation and handing over of power to the deputy is scheduled to take place in the next 30 days.
–Norwegian Ambassador, Jan Peterson, chaired talks this week about banning nuclear arms in the Middle East. News source REUTERS said that most of the representatives of Israel and 17 Arab countries who attended the conference showed an “open and constructive approach”. Iran dismissed the meeting as a “waste of time”.
NATO leaders established a “no fly zone” through the U.N. for reasons of “humanity” and proceeded to demolish a country. Nobody wants to be caught on the ground with enemies overhead and all around.