Protesters spread out across the capital city of Manama today as demands for a regime change in US-allied Bahrain continued apace, with crowds waving flags and demanding the ouster of King Hamad.
In response, the Obama Administration announced that it was backing an “inclusive, non-sectarian” talk led by the nation’s crown prince, and insisted that this was “an opportunity for meaningful reform.”
This may well have been embraced by the protesters at the beginning, as the first rallies by the mostly Shi’ite protesters centered around calls for additional reform and free civil rights. After the crackdowns turned violent, however, the tenor changed markedly.
Now the protesters are chanting “no dialogue until the regime is gone,” and it doesn’t seem like there is any support for any talks that might lead to the continuation of the monarchy. As in other cases, the US calls appear to have come long after they matter to anyone involved.