Bahrain King Unironically Slams Assad for Not Listening to Protesters

Bahraini Forces on 'High Alert' as Anniversary of 2011 Crackdown Looms

As large numbers of Bahraini troops marched into what was once known as the Pearl Roundabout, the site of the largest protests in Bahrain in 2011 that was eventually destroyed when the regime declared martial law, fears arose of a repeat of the bloody crackdown.

Except apparently for Bahrain’s King, Hamad al-Khalifa, who insisted in an interview with Der Spiegel that there “is no ‘opposition’ in Bahrain,” pointing out that there was no official recognition of such a thing in the Bahraini constitution and accusing those who criticize him of “bad manners.

Instead, Khalifa railed against Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose similar crackdown against his own population is ongoing. Khalifa insisted that Assad should listen to the majority of Syrians when he decides whether or not to step down.

Of course, Khalifa never listened to the majority of the Bahraini public, even when a near voting majority of the civilian population was in the streets demanding his ouster in favor of free elections. He also defended his request, which led to the Saudi invasion of Bahrain last year to help with the crackdown, saying he was concerned Iran would randomly invade over the protesters otherwise.

Iran never threatened to invade Bahrain. The same cannot be said of Syria, however, where Bahrain’s GCC has been leading the push for an Arab League invasion of Syria.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of