Shame on You Robert Fisk!

Robert Fisk, journalist extraordinaire and truth seeker wrote a scathing article about Bahrain yesterday, prompting the Bahrain government to announce that it would sue his employer, the Independent.

I admit I don’t know much about Robert, but what I do know is that he is a renowned journalist and a man of very high standing and integrity.  As far as I know, he believes in justice and equality – which is why I found the article so disappointing.

The article had to do with the very controversial topic of the doctors and nurses who are on trial here in Bahrain.  A lot has been said about this topic – from both sides – and I have nothing new to add.  What I do have a problem with is some of the language used, as well as some of the accusations and assumptions  Robert makes.

Here are some of the points I have issues with:

– Is it appropriate for a journalist to write “Has the Khalifa family gone mad?”  Really?  A whole family gone mad? I don’t think generalisations like this are fair, nor are they professional. In my opinion it exposes his biases.

– Also, he says that the royal family started an “utterly fraudulent” trial of doctors.  This is a massive claim, and in my opinion, if he has no proof of it being fraudulent, then he is “suable” for it.

– As far as I’m aware – and I might be wrong about this – the trials are not military courts (but do have one of three judges from the military)

– Robert says “The defendants… are, of course, members of the majority Shia people of Bahrain.” First, they are not all Shia.  Second, it’s not so straight forward.  I’ll be the first to admit that there has been some neglect from our government concerning some of our Shia brethren (in fact, some neglect overall) but could it be that perhaps these doctors have done something illegal?

Furthermore, does it matter who is a majority and who is a minority in Bahrain? Why don’t we hear such reporting about trials in the West? It’s like saying “Nine black men where put on trial in the mainly white-dominated United Kingdom.”  Or “an atheist women was put on trial in a mainly Catholic city.”  This Sunni minority/ Shia majority thing is getting a bit out of hand.

– Robert says he saw doctors “drenched in their patients’ blood, desperately trying to staunch the bullet wounds of pro-democracy demonstrators…”  I don’t doubt for one moment that this is true, and would never dream of calling a man like Robert Fisk a lier.  However, isn’t it possible that some of the same doctors could have also denied treatment for people they hated?  Isn’t it possible that a doctor save lives yet still commits crimes – especially in a chaotic time like the one Bahrain went through?  Doctor’s are not saints, and they can commit crimes like anyone else.  And I have no doubt that some doctors in their emotional, enraged state may have broken the law.  This crisis polarised a lot of people, and I cannot imagine how chaotic and crazy Salmaniya was in those days.

– Robert says “How could these fine medical men and women have been trying to ‘topple’ the monarchy?” The answer of course for me is “I don’t know,”, but the fact remains that protestors in conjunction with some doctors and nurses took over the Salmaniya Medical Complex.  Is this right?  How would Robert feel if “pro-democracy” protesters took over St. Mary’s Hospital in London, and took prisoners to boot?  The Bahrain crisis is not so black and white, it has lots and lots of grey shades.

– Robert continues “The idea that a woman and child died because they were rejected by doctors and refused medical treatment is a fantasy.”  I’m not sure how he can make a claim like that.  But if the matter does go to court, then we’ll see.  I’m sure the Independent has some pretty sharp lawyers, as will the Bahrain government.  I’m sure the court case will reveal if this is true or a “fantasy.”

– Here’s what I consider Robert’s nastiest remark, he says “The Saudis are now running the country. They never received an invitation to send their own soldiers to support the Bahraini ‘security forces’ from the Bahraini Crown Prince, who is a decent man. They simply invaded and received a post-dated invitation.” I find this statement offensive.  Does he have proof of this?  I’ve seen a lot of photos and videos online of the “evil” Saudi forces doing this or that, but so far I’ve found nothing convincing.  This must be the most benign occupation ever. (Note, I’m talking about the Saudi forces, not the Bahrain riot police, who are not exactly known for their gentleness.  But even that is debatable… but that’s a whole other blog post)

– Finally, Robert says “Bahrain is no longer the kingdom of the Khalifas. It has become a Saudi palatinate, a confederated province of Saudi Arabia, a pocket-size weasel state from which all journalists should in future use the dateline: Manama, Occupied Bahrain.” Ouch! This comment is made out of anger – a purely emotional statement without any validity.

I think I can understand where Robert is coming from.  If one were engrossed in all the madness that was Salmaniya hospital for a few weeks, of course one would get emotional.  But I wish that during his stay here he also interviewed the people that were attacked by the rioters.  I wish he’d also spoken to the people who lived in fear and would not leave their houses because of fear of being attacked.

Where is the journalistic integrity and the balanced reporting? Something that’s been distinctly lacking during this crisis – from all sides.

As for Robert Fisk, though I may not agree with what he said and how he said it, I still respect him and hold him in the highest regard.  I hope that one day he’ll have a more balanced view on things.

Talk to you soon.

23 Responses to Shame on You Robert Fisk!

  1. Ali 15 June 2011 at 6:54 am #

    You can’t handle someone with such global respect and reputation state something against your wish don’t you ?

    and the only thing you can argue with the shame, ethical standerds, lies, and this endless debate that you Arabs who very frankly and in very humble personal point in view live before something called civilization, freedom, identity, civil rights and such modren concepts that goes beyond the religious radicalism that you still stuck with !

    Maybe you don’t realize it by your on but let me help you in this, no matter who you are, or who you think you are .. you way so far from teaching Robert fisk how to work and how to look at things.

    It happend that Robert Fisk is more human than you, and he refuse the crimes done by your radical country on our civilized country as a people and society.

    You were suppose to refuse using live ammunition on peaceful un armed demonstration, and to refuse arresting all those who demonstrated in Lulu Square and rather refuse destroying such a beautiful historical roundabout as well as our mosques and holy quran instead of writing full post based on assumption-al theories to stupidly argue a well-known and respected journalist like Rober Fisk to wrote an article based on ” I saw ” and ” I know ”

    Let me tell you this, and save it in your mind, because we will remember it soon, no matter how monster your military is, we are still working toward more freedom and democracy, soon with our blood we will gain the right of electing our prime minister, and you will be behind your disk blogging about the Iranian agendas and such stupid bluffs while you even don’t have “balo3a” in Jeddah city, not to mention any political right

  2. Ali 15 June 2011 at 6:58 am #

    Oh Great so you are from Bahrain !!!!

    You know what ignore the above replay .. because you should know better, if you don’t .. their is no use talking with you.

  3. whatajoke 15 June 2011 at 7:13 am #

    I think it’s opinions like Ali’s that prove we are not capable of having a civilized debate…. Ali, you seem to have ignored a very valid argument and responded with the most ridiculous response I could ever think of seeing.

    I am extremely moderate, but with comments like your “we will remember” line, my only response can be… “We’ll see about that”.

    So much for resolving conflict..

  4. MoMustafaMD 15 June 2011 at 7:37 am #

    I read his article last night, bracing myself, as Ive read his previous reports before. But this last article pushed all limits. It was nothing short of mind blowing. I could not believe that any one in their right mind would even entertain the outlandish claims he writes off.

    Then again this is coming from a man who was once praised by Osama Bin Laden on video for his journalistic reporting in 2004, from a man journalistic views on his area of “expertise”, the Middle East have time & time again been proven wrong. So far, he has turned out to be wrong about every revolution or war hes covered.

    In the Gulf War he told us the Republican Guard would give the Americans a hard time: in fact, they folded.

    In the Kosovo War (yes, I know Kosovo is not the Middle East) he said American bombing would not work: today Milosevic is on trial for war crimes.

    In April 2003, he stated in his Iraq war coverage “Anyone who doubts that the Iraqi army is prepared to defend its capital should take the highway south of Baghdad. How, I kept asking myself, could the Americans batter their way through these defences?” On 9 April, Baghdad fell.

    And Fisk has been wrong about the Afghan War from first to last.

    Now, he has turned to Bahrain. And time will once again prove how terribly wrong his “analysis” of the Bahrain situation is. Saudis invaded Bahrain, then after they entered, were invited?? First of all, Saudi did not enter anywhere. The troops that entered Bahrain, by invitation and their obligation to protect the security of the GCC, were the Gulf Peninsula Shied…this includes Saudi, the UAE & kuwait…all had troops sent. It was not a “Saudi Invasion”, or any invasion for that matter, as any Peninsula Shield troops who enter a GCC country are automatically under the orders of the Commander of the Army in this country, in this case, the Bahrain Defence Force. So how can Saudi have invaded us, when the troops sent in are under the command of Bahrain?

    The problem with Fisk is his arrogance. He starts every interview with his cliché “well Ive lived in the Middle East for 35 years…” , claiming he is the know it all on all things Middle East when in reality, his understanding on all things Middle East is incredibly flawed.

  5. Eman 15 June 2011 at 7:57 am #

    How hateful of him! Nobody denies the ugliness of what happened in salmaneya but what everybody knows is that alot of it was pure exaggeration. I don’t know what he “saw” and “heard” but i’m sure his article wasn’t 100% exaggeration free. Mentioning Al-Khalifas like that and talking about us being “invaded” by Saudi forces -which are actualy PSFs- just show how hateful and attention seeking he is. If he made half the effort he did in seeking finding the WHOLE truth; he wouldn’t have written such a shameful piece. I hope he goes back to his senses before it’s too late.
    Thanks Mr. Suhail for this post, you never disappoint us.

  6. hammametsou 15 June 2011 at 10:11 am #

    It is funny how Muslims are blinded with sectarian conflicts that they forgot the essence of Islam. What Bahrain is doing & all Arab leaders; is nothing short of KOFR. Islam taught us to be kind to all races, religions… yet we are oppressing Shia in Sunni countries and vice versa.

    He exaggerated or not! I can only say it is shameful for any Government to target doctors/nurses when they are treating pro-democracy injured protesters or even your enemy. Same going for Yemen, Syria…

    “Has the Khalifa family gone mad?” “I don’t think generalisations like this are fair” what’s not fair is for the king family to live in a lavish way yet the police & Army shooting their people. What’s not fair is the silence from majority Sunni people who are watching tyranny and not saying anything and not standing up what we learned from Islam.

    We Muslims who suffered the oppression during the early days of Islam should know better and not accept what our tyrants are doing.
    You & many other Muslim people should watch “Al Risala – The Message” again and remind yourselves what our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers endured during their early days. Exactly what Arab tyrants are doing now!

    Robert Fisk might have exaggerated or made mistakes in this article but he certainly not ass licking any tyrant’s ass. Some of your readers are criticising him for getting it wrong in Iraq or Kosovo… yes, as far as I know he is not claiming the ability to see future or being God!

    Al-Munafiqoon (The Hypocrites) should wake up and beg God’s forgiveness but I guess that’s why they are Hypocrites as they pretend being Muslims and they act as being Muslims but God knows.

    What’s happening in Arab/Muslim world is nothing but hypocrisy starting from Saudi Arabia.

    Should read what he wrote in 2004 before the Arab revolution (awakening)

    The fantasy of democracy in an Arab state
    Arab states are largely squalid, corrupt, brutal dictatorships. No surprise there. We created most of these dictators
    Robert Fisk Feb 2004
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/the-fantasy-of-democracy-in-an-arab-state-569805.html

  7. Dan 15 June 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Why is it so hard to believe that some of what he writes could be true? After all, it’s not like allegations of this nature are new to Bahrain, they’ve been going on for decades. It’s not like there is an independent press, that’s been crushed. It’s not like it is inconceivable: people here do overreact to many things.

    Maybe the outrage over Fisk could be directed elsewhere. If even 25% of the allegations are true, Bahrain would be better off spending the energy that is currently used mocking Fisk (and the BBC and CNN and and the NYTimes, and AJE, and the Guardian, and …), and instead accept that serious work needs to be done to ensure NOT that no-one ever reports it, but that nothing of this nature will occur again. If you take 2 minutes and think “what if some -any – of this is true?”, it is not “shame on Fisk” but shame on all of us that allow it or defend it.

  8. Shehab Al Belushi 15 June 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    The Arab world is ruled by dictators but so is the rest of the world, Democracy only allows you to chose between two tyrants, at least here in the Arab world we’re free from the illusion of freedom, we know were slaves to the system that was built to delude mankind from the true meaning of life and then turn us into batteries, energizing the machines that makes our leaders more money.

    The illusion of safety is what empowers the police and their brutal disciplinary ways. The illusion of wealth is what keeps you working for the same crappy employer with the same crappy pay.

    The next time you walk on the street just ask yourself, why does everyone look like a zombie? It’s because we’re all dead and our society is a society that celebrates death. Therefore the many drugs, the drug of television, the drug of genetically modified garbage food, the drug of medicine and of course alcohol.

    Before we try to correct our leaders, we need to correct ourselves. I had the opportunity to work closely with some of the young men who were at the roundabout chanting, “We want jobs!”, and I have to say, they were a bunch of lazy sheep who were unwilling to do the minimum basic. If we overthrew the “Tyrants” who’s going to rule? Who has the experience or the qualifications to rule an entire country? Our bright and promising youth with their jewelry and many pictures of Tupac?

    How many critical thinkers did this country graduate this year? How many philosophers? How many politicians? How many historians? How many leaders? None! Philosophy is not even offered in any of the universities in Bahrain. But how many business graduates (no offense)? The majority!

    It’s our responsibility as sons of this country to correct ourselves. Our responsibility as young men to seek true knowledge. Our responsibility as parents to raise righteous men with a potential to become leaders.

    That will be the time for a true revolution.

  9. Dilmun 15 June 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Robert Fisk was at the SMC and so was an eye witness to what happened. The Bahrain Governmen commit a huge PR blunder if it pursues a case in the English courts. Add to Robert Fisk’s evidence the reports of Amnesty International and Physicians for Human Rights about what happened at SMC (I am sure the authors will be pleased to testify) and I think the Al Khalifa may find they have a bad time in court.

  10. Suhail 15 June 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    @ Dr. Mustaffa, thanks for this info, I was not aware of it. Very informative.

    And FYI everyone, for those who care, there have been many eye-witness accounts from doctors who did not support the protesters and were at SMC. They tell a very different story.

  11. AC 16 June 2011 at 4:15 am #

    Mo, way to use the “Zionist Fisk Handbook” right there. I suggest you read Pity the Nation and Age of the Warrior. There is a reason why he’s considered one of the last real journalists.

  12. Rasha 16 June 2011 at 5:49 am #

    As much as I respect your opinion and enjoyed reading it – even you cant turn a blind eye to the truth behind Mr. Fisks words – I firmly believe this is the truth that they dont want out – why else is there such a massive media blackout? The media manipulation has been worth of an oscar – they have made the Israeli’s look like novices when it comes to making the victim look like the terrorist.

    The Sunni/Shia, Minority/Majority issue was raised and promoted by the Goverment (and no doubt the ruling family) and unfortunately it backfired on them now.

    Bahrain has always had its sunni/shia issues but for the most part Bahrainis are peaceful people – the sunni/shia divide is a political one promoted by the ruling family and predominantly by Saudi – how else are they going to bring Iran into the story and buy more supporters? You think the issue of Jordan and Morocco being ‘part’ of GCC has nothing to do with increasing Sunni numbers? come on 🙂

    The whole situation is ridiculous and blown out of proportion and innocent people are the victims of it and all they wanted was their voice heard. And these innocents are both Sunni and Shia.

    Anyways – good luck to you all – my prayers are for Bahrain and the people of Bahrain – not saudi and not a corrupt government – this is YOUR country!

  13. MoMustafaMD 16 June 2011 at 6:21 am #

    @AC Ive read both is books before. And I happened to be a fan of his work for quite sometime, mainly for the same reason most Arabs are, which is because of his strong pro-Palestine views.

    I will give Fisk this: When it comes to all matters of Lebanon & Syria, he does indeed know what he’s talking about. But thats where his expertise is limited to.

    Robert Fisk is not famous because he is “one of the last real journalists”. He is famous simply because he has very controversial views, which are different from most western journalists, especially with regards to his anti-West attacks. Controversy always sells, whether its a right or wrong view.

  14. Khalid Izzeldin 16 June 2011 at 8:20 am #

    UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 30 Section 2: “In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.”
    Article 30: “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.”
    I read the article and was outraged with the allegations and generalizations so casually passed as damning indictments, who appointed journalists (no matter how respectable some may think them to be) as judge, jury, and executioner? It is almost a universal fact that journalists reporting on public figures must be backed with solid irrefutable facts and that a higher level of accuracy is needed especially when the welfare of a nation is at stake (refer to “journalism ethics and standards”). Journalism is intended to report for both the spreading of information to the citizens and to document history. Clearly this piece of reporting does not serve any good or greater good; all I see is a 65-year-old’s attempt to revive his career after a long dip; and clearly he’s doing a grand job of that. I will not speak of his previous coverage, that’ll take a long intelligent debate and no one post or will suffice. Also, I do realize that singling out a few of his articles does not reflect on his entire career.
    Given that, I am outraged at his wild accusations of everyone in Bahrain who is not against the government. As if everyone who is not against the government is an evil person. Democracy is a tool and not an end; Bahrain has been, since 9 years, a constitutional monarchy with one of the most progressive constitutions in the region that grants freedoms and rights to all citizens equally regardless of persuasion; anyone denying that has not read it and needs to read it in full prior to ignorant accusations. The constitution was not bestowed by the king of Bahrain but was a product of the National Charter, both of which were put to a national referendum, which was unanimously voted on; it grants checks and balances as well as independence of the judiciary, and most importantly a parliament with two houses of representatives (upper and lower). Much like the UK (only younger) the upper house (house of lords is appointed) and lower house (house of commons is democratically elected). The aim of the king is for the country to be able to run itself by the people with the monarch and his family only tending to ceremonial symbolic duties. Without much democratic experience, and clear deep founded problems, there is a need to addressed our problems in a smart national dialogue between the different components of society (Bahrainis are not only shii and sunni, there are other persuasions). The dialogue we aim for is secular that would unite Bahrain not sectarian that will further the divide.
    However, we can’t ignore that crimes were committed. Last I recall resisting arrest, public disorderly conduct, conspiracy to orchestrate a coup, siege of public facilities, obstruction of justice, and attacking officers on duty is still a crime in the most advanced democracies. Crimes punishable by law can’t go uninvestigated, suspects can’t go without interrogation, and if public prosecution secures enough evidence for a case then that can’t go without trial. Canada, USA, and UK all had their fair share of riots and demonstrations and police used the necessary force to disburse the illegal demonstrations as was witnessed by the world. USA leads with the number of agencies dedicated to law enforcement (Police, SWAT, FBI, NSA, Marshals, DHS homeland security, etc).
    I am one of the hundreds of thousands of Bahrainis who agree that the demonstrators were aimed by extremists elements at the destruction of the rights and freedoms of average Bahrainis who were expected to idly stand by as extremists take over in a coup d’etat. No minority or majority in a civil society has the right to take away our rights and freedoms in the name of their cause. What is the difference between a traitor and a revolutionary? The number of supporters. Watch my video (http://tinyurl.com/3m4l36r to the end) about the National Unity Gathering who were inspired out of fear to defend freedom from those who intend to enforce shii religion and follow the grand ayatollah in an iran style republic, the silent majority were no longer silent, we have spoken. This gathering was so massive and included everyone who is against the protesters, not necessarily supporting the government but everyone who was against the protesters including expatriates living in Bahrain who wanted the peace and security to return. When such a divide exists no demonstration will create a solution without damage that maybe irreversible. As it is, Bahrain’s economy will take 10 years to recover in conservative estimates, we are not a wealthy nation and we depend on the infrastructure and order that we’ve created in order to sustain ourselves. The support from our GCC brethren (Kuwait, Saudi, Oman, and Qatar) is vital for our development.
    We have seen the elected representatives fail miserably in properly representing their constituents, but this is not the fault of our constitutional monarchy but rather a failure of the politicians to step out of the old sectarian rhetoric and adopt a secular constructive approach. The elected representatives have failed again during the demonstrations from seizing all the opportunities given to them for dialogue, knowing full well in advance that our constitutional monarchy is too strong to fail because of these demonstrations, there are too many people against the extremist demonstrators who committed vile crimes and sieged public facilities, including Bahrain’s law enforcement agencies. People like me were openly volunteering to join the government to support return of peace and order. The failure of the opposition politicians to muster enough public support and appeal led to the ultimate failure of their movement. And now they are forced again back to dialogue, and not dialogue with the government, dialogue with us. We do not want them to resort to these awful tactics again.
    We don’t want to see burning of gas cylinders till they explode, we don’t want to see tires burning spewing toxic smoke, we don’t want blocked public roads, facilities, and utilities, we don’t want to see hooligans with swords and knives. Most of all, this latest trend of resisting arrest by charging police and running over them with cars MUST stop. Bahrain is small and what happened was an event tantamount to September 11 for the USA. The self-claimed most democratic country in the world, USA, established Guantanamo and legislated the Patriot Act in response, we all found out what happens in Guantanamo. In contrast, I believe the Bahrain executive, judiciary, and legislative branches have been far more accommodating. Reporters are still reporting and videoing, rights activists are still chanting, communications and internet are still up and running.
    And for the comment about Islam and Muslims, please brother, have respect, Islam was built by the kholafaa rashideen (plural of khalifa) after the prophet. Shii (the literal translation of shia =“sect” and its followers shii=“sectarians”) did not exist at the days of inception of Islam. Shii only spread after the fall of the Ottoman empire during WWI. So let’s not use the shii-sunni or Islam argument. I personally prefer to be secular and to not involve religion, this is not jihad, this not a crusade, this a country that is trying to avoid a civil war and build national unity. The divide is not between the government and the people, it is now between the people of Bahrain. And we need to bridge that divide together in a national debate. I prefer the word debate because it is more inclusive than dialogue that seems to indicate only two sides. Bahrain is more than sunni-shii, we have other issues at the heart of the matter; we need reforms not in terms of freedoms, we have those freedoms. We want reforms that will create more high paying jobs, reforms that will ensure us more luxurious public housing, more free public gardens, beaches, etc. We want real politics not religious feuds, we want reforms not destruction of public property and road blockades, in simple we want constructive action.
    This article does nothing to serve the good of Bahrain or the greater good, and while I would prefer that it is ignored for its obvious bias; it seems that there is a genuine need to address the “facts” because this man has gained so many faithful readers over the years and so that it goes down in history books that both sides were presented. It will also serve as a deterrent to those who think that they are greater than a nation, that because Bahrain is so small it can fall so easily.

  15. AC 16 June 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Mo-I will have to disagree. He’s not famous for being controversial, he’s famous for calling a spade a spade. I don’t think he needs controversy to sell anything.

  16. Ebrahim 16 June 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Enjoyed reading your blog. This should be published elsewhere, although id like you to comment on more hilarious claim by Fisk.

    in his first article mid feb WAAAAAY before GCC Peninsula Shield entered bahrain. Fisk mentions refrigerated trucks, filled with corpses. to exacerbate this hearsay. he says they had saudi number plates and some saw them cross the border.

    Thankfully all the “missing” people back then turned out to be hiding and were safe and sound. Wefaq confirmed this back then.. all were traced.

  17. Heba 17 June 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I find it amusing that you have the audacity to criticize Robert Fisk and the Independent. Suhail, there is something called freedom of the press which you might still not fully grasp since it does not exist in Bahrain. Once upon a time there was one newspaper that pushed the boundaries and refused to tow the official government line when reporting but now that newspaper has been shut down in Bahrain. The concept of freedom of the press is the idea that journalists should be allowed to report freely and independently – which includes columns and opinions about events. Robert Fisk is a journalist AND a columnist. The article you are referring to was a COLUMN – which constitutes HIS opinions of the situation in Bahrain. HE is entitled to HIS opinion. If you don’t like his opinion, TOUGH, write your own column. THAT is the concept of FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. If you are TRULY all about debate and dialogue and negotiations then how can you be against someone as far away as Robert FIsk airing their opinions? The idea behind freedom of the press is that if all people are allowed to express their views and opinions without any restrictions, society will benefit because people will be able to see events from MANY different perspectives and gain a better understanding of events. The only people that are AFRAID of freedom of the press and are AFRAID of people like Robert Fisk speaking their mind and offering a different opinion and perspective on events are people like YOU who believe that journalists should ONLY follow the state sanctioned version of events. Only autocrats and governments that are interested in solidifying their power are obsessed with shutting down any independent media because it cannot be controlled. You spend so much time defending a government that doesn’t even allow its own people freedom of thought and opinion without fear of imprisonment. YOU clearly pretend to “disagree” with “some things” the government has done but I find it amusing that you NEVER elaborate on what those things are – of course out of FEAR since Bahrain does not respect freedom of the press and does not believe in it. Bahrain believes only that there is one version of events and all those writing a different perspective are treasonous monsters. The fact that YOU can believe that DOCTORS are criminals just shows how blinded you truly are – can you not fathom that maybe – just maybe – Bahrain is carrying out what ALL autocrats do when solidifying power and control, that is, preventing doctors who witnessed first hand injuries to the protesters from speaking out. You cannot fathom that. Instead, you have bought into the lies about them denying medical treatment. Really? To who? It is a sad world we live in when there are people in this world who do not know how to think for themselves and attack others who dare speak their mind.

  18. O.S 18 June 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Thanks for writing this blog post, may God bless you and protect you.

  19. Ali Sharif 20 June 2011 at 3:42 am #

    I have read some good debates in the previous comments. however, I would like to refer to two minor points that would explain part of my view that is not mentioned above;
    – People refer to freedom of speech. fair enough. I think freedom of speech is based on facts. and once speech is about mentioning lies, then it has a different name. the person above mentioned that the only independent newspaper was shut down. However, he did not mentioned why. is it because they were publishing false news to exaggerate the situation and put fake pictures in the newspaper for people to think that the situation in Bahrain is much bigger than what they think.. and the funny thing is that when asked, the chief editor said that they were fed these news by a Saudi source and it was not their mistake. Who are you kidding. and the strange thing is that this newspaper was distributed for free during the unrest which was obviously to maximize the promotion of unrest in Bahrain.
    – My second point is: THANK YOU SUHAIL. You represent me and my way of thinking. keep on doing what you’re doing. people with mentalities like you will keep Bahrain going on.

  20. BRN 23 June 2011 at 12:42 am #

    Heba, I dont know if you’re Bahraini or not.. I think its logical that anyone who talks bad or misrepresents or defames our country we automatically be offended. What you are telling Suhail, you are contradicting! You say if someone doesn’t like what someone else rights, then dont attack him and dont reply to him but right another blog or whatever, and yet YOU are doing the exact same thing!

    Its sad that some people are actually happy that their country is being misrepresented in many many media outlets and NGOs around the world, how and why? Sadly because of some people from Bahrain. If you have something bad to say or issues to raise about your country, raise it in your OWN country and dont go around the world telling them this happened or that happened or asking or help or whatever, this is Bahrain, the same Bahrain we lived at for years and will do so for the coming years, you tarnished your own reputation.

    Everyone knows everyone in Bahrain, and that makes it easier to set differences aside! Dont go crying to the outside world because they will want any bit of evidence to tarnish your appearance, why? Because they know we’re living in Heaven when compared to their miserable lives, and wouldnt want a revolution happening in their own homelands. Think.

    Set differences aside, or else this will be a never ending story and NO ONE will benefit except those in the western world and who have plans to add Bahrain to its borders…

    Think.

  21. BRN 23 June 2011 at 12:57 am #

    Basically i would like to add that ofcourse we have very different views on certain things, but have other views that are the same as well..

    For example, I would never want an elected prime minister, and I cannot be convinced that its a better step or a step forward. I have my views, simply because i trust my leaders and i have faith by them choosing the head of the government, he has to be the best in his field, by electing the head, we will have many many issues raised and might be leading us backwards instead of forwards.. We have a parliament and through them we can raise issues and for sure they will be implemented if they were popular, I dont mind if we elect ministers through parliament also.

    BUT

    if for some reason it is popular that the people want an elected government, than i will respect the decision because at the end, the people want that (not based on sectarian issues) and i will be against the decision, but i would respect it. I wouldnt go to seek help from outside and whatnot, i wouldnt go on strike or endless marches and riot, no i will be civilized about it and respect the others opinion, and so should the others, they have to accept that they are not alone in the country and not ONLY what they want should be done… Don’t do it by force, u cant force me to want something. Its my decision and it should be respected.

    Morale of the story is that both parties should know that they are not alone in this country, the problem is, that the opposition are forcing their views on the whole population and are speaking on behalf of us people, this is rude and disrespectful. You cannot force ur views, and you should respect other peoples views.

    I truly hope that wefaq followers understand this and tell their leaders to resign and let people who truly want reform to take their places.

    ciao

  22. A.D. 13 June 2012 at 9:19 am #

    My father is one of those doctors on trial. I have met and known all the doctors personally at different stages of my life. I can tell you this, the trial is the biggest sham on the face of the planet. I know this may seem emotionally charged, but my father and other medics were subjected to torture and humiliation for months. You did not see the medics every time they came back form Salmaniya. My father was saving lives, so were the other medics. They were actually criticizing protesters for gathering at Salmaniya, but treatments were going smoothly. The medics were neutral, but what they witnessed was the cold hard brutality of security forces. That’s another subject like Suhail said, but a lot of what Robert Fisk said was true. I can tell you that none of these medics took over Salmaniya, or carried weapons, or kept people captive, or committed crimes against patients. The Sunni sect. make up the majority and the patients my father has seen throughout his career. Now, after over 25 years of faithful service, you expect him and others who have been treated by him to see some government stooge accuse him on being unethical about his job. I tell you, the Bahraini medics are the best of the best at what they do, one of them even saved my life. Robert Fisk’s column was highly emotional and blunt, I accept that. It had it’s share of mistakes when it came to communicating what he wanted to say. However, the fact of the matter is Suhail, you don’t know what happened in Salmaniya. The supposed “eye witnesses” that tell a “different story” were exposed in court. The case the medics gave in court was so strong that judging them as guilty of Thursday June 14 would make the Bahraini judiciary system a laughing stock across the world. BICI, Physicians for Human RIghts, Amnesty, they all have released info. that the medics have done nothing but treat patients. I don’t want to defame my country internationally, but I cannot accept what is happening to my people, Sunni And Shiite. I can no longer accept a government that turns a blind eye, manipulates, and sometimes outright lies and believe the lies it tell. Dialogue is needed, but it is extremely difficult when a number of innocent people have been killed, protester, policeman, normal man, woman, and child. You can’t expect people to forget them and just say: “Alright blank page.” These families can never replace what they have lost. This is not going to be resolved anytime soon, with or without dialogue. This is going to continue for many years, Bahrain has reached the point of no return and it’s a whole new ball game. Maybe, in my children’s time if I ever have any, we’ll have a stable, just, and free Bahrain.

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  1. Reflections from The Global Media Forum 2011 in Bonn | Suhail Algosaibi’s Radical Dojo - 21 June 2011

    […] view on this he was not very interested (By the way, you can see my previous writings on the matter here).  I guess some people prefer to see the world in black or white, where other shades of grey are […]

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