Bahrain's deceptive national dialogue
Anti-government protestors demonstrate in front of military vehicles near Pearl Square in Bahrain's capital on March 16.
July 1st, 2011
05:40 PM ET

Bahrain's deceptive national dialogue

Editor’s NoteKristin Diwan is Assistant Professor of Comparative and Regional Studies at the American University School of International Service. Her work focuses on the politics and policies of the Arab Gulf.

By Dr. Kristin Diwan – Special to CNN

On Saturday Bahrain will begin a government-sponsored National Dialogue.  This has been seen by some as an opening, as evidence that the long campaign of suppression and retribution – the night-time arrest of activists, the torture and forced confessions, the purge of workers and students participating in protests and the trial of doctors and lawyers who served them in the course of their work - is at an end.

The United States ardently wants to believe this narrative. The U.S. wants stability in Bahrain, and, frankly, to have the whole problem go away.

But it would be a mistake for the United States to embrace this National Dialogue without reservations.

Ultimately, stability in Bahrain will require social reconciliation and political restructuring.  The National Dialogue will not deliver this, and it may in fact work to undermine the prospects for national reconciliation and reform. FULL POST

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Topics: Middle East • Revolution
March 22nd, 2011
08:14 AM ET

Why isn’t the world intervening in Bahrain as it did in Libya?

Editor’s NoteKristin Diwan is Assistant Professor of Comparative and Regional Studies at the American University School of International Service. Her work focuses on the politics and policies of the Arab Gulf.

By Dr. Kristin Diwan – Special to CNN

The international community is intervening to stop killing in Libya. But it is standing by as the Bahraini government - aided by the Saudis and broader Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - suppresses its own people with brutal force.

Bahraini opposition groups have petitioned the United Nations to intervene on their behalf.  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his "deepest concern" at the use of "excessive and indiscriminate force ... against unarmed civilians.” Yet there are no plans for U.N.-sponsored action.

Why isn’t the world acting in Bahrain as it did in Libya?

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The dire consequences of Saudi intervention in Bahrain
A picture of King Hamad decorates a tank deployed in Manama's Pearl Square after a recent crackdown against protesters.
March 21st, 2011
07:45 AM ET

The dire consequences of Saudi intervention in Bahrain

Editor’s Note: Kristin Diwan is Assistant Professor of Comparative and Regional Studies at the American University School of International Service. Her work focuses on the politics and policies of the Arab Gulf.

By Dr. Kristin Diwan – Special to CNN

In February, Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement fashioned its own version of Egypt’s Liberation (Tahrir) Square, bringing the spirit of Arab rebellion to the tiny, oil-rich Gulf country.

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Topics: Middle East • Military • Politics • Revolution