A massacre committed by another “close friend and ally” of the United States

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Bahrain on Friday (warning graphic videos):

The protesters are chanting “Peacefully, peacefully, peacefully”

The same march from a different angle.

More of the latest headlines from the protests around the region:

Fresh rally in key Bahrain square
Thousands of jubilant protesters in Bahrain enter Pearl Square in Manama after police pull out, having earlier fired tear gas and shotgun cartridges at them.

Bahrain army pulls out of Manama
Armoured vehicles sealing off a central square in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, withdraw on the orders of the royal family after days of unrest.

Bahrain opposition rejects talks
Bahrain’s main Shia opposition group rejects the king’s offer of dialogue after days of protests.

Bahrain’s crown prince calls for national mourning
DUBAI, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s crown prince on Saturday called for a national day of mourning “for the sons we have lost”, the state news agency reported.  Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Force, called for calm, asking citizens to unite and cooperate with all political forces in the country.

Bahrain trade union calls strike from Sunday
MANAMA, Feb 19 (Reuters) – The main trade union in Bahrain, rocked by anti-government unrest this week, has called for a strike from Sunday, a member of an airline trade union said.

Bahrain: Army, Police Fire on Protesters
(Manama) – At least 38 people were wounded when Bahraini security forces opened fire on protesters coming to pray near the Pearl Roundabout in Manama on February 18, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today.

Bahrain forces fire on protesters
Soldiers opened fire Friday on thousands of protesters defying a government ban and streaming toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising to break the political grip of the Gulf nation’s leaders.

Bahraini protesters fired upon
Bahraini security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters gathered in the capital, Manama, on Friday. Hundreds of mourners were marching towards Pearl Roundabout when government forces fired live rounds and tear gas at them. The wounded were taken to the city’s Salmaniya Hospital, where protesters have gathered to offer blood and support. On Friday evening, Bahrain’s king asked his crown prince to begin a “national dialogue” with all parties over the continuing unrest in the country. Al Jazeera’s correspondent, who we cannot name for security reasons, in Manama has more.

Funeral chants call for Bahraini revolution
The funeral procession for Ali Ahmed Al-Muamin included strong calls for more than mere political reform. The leader repeated: “Bahraini revolution until we get freedom.”

Bahraini doctor pleads for help
Bahraini troops shot at protesters near Pearl Roundabout and wounded many, a doctor of Salmaniya hospital said, a day after police forcibly cleared a protest camp from the traffic circle in Manama. Dr. Ghassan said: “There are many casualties with head wounds.” The demonstrators made for Pearl Roundabout, where army troops who took it over after the police raid on Thursday opened fire.

Shia chants about deceased Bahraini
Funeral procession in the Sitra area of Manama for Ali Ahmed Al-Muamin on February 18. The crowd repeats: “Oh mother, remember me.”

Sitra funeral procession on Friday
Abdul Amir leads the funeral procession toward the cemetery, chanting anti-government slogans and celebrating the life of the deceased, Ali Ahmed Al-Muamin.

Bahrain turmoil: King seeks talks
King Hamad of Bahrain asks his son, Crown Prince Salman, to start a national dialogue after bloody clashes in the capital Manama.

Joining forces
Sunni and Shia united in call for democracy in Bahrain

‘They didn’t run away. They faced the bullets head-on’
“Massacre – it’s a massacre,” the doctors were shouting. Three dead. Four dead. One man was carried past me on a stretcher in the emergency room, blood spurting on to the floor from a massive bullet wound in his thigh.

Gulf may use military force in support of Bahrain’s regime
DUBAI: Gulf states could go as far as using military intervention to prevent a regime change in Bahrain to block the tide of protests there from reaching their countries, analysts say. A spread of the Shiite protests in Bahrain into the rest of the energy-rich Persian Gulf states would be a major strategic victory for neighboring Shiite Iran, they said Thursday.

Crackdown on arms exports to Bahrain
The government bowed to intense pressure last night and revoked a host of licences for arms exports to Bahrain and Libya, after Foreign Secretary William Hague said there was “no evidence” that security forces in the Gulf state had used British tear gas to suppress pro-democracy demonstrators. The French government has banned all arms exports to Bahrain and Libya.

Unrest continues in Bahrain; dozens are wounded
Security forces in Manama, Bahrain, continued their attack on anti-government protesters around  Pearl Square. At least 50 people were wounded as funerals were held for several protesters killed on Thursday.  Los Angeles Times photographer Rick Loomis is in Bahrain, covering the conflict, along with Times reporter Ned Parker, who filed this story.

US balancing act on Bahrain
Barack Obama, the US president, has called on Bahrain to exercise restraint following a violent government crackdown on protests. However, with the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, Obama is having to balance calls for democracy with his countrty’s strategic interests in the region. Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett reports from Washington.

House of Khalifah hearts Shi`ites
Thus spoke Saqr Al-Khalifah:  ”I have to announce that we have always lived peacefully with our Shia brothers. I have nothing against them. I love my Shia friends.”  This reminds me of Ribbentrop (he preferred to be addressed as Von Ribbentrop).  During the Nuremberg trial, he insisted that his best friends were Jewish.

The Saudi “leadership vacuum” is clouding the decision making on Bahrain?
U.S. efforts to stabilize Bahrain, another key Arab ally roiled in popular uprising, is being threatened on several fronts—including apparent splits in Bahrain’s royal family and a sense of disengagement by Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest power. Whether the U.S. can halt the unrest in Bahrain is viewed as critical to stabilizing the Persian Gulf and checking Iran’s influence. But there is growing uncertainty in Washington over who in the tiny Middle East sheikdom’s royal family ordered the use of increasing force against unarmed protesters, according to officials briefed on the diplomacy…

Middle East Protests: Facts About Bahrain (PHOTOS)
Witnesses say Bahrain security forces have opened fire on anti-government protesters as the violence in Manama continues as part of a bold attempt to copy Egypt’s uprising and to force high-level changes in its government.

Inside Story – Bahrain on the brink
Events in Tunisia and Egypt have left Arab governments worried and Bahrain’s royal family is no exception. Days of protests came to a violent head on Thursday when a police crackdown left several people dead and scores injured. Pro-democracy street agitation is not a stranger to Bahrain – there have been protests gping as far back as the early 1990s with opposition forces demanding that the monarchy make room for a more constitutional framework and a much more democratic polity. Can the monarchy survive this latest round of unrest and what does it all mean for the region? Inside Story discusses.

George Galloway on Bahrain Revolution

Britain condemns “horrifying” violence in Libya
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Libya on Saturday to stop using force against protesters and asked governments in the Middle East to respond to the “legitimate aspirations” of their people.

84 Dead In Libya Protests In 3 Days: Human Rights Watch
Disturbing new details are coming out of the Libya protests. Government security forces have killed 84 people in three days, Human Rights Watch said in a news release on Friday night. Even though people were protesting peacefully, according to HRW, security forces killed 20 people in Benghazi, 23 in Baida, three in Ajdabiya, and three in Derna in a matter of days. In addition, 35 people were killed in Benghazi on Friday, nearly all with live ammunition. HRW said that telephone interviews with hospital staffers and witnesses led to the estimates. It added in a statement: “The Libyan authorities should immediately end attacks on peaceful protesters and protect them from assault by pro-government armed groups.”

Eyewitness reports protester deaths in Benghazi
Mohamed el-Berqawy, an engineer in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, told Al Jazeera by phone that mourners have been shot and killed on Friday. He appealed to US president Barack Obama and Arab League chief Amr Moussa for help.

Night protest in Benghazi, Libya
We cannot confirm when exactly, this footage was taken, but it appears to be either outside a court building or a police station, guarded by security forces. The protesters are yelling “Oh, Benghazi, where are you! Come see the oppressed people”, and ” Shame on you, you lied to us”

Libya Internet Shut Down Amid Protests, Per Multiple Reports
Reports have emerged late Friday that Libya appears to have shut down its Internet due to widespread protests, less than a month after Egypt did the same. The Los Angeles Times was among the first news outlets to report Libya’s Internet outage, citing “multiple reports.” TechCrunch also posted about Libya’s Internet issues.

Libya Videos

Rising death toll in Libya unrest
Reports from Libya suggest a mounting death toll from clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces.

Libya protests: massacres reported as Gaddafi imposes news blackout
Opposition says 61 killed as diplomats report use of heavy weapons in Benghazi and rumours sweep the country

Libyan Fury Challenges Gadhafi
CAIRO – The movement for change sweeping across the Middle East has now rocked Libya. Thousands of people have taken to the streets across many cities to demand an end to the 41-year autocratic rule of maverick leader Muammar Al- Gadhafi.

The Libyan People
They may have suffered more than other Arab people for the simple reason that they were forced to “study” the trash that Qadhdhafi wrote as “the Green Book.”  You saw the footage today of Libyan youth destroying a statue of the Green Book.  Do you know how many Arab intellectuals were paid to write on and discuss the Green Book in numerous conferences? 

Attacks against Jordanian Protesters

Jordan protest turns violent
Anti-government protests become routine on Fridays in Jordan since popular uprisings swept Egypt and Tunisia.

Jordan: Anti-regime demonstrators beaten by thugs
Thugs wielding batons turned on anti-government marchers in Amman yesterday as the country’s political protests turned violent.

Other Mideast Protests
Anti-government protester killed in clash in Yemen
SANAA/ADEN, Feb 19 (Reuters) – An anti-government protester was killed and seven injured in clashes with supporters of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on Saturday, a day after five people died in protests against his 32-year rule.

Algerian police break up crowd at pro-reform rally‎
Riot police in Algeria have broken up a crowd at the second pro-democracy rally in a week. Security forces stepped in after clashes broke out between pro- and anti-government supporters. Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan has the latest.

Saudi Shi’ites hold small eastern province protest
RIYADH, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Saudi Shi’ites have held a small protest in the kingdom’s oil-producing eastern province, close to Gulf Arab neighbour Bahrain where unrest has cost six lives, local Shi’ite sources said on Saturday. They said a group of Shi’ites staged a protest on Thursday in the town of Awwamiya, near the Saudi Shi’ite centre of Qatif on the Gulf coast, to demand the release of fellow Shi’ites held in prison without trial.

“The Arab Revolt Spreads to Kuwait” (Videos)
Stateless Arabs in Kuwait held protests today, demanding citizenship. The protests reportedly took place in Taima’ and Sulaibiya, Jahra Governorate, and Ahmadi, Ahmadi Governorate.

Protests set to test Morocco Saturday
Facebook groups are calling the country’s youth on to the streets of Morocco tomorrow to demand constitutional reforms and proper democracy.

Syria Speeding Up, Robin Yassin-Kassab
Three weeks ago I wrote that Syria was not about to experience a popular revolution. Although I’m no longer sure of anything after the events in Tunisia and Egypt (and Libya, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Bahrain) – and although it’s made me unpopular in certain quarters – I’m sticking to my original judgement.

To Jerusalem we are going, martyrs in millions’

Request to Egypt to open the Rafah crossing
The International Solidarity Movement has received a request from Palestinians in Gaza that concerned people contact the Egyptian embassies to ask them to reopen the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza. They have prepared a statement which you can sign and fax to your embassy in order to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis caused by the closing of the crossing. Below is the email correspondence, and a link to a document containing the statement.

Report: Egypt has approved Iran warships to use Suez Canal
This would be first time since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution that Iranian ships have used Suez; U.S. says they are monitoring the ships and criticize Iran’s ‘track record’ in the region.

‘Peace treaty with Israel is up to the Egyptian people’
Spokesman for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood responds to U.S. National Intelligence director, who said he assumed Brotherhood was not in favor of maintaining peace treaty with Israel.

Jubilant scenes in Tahrir Square
A huge celebration continues into the night in central Cairo, the site of 18 days of protests that brought down longtime president Hosni Mubarak. Elsewhere in the city, where it is still not completely safe for Al Jazeera to report, rallies express regret for the peoples’ “disrespectful” treatment of Mubarak.

Egyptians pack Tahrir, reveling in victory – and bringing new demands
At a huge rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Friday Egyptians said they aren’t going to ease up ‘until all our demands are met.’

Friday of Victory

Egyptian Revolution 2011- The Most Dramatic Footage From the 18-day Revolution
A compilation of the most dramatic footage from Egyptian Revolution, in an attempt to show the world what the Egyptian people have endured over the last 18 days to earn their freedom.  Special thanks to all the news agencies and videographers who put their lives on the line to get this footage, Al-Jazeera, Daily News, Russia Today, Reuters, Democracy Now & to Tamer El-Sahhar creator of the “Egypt Tomorrow” video. I apologize if I’ve missed anyone.

Egyptians savor arrests of regime’s privileged
Images of a former Cabinet minister and a steel magnate walking into prison have sent a shiver of disgust across Egypt as prosecutors widen probes into the inner circle of ex-President Hosni Mubarak. Images of a former Cabinet minister and a steel magnate walking into prison have sent a shiver of disgust across much of Egypt as prosecutors widen investigations of the corrupt inner circle of former President Hosni Mubarak.

Bring Back our Money Now !!
The Swiss authorities have founded funds belong to the the Mubarak clan at Swiss banks and despite they have not specified yet the amount of money they found , this is considered the first trace of our stolen fortune abroad. The first traces of these 70 or 45 billion dollars have been spotted my follow Egyptians.   Another good news that gives us hope is that the EU has agreed on principle of freezing the former president Mubarak’s inner circle’s assets.The West will return back our money if we want so officially , so it is the turn of the Egyptian government or to be accurate our military junta to demand these assets now.

Egyptian Military Under Mubarak’s Shadow
CAIRO – Egypt’s armed forces, the de facto rulers of the country since last week’s ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, have already met several longstanding demands of the opposition, including the suspension of the constitution and dissolution of parliament.

After the carrot, Egypt military shows the stick
CAIRO, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Egypt’s military, after promising to deliver civilian rule in six months, warned workers using their new freedom to protest over pay that strikes must stop, in a move businessmen said on Saturday could have come sooner.  The military council, under pressure from activists to speed up the pace of reform, has adopted a softly-softly approach since taking power after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, but said late on Friday that labour unrest threatened national security.

Strikers at giant Egypt factory continue to push for reforms, pay rises
AL-MAHALLAH AL-KUBRA, Egypt: With the old regime out of the way after mass protests in which they played a role, strikers at a giant factory in Egypt are now pushing for reforms closer to home such as pay rises. A strike organizer said Friday that workers have held talks on reforms with the military, which has ruled Egypt since the Feb. 11 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt women stand for equality in the square
CAIRO – Women think as differently as they dress here, but they have emerged from the barricades agreeing on one thing: This is their moment in history, and they cannot afford to lose it.

Veteran Egypt activist sees revolution as ongoing
CAIRO – He organized his first demonstration while still a student in 1998, then got arrested and tortured by Egyptian police two years later at age 23. Now he has seen the fall of the president he spent his adult life struggling against.  For 33-year-old activist Hossam el-Hamalawy, though, Egypt’s three-week youth revolution is by no means over — there remains a repressive state to be dismantled and workers who need to get their rights.

Egyptians in America Ponder a Return
Some express fear of giving up the freedoms they’d like to help cultivate in their home country.

Frost Over the World – Mohamed ElBaradei
A week after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, Sir David is joined by Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, the man many are touting to be the next president of Egypt. Plus, Jeffrey Ghannam on the role of social media in the protests that are sweeping the Middle East.

Anatomy of Egypt’s Revolution (Part Two), ESAM AL-AMIN
Historians and political scientists study revolutions and analyze their impact, not only on their societies, where the political, economic, and social order is fundamentally transformed, but also on neighboring countries and beyond. The Egyptian revolution, though still in its infancy, promises to be such a phenomenon. Admitting its historic nature was none other than the U.S. President, Barack Obama, who lauded the Egyptians as having “inspired us,” and praised their revolution, which he said represented a “moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice.”

For Egyptians, revolt is a reaction to an oppression overdose / Amira Hass
18 Feb – Egyptians explain how their country got the nerve to face down a violent police force, and describe the moment when they knew there was no turning back.

Why Egypt worries Israel
By Monday Ephraim Sneh had heard quite enough talk about democracy in Egypt. “I am not interested in democracy in this region,” the former Israeli deputy minister of defence told a conference room full of dignitaries at the annual security conference in Herzliya, a Mediterranean Sea resort north of Tel Aviv. “Personally I prefer to have stability.” Sentiments like Sneh’s are easy to find in Israel these days, although the wiry 66-year-old expressed them more bluntly than most. Just look around, he said. Everywhere Israel’s neighbours get the vote, things get worse. Take Gaza, or as Sneh called it, “Hamastan,” after the ruling Hamas party’s 2006 election victory. “Based on a democratic, free election, we are facing now some of the worst terrorists.”

Egyptian dignity in the face of death | Nawara Najem
It was only when we protesters risked being shot that revolution in Egypt truly took hold. I am from a generation that has known no Egyptian leader beside the ousted president, Hosni Mubarak. When Anwar Sadat was killed, I was seven. I do not remember much about him other than he had a habit of screaming during speeches that lasted for hours. I also remember the regular periodic detention of both my mother and father for undisclosed reasons.

Other Mideast Revolution/Uprising News
Journalists targeted in Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya
New York, February 18, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities today in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya to cease their attempts to prevent media from reporting on anti-government demonstrations. Bahraini authorities used live ammunition–including fire from a helicopter–against peaceful protesters and journalists, according to news reports. Pro-government thugs attacked at least two journalists in Yemen, and the Libyan government appeared to be shutting down Facebook, Twitter, and Al-Jazeera’s website as a means of silencing reporting on protests.

Report: Israel army preps for Egypt-style demos
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s army is concerned by the prospect of Palestinians replicating Egypt-style mass demonstrations with dozens of simultaneous marches and protests in the West Bank, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.  The military is beginning to build rapid-response forces and to identify vantage points throughout the territories that could be used to contain such protests, The Jerusalem Post reported.

In pictures
Images from around the Middle East as protests continue.

Mideast unrest puts US military access in jeopardy (AFP)
AFP – Popular unrest sweeping the Middle East highlights the US military’s reliance on Arab regimes that offer privileged access to airfields and ports from Cairo to Qatar.

Al Jazeera says signal jammed, website blocked
DUBAI (Reuters) – The Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera said on Friday its signal was being jammed on several frequencies and its website had been blocked in Libya.  Al Jazeera, whose coverage of the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is widely watched in the Arab world, reported the jamming on its website where it offered alternative frequencies on the Arabsat, Nilesat and Hot Bird satellites.

Aljazeera Arabic and Al-Arabiyyah
Aljazeera is now airing a documentary on R.Kennedy and Al-Arabiyyah TV (news station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law) is a report on PlayStation.  GCC met and decided that all is well in Bahrain.  Aljazeera Arabic–to its eternal shame–succumbed.  PS I am told that Aljazeera English is doing an excellent job in covering Bahrain.  Maybe they can do that because Qatari royal family watches the Arabic Aljazeera.

Challenges Facing Countries Across North Africa and the Middle East
In the wake of the overthrow of the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, here is a look at challenges facing countries across the region.

From Libya to Bahrain, Mideast autocracy under fire
After Egypt set Arab imaginations alight, autocrats from Qaddafi to the Khalifa dynasty face an assault unparalleled since the post-World War II revolutions that brought independence.

How Britain taught Arab police forces all they know
There was growing anger last night over the enmeshed relationship between authoritarian Gulf governments and the British military and police after weeks of democracy protests across the Arab world that met with violent state repression.

Game’s dynamics have changed
For decades, the Arab world has often been referred to as a “region of turmoil,” but what is taking place today makes the turmoil of yesterday look quite tame in comparison. Groundswells of widescale and fierce protests against ruling regimes have spread like wildfire, affecting Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Djibouti and Iran in the Middle East alone.

Winter of Arab rage
The revolution in Egypt continued to send tremors through the region Friday as protests erupted in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria and Djibouti, and authorities violently cracked down on the largely peaceful demonstrations.

Will Mideast revolts force U.S. to talk to Islamists?, Alex Kane
Since at least the Clinton administration, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has propped up dictatorial regimes that were favorable to U.S. and Israeli interests while refusing to engage with the forces of political Islam.  Could the current wave of uprisings shaking the Middle East and North Africa force the U.S. to deal with Islamist movements that are integral parts of these societies?  That’s what journalist and author Mark Perry argued in a recent Palestine Center panel discussion–a development that would have far-reaching implications for Palestine, among other countries.

The Middle East Is Changing, Ramzy Baroud
Now that the Egyptian people have finally wrestled their freedom from the hands of a very stubborn regime, accolades to the revolution are pouring in from all directions. Even those who initially sided with Hosni Mubarak’s regime, or favored a neutral position, have now changed their tune.

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