29 December 2007

Al-Wefaq's Lost Compass

أكد الشيخ علي سلمان في خطبته بجامع الإمام الصادق في الدراز أمس، أن «الانفلات الأمني لا يخدم المصلحين، بل يخدم من لا يؤمن بمنهج الإصلاح، ويخدم طبقة لاتزال قوية ومتنفذة وسيزيد نفوذها بالانفلات الأمني، وسيحقق لها مكاسب استراتيجية عاشت عليها عقوداً وستكون سعيدة بأن يعود»

It's official: times have changed. Far from the days when Al-Wefaq was commanding the Shia street, their latest reactions to the recent wave of violence show total helplessness and confusion. On the other side, it seems that the recent events are as much a show of frustration with Al-Wefaq as with the government. Beyond speeches and feeble attempts to criticize the Ministry of Interior's handling of the demonstrations, this political society needs a shift in strategy before it is too late.

The implications of a Wefaqi parliament failure are quite dangerous, and can potentially affect the whole concept of peaceful opposition in Bahrain. If Al-Wefaq continues to move from one failure to another in parliament, currently the only forum that allows for opposition within the system, the other alternative is just more violence. Sadly, neither Al-Wefaq nor the government seem to realize that at least some sort of political success of parliament is necessary to sustain Bahrain's stability: think of it as a "venting"mechanism.

The "venting"theory seemed to work well with the previous parliament. As little as it had achieved, it was at least successful in making noise: in showing that (parts of) it cared. Far from it, Al-Wefaq got itself into one disaster after another: antagonizing the King by boycotting his opening speech, passing the hugely unpopular 1% unemployment tax, speaking in favor of the apartment housing option (may be valid but is still unpopular), and trying in vain to build impossible alliances with Al-Menbar and Al-Asalah. It seemed to overlook the fact that its constituency is actually watching, expecting, and waiting... and waiting. The government, in unleashing its supporters to kill any little Wefaqi initiative, including anti-tajnees and anti-Ateyatallah questioning, has also grossly miscalculated the impact of Wefaq's failure. Does the government really prefer to deal with the street than with parliament?

What we see in Bahrain nowdays is that Al-Wefaq's entrance into parliament not only exposed their own lack of direction, strategy, and ability to tackle serious national grievances. It also showed the whole "political reform" process to be sham with no hope in sight. It actually proved what Haqq was claiming all along: the parliament is so heavily restricted by the government and pro-government forces that no "change from within" can possibly take place.

So where do we go from here?


BB said...

With all respect to Ali Salman, he has reduced himself to the role of Mahmoud Abbas in Palestine in his 'mosayara' strategy that has not only failed to achieve anything tangible but has reduced it to an apologetic and defeatist group of men who have indeed lost direction. It really is a shame they are helping in the strategic policy of confusion and chaos unintentionally.

People in this country have never been so disillusioned. I hope we get over this leadership crisis soon

Anonymous said...

Only God knows where we can go from here. From being a united nation in the 90's uprising, now the whole country is slip between Wefaqi's and Haqi's etc. Problem we face now is, these two parties have two very different approaches with what the want to achieve. Wefaq have thrown all their eggs into one basket, so what happens when they finally admit defeat, which is undoubtably inevitable!

Haqq were right all along, but the people of Wefaq are too arrogant and ignorant to admit this, and will use the excuse that it was a 'Waajib Shar3ee' to do what they did, and they had to try, in the same way the tricked the whole nation into voting in the elections! Anyway, this is not the main problem, the problem is, can we unite as a nation after all that has happened? what will happen to all the 'leaders' of Wefaq that entered parliament? have their reputations been tarnished beyond repair? will they admit to their mistakes and call for the nation to be united in their stance against a tyrant, maniulating regime who obviously do not have on good bone in their body! Why make unrealistic promises? Ali Salmans first tv interview 'atiyatulla will be gone before tthe first parliamentry sitting' all BS....

reputations have been lost, and people respect and trust for Wefaq, evaporated....leave politics to politicians who have a mabda2 that they wont betray... these people are not politicians and should just stick with leading prayers and teaching people religion in the 7awza..

Allah Kareem, Faat7a for Ali Jassim.

error said...

well at least you have "some" leadership

LuLu said...

It seems Al-Wefaq has been pinched hard enough to try again:

الوفاق تواجه عطية الله بملف التوظيف والتقرير المثير