I was based in Bahrain for a couple of years. Good years actually, except for the fact that my home, wife, family and two lovely Hungarian Vizslas were in Headbourne Worthy, near Winchester in England.   

Today on-line and on TV I see the dangerously excited gatherings in Bahrain's Manama and wonder what the future holds, not just for Bahrain or Egypt but for the region as a whole. Rebellion is contagious and is always painful. It does not always leave the rebels, even if they prevail, in the state they hoped for or might have expected.

Of course the peoples of virtually all regions of the world have rebelled at times against their leaders: France - big time, Spain several times, the fledgeling USA, literally all of the States of South America, ditto Africa (many ongoing); indeed, the United Kingdom has had its fair share of rebellions. The Wars of the Roses terminated the lives of a good chunk of England's population over many decades. Oliver Cromwell conducted a particularly bloody rebellion that ended with the actual beheading of his king. Prince Charles Stuart brought his army of Scottish Highland rebels as far south as Derby, with King George 1 all ready to board a boat in flight across the Channel, before turning back and being caught and slaughtered by the English under Butcher Cumberland at Culloden.

The Arabic States are especially vulnerable to socio-political unrest. Their people are fractious in the extreme, quick to take offence, just as quick to take up arms one against the other. (A bit like the clans of the Highlands of Scotalnd actually.) Nobody who has read Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom or who has spend time amongst Arabs can doubt that.

Looking at the Middle East right now I am so pleased to be here amongst the peace and quiet of Wester-Ross, and not out there sidestepping Shia and Sunni sensitivities.


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