Pro-democracy protests are taking place all across the Middle East. They have already brought down two governments, and the Gaddafi regime appears to be tottering. There are reports Gaddafi may have fled the country.
The price being paid is a terrible one. In both Egypt and Libya military or paramilitary forces loyal to the ruling elites have fought furiously to maintain the regimes. In Libya hundreds are reported dead.
But the price being paid by brave little Bahrain is even higher. The Bahrain Formula One has just been called off.
I can only imagine the anguish this must be causing. It must be deeply wounding to the head of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone, an admirer of Hitler, that the forces of democracy have denied him a chance to mix and mingle with many of the Arab billionaires of the region, and to parade the obscene wealth of the sport before the eyes of the region’s poor.
But Ecclestone must just accept the selfishness of the pro-democracy movement. The good news for him is that this is just a short term setback. Most of the regimes that are being toppled or threatened by protest will probably revert to military rule once the protesters have been smashed. There is no history of democracy in any of these countries, and history tells us that stable democracies don’t spring up overnight. So Ecclestone just needs to be patient and wait to find out which brutal strongman he will be dealing with next.