So what's the Saudi leadership so apprehensive about? Lots of things, as it happens, even though none presages revolution, or even upheaval.
Unfortunately, the eloquent posturing of the Bahrain government following the release of the BICI report has only served to mask the increasingly desperate situation on the ground.
Secretary of State John Kerry has attempted to pacify the angry royals. Instead, the Obama administration should tell America's foreign "friends" that Washington acts in the interests of the American people, not corrupt dictators.
Saudi Arabia's declared intention to pivot away from the U.S. in foreign policy implies a shift toward Beijing, which predates both the Obama presidency and the Arab Awakening.
Although it is not widely recognized as such, Japan is one of the most influential economic actors in the Persian Gulf -- something that is unlikely to change in the near or medium term.
Sectarian divisions fueling conflict across the Middle East have spilt on to the soccer pitch with Iraq's decision to boycott the Gulf Cup and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) warning the Iraqi government not to interfere in the game.
Bahrain is acting as if it has a free pass to use political prosecutions as a means to silence dissent. It's time for the United States to make clear that no ally -- even one that hosts a naval fleet -- is above the rule of law.
Repressive governments too often target health systems, including doctors, hospitals, and ambulances, as part of a larger crackdown on a civilian population.
Middle Eastern investors have adopted a new strategy of buying low and selling high with a series of acquisitions of second and third tier European soccer clubs.
Congress and the American people did something unprecedented in our time: they stopped a war before it started by creating a near-certainty of Congressional rejection.
Last week, in my post "Symbolic Wars," I advocated that the U.S. strike Iran rather than Syria.
Following an Arab League meeting, it was announced that Bahrain would be host of the Arab Court of Human Rights when the court gets established. On reflection, there are several factors that make it an appropriate choice.
It is no secret that the German military equipment being purchased by Saudi Arabia will most likely be used to crack down on anti-government demonstrations inside Bahrain, and/or the Shia-majority region of eastern Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. has the power to help calm the situation by stopping military aid and by sincerely condemning violence against Egyptian protesters. But many are lobbying Washington to turn a blind eye to what is happening in strategically important Egypt.
The wave of popular defiance and demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa parallels widespread protest across the glob against sports organizations' mismanagement and mega-events. It is driven by lack of confidence in institutions that have failed to root out corruption and meet demands for justice, dignity and inclusiveness.
While Oman continues to use its leverage to thwart a military confrontation in the Arabian Gulf, officials in Muscat have accepted that their influence is naturally limited, and they have taken actions to prepare for a scenario in which the Strait of Hormuz is closed.