Death of Khalifa Puts End to Pigeons and Hawks Story, but What about his Wing and Legacy?

2020-11-16 - 6:52 am

Bahrain Mirror: Since the king's decision to appoint his son, Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, as first deputy Prime Minister (March 11, 2013), under the pretext of "developing the performance of the executive institution", it has been clear that the (long) reign of Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa had come to an end. But because the latter was still alive at the time, this end seemed incomplete. With his death on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, the ending was completed.

He resisted and succeeded in repelling all attempts to oust him, whether those carried out by the opposition or by his opponents in the Royal House. Organic death alone was enough to write the closing line in a long novel by a cruel and corrupt man who constantly portrayed himself, as portrayed by his followers, as a man of necessity whose services were indispensable, and accordingly Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman joins those whom Charles de Gaulle once told us "The graveyards are full of people the world could not do without."

However, if conventional moral wisdom teaches us that "there is no gloating in death", what about the living? Those who have assumed him as a "father" or "wing" under which they are protected or the leader of a "school" that they continue to flatter. May God help them! What has been known in Bahrain for two decades as the conflict of the wings has been brought to an end. The mere presence of the man, with what he represents in the royal family and his long experience, suggested that his corroded, worn out wing was capable of working, yet it seems that nothing will remain with his death.

Over the past two years, we have seen a small "rehearsal" of what could happen to them. The case of former ministerial undersecretary Ibrahim Al-Dosari, who has been detained since June, is a practical model of what could happen today to any disciplined soldier under Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman's school. We even saw how that man was humiliated on social media platforms and how his face was smeared in the dirt by a group of young men whose supporters are no secret. Then we all saw how the files of those who insulted him, those whom Shaikh Khalifa himself called "Twitter trash", were covered and acquitted. 

It was clear that it was no longer that man's time. The other wing was approaching the last of its tactics against a man who was rendered flesh and bones only. With the news of his death at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, which he hated all his life before it became his last stop, it was time to pour dirt over his body and say goodbye.

For his family and grandchildren, there is an example other than that of Ibrahim Al-Dosari that can help us understand the fate that awaits them. It is Shaikh Mohammed bin Salman Al Khalifa, half brother of Shaikh Khalifa and uncle of the King. Shaikh Mohammed was given the title of "His Royal Highness the Prince" just as the same title was given to his brother Shaikh Khalifa simultaneously (2009). He left this legacy to his grandchildren to enjoy with its gains and wealth. They have been removed from power altogether and from any real positions. This can be expected to happen to the heirs of Shaikh Khalifa, his children and grandchildren. 

With the death of Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman, a tale full of truths and illusions which has accompanied us for two decades about the pigeons and hawks of the royal family ends.

The transfer of the Prime Minister's authority to the Crown Prince and the son of King Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa went through a smooth royal order. There does not seem to be any obstacles in his way, especially since he was prepared for the post early. This is only the beginning, as on his axis and powers, the emergence of new polarization and the conflict of rival wings within the ruling family can be expected. 

Arabic Version