Bahrain and Formula One


According to the countdown clock on the Planet F1 website the first race of the season will be in Bahrain in 22 days and some change. I am not so sure that is going to happen. But, more importantly – for me – I don't think it should happen. I think that F1 should blow town.

I want to be very clear that – a couple of weeks ago – I knew almost nothing about Bahrain except that it would host the first Formula One race of the season. Now I know that it is a kingdom with a Sunni king who is willing to kill people from its – primarily – Shite population to maintain order. Of course, maintain order really means keep the king in power.

If the powers that be decide to run the race, I'll probably watch it. But it does make me wonder about how much we are willing to do to walk our talk. In Egypt, in Bahrain, people are willing to die to walk their talk. That is hard to understand. I think that most of us, OK, many of us; think we would be at the public square, protesting. But I doubt it.


Michele and I went through a war zone on our honeymoon.  But – and this is important – we thought it would be safe. And we were right, it was safe. American journalists went to Egypt to report, thinking it would be safe and they were wrong; it wasn't safe. Many left. But the Egyptians and Bahrainis who went into the public square didn't leave. When thugs beat people, killed some, they didn't leave. I find that extraordinary.

If what they are doing, fails; they will -probably – have ruined their lives. It is hard for me to even imagine that level of commitment. Back in the good ol' USA, as the cold rain falls outside and I sit in my warm home; I wish them well. I hope they succeed. They are true freedom fighters and they deserve it.



2 thoughts on “Bahrain and Formula One

  1. Well said my friend. I have such awe and respect for the Egyptians who said “enough” and went to the square day after day at great and in some ways unknowable costs. Thanks for acknowledging them.
    You dilemma about watching the race (if it happens) is a tough one. There is principle and there is the fact that the world is a complex place and there is joy often alongside pain. Must we deny the joy out of respect for the pain? Pointy horns on that dilemma.
    I wonder what a Buddhist monk would say. Something in the dialogs about right action would seem like it might provide some insight.

  2. Thanks, Richard.
    BTW, dilemma adverted; the race was canceled. Every once in a while F1 does something that makes me glad I am a fan and this is one of them. As Schumacher said “The people there have more pressing issues than Formula One, and those have priority.”

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