The trouble with being a benevolent dictator.
So are my predictions coming to pass? [ see story http://my.nowpublic.com/world/year-discontent-north-africa-and-arabia ]. However many of the rulers in North Africa and Arabia are eventually challenged to become more democratic, an interesting problem has arisen for the rulers of Bahrain. Considered a benevolent dictator, there was a conciliatory message from the ruler when one citizen was killed by the security forces during protests. A second person was killed during the funeral for the first. Ooops! More apologies, more statements of regret and promises of action to find the culprits. Of course, more citizen protests, and what then? Well, here sits the problem. If you want to still be considered benevolent, you cannot be too cruel to your population. But you cannot have too much of this, before you begin losing face with your fellow tyrants. Or, worse, have your very highly acclaimed Formula One Grand Prix race staged elsewhere. So what to do? Shoot the protesters as they sleep with non-lethal bird-shot! Ingenious. They will know that you could have used more dangerous ammunition, killing them as they slept, but you have kindly let the rebellious dogs live. And although a few were killed, it was only two or three, and a big smash at the Grand Prix might have resulted in that many deaths. So, look out for more of these 'merciful and benevolent' killings. Tickled to death while chained up in a prison perhaps, or death by overconsumption of sheep's eyes in a darkened cellar.
Maybe readers might care to suggest other benevolent ways to be killed by a tyrant from a minority sect that denies the majority of the population a fair say in governing the country?