The comments to these posts are even more "direct".
The stated reasons are one thing, and the alterior motives are another. What has the government to gain from these arrests? I honestly do not understand the reasoning behind them. Is it to knock down Bahrain Online in particular? The site is still running, and it is yet to be seen if it indeed will be shut down. Is it to send a strong message to all forums to behave themselves or shut down? There are tons of these sites around. Every village and alleyway in bahrain now has a forum: from Arad, and they only keep mushrooming. Do they honestly think that this will deter the others? It seems all it has done is to make anyone who has not yet been aware of forums to wake up to the growing phenomenon.
In the backdrop to this arrest there has been a sort of internet war going on between forums that are skeptical of the government, like Bahrain Online, and those that are more pro-government, particularly Bahrain Forums, the savvy (relatively) new generally pro-government forum. In fact, it is rumoured that the forum was started as a direct response to Bahrain Online to counteract its growing influence and dominance on the internet as a source of information. It seems that much more effort, money, and backing has been at the disposal of the new forum, and one wonders where all the support came from.
Credit where credit is due: the forum has by and large not stifled not any kind of debate, allowing government sympathizers and critics to contribute. It does however have stricter boundaries, where direct personal insult to any person, whether in the government or not, is not allowed. There is however particular emphasis on the royalty, where no questioning of the royal status is allowed. Overall, however, it does seem to include in its commentators viespoints that reflect a much wider spectrum than that of Bahrain Online (which is most just Anti-government). On this particular event, there is currently a debate between pro-Abdulemam and the moderators (whom a lot of are pro-government) going on, with the moderators seeming to take the government stand on issues.
It seems, however, that the government has reached the conclusion that Bahrain Online has become too dominant and influential to counteract simply by an internet war. Hence, the government has gone back to its old tactics of arrests. Or maybe this is again a reflection of the ongoing theory of the infighting between the royal family, where one part, the old regime, tries to harm the action of the new regime that supposedly is pro-reform?
side: please say hello to the newest Bahraini Blog author, Winds of Change. Please be nice to him/her, as it took me a while to convince him/her to blog. He/She is giving it a try, so try to encourage it!