We have got clashes going on between security and protesters in Bahrain, similar conflicts in Yemen, and preemptive arrests occurring in Libya. If the increasing use of violence by members of these regimes–and we ought to include the regime in Iran in the list of Middle Eastern governments willing to use violence against their people in order to maintain power–is not a sign that governments in the Middle East are concerned about the possibilities for further upheaval, nothing is.
The violence is surely a concern, however. It will be up to the Obama Administration to do what it can–especially with allies like Bahrain and Yemen–to try to keep the governmental reaction to these protests peaceful. We’ll see if the Administration is able to swing that.