Indian PM to visit KSA 28, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Saudi Arabia, The Sub Continent.
Tags: India, India energy needs, India Saudi relations
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For the first time in nearly 30 years, an Indian Prime Minister will visit Saudi Arabia. Manmohan Singh will meet King Abdullah and address Riyadh’s consultative assembly.
Al Arabiyya reports that India imports 70% of its energy needs and that Saudi is in fact India’s biggest trade partner in terms of heavyweight oil. This makes it all the more surprising that no Indian PM has been to Saudi more recently, especially given that Singh was in Qatar and Oman in 2008.
Qatar: MOUs with Iran and US 28, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Iran, Qatar.
Tags: Qatar American relations, Qatar renewable fuels, Qatar-Iran relations
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Within 24 hours, Qatar signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Iran and America. The former in terms of a military agreements for greater cooperation etc and the latter for greater cooperation in the realm of renewable energy.
A small microcosm of Qatar’s politics in 24 hours.
World Press Photo Awards 28, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Islam, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Tags: Islamic Militants, Jewish settler picture, Settler violence, Somalia, Stoned to death, World press photo awards
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Jewish settler throws wine at an Arab woman in Hebron
A man is stoned to death in Somalia by Islamic Insurgents for adultery.
Israeli UAVs can reach Iran 26, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Iran, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Tags: Iran, Israel UAVs, UAV
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Israel has brought into production unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can reach Iran. The Mideasti blog has a nice article on this which raises two particularly good points.
– Contrary to surprised/concerned/hyperbold-ridden headlines, the existence of this UAV has been known for some time
– It is intrinsically too slow, cumbersome and light-weight to pose any direct threat to Iran. I.e. it can relatively easily be shot down and could not carry heavy ‘bunker-buster’ bombs
Gaddafi: holy war against Swiss 26, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Africa.
Tags: Gaffadi, Holf War, Holy War against Swiss, Switzerland
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Libya’s idiotic leader has called for a holy war against Switzerland. Do I even need to bother…
Qatar to offer nationality to Indian artist 25, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
Tags: MF Husain, MF Husain controversy, Qatar, Qatari citizenship
MF Husain the Indian artist who has been forced to flee his country after drawing a series of pictures of a nude Hindu goddesses has been offered Qatari citizenship.
The BBC reports that there are at least 900 cases against him in courts throughout India and that over the years he has been “harassed by mobs in the country and his exhibitions have been vandalised”.
So far it is not known if Husain has not chosen to accept the accolade or not.
Controversial new missile defence logo 25, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
Tags: Gaffney, Islam, Missile defence controversy, neoconservative, New missile defence logo, Omaba Islam, Right wing
This is the US Department of Defence’s new logo for their missile defence programme. Yet, in the same way that changing a product’s name can incite curious passions, it has created a minor storm with right-wing lunatics in America who maintain that this is but the latest symbol of President Obama’s continuing submission to Islam.
The fact that it vaguely resembles Islam’s crescent moon has been taken along with other absurd ‘signs’ that President Obama, who had next to nothing to do with its design, is seeking to send stealthy messages to…err…Muslims that…err…he is a Muslim? Insn’t going to shoot down Muslim missiles? Is going to turn America into an Islamic Republic? Or some such plan that would look out of place in a trashy spy novel.
Idiot in chief for the lunatic fringe is Frank Gaffney. A very well-educated man, obtaining degrees from Georgetown School of Foreign Service and from Johns Hopkins, who nevertheless emphatically shows that education is not everything; that it is eminently possible to have a quarter of a million dollar education and still be barking, barking mad.
Gaffney is also a Birther, someone who believes that Obama is secretly quasi-following a Muslim Brotherhood agenda, that Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyya (!) should be taken off the air “one way or another” and that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma Bombing too.
Next time you see some ass on Iranian TV spouting utter rubbish or some terrorist denouncing the West as infidels, let’s not forget that America too has its fair share of people with but the vaguest and most fleeting of associations with reality and who are perfectly happy to twist, make up and ignore facts as and when they see fit. Gaffney et al have the veneer of decorum, manners and rationality, yet his/their ideas are just as insidious and just as dangerous.
Hat tip: Marc Lynch
Turns out I was more correct that I could have imagined; this new logo was actually designed under the Bush Administration…I always knew he was closet Muslim sympathizer/fan/whatever.
Hat tip: Abstract JK
Qatar and Saudi strengthen links 25, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, Saudi Arabia.
Tags: Qatar, Qatar Saudi agreements, Saudi Arabia
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Yes, I realize that this sounds like the typical Gulf newspaper headline. The only real reason that I post this is to inform you good people that Qatar and Saudi have signed various economic, political and media (?) type agreements is to highlight, as I have done before, that it is Crown Prince Tamim of Qatar and the presumed next leader of Saudi Prince Naif that have done the signing. Obviously setting things up nicely for the future, inshallah.
US London Embassy to cost $1bn 24, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
Tags: Batteresa, Grovesnor Square, London US Embassy, New US Embassy London, US embassy, US Iraq Embassy
Plans have finally been announced for America’s new embassy in South West London in an area currently famous for an old coal-fired power station and for its gay clubs. The huge new project is expected to be the most expensive Embassy ever constructed, surpassing even the new behemoth Embassy in Iraq at around $1billion. As the picture illustrates, the Embassy will be surrounded by a moat for extra protection.
The desire to leave its current plush location in Mayfair comes after local residents bitterly complained that new security measures since 9/11 made their houses and properties more vulnerable.
I make two quick predictions. Firstly, that the costs will sail majestically over the $1billion mark. Secondly, that the moat will become something of a magnet for anti-US/capitalism/Iraq/Afghanistan/Bush/Monsanto/Walmart/McDonalds hippies that currently picket Grosvenor Square. At least this way they’ll get a wash.
Son of Hamas founder an Israeli spy for 10 years 24, February 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Tags: Hamas, Hamas founder, Hassan Yassin, Hassan Yassin's son, Israeli agent, Israeli intelligence, Mosab Hassan Yousef, Shin Bet
Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas’ revered co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, has revealed himself as a spy for Israel’s domestic intelligence service Shin Bet. For more than 10 years Yousef helped Israeli authorities prevent dozens of suicide attacks and reported key intelligence to Israel “on an almost daily basis from 1996 onwards.”
The Times of London continues and describes his pivotal role in arresting some of Israel’s most wanted such as Marwan Barghouti, his invaluable insight into the organization and his role in literally tracking down a suicide bomber in 2007. Yousef is revealing all these fascinating details in his book Son of Hamas, much to the displeasure of Shin Bet who are worried that it will reveal too many of their procedures and methods.