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Saudis No.1 in internet censorship 1, July 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Saudi Arabia.
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…as if such a statement need be made.

See the somewhat predictable report in the Guardian including such groundbreaking facts as:

– Sites are blocked because they are immoral (pornographic) or for security concerns (you don’t say…)

– Saudi has the second highest number of bloggers in the Middle East (hardly surprising considering its population size)

GCC missile defence? 1, July 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Iran.
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It appears that America is seeking to link the GCC countries together in a joint missile defense system. Currently, the US has bilateral defence relations with all the states in the GCC, yet explicitly linking them in this way would be a new step. The article in The National continues to state that the US believes that there is something of a risk of “low-flying cruise missiles fired from close range.” Just what can they be thinking of?

The timing of such a statement is, of course, no surprise. Whilst such a notion may well appeal to the smaller, threatened GCC states, the technical difficulties of such a programme are surely substantial. However, just assembling the GCC states and perhaps coercing or persuading them to entertain and sign up to such a bargain would be a political coup for America and another clear sign of regional balancing against a potentially bellicose and dangerous Iran.

Terrorist FC 1, July 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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a villa

There have been reports recently of a Taleban fighter being found dead with an Aston Villa Football Club tattoo, much to the delight, no doubt, of Birmingham City fans. Jihadica.com, the gold-mine that is the wonderful and knowledgeable blog covering online jihadiness, further comments that Bin Laden himself was believed by some to be an Arsenal fan after a (joke of a ) book thus claimed.