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Nayef: not good for UAE relations 29, September 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Saudi Arabia, The Emirates.
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Some interesting thoughts on the possible (negative) implications for the UAE if (or rather when) Prince Nayef takes the reigns of power in Saudi Arabia.

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Qatar’s diplomacy shunned 29, September 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, Syria.
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Qatar engages in various diplomatic forays the most famous of which being the startling resolution of the intra-Lebanese disputes back in 2008. Yet, as a short article in Lebanon NOW reports, their attempts to offer assistance are not always taken up. On this occasion Assad of Syria apparently firmly rejected any notion of Qatar mediating between Saudi and Syria earlier this year.

French Suicides 29, September 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in French IR.
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The Times reports that there have been 24 suicides in 18 months at a French telephone company. This is – I am sure it doesn’t need to be said – a shocking statistic and is by far the worst manifestation of France’s seeming inability to reform its welfare-state, held to ransom by the Unions, go on strike at the drop of a proverbial hat and preposterously long lunch time taking society.

The nature of oppression 29, September 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Egypt.
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There’s an enthralling but unfortunately true story of a kidnapping of a protester on Inanities’ blog in which there is a top-class, sage-like musing on the nature of dictatorships and oppression.

While there are many worse features of dictatorships and oppression, I am always reminded that one of its defining aspects is tedium, and that it involves hours of standing around waiting with that awful mixture of boredom and fear in your chest.