jump to navigation

Sentenced to death for practicing black magic 10, November 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Saudi Arabia.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

After a thorough trial consisting of 10 hearings spanning over 2 years, a Saudi court has reached the measured, judicious and – given the mounting evidence in the case – only reasonable course of action regarding a Lebanese man found guilty of practicing black magic: death.

The man has the right to appeal the sentence with in 33 days proving – if it needed to be proven – the efficacy and fairness of the Saudi judicial system. The key evidence appears to have been finding the man in a hotel room with – people with a nervous disposition may wish to look away now – herbs, talismans and “some papers with strange drawings and writings”. Well, case closed.

Enlightened folk, those Saudis.

Hat tip: Abstract JK


Newly declassified CIA documents 10, November 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

cia declassified document

There’s nothing quite like transparency and government accountability.

Hat tip: Comment Central

3 idiots on spying charges in Tehran 10, November 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Iran.
Tags: , ,

Three Americans who were apparently on holiday hiking in Iraq and Iran have been arrested and are to stand trial for spying according to Iranian officials. The families of the three said that they were in Iraq and must have accidentally crossed the border into Iran.

Recent history does not necessarily auger well for the three. Iran accuse the Americans of kidnapping several of their citizens in recent years including one of their nuclear scientists when he was on his pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Whilst it is, of course, unfair that these three tourists were arrested and may well become part of some diplomatic score-settling, I’ve just got to comment on their utter stupidity: hiking in Iraq and Iran, what were they thinking?

Everyone wants the ‘unique’ holiday experience. Personally, I’ve wandered around Central Asia and the Fergana Valley so I really can identify with the desire to go somewhere new or untouched or any other cliche you care to mention. While the Fergana Valley is hardly Paris or Rome and is somewhat ‘frisky’ in places, it is still far from Iraq or illegally entering Iran.

What could possibly have gone wrong? Three young Americans (military age, perhaps?) wandering around a recently invaded country with massive law and order problems, severe and acute hatred of Americans and with frequent bombings in parts? The only way to make this absurd trip better would be to go hiking near the Iranian border. What a brilliant idea! After all, I’m sure that the border has a little picket fence all along the way and it is 100% clear exactly where the border is. But then again, if they do go over, it’s not as if they’d be illegally entering a country that has explicitly, overtly, consistently and vociferously denounced their country as the Devil himself; would dearly, dearly love the chance to get ahold of some extra diplomatic capital – sorry, I mean American, citizens -; is currently contemplating engaging in complex and tender negotiations with their country; has an illustrious history of keeping Americans hostage and is, generally speaking, the single worst country for an American to find themselves in illigally…oh, wait a minute…what fools. Ahmadinejad must think it’s Christmas.

However, I doubt they’ll languish in Tehran for too long. I’d imagine that they’d be too valuable to have them sitting in some dank jail or other. I expect them to be treated rather well and, when the time comes, exchanged for a high, high price. These idiots have just cost America either millions of Dollars and/or a chunk of diplomatic capital which was sparse to begin with. When they get back I’ve no doubt they’ll sell their ‘harrowing story’ for top dollar, do the talk-show rounds and it’ll be a great anecdote for them to tell at the bar, meanwhile, not only will their melodramatic little escapade draw attention away from the countless people who are really in prison in Iran but it could easily put a sizable spanner in any US-Iran rapprochement.