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CCTV used Top Gun footage in news report 31, January 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in China.
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The BBC reports that China’s state broadcaster – CCTV – has used footage from Top Gun in a news report on the Chinese air force. See the explosion at 1.11 .

I’m torn on how best to mock. I feel like some combination of a pithy ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ jibe crossed with a witticism on the ‘paper tiger’ theme is in order, but can’t really think of one.


Oman arrests Emirati spy ring 31, January 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Oman, The Emirates.
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Omani authorities have announced that they have ‘dismantled’ an Emirati spy ring that was

targeting the regime in Oman and the mechanism of governmental and military work there…The accused will be presented for trial

This is a most curious development. There have not been any overtly strange or interesting incidents involving the UAE and Oman recently even though this incident appears to stretch back to the summer.

My first thought would be that this is some kind of industrial espionage gone awry, but the story indicates that it was the government and military that was targeted. The notion that the UAE wanted to know more about Iranian-Omani relations is plausible but unlikely. I doubt that Oman knows that much that Dubai with its strong Iranian links does not know.

Perhaps we’ re simply left with the typical sort of intelligence gathering operations that countries undertake in one’s region. Even friendly relations, I am sure, from time to time, spy on their neighbors. Also, as I have noted several times before, the relations among the Arab Gulf States are significantly more fraught that one is led to believe. I think that this is simply further proof of this.