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December 04, 2007



Nothing constructive to add, but am moved to comment: Abdullah's "beard" looks so totally absurd on a septuagenarian. It can't be real. Is it possible that he's actually Dick Cheney? Also: can you imagine Bush and Chavez holding hands at a regional conference? Talk about culture clash--maybe a war of civilizations really is inevitable.


I almost did a doubletake - Ahmednejad at the GCC summit? And good luck with the joint economic endeavors with the GCC, they could use the help.

Chatty Kathy

How long before Ahmednejad starts citing the latest NIE? Has he already started?

Luce Imaginary

Marc, off topic, I know but is there any chance you could try and suss out what's going on with the plan to induct a chunk of the so-called "awakening" movement into local security forces. Seems like there has been more movement on that lately, which is funny because just 2 days ago I was reading comments by government officials warning how dangerous it would be.

I don't know whether to take it seriously, or to just assume its one of the many promises the government makes to the Americans that it has no intentions of keeping.

An Iranian Patriot

Hello dear
This is a Persian liberal patriot, writing to you from the coasts of eternal Persian Gulf that never could be replaced with a forged so-called a.r.a.b gulf… maybe you have heard something about the immoral and unprofessional action of Yahoo that removed the name of our country from its list of countries in sign up pages. In order to protest this strange measure, we are trying to order a global project named "Hello Yahoo Mail" in which we use to remove our accounts and IDs from Yahoo and try to use Gmail services instead. Here I invite you to visit our project page at http://helloyahoomail.net and tell me about your views by commenting within my personal blog at http://cyberfaith.blogspot.com
Hail to eternal Persian gulf that remains Persian forever and hail to triple Iranian islands in the coasts of eternal Persian gulf… peace be upon you, Iran and Persian gulf…

Ahmadenijad's presence is indeed an interesting development, difficult to glean what exactly it means right now and where it will lead the GCC-Iranian relationship. For certain the Gulf states are not united in their approach to dealing with Ahmadenijad and Iran's intentions, Iran will most likely attempt to exploit this disarray and drive wedges between individual members. The Gulf states have become weary of U.S. policy in the region after total U.S. disregard for the Gulf states interests in waging the war in Iraq. However, the Gulf states are highly unlikely to break with the system of bi-lateral agreements that pax-Americana in the Gulf consists of. When you wrote Abu that "The most contentious issues (Iraq, the nuclear program) were largely ignored" I couldn't help but think of the Omani approach to relations with Iran, working together on issues they have in common with Iran while shirking those that can cause fissures, classic Omani diplomacy. However, with a country like Iran that certainly has aspirations for the 'Persian' Gulf, it will be interesting to see how the Gulf states, especially the Saudis, will walk this tight rope appeasing and talking with an Iran seeking to break out of its containment in the Gulf and threaten the status quo and the security foundations of the Arab Gulf states.


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