Tuesday, November 28, 2006


November 27, 2006
Panel to Weigh Overture by U.S. to Iran and Syria
WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 — A draft report on strategies for Iraq, which will be debated here by a bipartisan commission beginning Monday, urges an aggressive regional diplomatic initiative that includes direct talks with Iran and Syria but sets no timetables for a military withdrawal, according to officials who have seen all or parts of the document.

Of course the US should be talking with Iran and Syria directly. Why would we not want to discuss potential roads to peace with all parties? Sometimes I just don't understand polititians.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Brief History

I am reading "The Middle East" A brief history of the last 2,000 years by Bernard Lewis. Of particular interest is the section on the period of the Crusades. A discussion of a period about 1184 when Jerusalem was a city where Musims and Christians lived together is of interest to me since it is coverd by the movie by Ridely Scott called the "Kingdom of Heaven" Even during this period the Sunnis and Shites were fighting between themselves. It seems from what I have read so far in the book the Muslims have a long history of internal fighting within the Islam religion.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I have been reading several books about the history of the Middle East and the Muslims. It is very interesting as I read these history books and then read the www news from CNN, Al Jazeera and other websites, to see that not much has changed here. Or anywhere else in the world really. Until humans evolve into the next phase of our existence I don't think much will change. After all what is the difference, at the human level, of a person living in Kuwait today from his ancestors of 2,000 or more years ago? Not much.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

VP visit

RIYADH, Nov 25 (KUNA) -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived Saturday in Saudi Arabia on an official visit which would last for a day and include senior-level talks on regional affairs namely troubled Iraq.

So what do you think is on Dick's mind? With the deomcrats taking control of the US congress what is next in this troubled area? Maybe I'll get to go home!

Kuwait: Coalition Partner - Road to...

Brad Knickerbocker, a journalist, stated the following in the article "Iraq Violence Tests Coalition Unity", published in The Christian Science Monitor on April 12, 2004 :

"In an unofficial way, the coalition includes many of Iraq's neighbors.'Although their support is muted and often limited to allowing logistics operations to flow through their countries, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and even Syria plus the Gulf States are all providing significant support to the US-coalition operation in Iraq,' says retired Navy Capt. Larry Seaquist, a former pentagon strategist. 'Each of those governments must be feeling a chill up their spine right now,' says Captain Seaquist. 'None want their people - the Arab 'street' - out in the streets demonstrating sympathy with their Iraqi brethren. Loss of support by these governments could be equally as serious as the uprising in the country.'"

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera has a new English language TV news cast. I have been watching for the last couple of days and notice a distinct difference to what I normally see on news programs such as CNN, FOX, CBS, etc. They also have an English language web page, check it out to get another perspective on what's going on in the world: http://english.aljazeera.net/News

Native name

The native name of Kuwait is Al Kuwayt. That's all, just wanted to note that. Its coordinates are latitude: 29 deg 20 min North, Longitude: 48 deg 00 min East. The distance from Kuwait to Kabul, Afghanistan is 1,291 miles (2078km) as the crow flys. The distance to Phoenix, AZ is 7,918 miles (12,742km).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunni & Shiite Militias

Iraq has two major Muslim sects; Sunni and Shitte, it also has two major militas running the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. In between these two militias, currently engaged in an undeclared civil war are US troops. How long will the US be there? How long will the Sunnis and Shittes kill each other? What is the road to an independent Iraq? How long will it take and what will be the continuing role of the US military and its coalition partners?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Human Rights

An interesting article in the Daily Star - Kuwait Edition talks about a Kuwait government commission in charge of refuting the US Department of State's Human Rights Annual Report. A report which says that Kuwait has serveral human right problems. The first thing I thought will reading the newspaper article is why they have a commission to refute the charges when the resources could be better used in correcting the human rights violations. One area of concern is the way the Kuwaitis treat foreign laborors. Of which thier are many. In fact I have heard that their are more expats and foreign labor than their are Kuwait nationals. I have seen first hand how hard and long these people work on cleaning the streets, building new buildings, and providing personal services in homes and resturants. I have also experienced how they treat anyone who is not a Kuwait. Focus on making things better not refuting a report, which is just paper about real people who need respect.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Training Exercise

The Army is holding a basewide training exercise today and as part of it the dinning facilities on base are serving MREs. Yes Meals Ready to Eat - Not! As you can guess every food vendor on base has long lines of people trying to get something to eat other than a MRE. I am in the base library reading the local newspaper and waiting for the long lines to go down. Don't feel much like standing around in a long line for a burger. Anyway it has been nice to read the newspaper, have not done that in while. Get most of my news on the web.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

TIME.com: How Rumsfeld's Resignation Is Playing in Iraq -- Page 1

TIME.com: How Rumsfeld's Resignation Is Playing in Iraq -- Page 1


The Bedouins are back. I see thier tents on the drive to work everyday. More and more tents sprouting from the desert everyday. The Bedouin is the original Arab. He lives by following the sparse patches of grass. He has camels, goats and sheep. As I drive down the highway everyday on my way to work and see the Bedouin tents in the desert I think about how this sight has been for thousands of years. Not everything is iPods and cellphones.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kuwait History lesson

The emirate developed around the city of Kuwait, which was settled early in the 18th century. Kuwait was nominally under Ottoman Turkish rule until 1899, when the reigning emir asked for, and obtained, British protection. In 1914 Great Britain reaffirmed its protective role and formally recognized the independence of the state. Subsequently, Wahhabis from the Saudi Arabian province of Najd attacked Kuwait. The British aided the emirate, and peace was restored in 1921 by a treaty establishing the Kuwait-Najd boundary; a neutral zone was created in 1922. Petroleum was discovered in 1938. Under a concession, the Kuwait Oil Co., owned jointly by the Gulf Oil Corp. of the U.S. and the British Petroleum Co., began exploitation of the reserves in 1946. Under the provisions of a 1951 agreement, the emir shared equally in the company's profits.

Burnt Cars - Why?

Does anyone out there know why wrecked cars sitting along the side of the road end up burnt? As I have said before Kuwait is full of wrecked cars. After the car sits along the side of the road for a few days someone seems to come along and burn them. Do you know why?

Back in Kuwait

Well I am back in Kuwait and feeling a little travel worn. The plane from Bahrain was delayed last night so I did not get home (to the apartment in Kuwait City) until after midnight. A lazy day at work but I made it through. The drive home tonight was a challange, as usual. Any way it is good to be back since that means I am closer to going home for Christmas.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Worst Hotel Ever

I am staying at the Golden Tulip hotel in Bahrain, what a mistake this is. The Golden Tulip in Bahrain is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. They charge for wireless internet access which you purchase by the hour and if you don't use it fast enough it expires! Today they put a memo under the guest doors which says that they have learned that people are bring food or having it delivered from outside and that is not allowed! They want you to use the hotel resturant which is really bad. Stay away from this place. The Sheraton is right accross the street, stay there. The rooms are not very clean and the linens are old and worn. The carpet in my room is worn and dirty. Stay away from the Golden Tulip!!!!
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