Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Column: The Grand Distraction

I have a new column out today about how the Saudis are dealing with the Iranian 'threat' and the latest Turki vs. Bandar tiff, see here: Grand Distraction.

For some more of the brainstorming that went into this column, see my post: Do the Saudis really fear Iran?

7 Comments:

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10:24 AM, January 03, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bandar Bush is a dickhead

3:11 PM, January 03, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you watch the ittijah muakis show with mishan jabbouri and sadiq mussawi?any thoughts?

4:56 PM, January 03, 2007

 
Anonymous yessir said...

Great column Nibras. I want to know, given your presumed opinion that the Iranians are realizing the limits of the anti-Israeli actions, what you think the next step for Iran will be.

Do you think they will continue on such a path (anti-Israel), despite the obvious futility of it? Or do you think there may be some sort of shift in foreign policy?

5:32 PM, January 03, 2007

 
Blogger Nibras Kazimi نبراس الكاظمي said...

Dear anonymous,

I didn't watch that show but was told about it. Yes, Sadiq Musawi's real name is Tariq Matar (says so on his British passport, I sort of remember) and he may be a Fayli Kurd, although he's denied it to me repeatedly. He was a turbaned student in his early days in Karbala and a sympathizer, maybe even a member, of Munathemet Al-'Amel al-'Islami. Later he turned 180 degrees: He joined Sharif Ali and the Constitutional Monarchy Movement in London. That's about the worse that can be said about him. Many, many worse things can be said about Misha'an al-Jebouri, including how he may have duped two of his cousins and sent them off from Damascus to die at the hands of the Amn al-Khass, at a time when he was trying to kiss up to Qusay and get 'Uday off his back. Really, in my opinion, he's as low as they come. And some have found that useful; he is released like a rabid dog on political opponents. His patrons, some of whom have really suffered from Saddam, should be ashamed of themselves.

Dear yessir,

I mentioned my thought on that in passing in this column (Sept. 2006, Lebanon's Fuse):

http://talisman-gate.blogspot.com/2006/09/lebanons-fuse.html

I wrote at the time:

"As more Shia communities in the Persian Gulf and the Levant come under attack, the Iranians will likely shirk such a cumbersome responsibility as leading the world's Shias. Suddenly, they will discover that their 'Iranian' national interest is best served by staying out of this mess, and they will retreat."

Iran has the luxury of being geographically isolated, and hence buffered, from the worse of this Sunni revivalist storm. They will opt out of this confrontation.

That's my reading. But let me acknowledge that it is a foolhardy business to assume familiarity with Iran's decision-making mechanisms--they seem to be in constant flux.

All the best,

Nibras

6:02 PM, January 04, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He was a turbaned student in his early days in Karbala and a sympathizer, maybe even a member, of Munathemet Al-'Amel al-'Islami. Later he turned 180 degrees: He joined Sharif Ali and the Constitutional Monarchy Movement in London. That's about the worse that can be said about him."

Why do you imply the above was a bad thing??

5:16 PM, January 09, 2007

 
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