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Diplomacy in the Gulf - Progress?
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, January 17, 2007

As announced by President Bush during his Iraq speech, Secretary of State Condi Rice is in the Gulf region doing some diplomatic heavy work. Lo and behold, a measure of success:
After numerous meetings over the last year with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, plus Egypt and Jordan, the Bush administration wins a breakthrough — of sorts. The GCC Plus Two, a group the administration sees as a budding front against Iran, issued its first-ever communiqué.

But the statement leaves out any mention of Iran, referring instead to the importance of regional stability and the Igroup’s “collective desire to prevent Iraq from becoming a battleground for regional and international powers.” The intentional omission reflects the sensitivity that that the Gulf countries of Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain feel about provoking Iran, the region’s rising power.
OK, it doesn't mention Iran by name? Anyone out there concerned that the omission of Iran changes the importance of this diplomatic agreement that preventing Iraq from "becoming a battleground for regional and international powers" is important to these countries?

This too was an interesting reaction to the Bush speech:
In a slightly more pungent line, the group says it “welcomed the commitment by the United States as stated in President Bush’s recent speech to defend the security of the Gulf [and] the territorial integrity of Iraq.” Bush said in his Iraq speech last week that he was sending another aircraft carrier to the Gulf and would cut off Iranian networks in Iraq.
Does anyone else get the feeling that before the speech, most of these countries were pretty much settled on the US bailing out of Iraq?

Saudi Prince aud al-Faisal, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia said:
“We agree fully with the goals set by the new strategy, which in our view are the goals that — if implemented — would solve the problems that face Iraq,” he said.
However he wouldn't disclaim his country's possible intervention in Iraq if the Sunni minority became victims of a full-blown civil war. But if I were to guess, given his "guarded and carefully worded" (as characterized by the NYT) endorsement of the plan, I'd say that contingency has been shelved for the moment. In fact, he went so far to say:
“We expressed our desire to see the president’s plan to reinforce the American military presence in Baghdad as a vehicle and a venue to stabilize Baghdad and to prevent Iraq from sliding into ugly war, the civil war.”
That's all well and good, but what he wouldn't commit too is an increase in oil production in an attempt to squeeze Iran financially. The good news is the dropping price of oil is helping in that regard anyway (although many think that's a temporary thing).

Now, as with the Iraqis, the key to attaining these goals requires action by those who've made this agreement. I certainly hope this initiative does indeed bear fruit and begin to help in turning the tide against Iran's further interference in Iraq.
 
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That’s all well and good, but what he wouldn’t commit too is a reduction in oil production in an attempt to squeeze Iran financially. The good news is the dropping price of oil is helping in that regard anyway (although many think that’s a temporary thing).
Huh? Isn’t this good? SA seems intent on producing more oil thus lowering the price even further, thus depriving Iran of oil revenue. This is a good thing no?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
That’s all well and good, but what he wouldn’t commit too is a reduction in oil production
Huh, a REDUCTION in production makes OPEC MORE cash. Oil at USD 65-70 per bbl makes Iran a WHOLE lot more money than oil at USD 52.65. The less money the less they have to spend on Nuclear weapons, social programs, and the military, kind of like the old USSR. Supposedly Iran has economic problems and has focussed on guns AND Butter, to the detriment of the oil economy and development in general. By reducing income available this decision to NOT limit output the Saudi’s force the Iranians to choose between Guns OR Butter. So by agreeing to NOT reduce output Saudi Arabia has put the "Boot" to Iran, not in making oil MORE dear.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
This is getting curioser and curoser.
What the Sunni states are saying is; yes, please
America, protect us from Iran.
So, instead of funding Sunni gunmen in Iraq, how about they help with the funding of our trrops?
We are being drawn deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of conflicting intersts in the Middle East. And it looks to me like everyone is just using us. Maliki is using us to establish a Shiite state, and the others are using us to try to prevent this.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
Well Laime in this case you suffer from "We SUCK" Syndrome (WSS)... the syndrome, akin to BDS that ANYTHING the US does is stoopit or sucks, although if any OTHER country did it it would demonstrate their
Acumen and Perspicacity.
We are being drawn deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of conflicting intersts in the Middle East. And it looks to me like everyone is just using us. Maliki is using us to establish a Shiite state, and the others are using us to try to prevent this.
Because if Iran or the PRC or France were in this boat we’d all say, "Gee they’re in the Cat Bird Seat because EVERYONE needs them." Now as it’s the US and "We Suck" we’re simply being drawn into the labyrinth...but I say, Hey we’re sitting in the Cat Bird Seat, the Shi’i want us, the Sunni want us, and everyone else, but the people that hate us, want us. If you get past WSS this can be seen as GREAT NEWS. Try it, see what I mean.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The Cat Bird Seat........awesome
We get to pick and chose who we die for, because rest assured, any and all of them will fight until the last American is dead or gone.
 
Written By: darohu
URL: http://
We get to pick and chose who we die for,
Better than having little choice in when and how you fight, ask Daladier and Chamberlain, in 1939.

because rest assured, any and all of them will fight until the last American is dead or gone.
No history demonstrates that they will FIGHT, period, until their last enemy is gone.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
No history demonstrates that they will FIGHT, period, until their last enemy is gone.


I surely won’t disagree with that, however if you truly believe that; what is the point of putting ourselves in the middle of their endless battle. Do we fight until the last one of them is dead?
 
Written By: darohu
URL: http://
Do we fight until the last one of them is dead?

Then we get the oil...sounds good to me. They are in conflict with or without us, now you can sit in your home and watch the byplay, if you want, but don’t complain if horrid things occur.

I think you too suffer from We SUCK Syndrome, after all NOTHING the US does in the region could possibly IMPROVE the place, could it? We won’t moderate behaviors or PREVENT war, right? Because We SUCK.

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
but what he wouldn’t commit too is a reduction in oil production in an attempt to squeeze Iran financially.
I think he meant to commit to not reducing oil production.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
I think he meant to commit to not reducing oil production.
I think you’re right ... I have no idea why the word "reduction" came out of my fingertips when I was really thinking "increase". Heh ...

Edited.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
JOE: "Well Laime in this case you suffer from "We SUCK" Syndrome
—————
How the devil do you get from my criticism of the Middle East states to this?
I was criticizing THE GOVERNEMENTS OF THE REGION
for not doing more themselves to address the problems of the region in a constructive way.

In fact, I’m glad to see the administration consult with someone, anyone, before going off into the wide blue yonder. At least they might get a realistic picture of what can and cannot be expected from these countries.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://

 
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