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Category Archives: kuwait

run my lovelies,….

not being leveraged is a wonderful thing.

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of all the pointless and unfulfilling jobs one could have in the world,…

this guy’s job of cleaning up dust in a desert must surely be as futile an exercise as being an ice salesman in outer siberia.

but atleast he’s doing it so badly,…

that he shouldnt ever run out of work.

or maybe he is in cahoots with the car cleaner dude,…

hmmmm,….

the scenario to come:

warplanes, most likely of israeli origin, swoop down and take out iran’s “peaceful” nuclear reactors.

pilots go “shalom!” and break out the creamcheese bagels for their flight home.

and then?

the question on everyone’s mind is not whether or not a strike will occur, but rather “when” and “what the fuck will the iranians do?”

according to one iranian commander: ” …..our finger is always on the trigger and we have hundreds and even thousands of missiles ready to be fired against predetermined targets,” Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of the Revolutionary Guard ground forces. [Link]

apparently their fingers are also busy with photoshop trying to hide missiles that dont go off [Link}

the photoshoped:

the original:

yes they suck at photoshop as much as they suck at being the biggest automobile producer in the middle east.

see,… you didnt know they made cars did you?

why bother photoshopping?

it doesnt make sense.

but then again not much coming out of tehran ever does make that much sense,… take the interview on fareed zakaria’s gps show on cnn with the iranian foreign minister,… dude said:

“before we discuss the halting of uranium enrichment, we must discuss the agenda for the meeting on the discussion of the discussion of the halting of any uranium enrichment discussion.”

wow….

just,… wow….

no wonder he’s in charge of every government’s bullshit factory,… he just does it so well.

but i digress,…

so what could iran do in the event of a strike?

not much actually, and here’s why:

1- lob firecrackers at israel:

as if israel is not prepared,… chances are there are 10 times more patriot batteries than iranian missiles. add to that the fact that the us military in the gulf will the first to hear about any launch, i reckon the israelis will have time to switch on the patriots, put the kettle on, make a kosher bacon sandwhich, hit record on the vcr for what ever israeli soap that the iranians will be rudely interupting, and head down to the bunker.

the iranians know this,… and it would be very embarassing indeed if their loyal american flag burners through out the arab/muslim world tuned in to watch the great destruction of tel aviv only to be greeted with the scene of israelis sitting in lawn chairs enjoying a “patriot n’ scud misslie” light show.

i doubt the iranians would risk this possible loss of face for a couple of measly reactors they could rebuild.

this is why we didnt hear much about the strike on the syrian facility last september?

.

2- block the strait of hormuz:

incase you dont know what it is, its that narrow bit of sea through which 30-40% of the world’s oil passes.

the most likely result of this would be to send oil prices sky high.

“we will scare the west into submission by making a trip to the supermarket more expensive than a high class hooker on new years eve!” they reckon.

riiiiight,….

iran already has almost no one in their corner. doing this will piss off everyone,…

more importantly they will piss off the people that matter:

joe / gunther / pierre / sven blow suburbia, mr newly middle class chan and his good friend mr surresh of new yuppie bombay, as well as many others around the world.

it has already gotten to the point that the average working man now realises that “something must be done to secure more oil” atleast, until an alternative is found. if a nation’s truck drivers and street cleaners are saying this because they are struggling to put food on their table guess how easy it will be for their governments to launch as many “necessary strikes” as possible.

pushing oil to crazy prices could actually be tehran’s downfall.

and lets not forget the iranians,… they’ve seen whats going on in the gulf, so how long before they start asking when they will see the benefits of high oil prices instead of record inflation and having their gasoline rationed cos iran cant produce enough for its own use.

ultimately, war is about who has more money and who has more gas. iran has some money, but no gas. tanks dont run on iranian rials.

blocking hormuz will force everyone to rally against them, even diehard anti-israeli/american jihadis will start to wonder if this is all worth US$10 a liter orange juice, so again not likely.

.

3- a retaliation strike against us military installations in their neighbours:

hitting kuwait, bahrain, iraq, afghanistan, qatar or even dubai will simply confirm america’s assertion that iran is nuts.

iran hates it when america is right, so just to piss america off it probably wont happen.

to do so would be to become the world’s new north korea,… and from recent events, even north korea doesnt want to be the world’s north korea any more.

.

.

.

so what could happen?

i dont know.

its not like they can do a syria and deny that there was a strike, nor can they say that it was only a military warehouse.

theres actually not much they could do.

unless they happen to have an army of big purple people eaters,…. then we’re all screwed.

.

one thing is certain tho,…

i get the feeling that there is a rift of some sort between the generals and the supreme council.

why?

well the skirmishes that go unreported for one.

the british sailor hostages for another.

its as if the military is saying ” come on if you think you’re hard enough! (cos we want you to bomb tehran and kick those nutcases out)”

the generals arent stupid, and i think 30 years of ayatollah mismanagement is finally starting to piss them off.

.

as usual i could be wrong, so breakout your gasmasks just in case cos it could still go juuuuuust a little bit wonky.

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so,…

congratulations on your new assignment to somewhere in the middle east,… or more specifically somewhere in the gulf,… in the middle east.

having grown up here,… gone away for university,…and been back for almost 7 years now,….

and since my departure from this region is imminent, i figured i might as well do a bit to pass on some of what i know and /or dont know to the unsuspecting arabian/persian gulf expat newbies.

first things first,….. exorcise any romantic notions you might have of the “exotic near east”. its more than likely that the images you have in your head belong more to the egypt-jordan-syria-turkey(ish) area of the arab world than to the gulf states. as strange as it may seem, if youve been to /lived in metropolitan and / or suburban america, you’ll find that things arent that much different here.

at least, not on the surface.

infact, within minutes of your arrival, and within 1km of where your plane landed, you will be able to grab your first arabian Big Mac and milkshake, your first arabian mocha-frappa-latte-cino, your first arabian pair of arabian levi’s, nikes, reeboks, guccis, LV’s, etc, etc, etc,….. and yes even the evil gap store is here.

its actually like you left, where ever it is you came from, and flew into one big western hemisphere themed shopping mall. if you were a mall rat in your teens you’ll love it here. infact every once in a while, when entertaining out of towners from the west i am constantly surprised at their ” omg we dont have a “insert brand” store in our town!”

anyway, any other tourist guide will tell you wonderful stories of how the skylines here can be mistaken for any other metropolis in the world, and how amazingly blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,…..

thats all well and good,… and alot of it is certainly true.

but there is a more interesting side to this region. the side that the tour guides for the tour guides who wrote the tour guides never went, and even if they did, never understood.

let me put it this way,….

you can be here for 10-20-30 years and still be a tourist.

and for most people thats just fine, since most expats that come to this region are here on short term contracts. the local news doesnt make a difference to them, so they dont read it, and yet they bitch and moan when they dont understand why people here do things or act the way that they do.

its complicated,…

but then again its not really that complicated…..

anyway, heres my first tip for you if you happen to be reading this from distant shores still:

dont listen to the expat on your plane that says hes been here forever and thinks he knows how these people think.

myself included. 😛

and definately dont listen to the guy that says ” man, theyre all loaded! all you see on the roads are mercs and beamers!”

and if you hear someone chuckling at that comment, turn around and say hi, cos it will most probably be me.

there are many great things here, and there are just as many not so great things.

i hope to cover them equally to give you a balanced view of what its like here, especially to those of you who will be dragging your families here with you.

since i’ve lived mostly in kuwait, alot of this will relate directly to kuwait,… naturally. but i have traveled around this place quite a bit, and i have met and dealt with a nice cross section of the GCC,… and since this is mostly about what its like as opposed to a definitive guide,… in many cases, the history of the peoples, and their social structures are very similar across the borders. there are, of course some differences, and i suppose it will be up to you to gauge how they are weighted.

and no, as regular readers ( hi you two!) have probably guessed, i dont have a clear idea or structure to how this is going to go,… so yeah,… if you have anything in particular that you would like me to write about, or any questions at all then do feel free to leave me a memo.

and if over time i may have forgotten about your memo,… you may then send me a threatening memo reminding me to reread you previous memo.

i’ve been showing a couple of new people around town so i thought i would post some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

first off, Mischief posted about trying to describe this place so i thought i would take some pictures for him. everywhere has nice glossy pics, but its the bad weather days that make things interesting.

it was about 1130am, and dusty as a dusty hell,…. if hell was dusty instead of hot.

no photoshop or any post processing apart from resizing.

and while its not one of kuwaits nicer days, its not exactly the worst that it gets.

fahad al salem street:

from sharq mall looking towardsthe city:

and while we’re on the topic of weather, i was out in the freak storm the other night. this was on the road that runs down the side of the american university.

if you drive an suv you love sights like these.

i laugh at the sedans that took it easy while i gunned it thru the water!

muahaha!

this limo gave it a go and actually made it.

this was taken inside the shisha place i took the kuwait noobies to. its in the salmiya palace. theres a restaraunt upstairs too.

pretty aint it.

and to round off this picture post, i’ve decided to actually build my own pc instead of buying something overpriced and loaded with crappy hp/sony/dell software that i’ll never use.

a quick spec list: – big ass Asus cpu fan, Intel Quad core Q6600 cpu, Gigabyte EX38-DQ6 motherboard, 2GB Kingston RAM DDR2 ( to start with 😛 ), TT Armor Jr pc case.

the cpu and cpu fan installed.

my new TT Armor Jr pc case:

still in the process of installing everything so no completed pics yet 😛

and finally,…..

I’m looking for this stuff and so far cant seem to find any anywhere. at all!

its a bloody baking paper drought!

Intlxpatr is looking for it so if you manage to hunt soem down do let her know.

well thats all for now folks 😛