Monday, October 29, 2007

The ? Gulf Name Game

An article in Asian Times about our 'allies' along the western side of the large body of water accessed through the Straits of Hormuz. Methinks the writer is not overly fond of them. But we certainly are. A 'recommended read'. The numbers in brackets are explained at the bottom of page two.

Various branches of the United States armed forces have issued directives to their members to use the "Arabian Gulf" when operating in the area. This is claimed to be due to increased cooperation with Arab states of the Persian Gulf, but also to follow local laws that ban the use of "Persian Gulf". In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which consists of seven emirates - Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain, public use of the name "Persian Gulf" is illegal.

The UAE is an exceptional example of gender inequality and barbaric economic exploitation; it's one of the last states in the world devoid of an electoral system, and it's a point of entry for US military expansion in the Gulf.

Since the Gulf War of 1991, Jebel Ali port in Dubai has become crucial to US naval operations in the Gulf; it is the safest liberty port in the region and the only harbor in the Gulf deep enough to berth an aircraft carrier. [5] And the showcase UAE army, originated by the British-educated top brass, is a major financial lubricator of the military industy in the United States. [6]

US policy towards this super-wealthy stain of inequality and inhumanity is clear from the manner in which US institutions, from its military to its universities, play the naming game.

Why don't we call it the "Hindu Gulf", or the "Gulf of The Unknown Worker"? Let's pay respects to the millions of South Asian enslaved workers in the UAE and other members of Gulf Cooperation Council [9]; who's going to recognize them when their drained corpses are vomited back to the sub-continent?

Let's call it "Gulf of Central Command", or simply the "Gulf of America". Let's recognize the reality of the complete occupation of this invaded body of water by the 100-plus warships and missile-armed nuclear submarines, the bases and the Air Warfare School. But then, the old British name for the UAE was Pirate Coast, so how about "Gulf of Captain Hook"? In this way, American children's culture is memorialized as well.

Playing the inverted naming game, thinking of the Filipino domestic workers raped by Arab desert princes, and evoking an Iranian suggestion, "Islamic Gulf", and using a Koranic term, let's call it: "Gulf of a Thousand and One Kaniz [10]"! It is exotic, real and Islamic.

Please read the rest. If only a fraction of what this gent says is true, we're tied in with some awful, awful people.

Thanks, George.

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