Friday, January 11, 2008

Kuwait: Bush's rude awakening!

From TIME, here
. "... he made a curious statement while he was lauding political reforms by pro-U.S. rulers in the conservative Gulf countries. "You know," he said, "women are now very active in the Kuwaiti parliament." Well, no woman has ever been elected to the Kuwaiti parliament ...
. You'd think that Kuwait's 1 million people should be pretty solidly pro-American, and indeed pro-Bush. In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded the country he called an Iraqi province, and Bush's father, Bush 41, assembled an international war coalition that promptly ejected Iraqi forces and restored the al-Sabah ruling family to power. But while Kuwaitis tend to be well disposed to the U.S. compared with people in most other Arab countries, their sympathy isn't as strong as you'd expect....
. In a Pew poll in 2007, in fact, 26% of Kuwaitis identified the U.S. as the country posing the biggest threat to Kuwait, behind Iran and Iraq; and 63% worried that it could become a military threat... but still sizable. Thirteen percent of Kuwaitis expressed confidence in Osama bin Laden, whose spokesman is himself a Kuwaiti Islamist. Forty-nine percent of Kuwaitis had a favorable view of Hizballah and 41% of Hamas--militant groups the U.S. labels as terrorists. One of the questions Bush fielded from the Arab journalists was whether the U.S. would release four Kuwaitis being detained as terrorists at Guantanamo. Young Kuwaiti men have been captured trying to enter Iraq to wage jihad against U.S. forces there. Islamists have been gaining politically in Kuwait, gaining 34% of the seats in parliament. Government security forces have fought gun battles with Islamic extremists allegedly planning attacks inside the state..."

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