Oman the Honest Broker

Our friend Curzon, at Coming Anarchy has a post up about the little-discussed role of Oman as a trusted middle man in the Persian Gulf, with the recent hostage release being only one example of this role. An earlier post on the personal life of the Sultan provoked an interesting discussion.

You don’t see much written about Oman. One book I would like to read is Ian Gardiner, In the Service of the Sultan: A First Hand Account of the Dhofar Insurgency. The Dhofar conflict was a rare example of a successful counterinsurgency campaign, yet you don’t hear much about it. Jan Morris’ book about the current Sultan’s father is also on my heartbreakingly, impossibly long “list” of books I’d like to read.

I will mention here that Coming Anarchy is a favorite of mine, which I commend to your attention. Curzon’s recent move to Dubai has led to many good posts about the region.

3 thoughts on “Oman the Honest Broker”

  1. The idea of an anti-library is cool but I have to tell you, I collect book titles more than I collect books. I like the idea of reading all these volumes but when push comes to shove (time-crunch!) a novel nearly always wins out.

    It’s been interesting to watch the hapless information operations and supposed outreach in the Mid-East by our governmental institutions – they always seem to miss the good examples out there. The other day in the comments at Abu Muqawama I mentioned a BBC story about bilateral trade between India and Pakistan. I complained that such topics seem neglected by our mainstream media. Well, there might be a story here and there, but business outside the Thomas Friedman dreamy-eyed model doesn’t seem to interest some papers and channels very much. How a thing actually works, how things are made, how they move around, logistics and all that.

    Okay, as I almost always say around here, I might be wrong about that. But do you get what I mean?

    – Madhu

  2. The anti-library has eaten my house. And I like it that way.

    I suppose you have to dig around if you want to get news about these places. At least with the Internet you can find something about any place, if you want to look.

    I agree that economic and business news is ghettoized. Tom Barnett’s blog is an exception. He looks at economic news strategically.

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