Sunday, November 23, 2008

Times of Oman bangs away on the Nationalist drum against Oman's Tier 3 rating

Yes, I'm not too surprised, but in his gripping Times of Oman Viewpoint column this week, our favorite local editor Essa Al Zedjali spends his opinion piece saying 'told you so' about the Tier 3 saga. While it might be what you like to read if you are Omani, its not quite consistent with the actualité, shall we say.

As usual, he accessorizes this pompous nationalism with references everyone in Oman would like to agree with, such as how great HM is.

Here are a few exerpts:

... A few days ago, a decision by the US president led to the cancellation of what was said about the Sultanate in the US State Department's report on human trafficking as well as the removal of the Sultanate from the third category in the report.

This has indeed reaffirmed the truthfulness of the Sultanate against such baseless allegations. This has also vindicated what I have repeatedly stated in my column that “we do not need to defend ourselves before anyone”. In the protest note handed over to the US ambassador, the Sultanate had stated that it had been well-known for its cooperation with the international community in combating crime in all its forms.

... In the official response to the cancellation of the alleged remark in the report, the Sultanate told the US that just as it had rejected the allegations contained in the report, it welcomed the corrective measure.

Well, this is just not true. The report, at the time it was issued, said that countries in Tier 3 had 60 days to make actions to get back to Tier 2, and the US State Dept even gave them a few suggestions about what to do. The new report merely follows through on that 'warning' (as the original report said it would) by saying which countries have done something new (and enough to change rating), and those that didn't. This is because being on Tier 3 after the 60 days also means the President must suggest appropriate sactions, recommended to Congress, for those countries that didn't improve and remained Tier 3.

So, I suggest readers consider a combination of sensible reasons for the upgrade, such as:
- just in time delivery by Oman of some police recruits and a human rights bill, and an acknowledgment from Oman that they got the message, (hence forth known as the fig leaf), plus
- Oman's obvious hysterical posturing over-reaction in the press, and
- the fact that in an absolute sense Oman has only small HT problems, on the scale of things, plus
- that the US would rather keep Oman sweet, as its one of the few not-totally-bat-shit crazy places in the whole region, and
- that the Congress and Senate is now Democratic controlled, and they still need the FTO ratified,...

that the US Executive subsequently moved Oman up to Tier 2 watch list. They aren't 'cancelling' or 'apologising' nor are they 'saying the original report was baseless' or 'untrue'.

Its called real politic. Kissinger would be proud of them. They are acknowledging that you are regionally important and they are surprised you had such a hissy fit about it. And if they were THAT fussy, would the UAE be Tier 2??

More drivel continued.

The Sultanate spares no effort in arresting and punishing criminals of all types. The various institutions in the Sultanate provide the necessary care and comfort for the victims of crimes, taking into consideration the humanitarian dimension of the issue and help them get over the trauma in a way that squares with the traditions, customs and morality of the Omani society.

Like, I presume, arresting, imprisoning and deporting prostitutes; oh, and all those prosecutions we've seen for sponsors who mistreat their housemaids; and enforcement of reasonable Health and Safety on consruction workers; and ....

Note how the pre-emptive comment in this statement by the Government is accepted as the fact.
the Sultanate [ie Government - UD] had stated to the effect that the US decision in this regard was ... in agreement with the views and objections raised by it regarding the report.

Yeah. Right.

1 comment:

  1. UD you are absolutely right. Today decree has also come.

    Honestly, no country would like to admit that they were coerced by another country into doing something.

    So let us excuse TOO this time at least. What is unacceptable however is that he is patting himself for the achievement.


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