Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Makes Me Nervous
In light of my recent posts about the overall middle east picture, doesn't this make you very nervous?
(AP) Vice President Dick Cheney landed in the U.S.-allied Arab monarchy of Oman on Sunday and went directly to talks with its foreign minister, Omani government officials said.

A U.S. embassy spokesman in Oman declined to detail Cheney's plans or the focus of his visit to the sparsely populated oil-producing state, which allows the United States use of four air bases. But an Omani government official said Cheney was to discuss regional security issues, including the U.S. standoff with Iran over its nuclear program. The official, in the capital Muscat, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to the press.

Oman sits across the strategically important Strait of Hormuz from Iran, through which two-fifths of the world's oil passes.

The sultanate allows the United States to use the air bases _ including one just 50 miles from Iran _ for refueling, logistics and storage of pre-positioned military supplies. Little has been revealed publicly about U.S. military ties with the reclusive country, a deeply sensitive topic inside Oman, an isolated country on the southeastern corner of the Arabian peninsula that has been a quiet U.S. military ally for decades
Aside from the obvious strategic importance of the visit, it really really makes me nervous that the visitor to the middle east is Cheney and not a State Department person or even Robert Gates. This would suggest that Cheney is a primary information source between the governments of the middle east and Bush. And we all know how Cheney feels about escalating the war.