Thursday, November 29, 2012

In which we agree with the Islamists

Gulf Daily News (Bahrain) -

The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star is visiting Bahrain for the first time to officially open the new Millions of Milkshakes franchise at The Walk Bahrain in Riffa on Saturday, in association with Sevens Holding SPC. She [Kim Kardashian] will fly in for the one-day visit after attending a similar launch party in Kuwait. Her planned visit has sparked anger among Islamist legislators, who submitted an urgent proposal at the end of Tuesday's parliamentary session, where they referred to Ms Kardashian as "an actress with an extremely bad reputation". However, the proposal was dismissed because other MPs quickly dispersed the chamber, forcing parliament chairman Dr Khalifa Al Dhahrani to end the session without voting on the issue.

The headline on the story is "Star's visit is big boost for Bahrain," which may mean that things in Bahrain are worse than commonly believed.

On the other hand, there should be major relief that she is not going as US cultural ambassador to Bahrain. We'll let State Dept spokesperson Victoria Nuland explain --

MS. NULAND: I do have a little something on this. So we had a Bahraini entity that approached the Embassy about cosponsoring a visit by this guy [Andrew W.K.], who I take it is pretty popular there in Bahrain. That was initially approved. And then when more senior management at the Embassy took a look at this, the conclusion was that this was not an appropriate use of U.S. Government funds. 
QUESTION: Is that – did – and would they – the government would have paid for his trip over there, had it – 
MS. NULAND: I don’t know what the details of our sponsorship were to be. 
QUESTION: Can you explain why it was – was it – I mean, his – was it that – it was decided that it was inappropriate to send someone over there to Bahrain to represent the United States whose hits include Party Till You Puke and things like that? (Laughter.) Is that why it was decided it was inappropriate? 
 MS. NULAND: Thank you for sharing that. I think -- 
 QUESTION: Is that why? 
 MS. NULAND: I think the conclusion was, when they looked at the body of his work, that we didn’t need to be part of this invitation. I’ll leave it -- 
 QUESTION: Got you. And just hold on. And just to make clear, it was – the invitation was actually never extended to him? MS. 
NULAND: Frankly, I don’t have the details. There may have been some preliminary conversations with him, but he is not going to be going to Bahrain on the U.S. Government’s dime.