Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Dubai: There is a great article in October's Smithsonian about the small emirate. (Only the abstract is online currently.) Dubai is Islamic, but tolerant and liberal; it is technically an absolute monarchy, yet it shares chores with its fellow UAE principalities peacefully. It is decidedly not a democracy, but is nonetheless a haven for business, due to a self-consciously laissez-faire mindset and the rule of law.

If this sounds more than a little like Hong Kong, there's a reason for that. Dubai is imitating the model of Asia's powerhouse economy, and is mindful that it faces the same obstacles: few natural resources (the other principalities have the lion's share of UAE's oil wealth), the cultural currents of the Arab legacy of poverty, backwardness, and intolerance. Nevertheless, the article states, Dubai -- like Hong Kong -- is not without its own counter-influence on the Arab world. At a recent visit to Dubai, Jordan's King Abdullah called Dubai an economic model for Jordan.

The only American military leader with proven, consolidated victories in the Communist world may also be our best bet to conquer the Arab world: Colonel Sanders.

No comments: