Originally uploaded by DrMoores.
It was a metaphor for the political situation in the Middle-east today. I was sitting, with my family, smoking a Shisha pipe and drinking Turkish coffee in the peaceful evening setting of one of the Intercontinental hotel's shisha garden, complete with tents and cushions, when the quiet rhythm of the Arabic background music was broken by several strident megawatts of "Born to be Wild" from the hotel's ballroom and conference centre.
Did you ever see the Stephen Seagall and Tommie Lee Jones film, "Under Siege", where a wild party is staged upon a US battleship? Well this is exactly what happened in Oman last evening.
We had wondered why so many local police were in the hotel carrying machine guns and the rock and rap music of a US Forces military party gave us the answer. Whether these cheering troops were based locally or flown down for R&R from Iraq, I don't know but forget the heavy artillery, the US military, much like the "Ride of the Valkyrie" sequence in the film "Apocalypse Now" has some serious "F*** O**" speakers it can use against any enemy or even local Omanis and British tourists enjoying a quiet pipe of strawberry-scented tobacco and a coffee.
For me at least, this experience illustrated the gap or even gulf between the culture of Arabia and that of Arkansas. One of these is relatively civilised but which one? It's very clear who really rules the world. Bruce Springstein I suspect.