Viewing cable 05MUSCAT1184
Title: OMAN ONLINE: TERROR AND TANCREDO

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT11842005-07-27 03:10:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 001184 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARPI, NEA/PPD, NEA/P, IIP/G/NEA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO SOCI MU
SUBJECT: OMAN ONLINE: TERROR AND TANCREDO 
 
 
¶1. Summary:  The Omani Internet message boards "al-Sablah" and 
"al-Majarra" are the liveliest and most comprehensive Arabic- 
language fora for political and social discourse in the country, 
touching on issues and personalities rarely addressed in the 
conventional media.  While not totally free, nor wholly 
reflective of Omani public opinion, these popular sites 
nevertheless offer a worthwhile window into the hot topics and 
unvarnished views of the day.  This edition of Oman Online 
contains the following topics: 
 
-- The Sharm El-Sheikh Bombings 
-- The Global War On Terror 
-- Remarks By U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo 
 
End summary. 
 
------------------- 
The Danger Of Sharm 
------------------- 
 
¶2. A discussion in al-Sablah regarding the horrific bombings in 
the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh revealed that Omani 
message board contributors often have complex emotions regarding 
terrorism.  Many respondents condemned the attack, which killed 
mostly Egyptian citizens: "Those who killed dozens of innocents 
in Egypt and London are devoted to the same ideology that led to 
the execution of Egypt's ambassador to Iraq.  This ideology is 
based on hatred, and all people need to reject it," wrote one 
member.  Another commented, "We as Muslims have to scrutinize 
these bombings carefully.  We can't let these bombers drag the 
world into a religious war in the name of Islam." 
 
¶3. The conversation then turned to issues of democracy in the 
face of terrorism.  One author noted, "The real question is how 
these attacks will affect government policies on security.  If 
bombings such as these continue, won't governments be forced to 
clamp down even further on the people?"  Agreed another, "These 
explosions put governments in a difficult position, having to 
decide between openness and security.  When people feel 
threatened, they will allow the government to do anything to make 
them feel safe." 
 
--------------------------------- 
GWOT Have You Done For Me Lately? 
--------------------------------- 
 
¶4. This philosophical perspective carried over to a related topic 
on the Global War On Terror.  "All major wars like World War II 
have come to an end, but the so-called `war on terror' has no end 
in sight.  America has not convinced anybody that this war is 
capable of arriving at a decisive result," observed one 
contributor.  Another added, "We are coming to a point where 
Western nations will not be able to distinguish Muslims from 
terrorists, and all Muslims will be targets.  Likewise, the 
terrorists will be emboldened that they can achieve political 
victories through their violent actions." 
 
--------------------- 
Hardly Representative 
--------------------- 
 
¶5. Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo's July 15 remarks about 
Mecca on a talk-radio program generated a storm of responses in 
al-Sablah, all of them critical.  "The U.S. government spends 
millions on public diplomacy in the Middle East, and then a 
senior government official wipes out the accomplishments with a 
single sentence," remarked one contributor.  Another respondent 
inquired, "I'd like to ask Mr. Tancredo: if the IRA sets off a 
couple of car bombs in Manchester, does that mean the British 
government should bomb Vatican City?"  Still another argued, 
"Tancredo's statements are turning millions of people into 
America's enemies.  You can't win a war by constantly creating 
additional foes." 
 
BALTIMORE