Next week is the big meeting between the Gulf monarchs and President Obama in Washington. Kings and princes and emirs from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - will get the full red carpet treatment at the White House and Camp David. With the heavy press coverage, Washington analysts on the Gulf will get their moment to shine.
With these few handy phrases here's how you too can sound like an expert on U.S. ally Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet and notorious torturer of medics and human rights activists.
- When Bahrain is mentioned be sure to say, "it's not the worst country in the neighborhood." No need to say any more, everyone will know you mean Saudi Arabia flogs and beheads people and Bahrain doesn't. But being "not as bad" as Saudi on human rights is a bit like saying Stockholm's winters aren't that cold because Helsinki's are worse, but never mind.