• 3 September 2008
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Presidential 2008 Elections

A Few Thoughts from the Convention Floor

We’re here inside the XCel Center listening to the packed lineup of speakers at the RNC, and boy is it a night full of fireworks. One after another, Republican heavyweights are stepping up and knocking one-liners out of the park.

Tonight is shaping up to be about conservatism, hard-hitting politics, and big-time campaigning for the McCain-Palin ticket.

Former Governors Romney and Huckabee backed up their conservative street cred with their speeches, possibly alluding to another presidential run for them both in 2012. Later comes Keynote Speaker Rudy Giuliani and VP nominee Sarah Palin.

But expect most or all of them to hit Sen. Obama hard on his foreign policy inexperience, his recent attacks on Sarah Palin, and his liberalism on important Republican issues like terrorism, energy, and taxes.

The entire convention is waiting to see what the newly-crowned Princess of the Republican Party will bring to the floor. Watching her opening acts, she has a tough act to follow. But the rumor going around from the advanced text of her remarks, she may just be up for the task!

Posted By Patrick Disney

    2 Responses to “A Few Thoughts from the Convention Floor”

  1. Chris Dornan says:

    What attacks has Barack Obama been making on Sarah Palin–as far as I know all he has said is that he thinks Sarah Palin shares the same views and philosophy as John McCain.

    Also I think the Republicans have subtly shifted the focus of the attacks to lack of executive experience (hoping no one will notice McC’s lack of experience and competence–and they are probably right).

    There is a star-struck quality to this post that I find odd. Clearly the Republicans are turning on the base but at the cost to the center they need. Is NIAC now the base?

  2. Babak Talebi says:


    The politics of this election are quite fascinating and I personally think you are right about the media messaging jujitsu that the two campaigns are waging… it seems to me that the McCain folks want to make this an experience debate between Obama and Palin then point out that McCain, for President, is far better than both… meanwhile, the Obama camp would love nothing more than to ignore Palin and let the media eat her up while it concentrates its fire on McCain’s ‘judgement and temprament’ directly.

    What I can say from talking to the Republicans here in St. Paul is that the activists here are just as energized and devoted as those that Emily and Sara encountered in Denver – the question really is whether the hundreds of thousands of less-devoted (non-paid) volunteers that Palin is supposed to invigorate around the country are going to be as engaged as the Obama partisans.

    As to your last point – we are attempting (and sometimes falling short) to capture the atmosphere and sentiment here in St Paul and connect it to the Iranian American audience.

    And remember, even though most of the policy positions NIAC advocates for are being championed by the Democratic party and Barack Obama, we remain a non-partisan organization with both Democratic and Republican members (and lest I be reminded again, quite a few Greens and Libretarians too)

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Sign the Petition


7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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