World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

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World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:14 pm

Saudi ordered all Muslim nations to boycott Qatar on an all out ban. Egypt and UAE are vocally against Qatar.
Foreigners are asked to leave within couple of days or be jailed.
Transportation blockade in place be it air, land or sea.
Troops moved to borders.

Now turkey sent a huge contingent of soldiers to Qatar. Iran is support of qatar as they hate Saudi diktat.

Strange is that now PAKISTAN is sending 20k troops in support Qatar.

I was scratching my balls on the last one.

Traditionally pakistani soldiers are on payroll of Saudi and on their beck & call.
All USA hardware esp airplanes bought by saudis are run by Pakistani soldiers always.

If there is a war in Middle East, Pakistani Saudi soldiers would fight these 20k land troops of Pakistanis in qatar???

I sure wanna see that. Where is my popcorn ???

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World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:23 pm

40% of Qatar population is of Indian origins and India buys major share of natural gas and oil from Qatar & is huge trade partner with it compared to all the Muslim countries combined. Trump is openly backing saudis. That put Russians in support of Qatar. I don't know what China is going to do ? They might wait and watch with a popcorn bag.

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Katto » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:08 am

WWIII has been going on in the middle east for 15 years.
This latest move is a gas play to knock Qatar pipeline out of the running to supply Europe. (the original cause of the Syrian war)

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World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:12 pm

I see it as pure jealousy of Qatar's ability to eat bigger pie than big Saudis.

Yes it's there but as they did not come on streets so far we ignored it as internal matter.

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World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:14 pm

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/wh ... 1663040860

Why the campaign against Qatar is doomed

It has been apparent for some time that the war against the Islamic State (IS) group and its forebear al-Qaeda is by no means the only show in town in the Middle East. In fact, for most of the time, the war on terror has been a sideshow.

The attempt to bring Qatar to heel by closing its borders and effectively laying siege to it has shed light on the real forces competing for dominance of the region in the post-Western world in which we live today.

Three regional blocks are vying for control.

The first is led by Iran - its state actors including Iraq and Syria, and non-state ones the Shia militias in Iraq, Hezbollah and the Houthis.

The second is the ancien regimes of absolute Gulf monarchs: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, while also including Jordan and Egypt.

The third block is led by Turkey, Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood and the forces instrumental in the Arab Spring.

Shortly after Qatar’s land border with Saudi was closed at dawn on 5 June, the Pentagon lauded Qatar’s "enduring commitment to regional security"
In this three-way fight, America’s allies are just as destabilising to regional order as America’s foes, and the campaign launched against Qatar is a prime example of this.

Saudi Arabia has made a strategic miscalculation by attempting to impose its will on little Qatar. Because in so doing, it has upset a regional order on which it relied to confront Iran’s dominance in countries all around the kingdom.

Put another way, if the Iranian-backed civil war in Syria brought Saudi and Turkey together, the Qatari conflict has done the opposite. In fact, it could lead to the construction of a common cause among Iran, Turkey and forces of Sunni political Islam - as bizarre as this may seem.

The two powers would not fall into each other’s arms naturally, but they could come together amid the reckless and shortsighted policies of Saudi Arabia. The Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif was in Ankara on Wednesday.

The Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif was in Ankara on Wednesday (Reuters)
Pentagon contradicts Trump’s tweets

The two game changers for Saudi Arabia’s campaign against Qatar are the Turkish parliament’s decision to fast track legislation allowing Turkish troops to be deployed at a base in Qatar, and the statement by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps accusing Saudi Arabia of responsibility for the attack on the Iranian parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in which 12 died.

This leaves Saudi Arabia isolated. It can bully smaller nations, but it cannot defend its own borders without substantial amounts of foreign military support.

Not content with muzzling their own media, they want to shut down all media which reveals the inconvenient truth about their despotic, venal, corrupt regimes, wherever it is in the world.
Whatever their commander-in-chief may tweet, the US military in the Gulf is trying very hard to avoid having to provide it. Which is possibly one reason why the White House and the Pentagon have been saying different things about Qatar this week.

Shortly after Qatar’s land border with Saudi was closed at dawn on 5 June, the Pentagon lauded Qatar’s “enduring commitment to regional security”.

It said pointedly about al Udeid airbase, which is the forward base of US Air Forces Central Command, that “all flights continue as planned”. About 10,000 US troops are based there.

Then came Trump’s tweets, which essentially claimed ownership of the extraordinary moves against Qatar by saying they were the fruits of the address he made in Riyadh before 50 Arab and Muslim leaders. And then came a second Pentagon statement, renewing praise of Qatar for hosting US forces.

The Pentagon was joined by Europe, or least the foreign minister of its most important state, Germany. Sigmar Gabriel said: “Apparently, Qatar is to be isolated more or less completely and hit existentially. Such a Trumpization of treatment is particularly dangerous in a region already plagued by crisis.”

Soon after the Turkish decision, Trump was on the phone to the Emir of Qatar offering mediation; 24 hours after his tweet, it seemed the message from his military had gotten through to him.

Miscalculations

Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have now bitten off more than they can chew.

Their first miscalculation was to buy the Trump narrative. When you purchase a Trump product, you buy a lot more with it. There are side effects, not least the sheer amount of resentment, hostility and resistance Trump himself has created at home.

This is not inconsiderable when you review who resents Trump - the CIA, Pentagon, State Department, senators of all colours, and the judges. This is not just America’s deep state, but if it were only them, they are enough to be going on with.

The much-in-the-news Emirati ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, made the classic mistake of thinking that because he had former defence secretary Robert Gates eating out of his hand, the rest of the defence department would do the same. It plainly did not.

Russia’s US ambassador Sergey Kislyak, now dubbed Washington’s most dangerous diplomat, fell to earth over a similar act of hubris. All of these ambassadors confuse their success as lobbyists with foreign policy-making. The two are different.

Their second miscalculation was to assume that because Qatar was small, no bigger nation would come to its defence. Both Saudi and the UAE have significant investments in Turkey, one of which Abu Dhabi made after it had tried to unseat Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a coup. Both thought Turkey would be bought off.

The opposite happened. Erdogan realised that if Qatar were crushed, he would be the only man of that camp standing.

Their third miscalculation was to reveal their real beef with Qatar. It has nothing to do with funding terrorism or cosying up to Iran. In fact the Emiratis do a roaring trade with Iran, and they are part of the coalition accusing Qatar of siding with Tehran.

Their real demands, which were conveyed to the Emir of Kuwait - who is acting as an intermediary - are the closure of Al Jazeera, de-funding of Al Arabi al Jadid, Al Quds al Arabi, and the Arabic edition of Huffington Post, along with the expulsion of Palestinian public intellectual Azmi Bishara.

This is the media that reveals - in Arabic - the stories that these Arab dictators most want their citizens not to read. Not content with muzzling their own media, they want to shut down all media that reveals the inconvenient truth about their despotic, venal, corrupt regimes, wherever it is in the world.

Israel Joins the unhappy party

Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood only come in at number 7 of this demand wishlist. The inclusion of Hamas on this list is another miscalculation, because whatever the US may think about the Palestinian movement, it is popular in the Gulf.

This is where Israel joins the unhappy party. As the hacked emails of Otaiba reveal, the Emiratis and the government of Binyamin Netanyahu are thick as thieves.

The Israeli prime minister is quite right to think that he has the backing of the major Arab states in suppressing all progress to a truly independent Palestinian state. That is about the last thing Egypt, Jordan, the UAE or Saudi Arabia want. The kingdoms are so keen to normalise relations with Israel that a Saudi commentator was recently interviewed for the first time on Israel’s Channel 2.

“On the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, an Egyptian-Saudi-UAE-Bahraini-Israeli alliance forms and lays ground and aerial siege around an Arab country for no reason other than supporting the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance and the Arab revolutions over the past two decades, in particular the Egyptian revolution that brought down Israel’s ally and threatened the military authority of Camp David in Cairo. They are not punishing Doha over Syria, Libya, Yemen and the American base.

“They are punishing it for Al Jazeera’s testimony in the wars of Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza and for supporting the Palestinian resistance in 2009, 2012 and 2014 and the Lebanese resistance in 2000 and 2006. They are punishing it for the fall of Mubarak in 2011.

“A bankrupt and terrified military officer who suffers from Macbeth syndrome and who is washing his hands of old blood with a new one and an adolescent who is in a rush to become king and who is ambitious to surpass his cousin to the throne at whatever cost chose the fifth of June specifically in order to announce that their countries had just joined the Israeli strategic depth.”

The final miscalculation? Qatar is not Gaza. It’s got friends with big armies - a country with a population smaller than Houston has got a sovereign wealth fund worth $335bn. It is the largest producer of natural gas in the Middle East. It has a relationship with Exxon. The Saudis and Emiratis are not the only players in Washington. And even Gaza has survived its siege.

- David Hearst is editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He was chief foreign leader writer of The Guardian, former Associate Foreign Editor, European Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief, European Correspondent, and Ireland Correspondent. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Katto » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:27 am

Going South wrote:I see it as pure jealousy of Qatar's ability to eat bigger pie than big Saudis.

Yes it's there but as they did not come on streets so far we ignored it as internal matter.


lets not overlook the fact that Qatar are the world's biggest fund source of the muslim brotherhood

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:59 am

Who does not? Entire Middle East kingdoms wanted all other religions around the world wiped out replaced by Islam alone. Saudi are master mind behind 9/11. Yet, every American & European presidents lick their hand.

Image

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:27 pm

Qatari Muslim pilgrims in Mecca are now getting harassed by Saudi. Tsk tsk. That's low

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby raja » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:48 pm

I've read multiple versions of this whole Qatar issue.

There's a version which is very Dubai-focussed. Apparently Dubai desperately wants to restrict Qatar's influence in the region because it sees it as its biggest competitor. So this particular issue now is actually led by Dubai, using Saudi and its power in the region.

Qatar has a US military base, which also Dubai is eyeing. It wants the US to move its base from Qatar to Dubai. In fact, Dubai is apparently trying to become a military power of sorts.

Let me see if I can find that link. Was interesting.

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby raja » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:50 pm


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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:44 pm

Yes. I do see jealousy playing a big role

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Katto » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:48 am

The whole region was designed this way.

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:11 am

Are you with us or with Qatar, Saudis ask Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has told Saudi Arabia it will not take sides in the brewing diplomatic crisis in the Middle East after Riyadh asked Islamabad “are you with us or with Qatar”.

The Saudi demand for Pakistan to take a clear position on Qatar came during a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, diplomatic sources told The Express Tribune.

Premier Sharif, who was also accompanied by army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior officials, dashed to Jeddah on Monday to discuss the emerging situation in the Arab world.

PM, army chief meet Saudi King

Pakistan has been treading a careful path since Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries snapped diplomatic ties with Qatar after accusing the oil-rich country of supporting terrorist groups.

But now Riyadh wants Islamabad to side with the kingdom as it ramped up efforts to isolate Qatar.

A senior government official, who was briefed on the talks at the monarch’s palace in Jeddah, told The Express Tribune that the Pakistani side told the Saudi leadership that Islamabad would support any efforts to foster unity among the Muslim Ummah. However, Pakistan would not take sides in any event that would create divisions within the Muslim world.

Nevertheless, in order to placate Saudi Arabia, Pakistan offered to use its influence over Qatar to defuse the situation. For this purpose, the prime minister will undertake visits to Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey.

Another official familiar with the development explained that Pakistan would only complement efforts of Kuwait to defuse the crisis in the Arab world instead of playing the role of a direct mediator between Qatar and other Gulf countries. The official said Pakistan was not directly mediating between Qatar and Saudi Arabia at this stage.

Qatar says Gulf citizens can stay despite crisis

“This is primarily an issue among the Gulf countries and we hope they resolve the issue by themselves,” the official said while requesting not to be quoted on record because of the sensitivity of the issue. The official added if efforts of Kuwait and other regional countries could not succeed, then other Muslim countries, including Pakistan and Turkey, were always there to facilitate.

At this stage, Pakistan is only complementing efforts of Kuwait. For this purpose, the prime minister is likely to travel to Kuwait, which is currently spearheading efforts seeking de-escalation of tensions between Qatar and other Gulf countries.

The official also explained that the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia was also part of a ‘goodwill gesture’ in the wake of speculations that Pakistan was sending troops to Qatar.

“The false media reports gave the impression as if we are taking sides in the ongoing crisis in the Gulf,” the official said.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Tuesday said that during meeting with King Salman, Premier Sharif expressed the hope that the current impasse in the Gulf would be resolved soon in the best interest of the Muslim Ummah.

While expressing solidarity with the kingdom and the people of Saudi Arabia, the prime minister said the kingdom had a very special place in the hearts of Pakistanis and that the Muslim world looked up to the monarch as the custodian of the two Holy Mosques.

“The prime minister reaffirmed the strong commitment of the people and the government of Pakistan for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the kingdom, and the safety of Harmain al Shareifain,” the statement said.

King Salman, according to the statement, thanked the prime minister for his visit and recalled the special nature of relationship between the kingdom and Pakistan ever since its independence. King Salman also said that the fight against extremism and terrorism was in the interest of all Muslims and the Ummah.

He also appreciated the exceptional successes of Pakistan against extremism and terrorism, despite the challenging situation and environment, and reiterated the kingdom’s strong commitment and support for all issues of interest for Pakistan, including matters of its national security.

Meanwhile, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah claimed that the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia could not achieve the desired results and hence no joint statement was issued.

Speaking to reporters, he demanded that the government clarify the role of former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif in the Saudi-led counter terrorism alliance in the wake of ongoing developments.

Tribune

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1434933/gu ... tan/?amp=1

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:12 am

Pentagon agrees $12 billion jet deal with Qatar

(CNN) Amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and a number of its Gulf neighbors, the US has agreed to sell $12 billion worth of American F-15 fighters to the country.

"Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met today with Qatari Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid al-Attiyah to discuss concluding steps in finalizing the Foreign Military Sales purchase of US-manufactured F-15 fighter aircraft by the State of Qatar. The $12 billion sale will give Qatar a state of the art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Roger Cabiness told CNN in a statement.

"The secretary and the minister also discussed mutual security interests, including the current status of operations against ISIS, and the importance of de-escalating tensions so all partners in the Gulf region can focus on next steps in meeting common goals," Cabiness added.

The sale of US combat aircraft represents a major signal of US support for Qatar as it faces regional isolation and the severing of travel and trade links.

The announcement comes after a week of somewhat mixed messages from the Trump administration regarding the spat between Doha and number of Arab nations.

After three Sunni Gulf countries -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE -- along with Egypt moved to cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar, host to the one of the Pentagon's largest military bases in the Middle East and a linchpin in the fight against ISIS, President Donald Trump seemed to back the move, saying last week that Qatar had to do more to combat the funding of terrorism.

"The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding," Trump said.

But other officials in the administration including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have called for the situation to be deescalated and on Wednesday while appearing before the House foreign affairs committee Tillerson played down any suggestion the President is on a different page stating: "there is no daylight between he and I" on the issue of Qatar.

Speaking to the House armed services committee Monday, Mattis called the diplomatic situation "very complex," acknowledging the large US military presence and close US-Qatar military relationship.

"We've obviously got shared interests with Qatar ... I will admit it's not tidy but it's something we've got to work together on," Mattis later added.

The Qatari defense ministry issued a statement Wednesday celebrating the F-15 deal.

"This agreement underscores the longstanding commitment of the State of Qatar in jointly working with our friends and allies in the United States," al-Attiyah said in the statement.

He also praised the US-Qatar relationship, saying the two countries had "solidified their military cooperation by having fought together side by side for many years now in an effort to eradicate terrorism."

Al-Attiyah called the deal "yet another step in advancing our strategic and cooperative defense relationship with the United States."

CNN's Laura Koran contributed to this report

View on CNN

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/06/14/poli ... index.html

Ha hahahahahaha USA USA USA USA USA

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:39 am

Saudis taking BUSH DOCTRINE literally.
Either you are with us or you are against us.
Called over Pakistan leaders (read army general) and asked at gun point ARE YOU WITH ME OR NOT?
Something good coming out of this conflict ? ;)

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Katto » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:26 pm

They're all bad news those Arabian nations, apart from Oman and Yemen.

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:30 pm

Katto wrote:They're all bad news those Arabian nations, apart from Oman and Yemen.

Give them power and oil money they would behave exactly the same, no different

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Re: World war 3 brewing from Middle East?

Postby Going South » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:53 pm

The Normal Person’s Guide To The Qatari Cold War

Not only does Qatar have dirty hands, they’re simultaneously sticking them in all regional pies. It was only a matter of time before their neighbors caught on.

Matthew Brodsky

That escalated quickly. In a region where inter-Arab politics is frequently described as a zero-sum game, Qatar suddenly finds itself on the outside looking in. Recent analysis has tended to overfocus on the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, but a closer look reveals that the camel has suffered from chronic illness for years. It was only a matter of time before its health became critical.

Although many countries have joined in isolating the oil-rich monarchy, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt have spearheaded the effort. The question is: What is it about Qatar’s pursuit of its own interests that makes it different from any of its neighbors? Are those singling out Qatar for its poor behavior guilty of being hypocrites?

In the Middle East, no nation has clean hands. Most utilize proxies to meddle in others’ internal affairs. What’s unique about Qatar is that it has fanned the flames of unrest on all sides of the inter-Sunni and inter-Arab conflicts while promoting warmer relations with their primary nemesis: Iran. In other words, not only does Qatar have dirty hands, they’re simultaneously sticking them in all regional pies. It was only a matter of time before their neighbors caught on.

It’s Been Like This for a While

The change in foreign policy direction dates back to 1995, when the former emir was overthrown by his son. Since then, Qatar has grown far more adventurous and duplicitous.

One example from outside the Arab state system is Qatar’s approach to Israel. On one hand they’ve appeared to court closer relations with the Jewish state, while on the other they provide more support for Hamas than does any other nation.

They savagely attacked the 2002 Saudi peace plan over its state-funded Al Jazeera news network. It came in the midst of the Palestinian-Israeli war of attrition launched by Yasser Arafat in the fall of 2000, when most of the Arab world hoped to find a way to deescalate the situation. Enraged by Qatar’s vocal opposition, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador that September.

This isn’t to say that the other regional powers are in love with Israel and Qatar stands as the primary roadblock to peace. The issue is that at key moments when the Arab world sought to lessen the destructive heat emanating from the smoldering Palestinian-Israeli fire, Qatar has been there to fan the flames instead. Being out of step with the rest of the region has since become a signature of Qatar’s foreign policy.

The Arab-Persian Dimension

When it comes to the Sunni-Shia or Arab-Persian dimension of the conflict, Qatar would argue that it makes sense to play middle. By sashaying up to Iran, they are hedging their bets in the belief that the Arab world will fail to stand up to the Shia power as it expands its regional influence and pursues nuclear weapons. They figure it’s better to be Iran’s conduit acting as their Arab ambassador to the Sunni world rather than a frontline enemy state staring at them from across the narrow Gulf.

In 2008, Doha served as the destination for talks aimed at avoiding more bloodshed in Lebanon. The crisis came when Hezbollah turned its weapons against the Lebanese after having promised that their arms were solely for confronting Israel. When the Iranian proxy went to war with Israel in the summer of 2006, many in the Gulf hoped Israel would crush the Iranian-created terrorist proxy in Lebanon.

Not Qatar. Washington foolishly supported the deal worked out at Doha that prevented further domestic bloodshed in Lebanon in the short term by boosting Hezbollah’s domestic position, but also essentially granted them political veto power. It paved the path towards their eventual takeover of Lebanon. Today, the distinction between Hezbollah and the Lebanese state has grown evermore meaningless.

Then there’s the case of a $1 billion hostage payment Qatar made in April for the release of royal family members kidnapped in Iraq while on a hunting trip. The money not only secured the release of 26 members of a Qatari falconry party but also 50 Islamist militants belonging to an al-Qaeda affiliate captured in Syria.

Although the move was choreographed to appear innocuous, the Gulf States could smell something fishy. The Financial Times reported, “Around $700m was paid both to Iranian figures and the regional Shia militias they support, according to regional government officials. They added that $200m to $300m went to Islamist groups in Syria, most of that to Tahir al-Sham, a group with links to al-Qaeda.” It all looked like a set-up by Qatar, sparking the most recent war of words over competing Arab news networks.

The Inter-Sunni Conflict

If crossing religious lines wasn’t enough to inspire the ire of their neighbors, Qatar’s subversive behavior against fellow Arab and Sunni majority countries was. After Muammar Gaddafi was removed from power in Libya in 2011, official documents revealed that Qatar’s emir supported Saudi opposition members and hoped to overthrow the Saudi royal family. Although Saudi Arabia didn’t react at the time, memories—both real and imagined—are long-lasting in the Middle East.

The Arab awakening in 2011 only served to intensify Qatar’s duplicitous actions. While most of the leaders in the Arab world grew to fear the so-called “Arab spring” sweeping through the region—especially what it meant for the security of their rule—Qatar cheered against the regimes, and intensified its love affair with the Muslim Brotherhood, eventually bringing relations with Egypt to a head.

Backing Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member, in Egypt didn’t earn Qatar many friends. Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE pulled their ambassadors in March 2014. Diplomatic relations were only resumed eight months later when Qatar finally cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood—but they remained the open host and prideful backer of Hamas, its terrorist cousin. Today, it serves as the external headquarters for Hamas and provides more cash than any other country to the terrorist organization.

It would be one thing if in the inter-Sunni dispute, Qatar only chose the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas brand of ideology to support as a proxy. But it didn’t stop there. The emirate also supports al-Qaeda affiliates such as the al Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, along with the Taliban. The Islamist tint seen in Syria’s civil war would not have been so vibrant and destructive without Qatar’s contradictory support for multiple terrorist elements.

These policies don’t represent a changing trend but a continuation and linear evolution of the same destructive course. One member of Qatar’s royal family ran a safe house for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and predecessor to the Islamic State, with the Emir Abdul Karim al-Thani dolling out Qatari passports and $1 million to finance AQI activities. That put Qatar at odds not only with the United States and much of the Arab world but with Iran as well. Zarqawi was killed in 2006; Qatar was already dancing with multiple partners at the ball.

The 2014 crisis was the last major regional pushback against Qatar. This recent conflagration, however, goes much further. Land and sea blockades weren’t used as punitive measures against the emirate in 2014 and could incur lasting damage, politically, economically, and diplomatically.

Why Qatar Overplayed Its Hand

Several factors have allowed the small emirate to punch far above its diplomatic weight internationally and give it the freedom to cause other regional powers heartburn. Qatar has a religiously homogenous citizenry, unparalleled wealth, and, situated as a peninsula, it shares only one land border.

So far Qatar has paid no price too steep for agitating from afar and served as no frontline in a modern war.
It is the richest country in the world, with the average household making a shade under $240,000 per year. Qatar also has the largest percentage of non-nationals in the world. Only some 200,000 people are considered citizens, despite a 2016 census that claims a population of 2,675,522. That means only around 10 percent of those living in Qatar are citizens, and they can put their money to work in a multitude of ways.

Qatar’s citizens are also overwhelmingly (90 percent) Sunni, the majority of which are adherents to the Salafi and Wahabi interpretation of Islam. Its only neighbor by land, Saudi Arabia, is the birthplace of Wahabism. Egypt, by way of comparison, is also 90 percent Sunni but also the most populous Arab state, with a population of 93 million that utterly lacks the wealth and oil and gas resources of the Gulf nation.

Since its independence, Egypt has paid a steep price for its bellicose postures. Fifty years ago, it managed to talk itself and others into war against Israel, which cost it and those involved dearly in lost territory and prestige. Egypt’s eventual pragmatism was a result of lessons learned the hard way and ultimately led it to finally make peace with its longtime enemy. Meanwhile, the internal challenges brought by the Muslim Brotherhood made the group outlaws in the movement’s own birthplace.

Qatar has no such restraints and faced no such costs. Factors that affected decision-making in Cairo were not considerations in Qatar. There is little fear of a public backlash for funding terrorist groups that share the same religious philosophy along the lines of al-Qaeda. The Muslim Brotherhood presented no domestic challenge—they were allies. So far Qatar has paid no price too steep for agitating from afar and served as no frontline in a modern war. Its territory remains intact, surrounded by the moat known as the Persian Gulf.

America’s Interest in the Crisis

The stakes are high in resolving the Gulf crisis. While the Trump administration initially navigated the situation well, in the days that followed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has emerged as the voice prematurely calling for a de-escalation.

The United States should look toward relocating its airbase to a regional ally with a longer and more helpful track record.
It is in America’s interest to see the situation peacefully resolved, especially with Qatar hosting more than 10,000 U.S. troops in addition to the all-important Al Udeid airbase from which the United States coordinates air operations in Syria and Iraq. Some argue the base gives Qatar leverage over the United States, but it works both ways. They feel free to act as they do knowing that the United States will protect its own assets. With a base on their soil, Qatar believes they are an asset.

The United States should look toward relocating its airbase to a regional ally with a longer and more helpful track record. The UAE has made such overtures for years. Even the formation of a group tasked to explore alternatives to Qatar would send an important message.

However, as former defense secretary, Bob Gates, recently pointed out, “transitioning away from there would be expensive and it would be very complicated operationally” and it would “run the risk that the Qatari government basically says ‘OK, then why don’t you just get the hell out altogether?’” Clearly, such considerations must be taken into account. Nevertheless, it seems to be the sort of negotiating challenge President Trump has been keen to tackle in pursuit of a deal.

The United States has an interest in bringing Qatar into the new regional alliance that has been quietly forming in recent years. The more durable those partnerships are, the easier it will be for Qatar to stop hedging its bets and appeasing Iran—if that is what they choose.

After all, in this dust-up, there is Qatar, Turkey, and Iran on one side, and everyone else on the other. It will be exceedingly difficult for that axis to endure. The United States and its allies should provide a stark choice where the carrots are sufficiently enticing and the sticks adequately tough. In this case, getting it right is better than getting it fast.

Matthew R.J. Brodsky is a senior Middle East analyst at Wikistrat and former director of policy at the Jewish Policy Center in Washington DC. He can be followed on Twitter: @RJBrodsky

http://thefederalist.com/2017/06/14/nor ... -cold-war/