by William Michael of TCS News
The Qataris, maybe America’s closest Ally and their ruling al-Thani family, are slavers, narcotics traffickers, and financiers of international terrorism. They also happen to be America’s closest ally under Obama.When analyzing the foreign policy interventions of the Obama administration with respect to the Middle East, it is hard to reconcile their respective approaches Libya (2011) and Iraq (2014).
In 2011, Obama justified the military action to remove Muammar Gaddafi on the basis of anticipated genocide by the Gaddafi regime. Speaking at the National Defense University on March 28, 2011, Obama explained “I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” In October of that year, Gaddafi was discovered by Libyan rebels, many whom were Islamists linked to al Qaeda, sodomized, and summarily executed. It is worth recalling that Gaddafi had been, since shortly after 9/11/2001, effectively an American ally, if an imperfect one, in the war on terror.
Yet following the fall of Mosul to ISIS in June 2014, and the subsequent exposure by the press of their horrific war crimes, the Obama administration acted strangely inert. The execution of defenseless Iraqi soldiers shocked the world, and ISIS (now known as the Islamic State, or IS) made no effort to hide their crimes: indeed, they proudly advertise them on YouTube. Despite the visual evidence of systematic war crimes and mass murder (à la the Nazi Einsatzgruppen), Obama announced that he would not provide air support for the Iraqi Army. Under the supervision of the Obama administration, Iraq has gone from relatively stable following the 2007 “surge,” to being occupied in large part by a genocidal army that targets Christians, Shiites, and all secularly-minded Muslims.
How does one reconcile Obama’s actions in Libya, which were allegedly precautionary in nature, to his non-action in Iraq, which amounted to declining to intervene in an actual, real, and ongoing genocide? The most obvious way to explain this is through the lens of America’s closest ally these days, the tiny Middle Eastern peninsula in the Persian Gulf: Qatar.
Qatar, from the very beginning, has been the primary agitator for the “Arab Spring.” Qatari forces were on ground in Libya, training rebels and planning their battles; and they were in the air, conducting air strikes with Dassault MirageFrench-made fighter jets. The Qataris are one of the main benefactors of the Syrian rebels, where the murderous Islamic State began to coalesce. (ISIS was the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, after all.) In deposing Gaddafi and attempting to depose Bashar Assad in Syria, it can be said truthfully that the Obama administration and al-Thanis in Qatar were, and are, partners.
“A Kind of Marriage”
The alignment of American and Qatari foreign policy, while it may be disturbing, should not be wholly surprising. Qatar hosts two of the largest American bases in the world, Al Udeid and As Sayliyah. As Sayliyah is a huge pre-positioning base, the largest outside the United States, while Al Udeid is the home of CENTCOM in the region. ExxonMobil is the primary Qatari partner in extracting natural gas, from which the Qataris derive tremendous wealth; they are the richest country per capita in the world, and 17% of their tiny population (287,000 citizens) are millionaires. Lockheed Martin, and other American arms manufacturers, recently sold the Qataris $11 billion in sophisticated weaponry. According to a senior executive at the company, Boeing is “in a kind of marriage” with the al-Thanis, and agreed to sell them 50 wide-body jets this July. Prominent universities, such as Georgetown, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon, have satellite campuses in Doha, Qatar. The Brookings Institute, one of the most influential American foreign policy think tanks, has a significant presence the Qatari capital as well.
Judging by the American presence, only lightly explored in the above paragraph, it is not hard to see that Qatar and the United States are in a kind of marriage. The phone book in Qatar reads like a Who’s Who for American institutions. The American military, commercial, and educational footprint in Doha are the shared values that hold the marriage together.
And yet Qatar’s support for Islamists now seems to translate into de facto American support for the same groups of barbarians, and not only in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. The Qataris have also been conclusively linked to Hamas, who is of course at war with Israel. Extending into Nigeria, paperwork discovered in July links the Qataris directly to Boko Haram. President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and previously SecState Hillary Clinton have all been conspicuously soft on Hamas and Boko Haram. In 2013, the Obama administration threatened Nigeria with sanctions for fighting Boko Haram. Meanwhile, in Israel, Kerry has pushed for the Hamas-friendly ceasefire written by Turkey and Qatar. READ MORE