Thursday, September 04, 2014

Qatar, supporter of terrorism

Qatar is one of the smallest Gulf Arab States, consisting of a small peninsula jutting out from Saudi Arabia into the Persian Gulf.  There are only ca. 275,000 actual Qataris, but due to their oil wealth they have attracted some 1.5 million foreign workers, mostly from India.  Qatar is an absolute monarchy, ruled by the Emir of the al Thani family.  Because it is a very conservative Sunni enclave, they are understandably nervous of Shia Iran that looms across the Gulf, and so they have given space to the US military, and Qatar is the largest US military and naval presence in the Persian Gulf.  The US in effect protects Qatar from its potential enemies.  Doha is the capital of Qatar and is a growing city in which the Qataris have invested a great deal of money to avoid becoming dependent entirely on oil. 
What distinguishes Qatar from the other conservative Arab Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, is its extreme Islamist policies, since Qatar supports Hamas and other Islamist revolutionary groups, including the most extreme of all, ISIS or the Islamic State (IS), that is rapidly gobbling up Syria and Iraq.  Qatar stands alone opposed to the so-called "moderate" Sunni States of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).   In fact, Qatar has made itself the pariah in the Sunni Arab world by financially supporting  these extremist Sunni groups.  For example, Khaled Mashaal who is the Head of Hamas outside Gaza, had his headquarters in Damascus for many years.  But, due to the Syrian civil war, in which the Sunnis opposed the pro-Shia regime of Bashar Assad, Hamas had a falling out with the Assad regime and left Damascus.  For a while they moved to Cairo under the Muslim Brotherhood presidency of Pres. Morsi.  But, when the Army toppled Morsi from power and replaced him with Gen, now Pres. al-Sisi, Hamas fell out of favor and was forced to move again. 
They ended up in Qatar.  Not only does Qatar sponsor Hamas, but they also have become the main financial supporter of Hamas in Gaza, replacing Shia Iran in that function.  However, although Iran could provide Hamas with missiles and expertise as well as funding, Qatar cannot do that.  It was ultimately because of this loss of support from Shia Iran and teh Egyptian closing of the tunnels under the Gaza border that Hamas has become impoverished, and was forced to seek a unity government with the PA, and also launched its current round of missiles at Israel, precipitating the recent military crisis.   By firing hundreds of missiles per day at Israel, Hamas ensured that the Israeli Government had no alternative but to respond forcefully.
Qatar is the weak link in the current situation, since it appears to be, apart from Turkey in a smaller way, the only current financial sponsor of Hamas.  You might wonder how it could be that Qatar is a sponsor of both the US military and anti-American terrorist groups such as Hamas and IS.  Indeed, one wonders why the US has accepted this absurd situation and allows it to continue.  While trying to support Iraq and prevent the IS fighters expand their territory at the expense of the Kurdish Pesh Merga fighters in northern Iraq, the US is fighting the very terrorists its sponsor in the Gulf is supporting.  Could the Qataris be giving the terrorists information about the US actions? This is a ridiculous situation and the Obama Administration must bring it to an end.  They must give Qatar an ultimatum, either stop funding Hamas and IS and other Sunni terrorist groups or we will remove the US military base elsewhere.  Americans note, if the Administration will not do this, the Congress must intervene and take this action!


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