June 05, 2017
"The GCC States Led By Saudi Arabia Will Collapse Into Oblivion"
Emboldened by U.S. backing Saudi Arabia launched a campaign to finally subjugate Qatar into client state status. The plan has now reached a high point. A few hours ago Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia severed all ties with Qatar.
All sea- and airspace have been closed for Qatari traffic and the land-routes severed. All Qataris will have to leave those countries within 14 days. Qatari diplomats were given just 48 hours.
The immediate consequences are huge. Some 37 million passengers cross through Doha each year. But Qatar Airways now has to fly through Iranian, Iraqi and Turkish airspace to reach Europe. (If the situation persists the UAE owned Emirates Airways will likely order a huge bunch of new planes.) Half of the food in Qatar comes via Saudi Arabia through Qatar's only land border. 600-800 trucks per day can no longer pass. The 19 flights per day between Doha and Dubai are called off. Oil prices rose some 1.6% and the Qatari stock exchange tanked.
The reasons for the immediate spat are manifold. It has only little to do with Iran.
The Saudis accuse Qatar of supporting terrorists. That is like Britain accusing the U.S. of imperialism, or the mafia cutting ties with the mob over gangsterism. As Joe Biden remarked (vid) when still Vice President, both Wahhabi countries, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have been funding and fueling terrorism in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. But the Saudi view is that the more "liberal" Qatar is simply supporting the "wrong" kind of terrorists.
The Qatari government and its mouthpiece Al-Jazeera installed and supported the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. The Saudis put that government down by financing a military coup against it. Qatar is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood government of Turkey. It is supporting the Palestinian Hamas, also a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate. Qatar is financing various al-Qaeda aligned groups in Libya, Syria and Afghanistan. The Taliban have their only diplomatic mission in Doha. Until recently the Saudis have been financing ISIS. They are now mainly back at financing various other Jihadi groups in Syria under CIA control. The UAE is sponsoring the Libyan general Hiftar who is fighting Qatari supported al-Qaeda aligned groups. The Saudis are making nice with Israel and have no interest in the Palestinian cause which Qatar supports.
There are diverting interests in hydrocarbons. Qatar is the world's biggest exporter of natural gas - a serious competition to Saudi oil exports. It has recently intensified its relations with other producers and customers in the Gulf region and beyond.
More local and personal dimensions of the spat include many intermarriages and competitions between Saudi and Qatari tribes and families. There are rumors that significant tribal groups in the Saudi's Najd desert, especially the al-Tamim, have recently renewed their ties to Qatar under its current emir Prince Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani. This was an "in your face" for the al-Sauds.
Oman and Kuwait have taken no position in the fight and try to mediate. Turkey is allied with Qatar but has stayed suspiciously quiet. There is a new defense agreement between Qatar and Turkey promising Turkish support if Qatar is attacked. The Turkish military has a base in Qatar with some 600 soldiers. A huge share of foreign investment in Turkey has come from Qatar. The Turkish and Qatari government coordinate tightly in their common support for al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in the war on Syria.
The current standoff between Qatar and other Arab countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council were enabled by the Trump administration:
Whereas the Obama administration sought to enhance U.S. engagement with the GCC as a bloc, Trump focused instead on Saudi Arabia and the UAE as the twin pillars of its regional approach. Strong bonds reportedly have formed between Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia as well as Yusuf al-Otaiba, the influential UAE ambassador in Washington.
Key principals within the Trump administration, such as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, hold views on Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood that are virtually indistinguishable from those in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
Trump fell into a Saudi-Israeli trap. The Pentagon hawks have dreamed of an "Arab NATO" to fight Iran. The envisioned "Arab NATO" may soon have its first war but it will be against one of its members. The (not-satanic) "Orb" show and the unlimited U.S. support for Saudi Arabia have exacerbated the fissures within the GCC and will hinder any common operations.
The U.S. military has huge interests in Qatar and other Gulf countries. Al-Udeid in Qatar is the biggest U.S. airbase in the Middle East. It is also the forward headquarter of the U.S. Central Command with some 10,000 U.S. soldiers and leads the fight against ISIS. The U.S. Navy fifth fleet is hosted in nearby Bahrain which has now declared a cold war with Qatar. Any spat or difficulty between the Gulf countries hinders U.S. military operations.
In Washington an intense Saudi and UAE lobbying campaign against Qatar has been ongoing for months. A Saudi lobbyist threatened the Qatari ruler with the "same fate as Egypt's Morsi". In a reprisal hacked emails between the UAE ambassador Yusuf al-Otaiba and Israeli lobbying organizations in Washington were recently published. The documents show that the Zionist lobby organization "Foundation for the Defense of Democracy" is advising the dictatorship of the UAE on how to fight the dictatorship of Qatar.
At the end of the "orb" show the Saudis and the U.S. pushed a document declaring various organizations and Iran "terrorist supporters." Qatar refused to sign it. Saudi clerics then declared that the Qatari al-Thani rulers are no longer considered to be "part of the Abdel Wahhab clan". That takes away the Wahhabi rulers religious legitimacy.
Qatar had tried to calm the situation down. It announced that six of its soldiers had been wounded while fighting for the Saudis near Yemen. It expelled a few Hamas leaders from the country. A mediator was sent to Kuwait - so far to no avail.
The extreme bullying of Qatar by the Saudis and the UAE, with total closure of all its borders, is designed to create an immediate capitulation. So far Qatar holds onto its course but in the end it is likely to fold. It will have to stop its support for "terrorism" i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood. Another scenario is a putsch in Doha with some Saudi puppet prepared to take over the realm. If that is unsuccessful a military move could follow. Qatar has little capabilities to withstand a potential Saudi invasion.
For Iran this is a chance to further blow up the GCC by intensifying its relations with Qatar. It could increase its food exports to the country and host Qatar airline flights. This in exchange for a Qatari retreat from Syria. The U.S./Saudi plan of confronting Iran through the GCC would then be in complete jeopardy.
The Imam says: "More popcorn please."
No matter how the spat with Qatar ends, the GCC unity has (again) been exposed as a sham. It can not be repaired. Saudi "leadership" is shown to be just brutal bullying and will be resisted. U.S. plans for a united GCC under Saudi leadership and U.S. control are in shambles.
The linch pin of all this is the Saudi war on Yemen. The Saudis support the Hadi puppet government of Yemen and two years ago aligned the other Gulf states, including Qatar, to fight against the Houthi in north Yemen. They accuse the Houthi of receiving Iranian support. There is zero evidence for that claim. The war and the coalition have failed. Houthi resistance continues unabated. With Yemen sinking into a famine thanks to a Saudi border blockade and a Cholera epidemic rapidly extending, the war must come to a close. Kuwait, Oman and Qatar are talking with the Houthi in Sanaa. Last week troops from the UAE used helicopters to again fight Saudi supported militia around the southern airport in Aden. The U.S. and Britain urge for the war to end and, behind closed doors, threaten to withdraw their support for it. The Saudi under their new leadership overestimate their capabilities. So did Trump when he raised their role. The Saudi "apes with Macbooks" do not have the capabilities needed for a serious political actor in this world. Their money can paper over that for only so long.
The above all reminds of a prediction made nearly two years ago by a Yemeni lawyer in Sanaa :
At the end of this war on #Yemen, the GCC states led by Saudi Arabia will collapse into oblivion. I do not know what will replace them.
9:29am · 15 Aug 2015
Posted by b on June 5, 2017 at 06:50 AM | Permalink
I should think it's the tribal conflict which is the real motivator. Maybe not as trivial as it would seem at first sight. I suspect the Saudi princes are getting windy about the loyalty of their people to the state, particularly the people in the east who are sitting on the oil-fields, and thus control the revenues of the princes. The Saudis were forced to do a U-turn on the austerity cuts to state employment. Money is about the only thing that keeps the population acquiescent to the rule of the Najdis in Riyadh. It wouldn't take much for the Hijazis, the Shi'a, the Najranis, none of whom like the Najdis, to want to throw off the yoke, particularly with the foolish policies run by the son who is the defence minister.
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2017 7:22:15 AM | 1
It seems "overestimating" ones abilities is taking center stage today. Also, Israel seems to be in the mix of stirring the pot of dissension between the parties, which is nothing new, but the gullibility is astounding when looking at the history in the M.E.
Posted by: Eugene | Jun 5, 2017 7:28:48 AM | 2
@b, Fascinating piece. Cheers.
While Trump no doubt thinks he is clever facilitating this build up against Iran, it shall not gp his way. That much is clear.
And rhat Turkey is once again in the mix of a seemingly undermined coalition, no matter how weak, is not at all surprising.
"Iran could see a chance to further blow up the GCC by intensifying its relations with Qatar" - this is a very sound call on your part, b, imo, and one that would probably be quietly supported by Turkey and Russia I suspect.
While Saudi Arabia is clearly leveraging influence to isolate Qatar - one has to ask whether it can maintain that influence in the medium term - for instance, Bahrain can not risk any serious antagonisms regionally or it will implode!
Just to add, most commentary on Iranian and Turkish news at the moment is downplaying these events as a spat between 'brothers' which will resolve itself.
Posted by: AtaBrit | Jun 5, 2017 7:57:58 AM | 4
to their credit, UAE was never enthusiastic about the Franco Qatari war in Syria; i remember a joined Russian UAE FM meeting and press conference in 2011 where they tried to mediate. it seems that the Qatari take over of libyan gas and meddling in Tunisia and Egypt through their local MB wealthy puppets was seen as a too strong wave to resist in what developed after
Posted by: Mina | Jun 5, 2017 8:31:43 AM | 5
What about the US expats and military in Qatar? what airline are they supposed to get out with and to where?
Posted by: Mina | Jun 5, 2017 8:40:30 AM | 6
"Saudi "leadership" is shown to be just brutal bullying"
Are we also witnessing the end of Arab NATO before ot even begins?
Posted by: AtaBrit | Jun 5, 2017 8:41:03 AM | 7
Qatar will likely to unfold, but the head of Qatar needs to accept and pack and leave it to a Saudi puppet.
Money (lots, lots of it) should not be excluded from any scenario on how these events developed so far and how it would unfold going forward.
Iranian money/gold (few trillions of dollars in total over 20-25 years), Qatari/Saudi/Gulf money/money laundering (again few trillions of dollars) shuffled across complex web of purposes some via Erdogan and his family/his network, some via Libya/Syria/Iraq/Nigeria/Sudan et el...
Posted by: Truist | Jun 5, 2017 9:20:54 AM | 8
Qatari airspace is not entirely closed in any case. There's nothing to prevent Europe-bound flights going in and out. As I discovered in March flying on Qatar Airways to Doha, they fly over over KRG, well to the east of Mosul, then down over Iran (to my surprise), and straight into Doha.
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2017 9:26:10 AM | 9
this charge of funding terrorists from the world champions of funding terrorists - the ksa/usa - is absurd.
i think it depends on the reaction of turkey and iran, as b points out ... and daesh's. their reactions depend on saudi actions ... of which this initial action bodes ill indeed. if the saudis insist on a proxy war with iran via qatar then turkey and iran both will conclude they're next on the list. and they'll look 'good', coming to the aid of 'little' qatar against the (relatively) 'giant', genocidal, terrorist octopus of saudi arabia ... and, better to fight them in arabia than at home.
all qatar and its patrons have got to do is draw up their own 'sykes-picot' agreement on the future 'spheres of influence' of daesh, turkey, iran, and qatar itself in the erstwhile saudi arabia, and it will be all over but the mop up. see how well the saudis stand up to a stiff taste of their own 'medicine'.
Posted by: jfl | Jun 5, 2017 9:36:06 AM | 11
For me the puzzle, as I alluded in the previous piece, is why Egypt and Yemen (and to some extent the UAE, leaving aside opportunism) would climb into Saud's bed, when the deeper evidence suggests they are fundamentally moving in the opposite direction to KSA, geopolitically.
But presumably Trump knows what he's doing. Which reminds me, someone "circetous" has been quiet as a little churchmouse here recently.
Posted by: Petra | Jun 5, 2017 9:40:09 AM | 12
This must be another crazy idea of the kid, Muhammad bin Salman. First he launches the war on Yemen, and now effectively another one. He's getting like Saddam Hussein, launching one war after another. Bound to come to a bad end.
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2017 9:42:52 AM | 13
All this makes me wonder if behind the scene a proposal for both Qatari and Iranian natural gas to flow through the same pipeline to southern Europe has been suggested under a performance bond sequencing over a period of time for the Qataris to meet if they want in?
Posted by: BRF | Jun 5, 2017 9:54:20 AM | 15
"...the GCC states led by Saudi Arabia will collapse into oblivion. I do not know what will replace them."
Posted by: heath | Jun 5, 2017 10:07:35 AM | 17
We will see what the order of events are:
1. War on Yemen
2. The purchase of a controlling packet of Trump & Family (??)
3. Bid to bring Qatar to heel
I suspect that powers-to-be in KSA think that step 2 is accomplished so they can proceed to step 3. But KSA is both courted and despised by our imperialists, and it is not in "our interest" to "rationally reorganize the Persian Gulf region" as: "we" deal with KSA and KSA deals with the rest. No, no, no! We do not want to have all our bases to depend on the whims of a single prince!
Muslim Brotherhood angle: in traditional Sunni Islam there is a large role of "saints", charismatic leaders, and followers who form "brotherhoods". These brotherhoods may be secretive, and they may cooperate for some causes. Turkey is not "Muslim Brotherhood" country, but is very much in this common tradition. The huge brouhaha about Fettulah Guelen can be viewed as a clash of two brotherhoods. It is peculiar of Salafis (super-set of Wahhabis?) that they abhor "saints", desecrate their graves if they can (i.e. in KSA and ISIS territories) and thus they are against the brotherhoods, at least ideologically/theologically.
One can see some similarities between brotherhood/saints system and Chasidim sects in Judaism, in particular, as Hizmet's problems in Turkey show, there can be huge political difference between their aims. Some sects cooperate with Salafis, some do not (and vice versa, some Salafis reject cooperation with these sects, some do not). The most famous brotherhood, Naqshbandis, apparently cooperated with ISIS in Iraq for a while, which was probably against the principles of both of them, thus "temporary, transactional, tactical". Incidentally, identification of "terrorism" with Wahhabism and Salafism is bullshit, it would be like identification of "extreme Zionism" with "Orthodox Judaism", and as some of us know, some sects are actually anti-Zionist, and almost secular Reform Jews (or totally secular Jews) may be as extreme in their Zionism as any. Naqshbandis, a Sufi sect, but they are quite martial and militant.
Qatar is quite open to non-Salafi, and I never heard about them being proselitic about their nominal Wahhabism, so from KSA point of view they are Wahhabi heretics.
Final remark: why would Egypt join KSA? I suspect al-Sisi needs another tranche of money to run the country. He got some cash, ostensibly joined the war in Yemen, withdrew from that war, issued a number of pro-Syrian declarations, ran out of cash, his positions show some cyclicality.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 5, 2017 10:23:05 AM | 18
Ironic how Qatar has placed itself in this predicament. They could have avoided the war to destroy Syria, but instead engaged in it wholeheartedly. They could have used Al Jazeera to present a much more balanced view of the war instead of whipping up anti-Assad frenzy. And the US airbase that the Qataris thought of as the ultimate protection? That is now the noose around their neck, that will endorse whatever coup leader the Saudis pick.
Other than shipping food and some diplomatic support, I'm not sure there is much Iran could do to help Qatar, and I'm not sure it would be worth their while even if they could.
Russia has said the world needs to investigate Saudi claims of terrorism against Qatar, so they must be feeling pretty lonely in Doha right about now.
All that said, if in fact there is a way Iran can use Qatar to squeeze KSA, then definitely they should go for it.
Posted by: lysander | Jun 5, 2017 10:29:42 AM | 19
The word you mean to use is "paper over", not "pamper over".
Posted by: Diana | Jun 5, 2017 10:39:16 AM | 21
- Keywords "(South) Pars natural gas field/deposit".
Qatar develops that deposit in cooperation with Iran and that would undermine Saudi Arabia. This natural gas also is (supposedly ?) destined to flow through - among others - Syria & Turkey. The refusal of the syrian government was ONE reason for saudi Arabia to support the "uprising" in Syria.
Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 5, 2017 11:10:50 AM | 22
Look for fighting between Saudi and Qatar-baked terrorists to explode in Syria, particularly within Idlib.
Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 5, 2017 11:29:09 AM | 23
Not that I suppose that this crisis is going to last very long, but on the question of feeding Qatar and closed borders, I have a very strong memory of Kuwait a couple of years back, and seeing the lines of traditional dhows arriving from Iran with fresh food (and indeed returning with second-hand cars and trucks lashed to their decks, of course virtually new). It was very striking. I'm sure they would be only too ready to oblige for Qatar.
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2017 11:31:24 AM | 24
What's the bet these terrorists in London had spent time in Qatar? Certainly gives Theresa May casus belli to go into Qatar after winning the election doesn't it?
Assuming she does win. It certainly would be handy wouldn't it. I wonder what their passports say given we obviously can't ask them because they've been shot up to smithereens.
Posted by: Julian | Jun 5, 2017 12:01:34 PM | 26
I guess delivery of dairy products can take some time to organize refrigerated ship transport, unless you want to deliver boiled eggs and yogurt (although summer temperatures can be too high for yogurt making, I am not an expert, they may be high enough to boil eggs). But Iraq and Iran would be happy to get few bucks, some gratitude and an affront to KSA. Poor "West" has no idea what to do.
Actually, I forgot that al-Sisi is on a warpath against the Brotherhood and reporting by al-Jazeera, so he could actually be an instigator (if not the initiator). Bahrain is a puppet, UAE have their own Brotherhood problem, in KSA and UAE, Ikhwan is perceived as anti-monarchy (not would not mind being socially backward or "not truly democratic").
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 5, 2017 12:08:19 PM | 27
WHAT’S BEHIND THE QATARI MANEUVER? IT’S GAS, MY BOY–GAS
Iran has agreed to give Qatar a share of its rights in the pipeline to Syria and Damascus has agreed as long as Qatar discontinues its support for Al-Qaeda, ISIS and all the other rat groups like Faylaq Al-Rahmaan. Soon, Qatar’s useless military officers will be withdrawn from MOK in Jordan. And, better yet, Qatar is now absolved from any further obligation to the so-called “Saudi coalition” in the very unpopular war in Yemen.
Ziad Fadel knows that ... how exactly? good if it's true. explains apoplexy on the part of the saudi wahabists.
Posted by: jfl | Jun 5, 2017 12:19:17 PM | 28
I think it's more fresh veg and fruit, Piotr B, and for that you don't need refrigeration, just regular deliveries.
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2017 12:21:34 PM | 29
b - excellent article.. thanks...
@13 laguerre quote "This must be another crazy idea of the kid, Muhammad bin Salman." sure looks like it... the wheels are coming off ksa.. that is what it looks like to me... meanwhile, the potential for change here is great...
@28 jfl... that is always possible.. at any rate, it is now up to iran and others to make hay while the sun shines.. not sure where this is going, but it is significant.. pot calling kettle black is always fun to watch..
Posted by: james | Jun 5, 2017 12:25:40 PM | 30
Ziad has it in today's post:
"And so, it has happened. Iran has agreed to give Qatar a share of its rights in the pipeline to Syria and Damascus has agreed as long as Qatar discontinues its support for Al-Qaeda, ISIS and all the other rat groups like Faylaq Al-Rahmaan."
No wonder Saudi have gone ballistic.
Posted by: Andy | Jun 5, 2017 12:28:46 PM | 31
Slightly off topic, but according to the Turkish news tonight Germany is going to pull out of Incirlik.
Last Monday, Germany gave Turkey two weeks to resolve the issue of access. The German foreign Secretary (?) was there today and there was no progress. Where will that leave the coalition / NATO when they are unable to mediate a spat between two members?
Posted by: AtaBrit | Jun 5, 2017 12:33:22 PM | 32
Thanks for link- and other corrections - applied.
Yemen learned that it had broken ties with Qatar from other countries' Foreign Ministers. Hadi is a total Saudi puppet who can decide nothing at all.
According to Saudi paid lobbyist the situation in Qatar is so bad already that people are stocking up on food. Sure - they horde caviar in the mini-fridge and Porsches line up for evacuation transports ...
Iran has offered to supply fresh food to Qatar should it be needed. Qatari planes to Europe fly over Iran and Turkey. Tehran surely thinks (silently) of what else it could offer to increase the spat.
A good threat by Dr. Abbas Kadhim of the Wilson Center is here:
Posted by: b | Jun 5, 2017 12:40:28 PM | 33
Germany leaves Icirlik.
Posted by: Mina | Jun 5, 2017 12:48:09 PM | 34
Posted by: AtaBrit | Jun 5, 2017 12:33:22 PM | 32
Germany wanted mediation by the US and the US (Trump) told them to solve it with Turkey. So ...
Back to topic, the interesting thing is who in the Gulf is not boycotting Qatar.
That is Kuwait and Oman. Iraq just came out calling for "better ties".
Counting Arab states Jordan is not on the list, the Maghreb is not part of it, either. From Saudi "allies" Pakistan does not intend to cut ties.
You can ship stuff from Iraq or Kuwait - needn't be Iran, they all will do it if asked. And of course you can fly it in.
Saudi's "leadership" looks pretty hollow and Qatar not that lonely.
Whatever the US decides will happen.
Posted by: somebody | Jun 5, 2017 12:51:47 PM | 35
> Qatar has little capabilities to withstand a potential Saudi invasion.
Dude... The Saudi fail against the Houthi.
How could they fight and win against the Qatari who have a lot more money than the Houthi do?
The Saudi do not fight on their own. They depend on the USA and mercenaries.
Posted by: mark | Jun 5, 2017 12:52:28 PM | 36
"According to Saudi paid lobbyist the situation in Qatar is so bad already that people are stocking up on food. Sure - they horde caviar in the mini-fridge and Porsches line up for evacuation transports ..."
This wrong reporting should be avoided. I know that small apartments in Germany may have mini-fridges, but in normal countries like Qatar I expect full size refrigerators. Qatar depends on Saudi dairy supplies, so it will take a few days to organize a ferry traffic between Doha and the nearest Iranian port, I estimate 10h each way. Actually, they can bridge the gap with an air shuttle, it is not like Qatar has trouble paying for the fuel, and they even have their own cargo planes.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 5, 2017 1:09:31 PM | 37
This article makes clear, if anyone ever doubted it, that bernhard is the world's best journalist on the Middle East.
Posted by: Eric Zuesse | Jun 5, 2017 1:11:53 PM | 38
Posted by: mark | Jun 5, 2017 12:52:28 PM | 36
B means that Saudis can drop more bombs than Qatari no invasion US base is in there, or something but what's more important if they have mid range missiles to shoot at Israel, or they can get it from Iran pronto.
All in all it is just a family quarrel nobody gets hurt, while many innocent could die as usual.
Posted by: Kalen | Jun 5, 2017 1:18:17 PM | 39
U.S. plans for a united GCC under Saudi leadership and U.S. control are in shambles.
Let's not offend our Zionist faction, we know how sensitive they are: U.S. plans for a united GCC under Saudi leadership and Israeli control are in shambles.
Dog with two tails.
Posted by: stumpy | Jun 5, 2017 1:21:31 PM | 40
B. took the minifridges from here.
Expats in Qatar's 5-star hotels chronicling the fallout.
I tend to think it is Qatari PR. If yes, it is brilliant.
Posted by: somebody | Jun 5, 2017 1:25:46 PM | 41
Open for business. Wonder how many empty seats.
Hamad International Airport:
Qatar Airways QR010 London - LHR19:45 Arrived
American Airlines AA7988 London - LHR19:45 Arrived
British Airways BA7010 London - LHR19:45 Arrived
Qatar Airways QR578R Doha - DOH20:00 Arrived
FlyDubai FZ5001 Dubai - DWC20:25 Arrived
Oman AirWY661 Muscat - MCT20:35 Expected 20:38
Qatar Airways QR1009 Dubai - DXB20:40 Arrived
Qatar Airways QR1187 Jeddah - JED21:00 Expected
Jet Airways 9W552 Mumbai - BOM21:10 Expected 21:00
Srilankan Airline UL217 Colombo - CMB21:15 Expected 20:45
Qatar Airways QR4916 Colombo - CMB21:15 Expected 20:45
Qatar Airways QR437 Sulaimaniyah - ISU21:20 Expected 20:40
British Airways BA6357S ulaimaniyah - ISU21:20 Expected 20:40
Posted by: stumpy | Jun 5, 2017 1:35:01 PM | 42
Qatar has now become the "Gulen" of Saudi Arabia.
Trump must have warned the Saudis about the necessity to stop funding Islamist terrorism in the region. Thus Saudi Arabia decided it was easy to put the whole blame on Qatar, under the obvious pretext that Qatar and Iran as cozying up. This was supposed to please Trump's administration. The Saudis are getting clean and the culprit in Syria, Israel and Europe is Qatar. Simple.
This new situation may justify a crackdown on supporters of extremist Islamists within Saudi Arabia and the UAE under the pretext they are supported and funded by Qatar.
Qatar has now become the "Gulen" of Saudi Arabia. Anyone the Saudis want to get rid of will be labeled "Qatarist" and be jailed or killed.
By cracking down on Qatar, Saudi Arabia is also attacking Turkey as Erdogan is a staunch supporter of the Moslem Brotherhood and Hamas.
Somehow the GCC seems to side on Syria when it has to do with the MB and other terrorists supported by Turkey and Qatar. Is Saudi Arabia looking for a rapprochement with Syria or negotiation with Iran?
Will Qatar accept to be the scapegoat or will it retaliate by revealing the active role Saudi Arabia is playing in funding terrorists?
Posted by: virgile | Jun 5, 2017 1:36:42 PM | 43
KSA closes the offices of aljazeera in the country. Wonder how the free world is going to explain their support to the cousin-enemies.
Posted by: Mina | Jun 5, 2017 1:36:44 PM | 44
>>>> Posted by: somebody | Jun 5, 2017 1:25:46 PM | 41
I tend to think it is Qatari PR. If yes, it is brilliant.
Nah, I assess it's a British expat.
Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 5, 2017 1:39:43 PM | 45
@ Piotr Berman
Qatar funds the odious Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, as well as ISIS and all their terrorist activities in Egypt (and elsewhere). It's why Sisi jumped on the Qatar boycott, especially considering the vile ISIS terror attack on Copt bus some two weeks ago.
Posted by: Taxi | Jun 5, 2017 1:40:03 PM | 46
Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 5, 2017 1:39:43 PM | 45
Sure. A PR expat :-))
Posted by: somebody | Jun 5, 2017 1:43:52 PM | 47
Although this may seem OT to this thread's content, surely the Outlaw US Empire has meddled in this affair if not outright orchestrating it. And so, here we have the Kelly/Putin interview where in Putin made this extremely important statement of fact:
"Presidents come and go, and even the parties in power change, but the main political direction does not change. That's why, in the grand scheme of things, we don't care who is the head of the United States. We know more or less what is going to happen, and so in this regard, even if we wanted to, it wouldn't make sense for us to interfere."
To paraphrase, The Citizenry of the Outlaw US Empire have absolutely NO control over their destiny--political or economic, foreign or domestic. They are essentially Serfs whose earnings are harvested and distributed upward to the overly wealthy 1%. This is perhaps the most powerful truth stated about the Outlaw US Empire's domestic reality in a very long time.
The entire interview is very newsworthy, https://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54688
Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 5, 2017 1:49:12 PM | 48
I'm sure that the spat will be over quickly. The Yanks won't allow it to go on. But it is a sort of lesser version of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, as Abbas Kadhim recognises (he is an Iraqi).
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2017 1:52:43 PM | 50
In response, the Qataris have started releasing dirt on the UAE - the email account of the UAE Ambassador to the US has been hacked and leaked (3rd June). The information includes UAE's involvement in the failed coup in Turkey last year, and Dubai's support in countering Hamas and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. I guess they also know a lot of details about the early formation of ISIS, who approached them to take part, etc, etc.
"The emails included a detailed agenda for the meeting scheduled in late June between officials of the UAE government and representatives of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, specializing in "spreading democracy in the Middle East" and focused on Israel. It is noteworthy that with this organisation senior officials of Emirates planned to discuss the internal politics of neighboring Saudi Arabia, the ability of the Royal family of Saud to control the stability in their country and in the region as a whole and to assess the foreign policy of Riyadh in terms of removing legitimacy from the world of "Jihad". The latter apparently refers to a sudden change of positioning Saudi Arabia itself, not as the centre of financing and supporting international terrorism, and as an ardent opponent and fighter against him."
Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 5, 2017 1:56:12 PM | 51
@50 laguerre.. i wouldn't be so sure... saudi arabia is due for a complete overhaul... the country is a disaster for it's people and the planet.. i guess that is why it has outwardly been propped up by the usa/uk for so long.. even israel wants to keep it propped up.. it is due for a serious fall imo..
Posted by: james | Jun 5, 2017 2:04:33 PM | 52
@Piotr Berman | 18
I may be misunderstanding exactly what you meant by saying that Turkey is not "Muslim Brotherhood country", but if we look at the last century the 'father' of Turkish Islamic politics and a mentor and friend to Erdogan, Erbakan, was known to have stong links to the arabic movement to the extemt that arab scholars referred to Milli Gorus as the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood.
Later, once Erdogan had picked up Erbakan's mantle so to speak, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, highly prominent muslim beother, lauded Erdogan as the head of the caliphate.
As for Gulen, I have no idea if there are theological differences between he and Erdogan. Of all the things I've learned about them I've never heard anything so substantial - fine, there are accusations that Gulen rewrote some phrases in the Quran etc, but is that sufficiently important? Don't know. What is patently clear is that there was and remains an almighty power struggle that spreads far beyond Turkey.
If you are drawing attention to Turkey's secular tradition, then I agree, culturally Turkey is (?) not Muslim Brotherhood country, or at least it was not, and now there is a state of transition, maybe. I say that because extreme 'theologians' and 'imams' are not punished in any way for sectarian rubbish they spew - ismet ozel only last week was stating openly that the first task of a muslim is to be a terrorist! This radical and aggressive supremacist strain of Islam finds significant support among both the pious and Turkish nationalists and it is scary how quickly it has taken hold!
Posted by: AtaBrit | Jun 5, 2017 2:07:04 PM | 53
Much work for Syawria Rataq.
Posted by: From The Hague | Jun 5, 2017 2:07:36 PM | 54
I think Putin is being smart saying this, that this past election did not matter. However, at least symbolically, the potential election of Donald Trump would be an anti-establishment triumph to millions of Americans, lightyears away from say Kerry VS. Bush, which was more in line with status-quo electing that Putin was talking about. For Putin to disregard this notion about Trump IS smart, because it diverts the narrative away from Putin-the-Meddler; however, for us who loathed the cold-war antics of Hillary and the establishment, we knew what a potential Trump victory might entail, irrespective of what has transpired since the election.
Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 5, 2017 2:14:44 PM | 55
re James 52
i wouldn't be so sure... saudi arabia is due for a complete overhaul...
I'm surprised that you think that the US is interested for a moment in the future of the Arabian peninsula. It's all about patching things up for American interests of the moment.
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2017 2:15:47 PM | 56
I think everyone is too quick to discount the damage Qatar could do to Saudi Arabia. Not directly - Qatar's military is a bigger joke than the Saudis. But the Saudis have a huge vulnerability the Qataris do not have (not nearly to the same extend). Laguerre@1 describes it well: the Saudi population itself is the biggest threat to the Royals.
Qatar's historic support for the Muslim Brotherhood gives it a lot of non-state supporters. Would they rally to help Qatar if the Saudis keep muscling them? Would Qatar spend millions (a billion?) to regime-change Saudi Arabia? Why not? Qatar would prefer to just keep bribing Washington, but nobody is in charge of it anymore. Qatar wouldn't have to lift a finger militarily. It could fund regime-change in Saudi Arabia as sure as it funds it in Syria. The Saudis are insane to provoke Qatar because they (the Saudis) are incapable of defending themselves from internal 'regime change'. When the paid help - which includes most of the military (excluding officers) is part of the revolution, you are screwed.
Think Qatar doesn't feel threatened enough from the Saudis? Don't forget Israeli (thus, U.S.) animosity:
Qatar put most of it's eggs in the Clinton basket and largely ignored Trump. The only reason the Israeli-firster neocons were not calling for Qatar's overthrow up until this year at Israel's behest was because Qatar keep the money flowing to neocons and their evil queen. Israel always hated Qatar for supporting Hamas. And now Israel has to see Qatar as a dangerous competitor for future European gas sales. The rumored Qatar/Iran pipeline would be even worse. Conclusion: what Israel wants, the Israeli-firster U.S. Congress wants.
And if Qatar wasn't paranoid enough, you have the UAE. Remember Erik Prince, the Blackwater/Academi founder that fled the U.S.? Yeah, well he runs the UAE merc army and is always looking for some mahem. His private merc UAE army has tanks, jets and helicopters. A self-contained regime-change force. The UAE wouldn't start anything by themselves, but the UAE's 'contribution' to any armed conflict either inside KSA or against Qatar would surely be this merc army.
I'm not suggesting or advocating anyone invade Qatar. I'm simply pointing out reasons why they would be paranoid considering their vulnerability. Paranoid rulers are prone to acts of desperation. Taking down Saudi Arabia is one of them, even thought it creates a host of other problems. But it would remove the immediate threat and sticks it to the Saudi royals. This has to be an exceptionally attractive option for Qatar today. Would they actually do it? Perhaps not, but I wouldn't go so far as to discount it.
I don't see Iran getting involved directly with any KSA regime-change. 1) They don't have to, and 2) it would instantly mean war with the U.S. They would be happy to watch it unfold, but keep their distance.
I certainly wouldn't shed a tear for the Saudi royals if Qatar did regime-change them, but nobody in the Middle East really needs any more people running around shooting each other. The fall of KSA would probably bring a lot of peace to the region - head-choppers don't work for free. On the other hand, how often has regime change ever worked out there to the benefit of the 'little people'? Unintended consequences and all. The Saudis would just get new psychopathic leaders, and they could end up being far worse than the Sauds.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 5, 2017 2:25:27 PM | 59
@56 laguerre.. the usa/uk and israel are self interested.. they could give a rats ass about much of anything otherwise, in spite of all the pretension... pure hypocrisy 24/7 from all of them... i hope it changes and i hope saudi arabia goes the way of the dodo bird... i would say the same on the foreign policy agenda of these countries too.. may as well throw france in their while i am at it, lol...
Posted by: james | Jun 5, 2017 2:26:32 PM | 60
I wonder how Western governments will react, specially if they (and others) can't calm things down there. I mean, sure, the Saudis sent them billions, but Qatar has also been a major funder - for instance in France. Decisions, decisions...
As for Oman and Kuwait, they aren't totally stupid, thankfully, and want everything to go smoothly. Yet they should realize that if the Saudis vassalize Qatar, they're next. Kuwait might find itself in the awkward situation where it has to rely on Iraq's protection, as the big neighbour/brother, to shrug off Saudi pressures. For Oman, it might be tricky - so I don't think the Saudis would like another Yemen disaster, which is a given if they actively want to go after Oman.
Whatever, if the Saudis are basically trying to blockade Qatar, things will get ugly very soon. Just look at the populations of Gulf States in early 20th century to have a good idea of how many people they are could feed at the time. Specially, how big a town on the Gulf can actually be before having to import most of its food. Starvation is a real risk there. (that said, this could become very risky for the Saudis, because 85% of the people are foreigners, mostly slave-labour from other Asiatic countries, and I don't think Bangladesh, Philippines or Pakistan would be happy if thousands of their citizens die because of Saudi ruthlessness)
Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 5, 2017 2:28:34 PM | 61
@59 paveway.. yes to all that..
Posted by: james | Jun 5, 2017 2:30:26 PM | 62
b wrote: The UAE is sponsoring the Libyan general Hiftar who is fighting Qatari supported al-Qaeda aligned groups.
That I didn't know. Doesn't Russia also support Heftar in his efforts to eradicate the Al qaida backed groups in Benghazi? This support is in collaboration with the Egyptians? What a complex weave. UAE currently attacking Qatar. Qatar the only gulf emirate that is trying to make nice with the Iranians. Iran and Russia in alliance in Syria. Now Russia and UAE on the same side in Libya. The largest US base in the US is based in Qatar. US and Russian are enemies but they are cooperating in Syria to defeat ISIS.
Something doesn't compute here. One side or the other will eventually have to betray the other. What is most clear at this point is the no one in the US seems to understand or even be aware of the obvious contradictions.
From the point of view of US imperial interests, it seems no one is in charge. From the point of view of those of us opposed to US imperial interests this has to be good news. This is definitely one of those moments for breaking out the popcorn -- can't predict what is going to happen but it is clear that these levels of contradictions cannot persist and when the problems resolve the US is not going to emerge the winner.
Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 5, 2017 2:37:39 PM | 63
I'd like to see boatpeople from Qatar reaching Iranian coasts. At least the Bengladi slaves building the stadiums for the world cup.
Posted by: Mina | Jun 5, 2017 2:41:39 PM | 64
@jfl | 28
"What if we can drive a wedge between Qatar and the rest of the Arabian trash on the Gulf? Wouldn’t that be British of us?"
Posted by: AtaBrit | Jun 5, 2017 2:42:43 PM | 65
mina - trump... what an idiot and buffoon... best quote ""Try to imagine the UK prime minister attacking the Mayor of NYC the day after 9/11," said European Parliament cabinet member Simon O'Connor."
Posted by: james | Jun 5, 2017 3:01:53 PM | 67
What an illuminating commentary on the comical & strange situation between Qatar & the GCCC_Saudi states. I hope the dispute ends in the dismantling of those vicious states that are the cause of so much misery and chaos in the world. The western puppet masters must be alarmed and will do their darndest to restore the old status quo so crucial to the continued prosperity of the elites.
Posted by: Eddie | Jun 5, 2017 3:17:27 PM | 69
It's time for the Gulfies to start using all these toys they purchased from the West. Maybe Iran could start building some refugee camps with full facilities on the model of what the Turks did at the beginning of the Syria regime change...
Posted by: Mina | Jun 5, 2017 3:18:25 PM | 70
Just to summarize, Qatar is about the weakest nation in the world militarily speaking. Saudi prince, Bandar bin Sultan, once described them as 300 people and a television station, valid if we take it to mean 300 princes. An arid peninsula, with nothing other than gas offshore, and a minimal local population.
No doubt the apparent weakness tempted the militarist Saudis, for the reasons discussed earlier. For example the son, Muhammad bin Salman, who has wildly gone to war in Yemen. A weak target would tempt action.
But it's more complicated than that. The US is not likely to tolerate discord. More likely, the US will say, piss off, we're not interested in your disputes, we need al-Udeid.
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 5, 2017 4:16:52 PM | 72
Well, this will certainly play havoc with their imaginary-Pipeline war in Syria, won't it?
And here was I thinking they were best buds, given that everyone tells me they both decided years back to co-operate and go to war with Syria in order, everyone tells me, to facilitate an imaginary Qatari-gas pipeline through both Saudi Araibia and on to Syria.
Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 5, 2017 4:31:48 PM | 73
@ Paveway IV
With a major U.S. base and 11,000 US forces located a short distance from Doha, it would seem that Qatar’s options will be guided by what Washington will or will not permit. Which, in turn, will be guided by what Israel wants. And at this moment are they really going to let the Saudi monarchy be regime-changed? When matters vis-a-vis China/Saudi and the petrodollar are in a delicate phase? And when the two words Iran and pipeline are involved.
Qatar may be allowed to try and tough it out but that may be as far as they can go. More likely I would have thought is regime change in Qatar followed with the usual theft of its gold and a massive media blitz blaming Qatar for supporting terrorism.
Posted by: Lochearn | Jun 5, 2017 5:06:58 PM | 74
Ksa does not care about its image in the islamic world for a minute. It is normally considered that ramadan and the 2 months before it are months of thruce with ramadan supposedly a time for extra devotion.
They want to be seen as sick brutes.
Posted by: Mina | Jun 5, 2017 5:25:59 PM | 76
Hillary said the said the same thing except it was in an email and we only found out via wikileaks. Having a US politician or US MSM point to the states supporting terrorism rarely if ever happens.
Posted by: Curtis | Jun 5, 2017 5:54:18 PM | 80
Quatar food supply from Saudi Arabia...
Gives the lie to "free Trade" and "Free markets".
As a Japanese official explained to US trade reps around 1985, regarding high tarrifs to block US rice exports:
"I agree your rice is of higher quality and cheaper price. And our government "unfairly" subsidizes small rice growers because rice is a staple in our diet.
But what would happen to our food supply if our governments had a serious disagreement and the US withheld food shipments?
Posted by: chu teh | Jun 5, 2017 5:54:21 PM | 81
MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries’ decision to cut ties with Qatar may positively affect the military and political situation in the region, President of the Russian Institute of Religion and Politics Alexander Ignatenko told TASS. He added that this move also marked a change in the US approach to resolving conflicts in the Middle East.
"I believe we will witness new dynamics in relations between the Middle Eastern states, as well as in efforts to resolve regional conflicts, particularly in Syria and Iraq, where the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) and some Al-Qaeda-affiliated units are active," the expert said adding that "these changes can either further destabilize the region or increase stability."
Posted by: virgile | Jun 5, 2017 6:03:01 PM | 82
Good call. Blameshifting.
"assess". Good use of US intelligence operative word.
Posted by: Curtis | Jun 5, 2017 6:17:56 PM | 84
>>>> Krollchem | Jun 5, 2017 3:03:39 PM | 68
A contributing factor to Qatar being kicked out of the club is a report that Qatar paid a ransom of 1,000 million dollars to get the safe return of some members of the Qatar royal family who were kidnapped while on a hunting trip in Iraq. The report states that al Qaeda received 300 million, Shia militias received 200 million and Iran took another 400 million.
What Zerohedge left out was that this was a multi-way deal involving several thousand people including Sunnis and jihadists from Madaya and Zabadani, Shiite from Al Fu'ah and Kafarya and the Qataris being exchanged that was carried out at the beginning of April.
Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 5, 2017 6:21:07 PM | 85
The refusal of the syrian government was ONE reason for saudi Arabia to support the "uprising" in Syria.
Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 5, 2017 11:10:50 AM | 22
No it wasn't, because there simply never was any Syrian Gov "refusal" to some imaginary Saudi proposal
There is no record of any such proposal being ever put to the Syrian Gov.
Hard to "refuse" something when it was never proposed in the first place.
Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 5, 2017 6:48:29 PM | 87
I suppose Qatar being part of that Rosneft deal did not go down well
Posted by: Pft | Jun 5, 2017 6:57:58 PM | 88
Thanks for the additional important information that I have somehow missed.
Really would like to see the link on the people (prisoner?)swaps as part of the Qatar deal!
Looks like the pie is shrinking. Here is an important link on the financial dollar trade dimension of world conflicts:
Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 5, 2017 8:14:14 PM | 89
'Qatar has little capabilities to withstand a potential Saudi invasion.'
qatar is no yemen!
Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2017 8:42:04 PM | 90
i certainly agree that qatar would/will bring it's standard jihadi proxies to bear against the saudis if it comes to war. and, as b points out, there may already be substantial jihadi 'troops' within ksa, waiting for the signal to move. hard-core wahabists who view the saudis as 'infidels'.
i read of turkey and russia tsk, tsking and calling for ... calling it all off. don't know that that's possible. the saudi-qatari 'feud' seems deep-rooted, independent of topical 'differences' ... what's up with the 'turkish base' against 'common enemies' in qatar? does it actually exist? if so is it being reinforced?
it is hard to imagine a saudi invasion a la bahrein/iraq-kuwait ... with 10,000 american troops pre-positioned in their own base on the receiving end. the american base is air force, right? the saudi 'aces' would surely hit the americans and then, presumably, there would/will be a 'no-fly' zone over qatar ... maybe there is one already?
thanks for your comments. looking forward to more.
Posted by: jfl | Jun 5, 2017 9:04:57 PM | 91
yeah. great line.
on the 'pipeline deal' ... i wonder now if the qatar-rosneft deal doesn't seem to make more sense now, after this 'revelation'?
opec is for oil: that filthy, stinkin', dirty, petrocarbon.
the russian-iranian-qatari cartel is for gas: that light, airy, hip, petrocarb!
Posted by: jfl | Jun 5, 2017 9:29:27 PM | 92
The zionists are the primary motivators of this and I believe the Qatari ban is linked to the economic, political & media (thru AJ) support Qatar gives to Palestinians.
The asshole Abu Mizen (aka Mahmood Abbas) cut a deal with the oppressor last week and has ceased all support payments to the families of imprisoned Hamas leaders.
Up until now, Qatar has continued to support Palestinian resistance to their oppression and this has included (where possible since amerika declared freedom fighters in Palestine to be 'terrorists' years ago) support for Hamas which is linked to the (around here) much reviled Muslim Brotherhood - a bunch of politicians who are capable of making bad calls but unlike Abbas and most of Fatah's senior membership this hasn't included kissing the (arse) ring of Netanyahoo.
Abbas plus his band of crooks & bullyboys who mercilessly exploit the people of Palestine by auctioning off smuggling rights using Palestinian Authority troops to protect the food speculators at one end and a treasonous trade in information to Mossad to secure the other end of the allegedly secret tunnels, must be considering 'going to the people'. That is having another rigged election so he is trying to undermine Hamas by withdrawing financial aid to Hamas families.
Not content with informing on Hamas freedom fighters and getting them slotted up for life, Abbas now seeks to starve their families.
He is like a neoliberal pol in the west - given a choice between being defeated by a rival who acts in the interests of his supporters or everybody losing out including the rival, Abbas always chooses everybody losing out. Someone end that man.
The zionists are chipping away at Palestinians using exactly the same methods and manipulations as the crusaders 1000 years ago. Divide and rule - there seems to be no shortage of greedy sociopaths to go along with it, which isn't a Palestinian thing or even an Arab thing it is a people thing.
Trump isn't so silly he would talk about this - what is the point pretty much everyone in DC goes with zionist oppression there are bugger all kudos attached to shitting on israel's "sand ni__ers" plus the treasonous arab leaders would be momentarily embarassed, but destroying Hamas has long been at the top of the amerikan zionist playbook.
All the other issues play in as well - well not the 'tribal' thing which IMO is just racist claptrap. The traditional owners to the east of Saudi where the oilfields are located are overwhelmingly Shia tribes and there is more chance of a leper being invited into the upper echelons of Saudi society than a Shia leader.
The Muslim Brotherhood have been the main form of opposition to the Sunni tyrants in charge of the 'good' arab states for more than 50 years.
In that time they have been tortured executed, imprisoned, impoverished and humiliated. Those who have survived long enough to garner influence are those who can navigate a dangerous route thru treachery that never has any respite.
As hated as they are around here and as foolish as some decisions they make have been (meld the sort of ego it takes to survive as an MB leader and sudden power - initial errors are guaranteed) but they mostly stayed true to what they had promised their supporters -who weren't bourgeois employees of amerikan tech corporations, they were devout battlers trying to keep their families fed.
Lastly when it comes to multifarious motivations for shitting on Qatar I also believe that the decision by FIFA to hold the next world cup in Qatar really pissed off the amerikan imperialists who are determined to keep the "sand ni__ers" so far down the pecking order they remain subject to the opprobrium by most that their genuine pleas for a more equal say in who is up who & which one is paying will remain ignored by the brainwashed of the west.
Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 5, 2017 10:02:55 PM | 93
Lochearn@74 - "With a major U.S. base and 11,000 US forces located a short distance from Doha, it would seem that Qatar’s options will be guided by what Washington will or will not permit. Which, in turn, will be guided by what Israel wants.
A Qatari-owned base that Qatar pretty much paid for ($1 billion+) as a bribe for the U.S. to protect them. Like Turkey, the Qataris know Al-Udeid is too big, too well-equipped and too convenient for the U.S. to just up and leave. The U.S. has limited influence on the Qataris other than hollow threats to leave (which Qatar knows would be a joke).
The CIA, CENTCOM and western/GCC/Israel Intel also runs a lot of extremely shady ops out of Al-Udeid. You name it: secret prisoners, drugs, mercs wearing uniforms they shouldn't be, illegal arms, relocating ISIS/Nusra chiefs & families. Probably got aliens somewhere there, too. Plenty of odd mis-marked military and civilian aircraft coming and going at all hours. There are U.S. military on that base that have been there for years that have no idea what's going on in there - either on the air base or at the 'army' base. Yeah, all tin-foil-hat. But I would be dollars to donuts that Qatar has far more dirt on the U.S. than the U.S. cares for. I would question exactly how much leverage the U.S. has (or is willing to use) publicly with Qatari leaders. It's more like an alliance between mafias.
And at this moment are they really going to let the Saudi monarchy be regime-changed?
It depends, but regime-change may amount to nothing more than a different faction of the monarchy taking over. As long as it was a U.S.-friendly faction, why not? As long as whomever was in charge of Saudi Arabia continued to sell oil in USD, then why not?
The only 'red line' the U.S. would have is if Qatar pushed something like a grass-roots, popular revolution (Shia) to depose the monarchy completely and take over the oil and sovereign wealth. But if that was Qatar's plan, then they certainly wouldn't advertise that fact to the U.S. - all they have to do is slip 'rebels' a few tens of millions, sit back and watch the carnage unfold. If the U.S. bitched about what they thought Qatar was doing, Qatar would simply deny it. What then? I agree Qatar wouldn't openly support regime-change, but they will (covertly) if they feel threatened enough. I think they do. And they would regime-change KSA the old-fashioned way: bags of cash to Saudi rebels - real or manufactured.
"More likely I would have thought is regime change in Qatar followed with the usual theft of its gold and a massive media blitz blaming Qatar for supporting terrorism."
Yes - that's what's clearly on the menu as evidenced by the MSM campaign. If Qatar just sits back, THEY are going to get regime-changed by KSA. Now would the U.S. care? Probably not because the replacement regime would necessarily be Saudi/Israeli/U.S.-friendly. The U.S. cares little for what goes on outside the base, as long as it doesn't interfere with what they're doing inside. In the long run, I think the U.S. would secretly support a Qatari regime-change. Why? Because the current regime committed the ultimate sin: they don't hate Iran enough. If the replacement Qatari regime was sufficiently Iran-hating, then the U.S. would be delighted. If you were one of the Qatari leaders right now, would you just curl up underneath a rug and wait for the inevitable?
Certainly, between regime-changing Qatar or KSA, the U.S. pyschos would prefer Qatar goes down because that's part of the coming war with Iran.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 5, 2017 10:12:38 PM | 94
@ jfl who is starting to define the emerging new world "balance of power".
I am going to make a couple of sketchy lists. Feel free to add your $0.02 (that is valued in the soon to be redefined Reserve Currency)
The Private Finance Axis
South Korea (initially)
EU (?) (initially)
India (?) (initially)
The Non-Private Finance Axis
Most of South America
Lots of African countries
I seriously believe that this scenario, or something quite like it is coming soon to a world near you.
Lets hope we make it to that point without major loss of life and environmental degradation.
Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 5, 2017 10:15:00 PM | 95
jfl@91 re: Wahhabi (vs. Shia) revolution - the U.S. would be staunchly opposed to either 'flavor' because neither one would be particularly U.S.- and USD-oil-friendly. And, of course, Shia = Iran as far as U.S. pinhead leaders can figure. But what can the U.S. ever do to 'prove' Qatar was behind either one? What could it do to prevent either one? The place is a powder keg - either flavor might happen tomorrow with or without Qatari 'encouragement'. And like I said, Qatar wouldn't bother advertising the fact. They would just light the fuse underneath one or the other (or both) and run. Chaos in KSA means Qatar is safe and out of the spotlight for the moment.
"...what's up with the 'turkish base' against 'common enemies' in qatar? does it actually exist? if so is it being reinforced?"
Not sure what you mean - a physical base or an ideological base?
"...it is hard to imagine a saudi invasion a la bahrein/iraq-kuwait..."
It would never happen. Saudis outsource regime change. And Qatar is basically Doha - that's it. If it was an invasion, it would take less than an hour to secure Doha (depending on the traffic). I would think Prince and his UAE merc army would get the job.
The U.S. would just sit in Al Udeid, try not to get involved and threaten to kill anyone that gets near 'their' bases. Even if KSA or the UAE rolled armor into Qatar, they would steer clear of the U.S. facilities and reassure the U.S. that it's just a fight between them and Qatar. The U.S. would probably prefer no theatrics, but a replacement Qatar regime would be fine with them. The U.S. has nothing to fear from their Saudi/UAE cronies.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 5, 2017 10:25:33 PM | 96
What has been Turkey's official stance so far?
@96 A Turkish forces base was completed I believe in 2016 with a mutual defense agreement between both countries. Sorry too tired to find links..
Posted by: Lozion | Jun 5, 2017 11:23:27 PM | 97
Wow. Although I've heard about disagreements between KSA and Qatar, I suspected that it was just for show. A division this deep means a re-think.
Qatar support for ISIS and al Quada is really for purposes of anti-KSA?
Is KSA - Qatar division reflected in US politics (Hillary vs Trump)?
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 5, 2017 11:23:44 PM | 98
"Trump fell into a Saudi-Israeli trap."
haha!! it's called "Washington, D.C.". It's the same damn cesspool, and no, the GCC will not "collapse into oblivion" just because two lovers had a spat any more than Washington D.C. will collapse into oblivion just because the Demoblicans and Republocrats duked it out.
they own us all. and there ain't nothin' we can do about it.
Posted by: anon | Jun 6, 2017 12:04:13 AM | 99
one of the above comments says that sports teams are dropping Qatar Airlines as sponsor...
But US military isn't dropping Qatar bases. so what is the sports teams' point?
and what caused the US to move their base from Saudi Arabia to Qatar in the first place? what will the US do now? beg ISIS/AQ/WhateverWahabi to move their base back to "loyal" Saudi Arabia?
tune in tomorrow...
Posted by: anon | Jun 6, 2017 12:19:11 AM | 100