Monday, December 16, 2019

Qatar: The Enemy of Our Enemy Has Not Been Our Friend

From the article "What Fox News Hasn't Told You about Qatar and Iran" at Small Wars Journal.
      A recent Fox News story provided a conclusion of an intelligence report, which explained that Qatar likely had advance knowledge of Iran attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in May, but failed to share that information that could have prevented these attacks. If accurate this episode would not be the first time when Qatar is alleged to have had early warning of terrorist attacks but kept silent, advancing its own foreign policy agenda. Former Al Jazeera reporter Mohamed Fahmy had extensively discussed alleged contacts between Al Jazeera, a state-funded mouthpiece that closely reflects Qatar's foreign policy in its coverage, and that it has followed Iran's lead in using the media as a tool of foreign policy, masquerading as press. Qatar has openly supported the IRGC, Hezbullah, Hamas, and other Iran-funded terrorist organizations in its news coverage, as well as by giving platform to operatives and spokespeople from these groups on Al Jazeera.
          Fahmy also pointed out that Qatar and Iran are close political allies. " “Iran and Qatar are allies, in fact, that have similar regional agendas — with the goal of destabilizing regimes allied with the US being chief among them. Qatar for years has sided with Iran in one proxy fight after another, whether in Bahrain, Yemen or in backing Hamas terror against Israelis and Palestinians.” ...

      * * *

              ... All these reasons, however, come down to a simple fact: far from seeing Iran as a temporary ally of convenience, Qatar sees its future in aligning with Tehran. It does not foresee the regime falling anytime soon, because due to its close relationship with Tehran, it understands the internal conditions far better than somewhat naive Western outsiders. And despite having a habit of playing games with all sides, Qatar does not see long-term alliances with its Sunni rivals in the region, because it  has no intention of ever abandoning its long term agenda, nor does it wish to bend the knee to Saudi Arabia in exchange for protection against the Muslim Brotherhood or various jihadist groups.
             Also, a related article from Big League Politics, "DoED Investigation Finds That U.S. Universities Have Taken $1.3 Billion From Russia, China, Qatar." The six universities reviewed include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Texas A&M, Cornell, the University of Maryland, Georgetown, and Rutgers. The article notes that "Qatar donations are conducted for the explicit purpose of peddling influence, and secrecy is often tied to any agreement."

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