Monday, 12 June 2017

Why Has The GCC and Egypt Turned On Qatar?

In a shocking move, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain led banded together to cut ties with Qatar at the same time, leaving much of the world stunned. Even more unexpected was the reason given by Saudi Arabia; i.e. that Qatar is supporting terrorism. The demands made by the anti-Qatar coalition were that Qatar cease funding “terrorist organizations” (Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas) before ties are restored.

The recent isolation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf State countries as well as Egypt caught many in the geopolitical world by surprise and has left many people scratching their heads as to why such a willing and active player in worldwide destabilization would suddenly be abandoned by several of the states that have colluded with it in the past. The answer is anything but simple but it is actually more logical than how it might appear on the surface.

The Muslim Brotherhood Element

In order to understand the recent diplomatic crisis, it is first important to note which countries have cut ties with Qatar. These countries are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Laughably, these countries are justifying their actions on the basis that Qatar is funding terrorism.

Of course, Qatar is funding terrorists much like Saudi Arabia and UAE. For the latter two countries to claim that funding terrorism is a reason for them to sever ties with Qatar is not only hypocritical it is laughably obvious that is merely a cover for the real reason for the row. Egypt, while not a supporter of terrorism, is nonetheless entering into a coalition with two countries who are and thus makes itself almost as much of a hypocrite as KSA and UAE.

So after years of funding terrorists in Syria alongside KSA, why would KSA now move to cut off ties with Qatar? The answer lies partly in the fact that Qatar is a major supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, itself a fanatical Islamic fundamentalist organization and itself also made up of terrorists. But while the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is extremely similar to the Wahhabist brand of radical jihadism supported and nurtured by the Saudi royal family, the MB is not welcome in KSA. In fact, Saudi Arabia has long labeled the MB a terrorist organization. This label was not placed upon MB because it is a terrorist group, however, but because it is a threat to the Saudi royal family.

It is difficult to avoid oversimplifying the dynamics between the MB and KSA but, risking simplicity, it can be said that the MB is slightly less fanatical than ISIS but much more puritanical than the actual royal family itself, with the MB arguing against many of the practices of the royal family and Saudi policy on a religious basis. Saudia Arabia, for the Muslim Brotherhood, is not fanatical enough at a national level, mainly at the levels of government.

Likewise, Bahrain is opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood on similar grounds, having experienced clashes with Muslim Brotherhood members long ago over the question of Nasser and pan-Arabism.

Egypt has had perhaps the most divisive and destructive experience with the Brotherhood, however, ever since the Western-backed ouster of Mubarak when the MB won the general elections and rose to power. Soon after the MB Morsi took office, Morsi and the MB began shredding the Egyptian Constitution, eliminating rights, and promptly preparing Egypt for war. Morsi was then deposed by a military coup led by now President Sisi, who has been combatting the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists ever since. The entire country has now been turned into a war zone full of terrorist attacks taking place on a daily basis.

Thus, it is important to note which countries in the anti-Syria coalition are not part of the anti-Qatar coalition, specifically Turkey. The one thing Turkey and Qatar have in common besides funding and facilitating terrorists for the purpose of overthrowing the Syrian government is support for the Muslim Brotherhood. After all, Turkey’s Erdogan has long supported the MB and has maintained close ties with them for years. Turkey is also currently debating the possibility of deploying Turkish troops to a base in Qatar.

So what we are seeing is, in part, an anti-Muslim Brotherhood coalition with the focus being placed on Qatar, the country which is seen as being perhaps the biggest patron of the organization.

The Iranian Element 
A second aspect is the possibility that Qatar is cozying up to Iran, a development that the Saudis are absolutely terrified of. Indeed, if Qatar is warming up to the Iranians, KSA and its coalition would likely have the support of the United States since the U.S. is also attempting to break the Persian nation by as many means as are available. Israel too, would be horrified at the prospect of growing Iranian influence.

Some analysts believe that Qatar, being obviously shut out of the oil game in Syria (the potential oil pipeline was nixed in favor of the Iranian one before the war), is in desperate straits financially and thus has entered into a deal with Iran to prevent its own economic collapse in the near future. The deal, according to analysts like Ziad Fadel of Syrian Perspective is that the Qataris are given a share in the Iranian pipeline going through Syria in exchange for an end to its funding of terrorists operating there.

Fadel writes,
You see, folks, once the natural gas pipeline is completed from Iran, across Iraq, to Syria’s coast, Qatari gas will be so expensive that the country will float on its cash reserves for a couple of years and then, implode. No more Qatar.
Hmmmm. The Iranians thought. What if we let the Qataris in on the deal? What if we share the natural gas pipeline? 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?
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. 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.
If Fadel is correct, then Qatar had little choice, given that neither the Saudis nor the U.S. would be willing to do anything to save the fledgling kingdom as it falls apart at the seams. Having ostracized itself to Iran and Syria by virtue of its support for terrorists and its participation in the Saudi “coalition” of slaughter in Yemen, Qatar may now be forced to play ball with both countries on a playing field that is anything but level.

Leading credence to Fadel’s claims, the Saudis have accused Qatar of “supporting Iran.”

The Israeli Element
 There is perhaps another reason that the Qataris are being cut off by Saudi Arabia and their coalition. Notice that one of the demands issued by the Saudis is not only that Qatar cut off support for the Muslim Brotherhood, but also that it cut off support for Hamas. Although, by now, it is well-known that Israel was responsible for the
creation of Hamas for the purpose of splintering, radicalizing, and breaking the Palestinian opposition, there is the danger of the terrorist organization becoming unmanageable. It is also possible that the Israelis are planning some type of major operation that would render the Palestinian opposition – both political and military – nonexistent. After all, with a Republican Trump presidency that has expressed complete fealty to the Zionist settler state and with a base intellectually enslaved to the cult of Christian Zionism, Israeli war crimes and slaughter of civilians is not likely to raise American eyebrows. With the Palestinian resistance at the weakest point it has ever been and with Syria and Hezbollah distracting with the Syrian war against Western (and Israeli) backed terrorists, the time may soon be right for Israel to strike a death blow to the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian people.

More than the question of manageability, however, is the fact that the Saudis and the Israelis have become and more and open about collaborating, despite the appearance KSA needs to keep up of being anti-Israel in order to have any credibility at all.

One other reason is that the KSA wants to control Qatari gas at a time when clean energy options are being sought to help the environment.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, June 12th, 2017.]

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