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Qatar

World

Wei Qi In The Persian Gulf

Amidst increasingly heinous accusations of Russian election interference, growing dissidence amongst the domestic United States, and the ever-enduring Rodman-Kim romance saga hailed as soft diplomacy, President Trump finds himself beset on all sides by both danger and opportunity. None are more apparent than the growing regional tensions in the Persian Gulf. To achieve an early-term masterstroke of foreign policy acumen, Trump will not find success in playing the conventional role, but in playing wei qi. Let’s rewind a bit: On June 5, 2017, a joint action was issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and the Maldives to sever diplomatic ties with the small gulf-state of Qatar. The move was, at surface level, taken with shock considering the active role that the Qatari military played in Saudi Arabia’s coalition intervening in the Yemeni Civil War. Most would view this as the first piece on the board. However, Qatar had begun encirclement far before the Saudi’s could have caught on. Keep Reading

News

Hypocritical Arab Leaders Tell Trump That Qatar Responsible For ‘Funding Of Radical Ideology’

President Donald Trump has hit back against Qatar for suggesting a coup against him, stating that the Arab leaders he met at last month’s summit in Riyadh universally blamed Qatar for “funding of radical ideology” and “extremism”. Qatar has strong ties with global Islamist networks, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. On Twitter, he said: “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!” “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”  Keep Reading

News/World

Qatar’s Leader Suggests Coup Against Trump, Throws Arab NATO Proposal Into Doubt

Qatari Emir Hamad Al-Thani has thrown the Trump administration’s Arab NATO proposal into disarray by apparently suggesting a coup against President Trump and sparking up a feud with other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Al-Thani stated that while Qatar’s relationship with the United States remains fairly good, there are “tensions“, and he believes “the situation will change because of the judicial investigations into the President’s abuses.” The Emir’s surprising remarks strongly  suggest that Qatar believes Trump’s grip on power is tenuous and that there is a strong possibility he may be impeached or forced to resign. His description of Trump’s past actions as “abuses” also indicates that Qatar would look favorably on this outcome. However, it could also mean that Qatar believes Trump will be somehow pressured into changing his stances on various issues as a result of these investigations. The Emir went on to tout his good relationship with Iran,”because it is unwise to escalate the situation with Iran”, and also praised the work of militant groups Hezbollah and… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics/Religion

The New Colossus Criteria

When Emma Lazarus wrote The New Colossus in 1883 she may or may not have been aware that, 6,500 miles to the east in the Arabian Peninsula, the Al Saud were clashing with their bitter rivals, the al-Rashids from the city of Hayil. Things didn’t go well for the Al Saud and, consequently, they were driven from Ndaj into exile, eventually settling in Kuwait. It’s a fascinating story and perhaps Miss Lazarus would have agreed. Warring factions and power struggles aren’t unique to Islam. For centuries, bitter rivalries between the monarchical governments of Europe tormented the continent with near non-stop bloodshed. World War I destroyed the European monarchies as well as the Muslim Ottoman empire, and after the Second World War western states eventually coalesced under a new covenant. Rivalries persist to this day among NATO member states but we have, by in large, become more civil and sophisticated. It’s a cerebral and superficially amiable relationship but it works. Keep Reading

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