Trump’s Embrace of the Saudi Crown Prince, and a Qatar Nightmare Scenario

horiz-long grey

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.


The New York Times reports that Tillerson flew out from Jiddah Wednesday night “without even attempting the usual tight-smiled announcements of incremental progress.” Maybe because there was none.

The Saudis, along with their Egyptian, UAE, and Bahraini allies, are determined to ostracize and isolate Qatar. Not for the stated reason—repeated by  a clueless Donald Trump on June 9—that Qatar supports terrorism.

Trump, claiming credit for leading the effort, declared, “The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.” He claimed (alluding to his Saudi visit) that “nations came together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behavior… I decided, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, our great generals and military people, the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding—they have to end that funding, and its extremist ideology in terms of funding. Do we take the easy road or do we finally take a hard but necessary action? We have to stop the funding of terrorism.” This is bullshit. It rests upon the Saudi and Egyptian assumption that tolerating the Muslim Brotherhood, allowing media criticisms of Gulf Cooperation Council regimes, and refusal to condemn Hizbollah all constitute support for terrorism.


Editor’s Note: It is cruelly ironic—although well understood in enlightened quarters—that a great deal of the mess the world is in as a result of the perennial tinderbox politics of the Middle East stems from the US and its allies’ stubborn refusal to abandon oil as their primary energy source. While the Middle East may have an intrinsic geostrategic value, the main reason the big powers are still squabbling in that area is on account of hydrocarbons, as the region is literally sitting atop an ocean of oil. So here we see the short-term gain mentality of Western capitalism dooming the world to the threat of a nuclear war over control of this much coveted “black gold”, and dooming the environment because of its longstanding refusal to quickly develop clean energy sources. Does humanity really need any more proof that this system is morally and operationally kaput? —PG


The real reason for the pressure on Qatar is Iran, and the Saudis’ long term campaign to undermine the Islamic Republic and its Shiite allies and “proxies” (real or imagined) in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere in the region. Riyadh is concerned about the prospects of Shiite rebellion within the Saudi Arabia itself, where over 10% of the population are Shiites oppressed by Wahhabi rule; and in Bahrain, where 70% are Shiites, ruled by an absolute monarch who shares the Saudis’ Wahhabi Islam.

Young Crown Prince Salman clearly feels he has received the green light from Trump to lead, in tandem with Egypt, an anti-Iranian coalition. (The NYT states: “Part of the reason a deal could not be reached…is that the president’s embrace for King Salman…is thought to have given the kingdom the confidence to start and then stick by the embargo regardless of Tillerson’s increasing urgent and frustrated feelings.” ) This anti-Iran effort requires the ostracizing of Doha, and its expulsion from the Gulf Cooperation Council, unless it accepts a list of non-negotiable demands (including the closure or complete reorganization of the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network which sometimes reports critically on the countries now targeting Qatar).


Trump walks with King Salman, center at right, after arriving at King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. 

This rupture among some of its closest Mideast partners is most certainly not in Washington’s interests. Qatar hosts 11,000 U.S. troops at Al Udeid Air Base. This is the largest concentration of U.S. forces in the region. Bahrain meanwhile hosts the Fifth Fleet, with 5,000 U.S. sailors and Marines in port at any time. It’s awkward for the two countries to be at odds with one another. And it’s embarrassing for the U.S. to be so conspicuously unable to reconcile its allies. What if the crazed and vicious Saudi prince, who has unleashed pure hell on neighboring Yemen with unqualified U.S. support, were to call Trump at 4 A.M. sometime soon, and ask what he thought about a Saudi annexation of Qatar, in order to fight terrorism?

He might remind Trump, or inform him for the first time, that Saudi Arabia intervened in Bahrain in March 2011 to aid the Sunni king in suppressing Shiite protests. So there is successful precedent.

Trump—fondly remembering that sword dance with the king—just might say, sounds good to me, I just need to check with my generals since we have troops there as I recall. The prince would say, “The troops can stay of course. And we will pay all their expenses from this point. We will hurt Iran and its terrorist allies in the region.”

Later that morning Tillerson and Secretary of “Defense” James Mattis will perhaps say: “No, Mr. President, this is not a good idea. Congress will surely react with horror, and attempt to sanction Saudi Arabia. You’re already in deep political danger. Siding with the one country in the world that doesn’t allow women to drive against a neighbor that has a far more liberal culture and civil society does not look good politically, even if the latter does have a cordial relationship with Tehran. It would be a hard sell, and very much complicate the already difficult relationship with Turkey, a NATO member and also a Doha ally. The Europeans would be very upset.” Donald will listen, frown, and maybe nod his head in apparent understanding.

But let’s say the prince calls back mid-afternoon and Trump, preoccupied with Junior’s situation—and disregarding advice as he often does, and being impulsive as he often is—says: “Well, you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess. Just don’t attack our base. Say hello to your dad, he’s doing a terrific job.”

Then the chaos unleashed by George W. Bush in 2003 will enter a new stage. Turkey, which has troops stationed in Qatar and has offered assistance to Doha to cope with its current difficulties, will perhaps break ties with Riyadh and draw closer to Iran. Iran may move to seize control of the Persian Gulf oil field jointly owned by Qatar and Iran. Trump will declare the Saudi-Egyptian led war on Iran a war against terrorism and the Iranian nuclear threat. Pandora’s box has been open for many years now, and the hope that remained in the box may have escaped by now too. 


About the Author
 Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu 


The real reason for the pressure on Qatar is Iran, and the Saudis’ long term campaign to undermine the Islamic Republic and its Shiite allies and “proxies” (real or imagined) in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere in the region. Riyadh is concerned about the prospects of Shiite rebellion within the Saudi Arabia itself, where over 10% of the population are Shiites oppressed by Wahhabi rule; and in Bahrain, where 70% are Shiites, ruled by an absolute monarch who shares the Saudis’ Wahhabi Islam.

Think!

^0Americans are the most over-entertained, uninformed people on the planet.

Ignorant about domestic and geopolitical issues mattering most.

The most important act anyone can do is stop using all mainstream media.

No exceptions whatsoever. It’s brainwash propaganda.

Toxic sludge for the mind.

Voices like this are NEVER heard on the mainstream media.

The "1%" is the global plutocracy, the billionaires.

A sociopathic, puny segment of humanity.

These people pretend to honor and defend democracy.

But are its murderers and undertakers.

Gross injustice, war, grotesque inequality is their handiwork.

And the murder of the planet

Just 8 billionaires own as much wealth as HALF of all humanity.

That's 8 guys are richer than 4 billion people.

The corporate media is their main line of defense.

That's why the best way to break their hold on us...

Is to break their media.

The corporate chokehold on political information is killing us.

Save humanity, the planet and its innocent creatures.

Increase public distrust in the mainstream media.

Defeat their power to mislead.

They lie 24/7. They sell you war. Injustice. Death. Confusion.

And they never stop.

Some more obviously than others, but they all lie.

So trust no one on the Big Media.

And beware of "entertainment shows".

Most also carry highly toxic imperialist propaganda.

Like the fungal NCIS series. Or "24", glorifying DHS.

The police state.

Or CBS Madam Secretary.

A ridiculous show, like The West Wing.

Telling us the US government is good.

That the president is good...that its cabinet is good.

That the US establishment—which they represent...

has noble aims. Rubbish!

Get the healing truth from citizens' media.

Like The Greanville Post and similar free voices.

Do your part to break the power of the mainstream media.

Defeat the presstitutes. The media felons.

Become a soldier in the battle of communications.

Which we must win.

As the ruling cliques prepare the world for nuclear war...

now it's a matter of survival!

Start today! Share our articles on your social media.

Put us on Facebook, Twitter, Google or Instagram accounts!

Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report 

Make sure many more people see this. It's literally a matter of life an death. Imperial lies kill! Share widely.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •