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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Accuse: Obama Selling Arms to Qatar, a Terrorist State

Yesterday, Obama declared "Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group." But is Obama truly "appalled" by the beheading of Foley, a freelance journalist, by the Islamic State, alternately known as ISIL or ISIS? If so, why is he selling billion of dollars of arms to Qatar, a tiny country which is the primary benefactor of Hamas, and whose citizens are believed to have funded the Islamic State and the radical al-Nusra Front? What precautions has Obama taken to prevent the advanced arms now being sold to Qatar from being transferred to these terrorist organizations? Why did Obama demand that Israel agree to Qatari mediation of Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza?

I submitted a guest opinion piece to a senior editor of The Washington Post, but yesterday he turned it down, explaining only "we're not able to use your piece." Below is the op-ed that I prepared for WaPo. Read it and decide for yourselves why WaPo could not "use" it:

Kerry, Cairo and Qatar: The Mystery Surrounding an American Foreign Policy Fiasco

Do you like a good mystery? If so, perhaps you might care to conjecture why President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently demanded that Qatar and Turkey, instead of Egypt,  mediate Israel’s war with Hamas, against Israel’s best interests.
Turkey? Everyone knows where Turkey, straddling Europe and Asia, is located. There’s a good chance that you’ve visited Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar or at least watched James Bond ride a motorcycle over its rooftops in “Skyfall.” Then, too, you’ve probably read several of its prime minister’s bizarre anti-Semitic pronouncements.
But I’m not here to talk Turkey. Rather, let’s focus our attention on Qatar. Can you correctly pronounce Qatar? Most Americans cannot manage the guttural Arabic pronunciation. More important, if I were to hand you a map of the world, could you place your pinkie on this country, which has a population of 2 million and is the size of Connecticut? Chances are you couldn’t.
Of course, you’ve probably read that Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World Cup. You might also know that Qatar, which has the world's third largest natural gas reserves, is the world's richest country per capita.
Additionally of interest, on July 14 Qatar inked an agreement to purchase $11 billion of arms from the United States, including 10 Patriot anti-missile batteries, 24 Apache attack helicopters and several hundred Javelin anti-tank missiles. Why is this Lilliputian-sized country so hungry for armaments? More to the point, why did Obama agree to this sale of advanced weaponry to a country believed to be the primary benefactor of Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the United States? Worse still, Qataris have been accused of financing the radical al-Nusra rebel faction in Syria as well as the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which is busy burying Yazidi women and children alive. None other than Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres has labelled Qatar “the world’s largest funder of terror.”
Moreover, why was Obama so adamant about making Qatar and Turkey the mediators, and not allowing Egypt, which had initiated the mediation process, to continue its work? In order to reach any semblance of a conclusion as to why Obama insisted upon Qatar and Turkey, it is necessary to wind the clock back a few years.
Foreign policy in the Arab world cannot be conducted without going through Egypt with its population of 82 million. Obama certainly knew this in the past, and in his highly heralded June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo, less than six months into his first term as president, Obama declared:
“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
A new beginning? Over the course of the next five years, things did not go as planned for the Obama administration, particularly as regards Egypt. In December 2010, the Arab Spring swept the Middle East, and when the demonstrations reached Cairo, Obama effectively demanded that Egypt's long-time president, Hosni Mubarak, a friend of the West, step down. Subsequently, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was planning to attend the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2012, was invited to the White House. However, the invitation was rescinded when the US embassy in Cairo came under attack by an angry mob on September 11, the same day on which the U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA annex in Benghazi were assaulted, leading to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Obama didn’t want Morsi’s visit to imperil his reelection campaign.
America’s relations with Egypt grew steadily worse. With the Egyptian economy tanking and the Muslim Brotherhood attempting to consolidate power, Morsi was removed from office in a July 2013 coup by the Egyptian military, which controls much of Egyptian industry. Irked by this affront to what was hoped to be nascent Egyptian democracy, the Obama administration responded by freezing “large-scale military systems and cash assistance to the government pending credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections.” As a consequence, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is now shopping for arms in Russia.
Worse still, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry poured oil on the fire by seeking to replace Egypt, which has a common border with Gaza, with Qatar and Turkey as mediators of Israel’s conflict with Hamas. The Egyptian military despises Hamas, owing to its close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and it came as no surprise that Kerry was subjected to a demeaning metal detector test before being allowed to meet with Sisi in Cairo last month, while trying to force his way into the negotiation process.
Frustrated by his frigid reception in Cairo, Kerry hastily flew to Paris, where he convened a meeting with diplomats from France, Britain, Italy and Germany, and also the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey. Representatives from Egypt and the Palestinian Authority were not invited to the secretary of state’s soirée, which resulted in nothing, but added insult to America’s traditional Arab allies.
Having infuriated Egypt, Saudi Arabia (whose relations with Qatar are strained), and the Palestinian Authority in one fell swoop, and with Israeli journalists from both the right and the left lambasting the incompetence of America’s secretary of state, Kerry conveniently disappeared on a seven-day voyage to Afghanistan, Burma, Australia, the Solomon Islands and Hawaii.
Back now to the original question: Why did Barack Obama seek to impose Qatar as a mediator upon Israel? Was it really because the U.S. was seeking a country with financial leverage over Hamas? This hardly makes sense, given Egypt’s control over the flow of goods across its mutual border with Gaza, which trumps any amount of Qatari funding.
Alternatively, was this an expression of petulance on the part of Obama, given General Sisi’s arrest of Mohammed Morsi, thus putting the kibosh on Egypt’s fleeting experiment with democracy and the president’s “new beginning”?
Or was this just the effect of jetlag on John Kerry?
Whatever the reason, it has proven another painful diplomatic setback for the United States.

[According to Fatah, Qatar forced Hamas to break the most recent truce arranged by Egypt and threatened to expel Khaled Mashal, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, from Qatar, where he maintains his offices, if he did not reopen rocket fire on Israel (see: and,7340,L-4561522,00.html). On Monday, US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf admitted: "Today, [Kerry] has spoken with the Israeli prime minister, the Israeli foreign minister, the Turkish foreign minister, and the Qatari foreign minister. We need countries that have leverage over leaders of Hamas who can help put a cease-fire in place."]



  1. The statement by Marie Harf (in red) makes the effort, it seems, to obfuscate that Hamas is rogue organization that no one can control as they continue on their suicidal path. The current US administration is more dark and foul than any that has existed previously. What I wonder is who pulls Obama's strings or hasn't he any? Thoughts?

    May I quote from this on my FB?

    1. Please feel free to quote from this blog item.

      Moreover, I will be grateful if everyone who reads this blog item can send copies to their friends and to their representatives in Congress.

      This is an outrage.

  2. Jeff, let me check something ...
    For Bergdahl, Obama released 5 terrorists AND armed ISIS knowing well about Qatar/ISIS connections and the fact that ISIS holds American hostages?

  3. I posted link to it on my page and will make it for public, not just friends. Recommended wide circulation and that it was rejected after submission to WP even though they sort of curated it, if I'm correct. What a travesty! And I thought the Post would be amenable to this content. Shame on them.

    1. I don't blame WaPo. They were interested in my thoughts as to how peace can be achieved. However, it has become abundantly clear to me that no peace agreement can be reached so long as Obama and Kerry demand the involvement of Qatar, instead of Egypt, as a mediator.

  4. I just sent it to Rep. Henry Waxman.

  5. One of my FB friends wonders if perhaps Obama administration trumped the WaPo to reject it. I said you were not alleging that although, who knows?

    1. I'm certain that the Obama administration was not involved. WaPo must decide for itself what it regards as relevant or of interest, and I do not fault them for this.

  6. 1. That shows the "independent and free press" how free and independent they are really. They are the worst manipulators in public opinion through rejecting the truth and presenting only what fits to the poltical requirements (establishment)
    2. Delivering High Tech weapons to Qatar is a war crime (specially it is known that Qatar, Turkey, Jordan are supporting direct and indirect terrorists and are the real enemy of democracy)
    3. Where is Ban-Ki Moon crying lot out for the support of Terrorist supporters with High Tech weapons (Oops i forget to tell that Ban-Ki Moon with his organisation called UN - cost my tax money - supports the terrorists as well with his infrastracture and labor. He helps to hide weapons of all kinds, takes care about health care of terrorists, provides transportation for killers and weapons - makes sure if weapons are detected, that the weapons are falling back into hands of the terrorists.
    4. When will the international community put Obama, Kerry and Ban-Ki Moon into front of the international Judgement in Den Haag for war crime of the worst??? When will Obama give back his peace nobel prize (A real joke, as it is a real joke that Arafat has one)