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Monday, August 25, 2014

Roger Cohen, "The Making of a Disaster": When You Play With the Devil (Qatar), There Is Hell to Pay

In a New York Times editorial entitled "The Making of a Disaster," Roger ("Iran is not totalitarian") Cohen is back today with an explanation of why "The chicken that came home to roost from the Syrian debacle is called ISIS." Cohen provides a laundry list of contributory factors:

  • Bush’s "bungled war in Iraq;"
  • Saudi and Pakistani funding "of violent Sunni extremism;"
  • failure to demonstrate in Egypt "that Arab societies can evolve out of the radicalizing confrontation of dictatorship and Islamism;"
  • Obama's inaction and failure to enforce a red line in Syria following Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians;
  • failure to anticipate that jihadi extremists would fill the resultant Arab "vacuum;"
  • "inattention, until it was too late, to festering sectarian conflict in a broken Iraqi society left to its fate by a complete American withdrawal."

Saudi and Pakistani funding of Sunni extremism? Cohen forgets to mention Qatar, a country with which the US signed an $11 billion arms deal in July.

Qatar? Funny you should ask. As reported by Al Jazeera yesterday in an article entitled "Kidnapped US journalist freed in Syria" (my emphasis in red):

"An American journalist kidnapped nearly two years ago has been freed in Syria following Qatari mediation and handed over to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.

Peter Theo Curtis was handed over to UN peacekeepers in the village of al-Rafid, Quneitra, on Sunday. He has since been turned over to representatives from the US government after undergoing medical check-up, the UN said.

Curtis' family thanked both the governments of the US and Qatar, as well as others who helped negotiate his release.

According to a statement from his family, Curtis was captured in October 2012 and was reportedly held by the al-Nusra Front or by splinter groups allied with the al-Qaeda-affiliated group."

And as reported by The Washington Post today in an article entitled "Qatar played now-familiar role in helping to broker U.S. hostage’s release" by Adam Goldman and Karen DeYoung:

"Qatar, whose relationships with Islamist groups has at times been publicly questioned by the administration, has privately become the go-to U.S. partner for indirect communications with those groups. They include Hamas, at war with Israel in the Gaza Strip for the past month, and Jabhat al-Nusra, the group that held Curtis, which the United States has designated a foreign terrorist organization and a 'wholly owned subsidiary' of al-Qaeda.
. . . .

Qatari officials say their country’s contributions are the natural outgrowth of their belief in nonjudgmental dialogue.

. . . .

Obama administration officials don’t necessarily buy into the altruistic narrative, and some share the concern of Qatar’s Persian Gulf neighbors that it is seeking only to boost its status as a regional power far beyond its size. While Treasury Department officials have said the Qatari government no longer funds groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, they believe that a handful of wealthy Qatari individuals continue to raise funds for Islamist groups in Syria."

What is the reason that Qatar wields such enormous power over the al-Nusra Front and the Taliban (Qatar brokered the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last month in May)? Answer: Qatar's ongoing funding of terror. Qatar no longer funds the al-Nusra Front and ISIS? Bullshit! If Qatar didn't want to continue funding these monstrous Islamic terrorist organization, it would not allow its citizens to continue to make "contributions."

And although there was no direct payment of ransom for the release of Peter Theo Curtis, America's $11 billion arms deal with Qatar in June greased the wheels.

Apparently, Obama and friends never learned that when you play with the devil, ultimately there is hell to pay.


  1. For these op-ed writers of the Times, there is a curious phenomenon for which there may, as yet, be no name in the psychology manuals. A layman might call it "wishful thinking" but it entails this weaving together of words that creates, at least to the sensibility of the writer, a material reality--and much like a G-d-like sense of creativity from words alone. Declare and it shall be, or already is. So Qatar is a "go-to... partner" and believers in "non-judgmental dialogue." Well, isn't that special. Let there be light.


    So, it turns out that Egypt and the UAE are the one's responsible for the recent air strikes on Islamist factions in Tripoli,
    Libya - and without consulting their allies, the US and the UK! How dare them ;-)
    My 5 second synopsis from an Israeli perspective:
    Egypt, UAE: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
    Qatar: The friend of my enemy is my enemy.
    US: We don't have allies, only interests.