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Saturday, October 10, 2015

New York Times Editorial, "Why Is Money Still Flowing to ISIS? ": Answer ... Qatar

In another dumb-ass editorial entitled "Why Is Money Still Flowing to ISIS?," The New York Times writes:

"The Treasury Department is leading an international effort to disrupt trade routes, cut access to the international financial system, and impose sanctions on Islamic State leaders and anyone who assists them. Last week, the State Department offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to a significant disruption of sales of oil or antiquities benefiting the group.

. . . .

Despite American efforts to cut off the group’s oil revenues, the most recent estimate is that ISIS earns about $40 million a month selling oil from fields in Syria and Iraq, with refined products going to local buyers, while crude oil is sold to middlemen and smugglers with customers in Iraq and Syria, including the Syrian regime, and beyond.

The Islamic State is also looting banks; demanding ransom from kidnap victims; engaging in human trafficking; selling off plundered antiquities; and leaning on private donors, mainly in Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia."

The editorial concludes:

"If the group’s brutal rampage is to be halted, more effective efforts to undermine its finances are essential. Military force can be only one element of a multipronged strategy."

Well, I'm here to pick up my $5 million reward.

After the Islamic State beheaded 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya earlier this year, Cairo sent its air force to bomb ISIS bases in Libya, and Qatar expressed its dismay over the attack. A brouhaha between Qatar and Egypt resulted, and Aljazeera reported in an article entitled "Qatar recalls ambassador to Egypt over ISIL row":

"Qatar has recalled its ambassador to Egypt 'for consultation' after a row over Cairo's air strikes on targets of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Libya, Qatari state media said.

A foreign ministry official said Doha was recalling its envoy over a statement made by Egypt's delegate to the Arab League Tariq Adel, according to Qatar News Agency.

Adel accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, according to Egyptian media, after Doha's representative expressed reservations over a clause in a communique welcoming Cairo's air strikes on ISIL targets."

As well known to Egypt, Qatar funds ISIS and al-Qaeda, but that didn't stop Obama from selling to the Qataris $11 billion worth of Apache helicopters and Patriot and Javelin air-defense systems a year ago.

And as reported in a February 2015 Daily Beast article entitled "An American Ally’s Grand Mosque of Hate" by Jamie Dettmer:

"In recent weeks, the Qataris have come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration and other Western governments to curb the emirate’s ties with radical Islamist movements—U.S. officials say Qatar has now replaced its neighbor Saudi Arabia as the source of the largest private donations to the Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliates.

When the spotlight is on—when jihad moneymen in Qatar and their funding networks are exposed and attract high levels of Western protest—Qatari authorities take some limited actions.

But there seems to be no persuading Qatar to stop running with the hare and hunting with the hounds—and that remains the case with providing platforms for ideological fellow-travelers of ISIS and al Qaeda or their supporters. And when Western attention is focused elsewhere, the Grand Mosque rings to sermons promoting the same intolerant strain of Islam endorsed by ISIS and used to justify the group’s barbarity."

Indeed, Qatar is playing both sides of the fence. Qatari banks and Qatari donors are being strong-armed into aiding ISIS? Rubbish!

If you wish to cut off Qatari support of the Islamic State, you need only prevent Qatari financial institutions from accessing the American banking system. But the Obama administration would never do this. It would cost the United States billions of dollars in arms sales, which could migrate to France or . . . Russia.

Moreover, let's be fair: Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq are no less brutal than ISIS. But heck, Obama just forged a nuclear deal with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, and the Times wouldn't want to criticize Tehran.

Bottom line: The incoherence of Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East extends far beyond Syria.

1 comment:

  1. one NYT reader, a real historian, finally realized what he is reading:

    with one very good comment about the muslim claim