Time of Reckoning With Qatar

The Gulf state of Qatar is now being faced with a crucial choice: They can either stop funding terrorists, or they can deal with increasing international isolation. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Bahrain have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and instituted an economic blockade over the issue, and it has forced the US into a choice as well. Presently, we have an important strategic military base in Qatar. Nonetheless, we must also face up to Qatar’s duplicity. Today at a press conference with the President of Romania, President Trump stated that Qatar must cease its funding of terrorism. That means that if Qatar continues playing both sides of the fence, the President will be forced to carry through with his implied threat of following suit with the aforementioned states in some manner. (Of course, Saudi Arabia is guilty of the same duplicity, and sooner or later, we will have to confront that as well.) Today’s words by the President are significant; he has put Qatar on notice. At the same time, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is attempting to resolve the matter diplomatically with the above nations.

More specifically, Qatar has been accused of being a harbor for terrorist financiers and providing support to Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, and other designated terror groups while providing some support to counter terrorist efforts.

Occasionally, we have to deal with unpleasant allies. We did that in World War II when the Soviet Union was our ally. There was a big difference, however. They were fully committed to fighting Nazi Germany after Hitler attacked them. Unfortunately, in today’s world as well, geo-politics forces us to make strategic ties with countries we would rather have nothing to do with.

Aside from the terror issue, Qatar has been accused of bribing FIFA officials to win the 2022  soccer World Cup. They are also accused of abusing the health and welfare of thousands of foreign workers who have been brought in to build the numerous soccer stadiums needed to accommodate the games. The working conditions have been described as inhuman, and there have been several worker deaths. Ironically, the Saudi-led blockade is threatening the ability of Qatar to continue building the stadiums-not to mention the damage to the country’s oil and gas industry.

Qatar is also the base of Al Jazeera, which has its arms into the English-speaking world with its Al Jazeera English branch. Aside from its obviously slanted pro-Arab, anti-Israeli tilt, it also employs many Western news people and op-ed writers. That any Westerner or American would have any links with Al Jazeera is, in my mind contemptible.

In the war on terror, there should be no duplicity. If Qatar thinks they can play this double game, they should be squeezed until they have no choice but to kick the terrorist financiers out, seize the money, stop their ties and assistance to terror groups, and cooperate with us fully. If they don’t, I say let them become an international pariah as a state sponsor of terror.

About the Author
Gary Fouse worked from 1998-2016 as adjunct teacher at University of California at Irvine Ext. teaching English as a second language. Served three years in US Army Military Police at Erlangen, Germany 1966-68. 1970-1973- Criminal Investigator with US Customs 1973-1995 Criminal investigator with Drug Enforcement Administration. Stationed in Los Angeles, Bangkok, Milan, Italy, Pittsburgh and Office of Training, FBI Academy, Quantico, Va. until retirement. Author of Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town-University Press of America 2005. The Story of Papiamentu- A Study in Slavery and Language, University Press of America, 2002. The Languages of the Former Soviet Republics-Their History and Development, University Press of America, 2000.