Consider this yet another one of the New York Times articles which document briefly how Qatar is arming Al Qaeda and other Islamists while Obama Inc. turns a blind eye.
The entire affair carries with it the stench of plausible deniability. That was true in Libya, where the Times documented that US personnel were told to turn a blind eye to Qatari smuggling ops. And it’s the same thing now.
The Times tries to claim that Obama has no control over Qatar and needs Qatar. But is that really the truth or is he aligned with the masters of Al Jazeera and using that supposed lack of control as an excuse to let them do what he wants them to do anyway?
Qatar, the tiny, oil- and gas-rich emirate that has made itself the indispensable nation to rebel forces battling calcified Arab governments and that has been shipping arms to the Syrian rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad since 2011.
Since the beginning of the year, according to four American and Middle Eastern officials with knowledge of intelligence reports on the weapons, Qatar has used a shadowy arms network to move at least two shipments of shoulder-fired missiles, one of them a batch of Chinese-made FN-6s, to Syrian rebels who have used them against Mr. Assad’s air force.
The Times gently understates what Qatar is actually doing and where those weapons are going. Until we reach this formal “warning” from Obama.
Mr. Obama, during a private meeting in Washington in April, warned Sheik Hamad about the dangers of arming Islamic radicals in Syria, though American officials for the most part have been wary of applying too much pressure on the Qatari government. “Syria is their backyard, and they have their own interests they are pursing,” said one administration official.
Obama backs the FSA, so we’re not talking FSA here. We’re talking hard core Islamists. Harder even than the FSA’s brigades. But parse this phrasing, “American officials for the most part have been wary of applying too much pressure on the Qatari government. “Syria is their backyard, and they have their own interests they are pursing,” said one administration official.”
Syria isn’t really Qatar’s backyard. And Iran and a dozen other countries are also pursuing their own interests in Syria. What makes Qatar special.
What makes Obama Inc. so afraid of applying pressure beyond a minor formal warning?
The United States has little leverage over Qatar on the Syria issue because it needs the Qataris’ help on other fronts. Qatar is poised to host peace talks between American and Afghan officials and the Taliban, who have set up a political office in Doha, the Qatari capital.
Really? We’re turning a blind eye to Qatar arming terrorists because we need their help appeasing the Taliban? If you want the absurdity of Obama’s appeasement policies in one snapshot, there it is.
“They punch immensely above their weight,” one senior Western diplomat said of the Qataris. “They keep everyone off balance by not being in anyone’s pocket.”
“Their influence comes partly from being unpredictable,” the diplomat added.
Let’s reword that.
Qatar is entirely predictable. Qatar supports Islamists terrorists from the Muslim Brotherhood on up. Its pet propaganda network, Al Jazeera, gave Bin Laden a forum. It helped push the Arab Spring. It supports Hamas.
Qatar isn’t in anyone’s pocket, but plenty of American diplomats are in Qatar’s pocket.
In Mr. Obama’s meeting with Sheik Hamad at the White House on April 23, American officials said, he had warned that the weapons were making their way to radical groups like Jabhet al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front, a Qaeda-affiliated group that the United States has designated as a terrorist organization.
Plausible deniability established. Proceed on course.