Take Notice: Tiny Qatar is Powerful

10 31 2014

Speaking of Ishmael and his descendants: “and he is a wild-ass man, his hand against every one, and every one’s hand against him — and before the face of all his brethren he dwelleth”.

We sometimes forget that the prophecy in Genesis 16:12, speaking of Ishmael’s hand against others applies most often to the Arab world’s hatred of Israel. Remember, it also applies to Arab hostility aimed at other Arab tribes. We see this in the mounting tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Why the tension? The Saudis are anti-Muslim brotherhood, while the tiny, but wealthy nation of Qatar is pro Muslim brotherhood. Also, Qatar has a friendlier relationship with Iran; Saudi Arabia views Iran as the great enemy of the Saudi Royal family.

Qatar occupies a strategically important position in the Persian Gulf. A tiny peninsula jutting out from Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast– it is the world’s leader when in comes to exporting LNG (liquefied natural gas).

Doha’s (capital of Qatar) strategic outlook is based on two driving motivations: It does not want to accept Saudi hegemony of the Sunni Arab world, and Qatar wants to be seen as a political force in the Middle East, no longer overshadowed by its bigger “brother” Saudi Arabia.

A major disagreement exists between Qatar and the Saudi leadership over Qatar’s financial support of the Muslim Brotherhood elements in the Middle East, including its support of Hamas in Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist Sunni organizations such as Al-Nusra Front want to overthrow the Saudi Royal family—this does not sit well with Saudi princes. Another bone of contention revolves around the increasingly popular Al Jazeera television network, which often produces news stories that are slanted against Saudi Arabia. The government of Qatar owns Al Jazeera, arguably the most respected media outlet in the region and the one with the largest global audience (260 million). Al Jazeera television offers Qatar a very powerful “bully pulpit”.

I am watching this Arab versus Arab quarrel, which is escalating. And now a brief look at tiny but very wealthy Qatar:

Qatar [local population Ishmaelite]

• Population 2.18 million [Sunni]
Al Jazeera Television out of Doha, Qatar now claims it reaches 260 million households in more than 130 countries. It is aiming to become the next “CNN”. The importance of Al Jazeera to Qatar’s foreign policy ambitions cannot be overstated. Al Jazeera TV helped shape popular opinion in the Arab world through its critical coverage of the Mubarak regime in Egypt and the Gadhafi regime in Libya during the so-called Arab Spring, which compelled countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and others to send delegates to Doha to push for less negative coverage of their sensitive political situations.--Stratfor.com
The richest per capita country in the world–Qatar has the world’s 3rd largest natural gas reserves. Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, becoming the First Arab Country to host the event!

• A supporter of Hamas in Gaza, and a (rumored supporter of ISIS)
• Friction between Qatar and Saudi Arabia: Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide, the Brotherhood would like to overthrow the Saudi Royal family. Qatar has a friendly relationship with Iran—the great rival to Saudi Arabia.
• Local media report that 40% of Qatari marriages now end in divorce. More than two-thirds of Qataris, adults and children, are obese—BBC World Service
Qatar has been steadily buying up much of the UK. It owns a vast amount of the Canary Wharf financial district. During the banking crisis, it stepped in to become the biggest shareholder in Barclays. It owns the Olympic Village, Harrods and the world’s most expensive apartment block at No 1 Hyde Park. It owns Camden Market, the Shard and 20 per cent of the London Stock Exchange. It has also become Britain’s biggest supplier of imported liquefied natural gas.—Melanie Phillips

Later in the week we will look at Saudi Arabia—the great Ishmaelite nation of the Middle East.

Steven LeBlanc

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