June 6, 2017

Trump's Qatar tweets.

This morning:



NYT article on the subject: "Trump Takes Credit for Saudi Move Against Qatar, a U.S. Military Partner."
Qatar has long been accused of funneling arms and money to radical groups in Syria, Libya and other Arab countries. But so has Saudi Arabia. And Mr. Trump’s tweets have huge potential strategic consequences in the Middle East, where Qatar is a crucial military outpost for the United States....

It has also built deep ties to American academia, providing funding and real estate to build Middle Eastern campuses for six major universities, including Cornell, Georgetown and Northwestern.

Qatar’s financing of radical groups has long been a source of tension with Washington. But the United States has generally avoided taking sides in the regional feuds in the Persian Gulf since it has strategic ties with several of the gulf states.

64 comments:

gregq said...

"It has also built deep ties to American academia, providing funding and real estate to build Middle Eastern campuses for six major universities, including Cornell, Georgetown and Northwestern."

It's amusing how they see this as a positive thing.

Funder of terrorism bribes Universities to gloss over its crimes, how HORRIBLE that the US gov't is going after these people!

Todd said...

NYT article on the subject: "Trump Takes Credit for Saudi Move Against Qatar, a U.S. Military Partner."

I know it doesn't rate up there with slowing the rise of the oceans or healing the planet but we can't all be Obama, amiright?

YoungHegelian said...

Oh, come on! Of course, Trump's sign-off on "putting the squeeze" on Qatar was important to the other Gulf States. Do you think that the Gulf States would have taken the chance of angering the US, who has a major military base in Qatar, to no good purpose?

So, yeah, Trump's backing made the move against Qatar happen. It also indicates to Qatar that, military base or not, the USA isn't going to have their backs in this fight.

Now, I'm making no claim about the wisdom or possibility of success of this tactic, I'm just saying that it wouldn't have happened without Trump as Commander-in-Chief of the USA giving his blessing.

Achilles said...

The sad state of the current media when there is more accurate information on Trump's twitter account than they produce themselves.

St. George said...

Guess we have to close our gigantic military base there.

Earnest Prole said...

Apparently we just invaded Qatar.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

Little-known fact: The Qatari military is very small in size, and overwhelmingly non-Qatari in origin, mostly Pakistani and other South Asian countries. Doing the jobs Qataris won't do...

David Begley said...

Georgetown has a campus in Qatar? How's the basketball team?

YoungHegelian said...

@David Begley,

Georgetown has a campus in Qatar? How's the basketball team?

The real question is, which campus actually has more Jesuits?

Nonapod said...

I'm given to understand that there's been little love lost between Qatar and the House of Saud ever since Qatar began producing copious amounts of natural gas decades ago. But, whatever the reason, I think it's a good thing.

BarrySanders20 said...

Heard they have a team of local riders in the Indiana University satellite called the Qaters.

Little 500 Breaking Away joke for you Hoosiers.

wildswan said...

Oh come now. Trump's tweets will have no effect unless interpreted, amplified, emphasized by the media in a way that damages American interests. This they won't do. You might as well say that vetting for terrorists (which everyone does) would be turned by the media into a "Muslim ban."

n.n said...

This is like the audit of Fannie/Freddie that never happened, or the partnership with Stalin that did happen. Perhaps the Saudis are the better partner to force an audit.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, yesterday Die Welt described Trump as being guilty for the Doha blockade too, so at least Trump agrees with one mainstream media outlet. The comments on that article were quite funny, and by no means tipped in disfavor of Trump.

Static Ping said...

Not the standard way of doing foreign policy, but at least it has a purpose and works in America's interest. Sure, why not?

Quaestor said...

From time to time you must clean the Qatar. It's nasty, hazardous job, but without it the rot sets in.

Dave from Minnesota said...

The comments on that article were quite funny, and by no means tipped in disfavor of Trump.

The Trump family is starting a new brand. Mid-priced hotels in underserved markets (for nicer mid-to upper mid hotels). For the first group the Trumps are partnering with an Indian-American hotel owner in Mississippi. First is in Cleveland, Miss....home of Delta State Univ, Grammy Museum Mississippi, and just a nice town in an area that has been a little down on its luck.
But my point is....so I tortured myself by reading the Washington Post comments on this story.

Conservatives, moderates, classical liberals, anyone between the coasts....if you want to see how liberal Democrat feel about you, read the comments to this story. Its amazing how ignorant Wash Post readers are. I am not a fan of Trump, but I am happy to have voted for him when you see the alternative.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Should add to the above...the comments are not funny and all attack Trump and his sons.

madAsHell said...

He's not going to let this FAKE news thing die.

I love it!!

Virtually Unknown said...

Give him this, at least he said "perhaps." Obama could have saved himself a lot of ridicule, which I doubt was ever relayed to him anyway, had he sad "Perhaps this is the moment the oceans begin to cease their rise..."

John said...

"Qatar’s financing of radical groups has long been a source of tension with Washington. But the United States has generally avoided taking sides in the regional feuds in the Persian Gulf since it has strategic ties with several of the gulf states."

I guess it's time to have some 'embarrassing'conversations of our own, stop accepting the status quo, and pick our side a bit more selectively.

Yancey Ward said...

Yes, it is almost 100% certain that the Saudis and their allies got pre-approval for this move. However, the really shocking thing, if true, is the ransom Qatar paid Al Qaeda and the Iranian- almost unbelievable.

AReasonableMan said...

WSJ said of Trump's tweets:

If Mr. Trump’s action is legal on the merits, he seems to be angry that his lawyers are trying to vindicate the rule of law. Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be justified if he resigned, and this is merely the latest incident in which Mr. Trump popping off undermined his own lawyers. The White House spent days explaining that the President fired James Comey on the counsel of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, only for Mr. Trump to tell an interviewer that he planned to dismiss the FBI director in any case. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has also suggested that the temporary visa shutdown is not an “immigration ban.”

If this pattern continues, Mr. Trump may find himself running an Administration with no one but his family and the Breitbart staff. People of talent and integrity won’t work for a boss who undermines them in public without thinking about the consequences. And whatever happened to the buck stops here?

Mr. Trump is also sabotaging the legitimate legal basis for the travel ban, and the stakes are bigger than the ban itself, which we think is counterproductive and unnecessary. He is exercising core presidential powers over foreign affairs that the courts may restrict if Mr. Trump keeps daring them to do so.

Michael Guarino said...

"And Mr. Trump’s tweets have huge potential strategic consequences in the Middle East, where Qatar is a crucial military outpost for the United States...."

Just dwell on this for a minute. The NYT seriously thinks there are potential strategic consequences from...tweets.

This is why no one cares what the media thinks anymore. They are demonstrable fools.

Matthew Sablan said...

I mean, to be fair, there *can* be consequences from Tweets. Loose lips, sink ships, after all.

But in this case, I don't think Qatar WANTS to be a haven for terrorism. I'm sure a good chunk of their ruling class and regular people would rather use money for things other than terrorism. I'm pretty sure we could probably get Qatar on the "don't let Qatar turn into a terrorist failed state" club (if it is even getting bad enough there yet that that is a short-term possibility).

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Qatar is believed to have sheltered Hamza bin Laden after the SEAL raid on his father's hideout in 2011. According to the sources, Bin Laden received religious training while hiding there incognito, and was later smuggled into Saudi Arabia, where he has spent his time preaching jihad among the ethnic Yemenis who live on both sides of the SA/Yemen border. (The Bin Laden family are also ethnic Yemenis.) The gist of his preaching is a demand for holy war against the House of Saud, which Hamza bin Laden say is in league with the Crusaders. This is the origin of the sporadic fighting that has broken out between the SA government and Yemeni rebel groups over the last several years. The Saudis believe, not without evidence, that Iran has sent arms and equipment to those rebels by way of Qatar, and that Hamza bin Laden has evaded Saudi troops by slipping back and forth over the Qatar border, with Qatari authorities turning a blind eye to his activities.

(reposted with typo correction)

Quaestor said...

I don't think Qatar WANTS to be a haven for terrorism.

Like all of these Arabian royal houses, Qatar has hundreds of princes who receive a princely income from oil and gas revenues. Most of them are content to live dissolute lives involving fast cars and fast women — harmless playboys, but a few want to be heroes of Islam. Even just one of them gone rogue could finance a new Al-Qada without even noticing the slightest pinch in his lifestyle.

hombre said...

Qatar gave a million bucks to the Clinton Foundation while she was SOS that went unreported until discovered by a journalist. One of many, apparently. Initially, the Foundation denied receiving the gift.

Hmmm? But, but ... the RUSSIANS.

Michael Guarino said...

"I mean, to be fair, there *can* be consequences from Tweets. Loose lips, sink ships, after all."

Loose lips sink ships is used in an entirely different setting than Trump commenting on a diplomatic action known throughout the entire world.

Also, if the Times is really concerned about our military base, I would suggest they flesh out exactly what they expect Qatar can do to take it from us.

Or rather, have them engage in the second order thinking I would expect from a half-decent analyst: determining whether Qataris believe there is a viable path to harm our military base there (no one in Qatar is actually stupid enough to threaten US military assets).

AReasonableMan said...

Red State said...
The “FAKE MSM” to which Trump is referring would like nothing more than for him to tweet early and often. First, it’s usually a source of great content. (And by “great” I mean traffic generating, i.e., quantity, not quality.) Second, and more importantly for much of the “FAKE MSM,” Trump’s tweets are a boundless source of ammo. How much trouble has he bought himself with his infamous “wiretap” tweets from early March? What about the ham-handed tweet directed at Comey regarding theoretical “tapes” of their conversations? How much grief has he caused his own people by contradicting them?

No, I don’t think the “FAKE MSM” wants Trump to quit tweeting at all. I’ll tell you who does, though: People who don’t want his presidency to be a colossal failure.

Bill said...

I'm beginning to wonder if things will calm down, and by how much, under President Pence.

AReasonableMan said...

Vox said...
On Monday, President Trump tweeted something strange. “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to [the Supreme Court].

You would think, reading this missive, that Trump was still a candidate for president, or a New York billionaire raging against the Obama administration. There is a powerlessness in his formulation, an impotent anger at the distant, impersonal bureaucracy he’s criticizing.

But “the Justice Dept.” is really Trump’s Justice Department. It is run by a man Trump handpicked to lead it. The revised travel ban — which was an effort to save Trump’s policy from total defeat before the Supreme Court — was crafted with the input of the White House, and only released after Trump’s top advisers cleared it.

All of which makes Trump’s tweet a very peculiar artifact. If Trump didn’t want the revised travel ban released, why was it released? Isn’t he the boss? Is he going to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions? Or ask Sessions to fire someone else? And what kind of leader acts like this, litigating frustrations in public and dodging responsibility for the actions of the organization he runs?

Trump ran for office posing as a savvy corporate executive who would manage the government like a business. But since winning the presidency, he has proven alienated and confused by the government he runs. He criticizes it in public in ways that make clear he doesn’t understand how to manage it in private.

“Trump sees ‘the Trump administration’ as himself, his Twitter account, Jared and Ivanka, and a few close staffers at the White House,” says Ron Klain, who served as chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore. “He will always think of everyone else as ‘the government’: some nameless force that does not answer to him, and that he does not manage in a conventional sense.”

Among the many problems with Trump’s presidency is he appears to be treating it much as he treated his branding empire. He runs his White House, and feels responsibility for certain decisions he makes personally — like pulling out of the Paris agreement, or sending cruise missiles to Syria. But the further a decision gets from his core interests and nearby staffers, the less responsibility he feels for it.

This is the difference between a CEO and a brand licenser. Trump doesn’t look at the Justice Department and see Trump’s Justice Department. He looks at the Justice Department and sees the Trump-branded Justice Department — his name is in the lobby, but no one could fairly hold him accountable for everything that happens in the building.

eric said...

I keep hearing two things that don't seem to fit.

1) Trump's tweets are dangerous and foolish and bad for the USA. They make us all look bad.

2) The people claiming #1 say they don't want him to stop because, as Jake Tapper says, his tweets are like Skittles to reporters.

Something tells me they're lying. Reminds me of briar rabbit saying he doesn't want to be thrown into the briar patch.

hombre said...

ARM citing mediaswine: "Mr. Trump is also sabotaging the legitimate legal basis for the travel ban, and the stakes are bigger than the ban itself, which we think is counterproductive and unnecessary. He is exercising core presidential powers over foreign affairs that the courts may restrict if Mr. Trump keeps daring them to do so."

The temporary travel ban is fodder for nimrods.

Extreme vetting for Sharia-pimping Muslims is what's needed. The ban isn't necessary. The value of the ban is that it exposes seditious Democrat autocrats among the federal judiciary. If the SCOTUS does not put a stop to it, expect Trump to do a Lincoln or Jackson and ignore the courts.

Goody.

Angel-Dyne said...

ARM - it's very neighborly of you to look after Inga's copy-pasting duties when she isn't around.

AReasonableMan said...

Angel-Dyne said...
ARM - it's very neighborly of you to look after Inga's copy-pasting duties when she isn't around.


I do my best to just fit in.

Earnest Prole said...

If the SCOTUS does not put a stop to it, expect Trump to do a Lincoln or Jackson and ignore the courts.

Yes, I'm sure the federal bureaucracy is itching to side with Trump over the Supreme Court. And if it turns out they aren't, as Commander-in-Chief Trump can always call in air strikes against them.

Rabel said...

Qatar’s Support of Islamists Alienates Allies Near and Far

The Times' view on Qatar before the TDS set in.

Quaestor said...

Bill wrote: I'm beginning to wonder if things will calm down, and by how much, under President Pence.

2025 is a long time in politics. Much of what's happening now is the result of 8 years of aggressive criminal negligence waged by the Obama Administration. A rotting house is very quiet. A house under repair is as noisy as hell. Fixes are always harder than no fixes. Eight years of Trump will not be sufficient to repair the damage caused by Obama. Ergo President Pense (2025-2033)

Lyle Smith said...

Walter Russell Mead: Squeezing Qatar to make Hamas scream!

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/06/06/squeezing-qatar-to-make-hamas-scream/

Go Trump, go!!!

AReasonableMan said...

Red State said...
Trump, at some point, has to grasp the fact that he needs friends, that he has damned few of them, and that the federal bureaucracy doesn’t respond to orders like the staff of a pre-bankruptcy Trump casino. I see the tweets as a social media version of primal scream therapy. If Trump does fire Sessions, it is hard to see who he can get confirmed in the current environment who would serve his needs better than sessions.

Lyle Smith said...

Qatar better behave or no World Cup for them!

Drago said...

Nonapod: "I'm given to understand that there's been little love lost between Qatar and the House of Saud ever since Qatar began producing copious amounts of natural gas decades ago. But, whatever the reason, I think it's a good thing."

Qatar has significant natural gas relationships in the North Field which is shared with Iran and within which Qatar signed development deals with Iran. All of Qatars natural gas and most of their exports come from this field so Qatar has become even more of a "friend" to the Iranians.

You know, the Iranians. The guys obama released all that sweet cash to and let them accelerate their nuke development.

Looks like obambi wasn't just more "flexible" for his boyfriend Putin but also for lots of others as well.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

That this recent isolation is due to Qatari support for radical jihadists is laughable. Saudi Arabia has a long history of supporting jihadist forces, including in the Syrian Civil War and its use of members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in its idiotic war against Yemen. Qatar is being punished because it is seen as insufficiently hawkish towards Iran. Trump has stupidly bought into the line that Iran is on some kind of march of conquest in the region and is the source of most of the region's instability. Of course the reality is that countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been far more responsible for regional instability than Iran. And then of course there is the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Trump made a tremendous blunder in writing an essentially blank check of US support to the incompetent Saudi king and his favored son. We should be disentangling ourselves from the Saudis, not going all in in our support for them.

Kevin said...

Qatar was just being pro-American. Under Obama, Iran good. Under Trump, Iran bad. Poor Qatar can't change it's internal dynamics that quickly.

In other news, it's good to see 90+% bad stories from the NYT about Trump wasn't good enough for them and they've vowed to go 100% going forward.

Whatever the news, it's going to be bad for Trump per the NYT.

Todd said...

Earnest Prole said...

And if it turns out they aren't, as Commander-in-Chief Trump can always call in air strikes against them.

6/6/17, 2:23 PM


And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,

The Cracker Emcee said...

"The temporary travel ban is fodder for nimrods"

Absolutely. A sucker punch that the Left has absolutely begged for and that will land on them repeatedly in the future. Because the Islamists aren't going away and the average American voter can't tell Bin Laden from a Sikh convenience store owner.

Earnest Prole said...

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there


Work in some orange and I think you'll have it exactly right.

Inga said...

"ARM - it's very neighborly of you to look after Inga's copy-pasting duties when she isn't around."

Someone has to present some opposing opinions. You must really want an echo chamber. Sad.

Inga said...

"Trump made a tremendous blunder in writing an essentially blank check of US support to the incompetent Saudi king and his favored son. We should be disentangling ourselves from the Saudis, not going all in in our support for them."

Absolutely.

Kevin said...

"We should be disentangling ourselves from the Saudis, not going all in in our support for them."

Islamophobe.

John said...

Dave,

Is the hotel owner named Patel by any chance?

John Henry

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Someone has to present some opposing opinions. You must really want an echo chamber. Sad"

Oh, sweet irony! Given that your comments are almost entirely cut and pasted from the echo chamber.

Inga said...

"Oh, sweet irony! Given that your comments are almost entirely cut and pasted from the echo chamber."

Oh not really, I do take time away from cutting and pasting to tell you Trumpists how full of shit you are.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

This Trump guy is almost as good a president of the Middle East as he is as a president of Europe!

Maybe he'll actually someday do something in America's interests.

Big Mike said...

First of all, I want to thank you, Althouse, for reading Donald Trump's tweets so we don't have to.

Second, Trump is taking a very different approach to the Middle East than anyone previous. It's been reported that Trump called Mahmoud Abbas a liar to his face -- overdue! Now this. Maybe it'll work; nothing anyone else has tried has worked so it's not like there's much to lose.

Daniel Jackson said...

Gotta start somewhere. This will do. For a start.

Mark said...

Making the feckless sheikhs uncomfortable in their back-biting? No bad thing.

pacwest said...

Candidate Trump made it very clear he wasn't going to telegraph his punches. He isn't. I think it is one of the main things that outrages the MSM because, well, they're the media, they should be in the know afterall. Is the ME strategy coming from McMaster?

exiledonmainstreet said...

Inga blubbered:
Oh not really, I do take time away from cutting and pasting to tell you Trumpists how full of shit you are"

As if any of us have the slightest bit of respect for your moronic opinions.

I'm convinced you are a masochist who gets off on being insulted. Very well then, we will continue to accommodate you. It's fun for us too!

Brookzene said...

"Got to feel for US ambassador to Qatar at the moment. Waiting for @realDonaldTrump to wake up and start tweeting must be terrifying."

-Olivia Alabaster, Middle East Eye

exiledonmainstreet said...

Olivia Alabastee?

Sounds like a character in a Wodehouse novel.