The diplomatic crisis in Qatar saw a new development Wednesday as Turkey's parliament passed legislation permitting the deployment of troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar. The legislation was drafted prior to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain severing ties with Qatar, but indicates that Turkey is willing to help the Gulf Arab country.
The bill was supported by both the governing AK party and the nationalist opposition.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated Tuesday that "Turkey will continue and will develop our ties with Qatar," adding that "we do not think the sanctions against Qatar are good." Erdogan insisted Turkey would have intervened if the sanctions of terrorist support were proved, but questioned the effectiveness of measures already taken by his Arab neighbors in isolating the small emirate. Reports of Qatar's ongoing support for regional Islamist groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood, and Shiite-ruled Iran, led to uneasy relations with many neighboring nations. Weekly Standard
Well, pilgrims you can add Mauretania the list of those following Saudi Arabia's lead in this. They must be on "the dole" from Riyadh.
Qatar is a strange little place. It is really a sandbar sticking out into the Gulf. Qatar possesses large gas reserves but does anyone think that desire to possess these reserves motivates Saudi Arabia? Qatar is the only Wahhabi country other than Saudi Arabia itself. It exists because imperial Britain wanted to hold a non-Saudi piece of Wahhabi dominated "soil" in the Gulf region. Qatar realizes the weakness of its position vis a vis Saudi Arabia. The emirate is in fact if not in appearance an absolute dictatorship. I was present at a meeting at the ruler's palace in Doha in which the then emir laughed and told the group I was with that if the West wanted democracy he would create things for them to look at. He would have a parliament. He would have a "free" press (Al-Jazeera?). He said that there had been a subversive conspiracy attempting a coup recently and that he had a number of the plotters in prison. What should I do with them he asked this group of millionaires and corporate representative. I do not wish to upset "The West" too much. The response from the leader of the group was that the prisoners should receive due process. The emir then changed the subject.
Existing in such a milieu, Qatar's rulers have sought to "fireproof" themselves against a future in which Saudi Arabia decides that the Qatari mini-state's existence is unnecessary.
1. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly they have given the US the use of land including the area of the former British air base at al-udeid and enough space to position USCENTCOM's forward headquarters in theater. These facilities are very important to the US. The air war in the ME is run from al-udeid air base, not the flying necessarily, but just about all the staff functions for command and control. DJT does not seem to grasp the importance of al-udeid to the US air war.
2. The "Al-Jazeera network" is a great irritant to the autocratic states of the Arab World. It has always been such and it has been bitched about to me by rich and otherwise powerful Arabs from its creation. It is clearly under the protection of the house al-thani (the rulers of this little country). As I have said, this princely house is not IMO in any way democratic. Al-Jazeera is part of the Potemkin Village of democracy that is presented to the West by the Qatari state, but that image is helpful to them.
3. Qatar maintains a certain ambiguity with regard to its relations with Iran. It has recently chosen to emphasize that ambiguity, probably IMO in response to DJT's acceptance of his role as the mukhtar of America.
And now, in demonstration of Sultan Erdogan's ambition to one day be thought Commander of the Faithful, the Turkish parliament has provided the legal basis for Turkey to intervene militarily and politically in settlement of the present difficulty involving Saudi Arabia, its Arab allies and mukhtar Trump on the one hand with Qatar and Turkey (possibly Iran?) on the other.
Can one doubt that Turkish support for the al-thani will achieve great influence in Qatar? If so, what will be Turkey's level of influence over US use of al-udeid AFB? Without the C&C facilities at that base we would essentially be out of business in the air war. And then there is Incirlik AFB …
What on earth does DJT think he is doing by siding with SA against Qatar? pl