08
Jun
17

Trump, Qatar, Russia and Possible Saudi Subterfuge.


I found the combination of the two articles below raises interesting questions.

In particular the suggestion in the first article that Russian hackers may have been paid by Saudi Arabia or the UAE to ignite the Qatar situation. (Saudi Arabia, birth place of Islam and source, financer and major propagator of Wahhabism,  the extreme form of Sunni Islam that led to ISIS, Al Qaeda and similar groups*).

And then Trump takes credit for the situation…

 

____________________

Russian hackers to blame for sparking Qatar crisis, FBI inquiry finds.

An investigation by the FBI has concluded that Russian hackers were responsible for sending out fake messages from the Qatari government, sparking the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in decades.

It is believed that the Russian government was not involved in the hacks; instead, freelance hackers were paid to undertake the work on behalf of some other state or individual. Some observers have claimed privately that Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates may have commissioned the hackers.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/07/russian-hackers-qatar-crisis-fbi-inquiry-saudi-arabia-uae

Trump Takes Credit for Saudi Move Against Qatar, a U.S. Military Partner.

President Trump thrust himself into a bitter Persian Gulf dispute on Tuesday, taking credit for Saudi Arabia’s move to isolate its smaller neighbor, Qatar,

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/world/middleeast/trump-qatar-saudi-arabia.html?_r=0

 

____________________

 

*

(Wahhabi mission, or Dawah Wahhabiyya, is to spread purified Islam through the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Tens of billions of dollars have been spent by the Saudi government and charities on mosques, schools, education materials, scholarships, throughout the world to promote Islam and the Wahhabi interpretation of it.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism )

 

(Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism.

Although IS is certainly an Islamic movement, it is neither typical nor mired in the distant past, because its roots are in Wahhabism, a form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia that developed only in the 18th century. http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2014/11/wahhabism-isis-how-saudi-arabia-exported-main-source-global-terrorism )

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26 Responses to “Trump, Qatar, Russia and Possible Saudi Subterfuge.”


  1. June 8, 2017 at 9:22 am

    That article has an interesting (and extremely ironic) quote from Trumps message.

    Trump said in the statement. “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”

    That very same thing has often been raised regarding the terror attacks experienced in “the west” and its military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

  2. June 8, 2017 at 11:41 am

    In a series of morning tweets, Trump took credit for instigating Saudi Arabia and its allies to sever relations with Qatar and to impose a blockade, sealing the emirate’s only border and cutting off air and sea travel.

    He mentioned his visit to Saudi Arabia last month, where he called on a gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders to isolate Iran and to cut off funding for extremist groups. “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology,” Trump wrote. “Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!”

    Instead of offering to play peacemaker, as two of his top national security aides had done hours after the crisis erupted, Trump unequivocally sided with Saudi Arabia and its main ally, the United Arab Emirates.

    Clearly, Saudi leaders are playing Trump, exploiting the grandiose reception they gave him last month after he decided to make the kingdom the first stop on his maiden foreign trip as president. By the end of his two-day visit, Trump had become Saudi Arabia’s cheerleader and he aligned US foreign policy with the kingdom’s vision of the Middle East.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/07/saudi-arabia-donald-trump-qatar-conflict

  3. 6 Marleen
    June 8, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Trump is also undermining members of his own administration, who have tried to stick to the traditional US policy of avoiding publicly taking sides in the regional feuds among Arab allies in the Gulf.

    On Monday, hours after the Saudis announced their campaign to isolate Qatar, the US secretary of state… and the defense secretary … hinted that [they’d] try to mediate between the two US allies. “We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences,” [one] said.

    Another of the articles (shared/linked to in this thread or another) conveys also that the Russians offered “diplomacy.” What is really being offered by any of these people?

  4. 7 Marleen
    June 8, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/21/muslims-islamic-donald-trump-saudis-riyadh
    Who better to lecture Muslims than Islam expert Donald Trump? by David Shariatmadari

  5. June 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    That very same thing has often been raised regarding the terror attacks experienced in “the west” and its military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

    I’ve just come across an article pointing out “that very same thing”.

    Western governments knew that the invasion of Iraq, on the basis of falsely asserted information, would increase the terrorist threat. This emerged from Britain’s Chilcot inquiry and declassified information from the joint intelligence committee, which advised in February 2003 that if Iraq was invaded then, “Attacks against western interests elsewhere are also likely, especially in the US and UK for maximum impact. The worldwide threat from other Islamist groups and individuals will increase significantly”.

    That increase is a consequence of the actions of George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard.

    Today, British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is echoing precisely those warnings about the “connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism at home”.

    And Saudi Arabia, a major sponsor and funder of violent extremism in the Middle East, has reportedly entered a US$100bn arms deal with our great and powerful friend, the US. It doesn’t get more perverted than being in bed with the Wahhabis while at the same time beating the drum about the evils of terrorism.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/08/in-the-face-of-terror-political-leaders-revert-to-hollow-rhetoric

  6. 9 Marleen
    June 8, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I don’t know how many people are noticing, but sometimes the articles about the fake news hack in Qatar include the accusation that the Qatari leader said something positive about Israel (as well as something positive or not negative enough, in Saudi eyes, about Iran); some articles don’t include that. I think it was part of the actual hack, but some people don’t want to pass that on or don’t think it’s relevant.

  7. 10 Marleen
    June 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/07/news/qatar-uae-gas-pipeline/index.html?iid=ob_article_hotListpool
    …… Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region. Qatar says the accusations are without foundation, contradictory and unjustified.

    The tiny Gulf state sits on about 14% of the world’s gas reserves, the third highest after Russia and Iran.

    The abundance of gas, which was discovered in Qatar in the 1970s, sets it apart from its oil-rich Gulf neighbors.
    State-owned Qatargas was established in 1984. It shipped its first gas to Japan in 1996, an event that marked the beginning of an economic boom. International energy companies such as ExxonMobil (XOM), Total (TOT) and Shell (RDSA) have all had a hand in transforming Qatar’s energy industry.

    Qatar’s gas wealth lies in its North Field, known as South Pars in Iran, with which it shares the vast deposit. It is the biggest gas field in the world, holding some 1,800 trillion cubic feet of reserves. In April, Qatar said it was starting a new development project there which would increase current production by 10%.

    ……

    Qataris have already begun to stock up on food, worried about imports drying up. And the potential for disruption to business was reinforced Wednesday when major international shipping lines said they would no longer call at Qatari ports. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have said they won’t allow their ports to handle goods destined for Qatar.

    Qatar is also an oil exporter and a member of OPEC, sitting on 2% of the cartel’s proven reserves. It pumps 656,000 barrels per day, but exports are unlikely to be affected as they are mainly shipped through Iranian and Omani waters. Neither of those countries are part of the blockade.

  8. 11 Marleen
    June 9, 2017 at 2:37 am

    ……

    Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of liquified natural gas, and its biggest customers include Japan, South Korea and India.

    The UAE is also on that list.

    A subsea pipeline, operated by Dolphin Energy, runs 364 kilometers (226 miles) from Ras Laffan in Qatar to Abu Dhabi in the UAE, and onwards to Oman. It carries about two billion cubic feet of gas per day, most of that going to meet about 30% of the UAE’s energy needs.

    The terms of the contract are confidential, but gas industry analysts say the UAE pays well below the current market price. So far, there’s no sign that Qatar will cut off that vital flow of cheap energy, although it is keeping its options open.

    “We cannot take our decisions based on or motivated by our emotions,” Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, told CNN on Tuesday.

    “There are rules and there are regulations and we are following all these rules and regulations — if anything happened within the context of rules and regulations then we are going to consider all of our options.”

    The UAE says it doesn’t expect the diplomatic spat to affect the energy supply deal.
    “These are commercial commitments with proper legal frameworks,” Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, told CNN. “I don’t think we will see that sort of retaliation.”

    That above precedes what I quoted from the article in the prior post.
    [I still haven’t quoted the opening paragraph (nor one later line.)]

  9. June 9, 2017 at 8:16 am

    The tiny Gulf state sits on about 14% of the world’s gas reserves, the third highest after Russia and Iran.
    The abundance of gas, which was discovered in Qatar in the 1970s, sets it apart from its oil-rich Gulf neighbors.

    Very interesting – when gas is becoming the new oil (a “cleaner” stop-gap until renewable energy takes over completely from fossil fuels).

  10. 13 Marleen
    June 9, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Also,


    Qatar’s gas wealth lies in its North Field, known as South Pars in Iran, with which it shares the vast deposit. It is the biggest gas field in the world… [and i]n April, Qatar said it was starting a new development project there which would increase current production by 10%.

    And,

    Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of liquified natural gas, and …

    [t]he UAE is also on [the] list [of its biggest customers].

    Liquefied natural gas is a large reason why oil prices aren’t too high now (or high enough, depending on the perspective from which one may look such as a owner),
    as well as part of the reason coal isn’t such a big deal in terms of demand (while coal jobs are mostly lost to mechanization and inherent cost, not regulation or green jobs).

  11. 14 Marleen
    June 10, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Addendum on my statement about oil prices and being an owner (of oil resources):
    People in the United States have been very active producing gas in competition also.

    On another note… http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=N_hayes_EThing1Thing2_170608
    ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES 6/8/17 Duration: 2:24
    The President’s tweets have consequences —
    If you’re wondering if tweets matter, today, fired FBI Director
    James Comey spoke specifically about one from President Trump.

    Today (Friday, the 9th), Secretary of State Tillerson came out and said: … We call on the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt to ease the blockade against Qatar. There are humanitarian consequences to this blockade. We are seeing shortages of food. Families are being forcibly separated, and children pulled out of school. We believe these are unintended consequence, especially during this holy month of Ramadan. But they can be addressed immediately. The blockade is also impairing U.S. and other international business activities in the region and has created a hardship on the people of Qatar and the people whose livelihoods depend on commerce with Qatar. The blockade is hindering U.S. military actions in the region and the campaign against ISIS. We support the Amir of Kuwait, efforts [OR the Amir of Kuwait’s efforts] to bring about a peaceful resolution to this agreement [OR to disagreement]. And progress toward eliminating all forms of support for terrorism — military, financial, moral, or ideological. The U.S. will support these mediation efforts along with the Amir of Kuwait. In the last few days, I have spoken to many leaders in the region. And as I’ve said to all of them, we know you are stronger together. It is clear to me, based on these conversations, that the elements of a solution are available. The GCC must emerge united and stronger, to show the world the GCC’s resolve in its fight against violence and terrorism and it’s commitment to countering the threat from extremism. Our expectation is that these countries will immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation and put forth a good-faith effort to resolve their grievances they have with each other. Thank you very much.

  12. 15 Marleen
    June 10, 2017 at 8:26 am

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/bound-saudi-arabia-terror-list-170609184543168.html

    Bound to a Saudi Arabian so-called “terror list”? NOT. (Not even after they flattered Trump.)

  13. 16 Marleen
    June 10, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/tillerson-us-fight-isis-hindered-rift-saudis-qatar/story?id=47943352
    US military in Mideast hindered by Saudis’ rift with Qatar: Tillerson
    By SARAH KOLINOVSKY, RILEY BEGGIN, and ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN
    Jun 9, 2017, 6:20 PM ET

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-rejects-us-statements-attacks-tehran-47906968
    Iran says 5 Tehran attackers had fought for Islamic State
    By NASSER KARIMI AND AMIR VAHDAT, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    TEHRAN, Iran — Jun 8, 2017, 11:32 AM ET

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/09/532229373/saudi-soccer-apologizes-after-team-skips-tribute-to-london-rampage-victims
    Saudi Soccer Apologizes After Team Skips Tribute To London Rampage Victims
    By Merrit Kennedy
    June 9, 20172:05 PM ET

    P.S. In my 6:33 am (June 10), “Amir” should be emir.

  14. 17 Marleen
    June 11, 2017 at 5:07 am

    http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Is-Saudi-Arabias-Vision-2030-Too-Ambitious.html

    ……

    Will the existing Saudi workforce, dependent on government welfare and subsidy programs, be agile enough to adjust to the KSA envisioned by the royal family?

    Demographics research shows that 70 percent of Saudi citizens are under the age of 25, studying in an educational system inadequate for the modern world. Islamic studies dominate K-12 education, taking time away from STEM subjects. By the time students reach university-level math and science courses, they’re previous schooling—marred with spates of rote-memorization—has not helped them to develop a complete analytical toolbox.

    In the past, Saudi Arabia has been able to cover up these human resource gaps by importing skilled labor from South Asia, the United States, and Europe.

    ……

    Luckily, Vision 2030 includes education reform. Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa gave a speech about “21st century skills” and “teacher training” at UNESCO last year, but those buzzwords do little to describe concrete achievement goals for students and the steps needed to transform entrenched instruction techniques.

    Riyadh plans to increase participation in the nation’s vocational training programs from 104,000 enrollments to 950,000 by 2020, and the government has made some progress on this front. Siemens signed an agreement last month to run a German-style mechatronics program in the Kingdom.

    ……

  15. 19 Marleen
    June 12, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Bizarrely, but par for the course, Trump came out and smack-talked Qatar again after the secretary of state had made a statement trying to calm things down. (And Trump, the president, himself had calmed himself down a bit [no doubt, due to urging] previously, as seen in one of the video clips.)

    It’s a little bit like (but also different from) his compulsion to call his effort in going up to the Supreme Court his ban on people coming into the U.S. from a few largely Muslim countries. On top of that, he’s been whining about being politically correct; then he goes on and says “travel” (not Muslim) ban.

    To get back to your opening post emphasis, it is very interesting that Trump claimed credit for the upheaval among the gulf emirate states while the most immediate trigger had been so-called news (easily disproved factually) faked by the Russians; maybe he’s to be credited for his friends (Putin, et al.).

  16. June 13, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Marleen,
    On another topic, I saw your comment on BR’s blog in which you said: “I think you have an idealized and fictional view of the past.”

    I completely agree with you.
    That “idealized and fictional view” of history is sadly very common when it comes to viewing the “Judeo-Christian” past of western nations. Anyone with a basic idea actual history can see the fiction of that recreated history. While occasionally some kind of religious influence was more prominent in the past – that influence rarely (if ever) had any resemblance to the message and ministry of Jesus.

  17. 21 Marleen
    June 13, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    It’s very hard for some people to grasp this. It took me a while. It’s disorienting. It can seem like it can’t possibly make sense that Christianity as the state (meaning states, as in each perceived relevant country and the collective of them), isn’t/wasn’t God’s world on this earth (or close).

    I wasn’t taught about the real history of the Church (as no one was). I went to Lutheran schools from 7th through 12th grades, and learned a lot of good things. But I had to seek for myself (Sunday church, at good places, didn’t teach this either). [Something lauding Eusebius’ so-called history isn’t it.]

    So, without a dissection of the wrong notions passed on by Eusebius, and without looking squarely at what Christians have done (if at all), I had more of a vague sense that things were better in the past. I don’t remember thinking it was about the Church being the state. And that is a starting point.

    Then, people can get into a loop. The government should be Christian. The government isn’t Christian. The state isn’t the Church, so it must be bad. But, wait, we are for freedom of speech and faith, so how can the government be Christian? And government is bad, so how can it be the Church? Etc.

    But it was (government was the Church), and that’s supposedly good (and what we should get worked up about). But it actually wasn’t good. And we shouldn’t be wishing for it. Maybe it served a purpose historically for people to transition out of thinking conquest is what’s life’s all about. But Church was about conquest too.

  18. 22 Marleen
    June 14, 2017 at 9:17 am

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?429914-102/senator-paul-arms-sales-saudi-arabia JUNE 13, 2017
    Senator Paul on Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia — Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke about U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. He made a motion to move a resolution out of committee that would disapprove of… read more

    {Senator Rand Paul also herein (directly related) refers to Russia blockading Yemen… famine in Yemen.

    Subsequently, “The senate blocked a resolution, today, that would have stopped certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia. President Trump is proposing to sell munitions to Saudi Arabia that the Obama administration would not. Tomorrow, senators will return to debate sanctions against companies or people helping Iran develop ballistic missiles.”}

    I beg of conservatives or Republicans or Libertarians to watch and listen to to this
    speech on the U.S. Senate floor (by a Republican).

  19. June 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Marleen,
    My next blog post (coming soon) briefly comments on the west’s fictional “Judeo-Christian” history and the alleged falling away from it.

  20. June 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I posted this in the comments about a week ago:

    In a series of morning tweets, Trump took credit for instigating Saudi Arabia and its allies to sever relations with Qatar and to impose a blockade, sealing the emirate’s only border and cutting off air and sea travel.

    He mentioned his visit to Saudi Arabia last month, where he called on a gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders to isolate Iran and to cut off funding for extremist groups. “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology,” Trump wrote. “Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!”

    Instead of offering to play peacemaker, as two of his top national security aides had done hours after the crisis erupted, Trump unequivocally sided with Saudi Arabia and its main ally, the United Arab Emirates.

    Clearly, Saudi leaders are playing Trump, exploiting the grandiose reception they gave him last month after he decided to make the kingdom the first stop on his maiden foreign trip as president. By the end of his two-day visit, Trump had become Saudi Arabia’s cheerleader and he aligned US foreign policy with the kingdom’s vision of the Middle East.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/07/saudi-arabia-donald-trump-qatar-conflict

    And now today’s news…

    Doha (AFP) – The United States agreed a major warplane sale to Qatar and began manoeuvres with the emirate’s navy Thursday, underscoring its commitment to their military alliance despite Doha’s rift with other Gulf allies.

    Washington has sent conflicting signals to its longtime ally about its position on the diplomatic crisis which has seen Saudi Arabia and its allies impose sweeping sanctions on the emirate.

    Last week, US President Donald Trump expressed support for the Saudi-led allegations against Qatar, charging that it had “historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level”.

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/36001682/us-moves-to-reassure-qatar-with-arms-sale-joint-exercise/

    Clearly support goes wherever (and whenever) a source of money is found.


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