OpinionMiddle East

Will there be a US-Qatar strategic dialogue?

There is hardly a criminal offense against America that Qatar does not get away with.

Lloyd Austin, the U.S. secretary of defense, and Qatari Minister of Defense Khalid bin Mohamed al Attyah at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Dec. 19, 2023. Credit: Chad McNeeley/U.S. Department of Defense.
Lloyd Austin, the U.S. secretary of defense, and Qatari Minister of Defense Khalid bin Mohamed al Attyah at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Dec. 19, 2023. Credit: Chad McNeeley/U.S. Department of Defense.
Yigal Carmon. Credit: MEMRI.
Yigal Carmon

The Qatari Foreign Ministry website claims that this week will begin Round Six of the strategic dialogue between the United States and Qatar.

Bizarrely, the Free Press Kashmir repeated the Qatari Foreign Ministry announcement but the U.S. State Department could not confirm it.

What seems to be the problem?

Such a dialogue, should it take place, would be misguided and even dangerous for the United States, strengthening Qatar’s anti-American policies without imposing any price for the country’s past actions.

It would be a repeat of the mistake the United States made when it renewed the contract of the CENTCOM military base in Qatar without any known conditions regarding the country’s anti-American policies.

Without the base in Qatar, the ruling Al Thani family will not survive.

This was a major opportunity for America to bring a halt to Qatari support of Islamist organizations worldwide—support that costs America dearly. But the opportunity was missed, and Qatar is going full-speed ahead with its state-sponsoring of Islamist terrorism.

This dialogue, if it takes place, will begin after and despite the killing of 32 American citizens in Gaza by Hamas, the Qatari-sponsored terrorist organization.

It will begin after 13 American soldiers were killed in Kabul when Qatar returned the Taliban to power toppling the secular, democratically elected President Ashraf Ghani in favor of the Islamist terrorist organization.

Qatar caused it all, and then, using their regular playbook, they volunteered to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan. The arsonist played the firefighter.

This dialogue will begin following Qatar’s years-long funding and building up of Hamas (indeed with the consent and facilitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). It will begin after Qatar took pride in training Hamas security officers in Doha.

It would begin after Qatar sent Hamas operatives to Libya to help the Islamist side in that country’s civil war (in Tunisia, Sudan, Lebanon, Somalia, northern Mali and Egypt, Qatar is always on the Islamist side.)

This dialogue would take place after Qatar participated in navy drills with Iran and funded the Houthis, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah.

It would take place after Qatar hid future 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Doha. When the FBI came to arrest him, Qatar warned Mohammed, enabling him to disappear.

It would take place after Qatar defied the U.S. Department of Justice requirement that Qatar’s tool, Al Jazeera TV, register as a foreign agent in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) laws.

This would take place despite Qatar’s extensive incitement against America.

It would happen after Qatar was involved in planning espionage against U.S. senators and representatives using a former CIA officer, Kevin Chalker. This happened during the tenure of Meshal Al Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the United States, who while being Qatar’s ambassador to France, instructed that a payment be issued to French Minister Jean-Marie Le Guen for helping Qatar in the French parliament.

Due to this violation of American sovereignty and law, this ambassador should be recalled by his brother, the emir of Qatar, or through a firm request from the U.S. Congress or government.

Qatar belongs to the bloc of Iran, Russia and China and only pretends to be a strategic U.S. ally. It has deceived America for years.

There is hardly a criminal offense against America that Qatar does not get away with. Some believe all of this happens because Qatar hosts the CENTCOM base. But this base can be moved to a country that does not support terrorism, like the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. Both offered to host CENTCOM, but America declined. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain attempted to topple the pro-Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Iran regime of Qatar in 2017. America was there to save the Gulf state.

The CENTCOM base is not a favor of Qatar to America but the opposite. America is protecting the criminal family that rules Qatar. It would be enough for a senior U.S. official to say the United States is reconsidering the location of the base to totally change Qatar’s policy.

Then the war in Gaza would have ended, for the good of its population, for the good of the hostages and their families, both American and Israeli, and for the good of the Israeli refugees that lost their homes on Oct. 7.

America’s real Arab allies—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain—would breathe a sigh of relief and stop leaning toward Russia and China because of America’s alliance with Qatar, their enemy.

It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia is demanding that in exchange for Biden’s plan for a Middle East peace and Saudi-Israel normalization America commit to a defense pact with Saudi Arabia against Iran. There are rumors that as part of this pact, the Saudis are demanding the relocation of CENTCOM to the kingdom.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry dares to write that one of the subjects of mutual discussion during the strategic dialogue will be counter-terrorism. Is the American administration so misguided as to discuss counter-terrorism with the second biggest state sponsor of terrorism after Iran?

Moreover, the results of any strategic dialogue with the United States would certainly be reported directly to Iran, because as mentioned, Qatar belongs to the Iran/Russia/China bloc.

And there is another factor: The CENTCOM base in Qatar is in constant danger. The day may come when thousands of Taliban fighters brought to Qatar to “help in its defense” will swarm the residences of U.S. army personnel and take them hostage.

This scenario, as far-fetched as it might seem, should not be dismissed by the U.S. Army and its strategists.

The CENTCOM soldiers should always be ready for it.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashal said in an interview that “the Russians told us that our Oct. 7 operation will be taught in military academies … the Chinese are thinking of carrying out a similar attack in Taiwan.”

Hopefully, the Oct. 7 attack will be studied in American military academies as well.

Originally published by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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