Qatar: Center Stage in a World at War?

Doha, Qatar

[Ed note – An interesting analysis on the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and its potential for engulfing the rest of the Middle East and exploding into World War III, has been posted by blogger Green Crow. The piece is written by “James” and reposted from his Winter Patriot blog. Qatar, in his analysis, sees US influence in the Middle East waning and is pivoting toward Iran, Syria, and Russia, and he notes that both Iran and Russia have sent food shipments to Qatar in order to break the blockade imposed by the Saudis. Turkey is now openly siding with the Qataris as well–and this also makes perfect sense. US support for the Kurds in Syria–with the US seemingly now moving in the direction of setting up a de facto Kurdish state–would of course have to be a major, MAJOR “red line” for Turkey. This of course puts two NATO allies, the US and Turkey, at odds with each other. Bottom line: there is a major shift in alliances occurring.

James, the writer, mentions a Cross Talk program which aired June 14 in which Sharmine Narwani was guest and gave some valuable perspectives on the situation. You can find that program here, but there is also a more recent Cross Talk Program, here, that features Alexander Mercouris, that also discusses the further evolving situation. The program, which aired June 23, is entitled “Rushing to War?” Basically, what it comes down to is that the ISIS proxies seem to be headed toward collapse. So what happens with the proxies are finally defeated with the major powers gathered in Syria left alone staring each other in the face? Does that make a major war more likely? This is the question explored on the show. ]

By Greencrow

There have been some very good analyses of the Qatar crisis on the Alternative Internet in the past few days. My instincts tell me that this crisis might just be the one that puts the globalist neocon ziofascist push towards WWIII, which has been stalled due to some genius “checkmating” by Russia, over the top.  In my opinion, Saudi Arabia and its allies are, just like the ISIS terrorists, acting as USrael’s proxy in the Middle East…just on a grander scale.  In the guest column below, James fromWinter Patriot Blog has a very comprehensive and well presented assessment of what is going on in Qatar. I have added bolding and emphasis, and will have more thoughts in comments to follow…

Continued here

Qatar Is Centre Stage In A World At War – UPDATED

Update at the foot of this article.

A few weeks ago, the Saudis exploded in their rhetoric against Qatar. They were apoplectic. What on earth could have caused this sudden flood of vitriol? Obviously, it was not the fact that Qatar was funding terrorists in Syria as this had been an open secret for years. Plus, it was also an open secret that the Saudi’s themselves are funding terrorism and even supplying many of the terrorists. The Qataris must have been threatening in a major way either or both of the two things the Saudis hold dear – their money and their political power. The former is increasingly dependent on the latter. Sharmine Narwani appeared on RT’s Crosstalk to talk about the Saudi/Qatar conflict. She was definitely the smartest one in the room but no one was really listening to her. In answer to Peter Lavelle’s first question, she revealed that the terror groups supported by the Qatar/Turkish alliance had gone very quiet in the last month and this had allowed the Syrian govt forces to concentrate on ISIS which is directly backed by the Saudis and the UAE. Consequently, ISIS is in disarray.

Clearly, to this writer at least, a deal had been done between Qatar, Turkey and Syria. Russia would have to be on-board, too. This has massive implications for the whole world. Narwani also thought that the Saudis were not above attacking Qatar and it might be imminent. One reason, as Sharmine Narwani states, may be the fact that Qatari backed terrorists in Syria have been fighting directly with Saudi backed jihadis. This benefits Turkey as well as Syria.

View the Crosstalk segment:

Turkey is pissed that the US is obviously trying to set up a Kurdish state in the north of Syria and barring Turkish military involvement. This evolving Kurdish state-let will inevitably threaten Turkish sovereignty. But what about Qatar?

QATAR

Qatar must be able to see which way the wind is blowing in the Syrian conflict and realise that they are not going to get their gas pipeline through Syrian territory after all. The LNG market, from which they get the bulk of their revenue from, is now oversupplied (from the US and Australian sources amongst others) and forcing prices downward. Qatar’s income is declining and it needs to pipe its gas to a major market to stay competitive. Piped gas is much cheaper to deliver and distribute than LNG. The only option is to talk to the Iranians. It also makes major business sense to do so.

Qatar and Iran share the largest gas field in the world and it is largely undeveloped. It makes sense to develop this field together and market the gas together as well. With Iran as a partner, the way is then open for Qatar to negotiate with the Russians and the Syrians concerning pipeline routes. The way is also open to ensure the future cash flow of the Qatari government and its royal household. Russian technology and Chinese finance will make it all happen. I would estimate that the gas sales will be denominated in Yuan and Rubles.

UNITED STATES

The Americans will get (are getting) their knickers in a bunch but they are rapidly losing influence in the Middle East, as Sharmine said. She was trying to elucidate that the Middle East countries are looking to rearrange their alliances and strategies to take this into account when she was cut off by Peter Lavelle.  The US is losing the battle to maintain the US dollar as the undisputed world currency and this deal will hasten its demise. The world wide supremacy of the US dollar is what their empire is based on. No dollar supremacy equals no US political supremacy and this will severely curtail their effective military supremacy.

The bankers that control the US, UK and Israel maintain their power by controlling energy supplies and indebting everybody to keep them relatively poor. Every other nation on earth will benefit from breaking this lock on power and enjoy growing industrialisation, trade and prosperity. This is being brought into stark contrast in the Middle East starting with Qatar. Qatar can stay with the US and slowly strangle itself economically or it can take a risk and make a break for economic freedom and prosperity.

SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia has ambitions of leading the Islamic world. It has used its gigantic income from oil sales to invest in religious indoctrination around the world and to bribe countries near and far. It has bought its way onto, if you can believe it, the UN Commission on the Status of Women and now heads the UN Human Rights Council. This is what money can do; but you need lots of money and a continuing supply of it. As the wealthiest oil exporter in the Middle East, it has dominated the Gulf Co-operation Council which, of course, includes Qatar.

Saudi Arabia’s income stream is declining and is needing to leverage what political power it has to gain more and to cover naked grabs of resources such as those in Yemen. But it needs the GCC to act as this lever. Qatar is undoing the Saudis dominance of the GCC. The Saudis future is at stake and with the Saudi royal house doubling down with the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as Crown Prince, we can expect more military adventurism, i.e. wars, to hasten this decline and perhaps eventual demise.

TURKEY

There is the risk of an armed attack from the Saudis but Qatar has allies. Turkey is sending troops to Qatar. This is no small matter. Turkey has the largest military in the Middle East. Turkey is also making it clear that it has a major interest in the success of whatever deal Qatar is striking with Syria Iran and Russia. Iran and Russia have immediately sent food shipments to Qatar after the announcement of the blockade by Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Bahrain. It would seem from the co-ordinated response that the blockade was anticipated. Presumably, more is anticipated by this ad hoc alliance assisting Qatar.

With the original Qatar/Saudi pipeline dead in the water, Turkey would be amenable to a Qatar/Iran/Syrian pipeline going through Turkey. I’m sure their only demand would be that it not go through any Kurdish territory. Given that none of the other partners want the US/Israeli controlled and unreliable Kurds involved, that won’t be a problem. So the pipeline would have to go through the Aleppo corridor.

It would also need to go through south/eastern Syria where the US is now fighting at the risk of starting WW3 with the Russians. Now we see what the stakes are for the US and they are very high. If the gas pipeline goes through Turkey it will inevitably hook up with the Turkstream gas pipeline that will be Russian built and owned. Turkstream with travel through south eastern Europe; through the impoverished (thanks to the US and Germany) nations there. Turkey will become the gas hub between the suppliers in the Middle East, Russia and the Caucasus and on to the customers in Europe. Turkey has manoeuvred for a long time to be in this position. Much income and political influence to be gained and none of it dependent on the US!

EUROPE

Turkstream will be a lifeline to Serbia and Hungary. A branch line could easily extend to Greece and on to Italy. Europe’s prosperity will be massively enhanced with a secure, plentiful and cheap energy supplied from Iran, Qatar and Russia. German/EU and US dominance over southern and eastern Europe will evaporate as will US power. The Islamic mass migration may well stop, as well.

RUSSIA

In the immediate term, Russia will get what it has been aiming for and that is a ‘Gas OPEC’. Russia together with Iran and Qatar control the bulk of the world’s gas reserves and will set the price thereafter. Europe (Germany) will have to kick the US to the kerb and come to its senses regarding Russia and cease with the sanctions and resume normal bilateral trade arrangements. Peace and prosperity for Russia.

In the longer term, Russia will be able to see the back of the US in the Middle East and all the wars it brings with it and Russia will be left as the dominant power on its southern flank.

IRAN

Iran is being fast-tracked to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) which is a de-facto military alliance between Russia and China and now Pakistan and India. The window of opportunity to attack Iran is finally closing, if it has not already closed. Thus Iran will have the US and its bankers finally off its back and will be able to resume full trade with the rest of the world. No more sanctions and it can resume its path to peace and prosperity through selling oil and gas wherever it wants and relieve its population of the constant stress of the threat of imminent war.

PAKISTAN and CHINA

There are other players involved, too; China and Pakistan. There have been long term negotiations between Iran, Pakistan and China to pipe gas through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. No doubt, the Chinese would welcome Qatar as a partner in this project as it would also allow its influence to further spread into the other Gulf countries with their New Silk Road to follow.
Wherever the pipeline goes, so will roads and other infrastructure. The new infrastructure, together with the ready supply of energy, will assure development along the route and surrounding territory. This would be a massive boon for the Balochistan area and would quell the political unrest (sponsored by the CIA) that has cost both Pakistan and Iran, not to mention the Balochs. Exactly the same applies to the North-West Territories in the north of Pakistan.

No doubt the Pakistanis would like to be rid of the US which has bases on its territory and from which it launches aerial attacks against Pakistani territory at will. The list of benefits to multiple countries goes on and on but it won’t be smooth sailing. The US has been in decline for some years now but that hasn’t stopped it launching more wars and spreading terrorism and mayhem across the globe. This will continue. It is the nature of psychopathy to never give up; to always continue to do harm.

To get itself out of trouble over the centuries, the banking establishment, centered in London and New York, has started costly wars. They are now trying to do the same again in Syria and maybe soon in Qatar. We shall see soon enough.
Meanwhile I commend to you Pepe Escobar’s article at Sputnik where he talks about the implications of the SCO as well as the pipelines and the Qatari deal-

The West Can’t Smell What Eurasia is Cooking
https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706161054701807-west-cannot-smell-…

Pepe is the ‘go-to’ man regarding pipelines. He was the first writer that I know of to seize their importance and ‘follow the pipelines’. He coined the term “Pipelineistan” and has written books about it.

UPDATE

Adam Garrie of The Duran has written an article outlining 13 demands that the Saudis have of Qatar. The list is not confirmed but “widely accepted” including by RT. Associated Press claims to have seen the document but AP is closely aligned with the Globalists, the Neocons and israel, but I repeat myself. So AP gives the list of demands credibility but because the Saudi govt has not confirmed it, it can shield itself from diplomatic criticism and back away from the “13 demands” at a later date if necessary.

Garrie notes that the demands are childish and he is right. This is what you get when you step on the toes big-time of psychopaths. They have the emotional maturity of 10 year olds. He also rightly notes that the demands cannot be complied with because they are extremely demeaning. This is intentional. Israel and the US routinely do the same when they want to start a war and this is precisely what Saudi Arabia is saying and wanting. ‘Either you stop with the alliance with Iran, Syria, Turkey and Russia or we will invade you. Israel and the US have to be onboard with this. And why wouldn’t they be? Their psychopathic dreams and political futures are equally at stake here as outlined above.”

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So, there are a couple of deductions I would like to add to James’s excellent analysis.  He may have already made some of these points but I would like to emphasize the following in point form:

– Saudi Arabia and its allies are acting as proxies for USrael and the European Banksters that run their perpetual war for Profit global scam.

– They have definitely made the terms issued to Qatar “non negotiable“…to ensure a WWIII in the very short term…which will avoid their looming bankruptcy and (perhaps worse) geopolitical irrelevancy!

– Ultimately, just like everything else that has gone on in the Middle East for the past 15 years or more…this is aimed at Russia/China/Iran….but particularly Russia/Putin.  It will take every ounce of his chessmaster skills to outmaneuver the perps this time.  They’ve doubled down for “one final roll of the dice”…and Qatar is it.  Stay tuned.

نصرالله: محور المقاومة يتمدّد

هدّد إسرائيل بمقاتلين يمنيين وعراقيين وإيرانيين وأفغان وباكستانيين في أيّ حرب على سوريا ولبنان

نصرالله للسعوديين: غيّروا المناهج التربوية وأوقفوا تصدير الوهابية ليتوقف الإرهاب (مروان طحطح)

وجّه الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله رسائل قاسية لإسرائيل والنظام السعودي، متّهماً هذا النظام بفتح الطريق أمام إسرائيل للتطبيع مع العالم العربي. وأكّد نصرالله أن محور المقاومة يزداد قوّة وإسرائيل ستدفع أثماناً غالية في حال خاضت حرباً ضدّه، وأن المحور لن يتخّلى عن فلسطين

حسم الأمين العام لحزب الله السيّد حسن نصرالله قرار محور المقاومة في مواجهة حملات التطبيع العربية مع العدوّ الإسرائيلي، محذّراً من التسويات التي ترتّب على حساب فلسطين والشعب الفلسطيني.

ووجّه نصرالله أمس، في مناسبة يوم القدس العالمي، رسائل قاسية للعدو الإسرائيلي والنظام السعودي، مهدّداً بأن حرباً تنوي إسرائيل شنّها على لبنان وسوريا لن تبقى محصورة في هذين الميدانين، بل إنها ستفتح الباب أمام انضمام آلاف المقاتلين من العراق واليمن وإيران وأفغانستان وباكستان وبقاع أخرى في العالم إلى جانب سوريا والمقاومة. ولفت نصرالله إلى أن الحرب الدائرة في الإقليم أضافت إلى محور المقاومة قوتين كبيرتين، هما اليمن والمقاومة العراقية.

في بداية خطابه، ذكّر نصرالله بأن يوم القدس، أو «آخر يوم جمعة من شهر رمضان، هو أفضل يوم اختاره الامام الخميني ليكون يوماً عالمياً لأقدس قضية تتحمل مسؤوليتها اليوم الانسانية كلها والأمة جمعاء»، مشيراً إلى أن «يوم القدس هذا العام يتزامن مع الذكرى الـ50 لاحتلال الصهاينة للقدس. لقد كانوا في الأمس يحتفلون بسيطرتهم وهيمنتهم على القدس».

وشرح نصرالله كيف أن «منطقتنا دخلت مؤخراً في مرحلة مختلفة تماماً، وهذا مفصل صعب ومؤلم»، معتبراً أن «الولايات المتحدة وأدواتها الاقليمية حوّلت مسار الحراك الشعبي في العالم العربي باتجاه إعادة سيطرة قوى الهيمنة على منطقتنا وأموالنا ونفطنا وخيراتنا، ومن أهم الأهداف إنهاء القضية الفلسطينية والوصول إلى تسوية بين الكيان الصهيوني والدول العربية والاسلامية».

وتابع أن «الشعب الفلسطيني يتعرّض لحصار وتجويع وقطع الكهرباء واعتقالات وسجون وقتل على الشبهة وتقطيع أوصال الضفة الغربية والاستيطان وتهويد للقدس وهدم المنازل وتجريف الاراضي»، وأن الهدف الإسرائيلي من هذه الممارسات «أن ييأس الشعب الفلسطيني وقياداته ليقبلوا بالقليل». وقال إن المحاولات اليوم والضغوط السياسية والمؤامرات هدفها عزل إيران وتحويلها إلى عدو بدل إسرائيل واستنزافها في الحروب، ونقل الحرب الى داخلها بواسطة الجماعات التكفيرية».

وفي السياق ذاته، أكّد أن «سوريا دولة مركزية في محور المقاومة، وهي جبهة مع العدو، ولها أرض محتلة، كما أنها داعم أساسي للمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين، وعقبة كبيرة أمام أي تسوية عربية شاملة على حساب المصالح العربية»، وعلى هذا الأساس «عملوا خلال السنوات الماضية على إسقاط نظامها السياسي وتدمير جيشها واستبدال ذلك بقيادات هشة نراها في المناسبات والمؤتمرات تتزلف لإسرائيل وأميركا».

وسأل نصرالله في تعليق على القمّة السعودية ــ الأميركية أخيراً في الرياض: «أليس من الهوان أمام 50 رئيس دولة عربية وإسلامية أن يقف دونالد ترامب ليتّهم حركات المقاومة بالإرهاب؟».

ثمّ تحدّث عن دور العراق، مشيراً إلى أنه «بعد أن أظهر العراق إرادة سياسية واضحة من خلال الانتخابات والحكومات المتعاقبة، أنه لن يكون جزءاً من العملية السياسية الأميركية العربية لتصفية فلسطين، وبعد ظهور تيارات شعبية وجهادية وثقافة مقاومة وروح مقاومة واستعداد عال لمساندة حركات المقاومة، أرسلوا داعش الى العراق، ولا تنسوا أن داعش هو صناعة أميركية»، مذكّراً بما كان يقوله ترامب قبل انتخابه، عن مسؤولية باراك أوباما وهيلاري كلينتون والسعودية عن صناعة «داعش». وأكّد نصرالله أن «داعش صناعة أميركية وتمويل سعودي وخليجي وتسهيلات تركية».

وتابع أنه «بفعل تضحيات العراقيين وثباتهم، اليوم نشهد الانتصارات الحاسمة، والمسألة في الموصل مسألة وقت، وداعش في العراق إلى زوال. وفي العراق وعي كبير وإحساس قوي بأنهم جزء من هذه المعركة على مستوى المنطقة، وهذا خبر سيّئ لإسرائيل».

أمّا عن اليمن، فأشار إلى أن «الحرب على الشعب اليمني سببها أنه يقف بجانب فلسطين» وأن «اليمن لا يمكن أن يكون جزءاً من عملية بيع فلسطين والتخلي عن القدس، لا من أجل عرش ولا سلطان ولا من أجل ترامب»، مؤكّداً أنه «أصبحت للمقاومة اليوم قوة شعبية وسياسية ووطنية وعسكرية وجهادية حقيقية وصلبة في اليمن، ونحن نفتخر أن يكونوا جزءاً من هذا المحور وأن ننتمي اليهم».

وعاد نصرالله إلى الخلاصة والتأكيد أن «المستهدف المركزي هو الشعب الفلسطيني»، لافتاً إلى أن «الاسرائيلي الآن يرفض أي مفاوضات مع الفلسطينيين، لأنه يعلق آماله على الدول العربية، فهذا مشروعهم وخططهم ومعاركهم ووسائلهم». وأشار إلى أن «المفاوض الفلسطيني في الماضي كان يتمسّك بالعلاقة مع الدول العربية لجرّ إسرائيل إلى التنازلات، أما الآن فقد انقلبت الآية، إسرائيل تريد كل شيء من الدول العربية ولاحقاً ترى إن كانت مستعدة لتقديم أي شيء للفلسطينيين والعودة إلى التفاوض». وشرح كيف أنه «في المشهد السياسي الاقليمي الحالي، النظام السعودي هو الذي يقوم بتقديم الأثمان لإسرائيل ويفتح الأبواب لها من أجل علاقات وتطبيع، فالسعودية بما تملكه من موقع متقدم ومال ونفوذ، تفعل ذلك كله باسم الدين».

ودعا نصرالله «الأمة إلى مواجهة هذا النظام، لأنه مدان، وهو نظام سيبيع كل شيء لترامب والأميركي وإسرائيل»، مقترحاً على السعوديين «تغيير المناهج التربوية في السعودية وإيقاف تصدير الوهابية، وعندها يتوقف الإرهاب»، مشدّداً على أن «الفكر الإرهابي يأتي من السعودية وعلمائها»، و«محاسبتها اليوم لجيرانها فضيحة».

وحول الهجوم على إيران، أكّد نصرالله أن «إيران لم تعزل، وصمدت أمام العقوبات وازدادت قوة وطوّرت صناعاتها وأصبحت أقوى حضوراً في الاقليم، والذين يريدون محاربتها في الارهاب، فهي لن تتسامح مع الارهاب وستردّ بقوة، وفعلت ذلك، ومعركة الارهاب مع إيران خاسرة وفاشلة، وستكون لها نتائج عكسية، إذ ستصبح أشد حضوراً»، مشيراً إلى أن «النظام السعودي أجبن من أن يشنّ حرباً على إيران»، وأن «إيران ستبقى داعمة لفلسطين وللقضية الفلسطينية ولحركات المقاومة في المنطقة مهما كانت الظروف أو الضغوط. وموقف إيران هو موقف عقائدي».

وأشار إلى أن «سوريا بفضل الصمود والثبات والمقاومة تجاوزت خطر إسقاط النظام، وهي ستتجاوز خطر التقسيم، ومحاولات عزلها جغرافياً فشلت بعد وصول الجيش السوري إلى الحدود العراقية، وهي ثابتة في موقفها السياسي في محور المقاومة».

وتطرّق نصرالله إلى خطابات بعض المسؤولين الإسرائيليين في مؤتمر هرتسيليا المنعقد في الكيان خلال الأسبوع الحالي، مشيراً إلى أن الخطباء «أجمعوا في مؤتمر هرتسيليا على رفض عودة لاجئ فلسطيني واحد إلى فلسطين». ولفت إلى أن «ليبرمان قال إن إسرائيل لم تنتصر منذ حرب 1967»، وأن وزير الحرب الإسرائيلي أكد أنه «لا نية لإسرائيل للقيام بحرب لا في الخريف ولا الصيف ولا الشتاء ولا في الشمال أو الجنوب»، مشيراً إلى أن «ليبرمان يعلم أن الحرب على غزة وعلى لبنان لن تصل به إلى نصر».

وفي رسالة يوم القدس، قال نصرالله إن على «الشعب الفلسطيني والمعنيين بهذه القضية ألا ييأسوا، رغم كل الصعوبات، وألا يملّوا ولا يتعبوا، بل أن يصبروا ويواصلوا، لأن هناك الكثير من الآمال والإنجازات، ولا يجوز أن نستسلم». مضيفاً أن «على الجميع أن يعرف أن محور المقاومة قوي جداً وأثبت ذلك، ولم يسقط، ولم ينهر، ولم يتداعَ، واستعاد زمام المقاومة في أكثر من ميدان. إن محور المقاومة لم ولن يخلي الساحة». وهدّد نصرالله إسرائيل، في حال تجرّأت على القيام بعدوان على سوريا ولبنان، بأن الحرب لن تنحصر بهذين المحورين، و«من يضمن أن لا تتوسّع الحرب؟». وقال «أنا لا أؤكّد أن هناك دولاً ستشترك في الحرب، لكن أيّ عدوان على محور المقاومة سيفتح الباب أمام انضمام مئات آلاف المجاهدين لقتال إسرائيل من العراق واليمن وأفغانستان وباكستان وإيران وأماكن أخرى في العالم».

وطمأن نصرالله الشعوب العربية إلى أن «الأوضاع في المنطقة لن تبقى هكذا، ومخططات الأعداء ستفشل. لقد فشلوا في تحقيق أهم الاهداف السياسية، والذين صمدوا وواجهوا سيواصلون العمل لتغيير الاوضاع، فالوجوه والدول والانظمة باتت مكشوفة بالكامل، ولعبة النفاق انتهت»، مضيفاً أنه «أياً تكن التطورات، على أميركا وإسرائيل أن تعرفا أن الشعب الفلسطيني وشعوب أمتنا لن يعترفوا بإسرائيل التي ستبقى غريبة عن المنطقة ودولة احتلال وإرهاب»، مجدّداً إيمانه بـ«القدس والقضية الفلسطينية والتزامه بمحور المقاومة وبالمقاومة». وقال: «بتقديم التضحيات نحمي لبنان ونصون المنطقة وندفع عن بلادنا وحشية داعش وأمثاله. وسنكون حيث يجب أن نكون، وبالصبر نمشي إلى النصر الآتي».

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Middle East Rapidly Heading To Another Military Conflict. Threat Of Global War Growing

24.06.2017

Middle East Rapidly Heading To Another Military Conflict. Threat Of Global War Growing

Saudi Arabia and its allies have presented Qatar with a 13-point list of demands, incuding shutting the Al-Jazeera TV network, cutting back diplomatic ties with Iran, severing relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and ending the urkish military presence in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain issued the ultimatum on June 23 and gave Qatar 10 days to respond. This ultimatum amounts to calling for a total capitulation. If Qatar rejects it, the Saudi-led block may consider “other options” in solving the ongoing Qatar crisis. It may attempt to use a military force against the Arab nation or to implement a “cold war” approach against Doha.

On Saturday, Qatar confirmed that it is reviewing the presented demands.

“We are reviewing these demands out of respect for … regional security and there will be an official response from our ministry of foreign affairs,” Sheikh Saif al-Thani, the director of Qatar’s government communications office, said.

BBC reported:

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had asked the four countries to make their demands “reasonable and actionable”.

However, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, quoted by Al-Jazeera, said: “The US secretary of state recently called upon the blockading nations to produce a list of grievances that was ‘reasonable and actionable’.

“The British foreign secretary asked that the demands be ‘measured and realistic.’ This list does not satisfy that [sic] criteria.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have little options to step back following the release of their ultimatum to Qatar. If the Saudi-led block fails, this will lead to a dramatic fall of their public image and political influence in the Arab world.

It’s unlikely that Saudi Arabia and its allies didn’t consider various scenarious of conflict and hold consultations with the US before issuing of the ultimatum.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman appointed his son Mohammad Bin Salman as his successor instead of Mohammad Bin Nayef. This fact was very likely linked with the confrontation against Qatar.

The question is what kind of measures are the Saudis and their allies ready to implement? The Middle East is rapidly heading to another military conflict and a threat of another global war is growing with it.

 

Qatar Crisis
 According to the Qatari state-run media outlet Al-Jazeera, the list of demands includes:

1) Scale down diplomatic ties with Iran and close the Iranian diplomatic missions in Qatar, expel members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and cut off military and intelligence cooperation with Iran. Trade and commerce with Iran must comply with US and international sanctions in a manner that does not jeopardise the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

2) Immediately shut down the Turkish military base, which is currently under construction, and halt military cooperation with Turkey inside of Qatar.

3) Sever ties to all “terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations,” specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Formally declare these entities as terror groups as per the list announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and concur with all future updates of this list.

4) Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries.

5) Hand over “terrorist figures”, fugitives and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.

6) Shut down Al Jazeera and its affiliate stations.

7) End interference in sovereign countries’ internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for nationals where such citizenship violates those countries’ laws.

8) Pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.

9) Align Qatar’s military, political, social and economic policies with the other Gulf and Arab countries, as well as on economic matters, as per the 2014 agreement reached with Saudi Arabia.

10) Cease contact with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over files detailing Qatar’s prior contact with and support for opposition groups, and submit details of their personal information and the support Qatar has provided them.

11) Shut down all news outlets funded directly and indirectly by Qatar, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed, Mekameleen and Middle East Eye, etc.

12) Agree to all the demands within 10 days of list being submitted to Qatar, or the list will become invalid.

13) Consent to monthly compliance audits in the first year after agreeing to the demands, followed by quarterly audits in the second year, and annual audits in the following 10 years.

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من حلب إلى درعا… قريباً إدلب

من حلب إلى درعا… قريباً إدلب

يونيو 23, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– تستطيع إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب أن تزعم الفضل لها بتأجيل مفاعيل انتصار الجيش السوري وحلفائه في حلب، ونجاحها بتجميد مفاعيل مسار أستانة لستة شهور وجعله خلالها إطاراً مرتبكاً يخضع للتجربة والاختبار بانتظار ما سيحدث على جبهة الأوهام باسترداد الجماعات المسلحة زمام المبادرة. وهو ما كان ليحدث لولا التشويش الذي أدخلته عنتريات الرئيس الأميركي ورسائله النارية، التي تكشّف مضمونها عن ألعاب تكتيكية لا عن خيار استراتيجي، حيث يصير الجواب الأميركي عن سؤال حول ما بعد انكسار داعش وفرضية تعرّض القوات الكردية لهجوم من الجيش السوري وهل ستدافع عنها القوات الأميركية، بالقول بالتأكيد لن نفعل ذلك.

– كلّ الذين قتلوا وأصيبوا وكلّ الخراب الذي وقع، خلال فترة ما بعد معارك حلب، نتاج لهذه الأوهام التي زرعتها إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب، ودفعت حتى الأتراك الذين ذاقوا مرارة هزيمتهم في حلب إلى التوهّم بأنّ زمناً جديداً يبدأ، وأنّ العودة لرهانات الخيار العسكري في سورية ممكنة، حتى انقضت كلّ اختبارات القوة، وثبت أنّ المعادلة التي أنتجت نصر حلب هي المعادلة الاستراتيجية الثابتة، وأنّ التشويش عليها سياسياً وعسكرياً ليس إلا أفعالاً تكتيكية يريدها الأميركي لقطاف من الأغبياء الذين يقعون ضحايا وهمِ قوّته. كما قالت قمم ترامب في الرياض وحصاده بمئات مليارات الدولارات.

– جاءت معارك درعا، وجاء كلام الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون كصفعات موجعة للجماعات المسلحة التي وقعت ضحية الوهم، لإعادتها إلى رشدها الحلبي، والتيقن من أنّ شيئاً لم ولن يتغيّر، وأنّ العناد والمكابرة لن ينتجا سوى رفع الأكلاف للتسليم بنتائج يمكن التسليم بها بخسائر أقلّ. ومعلوم أنّ ميزان الردع بعد سلسلة معارك يصير مكثفاً، فلا حاجة لمرور الحرب بكلّ مراحل المرة الأولى لتظهر نتائج مراحلها الأخيرة في المرة التالية. وتكفي مؤشرات التذكير بالموازين لفرض المسار الذي رسم من قبل على حالات أشدّ قوة ومتانة، في حالات أشدّ ضعفاً وهشاشة، وما كانت تبغيه الخطة الأميركية هو تعطيل موقت لفعل هذه القاعدة لتعيد الجماعات المسلحة ورعاتها الإقليميين المرور بالنكسات ذاتها وبأكلاف مضاعفة، حتى تتحقق من أنّ شيئاً لم يتغيّر، لكن كسب الوقت يكون نزيفاً قاتلاً لها، ومكاسب في الجيب الأميركي، تتحقق في الخليج وليس في سورية.

– درعا تدخل اليوم الزمن الحلبي، وتتدحرج مكونات تسوية تشبه تلك التي انتهت بها حرب حلب، ومن درعا إلى حلب، شمال وجنوب سورية وشمال وجنوب الحرب السورية وبوابات العبور منها وإليها، من هاتين البوابتين عبرت الحرب إلى سورية ومنهما تعبر سورية للخروج من الحرب. وبرفع العلم السوري فوق خط الحدود الأردنية ولاحقاً التركية تسدل الستارة على الفصول الأشدّ بشاعة وخطراً في هذه الحرب. وبعد درعا ستكون إدلب قريباً، وبعدهما لن يطول زمن عودة دير الزور، فتلك هي معادلة حسم أمرها، بين حلفين حلف يزداد تماسكاً وحلف يزداد تفتتاً. حلف يزداد ثقة وحلف يزداد شكوكاً وإحباطاً. حلف يزرع الانتصارات وحلف يحصد الهزائم. دمشق تنفض غبار الحرب عنها وتحتفل بيوم القدس وتراه قريباً، والرياض تتقلّص طموحاتها من انتظار يوم سقوط دمشق لتهتف إنه يومك يا ابن نايف ويومك يا قطر.

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Yahoudi Arabia & allies demand Qatar close Turkish base, shut Al-Jazeera and more within 10 days

Saudi Arabia & allies demand Qatar close Turkish base, shut Al-Jazeera and more within 10 days

Saudi Arabia & allies demand Qatar close Turkish base, shut Al-Jazeera and more within 10 days

Originally appeared at RT

The Arab states which have imposed an economic blockade on Qatar over its alleged financing of terrorism have issued a severe list of demands, which includes giving Doha 10 days to cut ties with Iran, shutting down Al-Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base and paying a fine.

The Kuwait emissary, which is serving a mediator in the diplomatic standoff, has reportedly presented the list of 13 demands from the Arab states to Qatar. Doha has 10 days to comply, according to Associated Press which has seen the list.

The ultimatum demands that Qatar abandon its cooperation with Iran, close down its military base where Turkish troops stationed and disbands its Al-Jazeera news network.

The countries led by Saudi Arabia also demands Doha to cut all ties with terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Qaeda. The list also demands that the monarchy stop funding all extremist groups designated as “terrorist” by the US.

The Gulf nations are also seeking detailed information about “opposition figures that Qatar has funded,” AP said. In addition, Qatar must surrender all nationals who are wanted on terrorism charges by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Qatar in early June, accusing their neighbor of sponsoring terrorism. Some other countries outside the Gulf region also downscaled ties and partially joined in imposing economic sanctions on Qatar.

Before Kuwait delivered the ultimatum, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cautioned that demands against Qatar need to be “reasonable and actionable.”

“We support the Kuwaiti mediation effort and look forward to this matter moving toward a resolution,” Tillerson said Wednesday.

This is the Kuwait emissary’s second mission aimed at restoring diplomatic ties between Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations.

During the previous attempt, Doha rejected the laid out preconditions, with Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Thani who serves as the Qatari foreign minister, stating emphatically that no outside power can interfere with Doha’s foreign policy or dictate its media politics. The Sheikh also made clear that Qatar could survive “forever” under sanctions.

The ongoing crisis was triggered in early June following a report on the state run Qatar News Agency (QNA) website, in which the country’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, criticizes Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iranian rhetoric among other controversial statements. QNA immediately retracted what it termed “fake news,” and following an investigation said the channel had been hacked by “neighboring” states which then used the QNA report as a pretext to impose the economic blockade.

As the crisis developed, Doha found itself increasingly isolated and dependent on aid from Turkey and now Iran. Both countries have sent food supplies to Doha, currently under a tough trade and travel blockade. Meanwhile, Ankara fast-tracked the ratification of an earlier sealed deal to send troops to the Gulf nation to train Qatar’s police force.

With no resolution to the stalemate imminent, Washington has questioned the motives behind the punitive measures imposed on Qatar.

“Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism, or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries?” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert asked Tuesday.

Since the start of the ongoing rift, Qatar has insisted that its innocent.

“Our government has maintained, from Day 1, that the blockade has nothing to do with the accusations that have been leveled against Qatar,” Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the United States wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday.

“The allegations that Qatar supports terrorism and that Qatar is a secret ally of Iran are, as the State Department suspects, just a smokescreen for an attempt to infringe upon Qatar’s sovereignty and punish Qatar for its independence,” the ambassador wrote.

He called for negotiations to end the crisis, but accused the belligerent states of “seeking to drive a wedge between Qatar and the United States for their own political gain.”

“Qatar has the right to chart its own course, without the interference of other nations, and that is what we can and will do. The door to the negotiating table will stay open,” Al-Thani emphasized.

The envoy said the Saudi-led nations know all too well that Qataris “do not, have not and never will support terrorism,” and accused Doha’s detractors of orchestrating a “smear campaign” when it comes to accusations that Qatar is a “secret ally” of Iran. He added that Doha is providing support to Syrian rebels who are battling against the Syrian government and Iranian troops.

“The Saudis, the UAE and every government in the Gulf maintain diplomatic and trade relations with Iran,” the ambassador pointed out. “In fact, Iran’s biggest trading partner is the nation now leading the anti-Qatar blockade, the UAE.”

Qatar Crisis: Origins and Consequences

The current crisis surrounding Qatar represents the most severe conflict among Gulf Arab states since the end of the Cold War. While these oil-rich, autocratic OPEC members have historically been at the most allies of convenience united by common fears (USSR, Saddam Hussein, Iran, etc.), their mutual mistrust has arguably never escalated to the point of demanding to what amounts to a complete surrender by one of its members. Several interesting features of this crisis immediately jump out.

First of all, the breaking off of diplomatic relations by Saudi Arabia and several other major regional powers including Egypt, and depriving Qatar of the ability to use land and air transport routes through or over the territory of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, including Egypt came suddenly and without any warning. There was no ongoing visible dispute between Qatar and any of its neighbors, no major recent provocative policy moves. This suggests it was a premeditated and planned move by Saudi Arabia and its partners.

While the US role in the crisis is still ambiguous, it is unlikely in the extreme that Saudi Arabia would have undertaken something so drastic without coordination with the US, particularly since this action comes literally on the heels of President Trump’s high-profile visit to Saudi Arabia.  While initially silent, President Trump ultimately took to Twitter to back Saudi Arabia against Qatar, even as the US still maintains major military presence in that country.

The nature of the accusations leveled at Qatar is nothing short of extreme. Both US and Saudi leaders accused Qatar of about the worst offense currently available, namely supporting violent Islamic extremism. Trump went so far as to say that Qatar’s change of policies would be a major step toward resolving the problem of terrorism.

The nature of the crisis suggests it represents tensions that long bubbled under the surface but now have finally burst into the open.  The Qatari-Saudi falling out, and the make-up of the pro-Saudi faction, suggests that several factors at work here.

Not the least trivial of them is the drop in energy prices in recent years.  Saudi Arabia’s costly wars in Syria and Yemen only make that problem worse. Since Qatar’s main line of business is natural gas whose production is outside OPEC’s purview, it may be that Saudi Arabia is attempting to force Qatar, whose per-capita GDP is the highest in the world, to share some of its wealth with the failing Saudi monarchy

This drastic step would likely have not been needed had the Saudi and Qatari ambitions in Syria been realized by now. The objective was, after all, the laying of pipelines through the territory of Syria and also seizing Syria’s oil fields using ISIS as a proxy, all very much with the tacit approval of the Obama Administration. While the outcome of the war in Syria is still uncertain, it is all too clear the Saudi and Qatari efforts to expand their wealth at Syria’s expense have failed.

The Saudis are also attempting to establish their political dominance within the region, as part of the “Sunni NATO” concept. Qatar’s independent foreign policy which often ignored or even undermined Saudi aims in Syria and Libya, was naturally an obstacle in reaching that objective. Moreover, Qatar’s freelancing also appears to be the reason why countries like Egypt and Israel have backed Saudi moves. Qatar is a major sponsor the Muslim Brotherhood and of Hamas which are major irritants for these two countries, respectively.

The other major show of Qatari independence has been its Iran policy, where it is also sharply at odds with the hard-line Saudi approach. Since the “Sunni NATO” is aimed squarely at Iran and should Saudi Arabia succeed in crushing Qatar’s independence, it will establish itself as the unquestionably dominant political power within the Arabian Peninsula. The harsh disciplining and humiliation of Qatar would also serve as a long-term warning for any other minor Gulf power which might attempt to pursue a foreign policy independently of Saudi Arabia. The importance of Iran to the Saudi-Qatar conflict has been starkly demonstrated by Iran’s willingness to supply Qatar with food to overcome Saudi blockade, and the terrorist attack in Tehran that was attributed to Saudi Arabia by Iranian authorities. Tehran also opened its airspace for Qatar Airways aircraft and expanded unofficial efforts to draw Doha into own sphere of influence.

With that in mind, Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia which culminated with the rather bizarre “glowing orb” ceremony, acquires a new meaning. While we do not yet know just how much leeway Washington is giving Riyadh in its dealings with Doha and how much coordination and communication there are between the two powers, Trump’s behavior while in Saudi Arabia was likely intended to send a message that Saudi Arabia has the full faith and confidence of the United States, though evidently Qatar had failed to heed the warning. If the Saudi action does result in Qatari abandonment of Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, it will help the US restore some of its political standing in the region by drawing both Israel and, especially, Egypt, closer toward the US. Qatar’s emasculation furthermore promises to bring the wars in not only Syria but also Libya to a closer conclusion by eliminating a significant player pursuing an independent objective. Last but not least, Qatar also enjoys rather better relations with both Russia and Turkey than Saudi Arabia, which no doubt raised additional fears in Washington that Russia is about to take the US’ place as the most influential external power in the Middle East. The emergence of a Russia-Iran-Turkey-Qatar constellation as a result of Russian diplomacy and Turkey’s own regional ambitions is a nightmare scenario for both Riyadh and Washington.

It is not yet clear whether the Trump Administration compelled Saudi Arabia to undertake this course or whether Trump had no choice but to endorse and acquiesce in the Saudi course of action, with some accommodations made to respect US interests outlined above.  On the one hand, Trump could have easily used the same “support for terrorism” cudgel on the Saudis that in the end he used on the Qataris. On the other hand, the power of the Saudi lobby in Washington and the absence of a proxy power capable of doing to Saudi Arabia what Saudi Arabia is doing to Qatar means that the Saudis are not simply following Washington’s orders.

However, in light of Trump’s upcoming visit to Poland and the participation in the so-called Three Seas Initiative summit, one must also entertain the possibility that the US saw in Qatar an unwelcome competitor for the liquid natural gas (LNG) market. It is becoming apparent that the US will continue to expand its role as hydrocarbon exporter in the future, which will naturally bring it into conflict with not only Russia, but also Qatar, and even Saudi Arabia. It is also becoming apparent that at least some of that expansion will take place in Europe, or the market which Qatar had hoped to access by sponsoring jihadists in Syria who would ultimately pave the way for its gas pipelines into Europe.

The falling out between the US and Qatar appears to have had a sobering impact on Qatar’s leaders who, evidently fearing that any show of weakness might lead to their overthrow and even death, have dug in their heels and began to seek support from unorthodox sources. That process, in turn had shown both the extent of anti-Saudi sentiment in the region and the limits of US influence. Turkey’s President Erdogan came out strongly in support of Qatar, and went so far as to reaffirm the Turkey-Qatar military alliance and send troops to Qatar. Pakistan similarly decided to send a military force to Qatar, and collectively these actions are likely sufficient to dissuade any Saudi military adventurism, possibly with cooperation with dissatisfied factions of Qatari military. At this stage, it would take a direct US military intervention to bring down the Qatari government, but the US clearly prefers to do its dirty work through proxies. Moreover, there is no sign of an effort to interdict or block Qatar’s LNG tanker traffic. Even though Egypt had joined the anti-Qatar coalition, it has not blocked LNG tankers carrying Qatari gas from passing the Suez Canal.

Even so, Qatari leaders were concerned enough to send their Foreign Minister to Moscow for consultations. Nevertheless, considering that Saudi Arabia responded to Turkey’s support of Qatar by expressing its own support for the Kurdish cause–so far only verbal–it does appear that Russia, Turkey, and many other countries in the region do not wish to see Qatar brought to heel. Russian military spokesmen also noted that in the meantime the war in Syria had greatly diminished in its intensity as the Qatar- and Saudi Arabia-backed militants now find themselves in a very confused situation where it’s not clear who is supposed to be their enemy, Syrian forces or other rebel groupings. However the situation evolves in the future, it is unlikely in the extreme Qatar will be close collaborator in any Saudi schemes. Instead it is more than likely Qatar will gradually drift further away from Saudi policies and bolster its ties with Turkey, and therefore indirectly also with Russia and Iran.

As a final note, one cannot but help reflect on the fact this is a severe and potentially very dangerous confrontation between, after all, two important US allies.  Considering that both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are members of the “Free World” (sic) of which the US is the undisputed leader, the fact that a few policy disagreements among these members can no longer be managed by means short of blockade and threats of war does not speak highly of the US ability to continue to maintain its empire. While the Saudi-Qatari conflict is unprecedented in its intensity, it is far from being the only internal “Free World” conflict which the US is apparently powerless to resolve. We have already seen Brexit, the looming “two-speeds EU”, the Turkey-EU and Turkey-NATO spats, the failure of TTIP and TPP multilateral US-centric trade deals, and other signs of US weakness. The use of Saudi Arabia against Qatar suggests the US might be moving toward a different model of imperial governance, namely “divide and rule” among its own client states. In the short term this may well be successful. However, it is US client states’ awareness that is driving them to seek help from Moscow, which in turn gives us narratives of “Russian meddling”, including now in the case of Qatar.

Jerusalem, Nicosia and WW3

June 19, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

Cypriot press reported last week on a large joint Israeli-Cypriot military drill.

The following Israeli video  publicises an elite Israeli commando brigade engaged in aggressive military routines around Cyprus’ Troodos Mountain range.

https://youtu.be/uvQJfqnPuME

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How did this came about? How did the Cypriots, who are known to support the Palestinian cause, become a province of the Israeli empire?

An Israel-Europe gas pipeline deal is the answer.

 

In the beginning of April we learned about a proposed 2,000 kilometer subsea pipeline connecting gas fields located offshore in Gaza and Cyprus with Greece and possibly Italy.

The pipeline agreement among Israel, Italy, Cyprus and Greece leaves both the Turks and the Palestinians out. While Gaza faces a critical energy crisis with electricity reduced to less than three hours a day; Israel aims to collect billions of dollars from a significant natural gas reserve located off the Gaza shore and well within Palestinian territorial water (assuming such a term exist).

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s energy minister,  hailed the pipeline project expected to be in operation in 2025 as the “beginning of a wonderful friendship between four Mediterranean countries.” Of course, not all related Mediterranean nations are included in the deal. We can foresee that this is a recipe for disaster: the pipeline and the gas installation are soft targets. The region is volatile. Cyprus is putting its sovereignty at risk. It may, within a short time, God forbid, become a battle ground for some merciless global operators.

Cyprus leadership realises that it has to become an Israeli province if it wants an oil pipeline that dispatches plundered Palestinian natural gas. And as the video reveals, Cyprus is now protected by its Israelite big brother. The Israeli-Cypriot joint military drill was performed to deliver a message to Turkey and other regional players: any attempt to interfere with their gas theft project will be met by Israeli military brutality.

Gilad’s Being in Time can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com  and on Gilad’s site  here.

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