4 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia and Qatar”

  1. Regarding Mr. Spencer’s comment, I remain mystified as to who wrote the article on Qatar to which I responded. I would be delighted to discuss this in a mutually non-anonymous form.

  2. Richard Spencer

    I find Mr Theros’s comments interesting, of course, and fascinating for one extra reason. As a journalist, I have listened as that ubiquitous chap “the senior western official”, in different outward forms, has both vitriolically denounced Qatar and, like Mr Theros (in non-anonymous form) sternly defended the place. Sometimes the relevant officials have been close colleagues. This failure to agree on the basic nature of a place perhaps more subject to pro- and con-conspiracy theories than anywhere else in the Middle East is, it seems to me, a rent that lies at the heart of a lot that has gone wrong in the last few years. Any thoughts?

  3. The (allegedly Qatari-backed) Middle East Eye ran an article (http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/dark-days-trump-manchester-bin-zayed-thani-qatar-uae-abu-dhabi-1445689253) addressing the issue, stating “This was crude fake news, planted by hackers. Firstly, the emir never even gave a speech to a graduation ceremony for new army recruits, the source of the alleged remarks. Secondly, no Arab leader in his right mind would publicly acknowledge at an official ceremony that he had close links to Israel.” It accused the UAE being behind the cyber-offensive.

  4. Patrick Theros

    There appears to be little argument that despite protestations to the contrary in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, the official Qatar News Agency was hacked and that the statements attributed to the Emir were indeed fake. Otherwise, why did every official and non-official news media in those two countries shut down all reporting from Qatar and not acknowledge the denials put out by Doha? Saudi and UAE media is far more tightly controlled by the state than media in Qatar. My guess; the UAE or Saudi Arabia hacked in a well-orchestrated campaign to coincide with the neoconservative oriented Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington. The FDD was also a set-up. I asked to attend and was refused (presumably because I served as Ambassador to Qatar and chair the US-Qatar Business Council.) If one looks carefully at the Secretary Gates statement, Ms. Jenna mousetrapped him into saying that “no base is irreplaceable.” She then asked directly if we should close down al-Udeid. Gates backtracked rapidly arguing that we need al-Udeid because alone among GCC states the Qataris give us complete operational freedom. That is why the USAF relocated from Saudi Arabia to Qatar and why the UAE has never been considered as an alternative. I also do not understand the point of running the rather complicated and tortuous argument about the family tree; what does that have to do with the current crisis?

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