How could I overlook this?
In today's post I touched briefly on Qatar and it's history vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia (via the NY Times). I had previously summed up another NYT article on Qatar here. To wit: Qatar and Saudi Arabia have beef; Qatar has long tried to walk a fine line between being Saudi Arabia's pal and the pal of Saudi Arabia's sworn enemy, Iran; the US has 11,000 troops stationed in Qatar and thus has prudently respected this balance; the Saudis recently tried to completely isolate Qatar and end this balancing act entirely; and Donald Trump has astoundingly done his best to blow up the balancing act by using Twitter to put Qatar on blast (you read that correctly! not a fever dream on your part!) for supporting "terrorism," while simultaneously dealing $110 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, which is completely hilarious in its sheer hypocrisy (Cato Institute).
But you might think, "Well, at least the Trump administration has decided what side they're on and is acting accordingly." Well, NOPE.
Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after accusing it of funding terrorism. (CBS News)
Seen on its own, you might think the Trump administration is engaged in some brilliant, seeing-many-steps-ahead geostrategy. But given the other moves made by the Trump administration, both domestically and foreign-policy wise, I feel pretty confident in asserting that the Trump administration just doesn't understand what the ---- it's doing. Emphasis added mine:
In the face of the escalating tensions Qataris came to D.C. with a large entourage -- expecting to break ground on the escalating regional standoff. But there is no sign of progress. The State Department has yet to extend an official request for a joint meeting between representatives that are in the nation's capitol from Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Qatar says have still not received the list of demands that the countries have for them. The U.S. has not played a role in passing along request, either. (CBS News)
Hahahahhahah come ON, people.
Maybe this will all work out Great for America Again, somehow, but I'll tell you, if I was Qatar right now, I'd be getting on the horn with Iran and saying, "Hello, Ayatollahs? It's me, Qatar"*.
America has demonstrated, through its vacillating, to a country in which its troops are based, that it cannot be relied upon. Whether or not you're in favor of projecting strength overseas, I have to ask: how does this help us?
* this stupid pun cleared by several of my closest associates - blame them.