Tuesday, June 06, 2017

I bet Donald Trump has never heard of Al Udeid airbase

The crazy thing about Trump's decision to side so overtly with the Saudis in the Qatar row is that he might get away with it. Sure, the whole thing is absurd and stupid. The Saudis and others who have been pissed off at Qatar for years see that the U.S. has an easily manipulated president who is willing to pitch decades of American commitment overboard just because the KSA gave him a nifty sword dance.

But with everyone piling on Qatar all of a sudden (even the Philippines!), the country is really in a tight spot. Qatar's wealth and bold foreign policy over the past few years has made it seem stronger than it really is. It is a small country, which only has a land link to Saudi Arabia. With KSA up their ass, wealthy Qatar might run out of food. Now that the U.S. has jumped on the anti-Qatar bandwagon, Qatar has little choice other than finding a face-saving way to capitulate.

I am not sure how the Qataris will get out of this. But it probably will be the end of Qatar's roles as a mediator. It might mean the effective end of al Jazeera.