LAST month US president, Donald Trump, turned up in Saudi Arabia to give his unqualified support to the ruling Saudi monarchy and their fellow Sunni rulers in the Gulf States, to the extent of carrying out a sword dance with the local cutthroats.
Flying in the face of every known fact Trump exonerated these feudal monarchies from any involvement in the promotion or funding of terrorism. Instead he insisted that Iran is the main sponsor of terrorism in the region.
For the Saudi leaders this was the green light they had been looking for. They had purchased billions of dollars of US and UK arms and now they had the chance to use them, after testing them out in the Yemen.
Soon after Trump’s visit the Saudis, along with their regional allies, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, along with Egypt, imposed a complete blockade of Qatar. Diplomatic relations with the country were cut while land, sea and air travel to and from Qatar was banned. Qatari citizens and diplomats were given 48-hours to leave these countries.
The demand from Saudi Arabia and its allies is that Qatar ends its support for terrorism, and a foreign policy of maintaining ties with Iran, along with closing down its propaganda television station Al Jazeera.
Egypt is hostile to Qatar for its support of the Muslim Brotherhood,whose leader, Mohammed Mursi, was elected Egyptian president until overthrown in a military coup. The ‘anti-terror’ Saudis have been supporting ISIS, Al Qaeda and the numerous Syrian terrorist gangs that are fighting to overthrow President Assad. As is well known, more than a dozen Saudi citizens were involved in the 2001 Twin Towers attack, that Bush managed to blame on Iraq!
To try to depict the Saudis as being anti-terror and the Qataris as being pro-terror is absurd. They are both patrons of different brands of terrorism. The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two Sunni dictatorships, has its origins in the fact that Qatar, although a tiny country, has huge oil and gas reserves which it shares with its neighbour Iran.
It is clearly in Qatar’s interest to have friendlier relations with Iran while for the Saudis and their imperialist backers Iran is the next country on the list for invasion. Trump with his visit and his call for action against the terrorists lit the fuse for a conflagration in the region that can explode into an all-regional war that would drag in every country, including the US and Europe, and bring the western economies to a halt.
Trump initially went out of his way to support the blockade of Qatar claiming in one of his famous tweets that when it came to funding terrorist ideology ‘leaders point to Qatar’. This is laughable, both Qatar and the Saudi monarchy promote the extreme form of Sunni Islam, Wahhabism, which is the guiding ideology of ISIS and al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia has been the main financial backer and sponsor of these groups for decades in the fight for regional supremacy over Iran and Syria.
What Trump forgot in his enthusiasm to stoke up a regional war was that Qatar is one of the main centres of the US military in the region, home to 10,000 US military with the al-Udeid base outside the capital Doha as the centre for US air strikes over Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. The entire US air war is being carried out from a base in a country that Trump has delighted in destabilising. This situation has turned Trump into a ‘peacenik’ urging talks. If the situation wasn’t so deadly, with the threat of a massive war in the region costing millions of lives, it would be farcical.
Now Turkey, which supports the Muslim Brotherhood, has got involved sending more troops to bolster those already stationed in Qatar in preparation for any military showdown with the Saudis. US, British and French imperialism have armed both Saudi Arabia and all the Gulf states including Qatar to the teeth as allies in the war to destroy secular regimes and seize their oil wealth. This has created the conditions for an almighty explosion in the region.
The only solution is for the workers of the UK, EU and the USA to disarm the imperialist powers with socialist revolutions that will open up the way for the Arab masses to overthrow the feudal cutthroats of the Gulf before they plunge the entire region into a devastating war!