Last week in “U.A.E Thinks It’s Bullshit That Qatar Spends Its Empire State Building Profits On Al-Qaeda,” we highlighted a truly absurd WSJ Op-Ed penned by the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the U.S., Yousef Al Otaiba.
In his piece, Ambassador Otaiba perpetuates the ridiculous idea that everyone but Qatar is all aboard the “eradicate Sunni extremism” train, when in fact, the number-one exporter and sponsor of the ideology espoused by groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS is Riyadh, the ringleader of the GCC-Qatar spat.
We also dispelled the equally ridiculous notion that Iran and Hezbollah pose some kind of existential threat to the West the same way they threaten the Israelis.
It’s one thing to say “look, Hassan Nasrallah isn’t a guy I’d invite to Sunday dinner, and we have to support our allies in Israel by doing our part to stop the spread of Iranian influence.”
But it’s entirely another to gloss over the fact that when it comes to combatting the Sunni extremist groups that are now attacking the West on a near-monthly basis, no one is more effective on the battlefield than Hezbollah and their allied militias in Iraq. That’s irrefutable.
Here’s how we described the situation:
Don’t get me wrong, Qatar is guilty as fucking charged. But for the Saudis to point fingers when it comes to the promotion, sponsorship, and exportation of Sunni extremism is perhaps the worst example of glass-house-stone-throwing in the history of the world.
The Saudis have pointed to Qatar’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Sunni militants in Syria and said “look what they’re doing!” as if Riyadh would never promote extremism and then, to kind of seal the deal with Western audiences who don’t know anything about the sectarian divide, they’ve thrown the whole Iran connection in there, in the process casting Doha as the worst possible bad actor: a sponsor of both Sunni extremism and dangerous Shiite militias hell-bent on helping to amplify Tehran’s regional influence.
Well now, H.E. Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Ambassador of Qatar to the U.S., has responded to the above-cited U.A.E. Op-Ed and it’s pretty damn amusing. Specifically this passage is worth noting:
Ambassador Otaiba must certainly be aware that the United Nations and the U.S. Treasury Department list 10 times as many suspected terrorists and terrorist financiers from the boycotting countries as from Qatar.
Read the full post below…
In his June 13 op-ed “Qatar Cannot Have It Both Ways,” United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba demands that Qatar be “all in” in the fight against terrorism. I can assure him that we are. The better question might be, where do the U.A.E. and the other nations currently boycotting Qatar stand on this existential threat?
Ambassador Otaiba must certainly be aware that the United Nations and the U.S. Treasury Department list 10 times as many suspected terrorists and terrorist financiers from the boycotting countries as from Qatar. Surely his excellency also remembers that the U.A.E. was singled out in the 9/11 Commission’s report for its role in laundering money to terrorists, and that Emiratis, not Qataris, were among the hijackers who flew planes into the Twin Towers.
Ambassador Otaiba calls upon Qatar “to return to the community of responsible nations,” and criticizes television news channel Al Jazeera for inciting violence, though he fails to mention that the U.A.E. financed the military coup that overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected government, and that the U.A.E. allegedly bankrolled the coup plotters who attempted to overthrow the elected government in Turkey.
The ambassador writes that the U.A.E. did not act “in haste” against Qatar, yet the U.A.E. never brought any of its complaints to the responsible entities at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) before launching aggressive diplomatic and economic measures against us. Instead, as leaked emails show, the ambassador and the U.A.E. government privately conspired against Qatar in the shadows.
It has become clear that the current campaign against Qatar is not about terrorism, Al Jazeera or any of the other issues highlighted by the boycotting nations. It is about Qatar’s independence, which some apparently view as a threat. We would like our brothers in the GCC to know that we are a threat to no one. But they should also understand that Qatar is a sovereign nation, and that we will not be bullied.