The Qataris have become adept at cultivating contracts and contractors in all sectors. They are now involved in ‘brokering’ talks with Hamas and the hostages they took from Israel.
Meantime, the violent extremist groups are laughing, all the way to the banks. What and how the banks, including 'respectable' commercial institutions such as HSBC, launder this blood money is yet to be seriously investigated.
Photo of Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, in January 2022-with US President Biden at the White House.
Doha has hosted not so secret/top secret meetings between the US State Department and the Taliban. The Taliban still has an office in Doha flying their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan flag out front which so infuriated former President Hamid Karzai back in 2013. As the world knows, the Taliban controls Afghanistan since 2021, and harbors terrorist groups from all over the Middle East and Central Asia.
Taliban main offices are still in Doha, Qatar.
It is important to note that all GCC countries are basically theocracies. Sharia law applies and is enforced. People have been arrested for holding hands in public. Expats have been deported for kissing on the beach, hugging in a restaurant. Citizen vigilantes and religious ‘police’ with their cell phone cameras, are everywhere.
Meanwhile the US ostensibly called for an end to supporting violent extremist/terrorist groups in 2017. Yet the US still fulfills contracts for weapon sales to Qatar (albeit most contracts were signed before the Trump presidency). A 12 billion USD deal-with Boeing company-for the sale of fighter jets to Qatar, does make for conflicted messages in terms of where the USA stands in terms of “supporting terror networks” and enterprises.
One of the late Senator John McCain’s legacies is that he dealt in a bi-partisan manner when it came to pushing his political cohorts to remove embargoes, sanctions, impediments to weapons deals around the world.
Whether it was to former adversaries including Vietnam, Libya, Iran, eastern European countries, Saudi Arabia, conflict areas including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Sudan and oh yes....Qatar; Senator John McCain was there.
“The full arms sale, of over $20 billion for 72 F-15QA fighter jets, was notified in November 2016. This means it had already been authorized by congress and the executive branch, when President Obama was in office, before the Trump administration came into office.” ( see deals with Qatar)
People also forget that a larger $21 billion agreement was made back in November 2016, in the waning weeks of the Obama administration.
In addition, the six billion dollar release of funds to Iran under the Biden administration, in a ‘prisoner exchange deal’ made in August 2023; provides more potential financial backing for state sponsored terror militias by Iran (Hezbollah) which may prove to be directly connected to the October 7, 2023 violent attacks on Israeli citizens and visitors. Or new attacks which are following in the north of Israel as of October and continuing into 2024.
The U.S. commander at Al-Udeid Air base Qatar, said there are "no plans to change our posture in Qatar" amid the mounting crisis in the Middle East due to the horrific surprise attacks on Israeli civilians on October 7, 2023-including the torture, mutilation, rape, murder and severe injuries to infants, children, elderly and civilians.
While meeting with Al Thani in Doha, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed appreciation for Qatar's work to secure the release of the hostages in Gaza — calling Doha a "very close partner" on a broad range of issues.
A spokesman for Hamas said , that the group was prepared “to murder the hostages on camera in response to ongoing Israeli airstrikes”.
Qatar still supports Hamas, the Taliban and other overtly radical Islamist terrorist organizations and networks. They have demonstrated their clear bias towards these groups.
We need to ask why this country is the main negotiator for talks between the Israelis and the terrorist attackers of Hamas and their affiliates.
Wouldn't it be better for a reasonable agreement to change venues and replace Qatar with a more peaceful and objective Gulf state such as the United Arab Emirates?
As of late January 2024, there has been no significant progress in the talks and terms for the hostages release, nor no support for the hostages from the International Red Cross. The fate of the hostages, especially those who are injured, are elderly, infants, children young girls and young men is precarious under the stark conditions described by those who have been released.
Qatar continues to play a dangerous game.