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Reply with quote  #16 
After the deadline for Qatar to respond to Saudi demands was extended, the Qataris have delivered their response to the Emir of Kuwait.

The U.S. military establishment was taken aback recently when President Trump came down so hard on the side of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., while the U.S. has it's biggest military base in Qatar.  They found it advisable to praise Qatar quickly after the President tweeted against the Emirate.

This goes a long way in explaining the lower volume of U.S. involvement in this dispute.

The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)

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Reply with quote  #17 
UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt assert that Qatar did not honour its agreements:

Rex Tillerson continues to try to resolve the crisis:

Qataris and foreign residents rally behind their ruler:

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Reply with quote  #18 
Kuwait takes action against Iranian regime presence in their country:

Rex Tillerson accused of mismanaging the dispute:

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Reply with quote  #19

It's no surprise that I've followed the Arab-Qatar diplomatic dispute closely, as it's the first time in decades that two or more royal families have been in conflict, even if it is falling short of war (and we sure hope it doesn't come to that). A dispute that provokes discussion on a wide range of issues, yet is rooted in complex history.

As monarchists, we delight in pointing out that Arab monarchies have worked better than other systems in the region who have invariably been failed states. This is because of the inherent legitimacy of the hereditary system, rooted as it is in the tribe and clan system and history of the region. In general, we can safely say that the most successful states are those where there are the three Cs - continuity, consensus and compromise - among the elites. Whether it is a traditional monarchy or a parliamentary democracy, these are the essential elements of a successful, functioning system.

Beneath the veneer of modernity, many Arab states still have a very traditional way of social and governmental relations rooted in the tribal and clan structure. Liberals and modernists may scoff at this, but this shouldn't be seen as a negative. Meritocracy isn't the be all and end all of everything, and even if democratic norms such as elections are impeccably observed, it is neither reasonable nor realistic to expect a system to conform to Western norms.

Indeed, we have seen what happens when coups and revolutions destroy an existing order. It happened most recently in Iran in 1979, but it had happened in Egypt in 1952, Iraq in 1958, Syria in 1963 and Libya in 1969. In most or all of these cases, revolutions destroyed the social and political basis of old established elites. In short, an organic social and political order of a monarchy or democracy is replaced by an artificial order imposed from the top down by a dictatorship. These were or are states devoid of compromise, whose rulers suppressed anyone they didn't like or disagree with by various less than civilised means. It is no coincidence that societies like Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya are breeding grounds for Islamist militants, because of the societal vacuum created from a revolutionary process decades ago.

In this background, and the threat from the Iranian Revolution, the belligerence of dictatorships and of terrorist organisations, it is no surprise that Arab royal families formed a much closer bond over recent decades, resulting in the formation of the GCC. They more or less had to stick together as a group, because they shared a common interest in preserving the Old Order threatened by leftist and Islamist enemies. This is why, for instance, previously rival royal families learned to get over historical differences (think Jordan and Saudi Arabia).

And it is also why the sense of betrayal they feel by Qatar begins to become understandable. The belief, increasingly backed by evidence, that Qatar is a haven for subversives who threaten precisely the very same order created, its generous financial support having favoured extremists that undermined legitimate democratic aspirations in Syria and Libya, and more dangerously, hosting the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates that threaten the Gulf states.

The UAE has blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood and its US affiliate CAIR because of its dangerous, revolutionary nature. Egypt is waging a war on domestic terrorists who threaten all of its people (above all else Coptic Christians, which is why they support Sisi). Bahrain is threatened by Leftist and Islamist agitators supported by the Iranian regime and egged on by moronic Western Leftists. In fact, when Washington heaped praise on Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco or other such states, the Left hates it no matter which party is control of the White House (they didn't like that the Obama Administration praised them, they'll hate it even more that Trump is even more enthusiastically backing them).

In this we see the evil nexus of Leftist and Islamist forces who are on one hand advancing the interests of the Iranian regime and its proxies, and on the other hand helping Sunni Islamists who are allegedly the nemesis of the former. Both of which threaten the traditional social and cultural order of the Middle East. By aiding and abetting the Islamist agenda, Western liberals also do great harm to Muslims, even if they think they aren't.

I have striven for consistency here. My loathing of the Islamic Republic regime in Iran is legion. My loathing of the Assad regime in Syria is equally so. I have denounced Hezbollah, ISIS, Al-Qaeda affiliates like Al-Nusra, and also the PKK/PYD for numerous human rights violations in Rojava. I do so in the interest of truth, reason and evidence, and in the name of fair play. Societies are infinitely better of where traditional norms and the rule of law are observed, and enforced by an effective state.

That Qatar stands accused by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain among others of being a patron of dangerous individuals and movements (not least through Al Jazeera) is one thing.

The other question is why has this been so? Since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran have been patrons of radical and revolutionary movements and not all of them are Islamist. All of them, however, have been useful to the regime's agenda and goals and consistent with its worldview.

They have not been the only ones. Among the many states that have stood accused of sponsoring terrorism included Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Libya under Gaddafi, Syria under the Assads, Sudan under Omar al-Bashir and the now defunct Communist regime in South Yemen. Most of those were not Islamist regimes but were generally considered to be in the "radical" or "rejectionist" camp. But so were Egypt (before the Peace Treaty) and Algeria. Many of these regimes supported a whole host of terrorist groups, whether left-wing or Islamist, whenever it suited them. Whether it was the Communist PFLP the and Islamist Hezbollah and Hamas, the IRA, or insurgents in the Philippines.

Now it seems to me that Qatar has filled a vacuum left by Saddam, Gaddafi and Assad (remember that the US did take Libya off the terror sponsors' list when they normalised relations a decade ago and Gaddafi was now in the "good books").

As I stated earlier, the problem of post-colonial states in Asia, Africa and the Middle East which claim a "revolutionary" national narrative is that it is an ideological millstone, unhelpful in the formation of a stable, rational society or conducive to democracy, human rights and rule of law.

The common thread in regimes that emerged out of revolutions - Saddam, Assad, Gaddafi, Bashir, South Yemen, et al - is that while they were not responsible for creating Al-Qaeda and ISIS, their combination of domestic oppression and support for foreign terrorism and the destruction of society they wrought created the perfect environment for ISIS et al to thrive.

In this regard, Qatar's patronage of organisations and individuals which are controversial is mind-boggling. A strong sense of solidarity among Arab monarchies has long been noted, and given what we saw in World War I and the events of 1958 and 1979, all the more understandable. It makes no sense for Qatar to do so. When Gaddafi sponsored terrorists, he was a darling of Western "progressives" and Third World "anti-imperialists". Qatar, because it is a traditional monarchy, will get no such status.

And hence it is somewhat understandable that the Gulf states and Egypt would be indignant about Qatar doing it, even though it should not just be Qatar that should be held accountable, but also Western governments that have allowed Islamist movements to thrive in their societies even when proscribed in Muslim countries.

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