Qatar, North Korea, and the Dangers of American Gullibility

March 12 2018

Americans leaders and statesmen, argues Yigal Carmon, have long suffered from a “syndrome” that presumes the trustworthiness of their foreign counterparts even in the absence of evidence. Reviewing numerous instances of such naïveté—from Franklin D. Roosevelt to the present—Carmon focuses on current dealings with North Korea and Qatar: two countries that have proved themselves to be anything but trustworthy:

This syndrome, which stubbornly denies reality, compounds other cultural differences between democracies and dictatorships and renders the West almost unable to contend with evil. Only a few days ago, when the North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un invited the United States to “a heartfelt dialogue,” the Western media swallowed it whole and celebrated it with great fanfare. . . . When the American syndrome meets Arab, Muslim, and other authoritarian regimes, the American side stands no chance, despite the disparity of power. . . .

Qatar is an unelected, family-run authoritarian regime that stamps out domestic freedom of expression. For years, it has been the unapologetic breeding ground of anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel incitement, as well as a major promoter of Islamic extremism and terrorism. . . . [I]t has promoted al-Qaeda and its various offshoots, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and its branches, especially Hamas. For decades, it has sheltered the notorious spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, who advocates a second Holocaust “at the hands of the believers, God willing.” . . .

Qatar is allied militarily with Turkey’s extreme Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan [and] has also come out of the closet as a staunch ally of Iran. . . . Like other authoritarian regimes, it has weaponized its totally state-controlled media, [Al Jazeera], to fight its enemies and to support its allies. Qatar rebuilt southern Lebanon on Hizballah’s behalf after the 2006 war, and did the same for Hamas in Gaza after its wars with Israel. . . . [Furthermore], virulent incitement against America and its allies continues to dominate Al Jazeera’s broadcasts to the entire Arabic-speaking world. . . .

[Most recently, taking its inspiration from the claims about hidden Jewish influence found in] the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, [Qatar] extended invitations to the leader of the Zionist Organization of America, Orthodox rabbis, and the vice-president of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations to come visit. However, . . . it prepared a standby: a documentary by Al Jazeera TV targeting Jewish organizations in America that can be broadcast if and when necessary. As an Arabic saying regarding Americans goes: screw them, collaborate with them, and double-cross them all at once.

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Read more at JNS

More about: American Jewry, Muslim Brotherhood, North Korea, Politics & Current Affairs, Qatar, U.S. Foreign policy

Syria’s Downing of a Russian Plane Put Israel in the Crosshairs

Sept. 21 2018

On Monday, Israeli jets fired missiles at an Iranian munitions storehouse in the northwestern Syrian city of Latakia. Shortly thereafter, Syrian personnel shot down a Russian surveillance plane with surface-to-air missiles, in what seems to be a botched and highly incompetent response to the Israeli attack. Moscow first responded by blaming Jerusalem for the incident, but President Putin then offered more conciliatory statements. Yesterday, Russian diplomats again stated that Israel was at fault. Yoav Limor comments:

What was unusual [about the Israeli] strike was the location: Latakia [is] close to Russian forces, in an area where the IDF hasn’t been active for some time. The strike itself was routine; the IDF notified the Russian military about it in advance, the missiles were fired remotely, the Israeli F-16s returned to base unharmed, and as usual, Syrian antiaircraft missiles were fired indiscriminately in every direction, long after the strike itself was over. . . .

Theoretically, this is a matter between Russia and Syria. Russia supplied Syria with the SA-5 [missile] batteries that wound up shooting down its plane, and now it must demand explanations from Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. That won’t happen; Russia was quick to blame Israel for knocking over the first domino, and as usual, sent conflicting messages that make it hard to parse its future strategy. . . .

From now on, Russia will [almost certainly] demand a higher level of coordination with Israel and limits on the areas in which Israel can attack, and possibly a commitment to refrain from certain actions. Syria, Iran, and Hizballah will try to drag Russia into “handling” Israel and keeping it from continuing to carry out strikes in the region. Israel . . . will blame Iran, Hizballah, and Syria for the incident, and say they are responsible for the mess.

But Israel needs to take rapid action to minimize damage. It is in Israel’s strategic interest to keep up its offensive actions to the north, mainly in Syria. If that action is curtailed, Israel’s national security will be compromised. . . . No one in Israel, and certainly not in the IDF or the Israel Air Force, wants Russia—which until now hasn’t cared much about Israel’s actions—to turn hostile, and Israel needs to do everything to prevent that from happening. Even if that means limiting its actions for the time being. . . . Still, make no mistake: Russia is angry and has to explain its actions to its people. Israel will need to walk a thin line between protecting its own security interests and avoiding a very unwanted clash with Russia.

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war