For years, Washington has maintained good relations with Doha, in part because this oil- and gas-rich emirate is home to a key U.S. air-force base. On February 1, President Biden officially designated Qatar a “major non-NATO ally.” Yigal Carmon, in an interview by Ariel Ben Solomon, argues against the decision:
The relationship between Qatar and the United States is bizarre, and makes no strategic sense. . . . For decades, Qatar has provided financial and political support, directly and indirectly, to virtually every anti-American Islamic terrorist organization. . . . Qatar funded the Taliban throughout America’s presence in Afghanistan, yet the American administration is eagerly thanking Qatar for its “help” in preventing an even greater disaster during the withdrawal last August.
If it weren’t for Qatar, the September 11 attacks might not have taken place. . . . In 1996, the terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad [KSM] had been under Qatari protection in Doha. When the U.S. government notified the Qatari emir that they were coming to arrest KSM for his involvement in terrorist plots, KSM disappeared within hours, only to reappear in 2001 as the mastermind behind 9/11.
Then there is the matter of Al Jazeera, which is owned by the Qatari government and is one of the world’s greatest fomenters of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and jihadism:
The Qatari-based channel has . . . aired calls for terror attacks against American oil installations. It even hosted a birthday party—complete with a large cake, fireworks, and a band—for the released terrorist Samir al-Kuntar, who brutally murdered a four-year-old [Israeli] girl and her father in 1979.
The lesson, says Carmon, is that “crime pays.”
More about: Al Qaeda, Qatar, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy