Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Saudis show their hand

The ongoing news story about Saudi Arabia's move against Qatar is fairly difficult for me to follow - not so much because I have trouble understanding it (although it is pretty obscure), but because I feel a strong urge to vomit when I hear Saudi government officials accusing other countries of promoting Islamist extremism.  I've persisted though, and my persistence is rewarded - it's actually about getting rid of Al Jazeera, which has a nasty (or wonderful, depending on your perspective) tendency to subject Gulf state monarchs to actual criticism.

The Saudi government got Kuwait to pass Qatar its demands, with shutting down Al Jazeera top of the list. The rest of the laughably-unreasonable list is just nice-to-haves.

I was wondering why Kuwait wasn't taking part in this lynch mob and is instead staying neutral and acting as mediator.  Now it becomes clear - Kuwait has a parliament and universal adult suffrage, so isn't subjected to the same level of criticism by Al Jazeera as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. (Just to clarify - the Kuwaiti parliament is still subordinate to the Emir, but at least there is one, and at least women can vote.)

These days you can tell which side is the bad guys by finding out who President Orange Blowhard is supporting - it's pretty sure to be them.  Sure enough, the Saudis have the pussy-grabber's full support.  Say no more.


The Veteran said...

PM ... I think you and I can both agree that the politics of the region tend to be a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma (with apologies to someone else) with a fair dose of oil to help focus the mind. One suspects President Trump hasn't quite worked that one out (or perhaps he has).

Anonymous said...

Quite right Phsyco...the name Al Jazeera means nothing to most of the posters here as it is not watched....Arab you see, can't trust a Muslim. I find it very informative particularly when sticking the boot into both the US and Saudi.

Talking with four girls who live in Qatar last night who said pretty much the same, the current joke is that in order to get diplomatic immunity you have to join a Trump Golf club.

Lord Egbu

Stefan said...

I totally agree
The Saudis always supported Bill Clinton, no matter what

George said...

Trying to get rid of Al Jazeera isn't the brightest tactic.
1) It's now based in western countries as well as Arabian.
2) More watch it on the Net than on TV.
Smacks of desperation from the country from whence the 911 murderers came.
Let's just shut them all up, fence them in and padlock the gate for a few hundred years

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... I watch Al Jazeera to get an Arab perspective on the news. Some see the station as a propaganda outlet for the Qatari government and that may or may not be the case. It does however appear to have a pro-Sunni and anti-Shia bias in the reporting of regional issues which is not surprising given that Saudi and Qatar are the only two states in the Muslim world where the Salifi version of Sunni Islam is the state religion.

The current dispute stems from Qatari government backing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt ... a position opposed by both the Egyptian and Saudi governments.

As an aside and many non Muslims think of Islam as a single united force. The reality is that the hate between Sunni and Shia is such as to make the enmity between the Catholics and the Prods in Northern Ireland look like a Sunday school picnic.

p.s. Didn't the ABs do well. Great game.

Psycho Milt said...

The Muslim Brotherhood's certainly why Egypt's in on it, and the Saudis hate them as well. It's quite funny really - the MB is as Islamist as the Saudi government, but it favours political parties and elections, and rejects monarchs and military dictatorships, so to the Egyptian and Saudi governments it's a great evil to be fought against. There are only ever least-worst options in the Middle East, never good ones.

The Veteran said...

PM ... nailed it with your last sentence.

David said...

PM, it is only a family quarrel, nothing more, nothing less, and the family should be permitted to work it out.

Well, that's the WH opinion, as expressed by Shaun Scary Spicer.

"The four countries that are part of that - we believe it's a family issue and that they should work [it] out," said Mr Spicer.

"If we can help facilitate those discussions then so be it. They want to, and should work out for themselves."

Sadly history is not the strong suit of the current tenants of the Whitehouse, they seem unaware the WW1 was also a "family affair".

George V of England, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, Queen Victoria, Alexander II of Russia – all cousins in the most dysfunctional family, ever.