The Qataris, and their ruling al-Thani family, are slavers, narcotics traffickers, and financiers of international terrorism. They also happen to be America’s closest ally under Obama.
When analyzing the foreign policy interventions of the Obama administration with respect to the Middle East, it is hard to reconcile their respective approaches Libya (2011) and Iraq (2014).
In 2011, Obama justified the military action to remove Muammar Gaddafi on the basis of anticipated genocide by the Gaddafi regime. Speaking at the National Defense University on March 28, 2011, Obama explained “I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” In October of that year, Gaddafi was discovered by Libyan rebels, many whom were Islamists linked to al Qaeda, sodomized, and summarily executed. It is worth recalling that Gaddafi had been, since shortly after 9/11/2001, effectively an American ally, if an imperfect one, in the war on terror.
Yet following the fall of Mosul to ISIS in June 2014, and the subsequent exposure by the press of their horrific war crimes, the Obama administration acted strangely inert. The execution of defenseless Iraqi soldiers shocked the world, and ISIS (now known as the Islamic State, or IS) made no effort to hide their crimes: indeed, they proudly advertise them on YouTube. Despite the visual evidence of systematic war crimes and mass murder (à la the Nazi Einsatzgruppen), Obama announced that he would not provide air support for the Iraqi Army. Under the supervision of the Obama administration, Iraq has gone from relatively stable following the 2007 “surge,” to being occupied in large part by a genocidal army that targets Christians, Shiites, and all secularly-minded Muslims.
How does one reconcile Obama’s actions in Libya, which were allegedly precautionary in nature, to his non-action in Iraq, which amounted to declining to intervene in an actual, real, and ongoing genocide? The most obvious way to explain this is through the lens of America’s closest ally these days, the tiny Middle Eastern peninsula in the Persian Gulf: Qatar.
Qatar, from the very beginning, has been the primary agitator for the “Arab Spring.” Qatari forces were on ground in Libya, training rebels and planning their battles; and they were in the air, conducting air strikes with Dassault Mirage French-made fighter jets. The Qataris are one of the main benefactors of the Syrian rebels, where the murderous Islamic State began to coalesce. (ISIS was the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, after all.) In deposing Gaddafi and attempting to depose Bashar Assad in Syria, it can be said truthfully that the Obama administration and al-Thanis in Qatar were, and are, partners.
“A Kind of Marriage”
The alignment of American and Qatari foreign policy, while it may be disturbing, should not be wholly surprising. Qatar hosts two of the largest American bases in the world, Al Udeid and As Sayliyah. As Sayliyah is a huge pre-positioning base, the largest outside the United States, while Al Udeid is the home of CENTCOM in the region. ExxonMobil is the primary Qatari partner in extracting natural gas, from which the Qataris derive tremendous wealth; they are the richest country per capita in the world, and 17% of their tiny population (287,000 citizens) are millionaires. Lockheed Martin, and other American arms manufacturers, recently sold the Qataris $11 billion in sophisticated weaponry. According to a senior executive at the company, Boeing is “in a kind of marriage” with the al-Thanis, and agreed to sell them 50 wide-body jets this July. Prominent universities, such as Georgetown, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon, have satellite campuses in Doha, Qatar. The Brookings Institute, one of the most influential American foreign policy think tanks, has a significant presence the Qatari capital as well.
Judging by the American presence, only lightly explored in the above paragraph, it is not hard to see that Qatar and the United States are in a kind of marriage. The phone book in Qatar reads like a Who’s Who for American institutions. The American military, commercial, and educational footprint in Doha are the shared values that hold the marriage together.
And yet Qatar’s support for Islamists now seems to translate into de facto American support for the same groups of barbarians, and not only in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. The Qataris have also been conclusively linked to Hamas, who is of course at war with Israel. Extending into Nigeria, paperwork discovered in July links the Qataris directly to Boko Haram. President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and previously SecState Hillary Clinton have all been conspicuously soft on Hamas and Boko Haram. In 2013, the Obama administration threatened Nigeria with sanctions for fighting Boko Haram. Meanwhile, in Israel, Kerry has pushed for the Hamas-friendly ceasefire written by Turkey and Qatar.
A Vast Ocean of Illegal Funds
Qatar has two primary legal industries: energy extraction, mostly natural gas but also oil, and Qatar Airways, a global airline. But there is another aspect to the Qatari economy, far darker, that helps to explain the Qatari proximity to the Islamists. The Qataris benefit directly from trafficking in heroin, cocaine, and human beings.
Although few people think of drugs and slavery when they hear “al Qaeda,” narcotics and human trafficking are major sources of revenue for them. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, are known smugglers across Northern Africa, in everything from cigarettes to Latin American cocaine. Boko Haram, who has now declared their allegiance to IS, are not only slavers, as evidenced by what they did to the kidnapped Christian girls, but also transnational drug dealers; they have been known to operate as far away as India, under the aegis of criminal mastermind Dawood Ibrahim. Ibrahim is known for many things, among them forced prostitution rings.
The Taliban’s affinity for opium and its derivative, heroin, is firmly established. The 2013 Afghan opium crop set a new record, and simultaneously Afghanistan continues to slip ever closer into the political grip of the Taliban. The Inter-Service Intelligence, the intelligence agency of Pakistan, has always been close to the Taliban. In fact, the Pakistani National Logistics Cell functions as transporters of Taliban heroin. And the NLC are in a strategic partnership with none other than Qatar.
It is not only Taliban-sourced heroin which goes through Qatar. Doha International Airport is a growing hub for the international narcotics traffic by way of South America, through the cartels. For example, large shipments of cocaine from Argentina have been seized from drug mules at the airport.
Slaves and their Master
In preparation for the 2022 World Cup that they are still scheduled to host, Qatari authorities have embarked on an ambitious plan to build 12 new stadiums. Despite being the wealthiest country per capita, the laborers are making on average about $0.76 an hour, or $13/day. Many have not been paid in months. If projections hold, more than 4,000 will die in the construction process. Labor conditions are so bad in Qatar for the stadium workers that they have been termed “slaves” by the U.K.’s Guardian.
There is good reason to consider these unfortunate laborers modern day slaves. The Qataris have links to human trafficking groups around the globe. Boko Haram, who shocked the world when they captured Nigerian girls and sold them into sex slavery, was set up by a Mauritanian proxy of Qatar as a “money making venture.” Boko Haram cells have also been discovered operating as far away as India, under the auspices of criminal mastermind, and terror financier, Dawood Ibrahim. Ibrahim’s brother, Anis, recently traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, to meet with the leader of Boko Haram. Ibrahim’s D-Company is “heavily involved” in organized prostitution rings. Speculation, meanwhile, grows that Dawood is working with the Nigerian-based terror group to set up several narcotics smuggling routes.
Of course, if you’re going to have a slave workforce, it helps to have a knowledgeable slave master. The architectural firm contracted to build the Qatar stadiums is Albert Speer & Partner GmbH. It is headed by Albert Speer Jr., the son of the infamous Nazi Albert Speer, who pioneered slave labor of Jews and Slavs in the Third Reich.
Slave labor being a trade secret of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is without surprise we not that Hamas admitted to using child labor to build their extensive tunnel networks under Gaza.
A Second Guess
So irritated is Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu with how Obama and John Kerry have handled negotiating the conflict with (Muslim Brotherhood) Hamas, that he warned the administration “not to ever second guess me again.”
Money has a way, you might say, of papering over differences. The global narcotics trade and human traffic are immensely profitable enterprises. Given the Qatari involvement in Boko Haram and their proclivity for slave labor, we can assume with a strong degree of certainty that they profit from the worst kinds of “business.” The Qatari ruling family, the al-Thanis, do not only profit from natural gas exploitation, but receive substantial revenues from human suffering in the form of slavery, narcotics addiction, and terror. With this money, they subsidize the American military presence outside their capital.
The citizens of the United States, most who could not locate Qatar on a map, would be wise to second guess our strategic alliance with the corrupt Gulf state. Eventually, like the Israelis, Americans will wake up to the fact that our closest ally is not only a financier of Islamic terror, but also a state run drug cartel and slave dealing operation.