That said one can sort of admire Qatar playing on so many sides all at once. They host US troops and also the man who wants Americans pushed off into the sea. They host the BBC of the mid-east (Al Jazeera) known for speaking its mind (but not on Qatari affairs). Well played.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, met secretly in
Kuwait last month with foreign ministers from five neighboring
countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
According to two people with direct knowledge of this meeting, the five
foreign ministers had a simple message for the emir: Cut it out — we
know what you’re doing.
Qatar is a tiny country — a mole on the
back of Saudi Arabia — yet one that makes its presence felt in
disproportionate and often destructive ways. It hosts the forward
headquarters of U.S. Central Command, but also provides material support
to the Muslim Brotherhood, to Hamas (the Palestinian branch of the
Brotherhood), and to radical Sunni outfits in Syria, among others.
a few encouraging signals, the Qataris have returned to form, and even
expanded their portfolio of meddling in regional uprisings, providing
support to Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The support for the
Houthis was too much for Saudi Arabia, which engineered the ultimatum
delivered last month.
The reaction of the emir was predictable: He
denied everything, according to my sources. Qatar is not supporting the
Muslim Brotherhood, not supporting the al-Qaeda-influenced Nusra Front
in Syria and not supporting the Houthis. The foreign ministers provided
the emir with direct evidence, but the denials continued until the
meeting broke up.
After this meeting, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and
the U.A.E. all recalled their ambassadors from Qatar, commencing a new
stage in this Gulf cold war. Qatar has shown no sign that it is willing
to stop its support for radical groups; no sign that it will stop using
its television network, Al Jazeera, to cause problems for its neighbors
(while scrupulously avoiding criticizing Qatar itself, of course); and
no sign that it will prevent the region’s most important Sunni cleric,
the radical and radically dyspeptic Yusuf al-Qaradawi, from using Qatar
as a base to foment outrage on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt