By Nicola Nasser**
In his inaugural address on January 21, U.S. President Barak Obama made the historic announcement that "a decade of war is ending" and declared his country's determination to "show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully," but his message will remain words that have yet to be translated into deeds and has yet to reach some of the U.S. closest allies in the Middle East who are still beating the drums of war, like Israel against Iran and Qatar against Syria.
In view of the level of "coordination"
and "cooperation" since bilateral diplomatic relations were established in 1972
According to the US State department's online fact sheet,
"bilateral relations are strong," both countries are "coordinating"
diplomatically and "cooperating" on regional security, have a "defense pact," "
The war in the African nation
On January 15, Qatari Prime and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, told reporters he did not believe "power will solve the problem," advised instead that this problem be "discussed" among the "neighboring countries, the African Union and the (U.N.) Security Council," and joined the Doha -- based ideologue for the Muslim Brotherhood and their Qatari sponsors, Yusuf Abdullah al -- Qaradawi -- the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars who was refused entry visa to U.K. in 2008 and to France last year -- in calling for "dialogue," "reconciliation" and "peaceful solution" instead of "military intervention."
In a relatively older example, according to
In Syria, for another example, the Brotherhood is the leading "fighting" force against the ruling regime and in alliance with and a culprit in the atrocities of the terrorist bombings of the al-Qaeda -- linked Al-Nusra Front, designated by the United States as a terrorist organization last December; while the Brotherhood -- led and U.S. and Qatar -- sponsored Syrian opposition publicly protested the U.S. designation, the silence of Qatar on the matter could only be interpreted as in support of the protest against the U.S. decision.
Qatar, in all these examples, seems positioning itself to be qualified as a mediator, with the U.S. blessing, trying to achieve by the country's financial leverage what the U.S. could not achieve militarily, or could achieve but with a much more expensive cost in money and souls.
However, a unilateral Qatari mediation failed in Yemen, a
Qatar -- led Arab mediation in Syria has similarly proved a failure two years on
the Syrian crisis, the "Doha Declaration" to reconcile Palestinian rival factions
is still a paper achievement, the Qatari mediation in Sudan's Darfur crisis has
yet to deliver, the Qatari "mediation" in Libya was condemned as intervention
in the country's internal affairs by the most prominent among the post --
Gaddafi leaders, and in post -- "Arab Spring" Egypt Qatar dropped its early
mediation efforts to align itself publicly to the ruling Brotherhood. But in
spite of these failures,
The first term Obama administration, under the pressure of "fiscal austerity," blessed the Qatari funding of arming anti -- Gaddafi Islamists in Libya, closed its eyes to Qatar's shipment of Gaddafi's military arsenal to Syrian and non -- Syrian Islamists fighting the regime in Syria, "understood" the visit of Qatar's Emir to Gaza last October as "a humanitarian mission," and recently approved to arm the Qatar -- backed and Brotherhood -- led Egypt with 20 F-16 fighter jets and 200 M1A1 Abrams tanks.