Last night, while we slept, four Arab and largely Muslim countries cut diplomatic ties and land, air, and sea routes into Qatar, accusing Qatar of supporting regional terrorist groups including DAESH/ISIS, al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas, among others.
What first struck me was that Qatar is not one of the countries in Trump’s travel ban, which he says was an attempt to restrict terrorists from entering the United States. [The countries the ban effects are Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iram, Yemen, and Somalia. Nope, no Qatar.]
What’s the logic?
First, Qatar is home of the al-Udeid Air Base, the forward headquarters of the US Central Command and staging point for as many as 10,000 US soldiers and support personnel. Hmmm. Can’t do without that, can we? Is this sufficient reason to turn a blind eye to terrorism?
Second, Trump has business ties with Qatar. Qatar Airways has been a tenant at Trump Towers since 2008. Trump has interests in four companies that “appear to be tied in businesses” in Qatar. Ivanka let people know in 2015 that the Trump Hotel Collection was looking for opportunities in Qatar. There’s no way to find out how close these ties are, how much Trump earns from them, or whether there’s been a move to get Qatar to finance a new Trump hotel.
Finally, Trump appears to be a buddy with the Emir of Qatar. During last month’s conference in Saudi Arabia, Trump asked the emir, “We are friends, we’ve been friends now for a long time, haven’t we?” Is this sufficient reason to embrace terrorism?
The conflict of interest is not just apparent, it is real.
http://time.com/4629308/donald-trump-business-deals-world-map/ 10 January 2017
https://apnews.com/8257ce650e224188a1884e34eabb5e90/Arab-nations-cut-ties-with-Qatar,-saying-it-backs-terror 5 June 2017
It didn’t take long for the Trump camorra to turtle up and hunker down. Heck, they had a bunker mentality even before the election, what with Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns (and to lie about the reason).
Is Trump willing to admit any error? So far, it doesn’t seem so, as lie after lie is plastered atop some initial lie, and as the people who should be giving him advice toe-the-Trump-line, instead. I’m thinking specifically of his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer and Spicer’s apologist, Kellyanne Conway, she of “alternative facts” (i.e., lies).
So much was made of Conway’s description of lies as alternative facts that another statement seems to have gone unnoticed. After Chuck Todd (NBC) suggested that Spicer had told untruths (i.e., lies) she said, “If we are going to keep referring to our press secretary in those type of terms, I think we are going to have to rethink our relationship here.” IMHO, that was not only evidence of Trump’s Chumps bunker mentality, but also a direct threat to ostracize Chuck Todd. Not the first time Trump has cut off a legitimate media channel or publisher that disagreed with him.
Oh, and how does Conway get away with using the “Royal First Person Plural”? (Frankly, we are not amused.)
Do we remember what that imbroglio was about? Trump had lied to a CIA audience about the number of people present at his inauguration. Spicer backed up that claim by saying both that there were 720,000 people present (far short of Trump’s claim of a million and a half) and that “no one had numbers” for crowd size. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist (or a CIA analyst) to see the contradiction in those two statements.
By the way, please don’t forget that Trump also claimed that while the rain should have scared people away, “…God looked down, and He said, ‘We’re not going to let it rain on your speech,’” and that, although he “got hit by a couple of drops” when he started his speech, the rain “stopped immediately… and then it became really sunny.” Both of these statements are lies. It rained during Trump’s speech, and then remained overcast and cloudy.
(Does this constitute a violation of the commandment not to take God’s name in vain? Interestingly—to me, at least—the oldest Hebrew rendition can be translated as a prohibition against using God’s name in a lie, which Trump did.)
As an aside, Trump also told the CIA audience that he had tremendous support from the military, and implied this meant a “big portion” of CIA people voted for him. Does he not understand that the CIA and the military are separate entities?
Mr. Trump, if you are willing to lie about something so unimportant, why should we believe anything you say about the things that really matter?
King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, Exodus, Chapter 20 and (for the Hebrew lesson) Wikipedia.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.