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
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