University of Michigan comedian Juan Cole, in his misnamed blog, Informed Comment, has an article that mostly centers around Qatar. Given Cole's writing style, it shouldn't be surprising that he opens up with that incident in Buffalo a few days ago when two Buffalo cops pushed a protester named Martin Cugino out of their way, and the unfortunate protester hit his head on the sidewalk and was injured. What does that have to do with Qatar you ask?
Dear Reader, have you never heard of "intersectionality"?
Since I would rather concentrate on Qatar, I won't waste time on the real story behind Cugino other than to highlight Cole's related assertion that Antifa consists of just an isolated handful of isolated young anarchists and post this link from the RAIR Foundation.
Once Cole recovers his wits, he moves on to the subject of that noble little Gulf state nation called Qatar. The "intersection", seemingly would consist of positions that the Evil President Trump has taken over the years about various subjects, including Buffalo and Qatar.
As to the diplomatic differences between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, I don't wish to take sides since for me, it's a pox on both their houses. The Saudis are masquerading as our strategic partners in the war on terror while supporting terror organizations on the other hand and funding radical mosques in the West as well as radical Middle East Studies centers in our universities. Their domestic human rights policy is a disgrace, and then there was that little matter about Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was butchered in 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. There is no defense of Saudi Arabia here. But Qatar?
"Qatar hosts the US al-Udeid Air Force Base, with some 10,000 military personnel as a favor to Washington. Many of the sorties flown in the US military struggle against ISIL, al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the Middle East took off from al-Udeid."
True, but that is part of the double game that Qatar plays, just as Saudi Arabia plays a double game against the West. Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which is the parent organization from which many Islamic terrorist organizations have sprouted, like Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Hamas. Cole describes the MB as an organization that turned to parliamentary democracy as if the Brotherhood's control of Egypt under Mohamed Morsi was some sort of real democracy.
Qatar is also the country that has provided refuge to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, a man who has called the Holocaust, "God's punishment for the Jewish people," and who has expressed the wish to die fighting in battle against the infidels.
Qatar is the country accused of massive human rights abuses over its use of foreign labor, especially in the construction of multiple soccer stadiums in 100+ degree threat in time for the 2022 World Cup.
And, of course, Qatar is the home of Al Jazeera, which Cole hails as a free press, but which carries water for the anti-Israel forces in the Middle East. Al Jazeera is a wolf in sheep's clothing, partially obscured by the fact that it employs plenty of Western useful idiots who write op-eds for them in English and other languages, mostly against Israel and the West. It may be a free press in Cole's eyes, but then again, so is the New York Times.
Oh, did I mention that Cole has a teaching gig at Qatar University?
Equally puzzling is Cole's description of today's Turkey though he does throw out a criticism of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Turkey has taken up some of the slack here as a champion of democratic pluralism that makes a place for the Religious Right, though its own democracy has been injured by the policies of President Tayyip Erdogan."
".....a champion of democratic pluralism that makes a place for the religious right...."
Maybe Cole is referring to the religious arm of the Turkish government, Diyanet, which has its tentacles in the Turkish communities in Western Europe and promotes the spying on Turkish ex-pats who opposed Erdogan.
If Juan Cole wants to attack Saudi Arabia, I'll help him write the articles. However, when he tries to pump up countries like Qatar and Turkey, he is skating on very thin ice.