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Guest Post: Qatar - Rich and Dangerous

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by Felix Imonti of OilPrice.com

Qatar: Rich and Dangerous

The first concern of the Emir of Qatar is the prosperity and security of the tiny kingdom.  To achieve that, he knows no limits.

Stuck between Iran and Saudi Arabia is Qatar with the third largest natural gas deposit in the world.  The gas gives the nearly quarter of a million Qatari citizens the highest per capita income on the planet and provides 70 percent of government revenue. 

How does an extremely wealthy midget with two potentially dangerous neighbors keep them from making an unwelcomed visit?  Naturally, you have someone bigger and tougher to protect you. 

Of course, nothing is free.  The price has been to allow the United States to have two military bases in a strategic location.  According to Wikileak diplomatic cables, the Qataris are even paying sixty percent of the costs.

Having tanks and bunker busting bombs nearby will discourage military aggression, but it does nothing to curb the social tumult that has been bubbling for decades in the Middle Eastern societies.  Eighty-four years ago, the Moslem Brotherhood arose in Egypt because of the presence of foreign domination by Great Britain and the discontent of millions of the teaming masses yearning to be free.  Eighty-four years later, the teaming masses are still yearning. 

Sixty-five percent of the people in the Middle East are under twenty-nine years of age.  It is this desperate angry group that presents a danger that armies cannot stop.  The cry for their dignity, “I am a man,” is the sound that sends terror through governments.  It is this overwhelming force that the Emir of Qatar has been able to deflect.

A year after he deposed his father in 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani established the Al-Jazeera television satellite news network.  He invited some of the radical Salafi preachers that had been given sanctuary in Qatar to address the one and a half billion Moslems around the world.  They had their electronic soapbox and the card to an ATM, but there was a price.

The price was silence.  They could speak to the world and arouse the fury in Egypt or Libya, but they would have to leave their revolution outside of Qatar or the microphone would be switched off and the ATM would stop dispensing the good life.

The Moslem Brotherhood, that is a major force across the region, dissolved itself in Qatar in 1999.  Jasim Sultan, a member of the former organization, explained that the kingdom was in compliance with Islamic law.  He heads the state funded Awaken Project that publishes moderate political and philosophical literature.

How Qatar has benefited from networking with the Salafis is illustrated by the connections with Tunisia where Qatar is making a large investment in telecommunications.  Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafiq Abdulsalaam was head of the Research and Studies Division in the Al Jazeera Centre in Doha.  His father-in-law Al Ghanouchi is the head of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood party.

Over much of the time since he seized power, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani has followed the policy of personal networking, being proactive in business and neutral on the international stage.  The Emir is generous with the grateful, the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund bargains hard in the board room and the kingdom makes available Qatar’s Good Offices to resolve disputes. 

Qatar’s foreign policy made an abrupt shift when the kingdom entered the war against Qaddafi.  The kingdom sent aircraft to join NATO forces.  On the ground, Qatari special forces armed, trained, and led Libyans against Qaddafi’s troops. 

The head of the National Transition Council Mustafa Abdul Jalil attributed much of the success of the revolution to the efforts of Qatar that he said had spent two billion dollars.  He commented, “Nobody traveled to Qatar without being given a sum of money by the government.”

Qatar had ten billion dollars in investments in Libya to protect.  The Barwa Real Estate Company alone had two billion committed to the construction of a beach resort near Tripoli. 

While the bullets were still flying, Qatar signed eight billion dollars in agreements with the NTC.  Just in case things with the NTC didn’t work out, they financed rivals Abdel Hakim Belhaj, leader of the February 17 Martyr’s Brigade, and Sheik Ali Salabi, a radical cleric who had been exiled in Doha. 

If Qatar’s investments of ten billion dollars seem substantial, the future has far more to offer.  Reconstruction costs are estimated at seven hundred billion dollars.  The Chinese and Russians had left behind between them thirty billion in incomplete contracts and investments and all of it is there for the taking for those who aided the revolution.

No sooner had Qaddafi been caught and shot, Qatar approached Bashar Al-Assad to establish a transitional government with the Moslem Brotherhood.  As you would expect, relinquishing power to the Brotherhood was an offer that he could refuse.  It didn’t take long before he heard his sentence pronounced in January 2012 on the CBS television program, 60 Minutes by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

The Emir declared that foreign troops should be sent into Syria.  At the Friends of Syria conference in February, Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said, "We should do whatever necessary to help [the Syrian opposition], including giving them weapons to defend themselves." 

Why would Qatar want to become involved in Syria where they have little invested?  A map reveals that the kingdom is a geographic prisoner in a small enclave on the Persian Gulf coast.

It relies upon the export of LNG, because it is restricted by Saudi Arabia from building pipelines to distant markets.  In 2009, the proposal of a pipeline to Europe through Saudi Arabia and Turkey to the Nabucco pipeline was considered, but Saudi Arabia that is angered by its smaller and much louder brother has blocked any overland expansion.

Already the largest LNG producer, Qatar will not increase the production of LNG.  The market is becoming glutted with eight new facilities in Australia coming online between 2014 and 2020.

A saturated North American gas market and a far more competitive Asian market leaves only Europe.  The discovery in 2009 of a new gas field near Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Syria opened new possibilities to bypass the Saudi Barrier and to secure a new source of income.  Pipelines are in place already in Turkey to receive the gas.  Only Al-Assad is in the way.

Qatar along with the Turks would like to remove Al-Assad and install the Syrian chapter of the Moslem Brotherhood.  It is the best organized political movement in the chaotic society and can block Saudi Arabia’s efforts to install a more fanatical Wahhabi based regime.  Once the Brotherhood is in power, the Emir’s broad connections with Brotherhood groups throughout the region should make it easy for him to find a friendly ear and an open hand in Damascus.

A control centre has been established in the Turkish city of Adana near the Syrian border to direct the rebels against Al-Assad.  Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Saud asked to have the Turks establish a joint Turkish, Saudi, Qatari operations center.  “The Turks liked the idea of having the base in Adana so that they could supervise its operations” a source in the Gulf told Reuters.

The fighting is likely to continue for many more months, but Qatar is in for the long term.  At the end, there will be contracts for the massive reconstruction and there will be the development of the gas fields.  In any case, Al-Assad must go.  There is nothing personal; it is strictly business to preserve the future tranquility and well-being of Qatar.

 


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Tue, 09/25/2012 - 17:59 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

In the Gutter.  My old life.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:26 | Link to Comment Precious
Precious's picture

Rich and dangerous ... Like a banker widow with herpes.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:39 | Link to Comment cossack55
cossack55's picture

Puppets normally end up with something shoved up their ass.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:05 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Tidbit about Qatar.

Number one source of nat gas on earth.

Next door to Saudi Arabia, who instead of using it to run power plants, uses oil.  This is crushing.  Saudi Arabia's domestic oil consumption is sharply rising as they bring in foreign workers and allow the citizenry a life of leisure.

Each additional person burns more oil.

There is talk of Saudi Arabia ceasing to export oil because of this domestic consumption, as early as 2022.  This will happen despite being next door to Qatar, who could furnish nat gas for those power plants.

And btw, now you know why the Russians won't let Syria fall.  GAZPROM's Europe monopoly must not be threatened.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:03 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

If Saudi Arabia's oil exports end, I wonder if the west will continue to shield them.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:59 | Link to Comment Hi Ho Silver
Hi Ho Silver's picture

No. That's why the sheik needs us to settle some business for him NOW.

We're his favorite infidels.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 07:46 | Link to Comment kralizec
kralizec's picture

Excellent point on GAZPROM. 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:32 | Link to Comment Cash2Riches
Cash2Riches's picture

The day will come soon when the US can no longer protect them and is forced to take care of it's own problems. Then what will Qatar do? I think they may be in biggg trouble.

 

http://davidmorganblog.blogspot.ca/

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 17:59 | Link to Comment EnglishMajor
EnglishMajor's picture

Not the best place for sex on the beach either.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:00 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

If they are Mooslim, shoot 'em.

Nuff said.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:27 | Link to Comment Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Nice to get a fresh perspective - there are hardly any other racist ignoramuses around here.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:44 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

If you were capable of getting a clue, you'd be racist, too.

Don't forget to schedule your 5 times a day bowing to Ally (oh, wait, that's a goobermint owned bank)

Hell, no difference,

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 04:39 | Link to Comment Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Well Allah doesn't believe in charging interest, so....guess there's one.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:45 | Link to Comment zen0
zen0's picture

Speaking of ignoramuses...Muslim is not a race.

Take your category fallacy elswhere.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:08 | Link to Comment Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

My bad. "Bias"

I do have a tendency to lump together racism, culturalism, nationalism, jingoism and religious intolerance when I think of the most obvious ignorances doing the most damage in the world.

No doubt I'll continue to butcher the English language and the sensitivities of all who stand in my way.

 

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 01:57 | Link to Comment GlobalCtzn
GlobalCtzn's picture

Shooting all Idiots would be a far better plan...........................................

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:02 | Link to Comment Overflow-admin
Overflow-admin's picture

Just follow the money.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:57 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

Not allowed to have free thinking States in MENA.  Against Mooslim thought.

Plus, their gold CM has a high premium.

I only have respect for N. Kurds in Iraq.  The rest can be glassed for all I care.

Take your system of goobermint, and smoke it.

 

Edit:  Getting down votes cuz that CM, or GM, may be dispersing tungsten phonies.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:09 | Link to Comment Bear
Bear's picture

"teaming masses are still yearning" ... keep yearning, since freedom will never prevail when faith and politics are mixed into religion. A tyrant will always rise with the support of the religious leaders who seek to gain influence through power. The path of Islam has seen a perpetual stream of tyrants and never (not once) produced a free society.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:34 | Link to Comment bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Article was in error, it is 'teeming' not 'teaming' ... 'teeming' meaning 'overflowing, very abundant'

Famous line from the poetic statement on France's gift to the USA, the Statue of Liberty (1882 France, 1886 USA), poem 'The New Colussus' by Emma Lazarus (1849 - 1887):

« ... The wretched refuse of your teeming shore ... »

---

Regarding the bashing of Islam in the above post, there has in fact been a significant amount of Islamic freedom, as well as the extremism (no different than Christian extremism burning people alive in the not-too-distant past).

Turkey is more democratic than the USA right now, and there are complimentary things that can be said about life in Indonesia and other Islamic nations.

And Sufi Islam and its poetic mysticism is one of the great spiritual heritages of the world.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:27 | Link to Comment bahaar
bahaar's picture

Sufi Islam and poetic mysticism is being systematically destroyed by Salafis. 

Al-Jazeera while pretending to be voice of ME, never raises it's voice when the minority Muslim sects are being crushed.  Do they ever protest when Sudi Arabia send tanksover to Bahrainto crush rebellion by Bahraini shia minority?  Or do they ever comment on the plight of Saudi's own shia minority, who actually live in the oil rich region?

Basically Salafi/Wahabi/Sunnis are taking over ME.  Al-Jazeera aids them.

 

 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:46 | Link to Comment lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Islam takes many different forms, today, and over the centuries.

Same as Christianity.

However, greedy guys know no religion except power and control, whether western or muslim.

Human nature does not change.

 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:11 | Link to Comment Darkness
Darkness's picture

Oil=Money, Natural Gas=Money, PAPER DOES NOT EQUAL MONEY

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:15 | Link to Comment Bullet Tooth Tony
Bullet Tooth Tony's picture

I found an old Cheeto under my couch cushion

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:17 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

You have a couch?  You must be in the top 10%.  Will you declare that Cheeto on your taxes?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:23 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Can you see Obamas face in it?  if so, you could sell it for a fortune on ePay.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:26 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

All Cheetos are too yellow to be ODummer - maybe.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:30 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

If somebody can see Jesus in a potato chip, then it must be possible to see OBumbler in a a Cheeto.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 04:41 | Link to Comment Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Yeah but you have to spell it correctly, it's Cheat-O!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:27 | Link to Comment Bokkenrijder
Bokkenrijder's picture

So it's all about the LNG reserves in Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus?

"Pipelines are in place already in Turkey to receive the gas.  Only Al-Assad is in the way."

Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus already have access to the Mediterranean, so why is Syria needed anyways? There is already a Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline,it should be too difficult to connect Israel and Lebanon to Cyprus and then connect Cyprus to Ceyhan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku%E2%80%93Tbilisi%E2%80%93Ceyhan_pipeline

If it's just for LNG reserves, then why not set up muscle in/organize revolutions in Turkmenistan and/or Azerbaijan? They have much more gas and are already connected to the Nabucco pipeline.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:05 | Link to Comment Bobportlandor
Bobportlandor's picture

I don't know if Syria has NG, but anyway it's Qutar that wants to export NG. And Saudi are stoping them from reaching Syria then Turkey.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:28 | Link to Comment Floodmaster
Floodmaster's picture

Qatar is an heartless nation entirely built by migrants.they probably don't know how to wipe their own ass.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:31 | Link to Comment Bokkenrijder
Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:52 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

Ya, it does.  Well, unless you have 50 million to throw around.  Then you can get the finest pre-pubescent children from whatever part of the world you desire.

And only Mooslims will down thumb this post, cuz they see nothing wrong with that, other than it's expensive.

Kinda like Libs.  Ask Teddy Kennedy, the murderer.

 

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 04:01 | Link to Comment CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

Annie B...izzat U? Sounds like it. Complete w sexual obsession.  

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:28 | Link to Comment Keyser
Keyser's picture

See what happens when tin-pot politicians make decisions for the "well being" of their interests in foreign countries. The Brits were masters at colonization. The US, not so much as they stumble in, kick everyone's ass, prop up a despot, leave and then just send sheds of $$$ to the despots to keep things in line. Too bad the despots weren't too interested in spreading the wealth. The US has fucked up the ME for decades. As I always say, Karma is a bitch. 

 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:36 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

4 years I was stuck in Gutter.  The pay was almost nice, tho living there took 60%.

Nowhere in the MENA is worth a drop of blood.

A GBU 43/B is another story.  Though the BLU-82 is nice.  (Wish it would be used at these funereals.)

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:11 | Link to Comment TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

Mom, is that you??!!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 05:45 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

lol, the trolls! 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:11 | Link to Comment TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

Mom, is that you??!!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:45 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:36 | Link to Comment SeattleBruce
SeattleBruce's picture

"Eighty-four years ago, the Moslem Brotherhood arose in Egypt because of the presence of foreign domination by Great Britain and the discontent of millions of the teaming masses yearning to be free."

Go figure - must have been more pure back then.  Now the Moslem Brotherhood just yearns for the freedom to agitate and kill a lot of people in order to usher in sharia law, where they can have the freedom to cut off thieves hands, and keep women under the boot heel.  Ack...

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 18:42 | Link to Comment Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

 

 

 

Ah yes, Qatar - amazing didn't catch any of that on Drudge or Fox News ... but did catch it on 60 minutes once, but I don't watch any TV so how is that possible .... anyways.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:03 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

Let me be clear.  I am not a racist.  Islam, Mooslim, is not a race.  Only you fukking Libs would think that way.

It is also not a religion, it is a system of goobermint.  Again, only you fukking Libs would not understand that.  So I close with: Fuck the Libs!  And fuk ODumbshit's horse he rode in on, if you dare.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:18 | Link to Comment silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

Did you pull youre glock out of your mouth just to type that? Get back to what you were doing douchebag.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:26 | Link to Comment roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

Excellent refute.

For a Lib.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:32 | Link to Comment silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

not a lib, just the douchebag police on ZH. You know they have treatments for rabbies now. You dont have to go around with that frothy white stuff in the corner of your mouth.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:14 | Link to Comment WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot
WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

Just like the "real" police. They're the real douchebags, but they go around fucking with everyone else. It's the only way they can indulge their authority fetish. 

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 04:04 | Link to Comment CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

There are treatments for rabies...but not for Rabbi's. 

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 04:44 | Link to Comment Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Mein Fuhrer would disagree.  So would Imadinnerjacket.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 23:35 | Link to Comment Umh
Umh's picture

Is being a bigot any better?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:08 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

I wonder how Qatar, UAE and Dubai would make out in an Israeli-Iran conflict?  They're pretty close to Iran.  Note to self: no Dubai vacation during 2012/2013.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:53 | Link to Comment bahaar
bahaar's picture

I think as high as 2/3 of Qatari polpulation are not citizens.  Unlike the US most of these rich ME cities don't award citizenships to outsiders no matter for how many generations they've lived in that nation.  In fact workers (especially in the lower rung) are usually treated like slaves.  Their passports are confiscated.  Domestic servants form poorer nations are routinely raped/beaten.  Yet entire ME is ready to take umbrage on the slightest hint.  Totally heatless and unconscionable land.  They've no BLOODY BUSINESS to critisze the West especially the US which for all its faults has given refuge to scores of unfortunates and awards it's immigrants citizenship rights.  That's why America produces Steve Jobs (whose father was an immigrant from Syria) and ME produces suicide bombers.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:27 | Link to Comment toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Thanks, now I know why Syria suddenly needs to be "free".

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:09 | Link to Comment dirtbagger
dirtbagger's picture

Worked in the oil fields at Ras Tanura in Saudi in the mid 70's.  Things have not changed an iota in the Middle East.  They were fighting with each other then and they are still fighting with each other.  Only differnce is they are packing more and bigger guns.   The only thing these people hate more than each other are Westerners.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 05:41 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

Interesting survey and very revealing.

THe strategic alliance of Al-Thani with both Anglo cartels AND France, means that Qatar has a foot in both first world camps.

The US-SAUD Wahhabite tie-up, along with the Israel link, makes it long term a strategically sterile combination in terms of local geo-politics; as its ideolgically biased, in cahoots with the worst instincts of regressionary regional politics. The more European approach and less radical tie-in to a more progresive Moslem brotherhood, less doctrinaire and more politically patriotic, makes the Qatari strategy an alternative for East-West rapprochement in the Oil patch.

If, as the article says, the Qatari strategy is to eliminate the secular Alawite Al-Assad group in Syria, this will create tensions with IRan. Also Turkey is a country with huge and rising influence in the region. Will the moderate SUnni Moslem brotherhood coalesce with current Turkish moslem leadership? Or will there be a push to more secularism in Turkey?

The whole question of secularism in Islam is a key issue from Western perspective; its the Rubicon that Qatar must not cross, for it to be a promising and novel alternative.

Moslem brotherhood must find issue on the question of minority Christian/Copt presence in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. As it must find resolution with feminine aspirations in Maghreb, notably in Tunisia and Egypt.

We are still walking the thin line of clash of civilizations. Patriotism yes, return to theocracy no!

Are the Al-Thanis playing at being the new Medicis of Islamic Renaissance?

Will they bring a radical and lasting change to the ideology of Sunni Islam? 

Pax Americana still holds all the trump cards in this convoluted game. 

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 07:31 | Link to Comment Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Turkey will disintegrate as Kurdistan takes hold - it might be Russia's best hope of policing Iran and having a new state in the region. I would be surprised if Turkey retains its current geographical form. No doubt Gazprom would prefer no LNG pipeline in the region

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 07:28 | Link to Comment Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

How cheaply does Qatar buy its Western politicians and generals ? Do they bulk purchase through The White House or simply pay retail prices through lobbyists and law firms ? Are the French cheaper than the British, or do the Americans cost more ? It would be really interesting to know what offshore accounts are attached to blind trusts for Clinton, Obama, Cameron, Blair, Sarkozy, Hollande etc

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 00:01 | Link to Comment monad
monad's picture

All that LPN. All it takes it one spark, and all the WMDs in the world won't help.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 02:25 | Link to Comment Tompooz
Tompooz's picture

I find the Mediterranean gas field argument as the explanation for Qatar's foreign adventures unconvincing.  

The entire policy of the Al-Thani's reeks of old-fashioned hubris stimulated by too much wealth and the desire to play with the big boys. That, and having their strings pulled by a puppet-master.

But  playing the anti-Shi'a card , sending in the Salafist Jihadi's to take down Iran's main ally is playing with fire. It is only the US bases that make them feel safe doing it, so close to Iran.

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