There are some things that occur which the American populace just dismisses, doesn’t even pay attention to. Such a thing occurred yesterday and it caused barely a ripple in the media. But it was huge.Yesterday there was a very important action, a declaration, to come out of the Middle East. It’s one we cannot ignore because it points to what could be a changing tide – perhaps a tsunami.
As reported by CNN, “Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates broke off relations with Qatar in the worst diplomatic crisis to hit Gulf Arab states in decades. The three Gulf countries and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.
Qatar — which shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia — has rejected the accusations, calling them “unjustified” and “baseless.” Yemen and the Maldives also cut ties with Qatar. Qatari citizens have been told they have 14 days to leave Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, and those countries also banned their own citizens from entering Qatar.
Saudi Arabia’s state news agency announced the cutting of ties Monday, saying it was seeking to “protect national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” All ports of entry between the two countries will be closed, according to the statement. Gulf allies have repeatedly criticized Qatar for alleged support of the Muslim Brotherhood, a nearly 100-year-old Islamist group considered a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The UAE accused Qatar of “funding and hosting” the group in its statement announcing the severance of ties.”
> Qataris given 14 days to leave the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi
> Qatar ejected from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen over alleged support of ISIS and al-Qaeda, according
to Saudi state media
> Yemen and Maldives governments also cut ties with Qatar
> Emirates airline says it’s suspending all flights to and from Doha starting Tuesday morning
> Kuwait, Oman only Gulf Cooperation Council members remaining with ties to Qatar.
> Iran blames tensions on Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia
> Saudi Arabia said it closed Al-Jazeera office in kingdom
> Turkey calls for dialogue to resolve the rift
This is truly a major development, and we’ve shared on these pages previously the concerns with Qatar and their support to Islamic jihadism. Funny, I’m laughing because I wonder if anyone is challenging the Qatari ban instituted by these Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations.
Here’s why I support this action, and why the Trump administration should embrace it as well.First of all, having spent a few years in Afghanistan, the contributions of UAE Special Forces troops was well known. They put skin in the game. As well, their Air Force joined in with Egypt, who we know are fighting against Islamists such as ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, in conducting airstrikes against Islamic State jihadists in Libya.
Bahrain is the headquarters of the US Navy Fifth Fleet, USNAVCENT, and Naval Support Activity, Bahrain. This is a strong relationship, and the Kingdom of Bahrain has stood by the United States and rejected an Iranian-backed insurgency. It appears that the Saudis are showing their hand and are willing to take action against Islamic jihadism and terrorism. Of course, they themselves have quite a ways to go…but every journey starts with a step. And this is a very big step.It’s interesting to see President Erdogan of Turkey didn’t join in on this action; rather they want a dialogue. We know that Turkey under Erdogan has taken a turn towards Islamism itself, rejecting Kemal Ataturk’s desire for a secular Islamic nation.
Here is where the Trump administration can take bold action and withdraw our military forces out of Turkey and Qatar, where we have Al Udeid Air Base. What the Saudis and the other GCC nations want is the United States to step up and support their action, not leaving them hanging. And let us not forget, it was Qatar that took the five senior Taliban leaders Barack Obama released from GITMO, in exchange for a deserter, Bowe Bergdahl. Question: where are those five Taliban leaders? Obama also released GITMO detainees to Oman, and they were the ones who sent a plane to retrieve our Marines and other Embassy personnel out of Yemen…after Obama and Kerry ordered them to leave their weapons.
The Trump administration has an opportunity to realign the strategic alliances in the Middle East and begin to isolate those who are firmly supportive of Islamic terrorism through funding. This is sending a very clear message throughout the GCC and there’s a clear line being drawn. We asked the Saudis to step up, and they have. Also, it’s significant that the Saudis are closing down the Al Jazeera office, an Islamic terror propaganda arm funded by Qatar — remember they tried to have same “news” agency here and bought out Al Gore’s Current TV channel? I guess ol’ Al Gore needed that deal for another personal jet…
If we shut down our bases in Turkey and Qatar, where do they relocate? Easy, into Kurdistan, namely in Kirkuk. I was there at the Kirkuk AB and that would be a huge shift demonstrating our support to the Kurds. It would place our forces — air forces mainly — in the prime location to ensure Islamic state forces are destroyed…as well as keeping Iran and their nuclear ambitions within arms reach.
And it would send a very clear message to Erdogan, whom I would assert is not a true member of NATO. His hands have blood on them, as he allowed Islamic State fighters to transit into Syria, and Turkey was also purchasing black market oil from the Islamic State.
Many of these same GCC nations have already declared the Muslim Brotherhood as an Islamic terrorist organization, why haven’t we? We can also join in with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates and close our airports of entry to Qatar. And I would enjoy seeing the progressive socialist left, or any leftist judicial activist, take a stand with Qatar. Let’s see what President Trump’s national security council, namely LTG McMaster, does about this major turn of events in the Middle East. Is this a result of the visit by President Trump? One can only surmise such…certainly the Saudis did not take this type of action after Obama’s bowing before the Saudi king.
Yes, this just passed by in the news cycle because we have a media that doesn’t think strategically but only sensationally. This has immense ramifications and it’s something of which we should all be aware. This is why President Donald Trump needs to convey his National Security strategy by region in a primetime speech. This cannot be expressed via 140 characters in a tweet. The Saudis are watching to see our reaction, and the position we shall take.
If the Trump administration ignores this, we will suffer the consequences of having lost trust and confidence. I don’t expect the liberal progressive media to focus on this because they believe not supporting climate change displays a lack of leadership.
We see an example of a restored American position in the Middle East; let’s not blow this. And yes, this is important for the future of our children and grandchildren.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]