Qatar coup a plot of the Saudis?

The recent report of the attempted Qatari coup plot that allegedly went down Oct. 12, and reported by Stratfor and ArabicNews.com, may not be what it appears. The story hasn’t broken here in the United States (or in most Western media it seems) leading Stratfor to deduce that Washington has done a fair job of tamping this story down.
But sources in the State Department say the whole thing is made up, a bit of disinformation on the part of the Saudis who are angry over the milder form of Wahabbism practiced in Qatar, Al Jazeera, which is based in there and, especially, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah al-Thani’s relatively close ties with the United States. (It should also be noted that al-Thani deposed his father in 1996 in a bloodless coup and Riyadh helped the deposed monarch stage an unsuccessful counter-coup soon after.)
I don’t believe the State Department. How are Saudi interests served by spreading rumors of an attempted coup? I’ve been trying to puzzle out what purpose disinformation might serve, and damned if I can make sense of it. So that leads me to the simplest explanation. That there was a coup attempt, U.S. soldiers may or may not have helped put it down and the United States is telling fibs to keep up appearances that it’s got the Gulf situation under control. I don’t believe Saudi Arabia was behind the coup, since the people arrested seem to be militant Islamists and Riyadh wouldn’t do something that might strengthen the hands of its own militants.
Something is fishy is Doha, but what it is we might never know.

U.S. to pay Russia $10 billion for Iraq backing

Careful readers will remember that I said that Russia was dragging its feet at the United Nations on America’s “kick Saddam’s ass” resolution because it was hoping for some guarantee that the $8 billion that Iraq owes Russia would be paid. Well, here is the reassurance. In response to taken questions, a State department spokesperson said that Russia could be compensated for more than $10 billion if they stopped their nuclear cooperation with Iran and allowed their country to become a nuclear waste dump.

One example is the potential transfer to Russia for storage of spent reactor fuel currently held by third countries, much of which requires US approval for such transfer because the US originally supplied the fresh fuel to those countries. If the Russians end their sensitive cooperation with Iran, we have indicated we would be prepared to favorably consider such transfers, an arrangement potentially worth over $10 billion to Moscow.

This kind of deal will lead Russia to ultimately support the United States against Iraq.
Also, some other news that hasn’t been widely reported here in the States: an attempted coup in Qatar! Who knew about this? Anyone? Anyone? Seems that American troops helped put down a coup attempt against Sheikh Hamad Bin Khaleifah al-Thani on Oct. 12. High ranking Qatari army officers were arrested and suspicion immediately fell on an Islamist organization and Pakistani and Yemini army recruits with alleged ties to Al Qa’ida.
The is big. Relations with Saudi Arabia have cooled since Sept. 11, 2001, and Al Udeid Air Base outside of Doha is the best alternative. If Qatar were moved out of America’s camp, the United States would have to rely on Incirlik in Turkey and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to fly sorties against Iraqi targets. And most of the aircraft in the south would have to be carrier based, which would cut down on the number and frequency of sorties. It wouldn’t make an Iraqi operation impossible, but it would make it more difficult, I’ll wager.
What’s most worrisome, from a Pentagon war planner’s point of view, is the potential loss of Qatar, the continued refusal of Saudi Arabia to allow the use of its air bases and troubling Al Qa’ida attacks in Kuwait. None of these things is crippling individually, but in a worst-case scenario, America’s entire southern front in a Second Gulf War could crumble.