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.
You may find this interesting but I was in detention recently in Doha Qatar (something I’m not very proud of but relevant to this comment). I was in the same jail block as the above mention coup plotters (1996 counter coup). I would like to say that I those guys are not the assume militant types but very rational and well educated. I will have to say that they are victims of circumstances and not evil conspirators as many assume them to be.
I actually became close friends with one of them (for his sake I will not name him here), and my heart actually goes out to him and all those actually involved in that failed attempt. To have to spent 25years in jail, for being supporters of the oppositions ruling family is a huge price to pay (let us not forget the current ruler is not innocent of coup plotting) especially when the so called mastermind (whom is part of the ruling family) only had to spent just 2-3years in jail only while the rest of them whom are not of such high birthright, are still wallowing away in jail. The saddest part of all this is that because they are Qatari nationals they don’t have many options available to them but to bide their time and hope for some generosity from the current ruler for an early pardon (usually during the Ramadan month).
Along with these guys there is an American (www.johnwdowns.com), he is charged with espionage. If you read through his website (it will offer you a more detailed/clearer explanation than anything I could explain), the charges charged against him are based in such ridiculous evidence (talk to his daughter Margaret Downs) but still he is spending a full life sentence in Doha, Qatar.
If only more people take notice and follow-up on cases like this then you will see the inequality so evident in Qatar and most gulf countries.