Well then. On Sunday in the Western world, news broke that a number of Arab countries had severed ties with the small Qatari monarchy, claiming that it supports terrorism. This move, which was quite drastic, with all travel between Qatar and neighboring countries cut off, diplomats expelled left and right, and citizens of Qatar asked to leave countries that aren’t Qatar, could be cast as a victory for the Trump administration.
The problem, however, is that it’s not clear if the Trump team is adept enough to realize that.
Trump, though, for what it’s worth, recently gave a speech in Saudi Arabia that called on the nations of the Arab world to put a stop to terrorism, and, well, this move could be easily perceived as a start.
Scott Dworkin of the Democratic Coalition Against Trump has pointed out something noteworthy in light of recent developments, however.
The Trump family has deep business ties to Qatar, with multiple news outlets running stories in 2015 about the fact that Qatar Airways has long rented space in Trump Tower to use as an American headquarters. Qatar Airways is owned by the government of the small Arabian peninsula nation.
Dworkin’s Twitter post making this acutely relevant observation is below.
Photos: Donald & Ivanka Trump do extensive business with Qatari Gov't—Qatar Airways (fully owned by Qatari Gov't) US HQ was in Trump Towers. pic.twitter.com/FL96oPGSp3
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 5, 2017
The Qatari government has long been accused of supporting terrorism through turning a blind eye to the consequences of where their money ends up and through more explicit means.
For instance, ABC reports that American counterterrorism agents “were within hours” of capturing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, an extremist who would go on to help plan the 9/11 terror attacks, when a member of the Qatari royal family tipped him off and he was able to escape.
Mohammed was captured in 2003 and is one of those currently being held in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
Ironically, this whole thing is as much of a power struggle as it is a struggle over actual terror related issues, with Saudi Arabia having its own history of supporting terrorism but seeking to establish itself as a moderate superpower that is “above” the belligerent Iran. Qatar is allied with Iran.
In addition, Trump has actually already taken a substantive step to show Qatar special treatment, not including them in his repeated Muslim targeting travel bans.
Adding to the irony here is the fact that CNN reports the following: “The US’ biggest concentration of military personnel in the Middle East are located at Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base.”
It’s the nations of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and the Maldives that have cut ties with Qatar, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson having announced American support for potential diplomatic talks to resolve the situation.
Featured Image via Issam Rimawi/ Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.