Vail Daily letter: Stop Qatar’s terror support
President Obama rightfully condemned the ISIS beheading of James Foley. This part of what he said, “One thing we can all agree on is a group like (ISIS) has no place in the 21st century.” This statement could not be truer. However, what are we doing to confront these despicable groups like ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas?
You and I cannot militarily “take them out”; that’s a job for the free world’s armies. But we can do far more than “sit it out.” These groups need money to buy armament, to buy safe houses, to buy PR time, and to buy food and other necessities for their fighters. We need to make sure that the sources for their funds are eradicated.
There is no doubt that Qatar is a state sponsor of terrorism. The leaders of the emirate do not try to hide their support of all these organizations; but it has really come to the forefront during the Gaza-Israeli War of 2014.
When the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashal, was kicked out of Syria because Hamas (unlike Hezbollah) would not come to the aid of Bashar Assad in Syria’s Civil War, who cared where this parasite then went? Now, we find out he went to Qatar with all their help and support. In October 2012, the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, became the first head of state to visit Gaza since Hamas forcibly took control of Gaza in 2007. More importantly, during his visit, the emir pledged $400 million to Hamas and then paid it. The New York Times reporting on this cash infusion wrote, “This is the latest step in support of Islamists across the region.” Qatari funds were also crucial to the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempted takeover of Egypt and have been critical to Hamas’ buildup of rockets and terror tunnels.
Qatar also gives diplomatic support to Hamas. When Secretary of State John Kerry inappropriately turned to Qatar and Turkey for negotiating a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, it became obvious that Qatar was not at all even handed. They championed a treaty that would give Hamas everything they wanted, especially keeping all their rockets and terror tunnels.
In an op-ed on Aug. 1, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz aptly wrote that American “allies” Qatar and Turkey are accessories to Hamas’ war crimes. If you believe as I do that Qatar’s material support to Hamas, which includes, financial, diplomatic, media, harboring terrorists and weapons, is unacceptable, then you must take action!
Qatar’s actions are a threat to most of the Middle East and countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have recalled their ambassadors in protest for threatening the stability and security of the region.
What would it mean if the U.S. State Department should name Qatar as a state sponsor of terrorism? Among other penalties, it would include a ban of defense exports and sales. It would mean that the $11 billion arms deal that our secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, signed with Qatar in mid-July would be null and void. What does Qatar need with dozens of Apache helicopters, hundred of Patriot missiles and hundred of anti-tank rockets? They are not at war with anyone!
There are other punishments that could be taken, but that would be up to the U.S. Congress. The most important step to be taken is to stop the armament sale to a supplier of arms and money to terrorist organizations.
Since 1987, the U. S. State Department has continuously listed Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization. Providing material support to Hamas is a federal crime.
It is important to write or email your congressional representatives in Washington to pressure the State Department to immediately designate Qatar as a state sponsor of terrorism. The sooner that this designation is made, the safer the world will be!