Twitter-happy Trump Forgot Qatar Key US Ally

Published June 7th, 2017 - 09:54 GMT
This file photo taken on May 21, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump (R) shaking hands with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, during a bilateral meeting at a hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh.(Mandel Ngan/AFP)
This file photo taken on May 21, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump (R) shaking hands with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, during a bilateral meeting at a hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh.(Mandel Ngan/AFP)

by Rosie Alfatlawi

US President Donald Trump is famous for his use of Twitter. Whether exchanging insults with Saudi princes or confusing the world with references to “covfefe”, @realDonaldTrump just loves to tweet.

Yesterday, however, Trump's tweets got him into hot water as he seems to have temporarily forgotten US foreign policy, launching an online attack on American ally Qatar.

Just a reminder: the country he has accused of terrorism hosts the al-Udeid base, the starting point for US military air operations across the region.

In fact, only a few weeks ago, Trump was cosying up to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim at the Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia. The US President said at that point that the United States and Qatar had been “friends for a long time”. He also indicated they were going to discuss the exchange of “lots of beautiful military equipment”.

But what a difference a few weeks can make. After Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Doha earlier this week, it seems that US foreign policy - or, at least, Trump’s own personal policy - on Qatar has made a u-turn.

The four Arab nations took the move to cut off their neighbor over what they called Qatar’s support of “terrorism.” While Doha has sometimes been accused of tacitly supporting extremist groups in the Middle East, similar charges have been made against Saudi Arabia, making his decision to critique only the former a politically charged move.

More worrying than that, it seems that he might not have checked up with the people in charge of running the US military and its international relations before posting the comments.

On Tuesday, US official after official distanced themselves from his allegations.

Senate Foreign Relations Chair, Bob Corker

The Pentagon

Pentagon spokesman, Capt Jeff Davis, refused to respond to a question about Qatar’s alleged support of terrorism. “I’m not the right person to ask that. I consider them a host to our very important base at al-Udeid,” he said.

The US Ambassador to Qatar

The Department of Defense

Meanwhile, the Department of Defense quickly jumped in to thank Qatar for hosting US forces and for its “enduring commitment to regional security.”

It seems you are on your own there, then, Mr Trump.

Not only were his words contradictory of American foreign and military policy, in fact they appeared hypocritcal with regard to Trump's own activities, as Twitter did not hesitate to point out...

 

There's no denying it, this has to be one of Don's most ill-thought-out tweets. And, let's face it, that is saying something!

RA


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