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.
So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
...extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
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.
Qatar is a key US ally and hosts the US military base overseeing Iraq and Afghanistan.— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) June 6, 2017
So of course, Trump's trashing them. On #DDay.
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.
Trump gave Saudi & co. the green light to pour fuel on the fire in the Mid East. Isolation of Qatar, terror attacks in Iran, just the start.— Haidar Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) June 7, 2017
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
Just informed Senate Foreign Relations Chair Corker of what Trump tweeted about Qatar and was met with about 8 seconds of stunned silence— Matt Laslo (@MattLaslo) June 6, 2017
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.
Sigh. Pentagon just contradicted Trump, praising our ally Qatar (which Trump called a terror finance) for supporting US military ops...(1)— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) June 6, 2017
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...
If @realDonaldTrump really believes our key ally Qatar is terror supporter, shouldnt he end its state-owned airline's lease in Trump Tower?— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) June 6, 2017
Trump was so concerned about terrorism in Qatar that he included it in his travel ban. Oh wait no he didn't.— Dante Atkins (@DanteAtkins) June 6, 2017
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!
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