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[casi] FW: Qatar


MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 3/21/2002:
    The Americans have apparently agreed to let the Saudis off the hook when
it comes to Prince Sultan Airbase, the largest and most sophisticated in the
region, as long as they are on the hook when it comes to controlling the
Summit and fronting politically with "the Saudi Plan".  There's probably an
under-the-table deal as well regarding Saudi money for American purposes;
after all the Prince Sultan Base/Command Center is rumored to have cost
billions and billions, though there is no reliable public accounting.
     As for the Arab Summit next week, the Americans want to buy more time,
throw our more pacifiers, and say to the media something is happening, when
in fact little is.  The "client Arab regimes" have no power or guts to take
any serious action, so now they have "the Saudi Plan" to talk about in reality little more than what they already said at the Arab
summit 20 years ago when Israel was invading Lebanon and expelling Arafat.
The Saudis Royals want to maintain their protection from the Americans and
also from the Israelis.  And Arafat too wants to pretend something serious
happening trying to extend still further his own mandate to be "in charge",
and maybe his own life.
    And so, very quickly after Vice-President Cheney's whirlwind visit to
Middle East to prepare the way for the Arab Summit and then for the War to
"regime change" Iraq and impose firmer control over the region, the
are shifting the command base for the coming war from Saudi Arabia to Qatar.
With major military bases now in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia,
American military and CIA dominate the Middle East pretty much on their own
as never before in modern history -- nothing like it since the days of
Ottoman regional control, then followed by the British Empire which
established most of the "client regimes" that persist to this day.


    Vice President Dick Cheney visited the Persian Gulf state of Qatar this
week and one key topic of discussion is the U.S. Air Force's strategic
airbase at Al Adid and its use in future military operations against Iraq,
according to U.S. officials.
    The Al Adid airbase in Qatar, a peninsula nation adjacent to Saudi
Arabia, is one of the largest secret airbases in the Gulf region. It has
storage facilities for 100 warplanes and a 15,000-foot runway capable of
handling the largest U.S. bombers, like the B-51 and B-1. Currently, less
than two dozen aircraft, mostly Qatari air force jets, are based there.
    Cheney met Qatari Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa on March 17. Qatar's
government is opposing any new confrontation with Iraq and its foreign
minister said last week that Arab nations should open a dialogue with
    The airbase was built at a cost of $1.5 billion and work began following
an agreement reached with the Qatari government following the April 2000
visit by then-Defense Secretary William Cohen.
    Qatar also is used to house U.S. military "pre-positioned" equipment,
enough for a heavy brigade of several thousand troops. The
prepositioning allows U.S. military troops to be rushed to the region while
their equipment is already in place. A similar arrangement is in place in
    Qatar also could become a crucial strategic base in the region if Saudi
Arabia decided to expel U.S. forces from its bases.
    Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah said last week that
the kingdom would not support a U.S. attack on Iraq. The kingdom also
balked at allowing Saudi-based warplanes to conduct operations against
    Qatar is considered a dangerous post because its government is
considered close to Iraq, despite its agreement to host U.S. forces. In
November, an Arab man was shot to death by U.S. and Qatari guards after
opening fire with a machine gun from the Al Adid base perimeter.
  Three Qatari military officers are based at U.S. Central Command
headquarters in Tampa, Fla., and Qatari air force fighters are on alert to
provide combat air patrol for forces based in Qatar. Middle East News Line.

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