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Frienemies and World War

Reader comment on item: Qatar: A Powder Keg Waiting to Explode?

Submitted by Michael S, Jun 23, 2017 at 04:47

There is certainly a contest going on in the Persian Gulf; but it's difficult to fully assess. One of the biggest problems, in my mind, is distinguishing between:

1. short-term diplomatic differences, such as the Arab blockade of Qatar (in which the US takes the Saudi side)
2. long-term military differences and alliances, notably overseas bases and arms purchases (in which the US is connected to both sides), and
3. ethno-centric differences, such as UN votes (in which both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are enemies of the US)

At times, it appears that everyone is everyone else's "frienemy".

These complicated relationships have come up in the past. During the Napoleanic Wars, for instance, there was much debate between 2nd US President Adams and 3rd US President Jefferson, over which side we ought to be on. Ultimately, we ended up fighting the British, many years after Napoleon rose to power. Similar situations arose before WWI and WWII, in which we at first remained adamantly neutral; but eventually fought against the Germans.

WWII was the culmination of minor conflicts, such as the Sino-Japanese War and the war in Ethiopia. Then Poland was invaded, and the UK and France found themselves at war with Germany and Italy (The Russians had a nonaggression pact with Hitler). Then Hitler invaded Russia and the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor; and pretty soon, all the major powers got involved. Finally, the Italians and others switched sides, and the Brazilians joined the Allies.

There is a potential for something similar to happen in the Middle East; but I doubt that situations like Qatar will spark a world war. I do envision Turkey and Iran getting together to attack Israel, in the not-too-distant future. A few years later, I envision the whole world, as the UN, attacking Israel on some pretext. That's the outline in the Bible, in OT prophecies. Few share this vision. When I see Turkey and Iran suddenly finding themselves on the same side, though, as they are in Qatar and Syria, it catches my attention.


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