The coming together of Qatar, Iran and Turkey against Saudi Arabia and its allies, showed that coalitions now forming to compete with each other are not strictly based on the Shi’a-Sunni divide.  The alliances currently confronting each other are fighting over the control of the region, its capital,  and aim  to repress any movements for social justice.

Frieda Afary

June 15, 2017

On June fifth,  Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt suddenly cut off diplomatic and trade ties  with Qatar and closed their borders to it.  The reason stated for this decision was Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood  movement as well as Qatar’s friendly relations with the Iranian government.   Donald Trump subsequently sent out a tweet in which he took credit for this move:  “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the king and 50 countries already paying off.”

Turkey immediately announced its support for Qatar and accelerated  legislation to send  more troops  to its military base in that country.  It also called on Saudi Arabia to end this crisis.  The Iranian government announced that its air space and land borders were open to Qatar  in order to prevent a blockade against it.  Subsequently,  on June 11,  the Iranian navy sent two  battleships to the coast of Oman.

Analysts spoke of the possibility that the current proxy wars between Iran and Saudi Arabia would turn into a direct war.  One Republican analyst, Ross Douthat, compared the situation in the Middle East to Europe on the verge of World War I.

The Trump administration has offered mixed messages concerning this crisis.   Furthermore, the U.S. whose military base in Qatar has 10,000 American troops and  acts as the center of U.S. operations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, is currently not willing to endanger its interests there.  Thus on June 15,  Qatar signed a $15 billion deal to buy F-15 fighter jets from the U.S.   Two U.S. Navy warships  also arrived in Doha for a joint exercise with Qatar’s fleet.

In order to restate some basic socialist anti-war principles, it is necess