- Delivering Truth Around the World
Custom Search

How Saudi Arabia and UAE Work the U.S. Media to Push for War

Ben Norton

Smaller Font Larger Font RSS 2.0

The UAE’s man in Washington enjoys a cozy relationship with a top Beltway pundit.

June 14, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - A highly influential top Emirati diplomat heaped praise on a prominent Washington Post columnist for writing pro-Saudi propaganda, a leaked email shows.

Yousef al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the United States, applauded journalist David Ignatius for his writing on Saudi Arabia. Ignatius is notorious for fawning coverage of the kingdom, promoting its supposed efforts at reform and taking its line on regional conflicts without a shred of skepticism.

The relationship between the UAE’s man in Washington and one of the Beltway’s top pundits is especially notable in light of the conflict that has erupted in the Persian Gulf. A steadily escalating rift between the Gulf states erupted into an all-out media war this June, leading to the alleged hacking of Qatari state media source and the hacking of Otaiba’s personal email account. Before long, the conflict became a siege as Saudi Arabia and its ally, the UAE, suspended diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, and even imposed a de facto blockade on the country.

With the Trump administration alternating between support for the siege and halting opposition to its escalation, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are demanding Qatar to cut off support for the Muslim Brotherhood and to break its ties with Iran. President Trump took credit for the policy, which he implied was an intentional U.S.-led strategy.

Saudi Arabia has used the political turmoil to deflect from its own complicity in supporting Salafi-jihadist group, portraying violent Islamist extremism as a uniquely Qatari problem. (U.S. government intelligence, on the other hand, has acknowledged that both of its Gulf clients Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported ISIS and al-Qaeda.