The Qatari foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad, said today that the Middle East has troubles enough and that any problems between Syria and the United States should be handled diplomatically. In an interview in al-Jazeera, Hamad said the “last thing this region needs is another crisis.” Like so many of the other old-line Arab leaders, Hamad refuses to recognize that there’s one big crisis, and he’s either part of the problem or part of the solution. He chooses the former by taking the ostrich position common among his peers.
One big way he chooses to do that is to equate the Israeli nuclear program with that of Iran. Again, he wants to deal with the Iranian issue by peaceful means without “any more escalation of tensions.” Change is hard in the Middle East, and instability is something the old-line leaders find hard to address. Which means that the more there is among the terrorist supporting nations, the better it is for civilization. Qatar is not a supporter of terrorists. But its leaders are in denial about Iran.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Council (IRGC, an acronym you will be seeing often) is ascendant under Ahmadinejad. They are now in charge of the Iranian nuke program, smuggling weapons (especially high-tech IEDs) into Iraq, and generally making as much trouble as possible. They are tough, determined, and — as you’d expect — very well financed. Iran is the central terrorist nation. And the IRGC is one of their most dangerous weapons.
[Correction: Yesterday, I accused Sen. Boxer of tying up the confirmation of Gordon England to be deputy secretary of defense. In fact, it is Olympia Snowe of Maine who has England on hold. Why isn’t Bill Frist forcing the issue of the many DoD nominees frozen in Senate petty politics? You’d think, with a war on, we’d like those positions filled.]