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I’d like to pose a rather obvious question on the topic of how the US conducts itself with regard to Hamas in the current Hamas-Israel conflict. Why doesn’t the USA flex its alleged “superpower” status and simply capture the top leadership of Hamas in Qatar? After all, isn’t Hamas an official terrorist organization according to US policy?
Multiple reports seem to verify the fact that Hamas’s top leadership lives in luxury in Qatar. These top Hamas leaders essentially have no skin in the game and can direct terrorist operations with immunity while sitting on at least $11 billion in far away Qatar. One might observe they are not in physical danger of the conflict and likely worry little about their comfort, much less their safety. If the US was a serious power, that would not be the case.
A basic thought experiment here: imagine that after 9/11, Osama Bin Laden was simply hanging out in a posh resort in Qatar, continuously making public statements and operating al-Qaeda. How would the American people of 20 years ago have taken that? I doubt Americans then would largely shrug their shoulders and give a gesture of resignation with a comment of “oh well, I guess there’s nothing that can be done. Mind as well do nothing about it.”
Of course, there are a few things I can think of as to why the US doesn’t simply lean hard on Qatar in seizing the Hamas leaders. I could anticipate some objections from critics. But either you are a serious power or you are not. The US has military assets in Qatar and is a much bigger international player than Hamas. There is an asymmetrical relationship between the US and Qatar. The idea that the US must be impotent in this matter, even while Hamas holds American hostages, seems absurd.
The method of capturing the Hamas leadership in Qatar could vary. One possibility would be to use US Special Forces along with Intelligence agencies while diplomatically telling Qatar authorities to stand down. Use whatever leverage required on Qatar. Islamic terrorists seem to have no boundaries. It doesn’t make sense to continue the practice of “counting coup” when the other side is “taking scalps.” There seems to be a strong faction in the State Department and federal government that prefers moral vanity over practical morality.
I may not be an expert on foreign policy in the Middle East, but helping to pay for room service to Hamas leadership seems like a poor measure of deterrence to a layman.Published in