Qatar’s support for Islamists muddles its reputation as neutral broker in Mideast

The Washington Post 29 November 2012

For years, the tiny oil sheikdom of Qatar has been a reliable U.S. partner in the Middle East — as a host to the largest American military base in the region and as a diplomatic bulwark against Iran. It has backed the fall of autocratic rulers in Libya and Syria.

Two years after the start of the Arab Spring, however, Qatar’s carefully cultivated reputation as a U.S. partner — and as a neutral broker in the region — is increasingly muddled.

With billions of dollars in natural gas and oil revenue, it is bankrolling a new generation of Islamists across the Middle East, raising questions about its vision for the region and whether some of its policies are in direct conflict with U.S. interests. (continue reading...)