David Reaboi is one of my favorite folks on Twitter – mostly because he’s not an empty-headed, reactionary dope. His observations are smart, insightful and often times delivered with just the right amount of wit.
Plus it was David Reaboi who first inspired my exercise in body sculpting – which is what I call my quest to beat back the ravages of Lupus through strength training. A “vaccine selfie” from Brian Stelter wouldn’t be one one-hundredth as effective on me as Dave’s body building selfies.
But more than anything, David Reaboi knows his stuff.
He is senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, and when it comes to national security, political warfare and influence operations, he is a fount of knowledge.
You might recall two years ago, I featured a short documentary from Mike Cernovich called “Blood Money: How Qatar Bought off the Entire D.C. Establishment.” David Reaboi is one of the experts Cernovich interviews in that film.
And now he’s released a short book called Qatar’s Shadow War: The Islamist Emirate and Its Information Operations in the United States.
My copy arrived on Monday, so yesterday I sat down to read it.
In short, it is excellent.
You’d be stunned to learn just how much influence tiny little Qatar wields over America’s political class, lobbyists, think tanks, universities and news media.
Or maybe you wouldn’t be stunned if you saw “Blood Money.”
Qatar is as rich as Croesus — which more than makes up for its tiny population. And it uses that wealth to influence US foreign policy very effectively.
As Dave puts it in Qatar’s Shadow War:
Qatar has been exceptionally successful at buying and obtaining influence to advance its interests in Washington. The extent of its influence and information operations is one of the least-covered and least-scrutinized stories of the last few years but, thankfully, that’s changing. Because of its promotion of the Muslim Brotherhood and its alliance with Iran, more and more Americans are coming to understand that Qatar is a malign force – not just in the Middle East but in this country, as well.
Of course, spending a lot of money is the easiest way to change or tweak a public policy narrative. Having great wealth allows you to gain friends instantly, in the hope that your generosity will enrich these friends as well. Nations spend a lot of money in the United States to advance their interests; rich nations, of course, can afford to spend more lavishly.
And, boy, does Qatar spend lavishly.
More than simply chronicle Qatar’s influence operations in the US, Dave also delves into both the history of Qatar’s rise to wealthy petro-state, and the history of the rise and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. So while Qatar’s Shadow War may be billed as “a short book,” and it is only 85 pages long, it is crammed with useful information.
What’s more, Dave writes with an ease and clarity that make the facts and details in the book incredibly readable. It truly is compelling stuff.
And it is stunning just how effectively Qatar’s influence operations have spread throughout the Beltway and the American media. And there is no better example than that of the murder of Qatari asset and ostensible Washington Post “journalist” Jamal Khashoggi.
Dave sums up his extensive coverage of Khashoggi’s death this way:
The gory murder of a spy in the process of a rendition to his home country isn’t pretty, but it’s a far cry from the image the media wanted to present.
Khashoggi getting lionized in the media and in the halls of Congress as a journalist martyred at the hands of Qatar’s bitterest rival Saudi Arabia was nothing but a carefully-constructed influence operation by Qatar and Turkey to undermine US/Saudi relations. And it nearly worked.
Qatar’s Shadow War pulls back the curtain. It shows you how the sausage is made. And, as Dave says in the book, “Once you see how information and political warfare works, it’s nearly impossible to un-see.”
This book is well worth your time.
While you’re at it, follow Dave on Twitter – especially if you need inspiration to get in shape.
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