By Assad Bhuglah
The recent crisis in the Gulf triggered some of most serious American double standards towards Middle Eastern countries, chiefly exemplified by Qatar, a long time US ally and also home to the largest US military base in the Middle East and the command headquarters for US military operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. President Trump participated in the historic Arab-Islamic American Summit in Riyadh and soon afterward several countries declared their decision to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically. On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing Doha's alleged support for extremist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. The four countries also sealed their borders off to Qatar including airspace and naval territory. Yemen, eastern government of Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, and Senegal also cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. Jordan and Djibouti downgraded diplomatic relations with Doha. Donald Trump signalled support for the move, describing Qatar as 'a funder of terrorism at a very high level'. The initial reaction by Trump was to support the regional initiative to isolate Qatar on the precept that the country was providing support to "Islamic extremism and terrorism." However, representing one of the most apparent U.S. double standards in recent years, the Congress then approved the sale of F-15 fighters to the Qatar Air Force as the country struggled under pressure from its Gulf neighbours. Saudi Arabian leadership who had been encouraged by President Donald Trump to gang up with other Arab states to impose political and economic sanctions against Doha, must be bewildered by US actions.