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Sunday, June 11, 2017 

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(Just How Bad Is Our Ability to Judge Our Allies)

Now, the latest revolation is Qatar.  Seems countries are once again backing out of calling Qatar civilized and an Ally.  Geographically, they are central to the Persian Gulf.



As a small country with larger neighbors, Qatar seeks to project influence and protect its state and ruling dynasty. The history of Qatar's alliances provides insight into the basis of their policy. For over 200 years, between 1760 and 1971, Qatar sought formal protection from the high transitory powers of the Ottomans, British, the Al-Khalifa's from Bahrain, the Arabians, and the Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia. Qatar's rising international profile and active role in international affairs has led some analysts to identify it as a middle power. Qatar was an early member of OPEC and a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is a member of the Arab League. The country has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction.

Qatar also has bilateral relationships with a variety of foreign powers. Qatar hosts the Al Udeid Air Base, a joint U.S.-British base, which acts as the hub for all American and British air operations in the Persian Gulf [politically, militarily, and economically, something the U.S. would not want to give up]. It has allowed American and British forces to use an air base to send supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite hosting this strategic military installation, Qatar is not always a strong Western ally. Qatar has allowed the Afghan Taliban to set up a political office inside the country and has close ties to Iran, including a shared natural gas field. According to leaked documents published in The New York Times, Qatar's record of counter-terrorism efforts was the "worst in the region". The cable suggested that Qatar's security service was "hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals".

Qatar has mixed relations with its neighbours in the Persian Gulf region. Qatar signed a defence co-operation agreement with Iran, with whom it shares the largest single non-associated gas field in the world. It was the second nation, the first being France, to have publicly announced its recognition of the Libyan opposition's National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya amidst the 2011 Libyan civil war.

Just this month, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, citing the country's support of groups they considered to be extremist.


June 11, 2017

"Running Scared" is a 1961 American pop song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson and sung by Orbison. An operatic rock ballad, the song was released as a 45rpm single by Monument Records in March 1961 and went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Running Scared" also reached No.9 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies in the US alone. The song was included on Orbison's 1962 album Crying as the final track on the album.

Noted for being a song written without a chorus, the song builds in the lyrics, arrangement, and vocals to a climax that, without vibrato, demonstrates the power of Orbison's clear, full voice. It is written in the bolero style; Orbison is credited with bringing this to the rock genre. Fred Foster producer of the session and of Monument Records did not want the powerful high note that ends the song to end in falsetto but in full or natural voice. According to Foster, the last note that ends the song is actually G above High C in full natural voice. The note is actually tenor high A, over Middle C.

While "Running Scared" was an international hit, the B-side "Love Hurts" also picked up significant airplay in Australia. Consequently, chart figures for Australia show "Running Scared"/"Love Hurts" as a double A-side, both sides peaking at number five. This makes Orbison's recording of "Love Hurts" the first version to be a hit. "Love Hurts" later became better known in a version by rock band Nazareth, who had an international hit with it in 1975.


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