On one side of the dispute is Qatar, Turkey, Iran, Yemen’s Houthi, and the Lebanese Hezbollah, with Vladimir Putin’s Russia stiffening their backs and waiting to profit.
On the other is the Saudi-led alliance of Gulf petro-states and Egypt, with an erratic US president giving them a red light even as the US state department quietly urges restraint behind the scenes.
Of all the geostrategic conflicts escalating towards a showdown around the world – mostly on the Pacific Rim – none pose such an immediate threat to the global economy.
It is obvious how this clash at the aorta of the global oil and gas production could bring the ageing economic expansion to an abrupt halt. Pleas by Germany, Britain, and France to step back from the brink have so far fallen on deaf ears.
The ultimatum presented to Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is akin to the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia…