Qatar, Al Jazeera, and Emir of Qatar

Qatar has an unelected, monarchic, emirate-type government. There are no democratic institutions or elections, and power is assumed on a hereditary basis. Its legal system combines limited aspects of Islamic (or Sharia) and civil law codes in a discretionary system of law totally controlled by the Emir. Qatar has been ruled as an absolute monarchy by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. The most important positions in Qatar are held by the members of the Al Thani family, or close confidants of the al-Thani family. Beginning in 1992, Qatar has built intimate military ties with the United States, and is now the location of U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center.

Al Jazeera Satellite Channel was established with a loan of $137 million provided by The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa and much of Al Jazeera's funding currently still comes from the Qatar government. Chairman of the channel is Emir's cousin Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani. In January 2003, the BBC announced that it had signed an agreement with Al Jazeera for sharing facilities and information, including news footage. Increasingly Al Jazeera's exclusive interviews and other footage are being rebroadcast in American, British, and other western media outlets such as CNN and the BBC.

Released by WikiLeaks as part of the 2010 United States diplomatic cables leak, the U.S. State Department internal communications claim that the Qatar government manipulates Al Jazeera coverage to suit political interests.

Having said all that: The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani speaking to CBS's '60 Minutes', called for military intervention in Syria... He has so much experience on the subject, he is adamant that he can bring democracy and peace to Syria! - Yeap, we believe you Emir (!) - Joke of the century, isn't it?

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