The Qatar Bubble by Blake Hounshell | Martin Kramer on the Middle East |

Often the headlines venture into rank hyperbole: The Economist called Qatar a "Pygmy with the punch of a giant," while the New York Review of Books hailed its "strange power." Various outlets have dubbed the country's ambitious emir, 60-year-old Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the "Arab Henry Kissinger." Last year, in an off-mic moment with political donors, U.S. President Barack Obama called him a "pretty influential guy." But let's hold the accolades for Qatar. There's a reason most city-states throughout history have avoided provoking their larger neighbors -- sooner or later, they strike back. And isn't being incredibly rich good enough?


• The Qatar Bubble by Blake Hounshell