Saudi - Qatar ultimatums eerily similar to ones that led to the start of WWI 100 years ago

On July 23, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian government issued an ultimatum to Serbia following the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand by rogue elements in Serbian intelligence.  And although they gave the Serbian government only 48 hours to respond and comply, secretly they were prepared to ignore any response because they wanted to go to war against the occupied territory.

According to the terms of the ultimatum delivered on July 23, the Serbian government would have to accept an Austro-Hungarian inquiry into the assassination, notwithstanding its claim that it was already conducting its own internal investigation. Serbia was also to suppress all anti-Austrian propaganda and to take steps to root out and eliminate terrorist organizations within its borders—one such organization, the Black Hand, was believed to have aided and abetted the archduke’s killer, Gavrilo Princip, and his cohorts, providing weapons and safe passage from Belgrade to Sarajevo. The Dual Monarchy demanded an answer to the note within 48 hours—by that time, however, anticipating Serbian defiance, Gieslingen had already packed his bags and prepared to leave the embassy. - History

Why is this important today one might ask?  Because as Mark Twain once said, "history doesn't repeat, but it sure does rhyme." And by rhyming he meant that events in history do repeat themselves, only that the environments, locations, and circumstances are often different than from what took place similarly before.

And history is certainly repeating itself today in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia has out of the blue issued an ultimatum to Qatar with demands so onerous that the only result could be the desired invasion of the Islamic country by the House of Saud.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have issued a threatening 13-point ultimatum to Qatar as the price for lifting a two-week trade and diplomatic embargo of the country, in a marked escalation of the Gulf’s worst diplomatic dispute in decades.

The onerous list of demands includes stipulations that Doha close the broadcaster al-Jazeera, drastically scale back cooperation with Iran, remove Turkish troops from Qatar’s soil, end contact with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and submit to monthly external compliance checks. Qatar has been given 10 days to comply with the demands or face unspecified consequences. - The Guardian

The ultimate question that has to be asked is why has Saudi Arabia all of a sudden directed its ire on a relatively quiet nation that is home to the United State's largest military base in the region?  Perhaps the way to answer this is to look at what took place just weeks before the House of Saud issued their ultimatums.

During the two-day visit to the kingdom, Trump is expected to sign a major weapons deal, give a speech on Islam and discuss the battle against "terrorism" with more than 50 leaders.

It is the first time a US president has chosen Saudi Arabia as the first stop on a maiden trip.

Trump's visit is seen as highly symbolic, as he looks to repair Washington's ties with its closest Arab ally.

During the final years of Barack Obama's US presidency, "relations had undergone a period of difference of opinion", according to Saudi officials. These differences were largely centred around the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the Obama administration's cautions to the kingdom about the civilian toll of the war in Yemen.  - Al Jazeera

Yes... we are back around to Iran once again.  And Qatar just happens to represent an ally of the Shiite power due to their sharing a natural gas field, and alleged funding of Iranian backed terror groups like Hamas.

But perhaps there is even more to this equation than the old tired saw of Sunni vs. Shiite hatred.  Throughout the past 40 years for what reason does Washington get involved in Middle Eastern affairs... so much so that they strongly intervene with military firepower?

That's right... the petrodollar.  And whether it was Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, or sanctions against Iran for a decade, anytime a Middle Eastern nation even whispered about moving away from the oil currency then they became prime targets for instant annihilation.

So where does Qatar fit into this?  Perhaps because they are right now in the process of integrating the Chinese Yuan into their economy and monetary system, and put another crack in the petrodollar system that is even now on its last legs.

The Emirate of Qatar has become an important pillar of China's efforts to make the Chinese national currency Yuan an internationally accepted currency of commerce. It is possible that this fact also plays a role in Saudi Arabia's pre-emptive isolation of the emirate, the Antimedia reports Saudi Arabia had increased the pressure on Qatar following the visit of US President Donald Trump. 

Trade between Qatar and China in Yuan has experienced a significant upswing in recent years. In the past two years, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which has been established as a Chinese bank in Doha, has already traded around RMB 590 billion (about $ 86 billion) in the past two years . 

Although a large portion of bilateral trade in both countries is still being traded in US dollars, the yuan has now gained considerably more weight. The clearing center of the ICBC has only existed for two years. It is the first of its kind in the Middle East to lead to a faster and more favorable exchange of goods between both countries in Yuan. - The Daily Economist

Of course the U.S. knows that the days of dollar dominance are dwindling, and as such they are working desperately hard to ensnare the world in war just like the 'Sick man of Europe' needed a war during the second decade of the 20th century.  And whether it is through the triggering of Russia in Ukraine or Syria, or China through their North Korea and militarized China Sea islands narratives, Qatar represents an 'any port in a storm' scenario which will help Washington remain the keeper of the reserve currency a little while longer, and also allow Saudi Arabia to remain dominant in the Middle East as their own resources and presence falls away like the Ottoman Empire collapse which helped create them.