The authorities in Doha had three strengths; their media, money and effective diplomacy, to compensate for three other things; a small population, a small landmass and a weak army. However, when it comes to the current crisis, Qatar seems small and weak to everyone and is appearing as an easy target. So what happened?
We must note that Qatar has graciously and effectively succeeded in imposing itself on the Arab world’s political scenes for many years while benefiting from these three traits. It also benefitted from other things such as operating in the vacuum that the region lived through. Egypt under the presidency of Hosni Mubarak avoided engaging in conflicts and only addressed Doha’s interferences and frank incitement via calm diplomatic and limited media responses. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been busy putting out the fire, which Qatar has ignited instead of directly confronting it in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen and inside the kingdom itself.
When we note Qatar’s small area or population, we do not mean this as a demerit. Singapore is a small and great country and Qatar is 12 times bigger than it, and it has around half the population of Singapore. Qatar is also bigger than Lebanon. What we’re criticizing is the fact that Qatar’s government thinks it is a major power that wants to change the region and impose its policies without any considerations about its size and without respecting other countries. Qatar wants to achieve change in the region when it does not practice any of what it tries to impose by force on others to alter their regimes. It supports and funds contradictory ideologies in Egypt and Tunisia, from democracy to extremist Islam, and it does not implement any of them.
These several contradictory characters, or Qatar’s schizophrenia, have led Doha to lose the world’s respect. Doha has a liberal face on the inside and an extremist, Brotherhood face on foreign policy front. It is the capital of contradictions as it supports and funds extremists in the Iraqi province of Anbar and hosts their leaders who live in Qatar near the American military base from which fighter jets launch to shell Fallujah and Ramadi every day! Qatar and Iran are responsible for Palestinian divisions as they supported Hamas against the Palestinian Authority and hosted leaders from Hamas and the Israeli office in Doha.
Several contradictory characters, or Qatar’s schizophrenia, have led Doha to lose the world’s respectAbdulrahman al-Rashed