MIDDLE EAST

The story of the Saudi-UAE ‘invasion’ of Qatar

A news agency reported that the White House said American President Donald Trump succeeded in preventing a Saudi-UAE military attack against Qatar. It was barely an hour before Trump issued a statement denying the report.

Then another piece of news claimed that Trump scolded Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim when he met him in New York and showed him secret data that confirms Qatar is still funding terrorism although it pledged to the Americans that it will stop doing so weeks ago!

Many reports are emerging for political purposes although there’s a logic that clearly denies them. The nature of the crisis and Qatar’s early act of fortifying itself with the American base and international military alliances prevents considering that. However, Qatar has resorted to this propaganda since June to gain the sympathy of countries like Kuwait and portray the countries whom they are having disputes with as evil. 

Bid to topple others 

The opposite is in fact true. Qatar has for years worked on weakening and targeting governments of countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt for the purpose of toppling them. Targeting Bahrain is no secret as Doha supported opposition figures who publicly voice their willingness to topple the regime. It has funded extremist religious Saudi opposition figures in London since the 1990s. This opposition does not hide its desire to topple the Saudi regime and it is also involved in the assassination attempt against late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

Qatar has for years worked on weakening and targeting governments of countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt for the purpose of toppling them. Targeting Bahrain is no secret as Doha supported opposition figures who publicly voice their willingness to topple the regime. It has funded extremist religious Saudi opposition figures in London since the 1990s.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed



As for Egypt, all you have to do is watch Qatari channels for few hours and you will notice the open calls to topple Sisi’s government by force. This is in addition to Qatar’s continuous and major funding of the opposition there.

Despite all this, none of the targeted states adopted a military plan or plotted against Qatar at the time. Even former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak whom the Qataris plotted against the most, refused to respond to the Qatari government and chose to ignore their hostile acts.

ALSO Read: Qatar beginning to feel the pinch

The four countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain - spoke out and announced their atand against Qatar. There are also more than 10 other Arab governments that are very much against Qatar but have not voiced their stands openly yet. 

Forcing policy change 

The plan to tackle Qatar is based on a strategy to isolate and weaken it in hope of achieving one of these aims: to either force it to change its policies or to at least weaken it so it stops interfering in other countries’ affairs. However, no one said or hinted that there are intentions to topple the Al Thanis’ regime or its head. Many think – and perhaps rightfully so – that the current emir, Sheikh Tamim, is powerless and that the one who is in control and who is causing trouble is his father who formally gave up power four years ago.

Doha has sought American and even Iranian help ever since the crisis erupted and claimed that some dark scheme is being planned against it by the Saudis and Emiratis and that they are suffocating Qatar with a blockade that history has known nothing like!

This Qatari nonsense cannot be believed by anyone in a country that’s full of caviar and Ferrari cars.

In brief, the problem is that Doha’s spoiled rulers do not want to stop playing the role of major regional countries, and at the same time, they do not want to bear the consequences of their actions.

This article is also available in Arabic.
______________________
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed.

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Last Update: Thursday, 21 September 2017 KSA 15:45 - GMT 12:45
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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