Developments taking place in the Gulf region confirm that Qatar continues to adopt an intransigent logic and an isolationist and adventurist approach to divide Arab unity. It clearly objects to Arab voices calling on it to abandon systematic destructive policies and attempts to weaken the strategic Arab stance in the regional and international communities.
Perhaps it’s trivial to say that Qatar exiting the Gulf or Arab ranks in general did not come as a surprise to politicians in the countries that reject the country’s policies. Amid increased tension in Arab-Qatari relations, the situation seems to be heading towards enforcing this boycott between major Arab capitals and Doha.
Qatar’s response to the list of demands, handed over as conditions for its return to the fold, will be tantamount to declaring war on countries that provide a deterrent balance against major regional powers, specifically Iran, Turkey and Israel.
It is worth considering the following scenarios.
The roots of the dispute
Developments resulting from Qatar’s policies since the new millennium showed that governance in Doha has, after the boom it achieved thanks to gas revenues, begun to disrupt the path of GCC unity in an attempt to divide it and impose an isolationist agenda based on destabilizing countries and publicly betting on the Brotherhood and marketing it as an alternative to current Arab regimes.
Doha did not just announce that it ideologically or politically sympathizes with them but it went as far as participating in a coup plot. It did not hesitate in transforming its Al-Jazeera channel into a tool to market the Brotherhood’s propaganda and embellish terrorism’s image. It used the channel to present the Brotherhood as the strong core of identity and the perfect alternative to current regimes.
Several developments drive many to doubt the credibility of Qatar’s participation in confronting Houthi militias that rebelled against legitimacy in Yemen and to raise questions about the invisible links among Hamas, Doha and IsraelMondher Thabet
This approach also included providing shelter to figures who issued fatwas (religious edicts) inciting violence and directing others to stir strife and sow seeds of division. Such individuals legitimized the nation’s decision to depart from its principles in a tense global scenario that is characterized with major shifts and increased Iranian threats posed by Tehran’s nuclear ambitions that threaten Arab national security. Most neutral studies confirm that Iran’s desire to punch above its weight, when dealing with its GCC partners, shows Qatari leadership’s lack of insight regarding international policies.
The Carnegie Middle East Center said in a report published on September 11, 2014 that Doha adopted an isolationist approach that competes with the traditional Saudi leadership, and noted Doha’s expansionist policy, which clearly contradicted with Emirati and Saudi diplomatic work. Developments suggest that attempts to make Qatar end its support for the Brotherhood, and stop confusing the Syrian opposition or supporting terrorist Libyan militias, have proven to be unsuccessful. Doha even failed to accept the failure of its backing on a movement that was only good at harming peace when it failed to manage the state and stay in power.
Brotherhood and suspicious roles
Perhaps we need to recall the past to understand the present. The current crisis actually exposed the secrets of Qatari policies in the Arab region. Iran’s announcement that it supports Qatar and Doha’s request for direct Turkish military presence in its territories confirm the secrets which the Muslim Brotherhood keeps. Qatar is Turkey’s partner in supporting the Brotherhood as it is part of its ideology to restore the Ottoman Empire.
Meanwhile, Iran sees in the adventurous Qatar a midget that accepts to be overgrown. This may help Iran cross into the heart of the Gulf to strike it from within after its attempts to infiltrate it in Bahrain failed. Several developments drive many to doubt the credibility of Qatar’s participation in confronting Houthi militias that rebelled against legitimacy in Yemen and to raise questions about the invisible links among Hamas, Doha and Israel.
What lies beneath contradicts with what’s said and done in public. Hamas was the card which Israel used to harm Palestinian unity and make everyone suspicious of the Palestinian Liberation Organization representation and leadership of late leader Yasser Arafat.
Israel is aware that the Judaization project will not be achieved without a regional and sectarian surrounding where the Brotherhood has an effective role. It is aware that it cannot continue to exist as a military state without inventing a permanent threat that legitimizes its strategic supremacy and allows it to publically blackmail western capitals. In this case, peace would be Israel’s enemy while military militant wings play the role of the objective ally.
The repercussions of Qatar’s policies show its nature, which declared its bankruptcy in all areas that Doha sought to turn into zones of influence through its alliance with the Brotherhood. Former Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi sought to monopolize power via an exceptional decree and the July 2013 revolution followed and beheaded the organization.
This was a major phase that Doha did not accept as it continued to support the Brotherhood thus confirming that it completely acts against Gulf policies. Egypt has filed a request to document terrorist activities in Libya – activity that are directed against its citizens and are supported by Qatar. This marks another Qatari failure in the region.
Between reason and whims
Politics does not tolerate intransigence and psychological terms. It is first and foremost the art of calculations as enlightenment philosophies in Europe noted. Qatar is being asked to choose between resuming the path toward isolation, which will push it toward allying with an enemy whom America and other Arab countries will not allow to cross into the Gulf, or returning to the GCC fold while providing unconditional guarantees to end its support of the Brotherhood and extremist groups.
Qatar must also hand over a list of organizations which it supported and reveal the history of political violence which these groups have been involved in. This is in addition to shutting down Al-Jazeera channel, which is being used as a propaganda tool and a platform to spread lies to target the region’s security and stability.
What is evident from its behavior is the fact that Qatar is not upholding its commitments. In 2014, it did not comprehend that Saudi Arabia’s and Bahrain’s move of withdrawing their ambassadors was a clear warning to push Qatar to review its policies. Qatari interests will be guaranteed within Arab ranks in particular. The circumstances in the Arab world and the US confirm the end of the “Arab Spring” break and shows that the new US administration seeks to end its affiliates and disintegrate its networks.
American President Donald Trump restored the standard American policies to the region. These policies depend on the Gulf within the context of Emirati and Saudi partnership and also depend on Egypt to help restore peace and political harmony in Libya. The jurisdiction of the proxy granted to Doha has ended with Hillary Clinton’s loss and Doha must comprehend this truth.
Mondher Thabet is a Tunisian politician and a political analyst on several television channels.