Qatar: When a leader fails

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

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People hate to fail. Those who hate it most though are leaders who are responsible for their people, state, interests and country’s future. Allying with losers only leads to failure. Allying with terrorism and fundamentalism also leads to failure because these are the worst in politics and media and in managing affairs as their only successes are represented in bloodshed and murder.

Getting addicted to failure is the end result of any person who loses all his bets, whose visions fail over the course of two decades and whom all his allies also fail. In this case, he becomes friends with failure and he becomes addicted to it. This is a general situation but when it comes to leaders and officials, its repercussions are worse and more harmful.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bet on all the rivals of his neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). He bet on all these rivals from Iran, to the Brotherhood and Turkey. He harmed Kuwait the most by supporting chaotic groups and the Brotherhood and seeking to sow divisions among the family.

He did the same and more in Bahrain when he supported the opposition, particularly terrorist opposition groups. He did not value the fact that some Gulf leaders thought well of him regarding some political and media orientations and instead he worked for long to destabilize Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman.

A failed leader insists on claiming victory when he is defeated and claims he is powerful when weakness prevails. The most failed leader is one who denies facts, ignores changes and insists on practicing politics using the same old methods

Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi

Shattered delusions

Thinking so highly of one’s self for no good reason ends up badly. This is what happened after the so-called Arab Spring. Qatar’s delusions shattered and the facts surfaced. The maliciousness and schemes were thus exposed.

Scandals and losses were very significant as they could have destroyed Hamad’s small country and weak governance. He then submitted under pressure and agreed to the charade of giving up power. He tested his sons, and he imprisoned the strong ones and granted the emirate to the weak one so he remains in control.

In a joint statement last week, Arab countries surrounding Qatar and Egypt announced cutting ties with Qatar. They then issued a terror list linked to Qatar. It included around 60 figures inside and outside Qatar and more than 10 Qatari institutions.

The crisis is escalating and not calming down, and it is expanding not receding. How does a failed man think? First, he is persistent then he is stubborn. He then commits mistakes. If it’s an ordinary person, the mistakes affect him and his family but if he’s a leader, the mistakes affect his country, government and people.

A failed leader insists on claiming victory when he is defeated and claims he is powerful when weakness prevails. The most failed leader is one who denies facts, ignores changes and insists on practicing politics using the same old methods via the same old vision, which proved to be a failure.

The snowball effect

When you violate international laws and support, fund and sponsor terrorism, then you would be dragging yourself toward failure in an attempt to find yourself a place among major players. Illusions make one think he is capable of overcoming all this but when the time comes and it all backfires, the snowball effect worsens. At this point, one has to sit back and review what happened. He must reconsider the situation and hold himself accountable.

The failed leader is the one who only bets on foreign states and organizations, which have their own interests, agendas and ambitions. He ignores his own people while suppressing them and fighting them instead of making them comfortable.

He expels an entire tribe and withdraws its members’ nationality and lets a big brotherhood and a generous neighbor grab it. When the time comes, he resorts to sectarian and fundamental centers of gravity in Iran and Turkey as he thinks he is protecting himself from his people using foreigners.

When you sponsor terrorism in the region, and the world as part of this game of contradictions which Qatar has been famous for, then an American military base, like the one in Al-Udeid, becomes a threat considering US President Donald Trump’s engagement in the current crisis and hints that Qatar must entirely stop supporting and funding terrorism.

Finally, a failed leader fears his people during difficult times as he knows how unjust he was to them. His worries increase and suspicions take over him, thus he ends up trusting no one but foreigners.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.

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