Our war is on terrorism, not on Qatar

Sawsan Al Shaer

Published: Updated:

We are not at war with Qatar but at war with terrorism. This message must be the slogan of the countries, which boycotted Qatar. “The frontline of the war on terror” is a phrase that must always be used to remind of the major aim which Qatar is trying to divert people’s attention from by coming up with other headlines such as siege, starvation, subjugation and others.

The second plan is “to internationalize our goals” and not just limit them to our local front. This is a strategic orientation that requires different activity that’s directed to the international public opinion and not just to the decision makers.

Unfortunately, Qatar insists to bury its head in the sand as it thinks the time it will gain will be in its favor. However, Qatar does not have a winning card and its only bet is to try and gain time. Its only hope to survive is to disintegrate “the front of the war on terror” locally and internationally and divert the world’s attention from our goal which is war on terror and make everyone think that there is a war against its people and economy.

It is inspired by the Israeli model as it internationally markets the crisis by claiming it is a moderately religious country that’s surrounded by extremist religious countries. It is marketing itself as a small state that is surrounded by big countries and as an oasis for safety among countries suffering from unrest. It wants the world to think that it was targeted for these reasons to divert attention from what is really happening.

Qatar’s rhetoric while addressing the international community is confusing when it talks about its relations with armed organizations. There are recordings and footage that document these ties

Sawsan Al Shaer

Buying time

Meanwhile, Qatar’s reaction clearly shows that it has not yet understood the size of Gulf and international changes. It is betting on time while hoping that these changes are not permanent. Doha is not aware that time is not on its side as long as leads on terrorism eventually reveal that Qatar either financed terrorists or embraced them.

In the end, Qatar will not only be targeted by Gulf countries but it will also be targeted internationally and in that case, it will have no choice but to submit to international will.

All we have to do is clarify these ties to the international community. This is what we must focus on while “addressing the international community.” We must not allow Qatar to address the latter on its own via more misleading campaigns.

Qatar’s rhetoric while addressing the international community is confusing when it talks about its relations with armed organizations. There are recordings and footage that document these ties. These armed organizations have begun to get out of control and to target Europe via “lone wolves.”

This latter term is used to describe individuals whom armed organizations recruit from afar. The international community cannot be lenient with any party that has anything to do with these attacks against it.

This is where Qatar gets confused as it cannot confront these facts. Qatar must respond to the recent developments, however, so far it has limited its activity to working internally to strengthen the local front and mobilize Qatari support. It adopted the mechanism of “fear” and relied on the sympathy of some Arabs, and exploited this to play the victim.

Confused rhetoric

However, it’s clear that Qatar’s rhetoric is confused on the international level. This was seen during the interview of Hamad bin Jassem – the maestro of Qatari foreign policy over the course of 20 years – with Charlie Rose. The interview did not match the seriousness of recent developments and their repercussions on Qatar and the region.

Some television channels and writers stand by Qatar because they adhere to its role in the plan to re-divide the region and not because they love it or believe it is innocent. This support though did not put an end to the repercussions affecting the Qatari command. What if we address the European and American public opinion and if the “front of war on terror” supply it with information and data that link the attacks on Europe to organizations which Qatar supports?

Qatar bets on time and on those who despise the Saudi kingdom to reshuffle the deck. It cannot defend itself but is working on making Saudi Arabia defend itself. Qatar is working to turn the attack against it into an attack against Saudi Arabia and it is doing so by exploiting the agendas and internal conflicts of some parties.

Doha is also using the media outlets which do not like US President Donald Trump and favors the former American policy and which for years criticized Saudi Arabia and promoted Iran. This is how Qatar is reshuffling the deck.

Our task then is to address the international public opinion and reorganize the situation so the world realizes that supporting the Qatari command is not tantamount to a protest against Saudi Arabia but is tantamount to playing with fire. Leniency with Qatar means leniency with terrorism. This is the message, which must be conveyed.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets under the handle @sawsanalshaer.

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