Qatar’s tendency to cross the red lines

Faisal Al-Shammeri

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The current state or relations between Qatar and The Gulf Cooperation Council are not good. They have not been good for a little while nor is there the prospect of improvement in the short term. At the recent summit in Riyadh between The United States, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the heads of state from the 55 nations presented a unanimous and abundantly clear articulated statement of purpose.

That the region, world, and especially the Islamic world, would no longer be indifferent to terror, those who sponsor it, and those who willing host in exile hostile and destabilizing elements for the region. The United States and The Middle East both know the feelings of the aftermath of terror and share the firm resolve to purge it from the face of the earth.

A momentary reflection on events since 2011 should be presented to provide proper context allowing while allowing clarity for the situation as it exists today. There are limits to what any sovereign country can tolerate regarding security concerns of the highest order and the sponsors of terrorism. Especially when there is a sustained and premeditated pattern of activity that emanates from a single source.

In 2011, the decision was made to deploy The Peninsula Shield Force in which 800 soldiers from The United Arab Emirates and 1,200 from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, representing the consensus of the individual members of The Gulf Cooperation Council, were used to eliminate a direct and serious security threat aimed directly at The Arabian Gulf by Tehran.

The two most dangerous ideologies that have been in the Middle East and Arab world are those espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood and Khomeinism, which emanates from Iran

Faisal Al-Shammeri

Sovereign state

Publicly Iran has claimed Bahrain as a province, which is a rather curious position for a country to take over an universally and internationally recognized sovereign state. It is a rather direct statement in which no subtlety needs to be applied since there are no difficulties in understanding what this means. To put it bluntly Tehran is a revisionist power who uses terror to destabilize the region to tilt power decisively in its favor.

A second attempt was initiated embarking on the same pattern of behavior in which Iran directly intervened to support and develop a strategic security concern of the highest magnitude for the region in Yemen that could potentially disrupt one of the most significant international shipping lanes which lies in the Red Sea.

Ultimately Saudi Arabia decided to intervene in Yemen based on a combination of factors, but not limited to, a direct attempt by Iran to place a hostile and belligerent entity directly on the border of the Kingdom, to prevent the importing of and subsequently eliminate lethal weaponry that can target cities inside the country and to eliminate the threat of terrorism directed against it and the region at large originating from inside Yemen.

The two most dangerous ideologies that have been in the Middle East and Arab world are those espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood and Khomeinism, which emanates from Iran. Both have been partners in terror and both seek to destabilize countries in the region, seize power by force if necessary, and ultimately provide a legitimate security for the world at large should they be able to achieve their nefarious ambitions.

And both have used terrorism to attack heads of state in Egypt (IG and EIJ), diplomats from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Iran), soldiers and civilians from The United States (Iran, IRGC, Quds Force, Hezbollah), and being the ideological sponsors of the most radical terrorist groups the world has ever known (al-Qaeda/ISIS).

Brotherhood and Khomeinism

The Muslim Brotherhood and Khomeinism do not seek to live in peace with those outside of their chosen constituency. Both are like snowballs, they can only flourish in the dark and cold. Bring them to light and they will melt away. Qatar has for a long time been the sanctuary o exile for some of the most extreme ideologies that have ever existed including the Muslim Brotherhood and Taliban.

Qatar has given Iran and by extension the radical ideology of Khomeinism a platform as well while allowing a not inconsiderable presence of IRGC and Quds Force personnel in country. Qatar continues to support in exile the leadership who represent a destabilizing presence to Egypt, The Gulf Cooperation Council and Afghanistan.

Qatar has been the most decisive source of funding for al-Qaeda while providing it substantial lethal weaponry that has allowed for the terrorist group to substantially regenerate itself in the slaughterhouse of The Syrian War. Qatar from the beginning was one of the main sponsors of ISIS.

Qatar recently gave a ransom of nearly one billion dollars where the majority went directly to Tehran, while their sectarian proxy arm in Iraq Ka’taaib Hezbollah (responsible for an ongoing sectarian genocide in Diyala Province), with another $200-$300 million going to Al Qaeda linked groups in Syria, Tahrir Al Sham and Ahrar Al Sham.

A red line was crossed in Bahrain. After careful and serious assessment of the situation they were addressed. A red line was crossed in Yemen and it too was addressed. Qatar is rapidly approaching a red line, for the region and the world. To remain casually indifferent to this is no longer an option.
Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst based in Washington DC. He tweets @mr_alshammeri.

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