Better for Qatar to know how to lose

Khairallah Khairallah

Published: Updated:

To know how to lose in politics is far more important than to know how to win. He who knows how to lose and learn from experience, prepares himself for a day when he shall win…. He needs to win against himself first.

Thus, intelligence lies in knowing the fact that it is far more significant to know how to lose than to know how to win. To know how to lose requires above all great intelligence and humility. In addition, it requires recognition of reality and before all else the ability to reconcile with it through perseverance.

The Gulf crisis with Qatar has taken a long time and is likely to last longer. Therefore, as a Gulf Arab state that has a role to play in the development of Gulf societies, instead of miring them in petty and frivolous diatribes, Qatar needs to understand that it cannot win the battle against four countries that took the decision to boycott it on the 5th of last June, a date in time which elapsed two months ago.

It is time for Qatar to adopt a position in full cognizance of the fact that the boycotting countries are fully prepared to adhere to their stance no matter how long it takes. Most important of all, the four countries remain unwilling to yield to American pressure.

It is time for Qatar to take cognizance of the fact that boycotting countries will adhere to their stance no matter how long it takes

Khairallah Khairallah

Defying Obama

The proof of their resilience lies in the fact that Saudi Arabia and the UAE defied the United States under President Barack Obama and supported the process of proscribing the Muslim Brotherhood, which was apparently led by a president with a facetious and mawkish temperament named Mohammed Morsi.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates defied the US in 2013 and supported the popular uprising that led to the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood and their collapse. Earlier in 2011, Saudi Arabia militarily intervened in Bahrain when it felt that its security was threatened by Iran and the proxies it used in that small kingdom.

Apart from the 13 demands, whose number some say has been reduced to six, the issue is primarily a political one. It simply boils down to one question: Can Qatar harmonize its relations with other GCC countries? The game was completely exposed in 2013 and 2014. There are two new additions to it now.

Difficult game

The first one is that no one in Qatar is capable of controlling the difficult game now and the second one is that Saudi Arabia now has a different leadership, which is no longer willing to make compromises.

Buying an American or Italian weapon or a player like the Brazilian footballer Neymar and helping him join a well-known French team with a known owner may help Qatar.

However, there are new and different variables that they have to deal with and adapt to presently, in addition of course to admitting that the issue is not limited to earning brownie points with Washington or with powers other than Washington; but pertains to the fact that can the Gulf and Egypt be threatened and intimidated by Turkey and Iran.

Clearly, some humility is essential at this stage.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Khairallah Khairallah is an Arab columnist who was formerly Annahar’s foreign editor (1976-1988) and Al-Hayat’s managing editor (1988-1998).

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.