There are attempts, particularly by some Qatari media outlets, to make some helpless Qataris hope that the American authorities will support them and save them from the crisis which their regime has put them in.
This is wishful and naïve thinking that has nothing to do with the logic and standards of political interests. It would be stupid to believe that the Americans would sacrifice their relationships with major countries in the region, like the quartet (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE), and stand with a very small state, like Qatar, which is marginal in terms of influence and impact.
This may have been possible during Barack Obama’s term; however, the rules of the game have changed during Donald Trump’s term. Today’s standards are different from the past as the anti-terror quartet intends to continue boycotting Qatar until the crisis is resolved - even if this lasts for 10 years.
Qatar’s problem will only be resolved via deeply rooted solutions that revolve around expelling the main source of the problem: Hamad bin Khalifa from Qatar. The other solution is for destiny to intervene and take its toll on this spiteful manMohammed Al Shaikh
Qatar’s art of treachery
Boycotting Qatar does not cost the quartet anything worth mentioning. However, it costs Qatar a lot. This cost only increases with time. The crisis with Qatar is also not a priority for us at all. When Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that the Qatari issue is minor and not among his priorities, he meant it.
The same applies to the three other countries that came together with Saudi Arabia to “discipline” this harmful neighbor that only knows the art of conspiracy, treachery and deception. Qatar only embraced the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorists to be its arm that implements its wicked conspiracies. This is what Trump implied to in one of his tweets when the decision to boycott Doha was first made. This made the Qataris turn to Turkey and Iran to protect their palaces in Doha.
The Americans, who occupy one third of Qatar's territory in the al-Udeid Air Base, may remain neutral in case the Qataris took action, like the rational members of the al-Thani ruling family, to curb this unjustified insanity. By the way, this is a possible scenario that cannot be ruled out especially that popular anger is increasing by the day.
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Qatar’s problem will only be resolved via deeply rooted solutions that revolve around expelling the main source of the problem: Hamad bin Khalifa from Qatar. The other solution is for destiny to intervene and take its toll on this spiteful man. As for the poor Tamim bin Hamad, he does not make any decisions and only obeys his father who insists to rule from behind the scenes.
Jeopardizing the 2022 World Cup
The question now is: What if the Qataris insist to be stubborn and do not submit to the boycotting countries’ conditions and do not expel Hamad bin Khalifa? The answer is simple: Everything will remain as it is. Boycotting Doha does not cost the quartet anything, however, it’s exhausting the Qataris and it will continue to exhaust them.
The FIFA World Cup which the Qataris aspire to host and which they spent a lot of money on, is now at stake due to the current crisis. Qatar’s place as a host for the 2022 World Cup is in jeopardy as it may be stripped of holding the tournament if the country’s isolation lasts till then. Holding the tournament is thus linked to the boycotting countries. I do not think there will be any solutions soon.
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When the Qatari regime began to interfere in the neighboring countries’ internal affairs, I thought it would have a plan to retreat if faced by any firm decision, like the boycott. However, the crisis which it’s going through now, and which it does not know how to solve, shows that this is an adventurer regime that developed its policies based on wrong calculations.
In politics, those who do not cautiously and carefully foresee the future and who burn their bridges when taking risks will put themselves through a catastrophic crisis like the one which the Qatari regime has led the country and its people to.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.