Qataris have for the first time released a terror list, which includes the names of individuals and groups whom Doha had funded and issued passports and documents to in order to ease their movements when they were charged with causing mayhem in various places during the so-called Arab Spring.
The list has come as a surprise to many people, including the people of Qatar. It consists of names and organizations that were being funded and backed by the Qatari government. This has led the Qatari people to feel, what they had not felt before, that the wheel of compromise and concession has started to turn, as from relenting and conceding comes the first drop of rain and blessings.
Bid to please the US
It is most likely that Qatar’s issuance of this list is an attempt to please the United States, since the Emir of Qatar is scheduled to visit the US in April. The Qatari regime wanted this list to serve as a goodwill gesture as perhaps the US would help the country come out of its suffocating isolation that has sapped the country’s vitality all levels, especially economically over the past nine months. During this time, the rulers of Qatar had insisted that their income from “natural gas” was so huge that they would not feel the need to yield, and they also promoted this via their media outlets.
However, it seems that Qatar’s rulers have begun to realize that the region’s orientations have changed and that Qatar is actually confronting a strong quartet of Arab states that have the power, influence and international sway that make the conflict with them a losing proposition from the start. Even if the US, on which Qatar relies heavily, wanted to dictate to the Arab quartet to adopt a conciliatory position, it would have to come at a meaningful price, such as the banishment of the Muslim Brotherhood and the extradition of the group’s wanted members to Egypt. Add to the fact that all the signs point that Qatar is involved, either directly or indirectly, in cases related to terrorism and has protected people whom there is clear evidence that proves their involvement in terrorist activities. This makes defending Qatar similar to defending the devil. An example is the terrorist Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Mufti of suicide bombers as he is commonly known!
Don’t punch above one’s weight
In the interest of the GCC, we want Qatar to return to its senses, to tend to its developmental projects and to give up its speculative games, which eventually led it to miserable ends. All the signs and evidence confirm that the only way to get out of this predicament, which Doha has put itself and its people in, is by handling its geopolitical stature wisely and abandoning the mad ambitions which the elder Emir, the father, once had, and which was the main reason that made the Arab quartet sever relations with Qatar. Obstinacy and being unrealistic is one of the most glaring flaws that led to the inglorious end of many heads of state in history. Leading the pack was Muammar Gaddafi. Many confirm that Gaddafi and Hamad bin Khalifa have a lot in common; chiefly the obstinacy, the tendency to challenge reality and making dreams take control of political conduct.
Hamad bin Khalifa had a golden opportunity after we were tolerant with him following his confession of conspiring against the kingdom. However, he misunderstood this forgiveness and continued to conspire thus leading up to this boycott that I do not think will be revoked unless Qatar agrees to make serious concessions that will then make it much weaker than even Somalia.
This article was originally published in Al Jazirah.
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd