Ghabra’s ‘advice’ on Gulf-US relations

Mashari Althaydi
Mashari Althaydi
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On April 28, 2018, I read in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas comments by Kuwaiti-Palestinian academic Dr. Shafeeq Al-Ghabra and valuable “advice” on how relations should be between Gulf countries and the US.

Ghabra’s statements were within a typical context that’s been dully repeated. He wants all Gulf countries – although we know that Qatar, for instance, does not represent the entire Gulf and its policies are closer to Ghabra’s advice – to listen to him and be convinced of his vision as to how ties with the US should be during Trump’s term.

In brief, Ghabra’s remarks are the same as the Al-Jazeera channel’s statements or other statements made by the Muslim Brotherhood’s platforms and allies from the remnants of the left and nationalists.

Trump and his policy intimidates and angers countries of chaos, destruction, terrorism and strife and dangerous political Islam groups. And we, by that I mean Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and many reasonable Muslims and Arab people, completely support Trump in this approach

Mashari Althaydi
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Ghabra's advice

For example, according to his article in al-Qabas, Ghabra said: “Obama’s invitation to Gulf countries to have dialogue with Iran, without having to agree with it and without underestimating the size of the dispute with it in Syria and Yemen, which would have been better. Therefore, I think dialogue with Iran (is the means) to respond to Trump’s agenda.”

“Coordination between Gulf countries which are aware of this danger (a danger assumed by Ghabra by demonizing President Trump and his administration) is a must through dialogue with Iran,” he also said.

Ghabra concludes this genius statement by saying: “The US role in maintaining the Gulf region has fallen or is declining. The fall’s duration is around 10 years, and Gulf countries must think of other security options. One of these options is dialogue with Iran.”

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Of course, he added Turkey to the basket of alternative allies of Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to replace the US. He was even more generous as he added NATO to this basket, whose cornerstone is actually the US!

Can these statements be taken seriously?

Trump and his policy intimidates and angers countries of chaos, destruction, terrorism and strife and dangerous political Islam groups. And we, by that I mean Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and many reasonable Muslims and Arab people, completely support Trump in this approach.

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The Iranian Khomeinist regime is an enemy, and it is not possible to have dialogue with them. We’ve tried engaging in such dialogues several times before but Iran only got more harmful and destructive. As for Turkey under Erdogan’s rule, ties are normal at the least, and we’re not engaged in a war with it and we shouldn’t be, despite some of the administration’s behavior and some political and media bids.

As for the EU and NATO, we have a network of interests with them; but let Europe solve its problems with the US administration first before it can encourage the deluded rebellion against Washington!

Frankly, such sentimental and shallow ideas and perspectives are what drive states and people into the abyss.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

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