Why Qatar is draining itself

Mohammed Al Shaikh
Mohammed Al Shaikh
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No matter how stubborn they are, I have no doubt that Hamad bin Khalifa and his son are now regretting their actions as all the countries who tried to mediate have let them down. This is because most of the countries are convinced that Qatar sponsors terrorism.

Moreover, the boycotting countries are clearly more powerful than this miniscule statelet. The country is actually more like a night cricket, as per the Najd proverb. It has no power except for the annoying noise made by its media, which in this instance has not been able to make the four Arab countries back down from their firm stance.

Any observer can see that Qatar, its diplomacy and values, have been deeply impacted. The only hope left is that another President like Barack Obama reappears in the future to rescue them, as President Trump has virtually erased all of his predecessor’s actions.

President Trump is popular among the American people, and this makes his reelection for a second term almost certain especially as the Democratic Party is still looking for someone capable of running against President Trump and matching his economic achievements. This suggests that he would probably win the second term as well.

President Trump does not care much about Qatar’s present conditions, crisis and isolation. The Qataris have approached the White House several times after the present crisis but they were met with deliberate indifference. The Americans would not sacrifice relations with four major countries in the region in support of Qatar. Qatar’s only asset is that it has Al-Udeid Air Base. The Americans know that Qatar cannot bargain with this base, because its existence as a country depends on Al-Udeid.
Thus according to US decision makers, this country cannot be given much importance.

Qataris approached the White House several times but were met with deliberate indifference

Mohammed Al Sheikh

American analysts notice that Qataris are still extending support to exponents of political Islam, mainly the Muslim Brotherhood which the pivotal states in the region consider it a terrorist organization. For those who are familiar with the reputation of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US, they’d see there is an orientation among many American departments to categorize it as a terrorist group. This will make Qatari leaders abandon the group and throw out its cadres outside the country.

Even Turkey has started feeling that it went too far in supporting Qatar, and that it has made a mistake by aligning itself with it thus confusing its relations with the four boycotting countries, with Saudi Arabia at the forefront.

There are a lot of indicators that confirm what I am saying. Turkish President Erdogan is known to be a pragmatist. Any rational pragmatist would not sacrifice relations with four states and make an alliance with a statelet like Qatar. It is obvious that the quartet boycotting Qatar and Qatar’s attempt to exit the crisis of marginalization and boycott has drained its revenues and has forced it to borrow to fulfill its obligations to Western countries. All the indicators suggest that the crisis will prolong and will lead to a drastic impact in the long term.

For this reason, Qatar is left with no option but to accept the terms of the boycotting countries. Politics nowadays is not managed by hopes, but with awareness and foresight of the future, while dealing with it objectively and rationally.

This article is also available in Arabic.


Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd

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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