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Why Has Qatar Chosen Defiance? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Qatar has adopted one concept within its response to the Arab Quartet that has decided to boycott it: do all that it can to thwart their plan and force them to reconcile with it.

It has become closer to Iran and has restored relations with Hezbollah. It’s funding Houthi militias in Yemen and hostile Islamic extremist groups that oppose the boycotting countries. It has also been supporting the US Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and wants to criminalize Saudi Arabia by accusing it of funding the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Qatar has also been pushing international organizations to hold Saudi Arabia accountable at the UN Security Council and the US Congress for its military activity in Yemen, knowing that it was part of the coalition there.

Doha is also paying huge amounts of money to anyone who speaks out against the Arab quartet.

Some may ask: Why do we denounce Qatar for doing so while it is defending itself after the quartet actually started the crisis by boycotting it?

It is true that we denounce what Doha is doing, but we are not surprised at all as this is how it secretly operated earlier. Doha, however, is now openly targeting these countries, and it has doubled its acts against them.

Hostility and confrontation practiced by Doha is not the only option since it can also accept the reality and live with it.

Qatar had three options from which to choose since the eruption of the crisis with the Arab quartet – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The first option is to accept conditions and rearrange relations based on guaranteed interests. The problem will then end, and we would all live through a stable phase based on mutual respect and not interfering in each other’s affairs.

The second option, which Qatar could have chosen, is to boycott the countries, just like what the quartet states did, and just manage its affairs without them.

The third and most difficult option, and which Qatar has chosen, is to declare enmity and launch a war by confronting the four countries via international organizations and governments, form alliances, seal military deals against them, fund the four countries’ rivals and incite against them through every available platform.

The behavior of Doha’s authority is not surprising. This is what it has been doing for the past 20 years.

Qatar thinks it can impose its views on other countries regardless of their orientation and capabilities and risks of facing them.

Qatar has also paid huge sums of money to see this through. However, isn’t its concern justified? Can Qatar’s leadership really go to bed every night and rest assured that no one will overthrow it and take over power?

What Qatar is actually doing is provocation and antagonism. Its hostile activities against these four countries may force them to overthrow this leadership or support those with ambitions, and they are many.

The other truth is that no one wants to impose change by force unlike what the Qatar regime is claiming.

This is due to several reasons, as for example changing regimes and arranging coups lead to a bad reputation for the country doing so.

Besides, if the quartet really wanted to stage a coup or an invasion, it would not have boycotted Qatar and let its security forces on alert 24/7.

Those angry at Qatar could have simply not sparked a battle and instead seized Doha in the dark within two hours.

The royal family, which used to conspire during tea sessions to topple regimes in the region and intimidate governments, including the quartet’s, is terrified like we’ve never seen it before.

This fear of a “justified” revenge pushed it to scream out and appeal for help from every state, especially that now it’s been distanced and belittled.

It has been spending large amounts of money, like nothing we have ever seen before. The result, however, will be as I have written before; it will submit and sign, maybe behind closed doors.

I think Qatar could have tried to live in isolation without Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain.

It could have been best friends with 200 other countries instead of being reckless and attacking the quartet everywhere.

This behavior will eventually lead to its bankruptcy and make others lose respect for it. It may even provoke its rivals to do far more than what they are currently doing.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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