Emir of Qatar Speech…Dispute Does Not Lie in Different Points of View

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Political disagreements don’t ruin amicability. This is how Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani summarized Qatar’s crisis in his speech on Friday, and I don’t think that anyone was expecting a surprise in his speech, which expressed the Qatari diplomacy that has been depending for two months on international pursuits and has been avoiding pointing fingers to the problem.

Who would have imagined that the emir speech wouldn’t point out the real reason behind the dispute but would, instead, distance itself from Unfulfilled 2014 Riyadh Agreement, which was signed by Sheikh Tamim.

This is the main trigger of the crisis — this is what has led the region to this place and Qatar to isolation. Briefly, there is an agreement that was signed by Doha and the emir but was unimplemented – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain are demanding that Qatar abides by it.

But directing the speech towards disgrace and calumniation with neglecting the main reason of the crisis is another message from Qatar’s leadership that it has chosen to remain isolated. I assume that this speech intentionally didn’t mention the real reason behind the dispute for a simple reason: Doha can’t deny signing the agreement and can’t claim implementing it.

The emir’s speech intended to deliver two main messages: the first was internal and it urged a permanent enthusiasm as he said: “I call upon all to continue this approach.” The second message was foreign, informing the West that Doha is ready to solve its problems with the former and to alleviate concerns related to funding and backing terrorism.

Speaking justly and away from the media propaganda and Qatari policy, Doha has started the first step on the road whether in the agreement signed with the US to curb terrorism funding or in its approval to send officials from the US Department of Justice to the Public Prosecution in Qatar to pause accusations to funding-terrorism suspects.

This would limit Doha’s previous acts in supporting groups and individuals related to terrorism – according to Reuters, a US official said that arrests were made and scrutiny increased since the beginning of the crisis. He added that Qatari people have taken huge steps, which reveals that the boycotting countries have started to yield.

What matters is that Qatar implements the demands, regardless of the way it chooses to promote its concessions – the four states took diplomatic and economic procedures to oblige Doha to change its terrorism and extremism-supporting policies and Doha could have initially admitted committing to the agreement signed in Riyadh.

But Qatar preferred to seek the harder solution through the US, which means that the crisis period will extend until reaching an exit that fits the propaganda policy adopted by Doha.

As long as Sheikh Tamim avoids putting his finger on the problem and as long as he chooses that the solution comes from the West and not Kuwait – unlike what he said – then Qatar will isolate itself more and will prolong the crisis period.

But, what could be said to a state that considers choosing the longest roads and aborting the shortest to reach the same purpose an achievement and a great victory?

Filing Away the Qatari Crisis … Temporarily

Qatar

Forty-five days have passed since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt took their measures against Qatar. A Kuwaiti mediation tried and strove to resolve the crisis, but the isolated party ensured its failure from the very beginning when it leaked the demands of the four Arab countries. It then went beyond that and did not even comply with any of them.

The foreign ministers of the United States, France, Britain and Germany toured the region and their luck was not any better than Kuwait’s.

The four countries are firm in their stance and say that Doha signed the 2014 Riyadh agreement and has not committed to it, but it is time that it does. Any mediation less than that is unacceptable.

Qatar in return is insisting against respecting and committing to what it signed. It has announced that officially and boasts about it. It believes that playing the waiting game will be enough for the four countries to change their stance. It also believes that its reserve of 300 billion dollars will be enough to save it from the boycott of its neighbors.

As long as Doha believes that it can wage a long-term confrontation and insists on reneging on its pledges and as long as the four countries believe that they have shut the doorway of evil that has been open for too long, then there is no problem in filing away the Qatar crisis after the emirate has become isolated and unwanted. The crisis should be filed away until Doha regains its memory and seriously and rationally deals with the problem. As long as it does not change its political ideology, then its neighbors will be better off continuing on a path that does not include it.

The Saudi cabinet stressed its firm stance in continuing the measures adopted by the four countries until the Qatari authorities completely comply with the fair demands, which include confronting terrorism and achieving security and stability in the region. This is a stance, that since day one of the crisis, the countries have not wavered on.

UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said from London’s Chatham House on Monday: “We want a permanent solution and not one that will prolong the crisis. Diplomacy will remain our main course and we have said in the past that we will not escalate the situation beyond what is permitted by international law.”

Indeed, the permanent solution of rehabilitating the Qatari regime will require the four countries to continue their decision to clip Doha’s political nails that have scratched so much that blood has been shed everywhere.

Any temporary solution will only exacerbate the crisis and the region will once again return to square one. Without a permanent and radical solution the crisis will continue and with greater intensity. The difference this time is that the Qatari policy will operate in dark rooms and it will be alone and isolated on its path. It will not regain the ties that it exploited terribly in order to target the national security of its neighbors.

The four countries have succeeded in cutting the road halfway for Qatar. It will cross the remaining road when Doha expresses its desire to return to their fold and implement the commitments that are required of it.

It is certain that Qatar, which Gargash described as far back as 1995 as a “rebel looking for a cause” and which has found its way with extremist movements, will not be able to again play this revolutionary role. After today, it will no longer be able to spark fires throughout the region and be the only side with a firetruck.

One after the other, western foreign ministers left the area without being able to give Doha what it is bargaining on. The stances of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE are firm, their vision is clear and the commitments are known.

Gradually, Qatar will run out of options and the world, except for Iran and Turkey, is no longer even that concerned with its crisis. The days have gone by and it has found itself isolated after everyone washed their hands clean of it. If it was capable, as it claims, to confront the measures taken against it, then this is its decision and choice. The upcoming months will be a tough test of its claims.

The Kuwaiti mediation still stands and is ready to search for a solution and not waste time in international tours. As for the four countries, it is enough that they kept on giving Doha chance after chance. They have placed its crisis above all others because they are eager for their “sister” to return to them.

It is time however for them to walk without her as they have several crises and files to deal with in the next phase and away from Qatar, which ultimately chose to isolate itself.

Qatar: The Wolf Protecting the Sheep

Qatar

Hallowed be Allah! (Subhan Allah)

After it spent months attacking and warning against Donald Trump becoming a president. After spending six months in cautioning against his administration and disastrous policies, and after attacking its neighbors for strengthening their relations with the American ally, the Qatari policy towards the US made a 180-degree turn.

The US has become the ally that Qatar can’t do without. All of this happened following the crisis that erupted when four Arab countries severed their ties with Qatar.

Doha’s strategy changed in a blink of an eye. Principles were lost without any prior warning and all of its criticism against Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for their partnership with the strategic ally was forgotten.

Qatar is now doing more than what it used to criticize its neighboring countries of doing.

It has gone beyond voicing its reservations to the Arab-Islamic-US Summit that was held in Riyadh and is now throwing itself in the American lap, which has become its safe haven. The US president in his first official statement on the fate of the Al Udeid US base, said there are a great number of countries ready to embrace the US troops should they be transferred from Qatar.

Of course, every country has the right to look for its best interests. At the same time, it is not strange that Doha changed its principles in a blink of an eye because it knew full well that it is in a weak position following its latest isolation. It has realized that the pressure against it has grown too much and the US “eye” is now monitoring its every move and game.

The US administration’s days of tolerance of the Muslim Brotherhood during former President Barack Obama’s presidency are long gone now, especially after Qatar had banked on Washington to continue on looking the other way to its funding and empowering of terrorist groups. This primarily includes the Muslim Brotherhood which Doha used to and is still financing and supporting.

Yet, amending relations with Washington during Trump’s presidency won’t be as easy as Qatar thinks, unless it changes it creed that developed immensely during his predecessor’s tenure.

Washington believes that Qatar should be a target in any counterterrorism effort. After Trump’s inauguration and for the first time since the September 2001 attacks, the US now has a greater chance in ending terrorism and its sources more effectively in the Middle East.

The Washington Post says US efforts to combat terrorism will force Washington to reconsider its foreign policies and alliances, especially with countries that are believed to be supporting terrorism and even if they host US military bases, such as Qatar. Washington must now remember who its primary allies in the region are, such as Saudi Arabia, the world’s main oil market leader and one of the biggest investors in US Treasuries.

It was significant that the Washington Post, while commenting on US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Qatar, which was aimed at reaching a joint agreement on ending terrorism financing, something which Doha has been slow in committing to, sarcastically described it as “entrusting the wolf to protect the sheep.”

One might say that after some 40 days of the four countries’ boycott that they have reached the halfway mark with Qatar and halted its disruptive project in the region, while keeping in mind that all of this happened and Doha has still not committed to the demands made to it.

Yet, the international attention and focus on all of its declared and hidden policies has prompted Qatar to think a thousand times before taking any step that would confirm that it is guilty of what the world had previously turned a blind eye to.

For instance, now, Qatar cannot pay half a billion dollars to extremist militias in Iraq as it did in the past to release its 26 captives. It will not be able to strike a deal with al-Nusra Front and displace residents of four Syrian towns. It cannot make a deal with an internationally classified terrorist group to release the nuns.

There are so many things that Qatar will not be able to do anymore.

Clearly, the current crisis with Qatar is heading towards temporary separation. The four countries calling for combating terrorism are not in a hurry to get rid of a destructive Qatari creed that has been operating for 21 years.

The ball is in Qatar’s court now. It should either rehabilitate its political creed and become a reasonable state like any other or it has to endure this long political and economic isolation, which only it can end.

Contrary to what it believes, Qatar’s turn to Washington and its attempt to return to an alliance with it, similar to what the Gulf states and Egypt did before it, will pave the way for rehabilitating its regime and not bypass what the four countries are demanding.

Qatar: The Tortoise-like Policy

Qatar

Qatar is dealing with its vicinity similarly to the tortoise when it senses danger. After 39 days of the boycott, Doha has only made one step out of hundred due others – it signed a memorandum of understanding with the US on fighting terrorism funding.

Qatar procrastinated long before taking this small step, which ensured that it still has a long way to go.

Doha was disclosed by revealing Riyadh Declaration details – it wanted to tell the world through its US ally that it is advancing in the fight against terrorism. Theoretically this might be true, but how much time does Doha still have to move forward in its pending crisis?

Honestly, if Qatar sticks to its attitude and its tortoise-like and acting-smart policy in anticipation of upcoming surprises, then there won’t be any light at the end of the tunnel.

If Doha wishes to extend the crisis then let it be. It is Qatar that is suffering from the boycott. It is Qatar whose land borders are closed and is experiencing economic, political, security and social agony. It is Qatar that is complaining.

Nothing of what has been mentioned affects the four states that have enough patience to achieve their vision and adjust Doha’s attitude. Procedures taken against Doha – as revealed by the four states’ statements on Wednesday – were the result of Qatari authorities continuous activities that back terrorism, fund it, embrace extremists, spread hatred and extremism, and interfere in internal affairs of other states.

These activities should be completely brought to an end in execution of the legit and just demands. Let Doha endure a boycott that might last for months or years as long as it continues with these activities and shows no willingness to stop them or abide by its obligations.

Let’s recall that several regimes chose the policy of intransigence over maturity – a quick glance over them gives us an assumption of where Qatar is heading.

As for Doha’s reliance on a western pressure – especially from the US or UK – these are no more than mistaken political considerations. These states are playing their role to contain the political crisis since they are allies but at the end of the day their diplomacy will have a limit.

It is true that foreign ministers perform their diplomatic roles but it is incorrect to wait for a pressure from these states for one simple reason: the four states didn’t violate the international law or any state’s sovereignty until now in their procedures.

All what these states did was that they hurdled interests of another state on their land.

Therefore, no state – no matter how strong – can oblige these states to change their stance.

Also, despite the western countries diplomatic efforts but they are aware that the solution must be a Gulf one or as the White House previously stated that it is a “family issue”.

It is a family issue. Even the British foreign minister reduced expectations from his visit when he stated in Kuwait that it is unlikely to reach a prompt solution and that the crisis will last long. While the State Department spokesman stated that it is early to expect reaching an outcome, adding that there are months away from a true solution.

The US minister efforts are appreciated by the four states. What counts is Washington’s ability to contribute in a solution based on the six declared principles of Cairo meeting that represent highlights that Qatar is expected to abide by.

The Qatari camouflage step in signing a MoU disclosed Doha claims of previously fighting terrorism, else why didn’t it sign this memorandum years ago but waited until the quadrille-boycott? The agreement is the same.

Doha is in a quest to promote this stance and to cash in on it from Washington. Qatar seems unaware that it will seek US help then return eventually to Riyadh for resolving its crisis.

It’s Goodbye Qatar!

Arab foreign ministers attend a press conference after their meeting that discussed the diplomatic situation with Qatar, in Cairo

The only surprise that didn’t happen on Wednesday was a positive Qatari response to Kuwaiti emir’s mediation that could have ended the current crisis. The negative response was nothing new; it was expected just like all other reactions that came from Qatar after Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt severed ties with it a month ago.

All that is needed from Qatar is to stop its aggressive policies and attitudes and become a rational state. What is requested from it is already applied by other states, this is the best response to Qatar’s repeated statements that the demands violate its sovereignty.

This is the truth said, a truth that is being manipulated by Doha to serve vanity.

It is important to mention that when the four countries decided to take this decisive and bold step, they were fully aware that the road to ending Qatar’s rashness and aggressive attitude will be long and bumpy.

Patience is what these four states have, unlike their rebellious neighbor. Qatar has been warned first then boycotted before being isolated – economic procedures were natural and a small part of a due bill that has accumulated with time – though late.

The upcoming stage will witness a quadruple insistence on the return of Qatar to normalcy and its persistence to stay out of line will no longer be an option after 5 June.

Unfortunately, the main Qatari goal to shake Saudi’s stability and divide it should always be recalled – this was the dream of the former emir who has proven that Qatari leaders are following his path.

Disregarding this destructive purpose, it wouldn’t be easy to analyze the Qatari attitude. Let go of attempts to simplify the dispute as if it is only related to the relations with Iran and Al Jazeera – these are only tools to a bigger project.

This shows that Qatar is incapable of getting rid of suspicious ties to which the regime has linked itself for two decades and that the next phase would be more difficult to Doha, as it won’t be able to benefit from free mutual interests and features anymore while it conspires against its neighbors.

Simple. You are posing a threat on my security and stability and planning to destroy my country. It is time to be faced with two options: you either come to your senses and rehabilitate your political dogma or endure consequences and pay a costly price.

One highly important point is that action taken against Doha doesn’t follow Qatar’s path. No support was given to terrorist groups to implement destructive activities in Qatar and no intelligence acts were conducted inside the country to undermine its national security.

This is part of what Qatar has been doing in the region for years. The only thing these states did was to practice their right in depriving Qatar of the interests it made use of for a long time. It is weird how Doha insists on its destructive policy in the region and at the same time wants to act as a brotherly country.

The steps taken against Qatar were smart and rational because they were carefully studied and no term in the international law was violated – Qatar that has chosen to keep the current situation as it is and not resolve the dispute should anticipate more sanctions from the four states.

Soon, the cost of carrying out commercial activities in Qatar will increase especially among its international partners.

Since day one of the crisis the four states had a basic message: it is time to close the open door of evil with Qatar. The response stressed that Doha is capable of managing its affairs without the need of its neighboring and brotherly countries. Let Qatar walk alone and days will prove who can’t but return. Qatar will come back later on – whether it likes it or not – after the chaos created by its policies and destructive dogma is settled.

Qatar…Four Days Left

Qatar

Whether there are 4 or 40 days left of the term granted by the four countries to Qatar, Doha doesn’t seem determined to find a solution for the most dangerous crisis of its modern history.

Qatar is mostly trying to maneuver around the 13 demands of the countries boycotting it- Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. It even said the conditions are impossible to meet.

Doha is overlooking the fact that these demands aim to put an end to terrorism support and interference in internal affairs of other countries. It is the Qatari behavior that led it to this point.

Describing the requests as impossible exposes Doha’s failure to comply with demands it had previously pledged to and surely didn’t execute.

Qatar is fully aware that meeting the demands will lead to overcoming this crisis, and simultaneously, it realizes that this time the commitments will be drastically different. There is no chance of manipulating the deals like it used to do.

In responding to the boycotting countries’ accusations of funding terrorism, Doha tries to portray itself as a little lamb.

Did the four countries overreact?

Facts show that Saudi Arabia and the other countries had previously presented Qatar with a list of wanted persons involved in terrorist activities targeting the security and stability of the kingdom and its citizens.

Despite its promises, Qatar received more, allowed them to conspire against their native nations and even granted some the Qatari nationality. It protected members and leaders of terrorist and extremist groups and granted them its full support inside and outside the country.

In a March 2014, US Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said Qatar “has become such a permissive terrorist financing environment, that several major Qatar-based fundraisers act as local representatives for larger terrorist fundraising networks that are based in Kuwait.”

Cohen added that Qatari government is supporting extremist groups operating in Syria.

“To say the least,” he concluded, “this threatens to aggravate an already volatile situation in a particularly dangerous and unwelcome manner.”

Is that all? No.

A 2014 State Department country report on terrorism reported Qatar shutting down Saad al-Kaabi’s online fundraising platform, yet a year later, a subsequent Treasury sanctions designation noted Kaabi was still actively involved in financing al-Qaeda in Syria.

Another case involves Abd al-Malik Abd al-Salam, known as Umar al-Qatari, Jordanian with Qatari residency, who provided “broad support” to al-Qaeda in Syria, according to the Treasury.

In 2011 and 2012 Umar al-Qatari worked with associates in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, and Iran to raise and move funds, weapons, and facilitate fighter travel.

The authorities did nothing to clear their name, not to forget harboring one of the most dangerous terrorist, the mastermind behind September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and then releasing him.

There are many cases during which Qatari authorities supported terrorism on its territories and under the protection of governmental institutions.

Did Qatar surprise us by not responding to the demands? Surely not. Can it return to the Gulf union? The answer is yes, but wishing alone is not enough to solve rooted political problems.

Four days are left and Qatar is continuing its revolutionary policy preferring to hit a brick wall rather than dealing with the straining issue wisely. Up till now, Doha is in shock and anger and when it wakes, no one can know when that will happen, and accepts a serious solution for the crisis, it will then be too late and it would have suffered a loss too great for compensation.

The billions of dollars in its sovereign fund will be of no use and “money can buy you anything” principle will not save it.

A serious damage inflicted the system itself and the only way to restore it is through a dangerous surgery.

The worse is yet to come, Qatar.

A Lesson in Saudi Arabia’s Royal Reshuffle

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. AP

The video clip, which showed the allegiance of former Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Nayef to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was no longer than 26 seconds, yet it was enough to send strong messages to Saudi Arabia and other countries on the Royal house’s stability and ability to move forward amid harsh conditions. It also showed how the Saudis were able to decide on the succession of governance smoothly, like no other country would have managed.

By appointing a new crown prince in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the Kingdom has sent a strong message for the world countries confirming its stability and capability of moving forward in then same moderate approach.

It also proved that a country of the size of Saudi Arabia, the value of its economy and the wide range of its relations and alliances will always stay stable and secured, as it always has been, and in trustworthy leadership.

Its rulers change, yet its compass never deviates. It moves steadily in an area full of chaos, it is Saudi Arabia.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz descends from a royal family. Few hours after taking over the rule in January 2015, he was quick to complete the transition process, taking a historic decision to hand over the reins, for the first time in the history of the state, to the second generation of the family of the House of Saud. That step was huge and awaited by everyone in Saudi Arabia and abroad, and when the time came for it to be made, King Salman carried it out swiftly in keeping with the circumstances and the state’s need for it at this stage.

Throughout the two and a half years, the Saudi King has been able to establish a new generation of Al Saud working in harmony and led by Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a new and emerging phase of the history of the Kingdom.

That was clear whether through the decisions to appoint deputies of the princes in different areas or the last of those who were appointed on Wednesday. With the clarity of the future vision for Saudi Arabia, this new generation is expected by the citizens to make many achievements, and they have a huge responsibility to make the wishes of the citizens come true.

The Saudi stock market hit a rise that was the largest in two years at 5.5 percent just a few hours after the appointment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince. This was the natural response and the positive interaction of the market forces with the historic decision.

There is no clearer, more explicit indicator for the stability of any country than the stock market, or one that can not be manipulated over time as the capital markets; thus, the reaction of the Saudi stock market reflected the optimism of most Saudis about the change in their country.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman succeeded in developing the “Saudi Vision 2030” to achieve sustainable development, reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on oil and lead an unprecedented challenge to create a new face for the state that has to grow with the help of its people, not only oil.

Saudis have been accustomed since the establishment of this state 300 years ago to their monarchy system, which stipulates that the king is the one who chooses his crown prince. This mechanism continued even after the establishment of the third Saudi state by King Abdulaziz.

When the Allegiance Council was established, the 34 sons of the founding King participated in the selection of the Crown Prince under the banner of the Council, which is an integrated system for the appointment or exemption of the Crown Prince.

Undoubtedly, the choice is the exclusive responsibility of the ruling family, and the Saudi citizens trust what the family of Al Saud decides on. The Saudis have also been accustomed to pledge allegiance to the chosen king or crown prince. What is certain is that the choice has always been up to people’s trust, and this time won’t be different.

Saudi Arabia’s internal front proves every day that it is the magic formula for the stability of the kingdom, a front that harmonizes in a balanced rhythm whenever it needs to be strengthened more firmly. At the same time, this country affirms its own unique characteristic: it grows older but never ages.

Saudi Arabia has also become accustomed throughout its history to the fact that it is a cornerstone of stability.

The Series of Qatari Conspiracies, this Time in Bahrain

Bahrain

No country has suffered from Qatari violations as much as Bahrain. No country suffered pain and was dealt blows time after time from a sister and neighbor as much as Bahrain.

It all started with the historic dispute over the Hawar islands that International Criminal Court ruled to be Bahraini. Years after the verdict, Qatar dreamed of controlling the islands that are geographically closer to Bahrain than the emirate. The islands are historically, as proven by British documents, Bahraini.

Qatar’s complex with Bahrain however did not end with the International Criminal Court, but we can say that it started there.

Then Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem launched a diplomatic attack against the neighbor, Bahrain, accusing it of meddling in Qatari internal affairs.

Doha continued in its ill-intentions towards Bahrain, in secret and sometimes in the open, until the decisive moment arrived in the kingdom with a dark incident in its history in February 2011. At the time, the country’s Shi’ite opposition became divided between a moderate one that had grown confused and an armed one that demanded the establishment of a Khomeini-like Islamic republic and the ouster of the monarchy.

Perhaps the impact of the shock was great on Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf after Qatar stood from day-one with the chaos. Doha attempted to portray its stance as neutrality and its former Premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem was making initiatives between Bahrain and Qatar. These were initiatives that Manama did not ask for and never accepted to be begin with.

He did not know that Bahrain was aware of his secret contacts with the armed opposition. In fact, Doha was communicating with the armed opposition with complete ease, without caring about the possibility that its talks were being heard by Manama because it believed that the overthrow of the regime was only a matter of time.

Sheikh Hamad continued his attempts to implement a roadmap, form a “national salvation government” and organize new elections that would serve the extremist opposition. It goes without saying that King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa rejected this initiative and thank God he did, otherwise Iran would have swallowed Bahrain with its militias.

It is completely untrue what Doha said that Bahrain allowed Qatar to carry out a mediation or propose an initiative at the time. Bahrain completely rejected them and considered Qatar’s behavior meddling in its internal affairs.

I should point out here to two important developments. The first was when a major Saudi official angrily told Hamad bin Jassem “to know his place” while meeting him in Manama. The second was Hamad bin Jassem’s audacity to head to the former “Pearl” roundabout, the site of the protests, which was met with the ire of several senior Bahraini officials.

The new recordings that Bahrain revealed over the contacts carried out by the Qatari emir’s advisor and a hardline Bahraini opposition member have turned the spotlight again on Doha’s long history of conspiracies.

Even though I am convinced that many more details will be revealed in the future, what has been uncovered so far is enough to indicate that the threads of the conspiracy are larger and more complicated than can be resolved by avoiding the issue or baseless justifications as Doha is doing so right now.

Qatar’s quest to take control of the region cannot take place without targeting Saudi stability and sparking a revolt there, revealed the so-called Gadhafi recordings. Doha sought to harm Saudi Arabia, but Bahrain was able to end its crisis with the least damage possible through the help of its real brothers in the Saudi leadership.

Doha saw the historic opportunity wasted and Bahrain did not become part of the infamous Doha-backed Arab Spring.

After the armed Bahraini opposition announced its mission to change the regime and establish an Islamic republic, protesters stormed Manama’s financial center. I remember those moments very well. It was 8:00 am and I was watching al-Jazeera English channel as it was broadcasting the developments live. I still remember the reporter as she rejoiced that Bahrain’s monarchy was toppled and that the revolt was a success. “We are witnessing a new regime in Bahrain,” she said.

What took place on al-Jazeera summed up the truth of the Qatari plot that was really supporting the overthrow of the regime of its sister Bahrain. This explains Doha’s refusal later to take part in the Jazeera shield force that entered Bahrain. It is also the only country from among Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to fail to pay its dues in regards to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s approval of the Marshall plan to back Bahrain and Oman.

What other shocks can we expect from Qatar?

‘Starving The Beast’ Starts in Qatar

‘Starving The Beast’ Starts in Qatar

In the recent row rocking the Middle East, Qatar’s counter approach is far from impulsive or mimicking that of shock. Facing a boycott led by a bloc of three key GCC countries, joined by Egypt and others, Doha opted for escalation rather than allowing for reason to prevail.

This is not new to Qatar’s regime which resembles leftist and revolutionary systems in their stubbornness and intransigence— the peninsula nonstop exploited Gulf wisdom leaving it overworked.

Astonishingly, Doha’s indifference continues towards crackdown measures heading its way as the United States plans on imposing stringent sanctions in an effort to halt the funding of terrorism.

US President Donald Trump clearly gave priority to blocking terror funding in the new administration’s foreign policy agenda.

Consequentially, Trump understands that the way Qatar is tackled will paint for an enduring strategy that could be carried across the world.

Vowing to take the fight against terrorism to the very end, Trump said “we are going to starve the beast,” in reference to turning off the tap on funding. In that lies the hope of Qatar reading well and wise into these signs and reshaping its harmful policy.

All decisive measures being adopted by Washington are the first steps in a long list of upcoming procedures in the Trump way of “starving the beast.”

Defunding terrorism is conditioned by drying up all its sources, with Doha being one of them. However, Qatar’s reaction to the issue at hand remains indifferent, downsizing the crisis and branding it as another fleeting tiff.

Paradoxically, as Qatar reassures its people that they are well-protected by a strong contingency plan, it pushes forward with its standoff with the international community—Doha also has not been modest in its effort to advertise the current situation as a ‘Gaza-like’ blockade.

It does not seem like Qatar’s decision-makers follow that the new Trump administration strategy holds fallout of catastrophic measures to its people.

Clearly, Qatar is not serious about working on a solution that could end the boycott and mitigate its costs. Instead, the gas-rich country is bent on buying time as a tactic.

But reality dictates that Qatar will need to address the situation at hand and suture the wound before it worsens. If left unattended, the situation will have a massive domino effect that eventually would weaken Qatar’s position.
Options laid out on the table today might not be here tomorrow.

Washington will continue to weigh in so long that Doha has little to show on good intentions for true change.

Living in denial has followed the initial response stage, anger, but it will not be long before the march against funding extremism grows with larger crowds joining the parade.

With the US holding the banner, more countries are likely to join, with the biggest loser left in sight being Doha. It is simply a matter of time.

As to when Qatar would accept the new status quo, it does not seem soon– by the time it can potentially realize that, the train would have long left the station.

Rallying low key support from unknown NGOs and African political parties, and buying time through investing in Tehran, Ankara, Moscow, and Berlin only prolong the inevitable.

Having already lost a lot, Qatar understands well that the only way to settling the diplomatic crisis is to reconcile with Riyadh—any other approach would be short to a fool’s errand that reckless shot in the dark against the stability of its own people.

The Rolling Qatari Snowball

Qatar

Because Gulf warnings to the fellow neighbor were incessant for 21 years and the violation of pledges and agreements continued, confusion still prevails in Doha following the storm of cutting ties by neighboring countries and several others.

Qatar deemed this (sovereign) measure a hostile one, then it repeated the same old statements of diplomacy and dialogue, before turning to its friend Iran and also resorted to the forces of its ally Turkey. In another occasion, its ambassador in Washington said Qatar was ready to fix mistakes “should they be proven”.

In this way, Qatari diplomacy is wrapping the noose around its neck without taking any actual step that proves its positive approach towards the crisis that it caused because Doha is still adopting its former tactic of stalling without realizing that time is quickly running up.

Interestingly, Doha has not yet processed the real disaster it is experiencing. Following the reaction of the ties-cut decision and the designation of some Qatari citizens and institutions on the terrorism list, here comes another disaster, which is undermined by Doha. The real catastrophe is when the president of the most powerful country in the world openly accuses you of supporting terrorism, while your media and team deceive you by telling you that there is nothing to worry about. They are so disconnected from the reality as to describe the meeting between Trump and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani as “warm and friendly”!

The clear and painful truth is that Doha does not want to see is that Trump declared frankly: “The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a financer of terrorism at a very high level.” He added that it is time to call on Qatar to stop the funding.

Although Washington singled out Qatar in 2014 as a state that is lenient on terrorism funding, this time the message was delivered differently in its timing and type by a president whose main goal is to fight terrorism – unlike his predecessor Barack Obama. This is a crystal clear political message that the worse is yet to come for Qatar whether from regional countries, the US or even other countries that will join the attempt to end its connection with terrorism.

Washington’s stricter stance on Qatar indicates that the White House supports the decision of Arab-Gulf countries to isolate Qatar or as the American channel CBC said, the US administration has finalized its position on Qatar through siding with Saudi Arabia and other Arab and Islamic countries that are committed to fighting terrorism.

Yet until this moment, Qatar does not want to take an open strategic decision to stop the funding and support of terrorist groups because it has deemed the whole affair a political one. Is Qatar aware of the mounting crisis due to its insistence on avoiding the truth instead of regaining the initiative and quickly solving its problems?!

Six days after the ties-cut, Qatari reactions have all focused on reinforcing the concept of conspiracy against it. I don’t know what Qatar has for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and US to conspire against it. There is no single reason that would make these countries abandon their causes – and they are many – and focus on conspiring against Qatar!

The only proven conspiracy we have is the one in which its former emir and prime minister sought with Gadhafi to divide Saudi Arabia and fuel a revolt there. If Qatar is sincere in its wish to avoid strife, then it should change its behavior, build confidence and restore its credibility.

All it should do is revise its regional policies so that they become more moderate, like other countries. However, playing the victim and launching nationalist slogans will not stop the rolling snowball.

What Qatar will pay today to correct its attitude is much less than what it will pay later. The longer it takes to acknowledge and correct the problem, the greater the dues become in the 21 years of unpaid taxes.