By M.A. Saki

Bullying and humiliating little Qatar

July 4, 2017

Saudi Arabia - along with the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain - has been leading a blockade of the tiny country of Qatar for a month to force it to give in to its humiliating demands which include curbing ties with Iran, closing the Turkish military base on its soil, shutting the Al-Jazeera news network, and cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood among other things.

The worse is that Saudi Arabia has set a strict deadline that Qatar meet the demands.

Saudi Arabia initially claimed that the main reason behind closing sea, land and air routes to Qatar is for Doha’s support for extremist groups. However, one can hardly believe such argumentation because it is not a secret that Saudi Arabia itself has been the chief ideological supporter and financier of extremism in the region and the larger world.

What is quite obvious is that Saudi Arabia is extremely envious of Qatar, a very small and rich state which is emerging highly successful economically, culturally and diplomatically.

The demand to close Al-Jazeera shows that Saudi Arabia as an absolute monarchy which does not tolerate press freedom or dissenting voice sees Al-Jazeera as a bone in its throat.

Egypt and the UAE, though unhappy with Doha’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, did a blow to their dignity and international standing by obeying Riyadh in imposing sanctions on Qatar. 

There will be no guarantee that Saudi Arabia which today sets strict demands to humiliate Qatar to adopt such a behavior toward the UAE, also a small country, another day.

Though no sensible person agrees to what Qatar has been doing such as its support for some radical militants in Syria, it has been behaving somehow like Switzerland of the Middle East by mediating between hostile groups such as the Afghan government and the Taliban, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, warring sides in Sudan, etc.

These demands show that the Saddam-like mentality which led to the occupation of Kuwait in 1990 still exists in the region and there are still countries in the region which are not shy to bully small countries.


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