The first and last ‘Evil Sheikhs’ in the Gulf

April 30, 2020
Tariq Al-Homayed

The bilateral relations among the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have always not been exemplary. But these ties had never encountered immorality in rivalry in the past unlike what has happened and is happening since 1996 when Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani appeared on the Qatar-Gulf political scene. This was after a coup against his father the late Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani.

Of course, since its establishment as an entity, the GCC had witnessed political and economic competition, and its relations often worsened even over an issue of football, but it has never known a stormy dispute that affected the security of the Gulf countries.

There have been differences among the Gulf States but they were like the differences among sons in a house — silent differences with some venting out feelings and sentiments — but they did not come under any media limelight. But under the “Sheikhs,” this scenario has also changed.

Here, we talk about the sheikhs who are rulers. It is customary that the other sheikhs resolve differences among sheikhs. However, things changed upside down since the 1996 coup in Doha, where dispute has become a struggle, competition has turned into fueling crises and attempts to penetrate, in addition to breaking the ranks of the GCC states, especially attempts aimed to harm Saudi Arabia. This expanded further as an unprecedented attack on everyone.

We are not talking here about the moments of disagreement and conflict, the first of which was after Hamad Bin Khalifa’s coup against his father. However, each time there had been attempts for Gulf reconciliation, or Saudi-Emirati-Qatari reconciliation, they saw to it that the reconciliation did not happen.

I would like to cite an example of the repeated lies of Hamad Bin Khalifa’s Qatar, and the continuous hostile approach of his regime. In March 2008, Saudi Crown Prince Sultan visited Doha, following the formation of the Saudi-Qatari Committee, and that was after the reconciliation — perhaps the third or fourth with Qatar.

I was part of the accompanying media delegation. As editors in chief of Saudi newspapers, we met Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim and during that meeting he said that the Saudi-Qatari dispute had deprived Doha the opportunity of bringing in Saudi investors, which turned out to be an opportunity for Dubai.

Hamad Bin Jassim told us to write what he was saying that Qatar welcomes the Saudi investor, describing Saudi Arabia at the time as “a backbone to the GCC!

Then it became clear, of course, that they were false statements like the rest of Qatar’s lies. Everyone heard the famous leaked tape of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa and Hamad Bin Jassim in their conspiratorial conversation with Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi on the security and unity of Saudi Arabia, and that proves that evil is part of the Qatari regime.

Since 1996, they have been targeting Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the rest of the GCC in various forms. It is a systematic act rather than a reaction or the act of a specific time period.

What Qatar has done, and is doing, towards the GCC states is a continuous subversive approach, unprecedented in all its chapters. It is also unethical to destroy the GCC and its countries and abuse its symbols.

The Qatari approach or the Hamadi approach is similar to the Qaddafi approach that mobilized mercenaries to harm moderate Arab countries.

Since 1996 until now, Qatar’s Hamad Bin Khalifa has followed the approach of Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein, by using political mercenaries, the media and whoever else that proved to be the most dangerous elements to harm the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

It cannot be said that this is the approach of a state. Rather, it is the approach of individuals who will be reduced to part of history to just a few lines in a book, as that was the case with the evil Qaddafi, and his approach.

That is why I say that Hamad Bin Khalifa is the first and the last “Sheikhs of Evil” in our GCC and this phrase is not referred to all other Sheikhs in our entity. Here, I call these specific “Ruling Sheikhs” as evil but others are wise and trustworthy sheikhs.

April 30, 2020
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