Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Be Clear About What You Stand For
This caricature depicts the way I feel about Qatar.
Who are we kidding ourselves by believing that the Qatari Airlines defied the Israeli air blockade by venturing out to Beirut yesterday? The Washington Post here reported that the Qataris got clearance prior to the trip from Israel.
It's interesting to see that a gulf country, other than the typical Saudi Arabia, is dabbling with politics, which usually gulf countries like to eschew. Gulf countries are always known to send money, not troops nor emissaries. But Qatar, apart from Al-Jazeera, wants to carve out for itself a place on the table.
I say, Great! But the downside is that Qatar just doesn't know what it stands for.
First, Qatar being a current member on the UN Security Council opposed UNSCR 1701, yet it just decided to send some 200 to 500 troops as part of the beefed-up UNIFIL peacekeeping force in the south (a la 1701).
Second, Al-Jazeera was one of the first Arab channels to interview Sayyid Nasrallah during the month-long war and has even dubbed that war the "Sixth War" and of course has openly supported Hizbullah in its war with Israel, unlike Saudi for instance. Yet on the other hand, Qatar is sending its troops to the south as part of an effort that consolidates the Lebanese state's control over its territories.
Third, Qatar has attempted at bridging the divide between Syria and Lebanon by taking up a mediator role of sorts taking the side of Syria, yet at the same time, I hear rumors circulating that Qatar is mediating secretly between Syria and Israel. Wow!
Fourth, the "defying the blockade" incident when Qatar has gotten Israel's permission, knowing very well that both countries cooperate economically.
And so this goes straight to the puzzling question in my mind: Al-Jazeera's political stands versus Qatar's diplomatic relations with Israel. A contradiction. It's none of my business to question any country's policies, heck, most Arab countries have such double standards shouting, "Hey look at me!", but out of concern, you cannot dabble in everything, you're a political novice, thank you for your efforts, but be clear about what you stand for lest you lose your credibility.
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."
Posted by Doha at 10:47 AM