The mouse that roared: How Saudi Arabia underestimated Qatar


Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A regular pundit on RT and other networks her work has appeared in major publications: MintPress, the Foreign Policy Journal, Mehr News and many others.Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. She is the author of Arabia’s Rising – Under The Banner Of The First Imam
The mouse that roared: How Saudi Arabia underestimated Qatar
There is a certain irony to the crisis that ails the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), now that Qatar has been labelled a pariah by Saudi Arabia. Terror aside, this stand-off has potential to reshape the region into a completely new geopolitical entity.

How fast yesterday’s allies become today’s enemies, and those we long held as foes sit together as reliable partners in a time of crisis. I don’t think that many political analysts can claim to have predicted Saudi Arabia’s fall from grace. Yet the writing was on the wall for all to see. Crude, pragmatic and as inevitable as man’s greed before the alluring calls of power.

Both insignificant and geopolitically incontournable, I fear. Or maybe it is hoped that Qatar will be the mouse in Saudi Arabia’s fable, the one uncounted variable that will see the kingdom crashing down out of a desire to over-reach.

Actually it is more than that. Saudi Arabia is unraveling at the seams from arrogant political myopia and a persistent sense of self-righteous geopolitical entitlement. The al-Saud monarchy imagined it could mould the region to its whim, failing to realize that for every grand oppression there has been a resistance to match in kind.

Let’s put aside those allegations that Qatar has in fact assisted the architecture of terror from within the confines of the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t think that anyone doubts Qatar’s guilt, and more importantly, role, in promoting terrorism to exert political traction.

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Of course Qatar is guilty. Of course it should answer to the many grave crimes its policies forwarded since they lead to mass murder, and one could even argue genocide, in the Greater Middle East.

However, before we selectively blame Qatar, let’s remember that it was not exactly acting alone. More to the point, it benefited from many political friendships despite its Muslim Brotherhood connections – namely the United States. To now sit and play outrage is just a little too convenient. Are we supposed to believe that before plonking its military outposts on foreign land the United States does not perform due diligence? Have we forgotten what praises were showered upon Qatar for its support of America’s efforts against terrorism?


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