THE Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has proven its strength and stability in the last 36 years. It has been like that since its early and tender age when it faced several quakes from both inside and outside, even by some member states, particularly Qatar, that attempted to undermine and dismantle it.
Nevertheless, efforts contributed to the enhancement of its immunity. A testimony of that fact is the strength of its unity, which the world witnessed in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. This was the toughest test for the GCC and its ability to withstand and face challenges.
The member states had rapidly enhanced the strength of the GCC, despite the latter being only nine years since its inception at that time, and opened its doors for all Kuwaitis. It went on to gather international support to rally behind its forces with the aim of liberating Kuwait from the invasion.
For the past three and a half decades, Iran has been striving to undermine the GCC in order to isolate each of the member states one by one. However, its mischievous efforts clashed with the firmness and resolve of the GCC despite the differences in opinion that sometimes arise among its member states.
Even when Iran engaged in internal struggles in its neighboring countries and used sectarian and creedal pretexts to interfere in the affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it found itself in a situation alike fighting windmills and lost heavily.
Despite all these historical facts, it is unfortunate that the decision-makers in some countries are mindless of them. They fail to realize that the umbrella given by the GCC to all of its six member states was the one that prevented them from succumbing to the crises witnessed in the Arab world in the last four decades.
Therefore, delusional is the country that undermines this council from the inside, because the remaining five members are well aware of the importance of this pack. It is not expected of Kuwait to take a suicidal move of any kind especially after it tasted the worthiness of the pack when the latter played a major role in liberating Kuwait in 1990.
Not even Kingdom of Bahrain, which is currently protected by the “Peninsula Shield Forces” in facing Iran, would think of undermining the GCC. Neither would the Sultanate of Oman, nor the United Arab Emirates, nor the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would do such a thing.
These countries have wise and well-guided leaderships that look forward into the future and know the meaning of continuity of the pack, which can withstand any challenge irrespective of its intensity.
In addition to that, the current Gulf crisis has proven the level at which the major countries, starting with the United States of America, through China, France and Britain, and ending with Russia, are striving to maintain the unity of this Arab institution, which has succeeded in forming economic and political might and made it capable of taking up a vital role in the world without incurring high costs.
Hence, these major countries are strongly encouraging and supporting efforts to solve the crisis internally through Kuwait’s mediation led by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Today, a fact that everyone has to acknowledge is that anyone who is out of the pack is attracting misfortune on himself, because he is being brought into isolation by the enemies.
Therefore, it is possible to understand the keenness to stand firm against those who have left the pack so that countries can be prevented from eyeing us and attempting to infiltrate through them.
In politics, it is naïve to judge a book by its cover. That is why when a former Iranian ambassador in Qatar announced that Doha has been striving to leave the GCC for quite some time, he was only disclosing the side of the scheme that is patronized by Tehran, and was indirectly saying, “What Iran has not been able to fulfill in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, it can do so through Qatar”.
Given the fact that the standing orders of the GCC do not permit expulsion of any member from this pack or even suspension of membership, the member who decides to exit would be bringing woe on himself because he will lose the protection cover that he enjoyed while he was part of the pack.
It is then that such a member will find himself being alone, facing perhaps Iran, Turkey, Israel or any country that is striving to undermine the GCC and weaken its members. That is when everything would fall asunder.
Whatever the dreams of Iran are, it is impossible to hide the fact that the GCC is here to stay and will always be, even if one of its members decide to “self-expel”.
The remaining five members will never make such suicidal moves. Instead, the immunity of the GCC will continue to strengthen and its resolve will be further fortified especially when one of its own continues to dance outside the pack or even bring trouble to the rest.
It is certain that Qatar, which is today being aggressive towards the GCC and insinuating its intention to withdraw its membership, will bite its fingers in regret when it finds itself alone outside the pack. At that time, crying over spilled milk will be of no avail.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times