THERE are times when some people inflate their nationalistic ego to the point of seeing their country, despite its actual size, population and capabilities, as a major country. This was the prevailing norm in Kuwait prior to Aug 1990. Back then, we used to consider our country as a major and influential country, and that no country in this world can even attempt to act militarily against us.
Nonetheless, Iraq invaded us, and we did not find any resort apart from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) organization, which became our fortress and the first line of defense with Saudi Arabia on the frontline.
If it wasn’t for the solid stance of the GCC countries in defending the Kuwaiti right, the world would not have stood with us. Kuwait would have been like an Iraq-occupied Ahvaz just like the way Iran has been occupying that Arab area since 1927 without hearing any protest from the global community against such an occupation.
This is why we say the GCC organization is the resort and cover that we should hold on to tightly, especially considering the bitter experience Kuwait underwent in 1990. If it wasn’t for this council, Kuwait would not be here today.
In the past six years, Iran attempted to directly interfere in the affairs of Bahrain under the pretext of the “Arab Spring” in a bid to push it into the furnace of chaos as a possible prelude to Iran’s invasion.
However, the position taken by the GCC countries and the deployment of the Peninsular Shield Forces in Bahrain led Iran to abort its expansionism scheme. The ultimate objective of this scheme was to control every Arab country in the region, and occupy two of the Islamic holy places — Makkah and Madinah.
Therefore, the proverb “Unity is Strength and Division is Weakness” applies perfectly to the unified stance taken by the GCC in major historic turns.
We are saying this in order to remind that any division, regardless its size, will create opportunity for adversaries to infiltrate into our countries one by one and divide us completely.
This is why we have been sadly seeing what has been transpiring between Qatar and other GCC countries, especially the recent crisis that occurred after the Qatar news agency, its official television channels and websites were hacked. This is what we believe — here we are talking on behalf of information media, which is keen for unity among the GCC countries. However, we have to ask — Wasn’t whatever that has been published the core position of Qatar which was announced in the past on various occasions?
Based on these proven facts concerning our differences with Qatar, we do not want it to become the Trojan horse which the terrorists and murderers would use to infiltrate us. This is what our countries fear would end up happening to Qatar, which is currently a country of strong economy and wide international relations.
Qatar’s policies are based on the so-called “defending nations’ rights for freedom and to lift oppression from such nations”. Considering this fact, was defending the freedom and rights of oppressed people the main factor of what transpired in Tunisia, Libya, Syria, and currently in Iraq?
Are Kuwaitis, Saudis, Emiratis or Omanis oppressed in order to incite them indirectly against their countries?
If the one holding the motto of defending the rights of nations is sincere, why doesn’t he defend the rights of the Iranian people or at least the Arabs in Ahvaz region?
Perhaps he does not see the Iranian occupation because he is busy supporting the Muslim Brotherhood Group, which is striving to destroy Egypt and cause sectarian tension after it was toppled from power by the Egyptians, as well as striving to provoke chaos in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
Some could be oblivious to the fact that the GCC’s experience is regarded to be solid and unique in the history of Arab unity. Its success is reflected daily in its economy, security, politics and its regional and global relations.
In 1981, when the late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad, King Fahad Abdulaziz and Sheikh Zayed Sultan called for countering the dangers lurking in the region through this council, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman had rapidly and positively responded to the call throughout past decades, leading to proper birth of this entity and its full ability to counter the toughest storms.
Is it easy to sacrifice this fortress, which protects each member of the council, in response to the desire of one of its members or due to dispute over a wrongly-taken position?
It is true that the exit of a member or two from the GCC will not affect it. However, it will undoubtedly bother its nationals who are linked by blood, affinity and the same culture, and enjoy economy movement that is developing with every step on the level of economic unity among its members such as the customs union, electricity transmission and freedom of movement.
On whose account are we sacrificing all these? Is it on the account of defending Iran, or Hamas or Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood Group and the gangs which branched off from it and other countries, and are regarded as terrorist groups by the entire world?
Are all countries in the world wrong except for one country?
All that is left to say is that such frank talks come from the keenness to aid an aggrieved brother with advice, and to stand with him because “Your true friend is the sincere one.”
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times