The title of the article ‘Devil’s Advocate’ has nothing to do with the well-known film of movie star Al Pacino, but rather a title that was given by the Roman Catholic Church to the man of law appointed by the Church to criticize and argue the laws made by the legislators and this shows the weak side of the issue.
He is also the person appointed by the Church to look at the past personality that is intended to be adapted to the degree of holiness and to search his biography to ascertain whether he deserves to be corrected or not. However, I will be the Devi’s Advocate in this article but from a different perspective.
The British ambassador to Kuwait, Michael Davenport, said that there was an intention to conclude a temporary British military pact in Kuwait, at the request of the latter, in anticipation of any external risks, especially the intentions of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization group.
History tells us that the relations between Britain and Kuwait began during Mubarak’s rule in 1899, with the aim of protecting Kuwait from the ambitions of the Ottoman Empire and the British warships remained stationed in the port to defend the country.
Britain also played the greatest role in defeating the ‘Ikhwan’ aggression in 1920. Its role in eliminating Abdulkarim Qassim’s ambitions in the early 1960s was decisive. The British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1990 played yet another vital role in creating the American-led international coalition that defeated the forces of Saddam Hussein after the latter occupied Kuwait for seven months.
Despite Kuwait’s significant role in mediating between Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Qatar, only the latter has so far clearly declared its acceptance within the GCC. Here, perhaps the British role in support of Kuwait’s efforts, and put pressure on the rest of the parties.
MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl who warned that Kuwait may be exposed to boycott or pressure has called on the government to be prepared saying, “Food security and medical security are important issues especially as the situation is turbulent in some countries.”
This in addition to the undeniable pressure seen coming from the Popular Mobilization in Iraq so just assurances and brushing away fears cannot be relied on.
The friendship between Britain and Kuwait has always been outstanding throughout its history, and I never remember that it was questionable at any time. Kuwait perhaps has so far, a preference of tax-exempt state that has never been given to any other state, which has saved hundreds of millions of investment funds.
Many observers believe that Britain is the best among international powers to deal with the tensions in the region under the current crisis, an ally that is easy to deal with clearly, unlike the United States, especially in its current political situation.
We did not forget that Britain was the first to rush to the rescue of Kuwait shortly after its independence, when Abdulkarim Qassim demanded to annex it, on a day when there was no strategic dimension or cooperation council or the Arab League which is today in a deep sleep.
Had it not been for some parties, such as president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was against the return of the British presence in Eastern Suez, perhaps the Arab forces would not have come to defend Kuwait.
Let us not forget that Britain had the upper hand in politics and security in Kuwait from 1899 to 1960, when we had nothing and left us after Kuwait became a oil-rich country.
I wish, only wish as I am not in a position to decide, and I will not be, to give Britain the due recognition and importance, and to intensify its military presence. The American forces in Kuwait, to my knowledge, have nothing to do with our security as much as it is a US military base.
Therefore, we are in dire need of protection, and Britain is the only one that has stood with us heart and soul for 120 years, and any words otherwise that are most inaccurate.
We must intensify our cooperation in all areas, and use their experience in restructuring our tax system, internal security, traffic, health and ports, because such cooperation is a win-win situation.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf