Tuesday, September 3, 2013

QATAR PRINCE; A RESIGNATION OR A PARADIGM SHIFT? By Ghassan Kadi , June 2013

QATAR PRINCE; A RESIGNATION OR A PARADIGM SHIFT?
By Ghassan Kadi
June 2013

It has been reported that the Prince of Qatar is stepping down. He will be passing the reigns to his son Tamim. The reasons have not been clarified in a manner that is credible and customary.

Moreover, the Prime Minister Hamed Bin Jasem, Qatar’s powerful man and the real mover and shaker is also stepping down. It has to be remembered that to see the PM as the next in command would be a gross understatement. The Prince and his PM have worked together on reshaping Qatar, all the way from founding Al-Jazeera to funding the FSA. If anything, the PM might have played a bigger role in this whole re-birthing of the tiny “nation” that is trying so hard to find a place for itself among the big boys and real nations.

It is reported that the motive for the reshuffle was the desire of the leadership to have a smooth transition to a younger generation. Such a move would be relatively unusual in Gulf Arab politics. It is customary for Gulf Arab heads of state to continue in office until death. It is also customary for Gulf leaders, including Saudi Monarchs to informally retire leaving the helm in the hands of their successor. It is often seen that King Fahed of Saudi Arabia reigned when his brother King Khaled was on the throne, and by the time he became king, he was too old and ill and Abdallah took over (present king).

An early retirement is a story that is hard to buy and sell. The reality behind this can only be seen from one or two perspectives. The Prince and his PM are quitting because their policies have failed in Syria, a failure that may have repercussions on Qatar unless it changes its stance, and/or a face-saving act of grace that also looks good in the West.

Either way, this is a victory for Syria and specifically a victory for President Assad.

Either way also, the Prince and his PM will not be missed in the Arab world. They have availed Arab land for the USA and its “Coalition of the Willing” to invade another Arab country. They have taken part in the NATO attack on Libya, and they tried to destroy Syria.

Though it is highly doubtful that Tamim will be better than his dad, it is good to see those heads rolling. They will soon be put in the rubbish bin of history.

Is it fortuitous to say that this news of resignation is coming within the same week of other leaking news and which indicates that the West is beginning to cordially flirt with President Assad?

Apparently, the IMF has offered Syria low interest loans to the tune of USD 21 billion, but Assad turned it down. Assad made it clear that he will reciprocate loyalty, and this context, oil and gas drilling contracts will be given to the Russians and Chinese, and Western companies will not even be partaking in the reconstruction. This is a far cry from the minefield that Hallibutron has paved for itself after the fall of Baghdad.

Assad is making it very clear and loud. This is a paradigm shift. The time of Western dominance in the Levant is coming to an end. Some pundits may say he is replacing NATO with BRICS, in reality, the BRICS nations see him as a partner and an ally, but on the other hand, the West has always seen the Gulf royalties as ignorant uncivilized puppets.

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