As the crisis surrounding Qatar worsens, Riyadh may soon show the region a terrible example of what happens to rulers who defy Saudi Arabia’s willby Anatol Lieven / July 18, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
The crisis surrounding Qatar—where I work as a professor at Georgetown University’s campus—is an indication of the bankruptcy of the US’s hegemony in the Middle East. This failure is by no means due to mistakes by the US alone, catastrophic though these have been. It also stems from ferocious regional divisions, exacerbated by population growth and economic, social and political stagnation.
The Gulf state finds itself cut dangerously adrift from many of its neighbours. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen have made extensive demands of Qatar. It must: reduce relations with Iran (with which it jointly owns the world’s largest gas field in the Persian Gulf); end support for Hamas; close its TV channel, Al Jazeera; make payments to Saudi and its allies; close the Turkish military base in Qatar; end support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and affiliated groups elsewhere; and hand over Saudi, Egyptian and other dissidents. Qatar is supposed to “align with” Saudi Arabia and its allies “militarily, politically, socially and economically.”