By Fahed Khitan

Manufacturing Arab Opposition…

As the Arab Gulf Crisis intensifies, a very dangerous phenomenon surfaces; manufactured opposition.

Within the Gulf House, rivalling states are trying to weaken one another by manufacturing opposition to pressure concession or turn the public against the state and its policies.

In the absence of modern political entities in the Gulf, from parties, CSOs, to labour bodies, the alternative is antagonising tribal and social fanaticism to stir domestic unrest.

Just weeks into the crisis, we began hearing about tribes opposing the regime in Qatar. Suddenly, Gulf media became extremely embracing of the Qatari opposition’s “right” of expression.

Of course, to justify the extensive coverage of Qatari affairs and the focus on it, there had to be opposition in the streets.

So, they created the opposition, first by organising a convention of its figureheads overseas, to build a symbolic structure.

Most of them were unknown to the world until not so long ago, when the Qatar’s rivals brought them all together.

In the meantime, opportunistic media and Western public relations invest big bucks in this, and worked hard to shine these figures, make them seem like real fighters for freedom, legitimacy, and democracy.

Some of them were made to outshine even humanity’s most beloved and prominent rebels and leaders, like Mandela or Che Guevara.

Of course, the Qataris had to respond.

So, they shed light on the Saudi opposition figures and activists buried there, and went the whole nine yards to stir up an organised Saudi movement.

The Qatari-made 15th of September movement in Saudi called for protests in Saudi on that day, but only a few people responded, out of millions.

Gulf States have an extensive resume of manufacturing opposition, especially rebel factions in Syria.

This isn’t to say that there wasn’t any opposition to the regime before 2011, on contraire. There has always been opposition there, figures and movements belonging to nearly every colour of the political spectrum.

However, right out of the blue, after the Daraa unrest, a new kind of Syrian opposition surfaced. Oppositions whose leaders from overseas have mostly no political history. Suddenly, an owner of mobile shop in one of the Gulf capitals became the “formidable” leader of one of Syria’s factions, and has made a fortune from it.

Another one, a military deserter, with nothing to show for, became the “prominent” thinker of the Syrian revolution and Syria’s next leader!

Sadly, the result of this reckless meddling was the rise of armed factions, made mostly of convicted terrorists and junkyard wholesalers, who suddenly became devoted jihadists!

The Gulf’s venture in Syria cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Humanitarianly speaking, it also cost millions of Syrians their lives, one way or another, to no viable end but to leading the entire region to its demise.

Now rivalling Gulf states want close the same experiment in their backyards?

Have they not learnt from the catastrophe in Syria? Why would they want to drive their nations into tribal and sectarian wars over petty vengeances and issues that are worth too lit in comparison?!

Is Yemen not enough for them?

The Gulf crisis has horrifically reflected a lot on the Yemeni situation.

After being a member of the Arab Coalition for the Liberation of Yemen, Qatar has now sided with the other camp, on the other side of the Yemeni regional dispute.

Meanwhile, the Yemenis fuel a pointless war by proxy between Gulf and regional players, also, to no viable end but the destruction of the Yemeni people!

Isn’t it clear by now that meddling with Arab states and antagonising their social components over such petty causes will only result in an all-encompassing wildfire?!

When what’s left of the region is all up in smoke, if this recklessness continues, there will be no one left standing!

Is this what we want? Is this what they want?!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.

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