The headline story last weekend in the Khaleej Times (o the UAE) was Noose tightens on Qatar . However, neighboring Kuwait & Oman see only PREDATORY & BULLYING coming from Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their relationship to Qatar.
Typical of comments around the Middle East and the globe are similar to this:
“Freedom of speech is what masses of hundreds of millions of Arabs stood up and asked for in 2010, 2011. They were prepared to die, and thousands have died, asking for their dignity and their human rights and their social justice. They’re battling for these intangibles that they want to express, because they’ve not had a chance in the last 50, 60 years in most Arab countries to use their full mind and their intellect and their cultural capabilities. They’ve been controlled by governments, ministries of information, thought control colonels, and all kinds of institutions that essentially turn citizens into cattle or robots. And the governments of many Arab countries continue to do this.
And Al Jazeera represents the opposite. Jazeera is not the problem, and Qatar is not the problem. The Saudis and Emiratis and Egyptians have seen—have taken Jazeera as a proxy for Qatar and have taken Qatar as a proxy for the normal evolution of hundreds of millions of people in the Arab world who simply want to live as dignified human beings with a little bit more freedom, more participation, more accountability, a variety of friends all around the region, and letting the full human capabilities of people to express themselves to build strong, decent, peaceful, just countries. And this is really the problem that we have. Jazeera is not—is not the issue. Jazeera is just a proxy and a—” –-Rami Khouri, professor of journalism and senior public policy fellow at the American University of Beirut. He’s also an internationally syndicated columnist and a nonresident senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.