YESTERDAY, Saudi Arabia issued a set of 13 wide-ranging demands to Qatar which it insists have to be met before the sanctions imposed on that country are
The Saudi regime, along with its allies – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt – imposed a blockade of Qatar two weeks ago following a visit to the country by US president Donald Trump during which he gave unqualified support to the reactionary feudalist monarchy and lyingly named Iran as the main sponsor of terrorism in the region.
This was the green light, as far as the Saudis were concerned, to prepare for war against its regional rival Iran. Iran is hated by Saudi Arabia as a massive obstacle to its dreams of complete domination of the region’s oil wealth and for Iran’s support for the struggle of the Syrian people against the terrorist forces of ISIS and al-Nusra, both funded by the Saudi regime.
Iran’s support for the Palestinian struggle has also earned it the enmity of the Saudi monarchy which has close ties with the Israelis. Buoyed by Trump’s enthusiastic endorsement and his farcical whitewashing of Saudi Arabia from any connection with ISIS, they proceeded to almost immediately open the attack by declaring a complete blockade of Qatar.
Qatar’s crime was that despite the fact it has been up to its neck with Saudi Arabia and its allies in every act of terrorism committed in the region, including the genocidal war against the people of Yemen, it has not followed the Saudi line completely.
With its close proximity and shared border and oil field with Iran, Qatar had sought rather more convivial diplomatic relations with that country than the Saudis could tolerate. The Qatari government’s propaganda TV company, Al Jazeera, is hated as the most widely-watched broadcaster in the Arab world which has on occasions been guilty of attacking the regimes of its fellow Gulf monarchies.
All this is reflected in the thirteen demands that Saudi Arabia and its allies are insisting must be met before the embargo is lifted. They include breaking off diplomatic ties, cutting all joint military cooperation and ending all trade with Iran. Laughably, Saudi Arabia is insisting that Qatar sever all ties to terrorist organisations, including the Saudi-sponsored ISIS and al-Qaeda.
The demand also lists Hezbollah, which is not a terrorist group, but which is fighting alongside the Syrian army against the jihadists and is in the forefront of the struggle in Lebanon against Zionist aggression. The Saudis further demand the complete closure of Al Jazeera along with the closure of the Turkish military base in Qatar and handing over to Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the US, any person in the country that that they designate a ‘terrorist’.
In addition, Qatar is supposed to pay an unspecified amount of compensation to Saudi Arabia for the privilege of being blockaded and agree to ten years of being ‘monitored’ to ensure complete compliance with these demands.
Whether Qatar submits to what is essentially becoming a vassal state to Saudi Arabia remains to be seen but the implications are clear. With the backing and encouragement of US imperialism Saudi Arabia is intent on crushing even the faintest opposition to its drive to war with Iran, a war that will devastate the region and that will inevitably draw in the rest of the world.
US imperialism has encouraged war and sold billions of dollars-worth of arms to the Saudis that these cut-throat feudalists are determined to use to dominate all the oil fields in the Gulf for their benefit and, crucially, for the benefit of their imperialist backers – even if it means a war that will destroy the entire region.
For the working class of the UK, Europe and the US the issue today is that peace throughout the world can only be achieved by the overthrow of imperialism, which can only survive today through wars of conquest, through the victory of the socialist revolution.
Socialist revolution and the overthrow of imperialism will open the way for the Arab people to overthrow the feudalists and put an end to their war plans before they destroy the whole region in a devastating war.