By Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka/Editor-in-Chief
The current Gulf crisis can be attributed to the flawed policies followed by Saudi Arabia and its allies, coupled with a sinister plan by the West to create a “new Middle East”, a leading academic has said.
Raimundo Kabchi, a professor at the Venezuela Diplomatic Institute and an adviser on Middle East to former president Hugo Chavez, said the Gulf was supposed to be the bulwark of holistic Arab unity but what is happening now in the region can be described as a national and religious crime committed by Saudi Arabia and its allies.
In an interview to Gulf Times, Kabchi, a leading Venezuelan personality of Lebanese origin, said the Western countries wanted to remove the “Arab element” from the Arab world by “inserting” new players into the field.
“Nationalists, Baathists, Nasserists and others managed all the events in the Arab world during the 20th century,” he said adding that the new plan was to add more states to the existing 22 Arab states, and by this dismantle the Arab world. “They want to erase the idea that Arabs belong to a religion, culture, etc. from the Arab memory.”
Elaborating his point, he said the “New Middle East” plan calls for a “new Sykes-Picot” formula based on new data. “This New Middle East spans from Morocco to Iraq, and from Syria to Sudan. They have already dismantled some states. The dismantling is based on religion, sect, race, culture and language.”
According to him, the Arabs failed in establishing states with foundations. “Regrettably, some Arabs who make a living out of politics have presided over politics but done nothing for their states. The policies of those Arabs are in line with what the westerners want and the result is what Arabs are experiencing now.”
He said Saudi Arabia has lost its traditional role as the land of Islam due to several internal and external reasons as well as problems. “At the same time, it wants to play a new role. Thus, Riyadh had to change some political, religious, and cultural patterns. It also had to create a new enemy, other than the traditional undefeatable one represented by Iran, and here came Qatar as the new enemy.”
Kabchi said for the last three decades, Qatar has trod a middle path between the conflicting states in the region. “And this does not appeal to Saudi Arabia that wants to lead the Arab world. Hence, Qatar has to pay the price.”
The visiting professor said the state pillars of Saudi Arabia are at stake. “The leadership there disassembled the basic foundations upon which the country was built. They want to separate religion from the state, and this is a progressive step and good goal. However, the real goals are not to secularise the country but to take control of the money of the country. So, they destroyed the economy and the mass media controlled by some Saudi princes. They even destroyed the religious foundation of the country.”
So in another words, the Gulf crisis is a projection of Saudi Arabia’s internal problems, he said. “They had to portray Qatar as the enemy.”
Asked about the Saudi-Lebanon issue, Kabchi said one cannot separate what is happening to Lebanon from other events in the region because they are all related. To Page 2
“Saudi Arabia wanted to export the Gulf crisis to Lebanon with the kidnapping of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. As is the case with Qatar, Lebanon is the victim of the internal and external policies of Saudi Arabia. The whole incident is against international laws, norms, and practices. It is also against human rights. It is a diplomatic and political scandal to kidnap and detain the prime minister of a country. All indications show that Hariri was kidnapped.”
Queried if Lebanon was heading to a civil war, Kabchi replied with an emphatic ‘No’.
“The Lebanese are now more conscious. Hariri’s detainment showed the firm consciousness of the Lebanese themselves. Hariri is a Sunni; yet, it was the Shia Hezbollah that first asked for his release. It was followed by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who is a Christian. The Lebanese are more conscious of the plot to drag their country into a new civil war.”
Kabchi said there is a strong Lebanese will to overcome the Hariri incident. “What would Saudi Arabia do? Destabilise the economy of the country? Let them do it. The Lebanese are stronger,” he concluded.
Raimundo Kabchi was forced to migrate to Venezuela in 1958 from Lebanon due to the deteriorating situation caused by colonial policies and the civil wars at the time. In Venezuela, “migrants from different backgrounds, sects and religions have co-existed peacefully until now,” he said.
On relations between Arabs and Latin America, he said the progressive governments that have held power in South America since the beginning of the 21st century have influenced their ties with the Caribbean on the one hand, and the Arab world on the other.
“The result of this interest is now seen in Arab-South American summits that have so far been held four times.
“With regard to the Arabs, we may say that the massive presence of Arabs in the American continent may have affected the votes regarding the Palestinian case in the UN,” he opined.
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