Arab conflicts for sale!

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By Fatih Abdulsalam

Azzaman, September 2, 2014

Inter-Arab conflicts are laughable. Most of them are proxy conflicts. One such conflict that dragged on for so long was been between the two wings of the Arab Baath party that ruled both Syria and Iraq.

Iraq-Syria crisis was sold under the cover of conspiracy theory but it was a proxy conflict. Once the roles they had to play were no longer there, relations were resumed and this is what happened during the last days of the rulers of both Arab states – Hafiz al-Assad and Saddam Hussein.

The crisis between Algeria and Morocco over the Western Sahara went on for nearly two decades and led to the closure of international borders between the countries and diplomatic missions.

These crises were followed by others, many of them meaningless and senseless, and some were triggered by gossip that goes on within the ruling royal families.

One good example is the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It started when the former Emir of Qatar assumed office but it worsened with the new, current and young Emir.

Under Qatar’s new administration, the conflict with Saudi Arabia took a new turn. Now we have Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the one hand and Qatar on the other.

The conflict is flagged under Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, but it is part of major differences that have been accumulating in the course of time.

But what is more dangerous is that the largest Arab state, Egypt, is now drawn into the conflict as it has not only banned Muslim Brotherhood but designated it a ‘terrorist organizations.’

For Egypt anyone supporting Muslim Brotherhood meddles in its domestic affairs and Qatar is their major sponsor.

But Qatar has a long arm, at least financially. Through this arm, it interferes in Syrian, Libyan and Iraqi affairs.

Arabs might have continued selling and buying their conflicts, but the emergence of the Islamic State (IS), which was formerly known as ISIS, is probably going to bring them together.

IS is more dangerous than Muslim Brotherhood. There is no language through which they can communicate with IS other than the sword and blood.

A war with IS is in the horizon but it is going to be a difficult one. Even the U.S. is reluctant to be part of it.

The Arabs will have to come back to their senses. The emergence of IS has made this a must and has shown the conflicts that wasted so much of their time, energy and resources were laughable in comparison to the one that IS has triggered.