Saudi Arabia to Qatar: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

by Derek Davison

More than two weeks after they began boycotting Qatar, four Arab nations—Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—have presented the Qataris with a list of demands that they say Doha must meet in order to end this ongoing Persian Gulf diplomatic crisis. With all due respect to the Associated Press, which has obtained a shortened list of these demands (quoted below), LobeLog can reveal that it has received a more comprehensive list from its sources, who wish to remain anonymous for reasons that should become clear shortly.

We can now report the full list of demands to our readers, interspersed with the simplified list as published by the AP:

Curb diplomatic ties with Iran and close its diplomatic missions there. Expel members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard from Qatar and cut off any joint military cooperation with Iran. Only trade and commerce with Iran that complies with U.S. and international sanctions will be permitted.

Qatar must close down its customs office and foreign ministry and replace both with one person who is able to take precise dictation while on the phone with Riyadh. Qatari schools must immediately use black markers to cross out Iran from any maps seen by students. Qatar must change its name to “Saudi Arabia the Third.” Not “Saudi Arabia the Second” or “Saudi Arabia Junior,” those names are too good for Qatar.

Sever all ties to “terrorist organizations,” specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State group, al-Qaida, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Formally declare those entities as terrorist groups.

Supporting terrorist organizations is Saudi Arabia’s job, and Qatar must immediately stop trying to horn in on that turf.

Shut down Al-Jazeera and its affiliate stations.

The stations in question will be reformatted to show only flattering photographs and/or videos of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, perhaps set to inspiring and/or joyous music. You know, journalism.

Shut down news outlets that Qatar funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.

Qatar must furthermore agree to make its bed every morning and empty the dishwasher after supper, or else it will lose all Internet privileges and will have to go without dessert for one (1) week.

Immediately terminate the Turkish military presence currently in Qatar and end any joint military cooperation with Turkey inside of Qatar.

In fact, all Qataris must forget that they ever heard of a country called Turkey. As far as Qatar is concerned, Turkey simply does not exist and never has existed. The Ottoman Empire was entirely fictional. Any kebab restaurants in Doha will be immediately closed and no Qatari, on pain of exile, may consume grilled meats in any form hereafter. The “Salt Bae” is a made-up Internet meme.

Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organizations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, the United States and other countries.

Again, this is really Saudi Arabia’s thing, and it’s very damaging to the Saudi brand when other Gulf countries try to do it too. Knock it off.

Hand over “terrorist figures” and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.

Qatar must explain why it keeps hitting itself. It must stop claiming that Saudi Arabia has grabbed Qatar’s arm and is forcing it to smack itself in the face.

End interference in sovereign countries’ internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals where such citizenship violates those countries’ laws.

Mohammed bin Salman will be entitled to administer one (1) swirlie, one (1) wet willy, and one (1) atomic wedgie per fiscal quarter to a Qatari official of his choice, indefinitely.

Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over all files detailing Qatar’s prior contacts with and support for those opposition groups.

If Qatar had all the judges and the politicians in New York, and the think tanks in Washington DC, then it must share them, or let others use them. It must let Saudi Arabia and friends draw the water from the well. Certainly it can present a bill for such services.

Pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other, financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.

I’d like to be serious for a moment here, because Qatari policies in recent years have led to considerable loss of life, and it is long past the point when someone should hold Qatar accountable. Which is still not going to happen, because whatever the Saudis are talking about with this demand it almost certainly has nothing to do with the deaths of migrant workers.

Align itself with the other Gulf and Arab countries militarily, politically, socially and economically, as well as on economic matters, in line with an agreement reached with Saudi Arabia in 2014.

Qatar must now go home and get its f***** shine box.

Agree to all the demands within 10 days of it being submitted to Qatar, or the list becomes invalid. The document doesn’t specify what the countries will do if Qatar refuses to comply.

Shut up back there or, so help me, Saudi Arabia will turn this car around and we will all go home and think about what we’ve done.

Consent to monthly audits for the first year after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.

In conclusion, Qatar must rub the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again.

Derek Davison

Derek Davison is an analyst covering U.S. foreign policy and international affairs and the writer/editor of the newsletter Foreign Exchanges. His writing has appeared at LobeLog, Jacobin, and Foreign Policy in Focus.