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The GCC, Yemen & Bahrain: Inside Story 8, May 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Bahrain, Qatar, The Gulf, Yemen.
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Here are some of my thoughts on the GCC in Yemen and in Bahrain.

Obviously, hindsight is 20:20, but I now realise that I ought to have confronted the Saudi fellow more robustly. Live and learn. Oh, and I need to E N U N C I A T E  some more. And I’m fairly sure that I look nothing like that…and I’m certain that I sound nothing like that either.

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1. Ahmed - 10, May 2011

The Saudi fellow seemed to be reading off a prepared script….quite understandably also, he was in Riyadh after all…Good comment about turning Iran into bogeymen.
I’m surprised the concept that the GCC has no mandate to intervene in Yemen (due to the fact that Yemen is not a member) is not being entertained. I would suggest that a single line answer explaining the above should be enough to close the books on the question of GCC involvement in Yemen. The GCC may act if it wishes, either in a united fashion or independently by its constituents.
The GCC dealt with an internal affair in Bahrain. I dislike the use of the word intervention in explaining GCC (realistically Saudi and Emarati) personnel deployments. Although the word is harmless the problem is that in recent years it has gained a notoriety of sorts through the connotation of it implying a military intervention, uninvited, in someone else’s back yard. Realistically, this wouldn’t be the case in Bahrain as the holders of the sovereignty of the island of Bahrain chose to give up their monopoly over violence with two other states.
Without a doubt more must be done to safeguard the lives of Bahraini’s and Yemeni’s but I believe the involvement of the GCC in this political issue threatens its future legitimacy and viability. I fear it will follow the road of the Arab League. The GCC was a defensive organization for its own constituents with the Peninsula Shield, it fulfilled that function in 1991 when it was called into action by Kuwait. Later the GCC developed into an organization more like the EU in a sense, more economic and more logistic. That is what the region needs, not another NATO with an additional internal affairs mandate. The corruption of the moral rational for the GCC will have long term impacts on the region, which is unfortunate since it has great potential as a transnational economic force of unity in a highly fractured region.
The Bahraini’s going to the Hague raises another issue, is this legal action beneficial? I like the comparison of Lenin and Gorbachev losing power, one had nowhere to run; one knew he would be left to live. Perhaps more thought is needed in this regard. I guess the al-Khalifa’s (and others) have nothing to worry about though. None have ratified the Rome Statute; some aren’t even signatories (well most actually…). And a UNSC referral?……….that’s definitely coming.

thegulfblog.com - 10, May 2011

Some valuable comments, thanks. Your point in the term intervention is well made. Not so sure about Pen Shield ever being any use to anyone, though.


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