Lives become more and more superfluous. Billions of people are unable to understand how the systems that force them to live the way they live work. They don’t understand why prices go up, why doctors are lacking or why one candidate wins and another loses.
Life is superfluous because we have lost the patience that details demand and without looking at them there is no path.
We want to know everything with a mere informative summary, fast news with algorithm headlines, Google traps to make us believe what is not true. It is not true that cancer is cured with pills or that Qatar is the country that most violates human rights. It is not even a nation state. It is a corporation run by a very large royal family, just like the other Persian emirates.
The campaign against the emirate is hypocritical; the only consistent response to the denunciation of human rights violations is the boycott
Qatar got the World Cup with the money it earns selling gas and buying favors on hand, like everyone else does. Still, the Middle East deserves a soccer world championship and FIFA agreed.
The campaign against Qatar is hypocritical, typical of a West that dares to teach lessons without recognizing that its own progress has also been achieved on the basis of fraud and violence, subjecting nations and territories rich in raw materials for centuries, exploiting the bodies and the souls of millions and millions of people who were denied wages and fundamental rights.
The campaign against Qatar rests on the superfluous vision of an open and enlightened West against a closed and medieval Islam, the necessary enemy since September 11, 2001.
The only legitimate and logical position would have been to boycott the World Cup. It has happened with other big sporting events, if only for geopolitical reasons. No western country has boycotted another because it does not respect the rights of the LGTBI community. Neither China nor Russia respect them, dictatorships that have organized the last Olympic Games and the last World Cup. Western rulers, however, do not believe that this injustice is serious enough to prevent their teams from competing in Qatar. The campaigns against the emirate are much closer to demagogy than to freedom of expression.
The West has created Qatar and benefited as much as possible from it. Not just for gas, but above all for your money. The London financiers know this very well. Fans of various European soccer teams, too.
We want the wealth of the Qataris and we curse them for not being able to reach it
The borders of the Middle East have been drawn by the Western powers. They have divided the region into zones of influence and created states that are unviable. They supported the bloodthirsty dictators who crushed the Arab springs and destroyed the hope of so many young people who dream of being Europeans and North Americans.
The West has always gotten on better with dictators than with Third World democrats. Better with Pinochet than with Allende, better with Suharto than with Sukarno.
Even so, since the Enlightenment we believe that scientific progress, rationalism and democratic pluralism authorize us to transform Islamic societies. This was the goal of George W. Bush’s war “on terror”. In the name of this greater good, he tortured himself and murdered himself outside the law that the West treasures so much.
It is this arrogance and hypocrisy that is deeply resented in the Middle East and the global south.
The main reason for the complaints against Qatar is not sexual rights, nor democracy. Nor is it the semi-slavery imposed on the workers who have built the stadiums or the memory of the thousands who could have died. The most compelling reason is that we do not tolerate that they have the money that we believe they do not deserve. We do not tolerate that they live so well without giving a stick to the water, selling gas as if it were gold. Its GDP per capita is around 56,000 euros, almost double that of Spain. We want what they have and we curse them for not being able to get it.
Qatar is a great ally of the United States and mediator in many conflicts
If we looked more closely, we would know that Qatar is a great ally of the US. The US military’s Central Command base, from where the Pentagon controls the Middle East and Central Asia, is there.
We would also know that Qatar is a great mediator, that the agreement between the Taliban and the Trump administration for the withdrawal from Afghanistan was closed in Doha and that the emirate later welcomed more than half of the Afghans who managed to be evacuated.
The last four armed conflicts in Gaza have ended with Qatari mediation. It is Qatar, with the approval of Israel, who subsidizes the very poor Gaza. It is also Qatar that keeps the channels of dialogue with Iran open thanks to the fact that both countries share a large gas field under the waters of the Persian. Qatar welcomes Islamist leaders, terrorists, dissidents and exiles of all kinds, a hospitality that gives ample diplomatic returns. Al Jazeera, the most influential chain in the Islamic world and the global south, the one that reports the most on the countries on the other side of the “color line”, is Qatari.
The intention of this column, in any case, is not to defend Qatar, an ambivalent country like all of them, but to draw attention to how vulnerable we are to supremacist and apocalyptic discourses.