Al Jazeera..Qatar, Turkey and Syria..Whats next! | View Points | Ammon News

Al Jazeera..Qatar, Turkey and Syria..Whats next!

[10/10/2011 12:00:00 AM]

By Amer Al Sabaileh

The coverage of Al Jazeera over the last few months gives us food for thought on how issues and alliances are changing in the Arab world, particularly in regard to relations between Turkey, Syria and Qatar. Taking the example of Syria, it was somewhat strange to note that despite the supplications of protestors to cover their story, Al Jazeera acted as if nothing were happening at first. It was only after the withdrawal of the Qatari Ambassador from Damascus and the negative outcome of Ahmet Daoud Uglu’s visit to Syria that the channel changed tack and the Syrian issue became its hottest headline news.

Then there is the interesting question of the slant Al Jazeera took on the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The channel played a major role in getting the Arab world to see him in a positive light. The starting point was when the Prime Minister walked off stage after an angry exchange with Shimon Peres during a panel discussion on Gaza at the World Economic Forum Davous 2009.

However, since then, any attentive follower of Al Jazeera would have notice the well directed propaganda that has surrounded the image of Erdogan. The increase in his popularity in Arab countries could well be due to the way the channel had orchestrated his appearances, making sure that he was constantly in the news and focusing on what the Arabs may have missed or more pertinently, by pointing out what they have never seen in their leaders.

Today, it seems that Qatar and the gulf monarchies are starting to realize that behind the new Turkey there is a project which is not at all like the one they had in mind. The imminent scenario will not be a Sunni crescent to face the proclaimed Iranian threat. Some have started to apprehend that in the oncoming climate, not even the Sunni monarchies will be safe and change for everybody will be the operative phase. This brings us to the question of “who is good and who is bad”? Turkey or Iran? Another new dilemma that many are starting to question is whether Turkey is a real enemy of Israel. Many are doubtful, especially after the decision of the Turkish government to deploy a missile defense system aimed at protecting NATO members from the threat of Iranian missiles, according to the Iranian explanation.

Since Wadah Khanfar, the former director, left Al Jazeera, not only has news output about Erdogan dropped, but it has also changed its slant and the channel doesn’t promote his hero image anymore. Reading between the lines this could mean a new era for Al Jazeera and Turkey where the channel will seek new allies and give its backing to old friends. Maybe they think Qatari-Saudi relations would be a better bet. One hypothesis is that new alliances will start to appear as many have recently started to worry that Erdogan’s ambition is somehow incontrollable. Some have even said that he already sees himself standing on the Castle of Aleppo, delivering a speech to what is called the Sunni’s world (a symbolic reference to the era of the Ottoman Empire).
This would justify the latest doubts regarding the Turkish desire to back up the Islamic parties to catch power in most of the Arab countries.

The imminent future will be filled with new moves, tactics, politics and behavior. Maybe there will be less pressure on the Syrian regime. Perhaps we’ll see a convergence of Iranian-Qatari relations? Some critical voices to the Qatari role in Libya could represent a foreshadowing of a coming conflict in the future among many protagonists of the political arena.
It’s possible, but above all, we Jordanians should analyze changes carefully in order to guarantee a vital role, solid position and rebuilding of our political alliances based on our national interests.

Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh

  • 1 ranman 10/9/2011 6:29:04 AM

    I don’t think Al Jazeera still has the influence and the clout it did 10 years ago. Its monopoly and ability to influence opinions at large is diminishing due to clear contradiction in its reporting on events. Also, Arabs have access to all kind of news and information sources and they are not afraid or hesitate to seek alternative truths to what is going on. News websites like AMMONNEWS.NET supplemented by excellent writers and thousands of other websites are easily accessible to the public using small handheld devices. I like to add, Change is the operative word. Whoever fails to see it coming and think they are immune, they only got themselves to blame. Furtherer more, in regard to Syria, Assad’s fate is sealed and no amount of any coverage by any network will change this fact. I see Turkey with the blessing and backing of NATO, carving out safe area in the north of Syria like (Benghazi) where Syrian revolutionists will get training and weapons to fight the Assad forces. Full-fledged liberation of Syria will be underway by spring or early summer. That will put the rest of dictators who are now sticking their heads in the sand another chance to see and feel the wind of change. Just to add, in Jordan case, there is unmistakable feeling of increased discontent and unhappiness with the leadership. Jordan is not immune and small corrections will not be sufficient to weather the brewing storm over the horizon. Regarding Turkey’s Erdogan, he had made the decision that it’s better for Turkey to be the leader of the Middle East than the tail of Europe. So far it’s working well for him. Best wishes.

  • 2 Abdulillah 10/9/2011 11:21:31 PM

    Gentlemen, Ranman you beat me to it (May Allah/God Bless you). I could not have said it better. Al Jazeerah was NEW and revealing when it opened 10 years ago. It will continue to hold an important role, but one that will not be so paramount, just as you have pointed out in your many examples. Dr. Al Sabaileh, excellent artical. I always look for thinking out of the box from you and you have done it again. I am intrigued by what you feel maybe the new Qatari role of being a bigger player in the middle-east. I have been doing some reasearch about where Qatar is now, where it maybe heading in the next 10 to 20 years. I too see a drive by thier leaders to be play not a minor role but more of a major role in the middle-esst and the world at large. Unfortunatly, at this time I believe like Ranman, thier time may have escaped them. What is more intriguing is the Saudi role, as they are bigger richer and have more sway. Will it be more vocal as it starts to play more of an open diplomacy role, or will it use Qatar as its point man? These issues and more will soon come to the fore-front in the coming years. Best Regards

  • 3 10/10/2011 6:03:05 PM

    سواء قناة الجزيرة ذمت بأردوغان أو مدحتو، الناس بتعرف مين هو وبتحترمو ومش مستنية رأي قناة الجزيرة فيه.ما بعرف ليش بدنا نطلّع شبهات على قناة الجزيرة

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