On Monday 5 June 2017, Emir Tamim ben Hamad Al Thani of Qatar appeared on Qatar’s national television, Al-Jazeera, to deliver a speech before an audience of officials and to the Nation.
This intervention was greatly anticipated given the regional diplomatic crisis that was and is currently isolating the Emirate. Transport by land to and from Qatar has been suspended and so too have many sea and air routes. There is no more fresh produce on site.
The Emir is an absolute sovereign who does not have to account to anyone. He has been in power since June 2013 when his father was forced to abdicate, after pressure had been applied by the US. However a number of sources reassure us that members of his government have not been conferred with the power to formulate policy and that all decisions are taken by an allied embassy.
Speaking on television, the Emir declared: “Qatar has never failed to play its role whether as an Arab state or an Islamic state and to defend the challenges that our Islamic Arab nations are facing”. After being on air for just 18 seconds, the programme was censured at the 19th second. The Al-Jazeera presenter, taken aback, came back on air, stammering.
We will never know what Emir Tamim was hoping to say nor less to do. The local press failed to address the issue on Tuesday 6 June. Noone knows who has the authority to cut off a message delivered by the Emir nor who is hiding behind this puppet leader.
While his father, Emir Hamad ben Khalifa Al Thani, was king, power gradually shifted into the hands of the company Exxon-Mobil. At the time, the majority shareholder of this company was the Rockfeller company, while its director was Rex Tillerson. A serious conflict pitted the Rockfellers against Tillerson.