The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) six leaders have convened for two days in Riyadh, fresh and ready for economic meetings, political strategy sessions and propagandizing. The council will hold its 32nd summit under the false impression of “boosting peace and security in a region, which is currently witnessing chaos," according to assistant secretary-general Saad A. Alammar.
Beyond highlighting the GCC’s political integration and economic progress (a diversionary measure), the council will expend the majority of its private time plotting next year’s counter-revolutionary offensive.
Bankrolled and directed by Saudi Arabia as a buffer zone against external hegemony, the GCC’s proxy campaign first struck Egypt after missing Tunisia entirely. Gulf states toed Riyadh’s line as the King fumed over America’s “betrayal” of Hosni Mubarak, and have since tried to fold Egypt into the GCC’s network. Secretary Genera Abdul Latif Al Zayani already clarified that the mechanism “to increase cooperation and strategic partnership with the Kingdoms of Morocco and Jordan” will be discussed.
The GCC is also synched with the Arab League’s attempt to minimize regime change in Syria, freeing up its attention for more pressing battlegrounds.
The GCC’s security presence hit Bahrain hardest after Saudi Arabia deployed its Peninsula Shield across the causeway. Riyadh summoned Jordanian police to fill its ranks, a political harbinger, as well as former Sunni soldiers from the UAE and Pakistan. As a purported self-defense force, the Shield escalated Bahrain’s situation by reinforcing the perception of internal tyranny. Speaking to Bahrain TV at the Kingdom’s embassy in Riyadh, Al Zayani marked King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s 12th year in power by commending his “landmark achievements.”
These “landmarks” include “democracy, supremacy of the law and respect of human rights.”
Al Zayani also praised Bahrain’s Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) as "unprecedented and bold,” along with the King’s “wisdom and adherence to transparency.” On a parallel track, Iran is being prepared as a centerpiece red herring in Bahrain.
These statements are difficult to exceed, but the GCC’s political counter-revolution struck with eager vigor in Yemen. In conjunction with U.S. and European officials, GCC diplomats negotiated a power-sharing deal between Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime and the oppositional Joint Meeting Parties (JMP). As a result Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi arrived in Riyadh to take his place in the background. After defending Saleh throughout Yemen’s revolution, the GCC’s initiative rewarded al-Qirbi for his loyalty by renewing his term for another two years. He’s expected to brief the GCC’s Foreign Ministers on Yemen’s presidential election in February, an election that will see a consensus candidate (Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, Saleh’s Vice President of 17 years) run unchallenged or against a handicapped populist.
The GCC’s proposal also granted Saleh’s family immunity from years of corruption charges and human rights abuses, generating widespread opposition at Yemen’s popular level. Although Western and UN officials praise the GCC’s leadership, both JMP and UN officials have actually admitted to freezing the youth out.
Further antagonizing Yemen’s situation, the GCC is so bold as to exploit its initiative as a main success. Arab media has already blanketed this angle and Western media (including Reuters, to no surprise) is quickly falling into the GCC’s narrative: “The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) opposed the popular protests that ousted the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia, but they helped negotiate a power transition in Yemen and backed measures against both Syria and Libya for their violent reaction to unrest.”
The GCC’s interference is fully exposed in the very next sentence when Reuters observes, “Of the GCC members, only Bahrain and Oman suffered major protests.” Yemen’s non-member status is one of its biggest non-stories: a non-member - and a state trying to become a functioning democracy - being overruled by kingdoms.
Geopolitically speaking, the U.S., EU, Arab League, Russia and China have converged on the GCC to amplify its counter-revolutionary effects. This development will continue to play a significant factor in the historical arch of the Arab revolutions. Wherever Western and Eastern powers align with the GCC’s interest - Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco - one is likely to find high traces of counter-revolutionary interference.