GCC Expansion or Contraction? From the Deserts of Jordan through Tahrir Square to Lido de Paris………


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They are raising the issue of GCC confederation and expansion again. Bahrain shaikhs and elites, their country already almost annexed by Saudi occupation forces and having nothing to lose, are also pushing for it publicly and on social media. Wahhabi liberals on the Persian Gulf, who look to the absolute Saudi princes for Liberté et Egalité et Fraternité, are as excited about it as they probably can get excited about anything (save perhaps for one other thing). But as I have been saying since 2011 the Saudi idea ploy of confederation has always been DOA.
There is even a revival of the idea of expansion, even as some claim the original GCC may be unraveling, well maybe at least weakening. At least the long-existing differences cannot be swept under the rug anymore. Just as a couple of GCC countries seem ready to bolt out of the stifling Saudi embrace. Yet there is new absurd talk of Egypt being asked to join: the media told us Al Sisi and a gaggle of Al Nahayans had some sort of joint Jane Fonda military exercises last week.
know that the Saudi princes have been seeking pliable partners to expand the Gulf GCC. Except that there are no more pliable partners left. They have tried with
Jordan in 2011, but then King Abdul in Amman called one of his funny but humorless elections, and the princes don’t cotton up to elections, even funny humorless elections in Jordan. Some GCC potentates quickly and untruthfully claimed they were postponing Jordanian accession until after Ramadan (of 2011). They also invited faraway Morocco to apply for membership, but that was before the King of Morocco called elections which were won by what passes for the Moroccan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Alas, Morocco has no Generalisimo Field Marshal Al Sisi who can set things right after undesirable election results.

Now rumors have it that the princes have been toying with reliably counter-revolutionary Egypt as a possible member, initially that was on the table in 2012 as a ploy to keep the Muslim Brotherhood from winning the last election. Some wags have even claimed that since Crimea voted for secession the princes had thought that maybe they can get that region to join the GCC, but Vladimir Putin quickly beat them to it with this annexation thing.
Back to the drawing board. Morocco and Jordan and Egypt may still look good as targets of Saudi wooing. But speaking of wooing: the Saudi princes are notorious polygamists, much more so than any Westerner, even a French president like Francois Hollande. Polygamy can be added as their middle name: Polygamous Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sounds correct while “Polygamous French Republic” sounds so wrong even if true, especially in French.
I suspect, nay I know, that all of these one-night-stand candidates have less chance of joining the GCC than Turkey has of joining the European Union. Less chance now than the State of Mississippi has of joining the Organization of Islamic Countries. All of them together have about as much chance of becoming GCC members as I have of becoming the next Mufti of Saudi Arabia (or a mufti of anywhere else for that matter).


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