The United Arab Emirates' Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash is often called upon to convey Abu Dhabi's unpalatable, infantile or confused policies to the world. He is considered more able to interact with media and foreign officials than his boss Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the minister of foreign affairs.
Abu Dhabi's foreign affairs are messy. Their frequent attempts to punch above their intellectual weight have damaged their senses. Because there is such a lack of substance in what the UAE has to say, they need an overdose of propaganda to attract attention.
And to attract attention, they indulge in outright impudence. That's what happened recently when Abdullah bin Zayed and his subordinate shared insults on social media about Fahreddin Pasha.
What kind of "Arabism" does the UAE want to promote by insulting a valiant historic figure? The pasha they insulted was no ordinary hero. He was the defender of Medina, whose resistance against the most vile and immoral invaders will remain etched in Islamic history forever.
Commanding the Ottoman forces in 1916, the pasha neither abandoned the holy city nor its Islamic heritage. If it was not for this hero, we would have lost so much of our treasure to Islam's enemies.
For the philistines, this treasure would have been of little or no value. We have seen how Islamic memory, heritage, culture and knowledge suffered in the careless hands in the decades that followed the two world wars.
In the UAE, they go to schools run by profiteers and mercenaries so we cannot expect them to learn about their own country, let alone the region's history or culture. Spreading canards on social media sites is easier than upholding the noble principles that the pasha practiced.
Abdullah bin Zayed shared a tweet that accused the Ottoman troops led by Fahreddin Pasha of stealing money and manuscripts from Medina.
Only UAE officials can explain why they indulged in such imprudent conduct for which they received appropriate rebuke form Turkish leaders.
"Some impertinent people sank so low and go as far as accusing our ancestors of thievery... What spoiled [Abdullah bin Zayed] this man? He was spoiled by oil, by the money he has," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
The Las Vegas vulgarity of their display of money can be a topic for another discussion.
"When my ancestors were defending Medina, you impudent (man), where were yours? First, you have to give an account for this," Erdoğan said.
The fact that the UAE came into being only two decades before the 1991 Gulf War cannot be an excuse for not learning the correct history of the region.
"Believe me, this man who insulted us, who disrespected us, wouldn't even know what the holy relics are. They are ignorant like this," the president said.
Yes, the ignorance of the UAE ruling class. We must talk about it. It is frightening. Ignorance is their political ideology. There is even an admiration for the lifestyles of the Age of Ignorance. This is reflected in their Disneyfication of religion, in their alliances with colonialists and imperialists, and in their conduct in trade and wars.
More alarmingly, the UAE has become a facilitator of projects that seek to destabilize West Asia, South Asia and Africa.
The UAE in the 1990s emerged as a major base for the United States, which came up with sinister notions of dominating the globe after prevailing against the Soviet Union. The so-called "Arab Spring" has been used by the U.S. and its Western alliance to frighten Gulf leaderships into submission.
Abu Dhabi has signed up wholeheartedly and mindlessly to be part of American schemes from South Africa to Afghanistan. Abdullah bin Zayed's brother Muhammad bin Zayed believes he is building an empire of his own by being part of the U.S. neocon agenda of world domination.
You can see the UAE buying American weapons and then using them against Arabs in places like Libya and Yemen in line with the Pentagon's objective of setting up vassal states. They work against Arab interests in Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Tunisia, Palestine and the Gulf region, yet call themselves the champion of Arab causes. They play dishonest games with Muslim countries that refuge to join the criminal neocon plots.
Turkey did not retaliate in a suitable manner against the UAE for its role in the coup invasion of 15 July 2016, so Zayed and Gargash felt emboldened enough to hurl abuses at "Erdoğan's ancestors."
It's not just Turkey and the Turkish nation that have been at the receiving end of the UAE officials' nastiness.
Whoever doesn't do their bidding, becomes a target of abuse. Though the UAE motormouths hurl the words, their controls may lie somewhere else. It's important to understand how the UAE functions. Most often the UAE has Saudi and American backing for their showdowns via the media.
Saudi Arabia is leading the Yemen war with Anglo-American blessings, but it was the UAE that threw the high-pitched tantrums when Pakistan refused to join their mad adventure. It was Gargash who unleashed threats and warnings against Pakistan. But Pakistani officials did not shy away from countering him a fitting language.
There is value in the UAE's cynical use of Gargash for foreign policy discourse. Deploying members of the ruling families for similar tasks, would invite "royal insults," so to speak, from the other side and it would lower their prestige among their people.
In Saudi Arabia's case, considering its status as the perceived "defender" of Islam, the insults would tantamount to sacrilege and seriously undermine Saudi authority.
Gargash can be expected to take the heat for Abdullah bin Zayed and others. After all, he is not part of the royal super elite but only a prominent businessman who probably owes his riches from selling luxury cars to royal patronage.
He made some gratuitous remarks about Turkey while talking about regional developments.
"The Arab world will not be led by Tehran or Ankara," Gargash said, asserting his "Arabism" approved by London and Washington's carrion crows who feed on the Arab body politic.
Those who thrive on taking orders from modern day Lawrences obviously cannot have the sense to appreciate historic Arab-Turkish kinship.
Another senior UAE official who recently targeted Turkey with the aim of causing offense is Dhahi Khalfan Tamim. He can be hilarious when he is angry. Inarticulate and clumsy in his thoughts, he is also deployed in political combat roles. He has targeted Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Muslim Brotherhood with whom the UAE seems to have a beef.
Dhahi Khalfan is "deputy chairman of police and public security in Dubai" and of course he is a highly reliable and experienced man for maintaining law and order in the emirate where UAE citizens are an invisible minority. But the policeman is ill-suited to talk on those domestic and external policy matters that are dictated by the UAE's Western masters.
In his recent social media outbursts, the policeman called Turkey an "evil country", accused Qatar of "betrayal", denounced the Muslim Brotherhood, and has called for Al Jazeera TV channel's offices to be bombed (probably by his Pentagon masters). In October last year, he said the Qatar "crisis" could be resolved if Doha gave up hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
One amazing thing about Dhahi Khalfan is that he changes tack effortlessly.
UAE watchers would recall how he used to blame the influx of migrant workers for destroying "Emirati culture" when the UAE population was about one-fifth of today. Then the UAE rulers decided to become an "economic power" in the late 1990s and a real estate speculation industry emerged.
As a result, the country has changed beyond recognition. Dhahi Khalfan has probably developed an appreciation for Bollywood vulgarity, which is so common nowadays. The culture they talked about two decades ago can be confined within the imported French museum in Abu Dhabi.
What you see in the UAE today can hardly be considered representative of their Arab and Islamic identity. In an Orwellian way, the powers that be have taught their population to rather take pride in their loss of culture and heritage by shouting how the UAE is a "model country" as home to "200 nationalities." Dhahi Khalfan has joined the chorus noiselessly.
What they do internally is no skin off anybody's nose, but the UAE officials need to curb their urge to poke their noses unnecessarily in matters beyond their borders.
One good thing, however, is that senior UAE officials do retreat when they face retaliatory fire; there is a general lack of intellectual ammunition to maintain a fight on political issues.
* India-based journalist
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.