Your Jordanian Conspiracy Dose(s)

An internal crisis is brewing and a huge backlash is beginning to take place on the Jordanian “political” platform. The root of this is the government’s move to remove its reservations with regards to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). 

They basically opened Pandora’s box; the IAF (Islamic Action Front) says that the convention is aimed at destroying families. Saleh Armouti is singing the same lyrics.

Ammannet has a very good and comprehensive  report on the issue.

It will be interesting to see how the debate around the issue will shape up..

Highlights of King Abdullah’s interview With David Gregory

On dealing with Bush:

“I think he was dedicated to moving the process forward.  I think I was getting frustrated with the team that didn’t have a sense of urgency. “

On Agreeing with bush that in 2008 “Despite these frustrations and disappointments, the Middle East in 2008 is a freer, more hopeful and more promising place than it was in 2001.”:

Yes, but nowhere near what we need as the endgame.  I mean, it’s all relative at the end of the day.  Until you solve the problem, you’re going to get an up and down on how free or stable it is.  But we still haven’t solved the core issue.  So you can’t say that, that the, the future for the Middle East is any brighter.  Unless we solve the core issue of the Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Arab challenges, then we will always be an area of instability that costs all of us.

On the image of the United States in the middle east today:

Fantastic.

On torture as reported by Human Rights watch:

I–when that report came out, or when I was asked that question I think by one of your colleagues several years ago, I went straight back to my director of intelligence at the time and I said, “Is there any foundations to this?” And he said categorically no.  And I made it quite clear to him and all the colleagues that have come up the ranks since then that we don’t tolerate that.  So I’d like to think that my people were telling me the truth.

On nuclear proliferation:

I would imagine that when it comes to an economy that is suffering, like many economies are suffering around the world, a nuclear military program is extremely expensive. And if you’ve solved the core issue in the Middle East, I think a lot of leaders will be sort of checking their calculators to see whether it’s worth to go down the military nuclear road.

On his upcoming book “The Last best chance”:

…what I’m trying to do with this book is to explain the dynamics have changed in the Middle East, and really this is our last best chance.  What my late father was saying is that then there was a major opportunity slipping past.  And I think 40 years later how many wars, how much death and destruction, how many Israelis, Arabs and Muslims have lost their lives.  Are we prepared to go another decade?  And believe you me, if we do not solve the problem today of the Israelis and Palestinians, it’s only going to be a matter of time of another conflict.

On the gifts he gave to obama:

I think the president is prepared for battle, and basically he knows that he has somebody standing next to him on his right and helping him through this.

The transcript can be found here.

King Abdullah on Torture

I don’t have the exact text yet, but basically his answer  should make us pause for some time and think about his policy in governing.

In response to a question about the HRW report on Jordan being a proxy interrogator, the king said that he asked “his people” if it was true, and they denied, but he “hoped” they were honest. Let us hope he doesn’t use the same approach when asking the likes of Sahel El Majali…

He also seemed hesitant when asked the question about the efficacy of torture.

On Iran: They want to be the policeman of the gulf.

A link to the video on torture..I will have more to say later..Till then, enjoy!

Today’s best person in Jordan.

Fahed ElKhietan.

A massive cover up?

A couple of days ago I linkedto a story published on ammannet with regards to some MPs warning  journalists not to report on some of the findings about food safety issues in the past 7 years.

Now here is the interesting part: More than a year ago a small restaurant in jerash was determined to be the cause of the massive poisoning of 360 people. Some MPs, according to this report, are suggesting that the resturant was not the real cause, but something else was. Some of the comments on the story are also suggesting that not many people bought the resturant story at the time.

Now the questions: What was the real cause? Water contamination? Why did some MPs want the details of the reports censored? Are they conspirators? Isn’t it their duty to uncover such stories? What about the owner of the shop? What about his rights?

This stinks!

Corruption squared

Alarab Alyawm reports on the ministers council approving the duty free car policy which has now became a state policy for  paying off MPs and others. What is different about this is that the 16 MPs had already gotten their duty free pay-off since they are military retirees. The previous policy which was overridden by the new decision only gave the MPs a 50% discount on their duties which has now been risen to 100%.

Original text:

وافق مجلس الوزراء امس الاول على منح 16 نائبا اعفاء جمركيا كاملا لسياراتهم مخالفا بذلك القرار الحكومي الذي منحهم خصما قدره 50% كونهم كانوا قد استفادوا من اعفاءات جمركية سابقة كمتقاعدين عسكريين.

A new Sahel Majali Mega Project

I don’t know what one should do when he/she reads something like this.

OK, here are my issues:

1- Sahel El Majali is talking about it. It is a multi-billion project.

2- How they came up with the numbers is beyond my mental abilities.

3- Why link with authoritarian regimes that are much powerful than our authoritarian regime? This rail will add another source of dependency on parties that can’t be trusted.

4- The Government has allocated around $140 million for land acquisition. Of course, you need to know where the track will go before you can buy the land. Someone will buy the land with dirt cheap prices and sell it to the government at a much higher price. Isn’t this how the infrastructure business is done in Jordan?

Access to information=money.