The king’s brother in law involvement in the Iraq war.Now with Documents.

Remember this? Mohammad Al-saleh used his relationship to the  king in the documents and in the case against Henry Sargeant III and Mustafa Abu-Naba’a. If I were the King I would really be pissed off- unless I had a stake in this.

Now leaving the ethical issues aside, what the fuck is this! I mean come on!

The case file can be found here.

Stupid Watch

Ahhh..The swine-flu with all the accompanying conspiracy theories..A Jordanian “Scientist” specializing in diseases claims that Mecca And Medina are somehow isolated from disease, thus there is no need for the talk about the possible outbreaks that might result from the millions of pilgrims being in extreme proximity while performing Hajj..

Kill them Pigs..Go To hajj..You will be disease free..

A $12,500 Watch gift..

I mean come on now..Do we really need this? Don’t they learn that all the gifts end up in a warehouse..Don’t they also realize that their generous gifts will eventually shame them in the eyes of their people?

I mean isn’t this more risky politically than, lets say, repealing the not-so-tough penalty for honor crimes…

I guess we all know the answer: A disengaged population..Half of it doesn’t really care because they have been marginalized for so long and the other half are being paid(Or scared) off in one way or another..What  better population could a leader wish for? Really?

Regions? Political Reform? Scratch that..

The regions “project” was introduced as the King’s idea for “our gradual” approach to “reform”. After its introduction the “idea” has been under attack from different fronts. Just today the king met with some officials and journalists, and the names suggest that they are mainly the people who were vocal against the idea.

Basically, the king “reintroduced” the “idea” as a project mainly aimed at giving people more say in economic and developmental decision making within their region. The new name for the project is : “decentralization”. Oh my, how novel is that? In a way what they are saying is:let us just make nepotism and corruption local.

OK. Here is what I think, all of this is BS. Looking at local politics recently one can see that the king is no longer in charge as he used to be (Or think he is), sadly the powers he “surrendered” were captured by the same people who created an artificial bubble around him. By doing this he is alienating the already weak reform forces in Jordan and empowering those who are holding us back.

The late King Hussein adopted a “reform” agenda only after the rising in the south which started in Maan in 1989. In his 2008 Book about the life of King Hussein, Dr. Nigel Ashton tells the story about the 1989 rising and the king’s decision to restore political life in Jordan, he specifically quotes the king talking about the elections as being a way to allow the people to “let some steam off”.  Ashton, reached a conclusion that maybe obvious for many that the king truly believed that  he knows what is best for Jordan, thus in king Hussein’s view any “democratization” and “reform” will only hamper his efforts to move Jordan “forward”.

King Abdullah, I believe, started his rule as being different from King Hussein, he seemed more open and more aggressive in his local reform agenda, but sadly, lately we have seen him regress in his positions toward reform. His majesty is now surrounded by the same “dependable” people his father surrounded himself with. Dependability ,of course, is subjective, thus those who are viewed as being dependable by the regime are not viewed in the same way by the people-at least the people who are not being co-opted in one way or another. The people around the king seem to have been successful in convincing him that local reform shouldn’t be pursued until the Palestinian issue is solved, and the king bought it.

I wandered all around in this post, but let us keep an eye on what the journalists who were invited to meet the king will have to say in the coming days, namely, Fahed Elkheitan,  Sameeh Maaita, and Mohannad Mbaideen. Interestingly, Elkheitan’s piece published before the meeting with king was about the regime’s policy of diverting attention with regards to political reform by focusing on expanding personal freedoms and “equality” and selling those fake attemps as true reform to donors who keep the regime alive.

Let me finish this post with an example of the over abundant irony we have in Jordan: The anti-corruption committee handed its report to Abdel Elhadi Elmajali. HA.

Oh, and happy press freedoms day.

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..

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!

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.