You want a message from the king?

Here is one: the newly named crown prince accompanied his father in his visit to the Bani Hasan tribes..So much for moving beyond tribalism…

The prince reportedly was wearing a ttraditional Jordanian outfit..I mean come on, the theatrics, the location, and the whole production is enough of a message..

Got it?

P.S: How do you think the new crown prince felt when he was forced to wear the traditional dress? Or when he heard the chants?  In a way I feel sorry for him.

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?

King Abdullah II on Iran

In his visit to London the king jointly expressed with Gordon Brown their shared “concern at developments in Iran following the contested election. They said the regime needed to react to protests with restraint and to avoid violence.” [Source]

That leaves one wondering if his Majesty would have had the same reaction if the Jordanian people took to the streets after the 2007 rigged elections? Hmm…

One also has to wonder when will his Majesty “grant” his people the right to freely protest and organize?

My guess: Not anytime soon…

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!

The king to dissolve the Parliament?

The king to dissolve the Parliament?

Given the unlimited power that the king have(an issue beyond the scope of this post), will he have the guts to do it? Can he challenge Abdel Hadi El majali and his neo-con allies? Does he have the true will to pursue the reforms that he has been promising since he became the King?

Even If he did dissolve the Parliament, will he push for a new election law?Who will draft the new law and will it be legal? We know that the current Parliament won’t pass any law that will insure they will never return to its halls.

The Question remains: Will he do it? If not, then the king must surrender some of his powers to an entity that is willing to take responsibility for any of its action, and entity that is based on the peoples’ will.

What do you think?

On a side note: The Dog story was retracted by the Israeli newspaper.