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.

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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.

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!

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.

Rumor has it

that King Abdullah II left Qatar early because ” he was received at the airport by a member of the Qatari royal family instead of the emir”. [source]

Or?

لسان حاله يقول: احترنا يا قرعة من وين نبوسك

I thought you should know

Will this have any traction?

Don’t get me wrong, I used to have a dog, and I love dogs, but the timing, the destination, the secrecy, and the irony.

شر البلية ما يضحك

Now we know that the veterinarians lost their royal business. We also know that the royal court should comment on the story but they probably won’t and act as if nothing happened. Well, unless the story gets some traction, then they have to throw some Zionist conspiracy BS to explain it.

HA.