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October 05, 2006



Marc, I totally agree. Especially since the bombings in Amman, things are getting worse. I realize that people are justifying them because of the terrorist threat, but just like I wouldn't give justifications for the PATRIOT act over here in the US, I wouldn't excuse any law that infringes upon people's civil and human rights.
I wonder why Condi would say that... maybe because the GID is becoming closer to the CIA than any other foreign intelligence service, including the Mossad? At least that's what a recent LA Times article says which I blogged about yesterday.
At this point in time, there is nothing the US wants to do to offend the Jordanians with all the help they're providing in the "war on terror".


In other "Democracy is on the march" news, Jordan is now blocking Skype for "regulatory reasons." More likely to protect the interests of Jordan Telecom. So much for Jordan's vaunted internet freedom.

Does anyone know how expensive phone cards are in Amman?


"including some bloggers who are likely going to be very annoyed by this post!"

lol, it's not annoyance at anything other than the fact that if and when we really want to look at a country's devolopment we should factor in the positive and the negative. focusing merely on the latter and using it as a sample of judgement for the overall is a bit strange. ignoring the essential factors at play as well as the larger context of our position in the region, is also a bit of a strange way to analyze a country.

as for journalists who are under the impression that our King's western leanings will lead to an khomeini-like iranian revolution, suffice to say the word "naive" would be generous as they've highly underestimated the obvious realities of our country and our society's relationship with the monarchy.


But Nas, does that mean you think Democracy Is On The March In Jordan, or not?


Schwa-Schwa: well when was the last time democracy was marching anywhere? seriously, i'd like to join that parade. unless of course it involves blood, guts and revolution.

what does it mean to have democracy marching in Jordan? free elections for the people to elect their own government to rule the country? that's fine and dandy, i'm all for that, but given the country's current realities, demographics and the recent surge of islamist popularity, free elections in Jordan are likely to be a one time event. i for one would rather not see that happen in the interest of just telling the world: hey, we're a democracy, ain't that great?

Nur al-Cubicle

Democracy is on the march! Wave goodbye!

Nur al-Cubicle

Gee, I've just remembered that shootout between Jordanian and US prison guards --in Kosovo. One of those secret CIA prisons, perhaps? That HUUUGE story got buried in a heartbeat.

Abu Sinan

Things have been getting worse since 9/11. These governments are piggy backing on the US "anti-terror" efforts. The reasoning being, if America is denying rights, why cannot we? As if they ever needed a reason.

All of this adds support to the extremists.


I was amazed by the amount of the armed military everywhere in Amman in August last year (i stayed in SAS hotel, one of those bombed), I can't imagine that being increased!

There can be no "good" reason for turtore, but Jordan is reliably the "Torture Capital" of the world where they offer outsourcing options for the US - how unfortunate!



I think the situation in Jordan is alot more complicated and bears a much deeper depth than what was outlined in this post, with all respect.

These incidents are only what the english-speaking media reporting on Jordan picked up recently, but if you dig a bit deeper, and look at Jordan's overall problems and performance, you will get a whole different perspective into things.

Press laws for example - its a long story man. It involves the structure of jordanian press, the level of professionalism in journalism in the country, the level of sophestication of media disciplines at universities, ..etc...etc.

Anti-terrorism laws -- ah, please, dont let me go there.

Anyway, Jordan has a big developmental problem, a big gap between the rich and the poor.

On the other hand there are good statistics (not totally trustworthy tho), as in enrollment in education institutes, gender-equality at work places, improving health care, I care less for FDIs and stuff.

I did a survey on what Jordanians think about democracy, it was published on the blogosphere and in a local newspaper. In general, Jordanians are apathetic to politics, democracy has been in Jordanian land since the days of the greeko-roman federation, but today its looked upon as a stretchable term to fit in different political influences and agendas.


Let's not forget "We Are All Jordan." Jordan First, then the National Agenda, and now this--does the regime really believe that emphasizing what passes as citizenship will make reformers forget about the political deliberalization taking place under 'Abdullah II?

You have a PM telling conservative elites (e.g., 'Abdulsalem al-Majali) at WAC meetings that American policy is manufactured in Israel. You have ministers from the second-tier portfolios begging the Shahin brothers for a cut of the graft pie. You have the Big Two Western guns in Amman--Chris Prentice and David Hale--grinding their teeth about the lack of movement on corruption issues that was all the rage last year. And you have a cozy triumvirate of Dhahabi, Awadallah, and King who perceive the streets to be as quiet--if not quieter--then any other period since the 1994 peace treaty under Hussein.

Why change, they think? Keep the Muashers and the Majalis and the Armoutis happy. Keep a Tarawneh and Tell in the back pocket--and just hope that the mass of poor (you know, the great majority who don't live in 'Abdoun and who don't party at Blue Fig Cafe) won't notice that the fate of their country is being determined by a shortlist of a few very wealthy, and very conservative, elites.

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