The Lone Decider


His Majesty Gives a speech
HM sends a strong message: everything is perfect….nothing will change…..doubters beware.

Written by Musa al-Shuqairi

Almost a year after his famous “I-am-either-a-partner-in-the-conspiracy-or-unaware-of-it” press release masquerading as an interview in which he managed to end a wide and peculiar range of speculated issues extending from the head of the Royal Court (at the time) to the organisers of the “Jordan festival” (!), the leader, the catalyst, the stabiliser and the practically sole decision maker is back to right the slightly shaken ship.

During his one-month absence – in a special visit, a vacation or an economic forum in Idaho – a series of events (citizenship revoking, Netanyahu clear position on refugees’ return, talks about a near final solution, and endless “commentary” on rag-websites) brought out the recurring “solving the Palestinian issue on Jordan’s behalf” debate and the whole circus of cliches and bigotry that comes along with it. Add to it the latest police assault on the striking Aqaba port workers, and it was definitely about time to hear from “the head of the state” who happens to be “immune from any responsibility” (Constitution 1:30).

Speaking from what is admittedly his most comfortable podium – from his position as the army’s commander-in-chief, his majesty began his address – or at least the televised portion of it – by praising the army’s role in protecting the country against outside and inside threats – emphasising that in this stage it may unfortunately be the inside threat that the army may need to pay the most attention to. Clearly upset and using harsh words like ‘Aib (A shame) and Haram (Not fair) he made it clear that the inside threat is mainly those who are speculating that Jordan’s identity and existence is threatened by the “resettlement of refugees in Jordan.” While he sounded convincing in stressing Jordan’s stance on the right of return and compensation for Palestinian refugees, a few points may be worth noting:

The inside Vs the outside threat: While there is no doubt that some of these voices – that went as far as predicting a near civil war in Jordan – were out of line, that does not mean that the inside threat is by any means bigger (or worth more of the army’s attention) than the persisting outside threat represented by the Zionist entity. Comparing some blabbers (who may or may not have been provoked by certain decision-making circles to introduce this debate as a test balloon or a future pressure card) to the most fundamental threat – the one that the army’s creed is (was?) built on – was an exaggeration and a mishap that failed to make it into the printed version of the speech.

The pressure: “There has been no pressure on Jordan from any American administration when it comes to the refugee issues. And even if there were any pressure, we would be able to withstand it”. The final conditional clause was also edited out from the printed version of his majesty’s address. Does this mean we are expecting pressure soon? What options do we have to withstand the pressure if/when it comes? With so many ready-options surrounding him, will his majesty be able to withstand the pressure? Are there actually any talks about possible coming pressure? Was that ambiguous statement another slip of the tongue or a reason to restart the whole “resettlement” debate again?

The history: “Whoever talk about a threat to Jordan, its identity, and its stability…does not know Jordan and the Jordanians and has not read their history”. Although his majesty did not furnish any examples but the history clearly indicates that Jordan, its identity, its stability and its national unity will remain intact as long as it is lead by the Hashemites – who will exert every effort to maintain these four principles – even if they had to resort to coalitions with “the devil” and to stepping on an over every possible obstacle/fundamental to maintain the rule over a quite, adequately-populated barely-functional wealth-generating piece of land – with a national anthem and a colourful flag – as exclusive signs of sovereignty.

The Closing window: “I don’t have to do this once every three to six months. I was chatting (بسولف) with (General Sarayrah) and I told him ‘give them (the doubters and backstabbers) a few months and they will find something else to talk about.” Without reading too much into a rather improvised casual address or try to read between the lines or dissect the few minutes that made it to TV, what his majesty is probably saying: You had your fun with that one too. This issue is off the table. Find something else to play with before the state-of-the-art new police apparatus is involved.

Now, cue the praise columns and (برقيات الولاء والإنتماء ).




  • alurdunialhurr

    Of topic, By the way I read your comment in Alkabar news paper about Nahid Hattar i had to agree with you

  • alurdunialhurr

    Of topic, By the way I read your comment in Alkabar news paper about Nahid Hattar i had to agree with you

  • http://www.undermyolivetree.com/ Ali Dahmash

    Excuse my ignorance of this country but wtf was the media talking about the next day after the kings speech?? I need a translator to read between the lines to understand what the king was talking about. Can’t we just talk str8!

  • http://www.undermyolivetree.com Ali Dahmash

    Excuse my ignorance of this country but wtf was the media talking about the next day after the kings speech?? I need a translator to read between the lines to understand what the king was talking about. Can’t we just talk str8!

  • http://life-zak.blogspot.com/2009/07/things-to-do-to-solve-honor-crimes.html?zx=74267ead9f5bd85a zak

    That was probably one of the few decent readings of his majesty’s speech. Each time the king talks to the public, you get three or four days of stupidity from all news papers and news websites. All praising the greatness and forgetting the issues he wants us to talk about.

    I wish his majesty gave a wag to the governor of Aqaba on beating these poor workers that were protesting for their rights. We need to make the police understand that it is not right to beat a citizen when he is doing nothing wrong to public property and that even the head of the state will be upset by that.

  • http://life-zak.blogspot.com/2009/07/things-to-do-to-solve-honor-crimes.html?zx=74267ead9f5bd85a zak

    That was probably one of the few decent readings of his majesty’s speech. Each time the king talks to the public, you get three or four days of stupidity from all news papers and news websites. All praising the greatness and forgetting the issues he wants us to talk about.

    I wish his majesty gave a wag to the governor of Aqaba on beating these poor workers that were protesting for their rights. We need to make the police understand that it is not right to beat a citizen when he is doing nothing wrong to public property and that even the head of the state will be upset by that.

  • http://www.black-iris.com/ Naseem Tarawnah

    well despite the rhetoric, i think we have to admit that there is indeed a culture of rumors in this country and that it does have it is various origins and its various agendas, much of which are not designed to be in the interest of jordan as a whole.

    and as this country’s history has proven before, rumors can kill.

    lastly, i agree with zak, i wish there was some sort of reaction to the aqaba beatings.

  • http://www.black-iris.com Naseem Tarawnah

    well despite the rhetoric, i think we have to admit that there is indeed a culture of rumors in this country and that it does have it is various origins and its various agendas, much of which are not designed to be in the interest of jordan as a whole.

    and as this country’s history has proven before, rumors can kill.

    lastly, i agree with zak, i wish there was some sort of reaction to the aqaba beatings.

  • The Free Jordanian

    One question Where and when did this dude receive all these medals?

  • The Free Jordanian

    One question Where and when did this dude receive all these medals?

  • Musa

    Nas,
    As you have mentioned in many of you previous writings, the culture of rumours is the result of “lack of transparency”. More importantly this “lack of transparency” is not simply a technical issue that can be resolved if a few governmental officials turn it into the most tired cliche, it is an intrinsic part of the autocratic regime – any autocratic regime or dictatorship for that matter.

    The adherence to the culture of rumours by most citizens is the result of previous experiences where rumours regarding the decision making circles were proven correct on many occasions – sooner or later.

    The Hashemite’s track record of collaboration with the Zionist project for various reasons (from protecting the throne and gaining the approval of colonial super powers, to expanding the area of influence, to much smaller petty gains like personal wealth) provides a fertile ground for rumours in this particular issue (the refugees issue).
    Just imagine if people started discussing King Hussein’s now-documented secret meetings with Zionist leaders or King Abdallah I’s ties with the Jewish Agency at the time they were happening. These facts would have been definitely dismissed as rumours by people
    “بدهم إيخربوا البلد”

    One completely off topic note:
    King Abdullah brief “work” visits to Brunei:
    Feb,2004
    March, 2006
    May,2008
    August,2009
    Given the absence of evidence of Brunei-based investment influx to Jordan, either these work visits are “not working” or ….insert your own rumour here.

  • Musa

    Nas,
    As you have mentioned in many of you previous writings, the culture of rumours is the result of “lack of transparency”. More importantly this “lack of transparency” is not simply a technical issue that can be resolved if a few governmental officials turn it into the most tired cliche, it is an intrinsic part of the autocratic regime – any autocratic regime or dictatorship for that matter.

    The adherence to the culture of rumours by most citizens is the result of previous experiences where rumours regarding the decision making circles were proven correct on many occasions – sooner or later.

    The Hashemite’s track record of collaboration with the Zionist project for various reasons (from protecting the throne and gaining the approval of colonial super powers, to expanding the area of influence, to much smaller petty gains like personal wealth) provides a fertile ground for rumours in this particular issue (the refugees issue).
    Just imagine if people started discussing King Hussein’s now-documented secret meetings with Zionist leaders or King Abdallah I’s ties with the Jewish Agency at the time they were happening. These facts would have been definitely dismissed as rumours by people
    “بدهم إيخربوا البلد”

    One completely off topic note:
    King Abdullah brief “work” visits to Brunei:
    Feb,2004
    March, 2006
    May,2008
    August,2009
    Given the absence of evidence of Brunei-based investment influx to Jordan, either these work visits are “not working” or ….insert your own rumour here.

  • http://www.black-iris.com/ Naseem Tarawnah

    Musa, I agree with the connection you make between the lack of transparency fueling the culture of rumors in Jordan, in which case, to use another tired cliche, it is simply ones chickens coming home to roost.

    However, while rumors are perfectly normal behavioral patterns in most societies, it becomes understandably problematic when those rumors are passed off as fact. There is a difference between what we choose to believe and what we can prove with verifiable evidence.

  • http://www.black-iris.com Naseem Tarawnah

    Musa, I agree with the connection you make between the lack of transparency fueling the culture of rumors in Jordan, in which case, to use another tired cliche, it is simply ones chickens coming home to roost.

    However, while rumors are perfectly normal behavioral patterns in most societies, it becomes understandably problematic when those rumors are passed off as fact. There is a difference between what we choose to believe and what we can prove with verifiable evidence.

  • one-human-soul

    I don’t agree with all what is said in this article. and I don’t think that most of the arguments where strong. I honestly aso didn’t like the rumors, and I think that inner threat is far more a threat than the “Zionist body”. and I find i cheap to use this comparison to back your opinion.

    The key to changing our country, is to love it and respect it and to start acting.

  • one-human-soul

    I don’t agree with all what is said in this article. and I don’t think that most of the arguments where strong. I honestly aso didn’t like the rumors, and I think that inner threat is far more a threat than the “Zionist body”. and I find i cheap to use this comparison to back your opinion.

    The key to changing our country, is to love it and respect it and to start acting.

  • Musa

    One-human-soul,
    The key to changing our country is demanding accountability and responsibility from the sole leader and decision maker…because otherwise our country is no different than Swaziland.

    As long as the country is treated as a wealth-generating farm for his majesty and his multi-layered inner circle, it will be hard for the majority of the citizens to love it, respect it and work hard for its best.

    Under the current circumstances the best you can hope for as a few beneficiaries who are preaching what you have mentioned above, while concentrating all their meaningful efforts on scavenging whatever petty leftovers is thrown their way.

  • Musa

    One-human-soul,
    The key to changing our country is demanding accountability and responsibility from the sole leader and decision maker…because otherwise our country is no different than Swaziland.

    As long as the country is treated as a wealth-generating farm for his majesty and his multi-layered inner circle, it will be hard for the majority of the citizens to love it, respect it and work hard for its best.

    Under the current circumstances the best you can hope for as a few beneficiaries who are preaching what you have mentioned above, while concentrating all their meaningful efforts on scavenging whatever petty leftovers is thrown their way.

  • one-human-soul

    Musa,
    Thank you for paying attention to my comment. I respect your opinion although I don’t agree. I just prefer if we start looking into grassroots level. almost everyone treats this country as a farm for our own interest (car drivers in the streets, school teachers, doctors,social workers,..with all respect to the exceptions in every sector).. otherwise, why would people not be honest or loyal at their work, why people don’t care about public property or cleanliness for a start…if we think that only one person is responsible for our misfortune, then we are wrong an just being too weak to look into ourselves and start the process of change.

  • one-human-soul

    Musa,
    Thank you for paying attention to my comment. I respect your opinion although I don’t agree. I just prefer if we start looking into grassroots level. almost everyone treats this country as a farm for our own interest (car drivers in the streets, school teachers, doctors,social workers,..with all respect to the exceptions in every sector).. otherwise, why would people not be honest or loyal at their work, why people don’t care about public property or cleanliness for a start…if we think that only one person is responsible for our misfortune, then we are wrong an just being too weak to look into ourselves and start the process of change.

  • http://www.7iber.com/ ramsey

    our individual success is tied to the collective success, no? shouldn’t it be?

    grassroots yes, but to be truly successful, it needs a comprehensive approach. policy level, enforcement, community and individual.

  • http://www.7iber.com ramsey

    our individual success is tied to the collective success, no? shouldn’t it be?

    grassroots yes, but to be truly successful, it needs a comprehensive approach. policy level, enforcement, community and individual.

  • Musa

    Ramsey,
    Without going into too many big words (or ridiculous analogies that equates the abuse of the royal family and its parasites to school teachers like our friend above !!) what we need is less vacations in Southern France with cute twitter pictures (and cheesy comments) to document it, and more accountability and questions asked about his majesty upgrading his private jet from a jumbo commercial A340-200 to a super jumbo commercial A340-642.

  • Musa

    Ramsey,
    Without going into too many big words (or ridiculous analogies that equates the abuse of the royal family and its parasites to school teachers like our friend above !!) what we need is less vacations in Southern France with cute twitter pictures (and cheesy comments) to document it, and more accountability and questions asked about his majesty upgrading his private jet from a jumbo commercial A340-200 to a super jumbo commercial A340-642.