The Lone Decider

August 6, 2009

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 ).