What Lies Beyond…

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 25 December / Dec 2016. 10:15 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The recent events in Karak go beyond simply the state security dynamic in relation to ISIS and the terror group’s proponents in Jordan. More importantly, I would say, it has more to do with the state-citizen relationship and the dynamics and values which govern and organise this relationship!

So far, if we have overlook two paramount positive indices; the public anti-ISIS inclination and the popular rise to support the authorities against the “terrorist cell”, there are other indices and pointers that come to light, in the aftermath of these incidents, which need to be thoroughly addressed and analysed.

Chief among these indices is the massive gap between citizens and the state.

The “internal crisis” has surfaced on several tiers; first would be the limited public trust in state institutions and bodies.

Respectively, that would be caused by two main factors:

First, the general sense of lacking leaderships to fill the void and spearhead the crisis directly; not security wise, for that is the natural and typical role of security agencies, but politically, popularly, and locally in Karak.

Second is the high, and rather abnormal, ceiling of expectations among the citizens in regards to the performance of the “State”.

Naturally, in the latter discourse, something must have gone wrong, and there must be a shortcoming of some sort in these regards, and I think there is an undergoing revaluation of the situation to identify it.

Fact is, no matter how vigilant or capable is the security device, take Europe for instance, it cannot fully, 100 per cent, effectively address the recent shift towards “implementation” among those terrorists and groups, even if they were under surveillance; prediction, for example, is extremely difficult, especially when we are talking about a current whose proponents count by the thousands, backed by the spawning of a new more violent and evasive generation, all the while aiming at vaster and less specific targets!

The problem lies in the fact that this unrealistically raised expectation was partially catalysed by official media, over the recent period; influencing an exaggerated public perception.

On the other hand, the lack or weakened credibility of official and state media has also contributed to the public perception crisis.

Evident from the public response to both press conferences on the two recent Karak events, held by ministers of Interior and Media Affairs, a problem lies as well in the construction of the official rhetoric and story; it was not professionally put together in a way that would be respectful of the higher levels of education and political awareness among Jordanians.

Personally, I do not think it is Media Affairs Minister Dr Mohammad Momani’s fault alone; the frailty of the official story, that is, or its delay. The problem is older than Momani’s time in office, and it has pretty much turned into a predicament comprised in the limited access to information granted to the Minister himself, sometimes even to the Prime Minister, in addition to the extremely contained margin for public statement and the construction of the rhetoric. Apparently, based on the official “leaks”, it seems that the Minister was actually aiming towards a more accurate, thorough, and convincing rhetoric than what he finally faced the public with.

In addition to these factors, above, the rise in negative public perception of the official state practice and dialect, added the weight of the difficult economic condition, obviously reflective on the public mood and psyche, considering unemployment, poverty, increasing costs of living, and even more dangerously, the rising sense of injustice; all of it contributes to the public feel.

There is also a disturbance in the street over the widening gap between classes, as well as the crisis in confliction between the central parts of the Country, Amman west for instance, and the outskirts; governorates and villages. This too strongly contributes to the rise of secondary and sub identities!

The popular stand against ISIS and affiliates is strong, and reassuring. But on the other end of the spectrum, it isn’t well, internally; the smaller events which unravelled during and after the Karak situation are sincerely worrying.

More so, the horizon is not promising, economically. Which would require that more attention is given to governing the domestic situation, before it culminates and spins out of control!