To Navigate this “Madness”!

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 19 April / Apr 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

There is no other way to put this into words: madness. A raging storm that is tearing through the region, driven by rivalry and cross-continental interests.

This is no mere ‘war by proxy’; these wars, all centring in our region, if anything, are a precursor to the greater war yet to come.

All this destruction, unending in the near future it seems, is driven by geo-political and economic competition over dominion and influence. The phase is cut-throat.

Surely, out of this turmoil, our Jordan must immerge intact; in peace.

Jordan must devise a cautious, farsighted strategy, inspect every single variable, brave the uncertainty of the surrounding unfolding, wisely, mind you, in order to navigate this madness and make it to safety in one piece!

The golden rule which keeps us afloat, keeps us out of the cross-hair of everybody, is to not make waves, and not make enemies.

The Kingdom seeks to stand at a balanced and equal distance from all the regional and international players involved in every single conflict in the region.

It is crucial that Jordan remains clear of conflict with all of the sides involved in this bloodbath.

This enables the Kingdom of sustain its advantageous position as an effective medium for peace and reconciliation in Iraq for example, on one hand, and maintain the interests, security, and stability of the country on the other.

Taking uncalculated risks, making waves which may backfire, is not the way.

The last thing Jordan needs is some irresponsible, reckless act of unawareness to agitate an already frail situation.

Particularly with all the sect-struck lots, and those infected with religious extremism and racism lurking around, raising issues which serve only the purpose of division and destabilisation.

The whole region is on fire. It is already infested with sectarian and religious turmoil.

Meanwhile, those among us with the same symptoms carry out reactionary and sentimentally unsound actions with ever reflecting on how their deeds reflect on their own homeland!

For example, those who set fire to the images and pictures of Iraqi symbols and figureheads. They almost dragged the whole country into a crisis with Iraq.

Similarly, there are others with the same diseases, east of our borderlines, waiting, holding their breath for something like this happen to reignite what we had just defused!

Notably, the only thing which may come out of this, is loss. Loss of mutual Iraqi-Jordanian interests, as well as a loss to Arabs in general!

The official Jordanian approach, typically, sought to absorb and contain the situation, with the solid conviction that the Kingdom’s relationship with Iraq is firm and strong. That the acts of the few are not representative of Jordan, and should not inflict any fundamental damage on the ever-evolving relationship between the two countries.

Hence is the balance and approach which enables Jordan to overcome all the repercussions of the phase, as the world collides in the Arab region.

Primarily, this allows Jordan to immerge from this unscathed, all the while building sustainable, long term relations with everybody, based first and foremost on the maintenance of the Kingdom’s security, stability, and the attainment of its interests.

The sensitive and strategic geo-political position could be a blessing for Jordan if the givens and variables of the current phase are managed with wisdom and balance.

It could too, God forbid, be a curse, if Jordan loses balance and wisdom, to pursue goals which serve not the Jordanian interest.

This stage in Jordan’s modern history must be governed with cold precision.

Nothing of the sort of thing such as the recent ‘protests’ in Mafraq should reoccur.

To make it through in peace, the full scale integration and coordination of all official, popular, and private bodies must be sought and attained. Dyscoordination divides goals and objectives, and fails all initiative.

More so, it is reflective of the absence of a comprehensive strategic view and direction, which only rattles trust in our ability to pull through these difficult times.

In short, there are clear positions, and other stances which are more ambiguous. This is typical in politics, and particularly in such a situation.

This has happened recently too, when US President Donald Trump changed his position on the future of Bashar Assad’s presidency in Syria overnight. He actually woke us up to the shocking news of a Tomahawk strike at a Syrian airbase in response for the usage of chemical weapons.

Zero conflict with our neighbours, all of them. This is crucial in light of the uncertainty which reigns and the constant shifts in alliances and positions.

While that may be seem difficult, all we need is a clear strategy, highlighted, which prioritises Jordan’s interests and welfare.

Then, we can work on the reinforcement of our domestic frontier, to further solidify it, strengthen it, and make our ship bulletproof, unsinkable, in the face of the raging storm which surrounds us.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.