What a Jordan!

تم نشره في Mon 10 February / Feb 2014. 05:09 AM - آخر تعديل في Wed 12 February / Feb 2014. 09:15 PM

By Fahed Khitan

When you hear the speeches of the Jordanian politicians and read some of the articles in our media, you would think that Jordan is as strong as America and Russia combined, and that that its economy is comparable to the economy of China and Japan.

It is not enough for Jordan to reject the demands for a "Jewish state", but it also should “kick" U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry out of the region, and reject his plan even before it has been announced. Hence, abolish the Wadi Araba agreement with Israel immediately and without delay.

This is all on the Western front. On the northern front with Syria, Jordan should mobilize its "armies" immediately; occupy Daraa and head towards Damascus so that the Assad regime falls. Those who stand in the opposite direction of this option are not less demanding. For Jordan should burn its bridges with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and open fire on their respective heads of states.

Those demanding this “modest” change, however, ask the Gulf States to give billions to revive the exhausted economy of Jordan.

Same situation with the US; we curse it in the morning, and wonder - in the evening – why was their grant late this year?

Egypt’s gas supplies are cut after the bombing, and Iraq stops supplying Jordan with oil: their response is warning the government against the “evils” of raising the prices, and demand that it finds alternative methods without any suggestions from their behalf, as if we are not in an international market in which we have no power.

Some began suggesting we should rely on our “Arabian depth” - instead of the west and its assistance – at a time when half the Arab countries are facing the danger of turning into failed states, and most are drowning in internal wars that see no end; countries that can no longer feed their own people, but we want them to lend their support to us.

We have dire problems that we have been facing for a long time, in short: we overestimate ourselves, and we are delusional about our capabilities and position, too.

The Jordanian state might be historically responsible for creating this delusion; Jordan is the country of the Great Arab Revolt, and its place on the map gives it features nobody can deny, as if we are the only country in the region floating in vacuum.

Jordanians have grown old listening to this self-glorifying rhetoric, which disregards historical, geographical, and power factors that a country need.

We are not lesser than our neighbors, that much is true. Jordan is still, in all possible scenarios, a success story. Jordanians are heroes, no doubt. But let us remember where we stand, and how many challenges limit us in claiming what we cannot do.

Incidentally, people are a lot less pretentious than the political elite; a lot more realistic.

Two days ago, I was at a discussion with my colleague, Dr. Mohammad Aburumman, at the Sahab Cultural Forum. The topic of discussion, as usual these days, was “Kerry’s Plan”.

People’s comments were, surprisingly, more realistic and carried more depth than anticipated. Most importantly, everyone was keen on peace and security, distanced themselves from star-spangled slogans, and called for deeper understanding of the the objective determinants that govern the work of decision-makers in regards to resolving the conflict in the region.

In a study on the issues of the refugees' right of return and the proposed compensation - done by Jordanian researcher  and summarized on Ammonnews.net yesterday - it emerged that more than half of the respondents, 2,400 individuals, do not wish to return and accept the compensation and the retention of the Jordanian citizenship. The rest choose to reside in the state of Palestine after its establishment, or to migrate to Europe and or the US.

I bet those with loud voices within the opposition and the elites will attack the researcher, and accuse him of being an infiltrator, before they stop for a moment and examine their preconceived assumptions about the feelings of "the masses".

Had we all been realistic, maybe we could have overcome decades of delusions.



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.