Friday, January 13, 2006

These guys don't speak for me

The Jordanian "opposition" certainly is an orgy of strange bedfellows, spanning the political spectrum from leftists, pan-Arabists and Islamists. It is often a wonder where they ever find common ground. One place which seems to never fail is their admiration for Arab dictatorships. Last week, they outdid themselves, where they all traveled to Damascus to give support to Syria, based on the assumption that Syrians actually want to be ruled by a dictator. Many Iraqis still hate Jordanians, because similar stunts in the past gave the impression that Jordanians supported Saddam, and not the will of the Iraqi people.

Now, I will stay away from debate over the role of the Syrian regime in last year's wave of terror in Lebanon. There are many apologists who have no problem stating the Syrian regime was innocent in all of this, and even if they were involved, the people were murdered deserve this. While this logic is pathetic and sick, this is not the point I am trying to make.

The objective of any political party or grouping is to participate in the political process, with the ultimate goal of sharing power and setting agendas and policies. It is very worrisome when political parties striving for power find room in their discourse to defend a regime which outlaws and jails political opponents, stifles dissent and has goons beat up opposition figures, aside from being terribly corrupt. What does this say about how this opposition will behave if it comes to power?

The retort would be that Syria is now targeted, and that now is not the time to speak of the regime abuses in Syria and Lebanon, because the "imperialist agenda" has nothing to do with human rights and corruption, but with Syria's "steadfastness in defense of Arab causes". These are the same slogans that the same people gave to defend Saddam. Just to remind everybody, the Assad regime supported the Iranians against Iraq, and later joined George Bush senior's coalition against Saddam. I suppose this is what they mean by Syria's "steadfastness in defense of Arab causes".

Part of the strategy of the Assad regime is to look for enemies they can attack. Their enemies in Lebanon are known. Now, they are trying to make the Jordanian government an issue. Recently, they accused the Jordanian government of expelling Syrian workers, a charge that the Jordanian government denied. The subtext is that Jordan is helping plot against Syria. Of course, if this were the case, then Jordan would not have worked to cover up Syria's role in the plot to attack Amman with chemical weapons in 2004. Thanks for nothing, brothers.

So, if we were to buy all of this, the question still to be answered is this: Where were all of you guys before "Syria became targeted"? When did you criticize Bashar or Hafez for looting Lebanon and Syria, threatening, jailing and murdering opponents or mismanaging a potentially wealthy country into the ground?

This post is not about the Baa'th regime is Syria. It is about the opportunism of a few politicians who purport to speak for the Jordanian people.

The Jordanian people want the best for Syria and Lebanon. They want both countries to be free, prosperous and strong. In my opinion, the Baa'th regime in Syria is an obstacle to these wishes, and the delegation that went to Syria speaks only for themselves, and not for the Jordanian people.


At 1:40 AM, Blogger Batir Wardam said...


Marvellous analysis as usual. I have really enjoyed it and especially the hyperlink to the Tishreen newspaper story covering the wisdom of the Jordanian opposition delegation, so pathetic!
I read a small paragraph in Al Ghad that this delegation met with Bashar Asad for 2.5 hours. I wonder is Asad so desperate to meet for more than two hours with a bunch of useless politicians who do not represent the people of Jordan. He should be engaged in a strategic thinking cell that tries to figure out a way for him to modernize the regime and increase political freedoms and links with the world instead of setting with the Jordanian parties to talk about slogans that do not work anymore.

At 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Syrian regimes is not innocent,the delegation went to syria [shame on you],khalaf thank you.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you on everything except your last comment about the delegation. I believe that most people in Jordan are gullible and have short memories. They are willing to support even the worst of tyrants (like Saddam and Hafiz) under the pretext of Arab Unity and Muslim Brotherhood, and they forget that both of them were the worst enemies of anything religious just few years ago.
It is for this reason that the opportunist opposition are making these shows of support, they are simply and desperately aiming to score points with the gullible majority of our people in Jordan.

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some thoughts -

the devil you know is better than the one you dont.

remember that this delegation is not the first Jordanian delegation to meet with the Baathist regime. So who holds the moral high ground here? The opposition remains far behind the monarchy and its governments in terms of its support and collaboration with the Baathist regime.

what harm is the delegation creating? Bashar is in dire straits. Yet he has little to gain from this meeting, other than PR; and the same holds for the Jordanian delegation.

the delegation is not seeking to represent the Jordanian people; your blog has more presumptions on this than the delegation, even though you have not yet held office, I presume.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon: The delegation was titled "the popular accord to champion Syria". It didn't say "the opposition accord to champion Syria". Thus, you are wrong in suggesting that the delegation doesn't pretend to represent the Jordanian people. Even if they made it clear that they only represent themselves, I am free to emphasize that too.

The title of the post was "These guys don't speak for me" I didn't make any presumptions, such as "The popular blog for freeing the Arab mind from superstition and sloganeering".

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great response to anonymous, Khalaf. No one says it like you do. Keep up the great work.
From an Anon who loves reading your blogs.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Now I am blushing. Thank you.

At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


i am happy you hit the stone! yes, jordanian parties are hardly representative of jordanian citizens.

we need a honest party that does not lie or use propaganda. it must represent what the people want and not what regional dictatorships want.

do you want to join me in forming a new jordanian party that represents the will of the common people?


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