Saturday, April 22, 2006

Yes, the government is to blame too

The entire dealing with the Hamas terror cell was a fiasco. The greatest blame for the latest events lies with the people trying to sew divisions and uncertainty in the country. They were certainly aided by the incompetent handing of the affair by the government. Therefore, the lack of credibility of the government does not reflect on itself alone, but threatens the social fabric of the country. The government shot itself in the foot and gave Hamas a PR victory.

Batir Wardam first pointed to this problem, where he suggested that the lack of evidence makes the story easy to shoot down. To me, the government made four fatal mistakes in handling the media aspect of this issue.

First, they chose the wrong time. The scheduled visit by Mahmoud Zahhar at the time was cancelled, and people naturally assumed that the announcement was an excuse to get out of meeting with him. This was reinforced by later statements by Nasser Joudeh, who said that this is not the first time that they have caught Hamas members trying such antics. The natural reaction was, well, why did they choose THIS time to make the announcement?

Second, they gave too little data. Now, if they weren't prepared to provide any information, because of security issues, then they shouldn't have made the announcement in the first place. The PM chose to only meet with IAF deputies to tell them details about the case. Doesn't everybody else deserve to know the details? Or are IAF deputies more trustworthy than the rest? Are IAF constituents more important to convince than the rest of us? I really couldn't understand the message that the government was sending.

Third, they didn't check out Jordan Planet. If they had, they would have learnt the extent of their PR problem, and maybe tried to rectify it. Omar Kullab at Al Anbat is right to complain about the one-sided coverage of the issue on Jordan Television. It's as if the government has never heard of Al Jazeera or the internet. Did they think they could monopolize the story? They could have used JTV to refute the allegations against them through dialog. It would have made great TV.

Fourth, they didn't know what their objective was. This is clear from the amount and timing of their release of information. If they wanted to reveal a terror plot, they surely would have put enough convincing cards on the table to start. If they wanted Hamas to back off, they should have used back channels to get their message across. Joudeh's vague announcement about the Gaza meeting seems to reflect a desire for Hamas to back off. Why the entire hullabaloo then?

I sometimes wonder whose side the government is on.


At 10:34 AM, Blogger Rambling Hal said...

-"I sometimes wonder whose side the government is on."

Yes, and
YES!!!!!! Thank you!

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya Zalameh. Is there anybody in Jordan who still believes the government!!!

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yes, the government is to blame too"

I would remove "too" from the title. It is not a PR debacle only on part of the government, it is a shameful act in the first place.

Of course you will say I am accusing the government of being behind it. Comparing the records of Hamas and the government in both Machivelleanism and credibility, the governmnet has very little political and credibility capital for us to believe it. Hamas on the other hand has much of both.

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't accuse someone of doing something and then say "let's share the blame".

This is a classic "two wrongs make a right". Would the government accept Al-Qaeda's offer to share the blame for the Nov 9th bombings? This is hypocricy

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you khalaf.


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