Friday, July 28, 2006

It’s our fault, as usual

It seems that the Lebanese wounded are refusing treatment at the field hospitals set up by the Jordanian military for them. Apparently, they are blaming Jordan for not doing enough to stop the Israeli attack against them.

Now, King Abdullah has called repeatedly for stopping the aggression against Lebanon (a strong term that caught the attention of Israeli and western media). I am not sure what is required, but I do understand the attitude.

Arabs have a fixation for blaming Jordan for all their problems. The Sunnis in Iraq blame us for supporting the current government; the Shiites blame us for supporting Saddam (and for Zarqawi being Jordanian). The Kuwaitis blame us for supporting Saddam and the Syrians and the Palestinians blame us for a host of ills ranging from losing the 1967 war (which the Syrians and the Egyptians lost too, by the way) through to making peace with Israel, along with dozens of perceived wrongs that are mostly illogical and self contradictory.

But the Lebanese? Why would they be mad at us? We didn’t set up and support militias during the civil war there as the Israelis, Syrians, Iraqis and the Iranians did. According to the report, the Lebanese asked said that "They cannot give the green light for this strike against us and then show up to treat us. We don't want their sweetness or their bitterness." We gave the green light? Is this about the joint statement where King Abdullah and President Mubarak blamed Hezbollah (not by name) for the adventurism that led to this situation?

Well, I know that this might sound cold, but they were right. The Lebanese government failed miserably at controlling the situation in the south and in extending their control over the area. There are many adventurers who would like nothing better than to drag Jordan through the same ordeal that Lebanon is going through. The Jordanian government paid a heavy political price to stop militant activities in Jordan. The Lebanese government refused to pay such a price. This is their fault, not ours.

So, Arabs can blame us for all their problems if they like. It is probably comforting to have a universal, all purpose bad guy on which you can pin all your failures. Unfortunately, this silly blame game will actually do nothing to solve real problems created by superstition, adventurism, sloganeering, and poor planning and management. When they get their act together, then Jordan's role as a whipping boy might end.

In the mean time, since the Lebanese don’t want our medical services, we should bring the medical teams back and extend the resources to our own sick people. Jordan University hospital is being threatened to have its supply of pharmaceuticals cut off because they haven’t been able to pay their bills. There are plenty of patients here who could use the help.


At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think this story needs much frustration. The Lebanese people are justified in their anger which is not targeted for Jordan but all the world. It seems Reuters' correspondent did not find any sign for any other Arab technical aid but Jordan on the ground. However this nice story has helped some bloggers whose main hobby is finding stories criticising Jordan to enjoy posting and commenting about it (

At 4:10 AM, Blogger Oleander said...

I for one understand the Lebanese frustration with Jordan, the fact that Jordan was given clearance to land airplanes in Beirut airport shows a certain level of cooperation and coordination between Jordan and Israel. However, the planes started arriving only after the US pressured Israel to open "aid corridors". Makes me wonder, how much leverage does Jordan have through its peace treaty with Israel? My guess is none, such is the case of the peace of the weak.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Batir: The Lebanese government has been going out of its way to thank everybody who has helped them except Jordan.

Oleander: Your points are self contradictory. Either there is coordination to get the planes here, and to open the aid corridores, which are helpful for the Lebanese and is an argument for having peace, or peace is not helpful. Which is it? Moreover, Israel is not attacking Lebanon because of what anything Jordan could have done or not done. To suggest so is childish.

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Natalia said...

I just want you to know that I have a migraine right now, and I blame Jordan.


At 3:01 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Good one Natalia.


At 4:25 PM, Blogger Oleander said...

Khalaf, my point is that the peace is only "helpful" when it's in compliance with what America wants, hence the aid didn't come until 2 weeks after the start of the conflict.

I of course wasn't suggesting that Jordan could've prevented Israel's attack. I really like a statement by Michael Aoun on the topic, he said in reply to a question about if the "option of war" is in the hand of the Lebanese government, and he said the option of war is only in the hand of Israel. I can't find the link at the moment but it was somewhere on

At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone has been fouling batir's blog today with coarse language. Batir, as you know, is a center figure in the political discussions, and his blog attracts comments that are pro and against the government equally likely.

The past week, because of the events in Lebanon, the atmosphere of political discussion has heated up in the Jordanian blogsphere. Some people voiced very hard criticisms of the government and its stance.

Considering the behaviour of the foul-mouthed individual calling himself Ahmad Tarawneh, I do not see anything in Batir's behavior to merit Ahmad's reponses. I expect that Ahmad has been sent by someone to foul Batir's blog on purpose and he was armed with private information about Batir's family.

Batir's knee-jerk reaction was to call the blog to be closed (Ahmad repeatedly challenged him to close the blog, and in a way he was encouraging him to do it).

My personal explanation is that this Ahmad is a member of the intelligence services who intends to poison the blogging atmosphere in Jordan by ruinging the emerging community. They want to break is because it is showing signs of free political discussions and is proving to be a place where people breathe amongst the atmosphere of fear in Jordan.

I am not sure what should be done about this. I urge Batir not to stop blogging. Is there a better way to do this? Write a letter to someone who is concerned about encouring free speech in Jordan? Any help is appreciated.

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say that Jordan gave Israel any kind of green light is just unrealistic. Jordan can't give Israel any lights, be they red or green!

I think that the Lebanese people are disappointed with the position of three Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) that stood out the most right after the beginning of this crisis. These three countries committed the mistake of indirectly blaming Hizballah.

While in theory that criticism towards Hizballah is valid to a great extent, these countries should have known that it wasn't gonna flow well with the Lebanese. The Lebanese are being killed and their country is being destroyed by one enemy, and that's Israel, not Hizballah. That's what the vast majority of Lebanese people believe.

Now Saudi Arabia is in a much better relationship with Lebanon than Jordan or Egypt are. Everyone knows the ties between Al Hariri and Saudi Arabia. They also have a lot of money and King Abdallah of Saudi has already pledged one and a half billion dollars in aid to Lebanon. That is more than enough to help the Lebanese forget what the Saudis said.

But when it comes to Jordan. There's really little that Jordan can do, and this is why it pretty much always boils down to what Jordan says, and obviously, the Lebanese didn't like what Jordan said in the beginning.

That, and the fact that the Israeli ambassador is still in Amman and Jordan and Israel are still considered "friends".

Sometimes, I wish Jordan was somewhere south of Australia and away from all of this.

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason people tend to blame Jordan is because the Jordanian regime is known historically to conspire against the Arab issues and causes, and to continuously offer assistance and under-cover support to all the Arabs enemies, under the excuses of survival and “diplomacy", as it is documented in literature, CIA documents, and various video footage. Just maybe…

At 11:37 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon: This is one reason why I don't give my name. Batir continues to write, but I would suggest that he cancel his current blog and start blogging anonymously.

Hamzeh: Like I said in the post, if they need to find somebody to blame, they should look in the mirror.

Hashemi: What Arab causes are you referring to? Oh all the glorious Arab causes that have been thwarted by the Jordanian regime. Makes tears come to my eyes.

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan is reposible for the Ozone layer and for the world peace.
Are we a super power? mayby the Bloggers say so...

At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not Jordan and it's not the Jordanian that are working side to side with Israel .. it's the none Jordanian King that is working and dealing with them ... but do you blame him .. he is a Fucking British .. and what do you expect from them ... I am Jordanian, and proud to be one .. but I am so ashamed of what our King is doing ..... .

At 1:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you counter arguments of frustrated and suffering Lebanese with even more ridiculous propositions. If you keep up with world affairs you would evidently recognise that Israel and the US is to be held in account. Hizbollah supports the Lebanese resistance and struggle against an aggressive neighbour. Obviously Israel;s propoganda has effected you, and you know believe that Hizbollah is the source of terror.

Just a few posts ago you were writing about arabs having a joint defense pact, and now you are blaming the lebanese for starting a war and then blaming the Jordanians.

Get serious.


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