Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Is it politics or professional wrestling?

The struggle between the Islamist movement and the government is passing what seems to be a point of no return. Following loud accusations that the government was involved in forging the municipal elections, the prime minister launched an all out attack on the Muslim Brotherhood. Abu Aardvark has an excellent review of the details.

Lost in the scuffle is whether cheating actually occurred. Most people and a lot of anecdotal evidence suggest that there was cheating, although the scale of this is not yet known. I tend not to be persuaded with what most people think, as many Jordanians are more than willing to believe even the most absurd rumors. The government response has evaded the main charge and focused on MB intentions. Jamil Nimri’s editorial suggests tacitly that the state has decided that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” and that they will use “available tools without timidity or fear of accusations of bias”. This does not leave much to the imagination. They will do whatever it takes to prevent the Islamists from taking power. This was not an outcome that would have transpired anyway, because the number of Islamist candidates was too small, their popularity was too low and the elections were for municipal councils that have little bearing on state policy.

Yasser Abu Hilaleh suggests that this will increase the popularity of the MB. I am not sure that if this was not the desired outcome. The popularity of the Islamists was in a slump, with many people angry and distrusting of them. What better way to give them a boost than to arrange an elaborate theater? I can think of no other reason to intervene blatantly in elections in favor of the side that was going to win anyway. The only other explanation I can think of is plain stupidity.

Jordanian politics is a lot like watching the Harlem Globetrotters playing the Washington Generals. Of course, the Globetrotters always win, because the Generals are there for the specific purpose of losing. In the final analysis it is a theater which needs to maintain some semblance of competition. The removal of the Generals would mean that smart, credible political parties with Jordan’s interest at heart may start to rise from the shadows. Notwithstanding all the theater, the powers that be in Jordan are not interested in such an outcome.


At 6:28 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

Do you think the king visit was to show support or to slap someone on the face?
I think it was a bit of both ;)

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Support, more likely.

At 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apart from my convictions that cheating did occur and it was a little more than hearsay, it seams that we are on agreement on this. I will add to the jump starting of the slumping MB popularity, the possibility that the government are not so distressed that the Hawkish MBs may dominate the scene, nor that some will turn into some stupid violent acts whom they know full well they can contain and cash the US praise or maybe in dire need for a bargaining chip with the arrogant israelis. The Jordanians always gfail in the details (look at my lack of spelling check) and our government, bless here, is after part of us and they have the poor excusion Jordanian trait. Shtupid ejiits. I would want to beleive that there is a bigger goodness awaiting ahead. Will the PM, like sayyedna El Khader with Moses, will prove to be one of the wise men of the east?
On another note. The MBs are composed of a hawkish pro hamas inclined wesward and do really consider Jordan as a platform for their struggle (the PFLP model of the late 60s)and a more moderate majority who are focusing on the inhancment of the dailly lives of the needy Jordainas as a first priority (pinch of salt!) The hawkish wings are getting stronger after the farce on the 31st. The reall question that all Jordanians should ask themselves, are we planning to build a structured civil society that enrich the fabric of this country? Can we together form the smallest functioning unit that can, say, put down a big fire on a Jordanian city? The society is fragmented in so many ways making it very difficult to avoid a scuffle while waiting to be served at a bakery.

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, you are spot on. Thanks for the insight.

At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its Politica Jiu-Jitsu


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