Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The recent updates from Jordan

I am writing this upon the request of a few good friends. But this is meant to be a general view, and not a very accurate description, intended for those who do not live here. 

The general view:

The Jordanian regime is trying to return the country to a pre-spring condition. This is (surprisingly?) because the Jordanian regime finds itself incapable of surviving comfortably in an environment with the least bit of freedoms. It seems that each square that the regime looses for the opposition (both traditional and new opposition) means that it will be giving out more compromises and squares later on. So the regime, and since the beginning of the Arab spring, decided to do a very sketchy dance (keeping into mind its general unfitness to any kind of dance), where squares and given and taken, back and forth, with no real change on the long run. It seems that the Jordanian regime feels its only comfort in its natural habitat, a strictly totalitarian one, and thus tries its best now to return the country into these conditions. The problem is that the country now is facing one of the most sensitive situations, probably since black September.

Since the beginning of the Jordanian spring, if any, an opposition has been born. New opposition includes anarchists, extreme leftists, new left, syndicalists from a diverse range of backgrounds, and so on. As well as the old opposition, leftist and right wing. The old leftist opposition seems to have lost its ground to the benefit of the Islamic brotherhood over the past decades. Especially that the Islamic brotherhood has also efficiently used its financial Wahhabi support as well as the decades in which it was allied with the regime to be part of the hammer by which all other opposition was stricken.

What's new:

However, the new opposition is now starting to include a new group, a group that no opposition ever dreamt to join the battle. Jordanian citizens from cities other than the capital, the poorest of the poor, those who own the least and support the most. (on which the regime has always depended for security) have started to gradually join, or to be more specific, form, the real new opposition.

The addition of this group to the opposition has made the situation of the opposition very specific, and it goes as follows: most of the people in Jordan do not find themselves in opposition of the regime (due to the fact that the unknown is still more feared than the current impoverishment). There are only a few who form the opposition. These few have slightly/somewhat grown in numbers, but astonishingly and surprisingly grown radical in their level of opposition. So there is not a population that is opposing the regime, but there is a relatively small radical group, that could ignite the whole population if the regime decides to make the already hard lives of the poor even harder. We could say that the financial situation in Jordan is nearly close to cause a burst of popular outrage that could change regime immediately. This can only happen with the help of the already existing radical opposition groups.

Furthermore, the Islamists seem to be carefully weighing every single option in every single moment, they form the second largest group of organized power after the state itself. Islamists were among the latest to join the mass demonstrations in Amman in early January last year, but they do not seem to be willing to make any other mistake. The islamists did not care for change during the spring in Jordan, but rather cared more to increase their political power through gaining more political power. However, the islamists are not capable of moving the population in the direction they choose whenever they want. So, the political power they are aiming to acquire comes in the form of increased parliamentary representation and possible ministerial seats. They were almost getting this in the time of the latest prime minister Awn Al-Khasawneh, but the latter was put down by the king since he felt that the prime minister is actually behaving as a prime minister rather than a puppet. This was a big blow to the Islamists.

The last few months: (this part is where we can feel the sensitivity of the current situation)

The regime appointed the current prime minister after Awn al Khasawneh for a very specific task. This prime minister is fully supportive of the "old ways" and was appointed for this reason. He refused to communicate with the leaderships of the opposition, refused to take the most recent changes of the Jordanian politics into consideration, and dealt with every single situation as if the country was still in the early eighties.

Among the things that Fayez Al Tarawneh accomplish are: push the government to censor the internet, allow the arrest of several activists from Tafeeleh and Amman (who are part of the radical igniting group, one of which got arrested right now while am writing this), carry out several prices increase, and prepare for a specific kind of election.

Internet censorship: this one is big, a mouthful. The internet censorship law was rallied for in the beginning as a law to censor porn websites (since PM does not want people to jack off). But after the rally, the law soon changed into one that forces Jordanian news website owners to officially register their websites. This means, unlike before, that they have to be known by the government for their websites not to be banned. This also automatically means that they have to pay huge amounts of money in case they publish material that could be considered offensive to governmental officials and the king. This also forces them to censor any comments and posts made on the content they release.

The elections: the king considers the elections to be urgent and important to carry out before of the end of the year. This is because of the regime's innate interest in democracy. hahahaha, of course not, but because most aid expected to be given to Jordan was tied by the United states (and thus Saudi Arabia) with conducting the elections. Islamists are boycotting this elections because they are not getting the bigger part of the pie that they think they deserve. At the same time, most leftists are also boycotting despite several governmental offers to "help" them because they seem to refuse the idea of being a tool that the government uses to hammer the islamists, especially that doing this now, will cause them to lose their popular reputation.

The arrests: the regime is working hard, to keep the king away from the street slogans in the demonstrations. This is because the king seems to have lost his "sacredness" in the street while the regime is insisting on returning it. Right now, the PM is doing one of the few last tasks that he supposed to carry out, return the government to its iron fist in order to further push "the line" of freedoms down. Especially that this line has to be pushed back up through a tough fight on part of the opposition.

This is generally why country is about to fall into chaos any minute now. say inshallah.
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