AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan said on Wednesday that Hamas had tried to recruit activists for military training in Syria and Iran to stage possible attacks in Jordan and said it had found new weapons that included Iranian rocket launchers.
Government spokesman Nasser Joudeh told reporters details of the plot were revealed during interrogations of 20 Hamas militants arrested by security forces last month. [source]
Rocket launchers? Detonators? Jordanian recruits? Training in Iran and Syria? Woah. Dude.
Tomorrow confessions of the 20 militants will be shown on national television. I guess the government is trying to gain some credibility amongst the people. So why is it that the general population doesn’t believe the claims? Frankly I don’t know. The majority of the population is Palestinian and pro-Hamas, so that probably has something to do with it. But just as important is the government’s approach. If this story turns out to be true, which my best guess says it eventually will, people will still not believe it.
I think the Amman Bombings changed very little in our society, at least in my opinion. Jordanians were suddenly woken in the middle of the night to learn that there were in fact foreign elements which sought to hurt them or their national interests. They went out and protested in anger. This lasted for about a month. Very rarely has the government played the 11/9 card to remind people of how it is; probably because itÃ¢??s not healthy to have a society living in constant fear.
But this of course makes it harder for people to remember when the time does call for it. The government is still damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. It made some obvious wrong moves lately in dealing with this story. Its not only credibility issues but communication issues as well. The government has always had difficulty communicating anything to the general public, or at least it does it in a way that screams Ã¢??mistrustÃ¢??. The original Zahar trip should not have been cancelled and they should’ve waited until they had enough evidence to provide to the people because you are dealing with a population that requires more convincing than the norm. You canÃ¢??t go about doing it in weekly payments; cash up front is a better method.
Why does Hamas have more credibility than the government? Arab governments and the Arab street are constantly at odds with each other. Jordanian ties and relations with Israel or America are not accepted by the overwhelming majority of the population, although mind you the overwhelming majority of the population reminds me of the monkey in the cage who doesn’t ask where the pellet comes from. Hamas on the other hand has been fighting the good fight. It’s a case of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham fighting for the attention of the masses.
Maybe we’ve just developed the habit, or rather tradition, of not trusting the government. Mix that in with the fact that we are living in a social state of denial. It’s not that we think we live in a safe country, I mean we could have a situation where bombs are being dropped from the sky and people would still raise an eyebrow if the government said the culprits were some group the people support. It’s just the government planting weapons and hiring actors, taping their confessions, all to distract the people from the real issues: rising fuel prices.
I’ll be interested to see what information is revealed in these confessions but I know for a fact less than 1% of the people will change their minds. The first thing they’ll say is “tortured”, take my word for it. Indeed, there are lessons to be learned from the best concerning the government’s credibility (or lack there of), but there are also lessons to be learned concerning the denial of the people.
A government with little to no credibility with its people, and a people living in denial.
A match made in political heaven.