The Reforms The King Wants

Watching this video by Aramram, which came out after the March 25th event, I thought it was interesting to see HM King Abdullah’s words sitting in contrast to those of stick-wielding protesters who, let’s just say, came to Friday’s protests with a special kind of zeal. What these youth say is fairly reflective of how many people in Jordan think and feel, and thus frame the concept of “reform” within the larger picture. Watch it first:

 The Problem:
What the young men say is quite fascinating to me, but not surprising as I heard it quite abundantly from his side of the Interior Circle during the event itself. “He [the King] will decide what the reforms are; not us,” says the young man. “It’s not for the people to decide what the reforms are. He is the ruler; he decides what the reforms are. And we are behind him 100%”

I have often believed that one of the biggest impediments to reforms in this country (and there’s a long list) has always been the lack of public inclusion in the process itself. “Reform” has come to mean something that exists on a very omniscient pedestal, far from the reach of mere mortals, and can only be understood by the King. It is beyond the comprehension of the average citizen. And to a large extent, this is partly true. Why? Because the reform process has in fact lacked public inclusion. The people will often see the word in newspaper articles or the King’s speeches, or the Prime Minister’s speeches, or on Jordan Television – but it is a word that exists to describe macro public policy that is rarely understood by the majority of the population. How many are aware of virtual voting districts, the proposed energy mix or the judicial reform of judges?

The Process:
But aside from the lack of comprehension, the lack of public inclusion has also meant that reform is decided by the King. This may not be true on a micro level, since the King tends to form committees that, in a think tank fashion, come back with proposed ideas that he reviews and approves of. Nevertheless, on a macro level, the entire process is seen as something that is belonging solely within the King’s hands. These reforms are then “given” to the Prime Minister and his government to implement. Thus, what people see and hear and perceive to be true is that the King comes up with reforms and the government is given the task of carrying them out. The government usually fails due to a million and one issues, and it’s back to the drawing board; often manifested in a speech by the King, a letter of designation to a new Prime Minister and/or the formation of another committee. This has largely been the vicious circle of the past few years, and in recent weeks we’ve seen all those things take place: a new government, a pro-reform designation letter, a national dialog committee to discuss specific reforms, a speech about reforms, and another letter to the Prime Minister demanding faster movement on the reform front.

Again, this is the process that the average Jordan sees unfolding before them, and it is what shapes much of their public perceptions regarding reforms. As the young man in the video said: “the King decides what the reforms will be”. Not us. The people.

A Solution?:
Indeed, the lack of public inclusion has become a major obstacle for the reform process. No citizen sees themselves having to do with anything related to that process, and thus there is no responsibility, no motivation. When people are part of any process, they have some skin in the game and they feel a sense of responsibility. Their mindset completely changes.

A very simple example of this is the environment. We live in a society that is often keen on littering. They have no sense of social responsibility. And why should they? Rarely are they told by the educational system, their teachers, their peers, their parents and their communities that what they are doing is wrong. In fact, it is often encouraged by all of those entities. The government will be along shortly to clean up after them. After all, it’s a street sweepers job.

Far removed from this reality is a government or a municipality that sees a problem and attempts to do something about it. The public policy process is typically formed by a committee, approved by whoever is in charge, and then carried out only to experience complete failure. All the awareness campaigns, all the logos, leaflets and billboards won’t change the fact that the public wasn’t part of the process and therefore shares no responsibility. It isn’t affected. But take a group of 10 young students out in to their local community and get them to pick up garbage and you’ve started the process of changing 10 minds. Bring those students to a town hall meeting and allow them to retell their experience to a group of 100 community members, and you’ve started another process. Have that town hall meeting reflect its concerns to the mayor regarding the cleanliness of their streets, and you’ve got public input. Incorporate their input and demonstrate the result in a tangible way, and you’ve got a public policy. One that is inclusive. One where the community feels part of the process and feels it is obliged to share in the responsibility of that process’s outcome. Dictate a policy a group of thinkers came up with in a closed room and you’re guaranteed failure.

This may be the approach the King and/or the executive branch may need to take to help strengthen the reform process he/it began. Decentralizing the process so that a sense of public inclusion becomes a key component, and you can, in that process, create responsible citizens that will help carry out those macro reforms in the most micro of manners. In a way they can connect with.

Otherwise, the result is quite visible in that video.

Meanwhile, here’s what some of the residents of Ma’an said about reform when asked by 7iber what their thoughts on the subject were. Most of the replies were personal perspectives, and aside from some of the more angry and frustrated voices, many of the replies, at least to me, are relative to local and personal experiences related to education, unemployment, bad governance by the municipality or getting car insurance, i.e. problems as experienced (rather than analyzed) by the average person. Check it out:

51 thoughts on “The Reforms The King Wants

  1. I believe the young people simply want jobs and a way out of their misery. They believe that by such expressions, based on their environment, they can get government jobs. The problem is even if they do succeed in their message, which is in contradiction with common sense since no one man can develop a country alone, they will be surprised to know that funds don’t exist for rewards. And then the true mayhem will start, armed, empowered and already accustomed to violent outbreaks, they can turn even against own tribes and immediate society.
    I totally agree with the analysis. Further, the economic dimension of the state of welfare of the majority of Jordanian youth should figure heavily into the reform equation; especially since we have failed them in terms of employment, poverty and graduation from youth into adulthood.

  2. A general question, without specific reference to the young and not so young people who are angry and frustrated, and to the present crisis. Is there any sort of survey in existence which gives the statistics of how many of the un employed 21 – 40 year olds, are skilled individuals, and also, how many hold a meaningless degree or a further education qualification , acquired at great cost from a mediocre private university after passing a poor tawjihi. These paper qualifications have little worth in the job market and even less bearing on the labor needs of the country. It would be interesting to compare these figures with the numbers of non Jordanians working in the country in various fields.

  3. الاصلاح قبل قيام الدولة الفلسطينية معناه وطن بديل ليس له اي معنى غير ذلك مهما تفلسف اصحاب نظرية انهم لن يرضوا بوطن بديل غير فلسطين

  4. The need for a decentralised, inclusive approach to reforms, or at least to some of them, seems indeed to be there. It can work and give people a stake in the process as well as leading them to understand the link between personal problems and solutions to shared problems. Yet, this will not likely change the rate of employment or poverty, problems also to be addressed through inclusive methods, but with a clear vision on the kind of economy/society wanted.
    The inclusive, bottom-up process can exist in any political system, providing that the authority (ies) support it actively. The continuation of such a process, the support of solutions which may not necessarily be favoured by any one group or ruler and the link between the grass-roots efforts and macro-economic measures and structures need a political system favourable to adopting positions and solutions coming from below and/or challenging the interests of the ruler(s). In other words, I agree with the need for an inclusive process but fear that it is not sustainable, and therefor may not endure long enough to make a difference, in the absence of the necessary political reforms.
    Not knowing Jordan enough and, frankly, at a loss on how to adapt European/US/Western democracy to other societies, I don’t really see what those reforms would be. So far I haven’t heard any convincing proposals either. Would be interesting to hear opinions on that, though.

  5. There is no magic way in which real jobs can be created overnight.

    The best way to create jobs is to make it very easy to start a small business. There should be no kind of license required, no forms to fill, and no bribes to pay. I am thinking of small shops, car repair, plumbing, electrical work, etc.

    How do you avoid people who know nothing about electrics charging top money and leaving a dangerous mess? The best way is for the good electricians to form a trade association open only to experienced and expert workers. Then the public can select a member of the association to do the work needed. No need for government red tape.

  6. Any way you can get subtitles on the second video from Ma’an. As an american who travels occasionally to Jordan for work, I find your blog as one of the only sources for news of the country, especially the analysis you bring. Keep up the good work.

  7. To put the thoughts of Mr Tarawna in conflict resolution applicable terms ,we can say that a citizen is called a citizen only if he participates in the decision making process which automatically leads to accountability and responsibility. With the participation in the decision making process a citizen becomes a partners and that is all what you need to build a civilized democratic society and country. Turning the above words into actions, means teaching the children how to become citizens in a free democratic society. One way is through creating student councils in schools.

    I participated in a study made by the UNICEF with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education headed by Dr Josi Salem. The subject of the study was CREATING/ EMPOWERING STUDENTS COUNCILS IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS STARTING FROM THE FIRST GRADE. The schools, teachers, students, and parents of the schools visited were picked randomly and surprised by our visit. There were of course procedures to be followed for guaranteeing cooperation of the parties involved. Notified only hours before our arrival, we met with teachers, students, parents arranged in focus groups sessions.

    The child/citizen from the first grade till the 12th grade is involved in the decison making process, and responsible for ,r electing a representative who reflect his needs. The elected is being responsible to carry out his promises and he is held accountable in front of his constituency. After graduation, it’s time to elect a representative in the parliament. This young man, kid before, is a force to reckon with and you can be sure no one will buy his vote or take him for an ignorant fool.

  8. Egypt achieved more reform in a month (amended constitution, arrested over a hundred officials for corruption, overhauled government newspapers, freed political prisoners etc.) than Jordan achieved in 10 years…where there is a will, there is a way!!

  9. The kind of involvement you are suggesting would work for reform at the community level. While that is important, political reform requires a certain level of awareness and commitment. I suspect the attitude expressed in the first video is not spontaneous. Regardless of that, it is disturbing and reflects deep ignorance to what it means to be a citizen. Did you notice that the guy even said about the king what can be translated as “he is the owner of the country”? This implies that the people are slaves to him.

    @#1: The reform being sought is not only economic. People are demanding political freedom, not just jobs.

    @#3: no.

  10. @ Mo, do you really think they have brains to begin with?

    It makes one sick to the stomach to watch such *brainless* attitudes –which exist on both (all) sides of the debate in Jordan. Unfortunately, I have to agree with those voices that claim that the Jordanian arena is not ‘politically mature’, sometimes not even for a true democracy –which might get someone like these mentalities to a decision-making position –not that some of our MPs are any better than this.

    How utterly sad the situation is in Jordan nowadays. At times like this, I am glad that I have the choice of another citizenship to fall back on –escapism, maybe, but definitely less painful.

  11. ok, the feminist in me can’t resist to make this comment: Did anyone else notice the stark difference in the logic between the men and women in Maan… how impressive these ladies are! Men tend to be bitter, unfocused, and not clear about what exactly they want –not even posing realistic ideas. The women in contrast, are far more logical and realistic. Wow!

  12. I think the littering observation is key. I think that littering could be one indicator used to measure feelings of political dis/enfranchisement. I spent a whole day picking up trash in a park in Washington DC, and I can tell you that the folks in that neighborhood did not feel included in any process of democracy or empowerment. In Egypt, the first difference that people were tweeting about? How their street was clean for the first time in twenty years. If people feel included, they feel responsible, and if they feel responsible, their behaviors change.

  13. “Men tend to be bitter, unfocused, and not clear about what exactly they want -not even posing realistic ideas. The women in contrast, are far more logical and realistic.”

    Could it be that mothers are bringing up their sons to think they are wonderful and entitled to be waited on hand and foot? In other words, are these men spoiled rotten?

  14. about cleaing the streets, I think the only way is to propose fines on those who throw stuff in the street, enforced by the police, I dont think there is another way, as the education part you mentioned will take decades as it will have to wait for the next generations, implementing fines will work right now..

  15. I feel insulted whenever I read a post about Jordanians being not mature enough for political reform and democracy.
    Guys look around you, the Yemenis are setting a wonderful example in self constraint and civil demonstration. Yemenis are armed to their teeth and they are far more tribal than any other arab country.
    Democracy in India is successful. Are Indians with their alarming poverty and high rate of illiteracy more mature than we are??!!
    How on earth did the majority of Easter block countries manage to move to democracy overnight, without major issues? Czech republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, etc.

  16. الشعب الأردني يجب أن يدرس وينبش تاريخه حتى يستطيع الوصول الى الحقيقة المرة، أكثر من ٤٠ عاماَ والشعب مهمش ولا يعرف ما يدور حوله، هذا التهميش والاقصاء من قبل السلطان أدى الى فراغ فكري وأخلاقي في السياسة والاقتصاد وأدارة البلاد، الملكية المطلقة هي من أهم الاسباب التي أدخلت البلاد والعباد الى ما عليه ، يجب أن نتحدث بصراحة عندما الأمر يأتي الى حكم البلاد، السلطة المطلقة التي أستولى عليه العرش كانت بماثبة أنقلاب عسكري وسلطوي بكل ما تعنيه الكلمة، الدستور الحالي صنعا لظمان السيطرة الكاملة علي مفاصل وصنع القرار حتى يتسنى لسلطان البلاد أن يعمل ما يشاء دون الرجوع الى مرجعية دستورية منبثقة من الشعب، وهوا في الأصل مصدر الحكم الرشيد، العائلة الحاكمة اليوم هي التي أدوت في البلاد الى كل المصائب أن كانت سياسية أو أقتصادية أو اجتماعية

  17. Its no secret why the women were more articulate. Just look at where the interviews were held and you will know the type of people they interviewed. The men were interviewed in the streets, most seem to be less-educated working men. The women were obviously more educated as they were interviewed in offices, schools?,computer labs…go to the nearest university and interview the men there, I’m sure you will find some more articulate ones.

  18. regarding efficient municipality governance, I would like to point to a software management scheme that I believe is a key for controlling public sector performance; all government employees are linked to a central human resources system that categorizes the employees according to a unified grading system for ALL government employees irrespective of the institution ( police, health care, education, etc etc applies to everybody employees by govt) All employees data are available on the system; years of service, designation, department, contact info, CV-qualifications, attendance, leaves, sick leaves, absence, total training days, salary. every employee has his own account where he can access his/her info, this way you have proper count of all government employees & what do they do. management of the institutions is separated from the management of government employees human resources, human resources are governed by a unified HR Laws and regulations for ALL government employees to work by and this is very much needed to be revised. this way all employees work according to ONE system and higher management can weigh it’s institutions by production levels / returns / quality of services offered vs the employees count / cost performance 😉

  19. yeah one thing I forgot, system shud also show employees mid year and annual evaluation. bonuses and raises, I have few quetions if any of you could answer, do all government employees have the same health insurance model? Is there a unified system for logging attendance by punch cards? How are public institutions in Jordan Managed??

  20. plus when you have a centralized HR System with it’s laws, employees are shielded from being top management misconduct because the HR rule is governing the relationships between head of team/ department head and the employees. what solves the performance problem is automation of the processes where you minimize forms of interference based on individuals say and rely more on standard &&&&& team work.

    another great great thing one can do to maximize performance, is forming teams within institutions to accomplish a project within a time frame, this would allow employees to work on something different, bigger scale and more challenging, routine breaker.

  21. I agree with some about going back and analysing the history of Jordan and the Palestinian problem , details of recent and ongoing conflicts (e.g. water ) the peace process, and other related issues and agendas. This will help clatify why reforms in Jordan is a complicated matter. I suggest that this blog is used to refer to good information sources, books, articles etc.. if it is meant as a tool to educate and make aware.

  22. And in the mean time Mulukhiyah fans and adversaries should take a deep look at the rising head of Salafi-jihadist movement. Only few days ago during demonstration in Irbid the movement speaker claimed that all people who went to demonstrate in Jordan want nothing else but restoration of the Islamic Caliphate. He said that the masses had taken to the streets “to declare with one voice: We want to restore the Islamic Caliphate,” and added: “The righteous Caliphate will soon return, Allah willing.” Addressing the Jordanian authorities, he warned: “[Even] if you survive the political storm [rising] out of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the storm of military jihad is [rising] out of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Yemen. It will undoubtedly pass through Jordan, unless you fix the situation and implement Allah’s law.” (www.memri.com) Sounds quite sinister, don’t you think?

  23. coffeegirl,, memri was established by former Mossad agents , nobody in his or her mind would take that controversial and questionable website seriously..go search angry Arab blog, you know what LET ME MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU COFFEEGIRL , the source

  24. Memri quoted and used pics from Jordanian weekly Assabeel. Check for yourself: http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5191.htm The fact of the Salafi-jihadist demonstration in Irbid was also confirmed in conversation with Jordanians I know.

    It would be foolish to ignore that. It would be even more foolish to do it ostrich way and keep your head in the sand intentionally.

  25. And you ( or whoever else) say it based on what evidence? No evidence but personal assumption? Well, if that is the case that shows the mere jump-up readiness to blame the government for the very sake of it. Another question is might the government benefit from Salafist demonstration/violence? It might but only in the short terms. In medium to longer terms the Salafist and their vision, I am afraid, are the utmost danger to the future of Jordan as a country. I doubt the government ( and the King) doesn’t recognize that danger outweighs any convenience.

    You have to have a cool head assessing your government and your country, The Free Jordanians. Gliding on pure negative perception doesn’t make you really free, it makes you blind, and blind reformists tend to be just as undemocratic as they claim everybody else is.

  26. First, you asking me for evidence in the world of evil intelligent services?; conspiracy planners and counter revolutionaries are working diligently to pre empty the demand of the people whether in Jordan or elsewhere in the Arab world and that is not something new to any revolution, and it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt, just search the French revolution or the Russian revolution, and you will discover tons of evidence of how those deposed monarchs were using everything and anything to change the course of the revolution in those countries . the deposed Pharaoh of Egypt Huseni Mubarak bombed a church in Alexandria to blame the Muslim the brotherhood for the bombing and now we have evidence that his defunct Egyptian intelligent services were behind the bombing , Bashar Al Asad of Syria is doing the same thing , Qaddafi in Libya, has been promoting the same idea but to no avail, and now we are witnessing the same tactics by the Jordanian Mukhabarat.
    It is all in front of you but for some reason or another you don’t have the ability to see it or understand it ‘and that you problem not mine
    Secondly, who told you Iam a reformist , Iam not, I believe the way to do, it is to uproot the system once and for all, because the system is rotten from head to toe , and that’s my one piaster for the night..

  27. The Free Jordanian,

    Nothing is in front of me or you for that matter but since you’ve brought up French and Russian revolutions, perhaps, you should know about German intelligence pumping good money into as well as providing Lenin and 30 other revolutionaries with a train that literally delivered them to Russia in March 1917 which was instrumental in the revolution that had followed and which Germany was counting on to remove Russia out as Germany’s adversary in WWI. Or that one of the biggest reasons behind French revolution was France’s financial&military support of American Revolutionary War against Britain and that it is a proven historic fact Marie Antoinette never said “Let them eat cake..”. Maybe you also should know that King’s ex-Comptroller-General of Finance had intentionally published inaccurate account of government debts and leaked it to public; that in the whole Bastille before storming there were only 7(!) prisoners: four forgers, two noblemen kept for immoral behavior, and a murder suspect. Meaning there is never ever any political movement progressive or regressive that existed only on pure enthusiasm and beliefs it was right. Manipulation was/is well and striving on both sides of barricades, so to say, and it will be very interesting to read, let’s say, in few decades time how it really was in the mentioned Egypt or, especially, Libya, or Syria to that matter. Given, of course, the winners wouldn’t present only their version of the story.

    As for Jordan, the easiest is always to play a blame game as opposed to unbiased attempt to analyze the situation. Surely you could recognize the Salafist might use the general strive for reform and democracy to their ends or….or you could do an ostrich.

  28. “As for Jordan, the easiest is always to play a blame game as opposed to unbiased attempt to analyze the situation. Surely you could recognize the Salafist might use the general strive for reform and democracy to their ends or….or you could do an ostrich.”
    Let me tell you some hard facts coffeegirl,since you like to analyze; In year 2000, our national debt counted for 4 billion dollars , in 2011, our national debt has exceeded more than 16 billion dollars and that translates to more than 10 billion in 11 years , and that means, we are not only broke, but on the verge of becoming a failed state , our health care and education system is in shamble , unemployment is more than 25%, corruption is widespread and the whole sale of our public sector(which is basically people assets ) had been sold to “private investors” ,in the name of increasing employment , billions of dinars have been siphoned off and missing, our disgraceful foreign policy have been diverted to serve the American and the Zionist criminal state interests, and now who is to blame for this disaster, is it the teachers , or the garbage collectors or the farmers or the defunct parliament that have been dissolved several times by the king or perhaps we can blame the figure head the prime minster , who has BEEN leading this country to disaster for the last 10 years coffeegirl? who should we blame ? maybe we should blame the Salafist.

  29. No, if they were leftists or nationalists I doubt they would dare, or need, or want to in the first place, to brandish daggers like that in public. But I do not expect Salafi guys to be shy in doing so. They don’t give a damn about such ‘niceties’. I also couldn’t help but notice a lot of them were dressed in Pakistani/Afghanistan attire which, wouldn’t you agree, says they see themselves above national loyalty or belonging of any kind which is exactly what they preach.

    It is true, politics are rarely done by clean hands. Manipulating the crowd is the name of the game, ( for progressive forces as well) and one has to be ether naive or culpable in denying that. Spiking up numbers here, lowering there, exaggerating facts or mentioning them selectively – from Greece and Rome till our very days it goes on and on, and on whatever the place or system, – this time, however, I doubt Jordanian mukhabarat had anything to do with it. To the contrary, I think it was Salafist who used the tide of Fridays demos and people should be aware.

  30. To whom it may concern
    Let me just sum up the exchange between Myself and coffeegirl
    The difference between The Free Jordanian and coffeegirl , coffeegirls believes in absolute and patrimonial power and thinks that one man show is good for us ,on the other hand , The Free Jordanian believes in people and their right for self determination,and the masses have the full right to chose their own system of governance
    coffeegirl, believes, that intelligence services can do no harm and they are clean as a whistle and what is done in the name of “national security” or the so called Islamic-phobia is acceptable or even encouraged .
    The Free Jordanian , believes, that most of our political problems are engineered and manufactured in the dungeons of the mukhabarat with the full knowledge of the kings and dictators and backing of the CIA .
    coffeegirl believes, that any group of people, be it religious , nationalist or leftist have no right to form their own government because they don’t believe in absolute power,so therefore ,they should be persecuted and send to jail and even tortured .
    The Free Jordanian, believes, most of the problems that face the so called “third world” or what the some western Orientalists like to label us as non developed countries,( it is like , we are not “civilized” enough to decide for ourselves or be able to find away to solve our problem) are caused and to some extent, the continuous meddling in the internal affairs of how we ,”the third” world should construct a viable and more equitable system of governance .
    coffeegirl,believes that Arab revolution are assisted and financed by US government, which is far from the truth, and In my opinion, it is not only false but outright racist and shallow.
    The Free Jordanian on the other hand, believes that Arab revolution came about because the people just had it with all western supported dictatorial and despotic regimes and we had to do something to get ride of them . I rest my case , you all should be the judge..
    Long live Arab revolution , long live Arab Unity, long live Palestine!

  31. Coffeegirl believes The Free Jordanian has tendency to misrepresent somebody’s else opinion to the point of claiming something that person had never said. That is an outward attempt to quell dissenting thinking which smacks, – surprise, surprise, – of dictatorial tendency. Quite promising The Free Jordanian.

    Anyway, there is only one point I would like to emphasize yet again. Arab pro-reformist movements were/are supported by the US and/or certain EU countries. To believe or not to is your right, The Free Jordanian, but to deny that you’ve to have better arguments than simply say it isn’t true.

    Well, you can check again the NED site to get names of the grantee organizations plus sums given per country. Plus here are two more links:

    “…A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks…
    …“While we appreciated the training we received through the NGOs sponsored by the U.S. government, and it did help us in our struggles, we are also aware that the same government also trained the state security investigative service, which was responsible for the harassment and jailing of many of us,” said Mr. Fathy, the Egyptian activist.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3

    or

    The U.S. colored revolution user manual for Egypt.
    “From the first week of demonstrations in Cairo, Washington detached a team from the Albert Einstein Institution. A manual, already used in other countries, was translated into Arabic and disseminated to shepherd demonstrators towards the Facebook and Twitter services set up the the State Department and the CIA.”
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article168693.html

  32. So, it’s OK for somebody to post a comment about viagra ( Thursday Feel Good Post | Driving In Jordan, Hilariously) but not about US supporting Arab Spring guys financially? Interesting merits for moderating.

  33. it’s absolutely true that the US government have been financing projects here and there to promote democracy but to arrive to the mathematical equation that NED financed -all these countries -where there have been -a revolution- means all these revolutions- have been the result- of the NED financial help, is way far from truth.
    Actually there is a lot to say about this argument since we need to check in first place one by one all the grant recipients during the years…and how efficient they were in the revolutions that took place in the Arab world as an example. Beside countries like Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Pakistan Afghanistan Tibet and many many more (financed by these projects in many cases since the 80’s with more than money), yet still have to see the change. So what is the magical formula that the NED used here but forgets to use elsewhere?
    In an article written by Nicholas Bouchet in the 2001 during the Clinton presidency, about this argument he said: “for all its persistent talk of democratization as a pillar of foreign policy, the Clinton administration gave insufficient thought to the challenges of implementing such a strategy – to what it meant in practice, what policies and instruments would be needed, and what the wider implications might be. If one takes a strategy as containing both goals and some notion of means, it appears almost as though enlargement was more an aspiration than a strategy proper”
    one more thing what about the long time president of NED Carl Gershman described in one article I read as “Gershman is one hundred percent loyal to Israel over the USA and is an extreme Jewish supremacist.” so do you really believe the Jewish lobby with all what they did and do in middle east will leave this matter open to people’s choice or they will do all what they can to keep figures turning in their orbit there forever….
    For me, the NED was an idea (with the Jewish lobby CIA behind) in which the US believed to make changes in hostile countries (governments) without direct military intervention….but when the idea turned to be a flop they had already had their arms in the sh***, since you can’t start giving money to someone and then cut it off or you will end up with greater opposition also from the opposition…..
    I honestly think you are an American citizen who works in one of these projects….since only someone from inside can have his or her brain washed by such junk….

  34. Well, you may think whatever you want in your naivety. For me, however, it is very telling whoever moderates this blog (Mr Tarawnah himself or his substitute in the meantime?) decidedly didn’t publish my reply to #37 The Free Jordanian, the comment with further links that support my claim. Whole dinar for your thoughts why?

  35. I have absolutely nothing to do with this blog or its administration, but any way I really appreciate your contribution..keep writing ….trying to be more reasonable and less conspiracy theorist and if you have to find one then look in the right direction.

  36. I am so proud of and amazed with all these comments. Such an intelligent nation we are, and a few kids on the street saying we should follow like we are animals and have no brain, while embarrassing, does not change the fact that this nation is beyond ready for change. The king realizes this too, as does his government. Jordanians have always had this image of “Monarchy” as something to be proud of and therefore my opinion Jordanians will never ask the king to step down. Be that as it may, some changes that his majesty needs to do, holding people responsible for their mistakes, giving the people what’s rightfully theirs of their nation’s wealth, stopping non government personal from running things behind the scenes, and letting the people elect the PM and his cabinet should run on a ticket with him. This will not happen over night, especially the un-employment issues, since the whole world is currently suffering the same issue. It will take a lot of work, but the nation needs to see something happen now. One thing at a time, but it should start with something that has a profound impact so the nation understands that change is happening. Otherwise, Jordan will turn into a sea of angry people that will break hell sooner or later. Realize that every political party will try and take advantage of this and breed in its tired angry environment now, such as that of the salafi movement. Just like it happened in Egypt at the beginning of their revolution. More of a reason for King Abdualla to move faster.
    Kudo BTW on this blog. Love it

  37. This is for coffeegirl, I don’t know if you read Arabic and if you don’t , i think you should in order to understand our region and what the people want in this part of the world
    The new Egypt is rejecting American aid ذهب أستاذ الاقتصاد بجامعة الأزهر محمود منصور إلى أهمية أن تعي الجهات المانحة، وعلى رأسها أميركا، أن النظام في مصر قد تغير وأن مبررات الالتفاف على القانون قد انتفت. ففي مصر الآن نظام يتجه بقوة للدولة الديمقراطية وسيادة القانون.

    ووصف منصور تصرف الحكومة المصرية بأنه خطوة في الاتجاه الإيجابي. وأضاف أنه كان ينتظر أن تبادر منظمات المجتمع المدني المصرية إلى رفض أسلوب الوكالة الأميركية للتنمية الدولية، وأن تكون كافة التعاملات من قبل الجهات الأجنبية المانحة من خلال الإجراءات القانونية المنظمة لذلك.

  38. Last month I saw a scientific brain lecture.
    The lecture experiment showed people watching magician tricks ignoring a large gorilla moving in the background.
    People’s brain is trained to see what they are used to!

    The west media and people are used to think according to western democracy and values.
    They refer to the Arab world demonstrations and uprisings as a revolution for western style of democracy.
    They fail to see that the masses are interested solving unemployment, cost of leaving, and social issues regardless of government style.
    The media interview activists speaking English that describe desire for democracy while in the background- people speaking Arabic expressed their desire for Islamic governments- such as the Muslim brotherhood.
    The people in the West and media see their own values trained brain vision. In reality that is a big chance that within 10 years the Arab countries will be lead by radical Islamist governments with anti western agenda and values.

    Muslim brotherhood agenda includes;
    * Islam religious conceal will monitor that the elected government follows Islamic guidelines.
    *Woman will be educated to perform Islamic home duties.
    *Christians will not be permitted to be manager on top of Muslims.
    * “A Muslim can come closer to Allah by waging jihad against all non-Muslims,Christians,Jews, atheists, in every possible manner.
    Dr. Ahmad ‘Abd about Al-Walaa Wa’l-Bara
    *Muslim brotherhood leader speech in Cairo before 1 million people
    “Hitler didn’t finish the job- The Muslims will finish the Job””
    (BBC broadcasted this speech in Arabic one month ago)

    The ME in 2020?
    One option-Iran Islamism and Arab countries lead by Muslim brotherhood join forces.
    How to prevent it?
    People worldwide should request that parties with such ideologies should be out law!

  39. actually, from the first look at the 3 guy its seems like they didn’t get any education, its not their problem actually for the one who interviewed them he can interview some other guys with diffident opinion,
    but who looks for negativity what he will find?

    there is alot of good in the young guys i think we will be proud of them.
    and the guys in the video its your responsibility to educate them o talk to them
    to just criticize,

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