There is something quite ludicrous if not downright ironic about these miniature protests against AFP for publishing a story last month about an “attack” on the King’s motorcade. These protests consist largely of crowds organized and led by parliamentarian Yahya Saud – this much is obvious – and last month these thugs stormed the AFP office in Amman and vandalized the place. More recently they attempted to do the same thing and even ended up attacking a Gendarmerie unit that was placed there to protect the office, with Saud leading the group which apparently threatened the Prime Minister if he does not take immediate action to shut down the office. Then they headed off to the French embassy.
Meanwhile, the HM King Abdullah paid a visit to France and held talks with Sarkozy before securing some JD600 million in development aid. According to a source close to the French presidency, the AFP issue was raised at a luncheon, but it’s not clear if the King and Sarkozy were part of that discussion. On the other end of the spectrum, according to a source from the King’s entourage, the issue was not brought up at all (which is kind of hard to believe).
What is perhaps ironic is the fact that Jordan is a country that has repeatedly jailed, detained and/or tried journalists and editors, in a military court, that have written or published anything that “harms Jordan’s relations with friendly states”. And that’s just for an article. How about mobilizing people to vandalize the office of a foreign nation that Jordan receives a great deal of money from? How about attacking Jordanian security forces guarding the place?
Why is a member of parliament even involved in this? What is the objective here? And how does keeping alive a story that died nearly two months helping the country’s image, which this group seems so infatuated with? How is that even a demonstration of loyalty or nationalism? Why is this person allowed to retain a seat in parliament after threatening people’s lives, and intimidating media personnel that include local agencies?
I’m just asking.