The Will Of The People

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what nations and indeed governments would look like if the will of the people truly dictated policy. If we created national policy based on polling results, what would happen? Would people be satisfied that majority truly rules?

What would Jordan look like?

Walking to work today I let my mind wander; daydreaming up potential scenarios, tracing the fall of the dominoes.

I would assume that within the first 48 hours of majority rule, ties with the U.S. and Israel would be cut. Probably most of the western world.

Foreign investments would probably retreat by the end of the first week, sending the Jordanian market crashing to the floor where economic recovery would be as close to reality as this very daydream.

Economically and politically Jordan would be isolated but I don’t think the majority would sweat it much; Syria and Iran will definitely come to our rescue.

In the absence of Pan-Arabism, Islamists would fill the void and their social campaigns would be a force to reckon with. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing bars, nightclubs, prostitutes and things of that nature pull an overnight disappearing act but I would sure miss my Internet, music and books.

I’m also guessing oil would be cut off and people would have to walk a lot for a while; at least until Syria builds a pipeline to Amman.

Tangled prices and economic chaos would probably send our Transparency International corruption rankings skyrocketing.

But at least the mosques would be able to freely spew out anti-zionist-western-christian-jewish speeches the like of which Jordan has never seen.

If we’re really lucky, Bin Laden and Zawahari might even come out of hiding for a bit to release a video praising us for our progress.

And with an economy in shambles, political turmoil, fleeting investments, little to no natural resources and an excommunication of the outside world, I’m sure both of them would have superb policies that would render Jordan an economic superpower in a matter of years.

I’m sure from their years of experience in west Asia they can help us smuggle infinite amounts of ammunitions and weaponry. And if we manage to survive Israeli air strikes I think in a matter of years we could have an arsenal so vast that the eradication of Jews would be at our fingertips.

And with our Ak-47’s we can march right into Jerusalem…

…but that’s when a big galab (truck) started honking his horn like crazy because I had walked into oncoming traffic.

Stupid daydreams.

Update: I had another dream where people actually read this post for what it was and not some attempt to defend the status quo that automatically required them to jump in and write ridiculous comments insisting otherwise.

But of course, that was just a dream


  • Interesting post Nas.

    The closest we got to the majority rules was the first gulf war when King Hussein sided with Saddam, it was a disaster in my opinion.

    I think that nobody will go and vote anyway, only hard liners and extremists will vote unless you make it appear cool and trendy to vote like the “Rock the vote” campaign in the states.

    The regular Jordanian Nas doesn’t care; he/she are busy trying to stay afloat.

  • 7aki Fadi, that may be true, perhaps the average Jordanian is too busy with trying to stay afloat that politics is a bit of a luxury. But I’ve noticed that some are so adamantly against the status-quo, or at least improving on it, that I’m always wondering about what alternatives they had in mind. I mean, I’m sure they must’ve thought of alternatives and the consequences of those alternatives. These are the same people who rant on about democracy where the majority rules.

    so perhaps their daydreams have a less craven way of looking at politics than my own.

  • great, a typical regime Jordanian rationalizing despotic rule in the name of what’s good for jordan, as if Jordanians are minors who do not know what’s good for them. what waste of liberal education Nas.

  • Rami: hmm, well for starters i’m not rationalizing anything, i’m merely daydreaming up the alternatives or to put it in a way you’d probably understand: an attempt to envision a Jordan where the brutal and bloody hands of the dictator are not crushing our souls.

    dare to dream with me! who knows? maybe together we can come up with a better Jordan, no?

    that way we can create a mutual, open minded nation where everyone can afford to waste a liberal education. a Jordan where people could stop attacking everything, because they were too scared to risk creating anything.


  • You are living in the past man, come on for crying out loud. If your day dream would come true the jordanian people would be a suppressed people. You have to look towards the future and not look behind your back at the past. I sure as hell like Jordan much more now than 10 years ago. I know that not many people agree with the current politics in Jordan, but come on thanks to King Abdullah Jordan is becoming a part of the future. If it goes on like this in 10 years Jordan will go past Dubai. Look forwards and not backwards.

  • First of all: You should start taking cabs to work, I mean seriously c’mon! Maybe then you’ll have better judgment of the future, وعرظ أختي you will.
    Now, I don’t know about that view. I mean the Palestinians surely got Hamas in power, but not because they want them to burn books, make every governmental female employee wear veil and ban mixed schools, after few months they revolted.
    Jordanians in general don’t like the Dishdash guy who advocate no mixing, no toothbrush and no investments, yes it is growing (thanks to wasta,taxes, surprise taxes, government dudes who are useless and are PM material, you know cursing and kick boxing). They know that these folks in most cases are just hacks. Real Muslim religious people are polite, never attacking others and minding their own buisness.
    On the other hand , whenever I pass the Unions building, I just feel like your scenario may be true, or when at Wast El Balad, when a Deshdash guy had no business but telling people at service lines to repent before it’s too late (like he is Saudi moral police or something)
    Kuwait and Bahrain has turned Ikhwanji lately, in Bahrain they are still unable to cancel all concerts and musical parties, hotel owners stood in their way.

    Anyways, it’s funny how leftists are supporting the Ikhwan, and Arab governments have always pampered ikhwan to freeze leftists, I thought iKhwan use M16, no?

  • Firas and Nas, I think I hold the same ideology that you both have, but the thing is I am being attacked maybe because I don’t know how to express myself. I don’t know, do you think I should quit bringing up some of the issues that I address or continue?
    Anyway Nas, again great dream:)

  • Dave,
    I wouldn’t comment If I were you, I am a jordanian and was attacked because I had something in my mind and said it, You don’t want a fatwa regarding your being:)
    good luck man and I am thinking of quiting talking about politics, because they used all my energy, you can’t love jordan only, you have to love what they tell you to love..God help us all..And yes democracy is not for us because the “majority” -as they claim- will get us doomed..Our metality:”live and let people live”
    Theirs:”live as we tell you to”.
    God bless jordan and protect our people, and by the way, for me: anyones who loves jordan is jordanian..

  • How about this dream Nas:

    What if one day Jordan wakes up to a democratic Majority rule, a majority rule in one of the most educated, intellectual and progressive Arab countries, namely Jordan, with the majority of the population being a youthful energetic and hard working majority, how about envisioning that Nas? How about envisioning the freedom of speech, freedom to assemble and freedom to decide ones fate? Can you envision that Nas. The educated majority with intellectual roots stemming right into the Univ. of Jordan and other prestigious universities, would promote reasearch and development through allocating funds, strengething alliances with countries such as the EU members, but on our terms, alliances in the fields of education, development and health, with no political costs whatsoever.Can we all envision that? In other words, depending on which side of the Jordanian political spectrum you fall(more like a stick than a spectrum) your daydreams will vary widely , we can all daydream what we want, I choose to be positive and I choose to trust my people.

  • dave, if anything, the USA proves democracy in the wrong hands can result in genocide, slavery, and world wars. but here you are, a typical shallow American, arguing against self determination for Jordanians and the Arab people, while not uttering one word against the disastrous outcomes of two centuries of american democracy with the wholesale mass murder of arabs in lebanon, iraq and palestine being the most recent gifts of American democracies to the arabs. whats’ is wrong with you people? are you capable of self-critique?

  • Ruff Rider: that’s an awesome dream I have to say and I’d love for it to come true more than anything. but when you ended it with “I choose to be positive and I choose to trust my people.”, it makes me think if by doing that you are deliberately avoiding the current realities inside the country as well as regionally.

    it’s kind of like america going into iraq and saying they’re spreading freedom all the while ignoring centuries of historical elements within the country.

  • Yousef, what I am doing is staying on topic. Nas didn’t mention anything about American politics, so I felt no reason to comment on it.

    I would love to believe that Ruff_Rider’s dream would become a reality, but from my experience, I believe that Nas’ envisioning would be much more realistic. Some of the comments posted simply prove the point.

  • Nas, you have a version of nationalism that’s out of touch with modernity. you speak of jordan as if it were a mere economy and foreign policy, and what’s good for the the economy and foreign policy is good for Jordanians and jordan. assuming we agree on what’s a good economy and a good foreign policy, your “fantasy” of jordanians governing themselves is awfully absurd and reductive. a country is its citizens, their dreams and aspirations, not the dreams and aspirations of one man. and if the people wan to make sacrifices for what they believe in, that’s their right, so long as they have the right to change their minds and set a different course for THEIR country. remember the french revolution took over a century to materialize and at the end it produced one of the greatest republics in history. no theory, just visit france. arabs and Jordanians are entitled to make whatever mistakes are necessary, pay whatever price and suffer whatever sacrifices they deem fit. that’s their decision alone. as for your highly-valued paradise-like fantasy image of today’s Jordan, that’s more sci-fi than reality. jordan is a paradise for the few thugs who loot the national wealth without any restraints and with the legal blessing of a “legal” caste system that’s not subject to the people’s review. studies about poverty in jordan (read: people) tell a different story than your version of how wonderful things are. you see Abdoun bridge, and Abdoun circle cafes, and mecca mall, and a hug with Condi Rice and a speech before congress. we see mass poverty,declining value of the dinar, worsening quality of education and health care for the majority of Jordanians (read: people), insecurity due to disastrous foreign policy (amman terror attacks), rise in crime rates due to increase in poverty, worsening labour conditions,…. just because the community of bloggers (mostly sons and daughters of regime officials) praise the status quo and those behind it, the reality of jordan is much different that what a few isolated rich Jordanians who have the time to blog and know how to write English see it.

  • Nas, Yor resonse to me made me think, im gonna seriously think about what you said, and see if I can come up with an answer. Good discussion.

  • “as if it were a mere economy and foreign policy”

    obviously i could’ve dreamt in more detail but policy and economies are always the first things hit and everything else tends to rely on the outcome of those two entities as we’ve seen over and over and over and over again throughout history.

    “a country is its citizens, their dreams and aspirations, not the dreams and aspirations of one man.”

    it seems to be that if more and more people didn’t share in the dreams and aspirations of that one man then less and less money would be invested and more and more people would be leaving instead of starting up multi-million dollar projects. trying to open markets and avoiding going to war is an aspiration i’m on board with and i would hope the same could be said of the ‘majority’.

    “…tell a different story than your version of how wonderful things are”

    if you’re as smart as you’d like to come off then you’d point to exactly where i talked about how “wonderful things are”.

    see, this is where the opposition’s argument always falls flat.

    you confuse someone’s desire to correct the status quo and continue to progress, with actually settling for the status quo. in other words i have to either agree that everything is terrible and thus needs to be obliterated, or else i’m saying that everything is wonderful.

    the opposition prefers to destroy it all in some fantasy french-like revolution that took place centuries ago, as if what was good for one nation will be good for the other because after all, the realities of france in 1789 is exactly the same as jordan in 2007.

    you can either fix a broken a house or burn it down. i’m an advocate of the former.

    and not to defend any jordanian bloggers, but none that i know of are sons and/or daughters of regime officials. and to correct your next assumption, no, we don’t feast on the blood of newly born poor babies. i don’t understand this infatuation with people who (have time to write lengthy comments on blogs) vilify those who are educated and wealthy as if in a country where the majority are considered poor didn’t actually aspire to those very things. you complain about how poor everyone is and then say wealth is also bad. marx would be proud.

    if you want to start a revolution then stay away from the rich isolated few and immerse yourself in the rural areas of the majority. if you get 500 followers to join you, then you can start a political party, gain access to the parliament building and then burn it down.

    and that will change our reality in an instant blaze of glory

    i’m almost sure of it…

  • So Nas, you support the Arab strongman’s rule because you want us to believe that the only remaining option is total anarchy in Jordan. Your advocacy for the Arab strongman’s model would have been more marketable had the situation in Jordan been closer to that of China, UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, or Taiwan before the last three inched into democracy. Few can deny the impressive progress we see in Chine or UAE, even in the absence of democracy. But we are no China or UAE, as it’s becoming painfully apparent with the passage of time and the worsening social and economic situation for most Jordanians. our regime clowns continue to blunder and fumble, while you seem to find that a sign of stability and success. Here is a simple comparision between us and China. In China, anti-corruption is a serious business (which I have misgivings about, when it comes to executions) but in Jordan, anti-corruption is the preferred tool for attacking the opposition and bankrupting them. as for your disdain for the French revolution and your description of it as some backward and antiquated experiment, all I can say is that your support for pre-historic models of rule in Jordan is hardly progressive and contemporary. thanks but no thanks. i will look up to the French model any day of the week. it’s a far better option than the stifling, stagnant, backward status quo which reduces the human being into cattle that needs to only be fattened and protected from itself and the the hungry wolves across the river.

  • But that’s not merely an alternative! Abrupt changes never achieve anything sustainable, and an abrupt transformation from dictatorship to the people’s choice will most definitely result in most of what you said up there, it’s the process of transformation that we should seek, not the abrupt coups, and most importantly not the status-quo drugs!

    And on the other way around, when you make the opposite of the current status quo look so ugly, you make it sound as if the status today is so beautiful, as if we’re swimming in the floods of money from foreign investments and in the rivers of oil! c’mon Nas, 5 years from now and the average Jordanian with an average salary won’t be able to provide breakfast for his children if the prices keep climbing up, and probably 10 years from now and there won’t be an inch of Jordan that isn’t sold! the current foreign affairs and economy policies aren’t the best that Jordan can achieve without your daydream coming true, that’s the whole point.

    The debate can easily turn into a philosophical argument of what’s possible and what’s not (kinda like what Spartans did in 300 last night :D), but some facts are just invincible, we’re not good right now, we’re no where near good, we can achieve much better, and democracy must be on top of our list, how? well, the answer will take at least 10 years, and it first is all about education, public awareness, and determination, and yes, as much as these words look like a seventh-grader poem but they’re the key.

    Sometimes you have to look at it this way; Saddam was a brutal dictator, he provided security to his people and then somehow participated in driving them into the hell they’re in now, Bush on the other hand came as the people’s choice, he provided nothing to his people and drove them into disasters, Saddam died, and his country was devastated for a very long time, Bush will go, and almost everything he did to America might be reversible!

    Just one simple question to all the prefer-to-live-in-this-status-quo-than-dare-to-change-it guys, keeping in mind that you see democracy as something positive and needed, how do you think today’s sustainable democracies, multicultural nations did it? did they have your mentality?

  • i think most of you misunderstood his point, things ain’t bright an rosey yes do agree with that.
    see simple things like attacking dave for staying on topic just because of his background is unjustified.
    One thing that is terribly stark to me here is that yes, democracy in the common man’s term is just as much of a dream as true marxism.
    so we dont deserve that as a solution for us it just won’t work !
    onething to understand to all those advocating a revolution and establishing a democracy, is that it is intwined with capatilism.
    capatilism requires that people with money (not the majority) dictate what happens.
    So you probably want to look at socialism, look at whats happening in south america, one of the most interesting political/economically interesting spots in our age.
    first decide what you want then lets discuss.
    What Nas presented there is literally what will happen with what we have now:
    1. inexperienced politicians
    2. bloated ideoligies
    3. complacent society

    thats a good reipe for anarchy in my book

    NOW HIT ME ! (as in blackjack term, not the physical term :P)
    [i]p.s yay am gonna leech this topic soon, i like it[/i]

  • i’m getting sick and tired of people who prefer to take the time to write without taking the time to read what i said first.

    Hindi: “you support the Arab strongman’s rule because you want us to believe that the only remaining option is total anarchy in Jordan…all I can say is that your support for pre-historic models of rule in Jordan is hardly progressive and contemporary.”

    listen very closely because this might just blow your mind: I am not advocating anything. no where in my post did i advocate anything. I’m simply looking at the change others have been advocating as a solution to the status quo.

    so what your entire comment has to do with the price of tea in china…i haven’t a clue.

    Omar: wake up and smell the chaos brother, because if you can’t see an ugly vision like that described above then you’re just not looking hard enough to practically every country around us, or ignoring the historical tendencies of the region.

    I have no idea how you and others think this is a defense of the status quo. It is the strangest conclusion to draw but i’m guessing it’s also a predictable one.

    You and others don’t need to write on and on about all the problems we have in the country as if i wasn’t aware of them. it makes me think that most of you are unfamiliar with the fact that i’ve consistently discussed those problems on this very blog!

    “prefer-to-live-in-this-status-quo-than-dare-to-change-it guys”

    here’s a better question: why not be an advocate of identifying the problems of the status quo and actually daring to change them instead of labeling everyone else as pro-(whatever it is you’re against)

  • Nas, “wake up and smell the chaos brother, because if you can’t see an ugly vision like that described above then you’re just not looking hard enough to practically every country around us, or ignoring the historical tendencies of the region.”

    Excuse me, but I think I just said that
    “Abrupt changes never achieve anything sustainable, and an abrupt transformation from dictatorship to the people’s choice will most definitely result in most of what you said up there”, why do you think I’m against the fact that what you said will come true, I was very clear man! “will most definitely result in most of what you said up there”

    “I have no idea how you and others think this is a defense of the status quo. It is the strangest conclusion to draw but i’m guessing it’s also a predictable one.”
    I don’t think it’s that strange to get it! You made the opposite of what we live in so disgustingly ugly!

    “You and others don’t need to write on and on about all the problems we have in the country as if i wasn’t aware of them. it makes me think that most of you are unfamiliar with the fact that i’ve consistently discussed those problems on this very blog!”

    I’m very well aware that you’re familiar with our problems, the idea is that you make those problems look as if it’s the best we could do!

    “here’s a better question: why not be an advocate of identifying the problems of the status quo and actually daring to change them instead of labeling everyone else as pro-(whatever it is you’re against)”
    I’m trying to do that, believe me.

    -and Hindi,
    THANK GOD! I thought so also!

  • Omar:

    “why do you think I’m against the fact that what you said will come true, I was very clear man! ”

    sorry i misunderstood, my bad.

    “I don’t think it’s that strange to get it! You made the opposite of what we live in so disgustingly ugly!”

    this wasnt the opposite of the status quo. let me restate this once again: if the status quo were to change the way people wanted it to, i.e. the first domino falling, where the majority get to rule…then the above daydream is simply an outline of the other dominoes falling.

    “I’m very well aware that you’re familiar with our problems, the idea is that you make those problems look as if it’s the best we could do!”

    bil 3aks omar, your confusing the fact that when i look at a problem i dont automatically curse the heavens like the majority and instead try to rely on a desire to actually analyze it and at the most come up with a solution or in the very least put the debate on the table for others to be aware of it. i truly believe this is the way it should be done.

  • I’m ambivalent to both Nas and Omar, I can see the symbiosis live in action between the younger generation like them and older generation like me. Let me remind both Messrs: Nas & Omar that the National Agenda was our best hope but the forces of evil managed to shelve it. I was really very hopeful when the National Agenda was presented to the King. I was looking forward to brand new Jordan, a Jordan that we all can be proud of. Suddenly, our hopes started to diminish little by little; there was never any explanation as to why the National Agenda went into the dust bin of history. The architect himself not only left the government but also left the country to work for the World Bank. If I was in his place I would do the same thing. In my humble opinion the National agenda needs to be revisited one more time, it can used as a blue print for the progress that you guys are talking about. A careful examination of the National agenda reveals that it addressed most of the current problems that the country is suffering from. It addressed health care woes, jobs, unemployment, poverty, increase to average wage earner, women rights, budget deficit, economic growth, research and developments, reducing and or elimination foreign debt, political reform, media reform. It was a comprehensive study that went to waste. I think that we need some reform minded people from amongst the countries intellectual to ask one question: Why did we go through the trouble of formulating a national Agenda. Why? Why? Why?

  • Ok, the title is “The Will Of The People”, in the content you try to suggest what would happen if people take charge of things, which IS the opposite of what’s happening now (i.e. we have complete dictatorship that acts against “the will of the people”, this is what I mean by opposite) you make it look so very much ugly (that I agree on!), and then you said “But I’ve noticed that some are so adamantly against the status-quo, or at least improving on it, that I’m always wondering about what alternatives they had in mind!” connect those things together and consider the fact that you often side by the monarchy and you’ll get why some thought you’re defending the status quo, really Nas, it’s not that strange! This might be wrong of course, all I want to say is that it’s not shocking to conclude that from this particular article, that’s all!

    -Hatem abunimeh, I must agree with you, the national agenda was very important but magically evaporated like many other, why did that happen? the obvious answer, corrupts and opportunists, who’ll continue to thrive under the current status quo, under a system that allows corrupts to reach sensitive positions to have the power to make such thing like the NA evaporate! Now, I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on why or who shelved it? I mean what are those “forces of evil”?

  • To all you people,
    The question is : Are we ready for 100% democracy? My answer is no, we don’t have the ability to talk without attacking each other, and I am sure if the blogs were a face to face thing it would be a mess.

    We As arabs and jordanians, when someone says something that we don’t agree with we start attacking and accusing(Pro-israel, pro-american, neo liberal, zionist). People don’t understand that some times jordans interests is not compatibe with “our brothers” intrests, from the history I understood and learned that jordan was left on its own when it needed the arabs the most, one day some one said(syrian foreign minister)”kol wa7ad ye7’la3 shoko b2eedo”, jordan was promised oil and money after the 1967 war, but nothing came from “our brothers”. We are the smallest country in the region, we are being bullied by everyone, but as I said history taught us that we are on “our own”.
    Israel gave us our water rights after “peace”, syria till now is not giving us our rights, they owe us lots of water(I read an article written by yaser abu hlala).
    In all I can say that we are not ready, because loyalty to jordan(as a country and people) is not the first on the list for many “jordanians”.
    God bless jordan.

  • “Are we ready for 100% democracy? My answer is no, we don’t have the ability to talk without attacking each other”

    mohannad, why embarrass yourself with such absurd statements. had you even tuned in on any US TV channel to a debate between liberals and conservatives or republicans vs democrats you would have noticed that “attacks” ARE a fact of democratic life. face it, you and your regressive elk are gasping for excuses to rationalize a disturbingly backward way of thinking. but i guess if your family’s income is tied to the system, you must defend it.

  • Piece of paper:
    Read before you speak, or is it always the system?By the way we get nothing from the system. and If you read I said Jordan(country and people) but it seems that some people need to go back to school and learn how to read before they talk, and about the US:they put the US national interest first(and israel of course.

  • “the US:they put the US national interest first(and israel of course.”

    strange. our regime does that too. does it mean we are a democracy? dang! you are right, i keep looking at the trees but i missed the forest.

  • Mal:
    What I meant by that is that they put their national interests first, which will not be the case when the “majority as they claim” rules, you can comment on my blog and we can have a discussion over there. But the pattern that I see that there is always someone to blame for the failures, nobody seems to be courage enough to say that ” We screwed up”, once it is the regime, another time it is the “conspiracy theory”, So please don’t judge, look for the root causes of our current situation and the “racism” that is killing us and taking us no where, as long as we are fighting each other we will never achieve anything for both jordan or palastine, we need a strong jordan that is capable of standing up against the bullies of the region, why don’t we put jordans interest first for some time..Palastine has enough political parties over there, why can’t we look at poverty, educatoin, crimes, economy, those are more important for bulidng a strong jordan which will be great not only for palastine but for all the arabs. Again please don’t judge me, and read what I write carefully.
    Thanks, and why you keep changing your screen name..

  • I cant stop laughing when I hear this argument: “Are we ready for democracy? No, because we are tribal idiots who cant stop attacking the opposite view” well my friends, I have news for you, if this is the critera you have for determing wether you are ready for democracy or not, you will never experience democracy, take a look at american politics, there is nothing more vicious than the eternal democrat-republican struggle, someone here compared us with Taiwan, havent you ever seen the fistfights and catfights in the Taiwanese Parliament? Politics is dirty, if you want to stay clean then stay away, if you want to induce change then start with a lousy tribal, religious or whatever democracy, at least there would be a venue for change, btw , I despise ALL religions, so i dont have any hidden agendas here.
    See the beauty of democracy is that majority rules, so if the majority of your people have a desire, an aspiration then why are you resisting the chnage, on the other hand if you think that you are better than most of your people, or if the issue of loyalty is dropped, and if the status quo suits you best, then, I would understand your desire to keep this status quo, more power to you, but please spare us the hypocricy of talking about democracy, its not something that you aspire for. Or even better solve your problem, make sure that you are in a desirable democracy, isnt this what israel is doing with its arab population? See, democracy is a double edged sword, careful what you wish for.

  • I guess that to sum the whole thing up, and in my opinion, I prefer the status quo -as bad as it is now- than an overnight turn such as the one you imagined in your daydream Nas. Half-plus-one democracy would be a disaster if introduced the way you imagined it.

    Yet, a part of me thinks that maybe we are a people that are not at all tailored for democracy. Between the “mosques [that] would be able to freely spew out anti-zionist-western-christian-jewish speeches” and their would-be followers and the “few isolated rich Jordanians who have the time to blog and know how to write English” (and please, I don’t by any means accept or agree with these mean over generalizations).. I think I might have got off the point a bit with my long sentences but bare with me… With these two groups -if for the sake of conversation I want to classify Jordanians into these two groups- having totally conflicting aspirations and views of a future Jordan, maybe it is better to leave it the way it is up till the day where a slowly introduced change MIGHT take place.

    I know I might be contradicting myself in this comment but I tried to write it down in each and every way I thought about it 😀

  • before anyone jumps at my throat and accuses me of being aggressive and un-democratic, I just wanted to clarify that my previous comments were not directed at anyone in particular, with all due respect to everyone here, its just my humble opinion

  • hanna, funny how jordan’s upper economic class defines stability and security in physical terms when jordan’s majority lower economic classes define it in basic needs such as health, education, housing.

    to a Jordanians poor, he is living the violence and insecurity of poverty EVERY DAY. his health is constantly threatened with killer illnesses (cancer, heart attacks) due to bad nutrition and hazardous substances (unchecked dumping of expired foods and medications in jordan’s low-income food markets). But you and other rich jordanians can waltz into Cozmos or Safeway or order your foods and medicines from more secure sources.

    A poor jordanian has to work dangerous and often dead end jobs that will bring a life-long of insecurity and uncertainty, enough to fry his nerves. you have a college scholarship and high-paying white collar job that your tribal connections got you

    a poor jordanian will send his kids to a run-down and poorly funded public school and watch his kids quality of education decline and his future work prospects dim, and there is not a darn thing he can do about it. while you will send your kids to private schools since you can afford it.

    a poor jordanian will die younger due to poor health care since he is neither insured nor can afford to go to good hospitals. instead, he will have to frequent some of the worst hospitals in the arab world where a patient’s chances for recovery and survival will decrease markedly soon as he enters the hospital.

    it’s this disparity of political outlooks between jordan’s minority rich and jordan’s majority poor that will continue to buildup until it explodes. you see safety and security in the status quo, they see hardship, sickness, joblessness, and hear you and other rich Jordanians berate them for not taking on jobs you will not even dare consider.

    so it’s not uncivil discussions that will threaten democracy, it’s not the islamists (who seem to care more than anyone else) or the iranians, but it’s the grotesque lack of civility which plagues jordan’s rich classes. What makes it all perverse is that so many of jordan’s regime millionaires made a great living begging for money from the West and Gulf in the name of Jordan’s poor.

    bottom line, unless we evolve our definition of security and stability to encompass that of jordan’s poor and their definition of security and stability, we are nothing but nomads with western cloths. So for those of you who thoughtlessly and selfishly praise the regime’s “security & stability” maybe you should go for a drive around Jordan’s vast backyard of poverty and misery, add to it the surge in crimes and throw in the hotel terror attacks and ask yourself what security?

  • sigh, its sad to see that such a critical topic is reduced to “oh you silly rich people and your safeway world”

    where your voice about your country will only count if you’re poor and uneducated.

    oh well

    maybe in another generation

    or three.

  • you keep showing your sensitive side. but why do you consider one of your bad dreams to be a critical topic.

  • maraga: my sensitive side? oh dear.

    judging by your previous reply, i think you’re the one who’s take my day dream as a critical topic.

    i was just pointing that out for you

  • Ruff,
    The thing is, I agree with you about your firstomment, that democracy is dirty and fighting and all of that..But the thing is that our mentality as arabs doesn’t stop after the fist fight..We will have killing and revenge, our culture is different brother, a close example would be hamas and fateh..Palastenians are the closest to our mentality and way of life and look what happened..
    Do you agree?
    Another thing, you all seem to mess the definition of democracy:
    Democracy is the rule of people, not the rule of the majority..Democracy is measured not by the majority leading it is measured by the rights given to the people specially minorities..
    God bless jordan.. Nas I feel what you are going through..You talk about something and because of your family name they think you are mo7a’abart and they start judging and making assumptions and not only that they believe their assumptions are right, God bless jordan O allah ywafgak..

  • Mohannad, its a good comparison, Hamas and Fatah did not in fact fight at an ideological level, what happened is fake, its induced, certain elements have recived foreign aid ( this is not disputed and it can be corroborated through news articles and reports) External forces aided and abbeted this chokehold on Palestinian politics, but only after the table was set, anarchy, and lawlessnes were fostered, if you look through history everytime governance is eclipsed, chaos and anarchy rules, take a look at Baghdad in 2003 right after the fall of the Saddam governemnt, and you can also look back at history, it happened countless times. So to say that what is happening between Fatah and Hamas is due to democracy is not accurate. So my main point is, there is a huge lack of trust right now in Jordan, the Loyal Jordanian, the treaterous Palestinain, the Egyptian builder, the slave labor in the free zones, and the Iraqi tycoon who is skewing the prices, this is wrong, we are witnessng an increaed segregation between the different elements of Jordanian society and we need to be careful and work on stpping it. it serves no one well, i feel that our parents, the ones who witnessed the events of 70 etc are more tolerant than todays generation, just do the survey and see for yourself…why is that? what needs to be done, I think this sis the only pre-requisit for Jordan to be ready for democracy, trust and respect…..

  • Ruff,
    I agree with 90% of what you say, I am not impying that democracy caused what happened between hamas and fateh, It was an example to show hor arab heads work, you can’t deny that this who we are, the 70’s black spetember was a result of democracy, the PLO was given 100% freedom to act on the jordanian soil and look what happened.
    My question to you: Do you suggest that we have to go through a pahse of killing and destruction in jordan to achive democracy? I don’t think that you would like to see that. And yes our parents have more tolerance, you are 100% right, do you think I am happy about what is happening in jordan? Corruption, salvery, racism, inflation, poverty, education..My whole point, build a better jordan we need to focus on jordan and only jordan, If people from differen origins agree on that point and make a decision wether they want to become a 100% jordnaian or keep fighting for their agendas( I am not suggesting that we become seperated from arab causes, but I only want for people to put jordans interests first even if it doesn’t make our “brothers” happy, we have to do it to keep jordan alive). A strong jordan is better for palastine, right?
    And by Jordan I mean country and people. Good luck for us ruff rider, and it is going to be a ruff ride:)

  • What you are talking about is not “majority rule” – it’s mob rule. We have majority rule in the US, but not mob rule. In representative government, elected officials are expected to behave responsibly, and not implement the whim of the people just because it’s what they think they want. If we had “majority rule” in the US as you describe it, Jordan and most of the rest of the Arab world would have been vaporized in September 2001.

  • Craig your “responsible” democracy killed tens of thousands of innocent Arabs in Iraq based on some bogus conspiracy theory of WMD and Alqeda ties that were proven, and later admitted, to be total fabrications. you and your democracy. YOU HAVE NOTHING BUT MOB RULE YOU

  • Mohannad, funny how you phrase the transition to democracy in apocalyptic terms. this is how despots and their minions always like to position dictatorial repression, as some sort of an ingenious long term transition plan (1000 years) to save us and the west from chaos, when in reality it’s despots who are the ones who fuel violence with their runaway corruption and systematic destruction of the national wealth. why not one arab country, despite oil and natural resources, can even come close to brazil, tiwan, s.korea, singapore, or any of the rising Asian or east European economies? i am sure there are regime minions who are ready with their rationalizations. so lets hear it.

  • Craig your “responsible” democracy killed tens of thousands of innocent Arabs in Iraq

    And how many of those killed in Iraq supported Al Qaeda, and celebrated the 9/11 attacks, when they occurred, Ritt? And considering the most likely answer to that question, just how INNOCENT were they?

    I guarantee you, after seeing Palestinians dancing in the streets on Spetember 11th, 2001 if the US *really* had the mob rule you suggest, the ICBMs would have started impacting arab cities on that day.

    The US response *has been* responsible. Whether you want to admit or not. You think arabs are the only ones capable of feeling murderous rage? You’re wrong.

  • It is not funny ritt, This is how it is, I don’t know about you, but the conspiracy theory time has gone long time ago for me, my post that you commented on was a debate between me an ruff rider, so keep it in the terms of this debate.
    The conspiracy theory that you advocate for is existant in 99% of the arab and muslim population, and that is due to our educational system that limits thinking to what we are told to think about. Is it because the west is smarter, my answer is no, it is because we are stupid and limit our thinking to fighting the west and fighting with each other, if we as arabs and muslims can focus some of our energy on education and scientific research instead of armies and fear we will achieve alot. I can blame the system for our current situation but I won’t because it is our fault not theirs and until we get to the point where our population is educated and logical we will achieve miracles, we have to start changing menatalities using education, and if we succeed it will take us along time until everyone with the old mentality either dies(natural causes) or change their way of thinking. do you agree with this analysis?
    Thanks for your reply, I like this debate:)

  • CRAIG, thank you for proving the point to the readers. you are a bona fide member of the american mob.

    MUHANNAD, you are a conspiracy theorist. admit it. you and the Americans. they killed tens of thousands of arabs based on some absurd WMD and Qaeda fabrication. And here you are trying so hard to warn us of an Islamist conspiracy to destroy Jordan. Fact is what unites you (pro despots) and the americans is nothing but conspiracy theories. the reality in Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Malysia, and other “Islamic” countries show that the Islamists seem to be more moderate and far more rational and principled than those whose praise you sing. heck when i compare nasrallah or haniyya to bush or olmert or one of your despots i am amazed at how those who are suppose to be radicals are rational, and how those who are suppose to be secular are paranoid and sectarian in their language. remember who is beating the drums of sectarianism and mobilizing the dark forced of sectarianism with charges of Shiite threat and Shiite evil and Hamas threat.

    Bottom line, people who live in glass houses… you my friend have nothing to offer us but Nas’s bad dreams. When in Palestine, lebaonn, and turkey, and even Iran we see the opposite. sorry, but your scaremongering may have worked a decade ago, but not today.

  • Jaarr,
    I tried to be rational but you seem to be unable to read and understand, My suggestion to you is rallying 500 people behind you and “transform us” to your desire, good day.
    Debate is Over.

  • Craig, why would you an israeli pose as an american?

    Why not just call me a jew and be done with it, bigot? For your information I’m 100% anglo-saxon and my family has been in the United States since the 17th century, but don’t let that bother your conspiracy theories, dude.

Your Two Piasters: