Free And Fair

AMMAN (JT) – A piece of legislation praising Jordan’s July 31 municipal elections passed the US House of Representatives Wednesday, a statement by a US lawmaker’s office said.

The resolution, introduced by Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA) and co-sponsored by Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commends the Kingdom for holding free and fair elections and broadening political participation of its people.

“Jordan is doing an incredible job of working toward establishing a democracy and increasing political participation among its citizens, particularly women,” said Baird in the statement. [Jordan Times]

I remember us having elections, but I don’t remember them being ‘free and fair’. I mean, that’s a big leap. Our government is still working on making elections wheelchair accessible.

I actually read the resolution. Yes, that’s what I did during my weekend. And no where in this piece of legislation does it say “free and fair elections”. The exact title of House Resolution 575 was: “Commending the people and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for their continued commitment to holding elections and broadening political participation, and for other purposes.”

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) commends the people, the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , and His Majesty King Abdullah II for their commitment to conducting parliamentary and municipal elections in 2007;

(2) expresses its desire that Jordan’s progress toward democratization continue and flourish as a model for other Arab countries;

(3) commends His Majesty King Abdullah II and the Jordanian people for striving to uphold women’s rights and enhance women’s participation in the political process;

(4) reaffirms the special relationship that exists between the people of the United States and the people of Jordan ; and

(5) remains committed to assist Jordan , should it so desire, in promoting democratic reform. [Library of Congress]

This may seem insignificant to some, but there is a great deal invested in the language used to write legislation in the US Congress. Whole legislation has been held up, rejected or filibustered simply for the wrong choice of words or the exclusion of words, or having too many adjectives. Adjectives like “free” and “fair”.

It’s a shame the Jordan Times, the country’s main English-based newspaper, isn’t as nitpicky.


  • OH NO!!! I had some doubts about the fairness of the municipal elections, but when ultra-zionist and arab-bashing congressman Tom Lantos says the Jordanian elections are fair, I KNOW FOR SURE THE ELECTIONS ARE A FRAUD.

    What a fine example of how the USA will back dictators to the determent of the people. Nothing good ever comes from the Americans or those they endorse.

  • hatem, are you for real? what special relationship between American people and jordanians? polls show Jordanians to be the most anti-imperialist arab country. and there is no US commitment to support jordan. there is a commitment to support the non-democratic regime so long as it supports anglo-zionist interests.

    thank you for your sense of humor.

  • يا نسيم خاف الله،جاي تقتبس أكبر صهيوني مجرم؟هل عندك فكره مين هوا توم لنتوس،هذا ألانان أكبر صهيوني عنصري،بل الله عليك يعني مكيف علي حالك شوا قال هذا المجرم عن الانتخابات ،طيب عرفت من هوا هذا المجرم وأكثرالناس كرها للعرب والمسلمين

  • Rabee3,
    Polls are also showing that Jordanians love American education, American music and movies, American advancements in science and technology, and above all american freedom and democracy.

  • hatem, how did you jump to the conclusion that if I like to have Uncle Sam’s education and to watch Uncle Sam’s films and to earn an Uncle Sam’s salary that somehow I like Uncle Sam and all his crimes against humanity?

    by the same measure, who does not like to have zionist strength and R&D and education but few arabs like child-murdering, ethnic cleansing zionists.

    In Logic 101 they call this a non sequitur.

  • Marwa7een,

    “…but few arabs like child-murdering, ethnic cleansing zionists.”

    Shouldn’t there be a threshold in language when referring to nations’ foreign policies and its people?

    You’d be surprised how many Zionists don’t like child-murderings and ethnic cleansing, either. Show me a government free of crimes against humanities. Jordan, perhaps? At least in previous century, Europe seems to top them all, by far.

    What do you mean or who do you refer to when you use the term Zionist? Perhaps you could write to me privately.

    On the bright side, I understand that there’s growing trade between Jordan and Israel and that several thousand Jordanian families are benefiting from that, especially in the textile industry, and vice versa.

    Pardon for my naiveté, but it feels as if generic US and Zionists’ bashing is a kind of sport one earns points for. What’s the prize?
    Can that pattern be broken?


  • You’re right, the Jordan Times came to its own conclusion there. But perhaps since the text of the resolution is void of any concerns or negative remarks, it does signal as a general Bravo to the government.

    As for the notion that the gov’t-friendly media in this case (JT & Rai) are rubbing the resolution in the Islamists’ face does not really really make sense, but rather enforces the Islamists’ argument that the regime is peddling too closely to the Americans and their “project/agenda”.

    ps. Nas the links to the HR in your post aren’t functioning… here’s an alternative anyway for those who want to read it:

  • i dont think the question is was it free or fair or wasnt it .. i think the real question is why is congress passing a bill about this

    anyway as long as jordan continues to be a faithful ally, you can count on the US always considering any elections held there to be free and fair .. in fact they won’t care if jordan cancels elections altogether

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