Jordan dominated the news cycle of American news stations this morning. The reason: Bush’s visit to the Kingdom to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki. Seeing images and sounds from Jordan on American morning shows while sipping my coffee in our Maryland apartment was, of course, exhilarating.
"Hey, look, Richard Engel is on the rooftop of the Intercontinental hotel in Amman," I told the husband with a huge smile on my face this morning. According to blogger Nas, a number of veteran reporters are currently in Amman to report the event including Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper.
Putting the news coverage aside, however, things on the ground seem tense. Blogger and good friend Hala described the security situation in Jordan in anticipation of the American president’s arrival as follows:
I realized today that there’s one version of Amman I like more than another. I don’t really like the Amman doted by soldiers decked out in their full gear, dotting the landscape like they belong. They’ve been increasing in number since Sunday – every day a little more obvious, every day more of them spilling out of the huge, green army buses blocking the roundabouts. Today, I see them chatting with school children on street corners, smoking cigarettes together while leaning against a post, raising their hands in greeting to a passing driver. They fit in, so easily – a part of the morning streets, and it puts me on edge. I hate it that they seem to belong so easily. Men in uniform. HA. So overrated.
Also, Reuters is reporting that Bush’s visit has angered Jordanians:
Jordanian Yusef Mustafa Nimer can barely contain his anger at U.S. President George W. Bush’s visit. "This is a very sad day. Bush has become a symbol of bigotry and injustice towards Arabs and Muslims," the 32-year-old engineer said just hours before Bush was due to arrive in Amman on Wednesday. "There he is slaughtering my brothers in Palestine and Iraq and is now hosted and feted by our leaders. I am ashamed."
I will be closely watching the outcome of this meeting, mainly because it might change the current drastic political course in Iraq but also because it is taking a place in my hometown — a place I miss, as I observe from thousands of miles away.
Who is killing palestinians. Or perhaps more accurately WHAT are palestinians attempting to kill. This should be a hint :
Who is killing who in Iraq ? It’s just a proxy war between Iran an Saudi Arabia, which, as might be added, is not causing more casualties than just having Saddam in power
Regardless of anything else, president Bush is TRYING to improve the Iraq situation. If you think you can do better and have a real, doable, bright idea. Go down there and DO SOMETHING. Killing or otherwise attacking guests will never accomplish anything.
Thank you for the feedback. Please note that this blog is an online journal and not a newspaper. I do not always make it a point to use journalistic elements when I post an entry on Mental Mayhem.
I’m always praying for peace.
Being a journalist, I would think you could have used a much better headline than “Bush Does Jordan” for obvious reasons. How about “Bush Visits Jordan”?
It’s time for all world leaders to come to the realization that peace cannot come from one person, but from all of us working together to accomplish that goal. One person at a time. One thoughtful, kind gesture to another human being, no matter where they live or what religion they are. Please keep peace in your heart throughout the holidays ahead and pass the word on!! Peace must overcome and rise up to end all wars. Each and every one of us can be a part of it.
Shagfeh! You quote me when I have a spelling mistake. 🙁 This sucks, I need to use spell check or something 🙂
But yeah, Amman has been transformed this past week. Blocked roads and traffic congestions in places you would have least expected it, and now, every morning, as I drive to work, I EXPECT there to be a soldier on certain corners and hiding behind certain trees, I’ve become used to it, and as expected, they’re there. Freaky. I’d hate a Jordan with such a strong military presence permanently. Let’s hope things go back to normal soon.
Ok, there’s a small mention of what the king is expected to discuss with Bush in the BBC article and it only talks about the Palestinian issue:
I hope that in the future, the Jordanian side issues (or leaks :p) its own memos regarding what should be discussed in hope that maybe the main stream media will bite and carry the story and have it receive more focus, which in turn would cause the more powerful world leaders to address the issues instead of ignoring them.
A Bush visit to Amman is not necessarily bad. No matter how much you hate someone, you should always be willing to meet with them face to face, even host them in your home.
Anyway, here is what I hope will come out of this,
my hope is that Jordan will not serve only as a meeting ground for two entities that talk about all matters except for Jordan. I hope that during this Bush visit to Jordan, that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is raised with him and that it be made clear what the king said time and time again; that Palestine is the core issue in the Middle East.
To be quite frank, it would have been great if newspapers in both Jordan and Palestine (and all those who are interested in advancing Palestinian interests, hint hint, Al Jazeera), talked about a Jordanian agenda (or peripheral agenda) to Bush’s visit that includes items “of interest to Jordan” like 1) addressing of troubles in neighboring Palestine, and 2) addressing the problem of Jordan becoming a refugee station for all conflicts in the region.
“ignored the voices of the significant few elites that are still pro Bush.”
poor repressed Jordanians elites.
And to enlighten our readers, the terms “elite” and “moderate” and “peace” in the context of Jordanians politics are derogatory terms meaning “CIA-supported bottom-feeding parasites” and “will-take-orders-from-Bush-for-cash” and “treason” respectively.
It is a shame that the mainstream Jordanian local daily newspapers chose to publish all the reports, op-eds, & editorials that are strictly anti Bush and totally and completely ignored the voices of the significant few elites that are still pro Bush.
After all Bush is the guest of the Royal court and the government, there are those in upper echelons that still believe in his leadership and his abilities to resolve or at least influence world events one way or another.
Choosing to obfuscate the opinions that are pro Bush and sweeping them under the rug is tantamount to an ostrich buries its head in the sand while the rest of its body is exposed for pommel ling.
While Bush stock in the Arab and Muslim world may have suffered a huge downward spiral due to his policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and vehement support for Israel, he is still the President of the richest & most powerful country on earth.
While he remains a President he should be afforded all of our focus and attention, particularly our local media apparatus. Our TV. Newspapers, reporters, and camera crew should get engaged instead of letting the foreign media and correspondents do all the work for us while we remain standing on the sideline
Those who still support the US involvement in the Mideast should speak out and explain why America is still an important ally for the region, and why we canâ€™t ignore the views that still support the United States involvement in the region.