“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use”… Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi
The World Bank negatively affects any country it finds itself. Whenever you see revolutions and disputes in poor countries, seek out the World Bank.
Years ago, I wrote an article concurrently with the outburst of so-called October uprising in Jordan during the regime of Abdullah Al-Nassour. I quite remember Al-Nassour was battling adverse repercussions of the World Bank at that time and trying hard to implement reform. He was forced to do things against his own will, although he was doing a great job. In the end, he had nothing to show!
The issue is not as simple as somebody might think. It is really difficult to comprehend, as we are talking about the economy of a State that owns no considerable natural resource or energy.
The era of Nassour went by and several other regimes had their turns until the most recent government of Hani Al-Mulki who resigned not long ago. Omar Al-Razzaz has since been assigned to form a new government and it seems the step aims to absorb popular anger, especially as Al-Razzaz was among the ministers of the previous government and also responsible for economic strategies and dealings with the World Bank.
King Abdullah took a bold and smart step to quench anger of the populace by accepting the resignation of the government, and then assigning Al-Razzaz to form a new administration in the quest to replace a stone with another or suspend the movement of one stone while releasing another, which is a legal political process.
Jordan is known to be a safe country and a destination for immigrants thanks to the wise Hashemite administration known for moderation in dealing with the people.
History is full of examples of the distinguished relations between the Hashemite monarch and his people, even in hard times. The politics in Jordan shifted from diplomacy to pragmatism in terms of the country’s management, and we cannot forget that Jordan has always been the desired destination for Palestinian refugees and Iraqi refugees, especially Sunnis escaping from sectarian war. It’s also the destination for Syrian refugees.
Jordan would not be the preferable destination for all these people if it wasn’t a safe haven, so I believe the current situation was borne out of different issues and not just one factor. For me, there is no difference between dismissing a one government to appoint a new one. Nothing is going to change. The strategy is one and the same in terms of headlines but there could be some changes though. As I have already said, the goal is political based, which is legal in the world of politics.
The other issue concerns the inadequacy of aid provided by regional donors. I will not say they lag or bargain with the Jordan to approve specific political projects, including the widely circulated rumor regarding this very project, which no official statement has been issued about. However, it appears that something is being prepared in secret. Any person who watched the speech of the Jordanian King Abdullah Bin Al-Hussain noticed his glances at the issue.
I expect Jordan to surmount the crisis as it did on many occasions. Political leadership should be wise in dealing with the crisis appropriately, and I feel the beginning of the end of the crisis is nigh due to the recent important developments, which include visit of the Crown Prince to the demonstrating Fourth Circle and communicating with the leaders of respective regional countries.
We also cannot ignore the importance of the visit of Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh to King Abdullah Bin Al-Hussain to deliver an oral message from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
I believe the worst is over, and we are getting ready to finish it up. This crisis had nothing to do with the ruling government, and it neither created security issues apart from the demonstration carried out by the people who are fed up with corrupt activities of their senior government and public officials. There’s no doubt that conditions set by the World Bank have yielded negative impact but measures have since been taken to set things right in that safe country, which we have always admired. We salute the Hashemite leadership and his loyal people.