Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Troglodytes on the move (with two supplements from the comments)

Reuters in Araic reports today (Tuesday November 14) that the Jordanian government is studying the possibility of sending to Palestine "the Badr forces, which are part of the Palestine Liberation Army" to help anchor stability in Palestine. Got the date wrong by a couple of decades, you say? Not at all! Government spokesman Nasr Jawda said this is under discussion right now in the Jordanian government. He said Jordan supports any and all efforts to strengthen the security and stability of Palestine, in order to create an appropriate environment for pushing the peace process ahead. Jordan, he said, "will not spare any efforts in aid of our brothers the Palestinians", (short of doing anything that might anger Israel or the US).

Reuters explains that the Badr forces were founded in Jordan in 1964 (sixty-four) as part of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Jordan. They are currently around 1500 strong, and a member said they are in constant state of training. There isn't any further elaboration.

(In the comments, the erudite Non-Arab Arab enlightens us: These are Fatah-loyal forces. This is part and parcel of the US-Israeli support for "moderates", meaning to "stoke civil war against the results of democracy whenever they don't suit US-Israeli plans").

And for those who, like myself, aren't completely up to speed on the new and the old in US coup-promotion, Compulsive Reader suggests in the comments we take a look at this article by Columbia U. professor Joseph Massad called "Pinochet in Palestine". He says Ramallah is currently functioning as a Green Zone for the Fatah and their band of supporters.

This isn't the only manifestation of the new Jordanian dynamism available in the Arab press today. Al-Hayat prints a lengthy piece by Jordanian writer Rana Sabbagh, based mostly on private conversations with unnamed Jordanian authorities, of somewhat uncertain import, but whose theme is that while Jordan certainly is "maintaining its distance" from the Palestinian situation, in undisclosed ways it is planning to become more proactive.

Everyone has heard of "the Quartet", which includes the US, the UN, the EU and Russia. But how many of us have heard of the "baby" or "perinatal Quartet", which consists of Amman, Riyadh, Cairo and Abu Dhabi? Rana Sabbagh tells is this new Arab quartet is quite involved in the Palestinian situation, in fact they have arranged for a "distribution of roles", according to which, for instance, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman got involved in Hamas-Fatah negotiations, and King Abdullah II is tasked with visiting Washington soon to talk to newly-elected Congressmen and so on, to urge the US to get moving again on the peace process. This, she says, is cleverly timed to correspond to Bush's advice to Olmert: "Military operations are fine, but you need to use political operations too". Naturally much of this is still hush-hush, but her point is that what she calls the "pessimism" on the Jordanian street about an aimless Jordanian position on Palestine isn't justified at all.

A lot of the argument in this piece has to do with Jordanian regime fears about what could happen if it got prematurely or too openly involved in Palestine. There is a reference to fears of pressure for some kind of a "confederation" or "federalism" involving the West and East Banks of the Jordan. The background for this isn't explained. She refers in conclusion to certain constitutional and legal features of the current Jordanian system, in connection with this issue, which apparently the regime would like to do away with. Hopefully someone somewhere will be able to explain what this is all about.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the “Badr forces” are apart of the PLO, then is it reasonable to assume that that what they call “help anchor stability in Palestine” means supporting Fatah(Sp ?) and getting Hamas undercontrol?

1:45 PM  
Blogger badger said...

That's what I don't know. I don't think it's supposed to be provocative, but I just don't get it, military help coming at just the time when a Fatah-Hamas rapprochement is about to happen. I'm hoping someone will be able to enlighten us.

3:05 PM  
Blogger NonArab-Arab said...

These are Fatah-loyal forces. This is part of Israeli-US plans to support "moderate" forces. Or as I call it, to stoke a civil war against the results of democracy when they don't suit US-Israeli plans.

7:23 PM  
Blogger badger said...

much obliged

4:12 AM  
Anonymous complusive reader said...

this might help a bit:
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/819/op2.htm

Pinochet in Palestine

Joseph Massad* looks at the similarities between regime change in Chile and Palestine and condemns the collaboration between Fatah and Palestine's enemies


"The Chilean example is important to keep in mind when one looks at the Palestinian situation today, as it functions as a sort of training video for US-planned anti-democratic coups elsewhere in the world. Not only are the US and Israel financially backing the open preparation for a coup to be staged by the top leadership of Fateh (and in the case of Israel allowing weapons' transfers to Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas's Praetorian Guard), but so are the intelligence services of a number of Israel-and US-friendly Arab countries whose intelligence services have set up shop openly in Ramallah more recently, making their longstanding and major, though understated, involvement in running the Palestinian territories more open and shameless. Indeed the intelligence "delegation" of one such Arab country has rented out a multi-story building in Ramallah to conduct their operations there."

1:57 PM  
Blogger badger said...

thank you, Compulsive Reader, that's definitely an interesting piece

11:08 AM  

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