Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jordan's monarchy needs to stay home

It's bad enough having to listen to Dowager Queen Noor of Jordan (nee American socialite Lisa Halaby, who converted to Islam to become the fourth wife of Jordan's King Hussein in 1978) whenever she makes the rounds of TV talk shows, lecturing America and Israel about their evil ways. For some reason, Mika and Barbara and Oprah and the rest never ask about human rights abuses under the Jordanian absolute monarchy.

But, waking up this morning to King Abdullah II of Jordan on "Meet the Press" was too much. Abdullah claims to be a modernizing democrat. Of course, that didn't stop him from jailing Toujan al-Faisal, Jordan's first female member of Parliament and a human rights advocate, for "slandering the government" after she charged it with corruption in a letter to Abdullah.

And, Abdullah's idea of "promoting democracy" was a new law licensing and regulating political parties. Only fourteen of Jordan’s thirty six political parties were able to comply with Abdullah's regulations, which include obtaining a "certificate of government support". The other twenty two parties were banned, and membership is a crime.

Notwithstanding his country's human rights record, Abdullah was on television this morning opining on America's failure to adher to democratic values. The absolute monarch believes we Americans "lost our moral bearings" "by engaging in torture".

Meanwhile, according to both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Jordan tortures, and served the Bush Administration from 2001 to 2004 as "proxy jailer" using "methods even more brutal" than those of which America is accused.

Why does the American media let Jordan's totalitarian hereditary leadership get away with this nonsense?

No comments: