Ammon News, View Points

U.S strategy in the Middle East: Two crescents and one Kurdish star

[10/11/2017 1:39:52 PM]

AMMONNEWS - By kamal Alzghoul When Jordan feared the establishment of Shiite crescent that supposed to be extending from Iraq to Lebanon, Jordan was right and precautions were taken against the expected crescent. Jordan adopted a very strong foreign policy to prevent any militia’s presence on its border .When the preliminary results of the Syrian’s revolution has become against Jordanian vision and it serves the interests of Russia and Iran, Jordan tried with the U.S to avoid the circumstances resulted from the collapse of the Syrian opposition, thus, the American foreign policy towards the Middle East began to be very clear in the region. As a strong competitor to the U.S, Russia wants to play a big role in Syria to pave the road to an economical gate to Europe and to find foothold along the Mediterranean coast. In order to study American foreign policy in the Middle East, I would like to introduce the priorities of U.S policy: Israel’s security: whether the Syrian opposition won the war or not, it doesn't make a sense to Israel, the most important Israeli priority in the region is to restrain Iranian nuclear plant and to disrupt Hezbollah's operations that affiliated to Iran functioning on Syrian soil, therefore, the bombardment of Hezballah’s positions by Israeli warplanes reflects Israel's concern over Iran's nuclear program, and it is important to realize that Israel has bombed weapons and ammunition sites belong to Hezbollah’s militia and it didn’t bomb one single site belongs to Syrian regime. As has been noted, Americans try to adopt a long-term political program to secure Israel as a very strong ally in the region. Iran: When talking about the US strategy, then the Iranian nuclear file and its repercussions on Israel should be mentioned. For me personally, the Iranian nuclear file is the most active factor that shapes American strategy in Syria as well as the presence of Russian forces in the Middle East. Some analysts do not pay attentions to this file and link America's procrastination policy towards Syrian crises to Russian intervention in the region, although this linkage has its political value, but the Iranian nuclear program factor was present and strongly has calculations in the US strategic plan on the long-term, overwhelmingly, U.S supported the Syrian opposition tactically and logistically to see what will be the next step in the future. Turkey: Turkey has been an active player in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and has made a big contribution in shaping its forces, but America hasn’t been satisfied with the current Turkey's ruling regime. As far as possible, Turkey accused the U.S in supporting the failed military coup, so Turkey has been surprised when America has hand in that military coup. Therefore, to avoid the establishment of Kurdish state, Turkish forces has been very active on the Syrian soil in Aleppo, in the rural of Idlib and in the Turkmen regions of the northern part of Syria, where Turkey has become a partner in Geneva and Astana negotiations. America has changed its tactics in Syria to form a comprehensive strategy in the region to keep up with the status quo. As a result of that, U.S established the Syrian Democratic Forces in the north of Syria close to the Turkish border which escalated the diplomatic tension between the two countries. Absolutely, this has a big reflection on the preliminary results of the Syrian revolution. Russia: Russia has not been in the Middle East since 1946 when it contributed to the establishment of the Republic of Mahabad (Kurdish ethnic state) in the northern part of Iran, and at that time, Mullah Mustafa( the father of Massoud Barzani : The current President of Kurdistan region in Iraq )- was the chief of staff in that state and Mahabad state was established upon the allegation of Russia which said that Hitler’s army was in the region, and Russia wanted to protect the region from him. Then U.S practiced pressures to let Russia leave Iran after the Second World War because many Russian companies also started petroleum exploration process in the northern counties of Iran. So for the time being, it was very surprising that America allowed a heavy Russian presence in the Middle East. According to the analytical indications on the ground, U.S adopts an attrition war to drain Russian and Iranian economic resources in order to won the war. The features of the US strategy have become clear, with two major factors, firstly, the oil because U.S considers the Middle East as a gas station for its allies in Central Asia. Secondly , Dismantling Iranian nuclear program, so it created a fragile nuclear agreement with Iran to buy time side by side with its diplomacy during the Arab Spring, and by the way, Israel appeared to be the first supporter of this strategy, and it has been recently supported the Kurdish referendum to merge four countries into war: Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. On the other hand, Israel supported the Kurds’ referendum in order to limit Iranian role in the region as well as having an ally very close to Iran to make its policy more bridgeable over the Iranian territories. In this sense, the energies of the Arab-Spring participants have been consumed for the interest of Israel. In addition, America hesitated to support the Kurdish referendum to achieve three priorities: suspending Iranian nuclear program, blocking Turkish policy in Syria, and get Russians out of the region. By and large, America will accomplish its political and military objectives in the region by establishing a Kurdish star between the two crescents (safety areas), first one, extends from Iraq to Israel on the Jordanian border, and the other one, from northern Iraq to the Mediterranean close to the Turkish border, so that, it can limit Russian presence and Syrian regime role only inside Damascus and in the middle of Syrian territory. Definitely U.S intends to practice pressure over Russia to leave gradually from the Middle East and the game of political brinksmanship is expected in the future to come between U.S, and Russia .In conclusion and after studying the expected course of actions in the U.S strategy, America will continue to play by all cards in order to deplete all players in an attrition war which may extend to the depth of Iran with a long-term plan, and that is why the American support for the Kurdish independence was postponed for the purpose of building a post-ISIS strategy.

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Taiwan, a Valuable Partner for SDGs—True Universality

[9/7/2017 5:59:59 AM]

AMMONNEWS - By David Tawei Lee - “As we embark on this great collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind”—Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development . New York is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. As with visitors from other countries, those from Taiwan love to experience first-hand the city’s famous attractions—the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and, of course, the very nerve center of global affairs: the Headquarters of the United Nations. These landmarks—the latter in particular—are symbols of equality, diversity and freedom. Regrettably, the brilliantluster of these ideals has become tarnished of late as more and more visitors from Taiwan find themselves being turned away from the UN grounds, discriminated against simply because of their country of origin. The UN is about people, yet the universality of human rights that the UN proclaims does not extend to Taiwan and its 23 million people. This mistreatment dates back to 1971, when our government lost its representation in the organization—and in the intervening decades, Taiwan has met with challenges and isolation with respect to its international situation. Nevertheless, this adversity has propelled us forward and we have never retreated, for we believe very strongly that those who follow the path of virtue can never truly be alone. While traveling the world to carry out my duties as minister of foreign affairs, I have always marveled at how Taiwan’s experience in such areas as environmental protection, public health and medicine, agriculture, education and ICT has helped our partners develop and grow. We are committed to continuing our interaction and cooperation with our friends and partners, and to maintaining global peace, security and prosperity through mutually beneficial collaboration. Despite Taiwan’s efforts and the recognition they have earned, despite the need for universality, and despite the repeated pledge to leave no one behind, the UN seems content to leave the 23 million people of Taiwan behind. In May of this year, Taiwan was refused attendance at the 70th WHA, despite having participated as an observer over the previous eight consecutive years. Rejecting Taiwan—which has invested over US$6 billion in international medical and humanitarian aid efforts since 1996, benefiting millions of people worldwide—runs counter to common sense, and creates a blind spot in the World Health Organization’s operations, just like the one that cost lives during the 2003 SARS epidemic. This unjust treatment, however, has not and will never deter Taiwan from carrying out its duties both to its people and to the international community. As the world’s 18th largest trading and 11th freest economy, Taiwan has brought its laws and regulations into line with the UN’s human rights conventions, and in terms of living up to democratic values, Taiwan has worked as hard as any country—and perhaps harder than most—to advance equality. The Taiwanese people elected their country’s first female president in 2016, and 38 percent of their lawmakers are women. Taiwan is also home to a vibrant civil society whose civic organizations constantly reach out to the world. And whenever disasters strike, rescue workers from Taiwan’s nongovernmental organizations are right there on the ground, providing assistance, with their devotion and professionalism clear for all to see. Taiwan is currently working on its first Voluntary National Review, which will document many of its concrete achievements regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In terms of public health and medicine, for example, in recent years Taiwan has worked alongside a host of other countries to fight such infectious diseases as MERS, Ebola and Zika. Taiwan has also been promoting a green economy and green energy, aiming to raise the proportion of renewable energy generated for the country’s power supply to 20 percent—five times the current level—by 2025, while also aiming to lower carbon emissions to at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. Holders of ROC passports enjoy visa-free travel or other forms of travel convenience to 165 countries and territories, which speaks to the respect that Taiwan’s tourists, businesspeople and academics have earned worldwide. Yet, they are unable to take even a single step inside the Headquarters of the UN. For years, representatives from Taiwan’s many nongovernmental organizations involved in indigenous, labor, environmental and women’s rights have been barred from attending meetings and conferences held at the UN’s New York headquarters and at the Palais des Nations in Genevasimply because they hail from Taiwan. Similarly, to the outrage of the international press community, Taiwanese journalists are not allowed to cover UN meetings in person. These discriminatory measures put in place by UN bureaucrats—targeted specifically against the people of Taiwan—are inappropriately justified by the invocation and misuse of 1971’s General Assembly Resolution 2758 (XXVI). It is important to remember that, while it seated the People’s Republic of China in the UN, this resolution did not address the issue of representation of Taiwan and its people in the organization; much less did it give the PRC the right to represent the people of Taiwan. It is important to stress the political reality here, which is that the PRC does not now, nor has it ever, held jurisdiction over Taiwan. Indeed, as evidenced by the aforementioned ban on Taiwanese inside the UN headquarters, the PRC exerts far more influence on the UN than it does on Taiwan. The preamble of the UN Charter speaks powerfully of the organization’s mission to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.” The government and people of Taiwan strongly believe that their involvement, especially when the UN is calling for the universal implementation of the SDGs, would be to the benefit of all. The absence of Taiwan, on the other hand, will only continue to cripple the effectiveness of this global effort. Taiwan can do much to help the world build a more sustainable future. The people of Taiwan need the international community to support our aspirations and our right to fair treatment by the UN. At the very least, stop turning us away at the door.

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Towards a knowledge-creation learning process

[9/5/2017 2:46:13 PM]

AMMONNEWS - By Marwan A. Alshammari - The excellence of any education system has been shown to greatly aid the advancement of civilised nations. It has been a critical factor in all success stories of countries around the world, especially the West. A great deal of this success is contingent upon the outcomes of the different educational levels, starting from the primary school and continuing all the way up to the graduate levels of education where focused knowledge can be produced, complemented and reproduced; it later becomes input in another process, that of implementation, in which knowledge is put into play in a practical manner by all involved (companies, governments, society, etc..). Many teachers and university lecturers see classroom learning merely as a place in which they share their knowledge with their students. This is the traditional thought that has not helped us move forward in many regards, especially in knowledge creation. It is true that knowledge sharing is one of the primary goals of educational institutions, training programmes, and leadership development courses, but it is no longer the only primary goal of education. Teachers and university professors in almost all undeveloped and under-developed countries continually feed information to their students without giving them the time to digest, process, imagine or reflect, or without pushing them to challenge the given information, explore the shared knowledge or add to it, use it in creating new knowledge and building a broader perspective on the subjects addressed in the class so that students can then develop new thoughts that can later become new knowledge. We are stuck with the forming and performing stages of Tuckman (1965) model of group development, sending and reception model of communication without paying attention to the importance of having critical discussion and constructive processing of the knowledge being shared. We neglect the importance of challenging and motivating, and thus we are far beyond the advanced nations in the field of knowledge creation. There is no doubt that the existing view of learning was at some point the key driver of “knowledge-sharing revolution” in the early 1990s. Then, the goal was to make knowledge more accessible through knowledge wells that stored knowledge to inform others who might have needed the know how relevant to their interests, so the focus was on spreading the existing knowledge and making it easily available for consumption by the interested parties. Without demeaning the worth of knowledge sharing, scholars and knowledge experts have suggested that the most important form of learning today is creating novel knowledge. Societies are increasingly being challenged by circumstances that go beyond the schoolbooks and functional instructions, and require leaders to invent on the spot, developing state-of-the-art methods that were not used before. In a swiftly moving world, much of the novel knowledge evolves as a tacit knowledge — knowledge that is in our heads but that we have difficulties articulating to ourselves, much less to others. This tacit knowledge evolves as we encounter new situations, and it is often tremendously valuable because it reflects our first-hand experience with the changes around us, but it is much harder to access and spread, let alone use it in creating unique and novel knowledge by collaborating with others. It typically cannot be put in bullet points or expressed via PowerPoint slides and shared with others. The way to initiate a knowledge-creation learning process begins with exposing our students to a combination of knowledge sources from differing as well as related knowledge spheres such as science, technology, engineering and math, in addition to their major field of interest. It also requires that we do not lock their minds by adjusting their thoughts to fit the situation in the world around them; rather, we, professors and teachers, should encourage their critical thinking, eliminate the limits we used to put on their imagination, and inspire, motivate and push them to think uniquely. That will help them build up the “associative fluency”, which is their ability to creatively connect any two or more seemingly unrelated pieces of information to come up with a unique interpretation, explanation, outcome or any relevant and novel knowledge. The aim of today’s learning is to create new tacit knowledge. This kind of learning is best achieved in classrooms, labs and small learning forums that bring together students with diverse skills, perspectives, backgrounds and social views, and that help them collaborate on the subjects being discussed, provide their inputs after they have digested the theoretical information in the textbooks and then take the knowledge they learned so they can make practical implications. The learned knowledge then can be used in a brainstorming process that leads to creating new knowledge. Learning in small groups such as the classrooms is faster when the members of this learning process are well connected, have mutual trust, and common passion for knowledge sharing and knowledge creation. Therefore, it is important that faculty show they students the respect they need to get onboard with a strong passion towards the learning process. Trust-based relationships are very important and facilitate the learning process. We are living in a rapidly changing world where graduates with unique skills, abilities and knowledge are highly desired in the job market. Skills in this changing world have shorter life span, so instead of feeding graduates periodic knowledge, we should focus on preparing them well so they can be knowledge creators and knowledge builders. We should also focus on taming the primary competences that can quicken learning so that new skills can be more swiftly attained. The focus should be on dynamic capabilities, such as inquisitiveness, critical thinking, risk taking, imagination, creativity, and social and emotional intelligence. Once we have developed those capabilities, our students will be well prepared to quickly advance their skill sets in ways that make them desirable in the domestic and global market, and should be able to add value in any workplace they would join. We should focus our efforts on challenging the conventional beliefs about learning, which were dominant in a stable world, not in our highly dynamic world. We need to rethink all our learning/teaching processes, means, tools and systems. We need strategies that focus on knowledge creation rather than knowledge sharing and feeding only.

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Motorcycle Frenzy

[9/5/2017 2:49:53 PM]

AMMONNEWS - By Feras WerrThey are all over the streets of Amman with their furious motors ruining the peace and quiet of our community. They may come in pairs, racing to see who can jump start the traffic lights with awesome speeds, or in packs of ten to even twenty disturbing the tranquility of different neighborhoods in the outskirts of Amman. Whether they are legal in Jordan or not their speeds are terrifying and the stunts they pull off while driving are alarming and reckless. Somehow there has to be an end to what is happening as the drivers of these motorcycles are proving to be irresponsible towards the public safety and to the vehicles around them on the motorways. It was said in the past that they weren’t allowed due to the same concerns, that the drivers will eventually cause the same inconvenience on the streets, and therefore cause tremendous danger to the welfare of the other vehicles and people in our community. Personally speaking I truly wish that this restriction wasn’t lifted at all as what our community is seeing is unacceptable by any civilized standards. The noise that some vehicles make is horribly loud and shocking; clearly explaining that there are no clear laws in effect to control the noise pollution that they make or perhaps that prohibit certain types of engines that release vigorous roars. There are no laws in effect identifying any roads that they are or are not allowed to use inside Amman or any of the provinces. I don’t see that the drivers even adhere to the speed limits on the roads nor do the police put any effort to pursue the motorcycles that break the speed limits at any time. Its’ just a terrifying reality that I see daily on my way to work and when I return home from Amman to Fuheis, which eventually compelled me to write this article, hoping to direct more attention to this unexplainable menace on our streets. In the Rabiyeh Neighborhood, where I work, another type of catastrophe lurks around every now and then just making the motorcycle problem even worse and potentially dangerous to heart patients and people with high blood pressure problems. Three wheel sand buggies and motorcycles with massively loud roars suddenly break the peace barriers and rush through the neighborhoods alarming almost everybody around them. It’s just unbelievable how the conscience of some people that market these commercial vehicles and that of the drivers just die out against a small driving adventure, when they allow themselves to drive through the commercial complexes and houses in this disgusting manner. They resemble supersonic assault planes that just come out of the blue and break the barrier of the speed of sound, tearing the skies above with the sounds of their engines. The same happens in Rabiyeh except on the ground when those vehciles drive through the streets. It’s just a very sad story that has to find a solution and an ending. I don’t see wings on those motorcycles to explain their high speeds on the streets. They don’t have a Boeing 707 logo on them at all. Nor did any of the drivers receive their license from an aviation college. I definitely don’t find their stunts amusing at all or sensible. Driving is just the responsibility of reaching to where you want safely along with the passengers of the vehicle you are driving. Doing this safely and sanely only shows how mature the person is that is driving. However for the daredevils that don’t believe in this issue they are just a menace that has to be taken care of because living with them daily on the streets is just annoying and frustrating. It’s not the problem of legal age as the drivers all have achieved this condition. It’s the problem of being balanced and mature deep inside while driving; is there a way to be fully assured as to if this can be checked? Frankly and personally I’m with prohibiting motorcycles again from the Kingdom if the drivers will continue to be insensitive towards driving safely and soundly.

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A Well-deserved Thank you to Jordan's Chief of Staff

[7/20/2017 9:57:22 AM]

AMMONNEWS - By Ahmed BaniTaha - Jordan is located in the middle of many countries that have been witnessing difficult and complicated political and security situations and conflicts. This has caused Jordan to take a number of actions and decisions to handle these deteriorating and critical situations that surround the country. In order to meet the requirements of the current stage, a royal decree was issued to appoint Staff Lieutenant General Mahmoud A. Freihat as the Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF). Staff Lt. General Freihat has had a wide variety of military experiences during his long service in the different units and formations of Jordanian Armed Forces. Through looking closely at the curriculum vitae and the job history of Lt. General Mahmoud Freihat, it is clear that appointing him was due to the long military experience he has been through. Also, he has worked as the commander of the Northern Military Region of the Kingdom. This particular region is known for being turbulent and full of conflicts since the start of the Syrian Revolution that began in 2011. The current Chief of Staff has also worked as the Director of Combat Operations at the General Headquarters. Later, Lt. General Freihat was appointed as the Military Attaché in the Kingdom's embassy in the United Kingdom. He was also appointed as Chief of Staff's assistant for Planning Affairs (J5). Assuming all these positions and fulfilling all the relevant roles and responsibilities successfully have enabled Lt. Gen. Freihat to gain the trust of His Majesty King Abdulla II bin Al Hussein to appoint him in this crucial position at this particular time. The TV interview Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat had with BBC Arabic was very popular on social media. During that interview, Lt. Gen. Freihat reassured Jordanians that Jordanian Armed Forces is held at the highest level of readiness to protect the kingdom's borders against terrorist attempts and attacks that many different armed groups in the neighboring countries surrounding Jordan try to execute to destabilize the security of the country. What has made that particular TV interview so special is the way through which Lt. Gen. Freihat addressed Jordanians. His very Jordanian dialect was simple and straightforward, and that was an important reason why that interview gained the satisfaction of all Jordanians and was so popular on social media. Lt. Gen. Freihat has spent less than one year in his current position and since he assumed his responsibilities; he took a number of decisions to improve the current state of Jordanian Armed Forces through restructuring its various units, directorates, and departments. The newly-appointed Chief of Staff has recently directed relevant and competent directorates and departments in the General Headquarters to study increasing housing loans for both officers and soldiers to support them in meeting life requirements. His periodic visits to JAF various units and formations have played a significant role in strengthening the ties between officers and soldiers and their higher command; in addition to the positive impact this can have on their morale and performance. General Headquarters has recently issued Senior Officers' Code of Conduct to enhance integrity, accountability, and transparency across the Armed Forces. Jordanians look forward to the positive efforts Lt. Gen. Freihat continuously makes to develop Jordanian Armed Forces in all fields in accordance with His Majesty King Abdulla II bin Al Huessein's vision and directives. Finally, a well-deserved thank-you is extended to His Excellency Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat on behalf of all Jordanians for his endless efforts that aim to improve the state of Jordanian Armed Forces in accordance with the royal directives of His Majesty King Abdulla II bin Al Hussein in order to enable the Armed Forces to meet any potential threats or attacks against our beloved country, Jordan.

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Need for effective governance of public firms

[6/15/2017 8:21:07 AM]

AMMONNEWS - By Marwan A. Alshammari - Renewed pressure has been arising recently about the financial performance of several Jordanian public firms, including, but not limited, to the phosphate company, Royal Jordanian, and other energy-focused companies. The financial indicators of these firms have not been improving in the recent years, and in the case of RJ, the situation has even worsened. The average Jordanian, as well as non-expert activists, seek answers to important questions such as: why has the financial performance of these corporations worsened recently? What are the factors that led to such drop? Are there external factors, internal factors, or both that caused the deteriorating financial performance? How do these companies make their decisions, including those of a strategic nature (long-term oriented business strategies)? What does the governance mechanism look like at those companies? Who selects the board of directors? How are those directors selected? And finally, what are the assurances that those directors are performing their duties effectively? In other words, do our public (governmental and semi-governmental) companies have effective governance systems in place? Regulators, shareholders and stakeholders everywhere have intensified pressure in recent years to have the boards of directors play greater role in monitoring corporation managers’ performance, limiting potential opportunistic acts and minimising the likelihood of any misconduct on the part of CEOs. To do so, they have sought to strengthen governance systems and assure and enhance the board responsibilities. The board-level oversight is particularly important in firms that have a history of weak performance, dropping return on investments (ROI) and those that are frequently negatively featured in the public sphere via the media. Transparency is an important part that has been missing in regard to the questions mentioned above, questions to which there have been no clear answers that would explain the stumbling financial health of those corporations. The government should know a basic rule in business, especially when addressing problems that concern the Jordanian community: there is no space for emotions, for courtesy at the expense of the national interest or for personal favours. Yet, these very firms that have been worrying Jordanians at large are still unable to develop a turnaround strategy because of the lack of an effective and transparent corporate governance system. They must understand that managing public firms is not a personal business that bears taking risks for the sake of exchanging favours;, it is the country’s wealth or part of our very limited sources of income that is at stake. Those in top government posts, and those who make the decisions and recommendations, need to understand these few facts so they can begin a true process of reform for those stumbling companies. We, in Jordan, have highly talented and energetic people who aim to serve, to work hard and to achieve. We have a unique human capital that has all the necessary tools, knowledge, experience and abilities to properly diagnose the shortcomings and root causes of these companies’ financial problems, and that can come up with solutions that can adequately address the unacceptable current conditions of these firms. However, in order for those individuals to be seen or noticed, and then given the opportunity to perform whatever tasks they are better qualified for, we first need a properly functioning top management teams, which indeed requires an effective governance system in which the boards of directors are elected or selected transparently and on the basis of competence, and nothing else, very strict internal governance regulations that can control the performance of any manager, regardless of his/her background or identity, and a purely economic-driven decision-making strategy. That can only be done through effective and transparent governance, where every interested Jordanian party can observe, monitor and understand what is going on in these corporations, which leads to improved functionality of these corporations at all levels. I strongly believe that our country needs more from us, and deserves more. Our leader is working tirelessly and doing his very best to serve the nation, so why do we not follow in his footsteps and do our best to serve our great Jordanian people and our beloved country?

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Love of Country

[3/18/2017 2:11:01 PM]

AMMONNEWS - By Abduulillah - What makes a certain people love their country while others cannot or will not? It seems strange to me that a person cannot love the place he was born or the country that has afforded him and his family for decades if not centuries a place to call home and a people to love and be a part of. As I travel the globe for business, I am always struck by the fact that in many very prosperous nations love of country comes without any reservation. They seem to love it even when the leaders chosen do not represent their political views or in some cases are tyrants. Yet; for some reason in many of the Middle-East countries that I get a chance to visit, and in my own, the indigenous peoples seem to always curse it for some reason or another. Is this because we generally do not like where we live? Is this because we have had a long history of non-representative governments where we can have an actually stake in our own affairs? Or is it just the way we are? Note, that this observation is not limited to the poor of these Middle-East nations, but also the rich who reside and have been afforded such wealth. Yes the same rich who control 97% of the country’s total wealth! They seem to grumble the loudest and in many cases do not spend that much time in country to actually suffer from whatever they seem to be howling about. Let me tell you, when I go west say to America or England or Germany, I hear the same grumbling about this political leadership in their own countries. They call them names, they even have the gall in some cases to actually call them bad names to their faces or on television or on social media or elsewhere. They however, NEVER EVER, say bad things about their nation. They always seem to love it unequivocally without reservation or shame. They stand up when their flag is raised. They sing their anthem enthusiastically; they pay their taxes even though they feel them onerous at times or unnecessary,moreover, what astonishes me, they say and do this even when they despise their leadership. After they spill their vitriol out about this leader or another that presently rules over them, they always add,“Although I cannot stand that such and such; I hope and pray they succeed in making this country great”. Yes they pray for the best. They don’t curse their nation, they surely don’t ask God to bring it down or curse it under their breath, but always ask for God to raise it up and even pray of the leader they do not like to guide him or her to raise their nation state above all others. This occurs even in some countries that have harsher laws and taxes than we do and even under tyrannical rule. Look at North Korea for instance; we all know what they have to deal with on a day to day basis. Yet they seem to be able to manufacture and have their own industrial base and work hard. They have been able under very dire conditions and under heavy sanction to be able to make their country strong. When it comes time to standing and singing their nations anthem they seem happy to do it without reservation or shame. They love their country. Yes some are fleeing to South Korea but in both countries the average person wants reconciliation between each other and all view the Korean peninsula as one nation. Why not us I ask? Why can we not love our country so stridently no matter what may. Why can we not sing our anthem and love each other as much as they do? Why do we always seem to curse our country and then trash it? Why do our rich who made their fortuneshere run abroad to spend it or worse to steal it from the coffers of our own nation and run? When I ask the average person these questions they always seem to have some gripe not only with the life they have but with anything under the sun that happened to them today. They always seem to blame it on their nations and leadership. They even fault each other. Worse than that they never pray for guidance for their leadership but their down fall. I don’t get it! How can anyone pray for their country to be left in chaos? How can they not pray for guidance, how can they not pray for betterment and even work towards this? Why do we even need a leadership to tell us to clean or streets and not throw trash in them. Why do we have to steal from our nation either by not showing up on time to work or just stealing from its coffers or industries? Don’t we understand that God in heaven hears our prayers and sees how we treat our nations and each other? Yes he hears and withholds his bounty from us because we ask him to. We don’t ask for betterment and guidance for our leadership, we don’t ask to make our country great, in fact we ask for the opposite. How in heaven can we ever get any reprieve if we don’t clean our own selves up first and always ask the best for our country and act upon it? Why can we not stand up each morning and salute our flag and pledge allegiance to our country? Why can we not teach our children to love it by showing them how much we love it? Maybe one day they will grow up and love it even more and God will increase our bounty because we and they will be working for it. Please don’t get me wrong here, we do need a few things changed, such as what Adam Smith articulated approximately 250 years earlier; “little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.” That it is clear; prosperous countries specifically establish and embrace institutions that protect property rights, individual rights and profits and have laws that don’t work against free information, incentives and innovation as well as free trade, but mostly that they encourage peaceful social order. That being said, I don’t feel it gives us the right to steal our countries wealth, or bash our country or trash it along the way because we feel it has not gotten to the levels we believe it should politically or socially. We need to love it even more, and work to make it better. Our leadership cannot do it all by themselves, they need us to carry the water back from the well so we can all drink. Can they and should they carry the banner ahead of us and even pave the way to make it easier? You bet they should, but it’s our country and we need to love it, by showing it, by praying for it repeatedly and for guidance, for no people can get ahead when they don’t try to in their hearts and act on it with their own handsfirst. May God Bless Jordan and its People.

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