vendredi 15 avril 2011


By: Khairi Janbek.

In the ancient world, happiness was a gift of the gods that could be withdrawn any moment. No one imagined it to be the state of mind that could be deliberately pursued and permenantly achieved. When philosophers advocated the pursuit of happiness, they had in mind something quite different from the life of continuous satisfaction that most people seem to want today.

For Aristotle, happiness meant a life spent successfully pursuing things that were valuable in themselves, while for the Epicureans, it signified freedom from inner disturbance- tranquility that could only be achieved by minimising one's desires. The Stoics had a similar view, prizing peace of mind over the satisfaction of any human impulse. Freud, who revived a type of Stoicism in the early decades of the 20th century, confessed that psychoanalysis could do no more than reconcile the patients to the frustration every human being must suffer. As he wrote to a patient " Much will be gained if we succeed in turning your hysterical misery into common unhappiness. Having restored your inner life, you'll be better able to arm yourself against that umhappiness".

In all these philosophies, it was taken for granted that, happiness would never be the normal human condition- an attitude that is nowadays condemned as impossibly austere, as well as insufferably patronising. In a sense no one nowadays can question the claim that people are unjustified in seeking a happy life. However and unfortunately, life becomes anxious and miserable, when it is ruled by an obsessive preoccupation with feeling happy.


By : Khairi Janbek.

Always and forever twinkle my little star
I wish my love for you is not from so far
Keep the door to your heaven for me ajar
It can neither stop my love nor ever bar
With the great romantics you should put me on par.
Your love tastes of honey your distance tastes of tar.
Come hail, wind or fire, your image will never mar.

samedi 9 avril 2011


By Khairi Janbek

In order to reinforce the concept of the unity of the two banks, which was reaffirmed at the Cairo Arab Summit in 1970, and in order to placate the rising Palestinian sentiments, late King Hussein unveiled on March 15th 1972, his United Arab Kingdom Plan (UAK). In an address to the nation on that day, the late King elaborated on the proposed plan, as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan would, after the withdrawal of Israel from the west bank, become the United Arab Kingdom comprising two regions : The first; region of Palestine ie. the west bank and any future territories to be liberated and whose inhabitants opt to join in, with Jerusalem as its capital. The second; region of Jordan, is east bank and its capital Amman.

Furthermore, Amman would be the administrative capital of both regions. The King would be the head of state. There would be a local parliament and local government for each region, as well as a federal government and a parliament. There would be one federal supreme court and one army. The late King added; that this arrangement is his preference, though he intended to give the palestinians, after liberation, the opportunity to determine their own future, and promised to respect their choice.

Despite the fact that this plan was only a proposal, it drew violent reactions from the PLO as well as the Arab states who all in 1970 Arab league Summit reaffirmed the unity of the two banks. Late Mr. Arafat considered the plan a mere ressurection of Jordan's long standing policy of insisting that the west bank was an integral part of Jordan, and the Palestinians residents were Jordanian citizens. He considered that, a real threat to his own claim of representing the palestinian people.

late president Sadat wanted to identify his own regime with the palestininan cause, and announced before a cheering crowd at the PNC (Palestine National Council)meeting in cairo on April 10th 1972, the break of diplomatic relations with Jordan. Syria, in order tnot to be upstaged by Egypt, cut diplomatic relations with Jordan and closed its borders.

Significantly the Plan remained under consideration until the rabat Arab Summit of 1974, when the Arab countries decided that the sole representative of the Palestinian people is the PLO. The Rabat Summit forced Jordan to withdraw from direct involvement in the peace process at the time when the eyes of the whole world and the attention of the USA, were focused on the settlement of the Arab-israeli conflict.

The rabat decision confused the issue. Instead of concentrating on the basic problem of Israel's occupation of Arab lands, the questions of palestinian national rights and independent palestinian state were introduce. The nature of the problem changed overnight. Jordan had tried to seperate the issue of withdrawal from the issue of national rights of the palestinian people. Jordan stood for the ending of the Israeli occupation of all Arab lands; occupied after 1967 war, establish peace and then address the question of palestinian national rights within the context of inter-Arab relations.

But the Arabs states supported the claims of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and the PLO leadership were not prepared to accept Israel's withdrawal from the west bank in favor of Jordan, fearing that would prevent it from attaining its goal; the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The various Arab states supported the PLO for their own reasons, and were totally content to dump the palestinian problem on the shoulders of the PLO.

Late President Sadat and Secretary Kissinger, exploited the PLOs position and the ASrab support to it, and manipulated events in order to enable Egypt to sign a seperate peace with israel. The Rabat decision which neutralised Jordan's role, and paved the way for Egypt's seperate peace with israel, enabled tel Aviv to tighten its grip on the west bank and Golan. Developments since Rabat have shown that, Jordan's position for a comprehensive peace settlement with Israel, would have been the best chance for a lsting peace. A chance dashed in Rabat.

Crucial Episode in the Modern History of Jordan : Prelude to the 1970 Conflict.

By Khairi Janbek.

The effects of the dislocation of the Palestinian population, have ranged from problems of politcial participation and identity crisis, to the question of integration. However, the immediate prelude to the armed conflict between the Palestinian para-military groups and the Jordanian Armed Forces, could be detected initially from the escalation of the war of words between the Jordanian authorities and the Palestinian political representatives.

In retaliation to the Palestinian operations in the occupied territories, the Israeli Army took severe reprisals and systematically bombarded Jordanian territories with the local inhabitants; primatily the farmers of the Jordan valey baring the brunt of such acts of aggression. Late King Hussein stressed this point in his address to the country on February 16th 1968, saying " Anyone who wants to prove that he is more nationalist than we are, let him do what he wants to do in his own country and not in Jordan." On the 19th, Fateh responded by saying " Nothing can divert our attention from fighting the Israelis".

The first major incident of armed clash took place on October 14th 1968. Hassan el Atrash; a former Syrian politician and political refugee in Jordan, was kidnapped by Syrian sponsored "al Saiqa" group. Jordanian Army units clashed with " al saiqa" and PFLP [Popular Fron for the Liberation of palestine] elements, and the conflict was contained by the personal intervention of prime minister Mr. Bahjat al Talhouni. On the 2nd of November, demostrators attacked the US Embassy in Amman, after a speech by Mr. Suleiman al nabulsi protesting the 51st anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Tahir Dablan of [Kat'aaeb el Nassr]was arrested for instigating the violence, and in retaliation elements belonging to his organisation attacked a police patrol and held three policement hostages. Army units clashed with various elements of the Palestinian organisations in al Wehdat, jabal al Hussien and Schneller Camp.

Until this moment, the Jordanian state didn't question the integrity of the palestinian guerillas, as late King Hussein affirmed in a radio broadcast that the disturbamces were the work of of agents and enemies of the Arab cause, whose aim is to undermine Jordan's steadfastness. On the 18th of November, and agreement was signed between late King Hussein and late Chairman Arafat, to regulate relations between the state and the Palestinian organisations. It was the first agreement of its kind, allowing the gurillas to maintain camps in the "Salt valley", "kerak" and "Jerash", providing that they moved out of Amman,

In 1969, armed clashes on the level of 1968 were absent due, the emerging crisis between the PLO and the Lebanese government, and the Battle of Karameh; a factor which had a subjective positive influence on both parties. On May 2nd 1969, the PFLP,freed forcibly, one of its members from jail leading to a small clash which was contained quickly. There were also various democtrations in front of the US Embassy protesting the delivery of Phantom Jets to Israel, and a Cinema in Amman was burnt for playing the filsm (Green Berets). On September 14th. a grenade was thrown at the house of the US Military Attache.

Gliding into the year 1970, Jordan became literally labelled as Hanoi of the Middle Eastby the Palestinian guerillas. Those guerillas once camped outside started drifting back into the capital Amman. Paralell structres to those of the state were in the making, and publications such as [al Sharara] of the PDFLP; the Democratic Front, and [Sawt el Jamahir] of al Saiqa openly directed their hostility to the regime and challenged its authority. Civilians and members of the Jordanian Armed Forces were subjected to a systematic humiliation at the hands of the guerillas (Hisham Sharabi; Palestinian Resistance: Crisis and Reassessment. The Middle East Newsletter January 1971, P.11), and leftist groups took to the streets sticking posters calling for the overthrow of the monarchy.

With these events in the background, the late King ordered on the 10th of February the government, to issue 12 regulations which aimed at restoring order to the country. They were reminescent of the 1955 laws enacted to counteract the anti-Baghdad Pact demostrations. They forbade public meetings, demonstrations, distribution of pamphlets and the unauthorised carrying and storing of arms. The reaction of the palestinian groups was to create a unified command [UCPR]. Heavy clashes started on february 11th and gun fire could be still heard in Amman throughout the 14th. The conflict was contained through the mediation of late Akef al Fayez (deputy), but the Palestinian Unified Command insisted on the cancelation of the regulations, the withdrawal of the Army units from the cities, and the right to arm the "Arab masses", as well as to be presented as the winners of this episode. It was left to late King Hussein, to present the case in a press conference; in terms of "no winners, no losers".

On the 22nd of february, a joint communique was issued, giving the right to the Palestinian groups to exercise their own discipline on their cadres, and not to appear in the cities in uniform or bearing arms. On the 15th of April, 10,000 demostrators attacked the US Embassy and burnt the Cultural Centre in response to the visit of the US Secretary of State Joseph Sisco. The visit was cancelled. On May 2nd. limited clashes in the Jordan valley errupted when Jordanian troops opened fire on Fateh guerillas attempting to cronn over to the occupied territories. 2 guerillas were killed, 8 civilians, and 1 soldier. On June 7th, Morris Draper Political Officer at the US Embassy was abducted by the PFLP but released.

On June 9th. the Royal motorcade came under fire while on its way to the Royal Palaces. Later Chieman Arafat expressed regrets. On June 10th Robert perry, Military Attache at the US Embassy was shot dead. Fateh claimed responsibility. On June 11th. "Assifa Radio/Fateh", called for the dismissal of Sharif nasser Bin Jamil, and Zeid Bin Shaker from the Aramy, and the deportation of Muhammad Rasoul keilani (Intelligence Departmen) and Wasfi el tal fro being opposed to the Palestinian Resistance Movement. On the same day, late King Hussein dismissed Sharif nasser and appointed himself as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and warned that he would put things in order, for the Army has become the intended target of the Palestinian groups and accused the Palestinian organisations of wanting to create a palestinian state linked to Israel.

On June 2th. an attempt by a joint force of Fateh and the PFLP to take over Radio Jordan failed. During this period, foreign nationals were being evacuted from Jordan, and two Jordanian daily newspapers were suspended for attacking the state, while the publications of the Palestinian groups were demanding the dissolution of the "Special branch" accusing it of being a security organ that rallied popular antipathy towards the palestinian organisations; under the control of the Intelligence Department, and demanded also the dismissal of salah Abu Zeid, and Wasfi el Tal, from the advisory position to the King. In a conciliatory move, the late King dissolved the Special Branch and arrested its commander Abdulrahhim Omar.

On August 8th. Late King Hussein appointed Zeid Bin Shaker as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Army, to which the late Mr. Arafat responded in a speech on the 14th. of August saying " We will turn this country (Jordan) into a graveyard for all plotters. This country (Jordan) will remain the Hanoi of the Palestinian revolution". August 26th. Unidentified armed palestinian elements attacked a paymaster of the Jordanian Army, and the pay of his unit was robbed. On the same day, the late King's motorcade came under fire while on its way to the airport, where the King was expected to recieve his daughter HRH Princess Alia. heavy fighting broke out as result in various Jordanian cities; including Amman.

September 6th. The PFLP hijacked a Swiss Air carrier, and TWA carrier, then on the 9th of September a BOAC carrier and landed them in the desert Dawson's Airport near Mafraq in Jordan. The Iraqi troops stationed in Jordan since the 1967 war, detained a Jordanian Army unit sent for reconnaissance under the pretext that the Iraqi Army units were conducting exercises. Early September 16th. Radio Amman announced the formation of a military government headed by Brigadier Mohammad daoud, and Hbis Majali was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Army replacing Mashour Haditha. An ultimatum was issued to the Palestinian gurillas to hand over their weapons on the 17th.of September, which was rejected, culminating in the September conflict.

mardi 5 avril 2011


By Khairi Janbek.

Look at the world and what can you claim
If idiotic a man, if treacherus a dame
Without choice into it crying you came
Looking for a hanger, the gamut of life to blame

A helpless creature awaiting to be tagged with a name
A portion of that tag tour only source of acclaim
With every misstep you are born totally lame
Whatever is left over life will either kill or maim.

Whether one reality or another, you will end up the same
Your life is frozen in time, and stuck inside a frame
The sould you want to free, its your soul you must tame
For the wise life is a dream, for a a fool only a game

In the path of love there's neither sin nor shame
Seek not the desolate glory nor the ephemeral fame
Maybe life serves a purpose and creation has an aim
Take it or leave it is the answer, but burn heaven with eternal flame.

dimanche 3 avril 2011

Counter-Machiavelli. Advice to Leaders.

1) A good narrative is a great source of soft power.
2) Accept crticism; it is a sign of emotional intelligence.
3) Get a vision; a vision can grow.
4) Keep your promises; nothing can do more damage than collapsed reputations.
5) Share hardship; failure to do so shows lack of committment.
6) Know your own limitations; acknowledge inadequacies.
7) Make loyalty the prime virtue and reward it; Loyalty is like gold, hard to find and easy to lose.
8) Make firm rules, and make them clear; apply them to high and low alike.
9) Get real; don't have illusions, and ignore information which shatters cherished assumptions.
10) In peace always prepare for war; best method is the exercise in cooperation.
11) Make the state's interest above yours; You are the symbol but the state has laws.
12) Allow for debate; especially at the highest echelons of power.
13) Hire only the best; though attitudes can seldom be taught, but skills can.
14) In victory always be magnanimous; surrendering to your will must have its benefits.
15) Pretend at least to philosophise; there are advantages in being seen as a thoughtful ruler committed to selfless service.
16) Cultivate humility; your ambition is for the institution and not for yourself.
17) Plan for eternity; after you is not the deluge.

samedi 2 avril 2011

Zero Consciousness.

Re-discovering the world of TV, I have managed to create my own collage of life, by switching from news to soap operas, sports, documentaries and films. Now I fully understand what the term; zapping means. What I have achieved through this seemingly cornucopia of choice, is actually watching nothing, and merely creating my own post-modern activity of zapping. Indeed it is a post-modern symptom of a man incapacitated by catatonic immobility, and chracterised by impatience with depth. The traditional richness of subtelty, nature, art, and conversation have all faded away before my eyes, leaving me with a recession of reality. In a sense, I have reached a phase of zapped-out zero consciousness.