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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02AMMAN3861
2002-07-15 12:27:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

JORDAN: SPECIAL MEDIA REACTION ON IRAQ

Tags:   KMDR  JO 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						
					
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 003861 SIPDIS STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR, I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD USAID/ANE/MEA LONDON FOR GOLDRICH PARIS FOR O'FRIEL USCINCCENT/CCPA, USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL NICOSIA FOR ILMG STATE PASS TO AID E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KMDR JO SUBJECT: JORDAN: SPECIAL MEDIA REACTION ON IRAQ SUMMARY FOR FOUR DAYS (FRIDAY -MONDAY JULY 12-15) JORDANIAN DAILIES WERE DOMINATED BY OFFICIAL DENIALS (BY THE PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS) OF MEDIA REPORTS THAT JORDAN WOULD ALLOW THE U.S. TO USE ITS TERRITORY TO LAUNCH AN ATTACK AGAINST IRAQ. ON SUNDAY JULY 14, THE MAIN STORY WAS THE JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT'S STATEMENT ON FORMER CROWN PRINCE HASSAN'S PARTICIPATION IN THE MEETING OF IRAQI DISSIDENT OFFICERS, WHICH DESCRIBED THE PRINCE'S MOVE AS A PERSONAL ACT THAT DOES NOT REFLECT JORDAN'S POINT OF VIEW, AND OF WHICH NEITHER THE LEADERSHIP NOR THE GOVERNMENT HAD PRIOR KNOWLEDGE. MANY EDITORIAL WRITERS DEVOTED THEIR COLUMNS TO SUPPORTING JORDAN'S OFFICIAL POSITION AND ATTACKING THE MEDIA REPORTS OF JORDAN'S PARTICIPATION IN AN ATTACK ON IRAQ, WHICH THEY DESCRIBED AS A "VICIOUS MEDIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST JORDAN" ORIGINATING IN THE U.S. ACCORDING TO SOME WRITERS. NEWS REPORTS ON FRIDAY JULY 12, ALL JORDANIAN DAILIES LED WITH REPORTS ON THE PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS CONFERENCE, WHICH HE CALLED FOR EXPRESSLY TO DENY MEDIA REPORTS THAT JORDAN WOULD BE USED AS A BASE FOR AN ATTACK ON IRAQ. ABUL RAGHEB STRESSED THAT THERE ARE NO U.S. TROOPS IN JORDAN, AND THAT THERE IS NO UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN JORDAN AND THE U.S. TO USE JORDANIAN TERRITORY OR AIRSPACE FOR AN ATTACK ON IRAQ NOW OR IN THE FUTURE. THE PRIME MINISTER ALSO INVITED JOURNALISTS TO VISIT ANY JORDANIAN MILITARY BASES TO PROVE TO THEM THAT THERE ARE NO U.S. TROOPS THERE. DAILIES ON THE SAME DAY REPORTED THE SAME MESSAGE BEING GIVEN BY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MARWAN MU'ASHER IN A SPEECH BEFORE THE JORDANIAN MEDIA FORUM, A PRIVATE MEDIA ORGANIZATION. ON SATURDAY JULY 13, DAILIES REPORTED THE ASSERTION THAT JORDAN WOULD NOT BE USED AS A BASE TO STRIKE IRAQ NEITHER NOW NOR IN THE FUTURE, THIS TIME FROM THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MU'ASHER WHO WAS IN CAIRO ATTENDING THE ARAB COORDINATION MEETING. DAILIES ALSO REPORTED THE LONDON MEETING OF IRAQI DISSIDENT
OFFICERS, BUT FAILED TO MENTION THE PARTICIPATION OF FORMER CROWN PRINCE HASSAN IN THAT MEETING. ON SUNDAY JULY 14, THE MAIN NEWS ITEM WAS THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION'S STATEMENT THAT PRINCE HASSAN'S PARTICIPATION IN THE LONDON MEETING OF IRAQI DISSIDENT OFFICERS "WAS A PERSONAL ACT THAT DOES NOT REFLECT JORDAN'S POINT OF VIEW." THE MINISTER ALSO EXPRESSED "SURPRISE" AT THE PRINCE'S BEHAVIOR, AND ASSERTED THAT "NEITHER THE LEADERSHIP NOT THE GOVERNMENT HAD PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF IT." ON THE SAME SUBJECT, INDEPENDENT, MASS-APPEAL ARABIC DAILY AL-ARAB AL-YAWM QUOTED PRINCE HASSAN AS SAYING THAT "I HAVE COME IN MY PERSONAL CAPACITY AND I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL OF THE JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT." ON MONDAY JULY 15 THE PRIME MINISTER AVAILED HIMSELF OF HIS MEETING WITH ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY-GENERAL AMRE MUSSA TO REAFFIRM THAT: "JORDAN REJECTS MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAQ," AND THAT "THERE ARE NO AMERICAN BASES IN JORDAN." EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES -- JORDAN IS NOT THE LAUNCHING GROUND OF THE ATTACK PROMINENT DAILY COLUMNIST FAHED AL-FANEK WROTE IN SEMI- OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI ON JULY 12: "JORDAN IS PROUD TO HAVE POLITICAL PLURALISM THAT ENCOMPASSES AND ALLOWS FREE EXPRESSION TO MANY POLITICAL POINTS OF VIEW. HOWEVER, THERE IS TOTAL UNANIMITY OVER JORDAN'S REJECTION OF MILITARY AGGRESSION AGAINST IRAQ. HOW CAN THE U.S., WHICH CLAIMS TO ADVISE US ON WAYS TO DEVELOP DEMOCRACY IN JORDAN, ASK THE GOVERNMENT TO GO AGAINST THIS POPULAR CONSENSUS AND TAKE PART IN ITS AGGRESSION AGAINST OUR BROTHERS?" -- THE MAGIC TURNED AGAINST THE MAGICIAN PROMINENT DAILY COLUMNIST FAHED AL-FANEK WROTE IN SEMI- OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI ON JULY 13: "THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THOSE WHO BEAT THE DRUMS OF WAR IN THE PENTAGON WOULD LOVE FOR JORDAN TO TAKE PART IN THE AGGRESSION AGAINST IRAQ; BUT THEY WANTED TO KNOW JORDAN'S ANSWER BEFORE POSING THE QUESTION, SO THEY GAVE LEAKS TO THE NEWSPAPERS. THIS TRIAL BALLOON, HOWEVER, BURST BEFORE TAKING OFF. WE WONDER IF THESE MENDACIOUS AND MALIGNANT LEAKS WERE THE WORK OF THE PENTAGON'S OFFICE OF STRATEGIC MISINFORMATION." -- THE MEDIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST JORDAN...DIMENSIONS AND OBJECTIVE DAILY COLUMNIST RAKAN MAJALI WROTE IN CENTER-LEFT, INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR ON SATURDAY JULY 13: "MODERATE VOICES IN THE WEST WARN AGAINST THE MILITARIZATION OF POLITICS AND THE MEDIA IN THE U.S. AS IN A NEW ROME OR NAZISM IN MODERN GUISE. GOBLES FOUNDED THE THEORY THAT SAID: `KEEP REPEATING THE LIE UNTIL FINALLY PEOPLE BELIEVE IT.' BUT THE INDUSTRY OF LIES AND FABRICATED STORIES IN TODAY'S MEDIA IMPERIALISM HAS BECOME A REFINED ART. DURING THE PAST FEW DAYS JORDAN FACED A VIRULENT MEDIA CAMPAIGN FULL OF MENDACIOUS ALLEGATIONS THAT JORDAN WOULD BE A PARTNER IN THE AGGRESSION AGAINST IRAQ WITH WHICH THE U.S. HAS THREATENED SINCE THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION REACHED POWER. THE PROGRAMMED MEDIA PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE JORDANIAN CATEGORICAL DENIALS, NOR DO THEY PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE TRUTH. INSTEAD THEY CONTINUE TO REPEAT THEIR LIES WITH OBVIOUS ILL INTENT." -- IRAQI OPPOSITION AND THE AMERICAN ALTERNATIVE DAILY COLUMNIST YASSER ZA'ATREH WROTE IN CENTER-LEFT, INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR ON JULY 15: "THE STORY IS NOT ABOUT SADDAM HUSSEIN AND HIS REGIME, AND THE AMERICANS ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH THE SUFFERING OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE. WASHINGTON NEEDS A VICTORY TO MAKE UP FOR ITS FAILED WAR AGAINST WHAT IT CALLS TERRORISM, AND IT NEEDS TO PLEASE THE ZIONIST LOBBY AND THE CHRISTIAN REPUBLICANS. NOTHING WOULD PLEASE THESE TWO MORE THAT STRIKING IRAQ. THE DANGER IS NOT LIMITED TO IRAQ. IT THREATENS THE WHOLE REGION. BUT THE LEADERS OF IRAQI OPPOSITION NEED URGENTLY TO RECONSIDER THEIR PRESENT POLICIES BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ASSISTING A WAR AGAINST SADDAM HUSSEIN, BUT AGAINST THEIR NATION." GNEHM