This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS AMMAN 001598
STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR,
I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD, NEA/IPA FOR ALTERMAN
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH
PARIS FOR O'FRIEL
USCINCCENT//CCPA, USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL
STATE PASS TO AID
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR JO
SUBJECT: Jordan: Special media reaction on President's
statement regarding the road map
Though the major Arabic dailies led with President
Bush's announcement about the roadmap along with the
King's welcoming statement, commentaries were
skeptical regarding U.S. intentions, implying that the
President's statement was designed as a "tranquilizer"
or "bribe" before the war on Iraq. Of the major
papers only the English-language Jordan Times found
positive elements in the announcement. End summary.
On Saturday 15, all Jordanian dailies led with
adjacent reports on the President's announcement
regarding the road map, and on the King's statement
welcoming the announcement. The main stories were
identical compilations from international news
agencies, but center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-
Dustour also carried the full text of the President's
remarks, and the "full text of the road map."
In Al-Rai, on Saturday 15, the "political editor"
wrote that: "The King's efforts have resulted in the
American commitment to peace and to the creation of a
On Sunday 16, veteran cartoonist Jalal Al-Rifai, in
center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour, drew
President Bush in full combat gear and shouldering a
nuclear weapon, flicking a pill over his shoulder into
the mouth of an elated Arab. The pill is described
as: "The Palestinian state tranquilizer pill."
-- "One meal after the 1991 meal and another before
the 2003 meal"
Prominent daily columnist Tariq Masarwah wrote in semi-
official influential Arabic daily Al-Rai on Sunday 16:
"Washington's reference to the road map, and London's
insistence on it are meaningless. They will have no
effect either on the scandalous and immoral double
standards or on the reaction of peoples who are angry
at all the crimes being committed against them. The
promised Palestinian state, should it be established
after realizing all the impossible preconditions, will
be without frontiers, without people, without a
capital, and without any direct contact between its
-- "The bribe of the road map"
Daily columnist Yasser Za'atreh wrote in center-left,
influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour on Sunday 16: "The
American president might as well have kept his offer
of a bribe, because it will only increase the hatred
against America's arrogance. At best, the road map
can only gain minimal acceptance among the Palestinian
public. But after the Sharon-Bush amendments, it will
be nothing but a surrender document. The promised
Palestinian state, as defined by Sharon in his
electoral campaign, is without borders, without
control on its points of entry and egress, without the
right of forming international agreements. This, we
are offered before the war on Iraq and the change of
the map that Powell announced. What the Sharon-Bush
duo will offer us after the war remains to be seen."
Under the title, "Better Late than Never," the Jordan
Times main editorial noted that Jordanians heaved a
"sigh of relief at hearing Bush reinforce his
`personal' commitment to publishing the roadmap." But
it also criticized the implication that "the U.S., not
the Quartet decides what to do with the roadmap; and
that the U.S., not the Palestinians decides what
powers their premier should have."