Angry protests spread in Jordan

More than 5,000 took to the streets across Jordan in “a day of rage” to protest escalating food prices and unemployment Jan. 14—the same day that Tunisia‘s president fled after weeks of violent demonstrations. Angry protests are reported from Amman, Irbid, Karak, Salt and Maan, demanding that Prime Minister Samir Rifai step down. “We are protesting the policies of the government—high prices and repeated taxation that made the Jordanian people revolt,” former Karak mayor Tawfiq al-Batoush told Reuters at the protest outside Karak’s al-Omari mosque. (The Guardian, Jan. 15; Reuters, Jan. 14)

Tunisia now marks the first time that an Arab leader has been toppled by a popular uprising. In Washington, President Barack Obama hailed the fall of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. “I condemn and deplore the use of violence against citizens peacefully voicing their opinion in Tunisia, and I applaud the courage and dignity of the Tunisian people,” Obama said in a statement. “The United States stands with the entire international community in bearing witness to this brave and determined struggle for the universal rights that we must all uphold, and we will long remember the images of the Tunisian people seeking to make their voices heard.” (AFP, Jan. 15)

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  1. Tunisian protests: neocon conspiracy?
    Two questions.

    1. Does Obama’s comment on Tunisia represent a tilt to the neocons and their hubristic agenda to destabilize every Arab regime—despite that fact that a.) he was backing Ben Ali up to the moment that he fled, and b.) the neocons‘ supposed agent in the White House, Rahm Emanuel, recently stepped down from the administration to run for mayor of Chicago?

    2. If the White House continues to offer such lip service (at least) to Arab protesters, how long before the Western “left” starts denouncing the protesters as pawns of the US State Department, and cheering on their repression—as it has recently done in the case of Belarus?

    Weigh in, readers….

    1. The Nobel Prize winner is quick to condemn violence of other
      The Nobel Prize winning President is quick to condemn violence of other while he continues to not only rain down armaments on the civilians in the villages of Afghanistan and Pakistan. This same President condemns the violence of some nations while supporting the violence of others.

        1. what joy to see Ben Ali gone!
          I wouldn’t know how to answer these questions,
          I can only say what joy to see Ben Ali gone! and the feeling of solidarity with the Tunisians…
          Speaking from the “left” and the heart!