US embassy cable - 02AMMAN3910

JORDAN: MEDIA REACTION ON IRAQ, QUADRIPARTITE MEETING

Identifier: 02AMMAN3910
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN3910 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-07-16 12:36:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KMDR JO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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 003910 
 
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: MEDIA REACTION ON IRAQ, QUADRIPARTITE 
MEETING 
 
 
SUMMARY 
NEWS REPORTS IN JORDAN'S DAILIES ON JULY 16 COVERED THE 
KING'S INTERVIEW WITH NBC IN WHICH HE REAFFIRMED THAT 
THERE IS NO UNDERSTANDING WITH THE U.S. TO USE JORDAN 
AS A BASE FOR AN ATTACK ON IRAQ, THE VISIT ORGANIZED 
FOR JOURNALISTS TO JORDAN'S AIR BASE IN THE EAST TO 
CONFIRM THAT THERE ARE NO U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL 
THERE, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE IRAQI AMBASSADOR IN AMMAN, 
AND REPORTS THAT THE U.S. WOULD ASK ARAB MINISTERS AT 
THE QUADRIPARTITE MEETING TO "MARGINALIZE ARAFAT AS 
MUCH AS POSSIBLE." 
 
EDITORIAL WRITERS COMMENTED ON A NUMBER OF DOMESTIC 
SUBJECTS, AND A FEW WROTE AGAINST THE ANTICIPATED 
MILITARY STRIKE AGAINST IRAQ, WARNING OF A POPULAR 
REACTION AGAINST THE U.S. 
 
 
NEWS REPORTS 
 
THE LEAD STORY IN ALL JORDANIAN DAILIES ON JULY 16 
COVERED KING ABDULLAH'S INTERVIEW WITH NBC, IN WHICH HE 
REAFFIRMED, ACCORDING TO THE REPORTS, THAT THERE IS NO 
UNDERSTANDING WITH WASHINGTON REGARDING A STRIKE 
AGAINST IRAQ, AND REITERATED THE WARNING THAT STRIKING 
IRAQ OR PARTITIONING IT WOULD LEAD TO A CATASTROPHE. 
 
DAILIES ALSO REPORTED THAT JOURNALISTS WERE ALLOWED TO 
VISIT THE MUWAFFAQ AL-SALTI AIRBASE IN AZRAQ (EAST OF 
JORDAN) TO CONFIRM THAT THERE ARE NO U.S. TROOPS THERE. 
 
ASSABEEL (INDEPENDENT WEEKLY REFLECTING THE VIEWS OF 
THE ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT) INTERVIEWED THE IRAQI 
AMBASSADOR IN AMMAN, WHO SAID THAT HIS COUNTRY IS FULLY 
PREPARED, EVEN THOUGH IT HAS NO WEAPONS OF MASS 
DESTRUCTION.  IN A POSSIBLE REFERENCE TO REPORTS ABOUT 
A JORDANIAN ROLE IN THE MILITARY ACTION, THE AMBASSADOR 
SAID: "WE KNOW FROM WHERE THE WIND WILL BLOW, AND WE 
KNOW FROM WHERE THE HYENAS WILL COME TO GNAW OUR FLESH, 
BUT IRAQ IS LIKE A WOUNDED WOLF THAT SLEEPS WITH HIS 
EYES HALF SHUT, AND IT WOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY 
BETRAYAL." 
 
COVERAGE OF THE QUADRIPARTITE COMMITTEE MEETING 
HIGHLIGHTED DIFFERENT ASPECTS, FROM A SAUDI PAPER BEING 
SUBMITTED BY THE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF JORDAN 
AND EGYPT, TO THE "AMERICAN INSTRUCTIONS TO MARGINALIZE 
ARAFAT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, AFTER WASHINGTON REALIZED 
THE DIFFICULTY OF OUSTING HIM." 
 
 
EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES 
 
-- NO TO THE AMERICAN STRIKE AGAINST IRAQ 
THE LEADER COMMENTARY IN CENTER-LEFT, INFLUENTIAL 
ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR ON JULY 16 READ: "JORDAN DENIES 
REPEATEDLY AND EMPHATICALLY THE PRESENCE OF AMERICAN 
FORCES ON ITS TERRITORY, AND IT OPENS ITS AIR BASES AND 
MILITARY INSTALLATIONS TO FOREIGN JOURNALISTS TO 
CONFIRM FOR THEMSELVES THE FALSEHOOD OF MEDIA REPORTS 
IN THIS CONCERN.  AT THE SAME TIME, JORDAN WARNS 
AGAINST THE FOLLY OF THE UNITED STATES IN BEING DRIVEN 
SOLELY BY THE LOGIC OF INIQUITOUS POWER, AND IT WARNS 
AGAINST THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES TO THE WHOLE REGION 
SHOULD WASHINGTON CARRY OUT ITS THREATS." 
 
-- THE WORLD IS NOT A CHESS SET 
DR. NABIL AL-SHARIF, CHIEF EDITOR OF CENTER-LEFT, 
INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR WROTE ON JULY 16: 
"THE AMERICAN GIANT HAS SUFFERED FROM HIS WOUNDED PRIDE 
SINCE THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11, SO HE SEEKS TO 
RESTORE HIS PRESTIGE BY IMPOSING HIS HEGEMONY ON THE 
WORLD AND PLAYING SCISSORS AND PASTE WITH THE WORLD MAP 
AS A CHILD DOES ON HIS COMPUTER.  THE REMAINING MONTHS 
OF THIS SUMMER MAY BRING FIRE WHOSE HEAT IS BEYOND 
IMAGINATION. BUT THE REALITY OF LIFE ON THIS PLANET IS 
ALSO PREGNANT WITH SURPRISES TO TYRANNICAL POWERS THAT 
ARE BLINDED BY THEIR POWER TO THE POINT WHERE THEY 
CANNOT DISTINGUISH BETWEEN FACTS AND WISHFUL THINKING. 
THE WORLD IS NOT A CHESS SET, AND PEOPLE ARE NOT 
PAWNS." 
 
-- SHOULD IRAQ BE ATTACKED 
ATEF AL-JOLANI, CHIEF EDITOR OF ASSABEEL (INDEPENDENT 
WEEKLY REFLECTING THE VIEWS OF THE ISLAMIC ACTION 
FRONT) WROTE ON JULY 16: "ALL ARAB STATES HAVE DECLARED 
OPENLY THEIR OPPOSITION TO THE PROSPECTIVE AMERICAN 
AGGRESSION AGAINST IRAQ, BUT THE U.S. HAS TURNED A DEAF 
EAR AND AFFIRMED ITS INTENTION NOT ONLY TO CARRY OUT 
ITS AGGRESSION, BUT ALSO TO VIOLATE THE SOVEREIGNTY OF 
ARAB STATES IN COURSE OF THIS ATTACK WITHOUT SEEKING 
THE PERMISSION OF THESE STATES. AS FOR THE ARAB PEOPLE, 
WHOSE HEARTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WITH THE CAUSE OF THEIR 
NATION, THEIR SWORDS HAVE REMAINED DYSFUNCTIONAL TO A 
POINT THAT MADE AMERICAN OFFICIALS DISCOUNT THEM.  THEY 
ARE NOW CALLED UPON TO PROVE TO THE HAWKS OF THE U.S. 
THE ERROR OF THEIR CALCULATIONS, WHICH HAVE TOTALLY 
DISMISSED THE ARAB STREET, AND TO CONFIRM TO THE U.S. 
AND ITS ALLIES THAT PEOPLE CAN BE SURPRISING."  GNEHM 

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