Take Care Jordan
If you scale for population, in terms of deaths, it seems to me yesterday's bombings in Amman were approximately as similarly fatal for Jordan as 9/11 was for the United States. (Feel free to check my quick arithmetic.) When we said we'd bring the fight closer to the terrorists, I had hoped we didn't mean "even if that means bringing it to our friends and allies." But it was a pessimistic hope even then. I have long admired Jordan for actually walking the walk when it comes to finding a future for Palestinians--if I recall correctly, it's the only Arab country that has given large numbers of Palestinians citizenship. It has really tried to keep peace with Israel for ten years now, without being as massively bribed as Egypt. It's a far cry from a liberal democracy, but it does seem like they are set on a path of extending freedoms and tolerances. Even before 9/11, but particularly after, I had frequently opined in email and conversation on how it would be great if there was a way for Americans to privately cultivate a stronger economic and cultural friendship with the more liberal Arab states, like Jordan and Morocco, and in particular Jordan. Some kind of America Jordan Foundation. Unfortunately, I don't personally know any Jordanians very well, and the chances of my travelling there any time soon are very low. It remained a castle in my sky. Maybe if the idea gets passed around someone can take it to the ground.
I cannot imagine the grief of losing your fathers at your wedding; the horror of turning a reception into a slaughter. These celebrations are at the heart of any society, and striking at them is an attempt to strike at hope and love and visions of the future. My hope is that Jordan will strike back with those very things. Ethan Zuckerman
has much more experienced and wise words, and a good round up of the blogs. Ahmad Humeid
points us to a Jordanian blog aggregator, Jordan Planet
, which reads like continuous stream of sorrow and determination right now. I can only send my condolences and respects.