Jordan Residents Fear US Attack on Syria
Amman, Jordan – Turning on the television in Amman one will discover news coverage of the Syrian Civil War that is eerily similar to that in the United States albeit it is more in-depth. Whether it be the BBC, Al-Jazeera, or of course CNN all are unanimous in their incessant condemnation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and consistent deriding of the US Congress for their "delay."
However there exists one primary difference. The attitudes. The Jordanian public is not persuaded by the media coverage, as has happened so much to the American public in the past, regardless of how one sided it may be. Nearly every location I go, markets, cafes, and restaurants the consensus is overriding. There is no desire for a US strike on Syria. No desire for a knight in shining armor. The same consensus too, transcends religious and ethnic lines. The Sunni Muslim community is afraid their situation will become yet another Iraq, with a spillover effect resulting in a tumultuous Jordan. While the Christian community is petrified at the thought of losing a tacit homeland, a homeland they felt they never belonged to in the first place.
One Palestinian Christian woman speaking candidly told me "we can go nowhere if Jordan is lost, we have hardly a home here, if it goes we will never have nowhere to go."
That is the fear. A United States attack will not assist the situation; rather it will prolong it and finally in the words of Assad "engulf the whole region in flames."
So while the chemical weapons attack on the part of the Assad regime is heinous and disgusting act, a US response will neither fix the situation nor dissuade Assad, especially if he gets desperate. Nor would an attack win the US any more support from general Middle Eastern populace; a goal of the US since the implementation of the Carter Doctrine in 1980. Perhaps for one of the first times though, the American and Middle Eastern public is on the same side of an issue. Ideally the US public, like their Jordanian counterparts, will not be dissuaded, and hopefully this time too democracy will prevail.
Tyler Abboud is a junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder studying International Affairs. His study focus is on the Middle East policies and WMD proliferation. His is currently in Amman, Jordan trying to gather opinion on the issue of the Syrian Civil War and the overriding consensus is that of a negative towards the idea of a US attack.