Tag Archives: Jordan

Arab Royalty: King of Humorless Jordan hits Pay Dirt………

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Saudi Crown Prince to the Crown Prince has been busy. (I would call him Deputy Crown Prince except that he is more powerful than the Crown Prince since his father is the king). It is nice getting a title for just being born, no?
Anyway, this Prince Mohammed Bin Salman visited the King of humorless Jordan last week. Within a couple of days the humorless King Abdullah announced that Jordan was recalling its ambassador from Tehran. There has been no incident between the Iranians and Jordan in recent years, not since King Hussein sided with Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran in 1980 and his invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Which is odd, given that no explanation has been forthcoming. This Jordanian king is normally level-headed.
Which means only one thing: how much did King Abdullah of the humorless Jordanians get from the Saudi family for this unexpected diplomatic move? Did the money go to the country of Jordan or did much of it enter some private bank account of the King of Jordan?
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Hospitable Jordan: Risky Geography and Questionable Alliances…….

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“He added that “this is also happening in Afghanistan,” warning that if the Islamic State (IS) was degraded in these countries “Iran will come in to fill the gap,” according to MEE’s source. Jordan has backed Saudi Arabia in its long-running rivalry with Iran……….. In the congressional meeting, Abdullah said that Shia Muslims had been “lumped in” with the executions carried out that day. To purely kill Sunnis would have “looked bad domestically,” he said. He added, however, that it was unfortunate that Nimr had been included among those executed……………”

Jordan, an early child of Sykes-Picot, is in a bind. It is a small country with a divided population and few economic resources, like most other Arab countries. It is sandwiched between large unstable neighbors (Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia), as well as Israel/Palestine. Jordanians have had a long history of unfortunate and failed alliances within the Middle East.

It goes back to 1967, when the King of Jordan joined the Six Day War, apparently without being prepared for the consequences. As a result, the Jordanians handed the West Bank and East Jerusalem (including the Al Aqsa Mosque) to Israel with barely a fight, and within two days. The biggest and most important loss of Arab “property” in modern history. That disaster in itself is sufficient to make any nation lose its sense of humor, assuming it had any such sense before.

In 1980, the Jordanians repeated their mistake. They sided with Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran. They did not fight directly, but King Hussein made occasional visits to the Front and fired some symbolic shots towards the Iranian lines. Not very kingly behavior, but it stopped once Saddam started losing that war. Another defeat ensued eight years later, but by then King Hussein did not get involved directly, a wise decision.

In 1990, the Jordanians sided again with Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait. They lost big in that one economically, although they were not involved directly in a military sense.

Then came the Syrian civil-proxy-Jihadi war after 2011. The Jordanians helped the Syrian Jihadist “opposition” that was sponsored by the Saudis and some other Persian Gulf autocrats. They also at one point reportedly allowed the US and the Saudis to start training some new opposition groups near the Syrian border. But apparently that did not last long, perhaps it petered out.

In Yemen the Jordanians threw their support more directly behind the Saudi paid alliance that has been bombing Yemen’s cities and infrastructure for over a year. And blockading the country. A futile and hopeless war. But that is a low-risk venture for them: limited military involvement in a faraway country, with the cost paid by the Gulf princes and potentates.

A long record of betting on the losing side. No wonder the king is often welcome to address the U.S. Congress under Republicans. No wonder Jordanians are among the most humor-challenged in our humorless region. Now the humorless Jordanians have gotten more wary of involvement in foreign adventures of other sisterly and brotherly Arab countries, and wisely so. They especially stay away from disputes that are on their border, lest they spill across into their country (the example of the growing instability in Turkey provides a good lesson).

One good thing about Jordan: they (and Lebanon) do welcome many refugees, which is a good thing and almost a national industry now in Jordan. Unlike the richer Arab countries that have provoked and instigated many of these civil wars but refuse to accept the resulting refugees. In that sense of hospitality, they are more characteristically Arab than most of the rest.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Qassem Suleimani Pops Up in Amman: Good Housekeeping Seal, LOL or SOS?…….

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“Debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reveal exclusively that Gen. Qassem Soleiman, commander of the Revolutionary Guards elite Al Qods Brigades, paid a groundbreaking visit last Thursday, March 5, to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as guest of Gen. Faisal Al-Shoulbaki, director of General Intelligence and a close adviser to King Abdullah II.The visit, encouraged by Obama administration policy, showed one of America’s oldest Sunni Arab allies, recognizing the di rection of the trending regional reality to jump the lines over to Tehran. Iran’s grab for Middle East influence is now reaching from four capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Sanaa, Beirut to a fifth, Amman………………..”

Some of these Israeli not-official-anymore sources are beginning to sound as crazy as many Arab sources. Almost as crazy. Especially when it comes to Iranian Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani and his travels in the region. This Israeli narrative claims that he has visited Amman recently, smack in the humorless kingdom of Jordan. While he was still in Iraq shoring up the campaign against the murderous Caliphate of ISIS in Tikrit. Or maybe in Syria, or along the Kurdish border. Or was that Yemen? Still, it is possible that he snuck into Amman for a quickie, but unlikely. Unless he intends to participate in training the New New Syrian opposition, the New Improved FSA, the latest iteration that is being financed by the Saudis, Emiratis, et al. But it can’t be: this new FSA is reported to have the Good HouseKeeping Seal of Approval, from the Capitol to Riyadh.

As early as early 2013, some Persian Gulf media, owned by the oligarchy, claimed that he, Suleimani, was in Egypt, apparently holed up at some Cairo hotel. Meeting his Egyptian (Muslim Brotherhood) counterparts over drinks at a Cairo bar. The goal was clearly to discredit the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo for improbably mixing with such company of ill-repute. It was to set the stage for the Gulf-financed military coup d’etat by General Al Sisi (who promoted himself to Field Marshal after the coup).

In case you are confused, here are links to some earlier posts of the General’s travels and various dastardly acts he has been engaged in:

OH OH, QASSEM SULEIMANI IS BACK STALKING YOUR DREAMS………

FIRST BLOOD? IRANIANS IN THE BATTLE FOR IRAQ………..

QASSEM SULEIMANI: PLOTTER WITH MORSI, DRUG SMUGGLER TO GCC, ELECTION MANAGER IN IRAQ ………….

BREAKING NEWS: NETANYAHU TO BLAME IRAN’S QASSEM SULEIMANI FOR LIBYA TERROR ATTACK……….

MORE ON IRAN’S QASSEM SULEIMANI: SOLVING THE MYSTERY…………

PREDICTABLE SYRIAN WAR: IRANIAN SULEIMANI TO ASSAD, FRENCH ANTI-AIRCRAFT TO FSA……………

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                         Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Strategic Science Fiction: Unified Arab Force, Unified Arab Farce…….

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“As threats in the Middle East grow, there’s a pressing need in the region, Egypt’s President said Sunday. “The need for a unified Arab force is growing and becoming more pressing every day,” President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said in a televised address, noting that Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have offered to send troops as Egypt steps up its efforts to battle ISIS in neighboring Libya………”

Also sprach Field Marshal Al Sisi, elected president of Egypt by almost 98% of the vote last year.
They are now talking about a unified Arab force to fight the murderous jihadis of ISIS from Libya to Syria and Iraq. And possibly fight ‘others’ after that. From Arab politicians to Western media pundits and retired generals and even former CIA agents. Everybody is suddenly a strategist: a Napoleon and a Caesar.

There has never been an effective unified Arab force in modern times. There is a joint Gulf GCC force called the Peninsula Shield that was supposed to be a joint “defense” force against external threats. It failed its only chance to defend when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, by not showing up. The only ‘operation’ on its resume has been to intervene in Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy uprising there during the Arab Spring of 2011. This is typical of Arab armed forces: their priority is protection of the ruling order against internal unrest. We have seen this across the board, from Libya to Egypt to Syria and Bahrain and Yemen.

A joint Arab force to fight the Caliphate of IS? With actual casualties and body bags? Unlikely that the Arab countries can sustain the needed human costs. Besides the hesitation to enter, say, Syria and become sitting ducks between the two sides, the Jihadis and the Syrian army and its allies. Just imagine humorless Jordanian and United Arab Emirates troops facing two formidable opponents in a two-front war: skilled experienced and suicidal Wahhabi Jihadists and Syrian army veterans plus Hezbollah. The UAE, with barely 1 million citizens, reportedly has an imported foreign mercenary force for its own internal security. Just imagining the Emirates in such a battle merits a resounding WTF plus an LOL (and possibly an Oscar for science fiction).

The first battle might be the last one, a Waterloo. Besides, a unified Arab military force would be the worst thing to happen to the Arab peoples now. It will only lead to unified repression: one force with one strategy and one deadly force to keep the repression and the oppression going. Exactly what happened in Bahrain.

I suspect the push is more from the West, mainly from some hawks in the US. It makes sense to have an Arab force in order to “legitimize” action and make it politically acceptable at home, or so they think. The real action would be by NATO powers, a la Libya 2011. Some of the Arab princes and potentates are no doubt thinking of a post-ISIS phase, when they can ‘clean house’ in Syria and maybe in Lebanon. They have allies over here as well for that endeavor.
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Caliphate: Islamo-Baathism and Al Rishawi’s Wardrobe Malfunction……….

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Caliphate of ISIS seems to be a coalition of at least two strange bedfellows:

One is an offshoot of Al Qaeda, the AQI that was once led by Jordanian terrorist Abu Mes’ab Al Zarqawi. Zarqawi plagued Iraq for a few years with acts that were gruesome even by the standards of Iraq’s bloody history. He hailed from Zarqa, another humorless town in Jordan, hence his Jihadi nom de guerre (they usually add the hometown or home country of the cutthroat as a last name). Al Zarqa in Jordan was proud of her native son, even as he terrorized Iraqi peasants and townsfolk, especially Shi’as whom he publicly called a snake (coincidentally the late Saudi King Abdullah had urged the U.S. to cut the head of the snake by attacking or invading Iran, according to Wikileaks documents).

Zarqawi was a celebrity in his hometown, and he was eulogized extensively in that grim town after the Americans delivered his just deserts in 2006. But hero-worshipping Zarqawi had suddenly started being frowned upon in Jordan after the Jihadis blew up several hotels and killed a bunch of people in Amman. One of the terrorists survived because she had a wardrobe malfunctionliterally, and her explosives didn’t detonate (Sajida Al Rishawai who was executed in Jordan last week).

The other major component of this Caliphate, inside Iraq, consists of former Baathists. These are generals and colonels and lower military men who deserted Baghdad when the Americans attacked in 2003 and vanished for safety (long before Paul Bremer officially disbanded the old Iraqi army, that army had disbanded itself and deserted without fighting for Baghdad or any other town). These also include security men, experts at interrogation, terror, and torture. It is probably these Baathists who are the major link to the tribes of Al Anbar and to former rank and file men of the old armed forces. Iraqi Sunnis, even the tribal types of the border regions, traditionally are not of the Wahhabi Al-Qaeda type mindset, most of them are/were rather secular (by Muslim standards). Could it be a marriage of convenience? It could, but for how long? It certainly will not survive the loss/fall of Mosul, whenever that happens.

Then there are the foreigners and their women be they Arabs or Europeans. Their case is obvious: it takes dedicated Wahhabism or dedicated birdbrains or both to buy the stuff these people spread over the various media.

Then there are the outsiders, the enablers and financiers of the campaign of terror. These hail mainly from Arab states, especially the Gulf states, and the Islamist rulers of Turkey and its military, who have for years allowed all foreign Jihadis to cross the border into Syria. An apparent silent alliance of Turkish officials and the Caliphate. Even as some fools in the U.S. Senate and Congress agonize over whether Turkey will be willing to actively join a coalition against the Caliphate of terror. Not realizing that Turkey, like some Arabs, has been in this war for a few years. On the other side.
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

The World Turned Upside Down: UAE as an Occupation Power in Jordan……..

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known as the home of military bases for several foreign countries, as well as at least one international mercenary force. With a native population that hovers around 1 million, it is an unlikely candidate to establish military bases abroad. Yet such are the vagaries of this Wahhabi age of ISIS (ISIL, DAESH, WTF) that the reports tell us the Emirates will now have an air base in the humorless kingdom of Jordan. That is reportedly considered one way to insure safer bombing runs over the Caliphate of ISIS. Safer for the pilots.

Jordan, for its part does not have military bases abroad, per se. Why ‘per se‘? That is because the Humorless Kingdom of Jordan is an active supplier of armed mercenaries, interrogators, and torturers to some of the Gulf states. It has that kind of armed presence especially in Bahrain but also the UAE.
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Jordan’s King Abdullah to Vanquish Boko Haram, Make it Halal, Star in Rawhide…….

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Now my reliable African source reports that the mythical King Abdullah of Jordan is slated to embark on another mission in the near future. He is being approached by U.S. officials to lead a new campaign in West Africa. The goal? To defeat Boko Haram terrorists and change their name into Boko Halal.

All that will come after his current missions are accomplished. After he defeats the Caliphate of ISIS and pacifies the rugged land of Afghanistan.

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Who is Bruce Willis?……….

The king is reported to hope that when it is all over he will have time to fulfill one of his life-long dreams. After he comes out of Africa. To star in a western directed by Rowdy Yates Clint Eastwood.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Jordanian King Abdullah to Help Stabilize Afghanistan……….

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Jordanian King Abdullah has had a meteoric rise across American media this past week, after his air raids and especially his Mission Accomplished photographic poses like this one below:

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New Marvel Comics Hero……

Now my sporadically reliable sources report that he is being approached by U.S. officials to lead a joint special team of Navy Seals and Special Forces back into Afghanistan to help defeat the Taliban and stabilize certain provinces of that equally humorless country.
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

The Manly Official “Mission Accomplished” Photo of Jordan’s King……….

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Jordanian King Abdullah has had a meteoric rise across American media this past week, after his air raids and especially his “Mission Accomplished” photographic poses like this one below:

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New Marvel Comics Hero, and he ain’t even American……

He doesn’t look nearly as goofy as George W Bush did in his famous pose. My source in Amman tells me all the females in the humorless Kingdom of Jordan (ages 12-80) are swooning over this very manly photo of the monarch. As are most anchorwomen (and a few anchormen) in American media. She claims she is not, maybe the only female in Amman who is not, but I’m not buying it.
Do you suppose the king is angling for a movie
role?

Marvel Comics to Recruit the Heroic Homeric King of Jordan………

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Marvel Comics to Recruit the Heroic Homeric King of Jordan………

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“He’s ex-special forces and he cuts a mean figure in his combats, but now the internet is turning Jordan’s King Abdullah II into a warrior-king – a story only very loosely based on the facts. King Abdullah promised a swift reaction to the killing of a pilot by Islamic State – Jordan bombed IS positions and executed two Iraqi prisoners. The news cycle also highlighted the king’s hands-on military background, and one of the most-shared images is a photo (shown above) posted on the official Royal Hashemite Court Facebook page. It has attracted about 5,000 likes – but is actually an old photo that was posted on the the royal court’s official Instagram account eight months ago………..”

American mainstream media always go over the top, overshoot the target at the beginning when they initially focus on a foreign leader. He is either all evil (Putin, Chavez, Castro in past years) or all goodness (Netanyahu, Netanyahu, Netanyahu, King of Jordan). They quickly rush into bestowing accolades or declaring virtual war on foreign leaders.

King Abdullah of Jordan has been raised this week to mythic levels by both the U.S. media and by some humorless Jordanian social media fans, possibly freelancers. Suddenly the cable channels are waxing poetic about this Homeric king, how he ordered quick retaliation, how he led the air raids on ISIS (actually a stupid thing for an authoritarian king to do, but he is too smart to do it). How he tipped the wing of his jet over the tribal home of the murdered pilot Al Kassasbeh.

Even Bibi Netanyahu doesn’t get such accolades nor raised to such mythic levels, not even inside the house of his most avid groupies, the U.S. Congress. Well, I take that last sentence back……
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter