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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Jordan's King Risks Shah's Fate

The Los Angeles Times claims that critics across the political spectrum in Jordan are warning that King Abdullah II could be headed in the same direction as the Shah of Iran, which would be bad news for both Israel and the United States:
A politically inexperienced king takes control of a Middle Eastern monarchy from his powerful father, surrounds himself with U.S. military hardware and spies, loses touch with his people and is finally ejected in a popular uprising.

That was the tale of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, the pro-American ruler of Iran whose ouster ushered in the reign of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and three decades of Islamic rule.

Now many in this Arab country of more than 5 million people fear that a similar fate could befall King Abdullah II, the Jordanian monarch who assumed power after his charismatic father died in 1999.

"Until now in Amman we don't have a Khomeini," said one mid-ranking official serving the Jordanian Cabinet. "If there was a Khomeini, then this family would be in trouble."
If Jordan went Islamist, Israel could be facing a poor man's Ahmadinadinnerjacket. Jordan doesn't have the oil resources that Iran has, although it does have US weaponry, including F-16 fighters.


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