Thursday, March 08, 2007


King Abdullah II of Jordan addressed the Joint US Houses of Congress and delivered one of the most platitudinous speeches ever given. He mentioned the word "peace" a zillion times, as if he wants peace more than the rest of us. His main theme was calling on the US to increase its actrivity in teh MIddle East peace process. Unfortunately, he was addressing the wrong assembly, because those who are preventing the attainment of peace is not the US, but are Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas in Palestine and the insurgents in Iraq. He never mentioned any one of them.
By calling the Palestine conflict the "core" issue, he implied that solving this problem would result in a solution to the other violent Middle East conflicts, but there is no logical reason why that is so. If the Palestine conflict was solved tomorrow would that cause the Shia and Sunnis in Iraq to stop fighting?
One must remember that King Abdullah's monarchy is not the most stable in the world, and that the majority of his citizens are Palestinians who are not necessarily loyal to his Hashemite regime. In fact, by giving this speech and implying that Israel is the cause of Palestinian suffering, it takes the pressure both off himself and off the Palestinains, as if they aren't responsible for their own plight. Abdullah's chief supporter is in fact Israel, without Israel's active support he would soon be overthrown.
He has previously stated that America should be more "even-handed" in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but in fact the USA should be biased towards Israel, as it is, since Israel is a stable pro-US democracy, while the Palestine Authority is an unstable anti-US nest of terrorists.
The only actual "solution" he mentioned in order to achieve peace in the "Middle East" is the Saudi plan adopted by the Arab League in 2004. This includes Israel withdrawing to the pre-1967 (or 1948) borders, includes the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees and the recognition of a State of Palestine. What does Israel get for doing this - recognition from the Arab States. Whoopee! He didn't even mention the Bush Administration's Road Map that is a lot more acceptable to Israel, but he did indicate that the Saudi Plan could be modified, particularly the "right of return" to accomodate Israel.
So here is a weak and marginal Arab leader at least talking about making peace with Israel. But, he has no influence on Hamas who control the Government of the PA, or on Pres. Abbas who has "unified" with them (although fighting between Hamas and Fatah has broken out again in Gaza), and he is considered an enemy by the Islamists (al Qaeda) and the Shia (Iran) for being a fully supported puppet of the US. His platitudes sounded nice but will have no influence whatsoever on the actual situation.


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