Originally Posted by Dreamcatchergrl
What also worries me is that Abdullah also removed Faisel from the air force weeks ago. I've just heard about that. Isn't Faisel his full brother? I wonder what behind the scenes machinations are going on right now?
Just want to make something VERY clear. Prince Feisal was NEVER sacked, he was actually promoted. The misconception and misinformation comes solely from the internet. The actual situation is fully explained at the end of this following article.
From the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
A false quiet in Jordan
By Amir Oren
Next month will mark 10 years since the signing of the peace treaty
between Israel and Jordan. At first glance, the story appears to be
that there is no story: Security relations are good, diplomatic
relations slightly less so, despite the mutual loathing for Yasser
Arafat. The border is quiet, and the threat of Saddam Hussein to the
rear has been removed from the states on both banks of the Jordan
But in fact this quiet is deceptive, because the deep waters in and
around Jordan are liable to sweep the Hashemite regime into an
existential struggle. President Bush's ambitious plan to implant
democracy in an Arab state will, in the end, also reach the palace in
Amman, which today is Washington's loyal ally. According to Bush's
logic, King Abdullah II must also eventually transfer the reins of
government to the Palestinian majority.
The Israeli defense establishment has close ties with its Jordanian
counterpart, but neither is immune from the surprises thought up by
the king. The Israel Defense Forces and the intelligence community
have already gotten used to the fact that senior officials in Amman,
whose positions appeared unassailable, can be removed from office
with no prior warning. Abdullah supplied additional proof of this
last week, with a sudden purge of the top ranks of the air force.
Abdullah's father, King Hussein, died in February 1999, a few weeks
after pushing his brother Hassan - who had been slated to replace him
for decades - down the line of succession and replacing him with
Abdullah, his eldest son. Hussein thus restored the traditional line
of succession, from which he had deviated during Abdullah's childhood
for fear that the kingdom would be left without a leader if assassins
succeeded in killing him.
At the start of his reign, Abdullah said that his father had erred by
allowing Hassan to remain as a competing power center who espoused
different policies. Hassan was stripped of all his authority, but a
guest who joined him for a trip through the streets of Amman last
week discovered that the king's ousted uncle is deluged with waves of
popular sympathy - perhaps a hint of dissatisfaction with Abdullah.
Abdullah's decision to shuffle the deck in Jordan's air force was
discovered by chance, when a senior officer in a foreign army dialed
the direct line of his colleague, the air force commander. This was
not just any commander; it was Prince Feisal, the king's next oldest
brother. And not just any brother, but one who shared the same
mother, Muna, Hussein's first wife.
Feisal, who learned to fly at Hussein's knees, rose through the
officer ranks of the Jordanian air force by his own princely hands.
Abdullah made him deputy commander of the force, and then in 2002 he
made him commander.
To the foreign officer's surprise, his phone call was answered by an
unfamiliar voice. It turned out that Abdullah had suddenly - though
in keeping with the custom of his court - decided to fire Feisal as
air force commander. Feisal is far from retirement age. He is 40,
whereas the army's chief of staff, Khaled Sarayrah, is 60. Feisal's
deputy was also sent packing, and an anonymous colonel, Ahmed
Mohammed Bis, who had previously headed the operations division, was
quietly made head of the air force.
At the start of this week, following a complete media blackout, one
of the Jordanian papers published on its back page congratulations to
the incoming and outgoing air force commanders. A Jordanian official
who volunteered a personal interpretation said with a smile that this
was not an ouster, but a kick upstairs: "The prince was promoted a
rank, from major general to lieutenant general." That is still one
rank below chief of staff, and two below the rank of field marshal
that Abdullah bestowed on himself.
Feisal is not in line of succession to Abdullah. The crown prince is
their young half-brother, Prince Hamza, Hussein's beloved son by his
last wife, Queen Noor. To appease the Hamza camp, Abdullah named him
crown prince at the expense of his own son, Prince Hassan, who is now
10. As Hassan grows older, the tension between him and Hamza will
also grow - because Hamza can also be ousted, and the story of Hassan
and Abdullah is liable to repeat itself with Hamza and Hassan.
In any such internal conflict, an important factor will be the
support of the kingdom's various power centers, first and foremost
that of the General Intelligence Service, which combines the powers
of a security service with those of a police unit that combats
The head of this service, General Saad Kheir, also heads the National
Security Council, and serves as Abdullah's security advisor. Kheir
has recently been embroiled in a dispute with the prime minister,
Faisal al-Fayez, who also holds the defense portfolio, over the
question of how to treat the Muslim Brotherhood, a former ally of the
Hashemite regime whose slide into terrorism has turned it into a
rival and perhaps even a threat.
The forces in this battle are not evenly matched: Fayez, a loyalist
of the king, rose from the ranks of the palace's protocol office and
has no troops. Kheir is acceptable to America's intelligence
community, and even though Abdullah dared to oust and humiliate
Kheir's predecessor as head of General Intelligence, Samih Battikhi,
it is doubtful that the king could permit himself another test of his