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  #241  
Old 03-20-2005, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexandria
I really appreciate learning more about this couple from the articles and profiles posted in this thread.
Here's an interesting article about then C.P. Hassan and the relationship he had with his brother, KH.

From "Time" magazine, October 12, 1998

Stepping in for the Ailing King is a Prince Politically Similar But Very Different in Style
By Lisa Beyer, Amman

They both know that the time will come when the younger brother will have to step into his older brother's role as King. And they both dread it--Hussein, 62, because it will mean his time on this earth will be over; the younger man, Crown Prince El-Hassan bin Talal, because he will inevitably be compared with his suave, preternaturally charming brother, because he will have lost not just his sibling but his mentor and closest friend, because succeeding as King of Jordan will become a test of the national unity and identity that is virtually synonymous with his brother, the man who built modern Jordan during 46 years on the throne. Most difficult of all, it will mean that Hassan must rule without the kind of utterly trustworthy, self-abnegating second-in-command he has been for his brother. He will have to do it alone. With Hussein in an American hospital for treatment of lymphoma and not expected to return to the Middle East for at another two more months, despite a good prognosis, Hassan is currently running the country, but in close consultation with the ailing king. In a way, it is a kind of practice run for his succession, although he and the rest of the royal family believe that the king will resume the throne after successful medical treatment. The crown prince is weary of the inevitable comparisons with his charismatic older brother. He acknowledges that he is not as smooth and radiant as Hussein but, he wonders, why should he be? "What are we?" Hassan was recently overheard to ask: "A family of clones?"

They are not that, though the prince has stepped carefully in the King's shadow for the 33 years he has served as official understudy. The two share the same basic political values: moderation, a Western bent, a fervent embrace of peace. But as individuals, they are more disparate than kindred. While the King is a master of instinct, the prince is a bookish sort. Hussein is patient and given to indirection, Hassan restless, driven and blunt.

The latter qualities may have something to do with a life spent in the second chair. By law, Hussein's heir should have been his eldest son. In the first decade of Hussein's rule, however, his first two sons were considered ineligible because their mother was British. Anxious for an heir apparent, Hussein amended the constitution in 1965 and on Hassan's 18th birthday, named him crown prince. Later Hussein had three more sons, all potential Kings, stirring speculation that the succession remained open. But speaking in August from the U.S., the King declared the matter closed, muting the rumors by again declaring that Hassan will be his successor.

Despite his early call to duty, Hassan, 51, managed to obtain a formidable education. That was a privilege denied Hussein, who was proclaimed King at age 16 after his father Talal, was dethroned because of mental illness. In the absence of Talal--hospitalized in Istanbul, where he died in 1972, Hussein took on a paternal role in the life of Hassan, who was only five when their father departed. Hussein sent Hassan to England's prestigious Harrow School and then to Oxford University's Christ Church College, where he received a B.A. and an M.A. in oriental studies, specializing in Arabic and Hebrew. Hebrew was an unorthodox choice at the time but a farsighted one, given Jordan's 1994 peace treaty with Israel. Hassan also knows English, French, German and Turkish.

After the disastrous Six-Day War in 1967, Hassan took charge of rebuilding Jordan's economy and settling Palestinian refugees. On economic issues, he is passionate and smart. "He likes to call people in to talk about tariff reduction," says a Western diplomat in Amman. "He's fascinated by details, whereas the king's eyes will glaze over." In 1972, Hassan established the Royal Scientific Society, a think tank that has produced some of Jordan's leading economic experts. A proponent of IMF-style adjustments, Hassan currently oversees a program of cautious reform, including price decontrols and bank liberalizations.

Ever since Hussein's previous cancer scare, in 1992, which cost him a kidney, the King has turned over more responsibility to his brother. The palace has worked on showcasing Hassan and improving his aloof image. No longer does the prince approach crowds with his hands behind his back, as he once did. Now, his arms are outstretched in the manner of the King--and a politician. "These days he can glad-hand like the best of them," says the diplomat. But, says a palace official, "the King relates to the people instinctively, while Hassan tries to understand them always through his mind. When Hussein goes into a Bedouin tent, he enters as if he's a member of the family. Hassan goes in as a very polite guest."

Hassan's erudition and braininess can be handicaps. He is difficult to follow in dialogue, not just because of his high-speed, rumbling delivery but also because of the breadth of his conversational span. He bounces from one subject to another without pause. "You'll never get a superficial sound bite out of him," says an aide. "He immediately goes deep into substance." A longtime associate of Hassan's says he has not once managed to surprise the prince with a piece of news; Hassan has always learned it first, from an aide, the media or the Internet.

A short barrel of a man with a weakness for Big Macs, Hassan pushes himself through rigorous physical exercise. "Maneuvers," his family calls them. He works out in his home gym and plays polo with the army team.

While the King, with his Casanova appeal, is wed to his fourth wife, the U.S.-born Lisa Halaby, Hassan's personal life has been conventional. He met his Pakistani wife, the energetic Princess Sarvath, in London when both were 11 and he gave her measles. The two have three daughters and a son Rashid, 19, a potential heir to the throne. Hassan made time for bedtime stories, reading the girls The Scarlet Pimpernel before they were school age.

The family lives in the royal compound in Amman in an elegant but relatively modest stone house. Like Hussein, perhaps more so, Hassan avoids ostentation. Both brothers do their own driving. Hassan is an observant Muslim who attends the mosque and frequently cites Koranic verses. The Hashemites, descendants of the Sharifs of Mecca, base their legitimacy on their direct lineage to the Prophet Muhammad. Hassan's life-style has facilitated amicable relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, the most important opposition faction in Jordan. He was also instrumental in repairing ties with Iran, strained over charges that Tehran was fomenting Islamic unrest in Jordan.

The Israelis regard Hassan in the same light as his brother--as a reliable, even warm ally. Like the King, however, he has been scathing at times in his criticisms of the current Israeli government's obstinacy toward the Palestinians. That has made Hassan well liked within Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority. Periodically, the prince has mediated between the two sides. Within Jordan, Hassan has been viewed with suspicion by the majority of the population made up of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. This distrust baffles and disturbs the prince, but it has lessened over time. Today there are key Palestinians among his close aides.

Hassan likes big ideas. He harps on the need for a regional conflict-resolution center for the Middle East. He complains about the pre-eminence of "politics over policy." He lambastes the industrialized countries for valuing the oil of the Middle East over its people. He decries "the deification of leadership" and supports meritocracy, at least so long as it does not conflict with royal entitlements. He is also a proponent of the slow democratization process begun by the King. Recently, though, he signed into law controversial regulations restricting press freedoms.

The prince is famously irritable. Stupid comments earn snide retorts. In 1973, when Jordan was debating whether to enter the October War against Israel, an adviser to the King asserted that Jordanian blood must be spilled, to which Hassan replied, "So long as it is not yours, I suppose." Says a senior Jordanian official: "If you disagree with the King, he will never make you feel he is angry. With Hassan, you know he's not happy."

Some of these distinctions are choreographed. Over the years, the King and the prince have developed a deliberately complementary partnership. Hussein plays the role of the beaming, benevolent father, while Hassan is the disciplinarian, even if it makes him unloved. Hussein will receive a delegation of functionaries, clap them on the back and tell them they've done a fine job. Then he'll phone Hassan, complain about their shortcomings and instruct his brother to sort it out.

Hassan doesn't seem to mind the job of royal cleanup man because he is as ambitious for his country as he is for himself. He regards the emerging peace in the Middle East--however flawed--as a green light to proceed apace with building a modern, thriving Jordan. Getting there, he believes, will require a certain belligerence on the part of the leadership. If that makes him not Hussein, it is fine by Hassan.
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  #242  
Old 03-27-2005, 07:16 AM
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Here is another interesting article posted by Alia. I wish that girl would return. She gave a really thought provoking perspective on things :

This is a really interesting article:

POLICYWATCH
Number 363 January 21, 1999
SUCCESSION PROSPECTS IN JORDAN: CONTEXT, OPTIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
By Robert Satloff


King Hussein's return to Amman, after six months of medical treatment in the United States, has produced not only jubilation among Jordanians at the monarch's apparent recovery but also intense speculation about impending changes in the Hashemite line of succession. At this sensitive moment -- with economic perils at home and challenges from Iraq and "final status" issues abroad -- a change in the succession line within Jordan could pose serious challenges to near-term stability inside the kingdom and regionally as well.
The family tree: Hussein became king at age 17, in August 1952, following the deposition, by parliament, of his ill father, Talal. Because of Hussein's young age, a "regency council" ruled in his name until he formally assumed his constitutional powers in May 1953. For the first decade of his reign, his middle brother -- Muhammad (b. 1940) -- served as crown prince. In 1962, Hussein's second wife, the British-born Princess Muna (Toni Avril Gardiner) gave birth to the couple's first son, Abdullah, who immediately replaced his uncle as the crown prince. In 1965, the king stripped his three-year old son of the crown princeship and instead bestowed it on his youngest brother, Hassan (b. 1947), Muhammad having been deemed no longer suitable for the position. In order to make that move, a constitutional amendment was approved by the Jordanian parliament giving the monarch the right to name his brother or his eldest son as crown prince. While most commentators have focused on Abdullah's lineage -- son of a non-Arab, non-Muslim wife -- as the reason for the change, this is incorrect; the more straightforward reason was that at a time of great challenge to the Hashemite throne from Nasserists, Ba'thists, and other Arab radicals, the king was apparently convinced by family members, courtiers and tribal leaders that Jordan needed an older, more mature crown prince than the infant Abdullah.

Hassan, who is the third crown prince to hold that title under Hussein, has served without interruption for the past 34 years. While there have been periodic episodes of apparent tension between the two brothers -- e.g., when large-scale rioting broke out in 1989 on Hassan's watch, when Hussein was visiting the United States, or when, in the mid-1990s, the king supported as prime minister someone (Abdul Karim Kabariti) who did not shy from clashes with the crown prince -- rumors about actually stripping Hassan of the succession were usually quashed with alacrity by the royal court. Indeed, in recent years, the two brothers seemed to have forged a more intimate ruling partnership than ever before, especially in terms of their joint effort to pursue peace with Israel, despite popular and bureaucratic opposition.

Additional wrinkles in the succession story were added in the mid-1970s. In 1975, the king's third wife -- the Palestinian-born Alia -- gave birth to a son, Ali. Soon thereafter, Hussein dispatched a letter to Jordan's National Consultative Council (parliament at that time having been suspended due to the loss of the West Bank in 1967) stating the king's intention to have Ali named as "heir" when he turned 18 years old. That letter had no force of law and, in the course of time, Ali's political prospects waned. In 1978, Hassan's wife, the Pakistani-born Sarvath, gave birth to her first son, Rashed, who, according to the Jordanian constitution, would be crown prince should Hassan become king. Then, in 1979, Hussein's fourth and current wife -- the American-born Noor (Lisa Halaby) -- gave birth to her first son, Hamzeh, now studying at Britain's Sandhurst military academy.
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  #243  
Old 03-27-2005, 07:17 AM
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From rumor to reality? Hussein's six months in America constituted his longest period of time outside Jordan since his own schooling at Sandhurst, and from virtually the first day of his absence, Amman was rife with rumors about succession, i.e., his own. While the king had been ill before -- he underwent surgery for cancer and had one kidney removed in 1992 -- the current bout with non-Hodgkins lymphoma suggested to many that the man who has ruled his country since Truman was in the White House may, in fact, be mortal. Hussein himself fed this sense last August by giving Hassan wider regency powers than ever before. Soon, however, stories began to emerge from Rochester, Minnesota and the Jordanian capital that the king may be taking advantage of his distance from Jordan to view succession in a new perspective. Rumors and counter-rumors were fed largely by palace intrigue and the machinations of various hangers-on to the king and crown prince. Several public comments, including statements by Queen Noor during an August 1998 televised interview with Larry King that were interpreted as dismissive of the crown prince, added to the speculative frenzy.

In recent days, King Hussein has done nothing to stamp out the frenzy and, in fact, has provided considerable grist for the mill. Signals came in the form of small but significant slights of the crown prince before the king's return to Amman (referring to him only briefly in a televised address from London and then as the king's "deputy," not as crown prince) and statements by the king that he would, upon his return, make a "comprehensive review" of critical issues facing Jordan. A clearer indication came in the royal court's weekend denial of a story in the Arabic press that Hussein had discussed succession with U.S. officials; instead of taking the opportunity to reaffirm Hassan's position, the court's statement simply noted that the king did not discuss such matters in Washington because he alone "is the one to decide all that serves Jordan's interests." Yesterday, the king's comments to CNN -- that he has some "thoughts and ideas" on the matter of succession; that "Hassan is not the sole focus of my attention at this stage;" and that he "did not mean at all" that his 1965 appointment of Hassan as crown prince would be "the end of the [succession] story" -- seemed to remove doubt that reconsideration of the line of succession is at the top of his "comprehensive review." It is said that Hussein would like to clarify the situation, once and for all, prior to his return to the Mayo Clinic for a March check-up.

Hussein's options: After his "review," there are three options Hussein could pursue:


reach the conclusion that he had been right to have Hassan as his number-two all these years and reaffirm him as crown prince. This anxiety-filled episode will then have been some sort of comeuppance to Hassan for some perceived affront, but no more than that.

affirm Hassan as successor but announce, perhaps through the little-known mechanism of the Hashemite family council, a line of succession after Hassan that reverts back to Hussein's sons, stripping Rashed of his chance at the throne. This would effectively be to adopt the Saudi succession model, in which the family recognizes an heir apparent and an heir to the heir. In Jordan's case, this would require a constitutional amendment. For Hussein, the problem with this scenario is that no sitting monarch can ever be sure that his decisions will not be overturned by a future monarch.

remove Hassan from the crown princeship and bestow it on one of the king's own children. The two most likely candidates are Abdullah, a lieutenant general in the Jordanian armed forces and commander of Special Operations, and Hamzeh, who was at the king's side through much of his Mayo Clinic treatment. Naming Hamzeh would require a constitutional amendment; naming his first-born son, Abdullah, would not.
Implications: Should Hussein decide to strip Hassan of the succession so soon after having him serve as regent -- especially without attributing to the latter any major blunder, obvious failure or embarrassing indiscretion -- it would be an earthquake in the Hashemite family, inside Jordan, and in the region. Inside the small Hashemite family -- which has perhaps a dozen major male figures, compared with thousands in the Saudi ruling clan -- one can only speculate on the aftershocks. For Hassan, a highly accomplished man whose situation placed him, for decades, in a nearly impossible position, the ignominy would be overwhelming. There is no constitutional role for an ex-crown prince and, unlike Muhammad and Abdullah, Hassan has spent his entire adult life in this role. In the event of Hussein's early passing, it would be difficult, though not impossible, to imagine Hassan playing a mentor role to his nephew, the new king.

For Jordan itself, such a change would inject a note of instability into the kingdom precisely when the peace process, Iraq, and Syria pose so many other challenges. In contrast to many Arab states, a key element of Jordan's stability has long been its understood (and accepted) line of succession; neither Egypt, nor Syria, nor Iraq, nor the Palestinian Authority can boast a succession as clear as Jordan's has been for more than three decades. At the most fundamental level, therefore, a change from Hassan to one of the king's sons (whether the young and untested Hamzeh or the more mature and experienced Abdullah) would highlight an attribute that is a close cousin to instability, namely uncertainty.

Moreover, such a switch would serve as a reminder that despite its efforts to democratize and to build a state of institutions, Jordan in the 1990s remains a true monarchy, in virtually all senses of that word. After 34 years, the crown prince's role had itself been institutionalized; in some ways, Jordanians viewed the position with at least as much respect as its occupant. A swift change would be a blow whose reverberations will be felt in numerous, and perhaps unforeseen ways, at all levels of society.

On the regional and international level, it is difficult to gauge the impact of a possible ouster of Hassan. Much depends on whether Hussein remains on the scene for a number of years or whether the new crown prince ascends to the throne in a relatively (and regrettably) short period of time. Hassan is associated with three major issues: opposition to Arab hard-liners, especially Yasir Arafat and Hafiz al-Asad; good relations with Israel; and economic development at home. The first two are, of course, the king's policies, too. However, it will be more difficult for Jordan to deal with Syria and the PLO without the flexibility afforded by the good-cop/bad-cop strategy the brothers often were able to employ, and the absence of Hassan's creative and committed approach to normalization with Israel may slow that important process, too. On economic matters, Hassan's departure could aggravate the already sorry state of the Jordanian economy. It would mean that Jordan loses the royal who best understood economics and who took an abiding interest in it, sending a chill through potential foreign investors. If Hassan goes, that will raise the question of what will happen to the impressive network of economic advisors, social planners, and scientific and technological institutes he patronized.

In the long run, events may bear out the wisdom of a late-course correction by King Hussein. He is a proven survivor, with sound instincts, who may find a way to pass on that knack to the next generation of Hashemites. He is known to bear the pain of having taken the crown princeship from his brother Muhammad, thereby removing from royal succession Muhammad's two able sons, Talal and Ghazi, and of having stripped it from his own son, Abdullah. In contrast to 1965, today he does have options. Abdullah, for example, is only fourteen years younger than Hassan and more than twice Hussein's age when the latter was named king. At the same time, history shows that the king has, on occasion, made quick, mercurial, perhaps impetuous decisions that have not served him (or Jordan) well. Given the vital role that the Hashemite kingdom plays in regional stability, one can only hope that a decision to change the line of succession -- should one come to pass -- makes Jordan stronger, more cohesive and better able to cope with the array of challenges looming on the horizon.
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  #244  
Old 03-27-2005, 07:22 AM
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And another one.I promise I will stop for now after this, but I am finding it fascinating with 20/20 hindsight, and being a genrous soul, want to share my findings !

Inquiry and Analysis Series - No. 12
January 27, 1999 No.12

The Forces that Brought Crown Prince Hassan Down
By David Wurmser
The following is an adaptation of an article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal European Edition on Monday, January 25, 1999.

One might question the wisdom of the Clinton Administration's ongoing attempts to secure Yasser Arafat a Palestinian state in the territory occupied by
Israel after the 1967 war. But any policy that also advances his interests in neighboring Jordan must be regarded as dangerous. If recent reports coming out of the Arab world have any basis, some within the Clinton administration might have allowed themselves to be ensnared into doing precisely that and sowing uncertainty over who will rule Jordan after King Hussein.

King Hussein returned home Tuesday from a half-year stay in the
United States for cancer treatment. Within a week, he suddenly and unexpectedly removed his brother, Hassan bin Talal, as Crown Prince–a status which he held for more than 30 years. It was a messy process. For a week, Amman was gripped by confusion and uncertainty. At first, royal officials gave only limited indications that Hassan's assumption of the throne was endangered. Then, the king failed to endorse Hassan in a CNN interview and excluded him in a meeting with Bahrain and Dubai's crown princes according to established protocol. Finally, just before dawn on January 26, a short statement was read on Jordanian radio announcing that not only had Hussein appointed his eldest son, Prince Abdallah, as the new crown prince, but that Hassan and his aides were removed because of serious offenses, including trying to purge the army of loyal officers and replace them with his own, and engaging in corruption and scandals, including administering expired vaccines to children.[1] These charges were striking. Never in his 35 years of being crown prince, nor in his half year of being regent, was Hassan known for anything other than fierce loyalty to his brother and energetic opposition to corruption in the kingdom. In part, his attack on corruption may explain his downfall.

For years, many in
Jordan opposed Hassan's eventual enthronement. These opponents include supporters of Syria, Saddam Hussein, and particularly the PLO--all three of which identify Hassan with policies they fear. It also includes those benefitting from the structure of corruption which, unfortunately, still plays a large role in Jordanian business and which is tied to the interests of some of Jordan's neighbors. In addition, numerous elements in the royal family itself, for self-interested reasons, have long seen their own fortunes tied to the crowning of other candidates. The question is whether the United States might have allowed itself to be dragged into these squabbles in dangerous ways.

As early as August, Arab papers reported that American officials were quite anxious about Hassan's regency and eventual succession.[2] They believed that Hassan, since his designation as crown prince in 1965, led a "hard line" camp against the Palestinians, who form the majority of Jordanian citizens. In fact, they saw him as pushing Hussein into the 1970 confrontation with the PLO. They fear that Hassan's lack of harmony with the kingdom's "demographic realities" could lead either to internal unrest or to Palestinian capital flight. Much of
Jordan's financial structure is controlled by a few Palestinian families, such as the al-Masris, who are linked to Arafat. They also feared that Hassan would have to rely on Islamic fundamentalists to survive. The administration shared its fears with the Israelis. According to Israeli papers, in an October 14 meeting with Israeli foreign minister Sharon and prime minister Netanyahu, Clinton "expressed grave concern" over Jordan's stability after Hassan takes over.[3]

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  #245  
Old 03-27-2005, 08:05 AM
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According to articles in the Arab press, before Christmas an American National Security Council official traveled to Hussein's hospital bed in the United States to suggest that Prince Hamzah, Hussein's and Queen Nur's son, rather than Hassan, be crown prince.[4] They tried to reassure Hussein that the problem of Hamzah's youth could be overcome through American security assistance and financial aid to the Kingdom. According to some reports, American officials were encouraged by Hussein's wife, Queen Nur, to press her husband. Arab papers report that also others within Jordan have been agitating for a similar change. And now newspapers in Amman draw attention to the symbolic significance of allowing only the powerful chief of Jordanian general intelligence, Samih al-Batikhi, to attend the meeting between King Hussein and Clinton on the eve of Hussein's return.[5] Mr. Batikhi is not among Hassan's supporters. Both Jordan's Prime Minister, as well as the chief of the Royal Hashemite Court, were not allowed to attend the meeting in which the issue of succession was reported to have topped the agenda.[6]

Palestinian papers describe Batikhi's role as central. Not only did Batikhi accompany Hussein to meet
Clinton alone on January 5, but he also visited Hussein at the Mayo Clinic over eighty times in the last half year. He also flew with Hussein back from the United States to London and January 6, where Hussein and Batikhi met with Prime Minster Blair and Foreign Minister Cook and then back to Amman, where he was televised alongside Hussein emerging from the plan at that pivotal moment. These papers also report that Batikhi will be named the new prime minister of Jordan within the next few weeks.[7]

This January 5 Hussein/Clinton meeting appears to be the turning point. In an interview, just days before, Hussein emphatically and quickly dismissed rumors that he intended to remove his brother as crown prince. And, according to Arab papers, he bristled at the NSC official's suggestion during his pre-Christmas meeting to oust Hassan and crown Hamzah--at which point his wife Nur intervened and asked him to defer his decision to retain Hassan.[8] The tone changed dramatically after the January 5 Clinton-Hussein meeting. By January 8, detailed articles appeared in Arab papers explaining not only that Hussein had changed his mind, but explaining the circumstances that led to the change and the sequence of events that would follow--a sequence that hitherto came true to everyone's surprise a week later.

It is important to understand the agenda of Hassan's opponents. Despite American skepticism, Hassan is known for his concern for Palestinians and his eagerness to escort foreign dignitaries around abysmal refugee camps in the hopes of securing assistance for them. But Hassan is also known to suspect Arafat personally and the PLO more broadly--skepticism born of the bitter experiences of Black September 1970 when he and his family were targets of Arafat's murderous organization. American concerns that Hassan cannot come to terms with
Jordan's Palestinians blur the distinction in Hassan's attitudes toward the PLO and his attitude towards Palestinians, suggesting a tendency to see all Palestinian politics uncritically through the PLO's narrow lens.

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  #246  
Old 03-27-2005, 08:06 AM
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The hopes of those opposing Hassan have been recently bolstered by the involvement of American public relations advisor Frank Anderson, engaged by Prince Talal bin Muhammad on behalf of Queen Nur (though in a surprise move of his own, by the end of the week, Talal seemed to distance himself from his earlier support for Nur). In an interview to an Israeli newspaper, Mr. Anderson admitted his long ties to the PLO as a former CIA official in Beirut in the 1970s and eventually as the head of the Near East division's operations branch.[9] In that interview, Mr. Anderson still speaks nostalgically and proudly of his ties with one of the deadliest terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s, Hassan Salame, the "Red Prince," killed by Israel in January 1979 for his role in the Munich Olympic massacre. Mr. Anderson recalls that during the fighting in Black September 1970 (the PLO-Hashemite war to control Jordan), Salame headed Bureau 17 (the precursor of Force 17), the elite PLO unit conducting the most dangerous and deadly missions during the fighting against the Hashemites. Mr. Anderson's long-time ties to the PLO, and his current affiliation with the anti-Hassan camp, contrast with Hassan's history with the PLO.

Iraq policy will also be affected. Hassan openly challenged Saddam Hussein and supports the Iraqi opposition. During a televised speech to an Arab Parliamentary Union meeting in late December, he lashed out at Saddam, prompting Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz to single him out for condemnation. In contrast, Mr. Anderson has been a vocal opponent of the Iraqi opposition, appearing last year on U.S. television to lambaste plans for a popular insurgency against Saddam, preferring a military coup instead.[10] And, according to the Iraqi opposition, chief of intelligence Batikhi was deeply involved in helping the CIA's ill-fated military coup attempt in Iraq in 1996 against which both they and Hassan strongly warned as ill-conceived and infiTRFated. Other powerful forces in Jordan oppose Hassan's support for the Iraqi opposition because they are either sympathetic to Saddam, or at least believe Jordan must maintain good relations with Iraq regardless of its leader. In the fight against corruption, which has been at the center of Hassan's domestic agenda, also won Hassan enemies, including the small group of Palestinians, including Sabih al-Masri, who run the bulk of Jordan's financial structure through the Cairo-Amman bank and are also tied to Iraqi and PLO interests.

Jordan has reached a watershed. Though small, its politics can influence the course of Arab politics by example. Jordan has rested in the last 30 years on a firmer political foundation than the fashionable European ideas of fascism and totalitarianism that have corrupted the region's other states. During his reign, Hussein asked little of his people and rarely demanded sacrifices--as have Assad, Arafat or Saddam--to pursue personal ideas or grandeur. And its constitutional monarchy had been developing into the Arab world's first genuine democracy.

Precisely these traits made
Jordan a necessary target for the region's questionable actors. Jordan needs a strong leader to navigate through trying times as it deals with democratization and faces a resurgent Saddam, an emerging PLO entity, and a regional climate as uncertain as any in decades. Despite U.S. reservations over Hassan, he had three decades of experience and knows well who threatens his realm. And his half-year regency was generally considered as competently-run. In fact, there appears to be a split in the US government since some in the US State Department acknowledge that Hassan has ruled Jordan well over the last months while others dismiss his capabilities. It would be a grave misstep if the reports emerging from the Arab world have any basis and some in the Clinton administration indeed allowed the United States to be entangled in the succession process in Jordan and has helped derailed succession to Hassan. This would constitute not only a serious violation of an ally's sovereignty, but also encourage a dangerous turn for which Jordan, the United States and all our regional allies will pay a heavy price. In fact, it opens the door for dangerous games in Amman--a circumstance that could lead to the collapse of Jordan as we know it.

*Dr. Wurmser is research fellow in Middle East Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and has just published "Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein" (AEI Press).
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  #247  
Old 03-27-2005, 03:58 PM
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I don't mean to dig up old bones, but I have a question in hindsight (Shelley's post reminded me of it) about the circumstances of King Hussein choosing Abdullah to succeed him and unsurpring Prince Hassan of the role.

At the time of the decision I heard stories that said part (or all) of King Hussein's decision was because in certain circles Princess Sarvath had spread untrue rumours of Queen Noor and Prince Hassan had been wielding his powers and carrying on as if he were the King already unduly, which greatly offended King Hussein. As well as a plethora of other stories which seemed to justify Abdullah taking over the reigns from his father rather than his uncle, and casting a rather negative light on Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath.

In hindsight, do others feel that this was all simply part of the spin for Abdullah and Rania or was there even an ounce of truth to these stories?
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  #248  
Old 03-27-2005, 04:01 PM
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Also, I wanted to present a hypothetical situation and from the expertise of members see what they think the outcome might be.

If Prince Hassan had succeeded King Hussein as planned, and King Hussein had stipulated that his son Hamzah must succeed Prince Hassan, what do members think would've been the likelihood of Hamzah remaining in his role as Crown Prince? Rather than being unsurped from the position as Abdullah did to him? Would Hamzah have had a better chance at staying the Crown Prince and one day becoming King if Prince Hassan had been King?
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  #249  
Old 03-27-2005, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genevieve
I don't mean to dig up old bones, but I have a question in hindsight (Shelley's post reminded me of it) about the circumstances of King Hussein choosing Abdullah to succeed him and unsurpring Prince Hassan of the role.

At the time of the decision I heard stories that said part (or all) of King Hussein's decision was because in certain circles Princess Sarvath had spread untrue rumours of Queen Noor and Prince Hassan had been wielding his powers and carrying on as if he were the King already unduly, which greatly offended King Hussein. As well as a plethora of other stories which seemed to justify Abdullah taking over the reigns from his father rather than his uncle, and casting a rather negative light on Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath.

In hindsight, do others feel that this was all simply part of the spin for Abdullah and Rania or was there even an ounce of truth to these stories?
It will come an no surprise to our readers that for one I complete discount the rumours that were flying around about Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath six years ago. I have very boringly posted my views ( mainly gleaned from contacts I still have in Jordan )about this on the old forum and will try and find my posts. If not I will start again !
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Old 03-27-2005, 04:52 PM
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Here goes:

"In a Vanity Fair article posted in 1991, during Gulf War or around that time, it was already said by Dominick Dunne, a respected journalist, there was a tense relationship between QN and a "sister in law and ex sister in law." Learning more, Sarvath considered herself Queen in waiting and a great intellectual and though Noor was just a fluffy, bejewelled sub for Queen Alia. She did not go out of her way to make QN comfortable or teach her the ropes, as it were.

Tensions got out of control when Princess Sarvath redecorated KH's offices while he was at Mayo. He heard about it and was very, very angry. She did not visit him and a palace official was quoted as saying "they acted as if they knew the king was dying and didn't care." </B>[/quote]
With reference to the now well worn rumour about P. Sarvath redecorating the King's offices. I have mentioned previously that this rumour was completely discounted in Jordan itself within weeks of the late King's death when people visited the palace and found it totally unchanged ( it has now been completely rennovated by the present King). The runours were based on a visit P. Sarvath paid to the guest palace kitchens ahead of a visit of theGerman President whose wise was ailing and travelled with a cook and a dietician. Palce officials were panicking as they felt the kitchen were not in a fit state to recieve foreigners. P. Sarvath visited the kichen accompanied by various palace officials including the Head of the Royal Court, the Lord Chamberlain and when they found that the kitchens were indeed in filthy and run down, she asked that they be rennovated. I also know from people who were actually travelled with the Princess, she waited for one week in the US trying to see the King; on two other occasions she was stopped half way there. She was not the only member of the family who were not able to see the King in his last illness and this applied to close friends of his as well.

I do not know whether P. Hassan and P. Sarvath are pompous boors but somehow that does not seem to fit in with people who between them have done much to improve the educational and cultural scene in Jordan and continue to do so. This has been detailedly mentioned by a Jordanian, Alia Musallam, in an earlier post some months back. But I have now realised that many people who are members of TRF have only really started following the doings of the JRF in the past few years. P. Sarvath was never in the public eye; and so it is easy to do a character assination on someone no one really knows much about and only heard about a few short years ago. "

By this I was referring to the fact that actually no one much outside certain circles had heard of Princess Sarvath, until she got this really bad press at the time of the succession crisis. It is easy to malign someone whom there is not hard and fast image of, and who has by and large, never been in the public eye.
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Old 03-27-2005, 05:07 PM
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And another one :



I do remember that in nineties when it was well known that Q. Noor was having run ins with her in laws. I have asked my Jordanian friends to refresh my memory of that time. This is what they have come up with. I have been accused of being too vague by some members so I will try and be more specific. Please do remember that Amman, capital city though it may be, functions like a village, and everyone knows everything about everyone, and the favorite hobby is gossiping about the JRF. Confidentiality is not much practised, even by doctors !

P. Firyal, ex wife of P. Mohammed was furious to return to Jordan ( she mainly lives in the US and UK now ) to find her possessions packed up in cartons, as that it had been decided that her home Mohammedia, which she and P. Mohammed had built together, and had lived in throughout her marriage, and had been gievn to her after their divorce, had been taken over by K. Hussein and Q. Noor to use as their home. Q Noor had long been disatissfied with their home down town , despite remodelling and redecorating that home three times ( once they moved out for a whole year and got a British firm to virtually remake the house )and was searching for somewhere to live. They had started building a new house and then after the foundations were done she backed out of that project ( this is the house that K. Abdullah Q. Rania have now finished for their use ) ; then a house was bought for them, and partially rennovated, before she changed her mind about that as well ( this is the house the present king and queen have lived in since their marriage) and then she chose P. Firyal's house, which has been completely remodelled and is now called Bab As Salam. P. Firyal has since had a new home built but is understood to be quite bitter about the way in which her home was hijacked.

Q. Noor was very upset that the King had appointed P. Basma to form and head the Jordanian National Commission for Women, which was to be a precursor to the Beijing Women's Conference and was generally to be the umbrella oganisation under which womens' affairs would be dealt with. She also felt sore about the Queen Alia Fund which P. Basma ran efficently, as not only was it successful and well respected, but some said it kept the memory of predecessor too alive for her taste. There was a highly visible argument between the two ladies at the Airport on one occasion.

P. Sarvath had been running the Jordanian Red Crescent on behalf of the Queen Mother Zein for several years ( K. Hussein as Head of State was Hon. President ) Soon after the Gulf War, Queen Zein handed over her responsibilties formally to P. Sarvath , and shortly after this K. Hussein issued a Royal decree appointed P. S. as his Vice President, with active reponsibility of the Red Crescent in Jordan. Q. Noor was reputedly very put out by this decision and tried to get this changed, and also tried to replace the King as Hon. President.

All of these various incidents can provide more than enough material for a journalist to conclude that Q. Noor's relationship with her in laws was less that ideal. This was also apparant a couple of years later when Q. Noor hosted a party to celebrate their 2Oth Wedding Anniversary, at which none of the King's family ( brother, sister, cousins ) were present, and nor any Jordanians. There was little socialising between Q. Noor and K. Hussein and his family, although it was noticed and accepted that during her increasngly frequent absences from the country he would make a point of spending a lot of time with all his family and old friends. He would drop into P. Hassan and P. Sarvath's home for a meal, or just to enjoy their garden, and hold meetings there. This is not hearsay, but directly from the lips of those who would be called to meet with the king and would be as likely to find the meeting being held around P. Hassan's dining room table as in the King's home or offices.

It was around this time that the King first fell ill. It is clear that Q. Noor could see the writing on the wall, and was determined to make her profile and presence as strong as possible. Even if the king had not died as prematurely as he finally did, he was seventeen years older than her, and it would have been reasonable to assume he would predecease her. Q. Noor was clearly preparing for 'the day after'. Many of the projects which are shown under her cv were actaually in existance before she married the king, and she basically just took them over, although she left the day to day running to the founders! Here I am referring the Royal Conservatory of Music and the National Gallery, which were founded by an aunt and cousin of the king, and were well established . I can only assume that she found it frustraing that her sisters in law were not as pliable to her demands as less important members of the family had to be.

I think many people have gotten a rather one sided view of events in Jordan, largely because certainly in the time of K. Hussein and Q. Noor, they were the only members of the JRF who were well known international figures. No one else in the family has given as many interviews as Q. Noor, nor written a book. I think many of the other family members have basically gotten a bad press simply because there just wasn't much press about them in the first place, so there was a blank canvas to paint on. I have not yet read Q. Noor's book but so many Jordanians have told me that it is frustrating experience as there are so many inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

I am not 'against' Q. Noor as a person. I just think that she was a young woman who bit off more than she could chew in her fairly rushed marriage, and then when she found that life was not all a bed of roses, she sought to compensate by developing her public role. . Naturally, anyone who could thwart her ambitions (either directly, or just by existing, as in the case of P. Sarvath ) would not be her favorite person. And perhaps she found that she was more interested in public matters than her family. I believe she has admitted as much in her book, saying that she did not find herself a naturally maternal person, leaving much of the childrearing to nannies etc. In an interview I read many years ago she said that the king actually told her not to use any models or turn to anyone for advice, but to do things her own way. If this was the case, he did her a disservice as many of the misunderstandings etc. might have been avoided if another policy had been followed.
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  #252  
Old 03-27-2005, 05:19 PM
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This is getting boring and I am going cross eyed ! One point I will write on afresh : re Genvieve's query " If Prince Hassan had succeeded King Hussein as planned, and King Hussein had stipulated that his son Hamzah must succeed Prince Hassan, what do members think would've been the likelihood of Hamzah remaining in his role as Crown Prince? Rather than being unsurped from the position as Abdullah did to him? Would Hamzah have had a better chance at staying the Crown Prince and one day becoming King if Prince Hassan had been King?"

The big problem that so many people seem to overlook time and again is that had Prince Hassan become King, there would have been nooption but for his son Rashid to be named Crown prince, without a change in the consitutution. Robert Satloff says as much : " In 1978, Hassan's wife, the Pakistani-born Sarvath, gave birth to her first son, Rashed, who, according to the Jordanian constitution, would be crown prince should Hassan become king. " Consitutions can be changed, after all that was what happened in 1965, but would it have been a wise thing to do in the political climate of say 10 or so years ago, when people are far less docile than before, and Parliament might have taken any chance of tampering with the constitution as a chance for them toput in other amendments as well ? Prince Hassan was in an impossible situation, and again, as Satloff said ," life had been difficult enough For Hassan, a highly accomplished man whose situation placed him, for decades, in a nearly impossible position, ". The big mistake was King Hussein's in not reading the fine print and thinking through the real implication of the Consitution. Had he read the small print when he appointed Hassan, he might have come up with another formula, such as appointing Hassan Regent, in the minority of his own or son, or whatever. Much distress all round would have been averted.
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Old 03-27-2005, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genevieve
Also, I wanted to present a hypothetical situation and from the expertise of members see what they think the outcome might be.

If Prince Hassan had succeeded King Hussein as planned, and King Hussein had stipulated that his son Hamzah must succeed Prince Hassan, what do members think would've been the likelihood of Hamzah remaining in his role as Crown Prince? Rather than being unsurped from the position as Abdullah did to him? Would Hamzah have had a better chance at staying the Crown Prince and one day becoming King if Prince Hassan had been King?
good question Genevieve but I think in all probability, Prince Hamzah would've eventually lost his title to Prince Rashid. As much as Prince Hassan and his wife are known and respected for their dedication and hard work, no one is selfless beyond reason. Every parent thinks of their child first.
I try not to get involved in discussions about the succession, but its very hard for me to ignore whats unfair. I dont have any "favourites" as many members here seem to. As far as Im concerned, the late King Hussein should've made his eldest son (ie Abdullah) Crown Prince to begin with, with the understanding that the throne would pass down to his eldest son and so forth. Thats how things are done in most monarchies around the world.
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Old 03-27-2005, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
To the moderators: I hope this is all not too political,but as the posts were passed before I guess they are still okay ? :o
As long as replies and discussions, even if differing in opinon, are civil and respectful, I do not have a problem with posts being re-posted. Please do give proper crediting however, whether it's to a member or news source for the original story or a member for his or her original comments. This helps to make things clear for everyone and prevents confusion.
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Old 03-27-2005, 06:52 PM
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Bumping up this thread for Shelley who inquired about it.
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:07 PM
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The voting in this thread should be considered void as in the upgrading and transferring of the forum and forum software, the poll options did not quite "make it." This poll was not created in a one-sided manner, but simply became this way through no fault of the original creator of the poll.

But due to member requests, I am bringing this thread back for discussions by members.

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Old 03-27-2005, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
Should Hussein decide to strip Hassan of the succession so soon after having him serve as regent -- especially without attributing to the latter any major blunder, obvious failure or embarrassing indiscretion -- it would be an earthquake in the Hashemite family, inside Jordan, and in the region.
OK, Shelley honey, we Butterflies have puny brains, and you've just about blown mine out with all your posts today. But they are very, very interesting. Thanks for reposting them.

The above quote from Robert Satloff's article really caught my attention, for it was written before the succession change, but is prescient. Someone from the Royal Court must've read this article and used it as the roadmap for how to justify the change in succession because that is exactly what happened. P. Hassan and P. Sarvath were accused of doing things that no one who knew them at the time could even recognize. . .things that were completely out of character for both of them.

Quote:
Finally, just before dawn on January 26, a short statement was read on Jordanian radio announcing that not only had Hussein appointed his eldest son, Prince Abdallah, as the new crown prince, but that Hassan and his aides were removed because of serious offenses, including trying to purge the army of loyal officers and replace them with his own, and engaging in corruption and scandals, including administering expired vaccines to children.[1] These charges were striking. Never in his 35 years of being crown prince, nor in his half year of being regent, was Hassan known for anything other than fierce loyalty to his brother and energetic opposition to corruption in the kingdom.
This quote from David Wurmser's article, written after the succession change, seems to say as much, i.e., that the reasons provided for the succession change were not believable because such behaviors were not consistent with P. Hassan's 3.5 decade track record in the job.

Quote:
For Hassan, a highly accomplished man whose situation placed him, for decades, in a nearly impossible position, the ignominy would be overwhelming.
This quote is from Satloff's article, and points toward why I am such an admirer of P. Hassan and P. Sarvath. I think a huge injustice was done to them--one that would've left most people broken and bitter, as Satloff acknowledges--but they have been the epitome of grace and dignity under enormous fire. Neither of them has ever publicly complained or shown any disrespect to KA and QR, and this is just an astounding, remarkable display of their true characters. I hope some day the truth is known and their story is told.
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley
It would be a grave misstep if the reports emerging from the Arab world have any basis and some in the Clinton administration indeed allowed the United States to be entangled in the succession process in Jordan and has helped derailed succession to Hassan. This would constitute not only a serious violation of an ally's sovereignty, but also encourage a dangerous turn for which Jordan, the United States and all our regional allies will pay a heavy price. In fact, it opens the door for dangerous games in Amman--a circumstance that could lead to the collapse of Jordan as we know it.

This quote from Wurmser's article makes me wonder whether this is still going on. KA is always in the States meeting with White House officials, and his statements about these meetings always betray such confidence in Jordan's position vis-a-vis the U.S. Dangerous games, indeed. :(

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Old 03-27-2005, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genevieve
In hindsight, do others feel that this was all simply part of the spin for Abdullah and Rania or was there even an ounce of truth to these stories?
Good question. See my two-before-this-one post. I think the reasons provided were fabrications to justify the change.
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genevieve
If Prince Hassan had succeeded King Hussein as planned, and King Hussein had stipulated that his son Hamzah must succeed Prince Hassan, what do members think would've been the likelihood of Hamzah remaining in his role as Crown Prince? Rather than being unsurped from the position as Abdullah did to him? Would Hamzah have had a better chance at staying the Crown Prince and one day becoming King if Prince Hassan had been King?
Under the Jordanian constitution, P. Hassan couldn't have made P. Hamzah C.P. The constitution at the time, and even now, clearly says only a son or a brother can succeed. So I concur with Shelley on this. . .had KH paid closer attention to the fine print, some of these problems could've been prevented. I see this as one of KH's greatest failures as a leader. Only he could take care of this. . .but he clearly didn't see the need and much heartbreak has resulted.
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