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View Poll Results: Do You Think King Hussein Made the "Right" Succession Decision?
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  #81  
Old 01-19-2004, 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by bluetortuga@Jan 19th, 2004 - 2:39 pm
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I totally agree but was just hoping that the anti-Hassan-ites amongst us would come up with a better reason than "he was spreading vile rumours". In my mind if KH hadn't been so ill he probably would have changed the succession in a less inflammatory manner, but at the time it was a great shock when PHassan had been regent for so long.
And I'm sure in time, KA will find some reason to remove P Hamzah from the position of CP. What goes around comes around. I think some day P. Hassan will wind up having the last laugh if it is true Q. Noor was a campaign to see her son named as K. Hussein's heir. The ball is in KA's court, he can name whomever he wants as his heir; promises to a dying father mean nothing. K. Hussein promised Q. Zein that P. Hassan would be king after him.
Maybe. But there are other factors at play, too, which deserve consideration. Hamzah has made a power match -- his wife is another Hashemite and is also descendant from the Caliphs. That will carry some weight. Hussein's mother is Rania, and that will deifinitely be a strike against him. The Bedouins have already tried to put her in her place.

Finally, Abdullah's promise to KH is not the same as KH's promise to QZ. KH had a lot of legitimacy in Jordan, paricularly in the 1990s. He explicitly and publically made his wishes known on his death bead. For Abdullah to go back on his word would be detrimental to his own legacy and the tenur of his son as King of Jordan.

Besides, who knows if the monarchy will survive long enough. :P
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  #82  
Old 01-19-2004, 11:28 PM
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whats wrong with KA's son?
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  #83  
Old 01-19-2004, 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by rollin_keef@Jan 19th, 2004 - 11:28 pm
whats wrong with KA's son?
Nothing really, that I know of (beides the fact that he's just a kid). It's just real politik.
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  #84  
Old 01-20-2004, 08:47 AM
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As I have said before I think that the succession will go

1. Prince Hamzah
2. Prince Hussein
3. Hamzah's children
4. Hussein's children

This will allow Hussein to complete his education and, hopefully, start a family and will allow Hamzah's children to grow up and do the same.

I don't see Rania as an over ambitious mother. She seems determined to give her children a normal childhood. I think that she has KA's support in this as he obviously remained out of the spotlight while his uncle was designated Crown Prince.
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  #85  
Old 01-20-2004, 10:22 PM
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I'm from Australia too and i just say you go Alia, you have your opinion and us who are from the West should try to practice what we preach!
remember the Bob Dylan song Alia, Don't think twice it's alright!
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  #86  
Old 01-21-2004, 05:26 AM
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Succession in Jordan at the time of King Hussein's Death: Why Was it Changed?

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.

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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  #87  
Old 01-24-2004, 09:58 PM
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Does Hamzah want to be king?
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  #88  
Old 05-03-2004, 01:01 PM
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What role should Prince Hamzah play in the future? Should he follow his uncle Prince Hassan's footsteps? Should he play an independent role or be the right hand of King Abdullah?
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  #89  
Old 05-04-2004, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hild@May 3rd, 2004 - 12:01 pm
What role should Prince Hamzah play in the future? Should he follow his uncle Prince Hassan's footsteps? Should he play an independent role or be the right hand of King Abdullah?
Hi Hild!

I think that he'd play a supporting role until he becomes king. He's fill in for King Abdullah whenever he's needed but he wouldn't be independent from his brother. I'm sure that's the way it was with Prince Hassan.
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  #90  
Old 05-14-2004, 02:41 AM
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Succession Of The Jordanian Throne

I'm a little confused, King Abdullah is the King of Jordan and his brother is the crown Prince, could someone please explain the sucession of the Jordanian throne?
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  #91  
Old 05-14-2004, 03:27 AM
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The rule is: Jordanian Kings change their mind at any time on whom ever they want to succeed them even if a prince is promised to be a future king. Nothing is sure in that country...

In Morocco for example, it is much clearer and you know ahead of time who is in the line to succeed the king. It usually goes to the eldest son and the eldest son once married and becomes a king, it goes to his eldest son and so on..But there are back ups in case something happenes..

Now, we have M6 as a king, his son who is only 1 year is crown prince.
My Rashid, M6's brother, has right to the throne but comes after the crown prince (the baby). Even Moulay Hisham, the king's cousin has right to the throne, but with slim chances as before him & for the time being, there is my Rashid and current baby crown prince..

In Jordan:

The current crown prince is the King's brother...

When King Husseing was alive, his brother Hassan was the crown prince until he changed him in the favor of his son, KA and with the promise that the crown prince will be KA' s half brother. This change happened before king Hussein died and there are stories about this change (complot against Prince Hassan and so on).

Now, there has been a discussion in LTR forum about who will succeed KA...Some says he should keep his promise and leaves his brother as a crown prince. others says it will be normal if he puts his son instead of his brother...
So, it depends on KA's mood, surrounding people and situations (political and so on)
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  #92  
Old 05-28-2004, 06:17 AM
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Hamzeh won't be CP when Hussein gets to be a little older.
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  #93  
Old 06-16-2004, 02:23 PM
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Now that over five years have passed since his death and KA has a track record, do you think King Hussein made the "right" decision about succession? Is KA the best man for the job? If you think KH could have made a better choice, please say who and why you think so.

Thanks.
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  #94  
Old 06-16-2004, 03:08 PM
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OK, so I forgot to declare how I voted and why. I voted "no" because I have read a number of reputable articles in the West saying that KA is perceived as too much of a lightweight by some of the more important leaders with whom he has to work and negotiate. I think this criticism might have been even more acute and publicized had KH chosen CP Hamzah, but things might be better in the region if KH had stuck with his original pick, who had already been groomed for the job for years, who is older and presumably more experienced and seasoned, and who had established relationships with other leaders and presumably an established reputation among them. If KA is perceived as a lightweight, I don't think it helps him that his wife seems to be an aspiring supermodel. These are sober times, and it just isn't coming off well. Just my observation and opinion.
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  #95  
Old 06-16-2004, 05:38 PM
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It is wierd and sad for Jordan that after five years P. Hassan is still not heard or seen on Jordanian TV and radio etc. whilst he is often on all other Arab channels and also BBC, CNN etc etc. I know he was just asked to address the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee ahead of the G 8 meetings and was then in France meeting with officials. I believe he was asked to go to Saudi Arabia earlier this year too. It is a pity, when the region is in such a mess, that his long years of experience and contacts, as you say, are not being used for good. Actually, if he were in a position of authority, I guess he would be the most experienced head of state around - going back to 1965, and often having exercised real power, not just being a regent in , especially in the last ten years of K. H.'s life when he was away from Jordan for at least six months of every year. Despite not having an offical role in Jordan, there is no doubt that P. Hassan is one of few Arab leaders who seems to be asked his opinion and to join think tanks and various orgainisations etc. in his own right, rather than becuase of the position they hold. I am confused as to how things are in Jordan as depending on whom you listen to you get a different view, but it does seem a waste that these skills cannot be somehow used in the new Jordan. How much of what is going on econmonically is absolutely new, and how much was begun before ? How are things for the middle class and the poorer people ? I don't know but like you I wonder.
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  #96  
Old 06-16-2004, 05:55 PM
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Five years ago, I thought yes, King Hussein made the right decision. I had a lot of admiration for QN and the way she handled herself through KH's last months, and really felt for all of the children. I can understand KH wanting the succession after Prince Hassan to revert back to his (Hussein's) children, but from the very limited info I heard, Prince Hassan wasn't comfortable making that promise. After that, the next things I heard was that PHassan & family never went to say goodbye to KH (not sure if true but, again, what I heard), and then PSarvath (Hassan's wife) was supposedly redecorating the King's offices while the King was still alive (again, what I heard, not sure if true).

Now, five years later, with all of the turmoil in the ME going on and getting worse, and hindsight being 20/20, I think PHassan could have made a HUGE difference as King. His years of experience alone makes him the most qualified person. I just wish KA would see this and use PHassan as his main adviser - put the man's skills to use in other ways than giving speeches. (But then I can see why he's not doing it either - why put yourself next to such an experienced diplomat which clearly shows your lesser skills?) So, I voted no, KH didn't make the right decision.
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  #97  
Old 06-16-2004, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by shelley@Jun 16th, 2004 - 4:38 pm
It is a pity, when the region  is in such a mess, that his long years of experience and contacts, as you say, are not being used for good.

I am confused as to how things are in Jordan as depending on whom you listen to you get a different view, but it does seem a waste that these  skills  cannot be somehow used in the new Jordan.
So true. The region is a mess and in need of all the brainpower, energy, and experience it can get. It seems like both KA and QR haven't learned (or haven't chosen) to better utilize the skills of Prince Hassan and QN, who have so much to offer in the experience, respectability, and hard-won wisdom departments.

I'm a little saddened by the survey results so far. I had hoped I was the only one who thought maybe the lesser man got the position.
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  #98  
Old 06-17-2004, 02:14 AM
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I think I have said it before in LTR certainly on other posts in other forums....P. Hassan did not have the choice to give that reassurance, short of offering to change the constitution ( which although do-able may not be a wise move in the present time - when you start chaging constitutions people may ask for other changes ). The Jordanian consititution as it it stands says that the of succession descends from the actual monarch, who is free to nominate a brother over a son, but says nothing about nephews. In the absence of a son it would revert to the elsdest nephew. So P. Hassan's views etc. weould have been irrelevant.

I also have heard that P. Hassan wanted to visit his brother, but that the King himself felt it was not advisable in the political atmosphere of the region to leave the country without either of them . The practice was for the both of them to alternate. Occasionaly there was a day or so when the present King or P. Mohammed would be regent but very rarely, and never anyone else. (This is now changed, almost all the male member of the JRF have been regent at some pont in the 5 years, except P. Hassan or Prince Rashid) I have heard from people close to people who work for the couple P. Sarvath tried to visit 3 times, once waiting in the US to see the K. for over week but was told it was not convenient. P. Rashid did go., saw the King but then Q. N asked him to leave. Many other members of the family and close friends were discouraged from visiting and even those that were there often had to wait weeks before being allowed to see the ailing king. And no, it is now widely accepted in Jordfan that P. Sarvath did not try to redecorate the palace. It is not in the nature of the woman. I have written about this in other threads as well. There is no doubt that Q. Rania has been much more visible and high profile and in that way raised the image of Jordan in some ways than P. Sarvath would ever have done . Her style is sompletely different to P. Sarvath. Is this good or bad ? I do not know.
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Old 06-17-2004, 04:26 AM
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I voted yes because I think that KH made the right decision in the end.

Prince Hassan had moved in the last months of his brother's life to consolidate his grip on power in Jordan. He attempted to appoint people to significant posts in the Jordanian military without informing his brother. Abdullah, sensing that his position as probable future army chief of staff was being threatened informed his father of the political manuevering going on behind his back. KH was getting weaker but he still had a grip on the reins of power. He chose to bypass Hassan in favor of Abdullah. Would KA have had this opportunity if Hasssan had just waited? No.

Please remember that most of the ruling men in power in that region of the ME are aging. Of course they feel that KA with his 'partnership' with his wife and his plans for developing Jordan into an industrialized nation are the work of a lightweight that does not have a grip on the complex issues facing the region.

Only KA would have been able to walk the tightrope between the Arab states and the west after 9-11. Hassan and Hamzah would have veered too far to the West for the liking of the Jordanian people and the Arab world. Besides Hamzah was way too young. In my opinion, he still is. He needs time to be his own man rather than a pale imitation of his father. No matter what his mother thinks.

I also think KA has made some interesting maneuvers towards the Arab world in the past year or so. While Hassan has been lobbying for a Hashemite based monarchy in Iraq, KA has been forging some new alliances through the marriages of his siblings.

These are thhe reasons why I voted 'yes'. He was the best choice.
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Old 06-17-2004, 09:31 AM
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K. Hussein had in fact handed over total powers to P. Hassan during those last six months. Altough there was therefore no consitutional requirement to do so, P. Hassan sent weekly reports to the K. and frequently consutlted with him on all major decisons over the phone. Unfortunately, it is now clear that the now disgraced former Chief of Security and the then Head of the Army played an unfortunate role during the last few weeks of the king's life, along with some others, towards P. Hassan. It is a pity as perhaps Jordan and the region need the man K. Hussein refered to as 'his fox' when Mr. Rabin presented Gen. Sharon as 'his bear'. The fox managed to wrest a lasting peace for Jordan out of the Israeli bear. The Arabs need more foxes against the bears, sloths, hyenas and jackels around not to mention eager beavers ! I am sure there could a place for both men in today's Jordan. It was big enough before for the two brothers for over 35 years, who shared the work between them. I think yoiu are mistaken in view of P. Hassan. he is very well understood and appreciated by the Arab man in the street as well the Europeans - one of the few in Arab region who straddles both worlds with equal skill.
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