Jordan’s King Receives Harith al-Dhari
See the picture to believe it. And today’s accompanying news report (in Arabic).
Why is no one talking about al-Dhari’s recent on-air comments in support of al-Qaeda?
Here we have al-Dhari, who is wanted back in Baghdad for questioning over sectarian incitement and alleged complicity in acts of terror, getting the royal treatment. And in a couple of days, President Bush will arrive in Amman to be hosted by King Abdullah II of Jordan. Bush is supposed to meet Maliki there.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Maliki cancels his visit over the fact that Jordan is harboring (and honoring) a wanted fugitive?
This has ‘crisis’ and ‘diplomatic train wreck’ written all over it. If Maliki ignores it, he is humiliated. If Maliki challenges it to the point of a no-show in Amman, then Bush is humiliated. If Maliki challenges it to the point whereby the American arm-twist the Jordanians into some sort of apology, then King Abdullah is humiliated. Whichever, way you look at, the Amman summit has been soured already—almost as if somebody went of out their way to sabotage it; State Department? Jordanian intelligence?
The message this meeting sends is that a small neighboring country like Jordan can get away with acknowledging the existence of two governments in Iraq; the sovereign and elected one under Maliki, and a Sunni one under al-Dhari. Needless to say, this can’t be helpful for America’s mission in Iraq.