Jordan and the Gulf Crisis

Courtesy Reuters

Jordan has carefully nurtured a reputation as the most consistently pro-Western Arab state. Thus, it came as a shock to many to find most Jordanians taking the side of President Saddam Hussein in the gulf crisis, and Western leaders are disturbed by King Hussein's reluctance to join forces against the Iraqi ruler. Given Amman's growing dependence upon Baghdad, however, neither surprise nor irritation is warranted; the gulf crisis has simply thrown into stark relief the extent to which the futures of these two countries have become intertwined, as well as the precariousness of the king's position in his desert land.

Public support for the Iraqi leader is extensive across Jordan and encompasses a wide spectrum of society. Pro-Saddam demonstrations, of which there are often several a day, are even advertised in the once-tame local newspapers. The sponsors of these gatherings run the gamut from the leftist Jordan People's Democratic Party

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