Wednesday, November 16, 2011

King Abdullah Just Said This

King Abdullah suggested today, very clearly, that Bashar Al-Assad should step down.

This is huge, unprecedented, and surprising, for two reasons, two very good reasons, in my opinion.

Correct if I'm wrong, but this is the first time a Jordanian king ever asks for any other leader to step down, let alone be an Arab leader, let lone be it the Syrian leader. Late King Hussein had hoped for many Arab leaders to vanish , in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Palestine...etc. These were not only posing a threat to the monarchy, but to the stability of Jordan itself. But he never went public, for several reasons, in claiming that these regimes had to go. He supported the Islamic opposition to Hafiz Assad but he didn't claim Assad must go for the better of the Syrian people.

So today, things changed. We have finally asked the leader of a "brotherly" country to step down.

if you read exactly what his majesty said about Syria,

"If it was me, I would step down and make sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status quo that we're seeing,"

He said, "I would step down if......"

Correct me again if I'm wrong, but I don't think any Jordanian king has ever said "I would step down " for whatever reason. Never. I haven't heard every single speech or read every public letter for all the Jordanian monarchs, but I don't think such language was ever used before.

Certainly Jordan is not like Syria. People are not being killed in the streets and many of the most angry and the dissatisfied Jordanians are not calling for the King to step down. King Hussein faced heavier opposition with crowds screaming in the streets in many Jordanians cities for him to be removed during several rough times in the past, but he had never mentioned that he would step down if something happened.

Since its independence, King Hussein struggled to prove that he's a true Arab leader who was ready to lead an underdeveloped nation into security and prosperity and prove that it had many good reasonable for existence even when the entire world had many doubts about it. I think that to a great extent he was able to accomplish this. He tried to avoid any kind of confrontation and always took the side of neutrality unless his throne or the the future of the country were be in jeopardy.

The statement from his majesty today, in my opinion, reflects a major shift in our attitude toward the world.
We didn't have to stand against the Syrian regime regardless of how brutal it was. But King Abdullah felt it was necessary for him to be the first Arab leader to make that statement. We all know that Syria has threatened to invade Jordan and in fact did invade Jordan more than any other country besides Israel. For Jordan to take that strong position against Syria, there might be a big a price to pay, but I hope that our moral obligation towards taking the stand is completely worth it.


Omar Izz said...

The part that left my smiling after reading this post is that, you talk of Abdullah like he was a natural mastermind of foreign or even internal politics! When you put his context in such gigantic importance and pioneer moves, I cannot but smile!

Abdullah for the most part of his role has proved to be, and mind my French, nothing short of an idiot, I can't for the life of me see anything remarkable in his statements or actions, a completely out-of-place leader who has driven his country from bad to worse!

But if I was to comment on this interview, I'd make it short in two lines:
Assad should step down.
Abdullah should stay quiet.

Haitham Al-Dahamsheh said...

well I agree with you in that, and totally disagree with our friend Omar here. thank you for this post mate

San Ramon Real Estate said...

It should be welcoming news when any Middle Eastern leader takes a step in the right direction. King Abdullah has stepped out of the box and pointed his finger on the elephant in the room, which no one else cared to acknowledge.

I thank you for your post.

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Kerri said...

It should be welcoming news when any Middle Eastern leader takes a step in the right direction. King Abdullah has stepped out of the box and pointed his finger on the elephant in the room, which no one else cared to acknowledge. I thank you for your post.

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