Abdullah is becoming a bad name. The latest to join the list is the arrogant former foreign minister of Afghanistan who thinks he should be president.
There was a time, not so long ago, when Egypt and Jordan were the poster-countries of political reform and democratisation in the Middle East. In those days, parliamentary elections like those held in Jordan last month would have been hailed as massive progress and a model for all Arab states, especially as the country’s Islamic party lost considerable ground. And even Husni Mubarak, so long the US’s main ally in the Arab world, would have been gently chided for his persecution of opposition journalists, even if his treatment of the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen, Egypt’s main Islamic movement and most popular opposition party, was quietly ignored.
The extraordinary outpouring of international sympathy and goodwill at the death of King Hussain of Jordan last February, and the lavish promises of economic aid made at the time by western and oil-rich leaders have not yet been translated into reality.