Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Obama reassures Jordan king of U.S. support

----------------The Clown King---------------

The president made a weekend call to Jordanian King Abdullah II to assure him of U.S. support, but also to say that Washington wants Jordan to move toward reform.

By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times

"......The interior minister this week acquiesced to another demand of the protesters: Marches will no longer need government permission.

The most alarming element of the political pressure, from the monarchy's viewpoint, has been an attack by some tribal leaders on Queen Rania, breaching long prohibitions against criticism of the royal family.

Last week, 36 leaders of Jordan's tribes, traditionally key supporters of the government, posted a letter on a Jordanian website demanding basic freedoms, condemning corruption and complaining about Jordan's huge debt. The kingdom has taken an economic battering from the global recession.

For the monarchy, the tribal leaders' letter cut too close to home by criticizing Rania for alleged excess in a country suffering dire water shortages and a stressed economy.

It singled out her 40th birthday party, held last September in a luxurious oasis called Wadi Rum. The letter provided no details of the event, but news accounts have recounted that 600 guests were fed fresh lobster in desert tents with no fear of sandstorms because water trucks "had been brought to douse potentially pesky sands," according to a former U.S. official who has been an advisor on the region....."

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