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  • Is Jordan Doomed? YesAuthor(s): Rita E. HauserSource: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 73, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1994), pp. 178-179Published by: Council on Foreign RelationsStable URL: .Accessed: 10/06/2014 03:14

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  • Letters to the Editor

    sion that the key lesson from Chile is that "the withering away of the state" is

    the necessary condition for economic

    progress. I go further than he does with

    respect to foreign aid. I believe along with Lord Peter Bauer and others that

    foreign aid has almost invariably been

    harmful to the country receiving it pre

    cisely because it tends to retard or pre

    vent "the withering away of the state."


    Senior Research Fellow, the Hoover Insti

    tution on War, Revolution, and Peace


    To the Editor:

    Lawrence Tal ("Is Jordan Doomed?"

    September/October 1993) presents a

    sober and clear analysis of the risks fac

    ing Jordan should the PLO-Israeli accords eventuate in a Palestinian state.

    Most observers, including Israel's cur

    rent leaders, contemplate that very

    prospect as the likely outcome of the

    recent decisions, despite public rhetoric

    to the contrary. A mini-Palestine, demil

    itarized and economically integrated

    with, if not dependent upon, Israel will

    likely emerge and seek to confederate

    with Jordan, uniting Palestinians on

    both banks of the Jordan River. That the prospect of confederation is

    less than appealing to Jordan's Hashem

    ites has received little serious attention

    outside Jordan. Tal renders a real service

    by posing the question of whether such a

    development would doom Jordan as we

    know it. While he consistently argues that a confederation of Palestine and Jor dan will come about, with the Palestinian

    component clearly the stronger, Tal pulls his punch with

    a sanguine conclusion

    that somehow or other the Jordanian state will remain intact.

    It is difficult to share this conclusion.

    The likely prospect following confedera tion is a democratic, mainly secular gov ernment in which the Hashemite crown

    would reign rather than rule. Palestini

    ans' economic acumen, aided by billions

    of dollars in international assistance and

    direct Israeli involvement, will assure

    their place as the dominant demographic

    group. The most startling statistic Tal

    cites is that, even today, Jordan's per

    capita GNP is lower than that of either the

    West Bank or Gaza. Moreover, substan

    tial expatriate Palestinian capital and

    entrepreneurship will be deployed to

    assist Palestinian projects. As Tal notes, a

    diversion of Palestinian funds from

    Amman to West Bank financial institu

    tions would send Jordan's economy into

    severe crisis.

    Nor does it seem likely that King Hussein can slow the forces of democra

    tization in Jordan, as he now seems to

    acknowledge in going ahead with sched

    uled parliamentary elections. When the

    Palestinian dimension emerges more

    clearly after final status is reached, politi cal parties attuned to

    a Palestinian

    agenda will likely assert themselves and

    eventually dominate the Jordanian politi cal process, especially after King Hussein

    passes from the scene. Jordanian nation

    alism is strongly tied to the person of

    King Hussein.

    A democratic confederation, with full

    Hashemite participation, should be

    encouraged. The merger of Palestine and

    Jordan offers the chance for a secular,

    economically prosperous entity to flour

    ish, defying the long-held view that

    [178] FOREIGN AFFAIRS- Volume y3 No. 1

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  • Letters to the Editor

    democracy cannot take root in the Arab

    world. That prospect is important for

    Arabs, and it is also the surest guarantee of peaceful relations with Israel.


    President, The H?user Foundation


    To the Editor:

    William Quandt in his review of my book, TheArabists (November/Decem ber 1993), accuses me of "ignoring their

    [the Arabists'] successes." Pages 207-229 of my book are solely devoted to docu

    menting the rescue of 12,000 Ethiopian

    Jews carried out by two Arabic-speaking

    Foreign Service officers. Pages 267 and

    301 document the Arabist role in freeing an American from an Iraqi prison, sur

    viving an embassy siege in Kuwait, and

    carrying out the 1988 re-flagging opera tion in the Gulf "without a hitch." Page 137 covers how, without making conces

    sions, Arabists preserved relations with

    Saudi Arabia. Page 160 and a caption

    plate mention the successful evacuation

    of Americans carried out by Arabist

    Talcott Seelye. Pages 232-233 cover the

    Arabist role in uncovering Saudi missiles

    capable of reaching Israel. This is in addition to the feats of heroism by

    Arabist missionaries in the nineteenth

    century that I document.

    Quandt says I quote "approvingly" a

    negative statement about Arabists by Francis Fukuyama. On page seven of the

    book, immediately after the Fukuyama

    quotation, I quote Nicholas Veliotis, who

    "sharply disagrees" with Fukuyama.

    Quandt says that my "prototypical

    figure of the early Arabist, Loy Hender

    son, was not an Arabist at all." Indeed,

    on page 98 I write that Henderson "did not speak Arabic and spent only two of

    his ninety-three years living in the Arab

    world." My point, made absolutely clear

    in the book, was that because of both his

    harsh anti-Israel views and his loyalty to

    the Foreign Service, Henderson, despite his not being an Arabist, ironically became a prototype.

    Quandt says I "have made no effort to

    interview [Ambassador April] Glaspie." From June 1991 through November 19921 made repeated attempts to convince

    Glaspie to meet with me for a lengthy profile of her version of events, as well as

    her diplomatic life prior to Iraq. These

    attempts were made in three phone con

    versations with Glaspie, in letters, faxes

    and a request through the public affairs

    office of the State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in autumn 1992.

    Nevertheless, Glaspie did provide me with some direct information, such as

    details about her honor awards and her

    challenge to Saddam Hussein to remove

    his sidearm in her presence. This mater

    ial is in the book. ROBERT D. KAPLAN

    William B. Quandt replies: I accept that Mr. Kaplan tried to

    interview Ambassador Glaspie, although there was no way of knowing this from

    his book. Still, I think he is too willing to

    accept the thesis that Glaspie bears much

    of the blame for our policy toward Iraq on the eve of the invasion of Kuwait. I

    would look more carefully at policymak ers in the White House. Indeed, my

    major difference with Kaplan is that he sees the "Arabists" as very influential in

    the past 30 years, whereas I do not.

    FOREIGN AFFAIRS January/February 1994 [179]

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    Article Contentsp. 178p. 179

    Issue Table of ContentsForeign Affairs, Vol. 73, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1994), pp. I-VI, 1-184Front MatterEditor's Note: Slow Start, Fast Finish for Clinton [pp. V-VI]CommentsGrass-Roots Policymaking: Say Good-Bye to the 'Wise Men' [pp. 2-7]Labor and Free TradeTime for a Global New Deal [pp. 8-13]'Social Correctness' Is the New Protectionism [pp. 14-20]

    Jump-Starting Ex-Communist Economies: A Leaf from the Marshall Plan [pp. 21-26]

    EssaysClinton's First Year [pp. 28-43]Beyond Boris Yeltsin [pp. 44-55]Wrong Turn in Somalia [pp. 56-66]The Return of Russian History [pp. 67-82]Russia Turns the Corner [pp. 83-98]Trade Lessons from the World Economy [pp. 99-108]The Mystique of U.S. Air Power [pp. 109-124]Glasnost for the CIA [pp. 125-140]

    ReviewsReview EssayReview: The Tragedy of Cold War History: Reflections on Revisionism [pp. 142-154]Review: The Great (Wo)man Theory of History: Margaret Thatcher's Memoirs [pp. 155-161]Review: Did Ostpolitik Work? The Path to German Reunification [pp. 162-167]Review: Targetin