At first the headline seems more like an April 1st spoof. But there is such a long history of treachery and collusion from the Hashemites, and such desperation and ruthleessness from the Americans (and Israelis)... Couple that with the personal plight of former Crown Prince Hassan - his whole life in the shadow of his big brother Hussein waiting for his coronoation only to be pushed out by a CIA plot involving the former American queen Noor - and you have the makings of a real historical plot here.
Guardian. 19 July 2002.
Jordan prince touted to succeed Saddam.
As US officials and Iraqi opposition groups squabble over possible
successors to Saddam Hussein, Prince Hassan of neighbouring Jordan is
emerging as a surprise contender.
The idea, which has support in the Pentagon and among conservative
thinkers in the US, envisages the prince rising above Iraqi factionalism
as a compromise figurehead, or even as king.
Some argue that his involvement could also ease tensions in Washington,
where the state department and CIA have been at loggerheads with
Congress and the Pentagon over Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial leader
of the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella opposition group funded by
On April 8 this year, Prince Hassan had talks at the Pentagon with Paul
Wolfowitz, the US deputy secretary of defence. The subject was never
disclosed but since then he has begun to assume a higher political
This culminated in his dramatic "coming out" last week when - surrounded
by TV cameras - he arrived unexpectedly at a conference of exiled Iraqi
officers in London.
It was the first time that a high-ranking Arab had publicly associated
himself with the Iraqi opposition.