This is the American way of putting the Jordanian King on notice that he better not try anything, no matter how much pressure comes from his own people or other countries in the region:
The Arizona Daily Star
Jim Hoagland: Jordan's king no friend to U.S.
By Jim Hoagland
Pop quiz: Which Arab ruler is to George W. Bush as Yasser Arafat was to Bill Clinton? Congratulations if you said King Abdullah of Jordan.
And a tip of the hat to all those Iraqis who came up with the answer so fast. You know your neighborhood and your neighbor.
Abdullah emulates Arafat in possessing special, drop-in-anytime visiting rights to the White House and in merchandising that special access to puff up his influence at home and with other Arab leaders.
The Jordanian monarch seizes every opportunity to see, and be seen with, the American president and his senior aides.
Rather than attend an Arab summit to support his unconvincing, warmed-over version of a "peace plan" with Israel, Abdullah was again stateside last week, basking in the glow of meetings with Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
And as Arafat did, Abdullah works against U.S. interests in Iraq and elsewhere while pretending otherwise.
The youthful Jordanian autocrat pulls the wool over the eyes of a Republican president as the now-deceased Palestinian revolutionary did with Bush's Democratic predecessor.
If there is a difference in the comparative equation, it is likely that Clinton distrusted Arafat more. In Abdullah's case, Bush again overinvests in the swagger and guile of people who run or who are close to spy agencies. (See Tenet, George, and Putin, Vla-dimir, for details.)
I stipulate the obvious: Bush is obliged by realpolitik to work with Abdullah and with Jordan. One of only two Arab states that have peace treaties with Israel, Jordan has long been a link in the peace process as well as a platform for U.S. covert and military activities in the region.
But a few senior U.S. officials, less impressed with Abdullah's Special Operations background and his deep connections to the CIA, fear that Bush's lavish embrace is overdone.
They point to the nasty public row between Iraq and Jordan over a suicide bombing and to the apparently protected presence in Jordan of key operatives in the Iraqi insurgency. These are troubling signs being ignored by Bush.
Iraqis have not forgotten that Jordan supported Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War in 1990 and afterward. Iraqi resources were drained by the massive breaking of sanctions and other corrupt dealings that enriched the Jordanian establishment.
Abdullah's meddling in Iraqi affairs since the overthrow of the Baathists has rekindled those resentments.
The king has exacerbated tensions with his aggressive championing of his co-religionists, Iraq's Sunni minority, who provided the base of past Baathist power and of the present insurgency.
He has portrayed Iraq on the edge of a religious war. He has channeled support to CIA favorites among Iraqi factions.
When Iraqis heard on March 14 that the Jordanian family of Raid Banna had thrown a huge party to celebrate their relative's "martyrdom" - which consisted of killing himself and 125 Iraqis in the Shiite town of Hilla - they said, "Enough." Angry crowds sacked the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad and forced its closure.
On Lebanon, Abdullah has privately shared with other Arab leaders his fears that the Syrian withdrawal demanded by Bush will be destabilizing and cautions against it.
This does not win Abdullah the world-class laurels for duplicity and deception garnered by Arafat. But then, the king is still young.
Jim Hoagland writes for The Washington Post. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. WP 27 March 05)