Knowing the world's largest special forces training center just opened in Jordan doesn't make me feel any safer. Sometimes I really have to question how my taxpayer dollars are being used and why the mainstream media aren't doing a better job of laying it out for us.
The comments following this article are every bit as interesting as the article itself.
For those who may not be aware, Palestinians constitute about two thirds of the population of Jordan. The king's wife is Palestinian, and their son, the Crown Prince, is half Palestinian, one-quarter British, and one-quarter Hashemite (from Mecca, Saudi Arabia). The monarchy gets most of its support from the Bedouin tribes, which constitute most of the remaining third of the population of Jordan. When the Palestinians tried to overthrow the late King Hussein in 1970, the historical event known as Black September was the bloody result. It was a civil war resulting in the deaths of thousands of Palestinians.
While disputes between Arabs and Israelis garner most of the attention in the Western media, there are also plenty of intra-Arab disputes. This is surely one of them. But I am so weary of the Palestinians always getting the shaft. How can anyone take away citizenship from people who have lived on those lands longer than their Hashemite rulers? And where are they supposed to go? The neighbors don't want them.
And is this event entirely separate from the opening of the new special forces training center that is funded mostly (entirely?) by the Americans? Do we really know what the hell we are doing with our foreign policy in the region? (Rhetorical question. . .I think I know the answer.)
Well, I guess it's not a secret any more. She was married to an elderly Saudi prince. Traveled to London. Met and had an affair with a non-Muslim Englishman. Conceived and bore a child. Claimed to the UK courts that if she returned to Saudi Arabia she and her baby would be subject to death sentences under Sharia law. . .that's if she didn't become a victim of dishonor killing first. She can remain in the UK. I think this is the humane, right decision. The U.S. should do the same in similar cases.
That was two days ago. Today there are reports that 10 more Saudis are seeking asylum in the UK. The article states, "The princess's case is one of a small number of claims for asylum brought by citizens of Saudi Arabia which are not openly acknowledged by either government. British diplomats believe that to do so would in effect highlight the persecution of women in Saudi Arabia, which would be viewed as open criticism of the House of Saud and lead to embarrassing publicity for both governments." Some things deserve to be criticized.
I like this Martin Luther King, Jr., quote from one of the commenters to this article:
Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.
The dishonor killings section begins on p. 85 of the document, p. 103 of the pdf file. UN statistics show 25-30 dishonor killings in Jordan in 2007. Official statistics are, of course, much lower. Frankly, I think even the UN's data are conservative. The true number is unknowable, since so many of these crimes are never reported or disguised as accidents or suicides.
This one's just for giggles. Wrigley, as a marketer, allow me to point you toward your next product line expansion cash cow.
Causes Ellen Sheeley Supports
For All Women Foundation