How the “Woke” Ideology Subverts National Security

Recently two  extraordinarily news items have surfaced to illustrate how our national security is being undermined by a leftist Elite Establishment  that controls the levers of power through their control of the media, the deep state,  particularly the power of taxation and intelligence, academia and the education system.

The first one is an Al Qaeda  Islamist exhortation to use domestic disturbances in the West to infiltrate  create havoc and target law enforcement officers. It approach eared on the server telegram, often used by terror groups. It was captured, translated from Arabic and put out by the MEMRI  organization. One excerpt from the article is below: It is from an Al-Qaeda  on line magazine called the “Wolves of Manhattan.”

“The article provides tips on which kinds of protests are easier and more effective to infiltrate, saying that a lone wolf should choose a “massive chaotic protest” that take places daily and lasts for a long time, like post-election protests in the U.S. or protests by France’s yellow vests.

The article also recommends that lone wolves choose a protest taking place at night so that it will be easier for them to escape or hide their identity.

Discussing how lone wolves can exploit protests, the article suggests that they disguise themselves as protesters and pretend to have similar views in order to infiltrate the protesters and steer them to violent actions, such as car ramming.

The article warns the lone wolf against stabbing protesters, since this could alert others to his motive and make it easier for them to capture or beat him. Instead, it recommends that the lone wolf hire a “militiaman,” or “mercenary” to do the car ramming.

“This way, you will kill a large number of Crusaders because they are all gathered. Besides, this act will have other implications, as you can incite the protesters against the police, whom you will claim to be the ones who sent this man to ram them. You will be able to enrage the protesters to steer them to fight with the police,” said the article.

It also encourages lone wolves to take advantage of the civil unrest in some countries to attack police officers. Elaborating on this, the article argues that this is easy, as the lone wolf can exploit the angry protesters, whom it describes as “Crusaders,” and steer them towards attacking the police.

my inserts

In France in the past week an Islamist terrorist followed a female police officer into the police station and killed her with a knife. No doubt another mentally unbalanced person. Strange how Islamist killers are always “mentally disturbed.” In a way anyone who is an Islamist is mentally disturbed. But he is still responsible for his actions.

Biden in his speech to congress  made it clear that something called “white supremacy” is a greater threat than Islamism. He, like every one else, is unable to define “white supremacy” as a threat.  Is it an attitude, a feeling, a thought? If a person  does not act on it how do you counter it? An article in the latest issue of Perspectives on Terrorism,  entitled “QAnon: Radical Opinion Vs Radical Action”  makes the excellent  point that trying to eradicate radicalism using “thought police” as in censoring free speech only increases and nutures the growth of radicalism.   But the elite Establishment oligarchs that control our society are poorly educated in history.

The article continues

In addition, the article asks the lone wolf to take advantage of the protests to destroy and vandalize private property if he cannot gain access to public property. “If you cannot reach public property, target private property, vandalize cars, shops, and stands. Remember that all of the Crusaders are jointly with their government in war against Islam,” it said.

It also highlights another advantage in this kind of protest, saying that lone wolves can bring knives and Molotov cocktail without raising suspicions. Additionally, laws concerning rioters are not harsh and often do not impose penalties on violent protesters such as those imposed on lone wolves, said the article. “Everyone [during a protest] is violating the law so if you got arrested – Allah forbid – your sentence will be different from that of a lone wolf.”

The article further explains that “timing” is the most important factor when it comes to attacking the police. It adds that lone wolves should wait for an opportunity to present itself, such as when there is a fight between a protester and a police officer, and states that it is better in such cases to use Molotov cocktails than knives. “Particularly when the police officer is the one who started the fight. In such a case, it is the right opportunity for you to kill him and become a hero in the eyes of the protesters and even to encourage them to commit acts similar to yours,” said the article.”

It goes on to urge followers to attack police officers offering 60$ for a verified kill of a police officer in Bitcoin. Only non Muslims are eligible however. Apparently Muslims kill for the nobility it confers.

So how many people have seen the very critical information? Very few. In fact I have found it referred to in only one small on line periodical. The question is why? I would say because it is not part of the “woke” leftist elite Establishment  narratives.e., that the riots and vandalism are part of a fight for “social Justice” and anything which detracts from that ideological theme, however disquieting and important, must be silenced.

Maj Hassan– a real terrorist. No one wanted to report him because of being labeled an Islamophobe.

In fact in the West Point Combatting Terrorism Center (CTC) their most recent article is another tilting at windmills article gravely warning of the “extremist right wing terrorism.” It has become the the terrorism story de jour, spinning left wing opinion pieces as fact. One has to look hard to find right-wing extremist events, unless the now famous 6 Jan-  A sort of conservative social justice protest-  is counted….in which the only person killed was an unarmed woman protestor. Don’t like my wording?  I guess the shoe is on the other foot.

The really dangerous aspect of these type stories is that the Establishment Elite, trying  to destroy dissenting thought, are in fact  creating the “monster” that aim to liquidate.


Bosom buddies or so Kerry thought> The betrayer gets betrayed

The second news event is that of the John Kerry betrayal of our ally, Israeli’s military secrets, spilling the beans to his buddy, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javid Zarif, on Israeli  targeting of Iranian military sites. Of course, the Elite Establishment Press and Media immediately tried to create another version and concentrate on the supposed division within the Iranian government. That may be but one thing for sure; Dealing with Iran without force is imbecilic. The lengths the media is going through to  spin it toward a favorable reason for negotiating with the Iranian regime is quite humorous actually. I keep wondering …what do the Iranians have on the Obama- Biden oligarchs that keep them begging at the Iranian table?


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Israel’s Greatest Blunder

Lyn Julius is the daughter of Iraqi-Jewish and has written  a most remarkable book, entitled Uprooted: How 3000 years of Jewish Civilization in the Arab World Vanished Overnight. In one small portion of the book she uses the headline above.

Then crux of the argument as  she explained it is as follows,”Given the centrality  of the refugee issue to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the journalist and writer Ari Schwartz has labeled Israel’ prolonged silence ‘incomprehensible’. Tommy Lapid ,who served as justice minister, recognized the long tern damage from Israel’s failure to make an issue of Jewish refugees; it has helped perpetuate the myth that the Jews were then aggressors and dispossessors, and not the other way around, with all that implies for Israel’s legitimacy. He has described the failure ton play the refugee card  as one of the greatest blunders in the state’s history.”

The facts are these. more than 99% of the Arab World’s Jews have fled to mother parts of the world. 650,000 to Israel and 200, 000 to the West. at one time- about 60years ago, 10% of the world’s Jews lived in the Arab World. One of the largest Jewish populated cities in then world was Baghdad. They were evicted or fled from fear off further programs

This subject was brought to mind by the evacuation of the remaining handful of Jews of Yemen this past month.- a place that Jews had lived in for 3000 years.

Jews of Yemen

Why did the usually quick thinking Israelis miss this vital information/propaganda issue ?

Miss Julius gives three main treasons. First  the Israelis tend to  be a more pragmatic people in opposition to the more animated and romantic heroic narrative of the Arabs.  Raphael Patai ( The Arab Mind) terms this part of Arab person personality  with extreme emotions and proclivity for fantasy as well as the lure of exaggeration in the language.  This has been reinforced the Arabs by constant repetition  and help from anti-semitic, anti zionist  radical left and  right wing journalists, academics  and useful fools who have kept the Palestinian refugee issue in the spotlight overshadowing the fact that Jews, Kurds, Greeks, and especially the Armenians have also been expelled under horrible conditions from Islamic countries. But this rarely makes the Middle East gurus writings. Nor does it obviate the fact that Christianity, once the main Abrahamic  religion of the Middle East, has been virtually extinguished as well.

Jews of Morocco

Secondly the Israeli foreign office has been silent to avoid bringing up the Palestinian refugee problems.——- a non starter in that that the Palestinian refugee issue bubbles up everywhere, especially among the dominant left wing academics who control the narrative regardless whether the Israelis exodus from Muslim Lands is exposed or not.

Thirdly the Israelis basically solved their problem by accepting the Arab World Jewish refugees…not always happily but they did. The Arabs on the other hand have resisted integrating Palestinians into their country, often using the excuse that if they did so the Palestinians would forget their homeland. The Palestinians have reciprocated in kind, fomenting civil war in Lebanon and Jordan and colluding with invading Iraqis in Kuwait. No where in the Arab World are the Palestinians trusted as a community. Ironically it is the West , especially the United States, that provides the majority of aid to Palestinian refugees.

I would give another reason. When I use to visit my wife-to-be in Brooklyn NY in the early sixties, Zionist activism was everywhere evident with banners across the Streets urging the purchase of Israeli war bonds. The Jewish presence was overwhelming, with many subway riders reading Yiddish language newspapers.  The  Jews  apparently believed this attitude would last forever- the small state struggling valiantly against a monolithic Islamic world bent on their destruction. They were wrong.

Jews of Baghdad at one time the most populous Jewish cir ty in the world

Then came the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. It was a humiliation for the Arabs and from not came the concept of the “Super Jew”- a small state defeating the huge, oil rich, populous Arab World. With this came a great deal of Israeli hubris leading to the” near thing” of the Israeli victory in 1973

Today the small state of Israel surrounded by a hostile population, with about 15% of the  general  population, mostly Arab,   generally hostile  as well,  has become the bete noire  of the “woke generation, ”  a  Western generation of spoiled forever adolescents, indoctrinated by uneducated academics, that evidences an embedded theme that the hated Western Civilization includes Israel as a prime example of a colonizing state. One finds a surprising number of young Western Jews who have adopted this view as well.

jews of Egypt

Today as I write this there are riots and fights between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, with liberal Jewish voices  plaintively asking on TV what can be done to change this pervasive attitude of ethnic  hatred.  In the short run very little, which is one reason  I see the current establishment of relationships with Arab states  by Israel with some skepticism.


It has been a common myth perpetuated by Western islamic academicians that the Jews indigenous to the Middle East lived a relatively peaceful life tolerated by their Muslim neighbors.. As Bernard Lewis has written , in relation to the murderous policies toward Jews in the Western world which culminated in the holocaust, that is true but it was only a small part of the overall picture. Jews and Christians have never been first class citizens in the Arab World. At best they were tolerated, and under the Islamic rule acquired the submissive attitude necessary for survival  that Ibn Khaldun sowell captured.

Egyptisn Jewish actress Naja Ibrahim

Reading the books by Bat Ye’or,    , the most detailed historian on the Jews of the Arab World, the lot of Jews and Christians was always fraught with uncertainty as any disturbance was liable to set off a pogrom.

Jewish Egyptian actress Leila Murad

However the real systematic expulsion and persecution of the Jews began withe advent of Arab Nationalism, an ideology based on a inchoate socialistic and racist doctrine. Regrettably it was partially fanned by the West, especially the British to counteract the Communist inroads into the Middle East.

Haj Husseini with his mentor Herr Hitler. My friend and great Middle East writer, Barry Rubin, wrote that Haj Husseini urged Hitler to to carry out the most extreme measures against the Jews.

Not so strangely, the Middle Eastern Jews often referred to as Mizrahi in contradiction to the Ashkenazi  Jews Europe, have a distinctly Oriental culture and have not always had an easy time conforming to the Western culture of the Ashkenazi which has defined Israel.One can find many  Jewish web sites nostalgically lamenting their lost paradise of their lives in Iraq or Egypt.

Jewish Egyptian singer Najwa Salem

But also not surprising, despite a lot of Academic nonsense abut the commonality of the Mizrahi Jews to the Arabs, the hatred of the Mizrahi toward the Arabs, is often the most intense. This is not at all surprising considering their treatment.

When in Egypt, we in the US embassy use todo short weekends  at the Faroun house in Alexandria. It formerly Beloit ged to a wealthy Jewish family that had lived in Egypt for hundreds of years. Even the silverware was still there as the Jews were expelled with generally one suitcase and the clothes on their back. In places like Iraq and Syria they were lucky to escape with their lives.

The Israelis have missed a huge opportunity to harp on this to counter the unceasing Palestinian tales of exile.










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The Intrigue in the Harem


The is is pure conjecture on my part but based on 1400 years of Islamic history and the influence of women, beginning with the story of Aisha( read After the Prophet by Lesley Hazelton) and her influence on the Prophet Mohammed continuing through the Ommayad and Abbasid empires, to the Ottoman Empire and beyond. The intrigues in the Harem were real and often bloody in consequence. The desire of women to live through the success of their sons- ensuring he became the Sultan or Caliph  was monumental and ever present. So as the gurus of Middle East reporting concentrate on foreign contacts, the era ribal and ideological aspects of the attempted coup, I think my view is the correct one.

Queen Noor. Mother of x-crown prince, prince Hamzeh.

Women in King Hussein’s Life. Intrigue in the Palace


Queen Rania mother of new Crown Prince Hussein


Recently it has been disclosed that the intrigue in the palace has taken on a dangerous phase. Apparently over 20 people, including a former minister close to the  King Abdullah government, have been arrested to head off an imminent coup. It seems, despite royal refutations,  that the former crown prince, Prince  Hamzeh bin Hussein  was in someway involved. Read my previous blog post above for a rundown on the Royal family and the mostly very ambitious women who have….in my opinion at least….brought about this crisis. Hamzeh, the son of King Hussein and the lovely, and very ambitious Queen Noor, was demoted from Crown Prince after being in that position for 4 years. King Abdullah , the son of King Hussein and his second wife, Princess Muna ( she being British was not considered genetically qualified to be designated queen, however,  Queen Noor despite being an American,  was the daughter of a Syrian American and therefore had the right bloodlines.) These things get complicated!!!

King Abdullah and his Palestinian wife, Rania, ( who has acquired a reputation as somewhat of a spendthrift) have gone through number of crises, particularly economic, and with half the population ( the Palestinians) considered 0f doubtful loyalty, and with dissension  even among his core supporters within the tribes, king Abdullah has done better than many thought.  He also has had to contend with a robust Muslim Brotherhood especially among the Muslim Brotherhood and he  is not then smartest guy around.  But he has had the support of the West and worked amicably with Israeli leaders.

The son of King Abdullah and Rania,  Crown Prince  Hussein bin Abdullah bin Hussein bin Talal, was designated the Crown Prince in 2009, replacing Hamzeh.  The crown prince is not married. According to his instagram, he enjoys reading playing football, cooking, motorcycling and playing the Guitar.

It should be remembered that in a shocker, the late King Hussein replaced his brother, Prince Hassan, who had been the crown Prince for years, just days before he died with the present  King Abdullah. Prince Hassan gracefully exited stage left although his Pakistani wife was reported as being  very upset. I have to wonder how much Queen Noor had  to do with that last minute decision. I would say quite a bit.

Always look for the influence of wives and especially mothers in the turmoil in the Middle East

additional info. Very good article on the coup attempt in Jordan by the analytical firm MEMRI. This is is the overt explanation and mine is what propelled it.



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International Women’s Day and the Middle East

the illusion of a one world

Below is part of the boilerplate from the United Nations  web site on International women’s day.

“Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.

This year’s theme for the International Day,”Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world“, celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Women in public life, equal participation in decision making“,and the flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs…… ”

Jihan Sadat opined that the rage for wearing the hijab is similar to teenagers wearing jeans with holes in the knees. Fashion not religion?

Well……. my take on the women’s day is that the world center of hypocrisy, i.e. the United Nations….. is probably the last place to look for any authentic boost for women’s rights. For instance look who is on the Human Rights Council, (HRC) Bahrain, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Libya, Gabon, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan etc etc.

Works for covid too

There can be little doubt that  the Middle East  is near the bottom of any authentic comparison of women’s rights and  their  reach for equality….at least in terms of the Western  concept of equality . This is an important point because the Fundamentalist Islamic clerics will say you are, in effect, comparing apples and oranges.  They would say our Islamic world cannot be juxtaposed next to the western world. We do not want to be part of the materialistic, immoral, corrupt Western world. For instance—-this is something I heard often in the Arab World…..our women  happily trade  your idea of freedom for the safety and security of the Islamic world. Not quite true actually. Many  Muslim women, for instance, wear the Islamic women’s headdress to avoid harassment by predatory males. In Cairo, there are separate cars on the underground for females because even the headdress and the long dress (abaya)  and is not quite enough to stop the groping.

I see these in northern Virginia quite often even before the China virus

head to foot.popular with the Mullahs of Iran

with this the ladies can check out the guys without being detected


If you do believe there are  certain universal rights of man/womenkind  applicable everywhere then one has to examine why the usually deplorable condition of women continues to exist in the Arab Muslim world ( Ill stick to the Arab Islamic world because I’m not comfortable writing about Indonesia  and South Asia.)  I see a number of factors.

What I am writing about here is not applicable across the board and varies from country to country, and class by class. But I will say that these  factors  exist in some degree across the board, in every Islamic country and every country.

a bit of fashion on this one

Most Muslim women are brainwashed from birth to accept an inferior status in life.It is part of the essence of their religion. Many examples are in the Quran. One example; Surah iv “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women)...   Non Muslim women…. especially those not of the book.( Christians, Jews)… (but in reality any not meeting the Ibn Tamiya status of a true Muslim  women ) taken in war are considered  as spoils of war. One  example the horrendous fate of the Yezidi women taken captive  by the predators of the ISIS. The frequent rejoinder to that…frequently used to sugar coat this during the Obama administration and apparently again by the Biden officials…. is that these ISIS were not “real Muslims.”  The 9/11 terrorists were all termed this way as are all Islamic terrorist actions, or alternately with “mental problems.”

These arguments were  shredded by he Kuwaiti official Saad bin Tafla Ajami in an article   (“We Are All ISIS”) reproduced in Elham Manea’s book The Perils of non Violent Islamism. Ajami reminded the readers that…” ISIS did not come from another planet. It is not a product of the infidel West or a bygone orient.No! the truth that we cannot deny is that ISIS learned from our schools, prayed in our mosques, listened to our media and our religious platforms, read from our books, and references, and followed fatwas (religious edicts) we produced.” Nir Rosen,  wrote a number of books (and articles in radical left wing periodicals like Mother Jones, and the Socialist Worker)  about the insurgents fighting Americans troops in Iraq. He spent  a lot of time with Iraqi Islamists,  and recorded their attitude succinctly in terms of scrupulously observing the doctrine of the Quran:  they were not “bad” Muslims…. but were actually the best and most righteous..certainly in their view.

It’s rather comical how Western self-appointed secular liberal  “experts” have become the judges of who qualifies as a good Muslim.  As the author, Yasmine Mohammed, wrote in her book Unveiled, her decision to write was prompted by the  appearance of Ben Affleck on the Bill Maher show denouncing  the racist appellations  being applied to Muslims  while at the same time he was promoting  and starring in  movies denigrating Christianity- A very common feature of Hollywood these days.

Iranian head to feet style preferred by the mullahs But no lipstic

In her book Yasmine details how her family constantly laid the guilt trip on her, …shaming the family, her destination to hell being a certainty, controlling  her life decisions, using the Western liberal social  environment to steal money from the taxpayers.etc. etc. Example: marrying a  widowed second wife with a child using an Islamic cleric to marry them, and then drawing government money sent to his wife as a single mother.

Firstly, the  Islamic women who are sucked into the vortex of Islamism-despite the inbred misogyny  of Islamism- are a consequence of their  imprinted inferior status but also by their desire to be something besides a baby  factory and appendage to their husband. The Islamists promise them a honored place in society. More over  the vast corruption endemic in the  Arab world has diminished any semblance of a positive attitude toward a Western parliamentary democracy in the minds of almost everyone.  This attitude is reinforced by the sleaze Hollywood churns out  and Western professors who go to teach in Muslim countries and reinforce the view of the United States as repository of deplorable Islamophobes.

Some years ago there were  quasi free elections in Bahrain with a few women running for office. The Western observers were surprised when most women voted for Islamist fundamentalists. Seemingly it didn’t make sense. Well, it does if you are a woman who has been  indoctrinated to do as you are told by your brothers and fathers, and firmly believe  you are carrying out the  duties and role in life allotted to you by God. If you believe, as a woman, you are congenitally incapable of being involved in affairs of the State and that women who put themselves out there in the public eye are sluts …well why would you vote for a woman?

Secondly nothing is more destructive  to the status of women in the Arab/Muslim world  than the shame factor. As the sociologists put it, this is a shame society in which your self respect is governed by your reputation among your neighbors. And the most severe damage to your reputation is a transgression of sexual mores by a woman of your family. In the argument of Nature vs Nurture, the Arab Muslims are definitely in the nature camp. Your bloodlines and genes  determine who you are. Thus a women who allegedly violates sexual norms, or appears to, casts shame not only on herself, but more importantly on the entire family. Men are much less ,if at all, blemished by sexual license.  This anxiety of sexual impurity has led to the barbaric practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FMG), supposedly to lessen the temptation of young women to engage in illicit sex. It is far more widespread among the middle class, especially in Egypt, that most would care to admit.

Thirdly another problem is the imbecilic attitude of the Western  intellectual elite, and ego driven celebrities like Ben Affleck, who act as facilitators for Islamist misogyny and religious /ethnic hatreds. It is the liberal/ leftist  form of racism. Their attitude is…….. well who are we to question their culture?  Apparently the Islamists are people from Mars and not governed by any universal laws of  common humanity. Somehow the Islamists have become the new radical chic.

Fourthly Islamism has become fashionable among the illuminati and cognoscenti. As part of the “informed class” you distance  yourself away from the hoi polloi by  a more “balanced” view of the embedded  Islamist hatreds by blaming the usual culprits,  colonialism, imperialism, the Palestinian problem on Western malevolence.  While roundly condemning the foibles and injustices of Christianity, these same “intellectuals” have only tepid objections to Islamist mass slaughter. Their view is like the view depicted in the movie “Killing Fields” to wit; It was American bombing that drove the Cambodian Communists crazy and led to the genocide of the people. Like wise in the Middle East it is the Palestine issue,  invasion of Iraq etc etc. that led to continuing murderous outrages by Islamists perpetrated in the West and Israel, and of course against their own people.

how to be fashionable and wear a hijab. But not in most Arab/muslim countries

Fifthly, The Western civilization and Christian world presently provides a very poor alternative to the Islamist world. A  Western “woke” generation that disparages their history and civilization hardly provides an optimistic and positive example. Christianity, in the words of one priest, has evolved from the ten commandments to the ten suggestions. Spiritual commitments have devolved into occasional feel good appearances at  soup kitchens.  The  slide of  United States  society toward  toward a rootless, amoral,  hedonistic, and  narcissistic  culture has been well documented by Christopher Lasch in the Revolt of the Elites,  and The Culture of Narcissism. Nothing can offer more graphic testimony to that  than the assembly  line abortion  industry, which softened natural human distaste for killing children by subsuming it into  “social justice”.   You can be ostracized for using a “hateful term” but lauded for exterminating your unborn child.  Why would this be an acceptable  to Muslim women  wishing to have a more spiritual life than the dry tedious, and overwhelming weight of Islamic prescriptions and proscriptions?  Just one example of this is the massive  Islamic regulations on toilet etiquette or initiation of sex.  Most of the burden falls on women.

whats’ your sign

My first and very impressionable incident that stuck in my memory regarding gender equality, happened in 1968 in the Gulf. I was out with Trucial Oman scouts on a patrol and we stopped in a bedu village. One of the British SAS troops with us gave an apple to a cute little girl. Promptly the father slapped the girl and took the apple away and gave it to her brother. Things have changed around the edges of gender issues, but not in substance nor among the  last majority of the people.

Two other books to read other than the two I have previously mentioned are Beyond The Veil by Fatima Mernisi and In the Land of the Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmad



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Christianity in The Middle East and The Pope’s Visit to Iraq

A version of the article below was published some time ago in the Jewish World Review. I was  prompted to write something by the visit of Pope Francis to Iraq and historic meeting  with the Shi’a Marja , and Grand Ayatollah, Sayyid al Husseini  Al Sistani, who in the eyes of most Iraqi  Shi’a, is the highest ranking Ayatollah in the world wide Shi’a community. He was born an Iranian but has always been seen as the Iraqi claim to the highest Shi’a cleric. He also espouses the “quietist” version of Shi’a Islam, e.g. religious leaders should stay out of politics as opposed to the variety of Shiism espoused by the Iranian clerics.

It is illustrative of the basic Christian problem in the Islamic world that in Iraq, the vast majority of the Iraqi Christians who turned out to see the Pope are Chaldeans, who accept the authority of the Catholic Church and the Pope of Rome. the many other Christians of Iraq, called the Assyrians, follow the eastern Christian rite. They are Nestorians. They are mostly village people compared to the more sophisticated and urban Chaldeans. They have  had a particularly  sad history at the hands of the Iraqi government, politician-generals like Bakr Sidqi al Askari, who became a national hero by massacring  Assyrian civilians in the thirties.


Something of the Popes Visit is here.


I was discussing the sad plight of the Christians of the Middle East a few months ago with a Lebanese friend who recited a familiar reason for the near extinction of the Christian communities of the Middle East. The basic reason, he insisted, was the Church teaching on “turning the other cheek.” In the face of militant Islam of the Arab expansionist era, the aggressive Muslims overwhelmed passive Christian communities,  who assumed  dhimmi status, that of a second class citizen. Accordingly, they gradually assimilated or emigrated to non – Muslim lands. As the story goes, the battle of Yarmuk presaged the fate of the Christian Byzantine Empire and  from there on, Islamic success brought more successes with many Christian communities switching sides at critical times.  For example 12000 Christian warriors  switched sides at the battle of Yarmuk,  a Islamic victory which set in motion the eventual  diminution of Christians to Dhimmi status. ( according to google  “protected status,”  but in reality second class citizens with restricted political and social rights).

Below we see the splits that rendered the Christian church apart,  mostly on debates on the nature of Christ…. fully human, fully divine or God in There persons. many heresies ripped apart Christianity, gnosticism, monasticism, and Arianism. Hillaire Belloc  saw Islam as a Christian heresy

The slides below are from a class I presented at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School

The various factions of Christianity failed to unite at the councils of doctrine.
The Christian communities city continues to splinter and into the 19th century as Protestant missionaries came to the Islamic world. They failed to convert many Muslims but rather concentrated on converting Catholic Christians to Protestantism , adding further divisions within the Church.


The ill fated Crusades, ostensibly to regain the holy land from Islam, exemplified the basic deadly dichotomy of Christian East and West . “ Mutinous soldiers” of the fourth crusade (1204), ostensibly on the way to regain the holy land from  Muslims,  attacked and   sacked Constantinople, the Christian capitol of the Byzantine Empire. The lands of the longest lasting empire in history were divided up among the victors and subsequently  the Byzantine Empire was too weak to withstand the unceasing expansionism of the  Muslim Ottoman Empire.  The destruction of Constantinople by Christians of the West really defines the basic weakness of Christianity of both West and East; they were always divided and at each others throat.  The Christians have always been adept  at trying to ascertain how many angels dance on the head of a pin. It was said that the bishops of  Constantinople  were debating this issue as the Muslim warriors were at the gates of the City. The separation of the East and West church in 1054 came about principally over the issue of leadership, but the Western Church began to view the Eastern Church as idolatrous, providing a veneer of religious motivation for the sack of Constantinople.  After that the Christian community began to splinter into many communities, at times persecuting one another.  An example of this was the Greek Byzantine persecution of the adherents of the Latin Church driven into the mountains of Lebanon, now known as Maronites.

Pope Urban urging Christian knights of Europe to reclaim the Holy land from the infidels. Launching the first crusade in 1095.


In the modern era I observed up close the disintegration of the Christian communities and their pathetic efforts to survive in a world in which they are, at best, only tolerated. In every surge of Islamic fervor, such as the brutal Islamic State expulsion of Christians, they have been subject to depredations.

The Latin state set up by the Crusaders I 1095-1291.


One would think that the Christian communities, driven apart by divisive opinions on the nature of Christ, with complex and often obscure inscrutable theological arguments, would band together to maintain their survival, but they do not and never have. Moreover they tend not to feel any commonality with other non-Christian minorities in the Islamic world, such as the Jewish, Yezidi, and Sabeans, and have fought bloody wars with the Druze minority.

I found that many Eastern Christians had antipathy to Judaism  and Jews similar to that of the Muslims. This is, at least partially, a result of the often fruitless, but totally understandable, attempts of the Christian clergy to curry favor within their Muslim communities by finding some commonality. An egregious example of this happened in 2010 Baghdad when a number of Chaldean Catholic churches were attacked, and the Church leaders blamed Zionists.  This sort of pathetic attempts to avoid blaming Muslim extremists only makes them seem weaker and somewhat ridiculous. It was Ibn Khaldun who wrote that subjugated people under the yoke of tyranny tend to acquire characteristics of “ insincerity and trickery.” So it has become for Christians in the Arab world.

It was wonderful to see the Pope’s visit to Iraq but I do not think much will change and the Middle East will continue to empty of its original Christian peoples. Islamist triumphalists will continue to drive the few remaining Christians from their ancient homelands.

Two recent books, The Perils of Non Violent Islamism by Elham Manea and Unveiled by Yasmine Mohammed  detail the perfidious betrayal of  Christians in the Middle East by Western liberals and Leftists.  It is a suffocating story of arrogance and ignorance.



In Lebanon, the bloody civil war described by the media as a war between Christians and Muslims,  but in fact, most Armenian Christians and Greek Orthodox avoided taking part. At the end of the Lebanese civil war the Maronites were reduced to killing each other.  This war revealed another cleavage in the Christian community; an ethnic division added to the religious one, as Greek Orthodox consider themselves Arabs while the Egyptian Copts, Armenians, and Maronites do not.


Two other factors have also diminished the Christian communities of the Arab world. One is the proclivity to seek the protection of despots as shelter against Muslim hostility. Thus Christian communities have supported Saddam, Assad, and Mubarak. Of course when they go down, enmity for the Christians increase.


Secondly the Western powers have manipulated the Christians of the Middle East for their own purposes. The British used the Assyrian Christians in Iraq as an auxiliary force to maintain themselves in power, with tragic consequences for the Assyrian people as the British lost control. In the Levant the French sought to maintain a Maronite state to secure their empire after WWI but then greedily included the heavily Muslim Bekaa valley as part of Lebanon, which has had the sad result for the Christians losing their controlling status in Lebanon. Western Protestant missionaries came to the East, not to convert Muslims, but convert Eastern Christians to Protestantism, adding another dimension to their disunity.  Today as their numbers continue to dwindle., the   secular West has essentially lost interest in the plight of the Christians in the Near East.


Nothing so illustrates the disunity of the Christians more than the state of the most sacred of Christian sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Six Christian denominations claim residence, but unable to agree on who should maintain the key and open the Church, the Church elders depend on two Muslim families to do so.




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Iranian motives Exposed

The Mullah Islamist regime lives and breathes on hate..hate for the West, especially Americans. It is indicative of the imbecilic policy of the Obama-Biden regime that this is not understood.


Recently we learned that the Biden regime launched an “attack” on Iraqi surrogate militia in Syra. It was  political theatre…nothing more than a domestic political act. The Iraqi government , totally infested with Iranian agents,  was told before the raid that it would occur …when, where, and how. The damage, if any, was minimal. This sort of mosquito bite strategy only encourages Iranian adventurism and imperialism. The London based Syrian  for Human Rights, claimed …based on local reports…that 22 people were killed. This is nonsense.  The compliant and state-run  Biden press saw this as a “carefully calibrated , defensive measure”  presumably in retaliation for the Iranian controlled  Iraqi militia rocketing of an Irbil American base, killing  a civilian contractor, and wounding several other personnel. This was one of three attacks on American bases since Biden became president.

WaNG AND Family

Wang is a Chinese-American and naturalized citizen, who was sent to China with a university grant and was arrested by the Iranian authorities for “spying.” He spent 4o months in prison under content interrogation by the Iranian security thugs. He was released on a prisoner swap for the Iranian agent, Massoud Suliemani, who was working on Gods Knows what at the Mayo Clinic.

Iranian “scientist” Masood Soleimani


The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2021

What I Learned in an Iranian Prison 

U.S. foreign policy isn’t to blame for the mullahs’ deep-rooted hatred of America and Americans. 

By Wang Xiyue

Iran, Europe and many American progressives are pressuring the Biden administration to revive the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. Official groupthink has coalesced around a singularly misguided belief: The U.S. has so badly mistreated Iran in the past that it must engage and appease the Islamic Republic now. I understand this view because I was once taught to believe it. This mindset is what convinced me in 2016 that I could safely do research for my dissertation in Iran. My optimism was misplaced. Not long after I arrived, I was imprisoned by Iran’s brutal regime and held hostage for more than three years.

When I went to Iran, I shared the prevailing academic view of the Middle East. I had absorbed the oft-repeated lesson that political Islam arose in response to Western colonialism and imperialism, and that the West—particularly America’s Middle East behavior—was chiefly responsible for the region’s chaos. My professors taught that the U.S. had treated Iran with a mixture of Orientalist condescension and imperialist aggression since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979. I believed America’s role in the 1953 coup that removed Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh explained everything that had gone wrong in Iran. Convinced that the mullahs’ hostility toward the U.S. was exaggerated, I often dismissed allegations of the regime’s malign behavior as American propaganda.

Since it was obvious that American foreign policy itself was the problem, and that the regime would happily normalize relations once the U.S. pivoted away from disrespect, I assumed I’d be left alone in Iran if I remained apolitical and focused on historical research. Imagine my shock when the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence arrested me on false espionage charges in August 2016, shortly after the implementation of the JCPOA—during what appeared to be a period of rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran. I was thrown into solitary confinement, forced to confess things my interrogator knew I had not done, and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

My interrogator made clear that my sole “crime” was being an American. He told me I was to be used as a pawn in exchange for U.S.-held Iranian prisoners and the release of frozen Iranian assets. (I was released in a 2019 prisoner swap.)

My terrible 40-month imprisonment was a period of intense re-education about the relationship between Iran and the U.S. The Islamic Republic is an ambitious power, but not a constructive one. It’s a spoiler, projecting influence by exporting revolution and terrorism via its proxies in the Middle East. Domestically, the mullahs have failed to deliver on their political and economic promises to the Iranian people, on whom they maintain their grip through oppression.

Nothing I’d learned during my years in the ivory towers of academia had prepared me for the reality I encountered in an Iranian prison. I learned what many Iranians already know: The regime’s hostility toward the U.S. isn’t reactive, but proactive, rooted in a fierce anti-Americanism enmeshed in its anti-imperialist ideology. As I witnessed firsthand, Tehran isn’t interested in normalizing relations with Washington. It survives and thrives on its self-perpetuated hostility against the West; a posture that has been integral to the regime’s identity.

The regime didn’t regard President Obama’s engagement as a goodwill gesture, but rather as an “iron fist under a velvet glove.” Iran’s revolutionary regime retains power through conspiracy and intrigue, and views everything through that lens. The notion that it will be difficult for the U.S. to regain Iran’s trust after quitting the JCPOA is incorrect. The Iranian regime has never trusted the U.S., and never will.

When I was being interrogated in Evin Prison in summer 2016, my interrogator boasted that he and his hard-line colleagues were eager to see Donald Trump elected, not because the regime viewed him as the type of pragmatic leader they could deal with, but because it would justify a more confrontational stance against the Great Satan.

The menace of the Islamic Republic can’t be appeased. It must be countered and restrained. Only the U.S. has the capacity to lead such an endeavor. For 42 years Iran has demonstrated that it changes its behavior only in response to strength in the form of American-led international pressure. If the Biden administration returns to the JCPOA without extracting concessions from Tehran beyond the nuclear threat, it will relinquish all U.S. leverage over the regime.

Diplomacy can’t succeed without leverage. Only by showing strength of will can President Biden hope for genuine progress in containing the Iranian threat to peace.

Mr. Wang is a doctoral candidate in history at Princeton and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Appeared in the February 25, 2021, print edition.



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Program on Egypt. Video Into the Hands of Soldiers

Al Arabaya, an affiliate of Al Jazeera presented a very good video entitled Into the Arms of Soldiers, a book written by David Kirkpatrick, a New York Times correspondent, shown a few days ago. In the video I participated in a moderate amount and as usual much of what I had to say was not in the program. This is normal of course, Al Jazeera has its own gospel to peddle just like The Washington Post and New York  Times, and in its own way it probably less dishonest than either the WaPO or NYT. It is a mouthpiece of the Qatari Royal Family and a very professional one. It is favorable disposed toward the Muslim Brotherhood and viscerally opposed to the regime of general Al Sisi in Egypt. It was highly enthused by the revolution which deposed Hosni Mubarak but very unhappy with the military “coup” or second revolution  ( depending on your viewpoint) which deposed the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed  Morsi  almost a year later. The program is at


I appear at 7.3, 11.23 ands 17.39 to dispense my wisdom. Basically the words I was allowed to say were important, but not what I thought was most important.  In the program I depicted, quite accurately, the Obama administration policy toward Egypt as incoherent and disastrous for the overall image of the United States in the Middle East. The  various would be  managers of our policy toward the Mubarak, Morsi and al Sisi regimes all had Lone Ranger ideas toward Egypt and the Middle East. Obama was asleep at the wheel  and there was no firm leadership to conduct a sensible policy toward the Middle East.

Obama in one of his first trips overseas was to Egypt to presumably “reset” our policy toward the Middle East. According to an Egyptian writer Tareq Heggy, Obama was received as a “rock star”  by the Egyptian audience. As the months worn on, however,  the adulation turned to contempt, especially because of  his wishy-washy policies toward Syria  and Egypt, and later his subservience to Iranian pretensions.  Ben Rhodes, the aspiring novelist, celebrity wannabe, and deputy National security advisor under Obama, parading as a foreign policy expert,  was in accord with Obama’s view of the future They saw the Muslim Brotherhood as the dawn of a new Middle East,  which with proper  guidance would be “people we can work with.” Clinton, Kerry and General Dempsey,  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff who also viewed himself as an expert in Middle East affairs, all had conflicting views.

This was part of the overwhelming hubris of Obama and his advisors in dealing with the Middle East, in which they saw themselves as experts but were in reality clueless. His expeditious  and senseless evacuation of troops from Iraq, leading to the near triumph of the ISIS, was only one facet of his hapless policy toward the Arab World.

The points I wanted to make were these;

The military leadership involved in industry, commerce, or politics always has a grave deleterious effect on the capabilities and effectiveness of the military. The Egyptian army has shown in its campaigns against the Islamists in Sinai, that its effectiveness has suffered a great deal

The army is not the only problem. The extremely powerful intelligence community of Egypt first created by President Nasser, has the dossier on every business, military, political, and religious figure in Egypt. To a large extent they form the backbone of the deep state that overturned Mubarak after he became a burden, and put al Sisi in power.

The book Into the Hands of Soldiers, by Kirkpatrick, was a good reporting narrative, but it lacked an analysis of the military.  A Far better  and evenly balanced book was Inside Egypt by John Bradley. The best analysis of why the 2011 revolution failed is depicted by Samuel Tadros, Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt.

Other books I suggested but were not in the presentation are.

Militarizing the Nation by Zeinab Abu-Magd

Once upon a Revolution by Thanassis Cambanis

The Egyptian Military in Popular Culture, by Dalia Said Mostafa

A History of the Egyptian Intelligence Service by Owen Sirrs

Soldiers, Spies, and Statesmen: Egypts Road to Revolt by Hazem  Kandil









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The Palestinian Issue Arises Once More

For quite some time the Palestinian issue has been relegated to a secondary importance  as the ISIS, the Arab Spring, the wars in Syria and Iraq, and basic instability throughout the Arab World has edged it out of the International attention. This has been a basic departure from the mind- numbing  torrent of news, opinions,  analyses, that characterized the Palestinian issue for decades, as the Fedayeen guerrilla fighter, or terrorist, was gracing the covers of European and American publications. It  was an era  in which it became an axiom that “freedom fighters” were destined to win, in that journalists conflated  the struggle in Palestine to that being waged against colonialists throughout Africa and  corrupt dictatorships of South America.  The Franz Fanons and Che Guevaras of the world were lauded as the men of the future. The sentimentality in which the Western intellectuals, aided by a generally ignorant media-  confusing fashion for facts- viewed  the guerrilla wars throughout the world, generally distorted the reality of these wars.   Often led, as they were, by upper class elitists who scrupulously avoided any combat themselves,  they fitted in with the zeitgeist of the era. They were won, not by insurgent superior proficiency in strategy , tactics, or will to win, but more often  through the  weaknesses and lack of will of the colonial, and despotic  regimes. The British, Spanish, French, and Portuguese simply decided the colonial possessions were not worth the cost in casualties or money.


Now the issue is re- emerging as the Palestinian authorities in Gaza and the Palestinian  “state” in the West Bank are trying to mend fences and present a more united front to bargain (or war) against the Israelis. To be sure there has been no diminution of feeling or desire among the Palestinians for an independent state, and as the opinion surveys always show, there is little enthusiasm for a Palestinian Arab state alongside a Jewish state. So the existentialism of the struggle, Muslim versus Jewish, continues unabated, despite the pathetic attempts of every American administration to broker some sort of lasting “peace.” Many Israelis see the famous Oslo agreements as the crux of todays problem, giving away too much of  Israeli concerns, and Palestinian activists  see it as only a veneer covering the objective of a united Arab Palestinian state, built on the ruins of a Zionist state.

Realistic analysts of the struggle try to inject reality, generally to deaf ears, depicting the picture of a political and cultural environment in which Palestinians and Israelis live in separate worlds. There is no real common ground, despite occasional human interest stories to the contrary. At a conference a few years ago, a  young Palestinian scholar pointed out that every  square yard of the contested land has a Jewish name and a Muslim Arab name. They have no common vocabulary, even if some  Israelis speak Arabic and some Arabs speak Hebrew. In certain urban area areas, Israelis and Palestinians live cheek by jowl but have minimal, if any neighborly communication. They avoid each other like the plague.

Since the early days of the  Jewish – Arab conflict, the Palestinians have always been divided into clans , political factions, and hitching their fortunes to fickle or unstable bigger Allies, like the USSR, Iraq, or Nasser’s Egypt. An early clan rivalry, the Nashabhibi-Hussaini battle divided the Palestinians  just as the Gaza – Palestinian National Authority (PNA) conflict does  today.

The two Palestinian enclaves have been divided since 1948 war of Israeli independence. They have been separated  for a half century. While the Gaza enclave has been virtually isolated with only minimal contact with an unfriendly Egyptian government,  most recently virtually fenced off from any contact at all, the PNA segment has been more exposed to Western influence through the Israelis, and a number of international agencies and a more  westernized Jordan.

Despite their physical separation the PNA regime governed Gaza until the battle of Gaza in 2007 in which the corrupt PNA government was bloodily  ejected by the HAMAS and Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ).  HAMAS is a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot and the  PIJ is an even more radical offspring of the Islamist movement. Since that time Islamic law has been the  governing legal environment of  Gaza- a sort of  Sunni version of the Shi’a rule in Iran.  The ejection of the PNA was the inevitable result of the endemic corruption of the Palestinian Liberation Organization ( PLO)  under Yasir Arafat. In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected president for a five year term but it has turned into a “president for Life ” job as reconciliation efforts always failed.

Under the benevolent auspices of the new ottoman Sultan of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, this past fall, the two enclaves were encouraged to mend fences and as a result new elections have been set up with the Palestinian Legislative Council  (PLC)on 22 May 2021, and the presidency on 31 July 2021.  The PLC like most Arab parliaments have very little power, which is mostly placed in the presidency.

Likely Results

Hamas will win the presidency and probably the PLC as well as the Palestinian folks are fed up with the corruption and incompetence off the PNA. Public opinion surveys quite definitely say that compromise with Israel is a non starter and almost half say they want war again. But of course, they say many things which  fit into the mode  of Palestinian politically correct language. Almost all say they must return to 1948 borders ( West Bank) which was in the hands of Jordan ( they have subsequently washed their hands of ruling Palestine again).

So What will this mean in practical terms? Very little  for a number of reasons; political, cultural ,and outside influences. 

  1. Political. As one of my favorite writers, Malcolm Muggeridge  observed, “I have never really been able to understand how anyone can believe in the possibility of compromise  in the matters of power , which is an absolutist passion.”  An integral factor in the eternal conflict of the Arabs, which Rapheal Patai  ( The Arab Mind) described as their dualism and proneness to conflict, is evident in Palestinian history. An important factor here is the Palestinian Security Forces ( PSF). This internal security force is lauded by the liberal observers as a force for peace  in the occupied PNA areas. However, this notion is severely tested by the fact that in Ifitadah II, (Palestinian Uprisingsagainst the Israelis in beginning in  2000) the primary force used by the Palestinians was the PSF. Since that time the PSF has been primarily  a domestic security force to keep President Mahmoud Abbas in power, killing and detaining sympathizers of the Islamist regime in Gaza. The US has had a prominent role in training and financing the PSF in the belief that this favored the peace between Israel and Palestine. In that 15 years has passed without another bloody intifada, there is a good argument for this role of PSF.  However  it bodes poorly for any integration of Gaza and the PNA.    It has been a force tied to the fortunes of the PNA and for the last 13 years has been mostly employed in eliminating rivals to Mahmoud Abbas. How they will accept an Islamist president from Gaza is a very critical question. My opinion is they will not!  I base that on the two years I did briefings for American trainers ( mostly ex-law enforcement people) going to monitor training given to the PSF. The PSF, with about ten battalions including a “presidential guard battalion” is a force for the PNA, by the PNA, and of the PNA.
  2. Culturally.  From biblical times were has been a cultural and to some degree ethnic difference between the Arabs of Gaza and those of the West Bank ( or Galilee , Judea,  and Samaria as the Israelis choose to call it) . Some research points to a definite difference  in  origins of the two  groups of Palestinians. The West Bank Palestinians  were referred to as “mountain Arabs,” the original inhabitants of the region while the Arabs of the Gaza were referred to as “coastal Plains  Arabs,” who are a collection of clans that at some point emigrated into the Gaza Strip from other parts of the Middle East. Hence , according to these scholars, they have a weaker social structure and less cohesiveness than those of the West Bank. Obviously, the half century of isolation from the West Bank and and the pervasiveness of Islamist thinking in the  education system  has had an imprint of considerable importance on society.
  3. Internationally. The Islamist regime of Gaza has been a favorite of the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood regime of Erdogan but at the same time, The Iranians have made inroads into the Sunni Arab Gazan military forces.  Admiration for the Iranian successes …real or imagined…have had an impressive effect on Arab imagination, spurred by the  Qassem Solemani effect. The West will be primarily pushing to keep the PNA breathing and hopefully keeping the peace , however tenuous  it may be, with Israel.   So as usual, the Palestinians will use and be used by contending outside Arab and international interests.







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The Legal Spy; My Time as Military Attache in Jordan 1970-1972. Part two

After months of sporadic clashes between the Jordanian Arab Army and the fedayeen, the inevitable showdown was hastened by the Popular Front for Palestine (PFLP) hijacking the aircraft and flying into Dawson Field which was promptly  renamed the al Thawra  (revolutionary) airfield by the Fedayeen (6 September 1970) the Palestinians, by holding   the hostages,  had control of the airfield with the  Jordan Arab Army (JAA) forming an outer circle around the airfield. Ambassador Brown arrived at the embassy and we were instructed to gather there.

top. Myself with Ambassador Brown.  Haircuts were not easy to get.Bottom. Wife on right, Me and Ambassador Brown’s wife greeting someone

The Defense Attache Office was in an outlying building about 100 yards away and the area was controlled by the fedayeen. Eventually one by one we sprinted from the DAO building to the Embassy and remained there throughout the siege crisis. At the embassy we had a squad of Bedouin soldiers from the Ministry of Interior. They were stalwart loyal troops. When they heard the Jordanian National anthem played on the radio they got to their feet and stood at attention. They were continually shot at by snipers in addition to occasional mortar  rounds. One was hit in the leg and we brought him inside the embassy. Amidst  his loud lamentations and prayers, the Embassy Security Officer patched him up, and later an an armored personnel carrier got through to pick him up and  he was transported to the army hospital.

Portrait of Hume Horan, former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia before the Saudi government asked him to leave after making comments they didn’t like. read more about him at; Political officer and Arabist extraordinaire



We had a contingent of Marine guards, but they generally were stationed inside the embassy. The marines performed a valuable service giving us a sense of security as well as a myriad of other duties. As our isolated time in the Embassy went on we discovered the problem of water. Food was plentiful. We had plenty of C-rations and canned food but not much water. The water system, which only worked sporadically in the best of times,  was supplemented by water trucks that came and filled the water tank on the roof. The water trucks no longer arrived and the water tank on the roof was riddled with bullet holes and fragmentation damage from the mortars that hit the building…thanks to the stone structure did very little damage.

The Book written by Jack O’ Connell. He was tight with the King an d had faith in the JAA when few in DOS or CIA did.



We needed water not just for drinking but also cooking and most of all keeping the commodes working.  so the Marines went out at night and foraged through the houses in the neighborhood homes, mostly unoccupied as the people fled the area,  to get cans of water. In one case they ran into some fedayeen occupying a house. Oddly there was no confrontation. One  marine (We were all in civilian clothing) calmly  told them they needed the water, and the Fedayeen said they had no quarrel with Americans only the Jordanian Army. That was only partially true, of course. The PFLP, PDFLP and PFLP-GC targeted Americans.

George Habash leader of the PFLP as a graduate of the American University of Beirut

At this time a curious incident occurred.  A deserter from the US  Army in Europe showed up at the embassy to renounce his citizenship. He was Palestinian American  and wanted to fight for the Fedayeen.  I later heard, after the war, he wanted to undo his action but Im not sure he was able to do so.

Nayef Hawatmeh leader of the PDFLP

The problem of sorting out who was who among the Fedayeen was a vital part of staying alive. My driver saved me a number of times by avoiding PFLP or PDFLP checkpoints. They normally flew the flag of their organization at the checkpoints.  Both organizations were headed by Christians and were by far the most extreme organizations  following a radical marxist line. The Fateh, the main  organization within the PLO, was normally semi-disciplined and after some bullshit  interrogation, hurling American slang insults…. to impress the girls standing around……normally let us pass. One Sergeant assigned to the embassy was taken by the PFLP and kept in a tiger cage for a few days. He was later released under the terms of one of the umpteen peace pacts between King  Hussein and Arafat.

Al Hussein Refugee camp Note that the usual tent city has evolved into stone houses and an urban jungle

Digression. After the JAA took control Amman it was found that my driver had given the Fedayeen sketches of the DAO office. He was fired but some months  after, as  I came out of my house,  he was literally on his knees begging  for his job back. He had a family and lived in a refugee camp totally controlled by the Fedayeen. What would any person have done in his situation?  I asked the  security folks in the embassy to rehire him but they refused.

On 16 September the JAA moved against the Fedayeen. One can read a number of reasons why the King finally acquiesced to the demands of the army, as for months he had been submitting to the demands of the Fedayeen, even dismissing relatives and favorites in the military to meet Fedayeen ultimatums.  I know our CIA chief pushed him to move against the Fedayeen, and the army down to last private were staining at the leash to take on the Fedayeen, making it obvious they were going  to move against them with the King or without him.

PLK the Plucky little King


The CIA chief was receiving very little information or instructions from Langley,  and as usual the State was having discussions, conferences, round tables and doing nothing.   Finally on the morning of the 16th of September the roar of artillery and explosions were deafening. The JAA went on the offensive  shelling the Fedayeen strongholds which were, of course, in the middle of civilian neighborhoods.There were no plans to evacuate the civilians from the Fedayeen neighborhoods and the Fedayeen were happy to keep them there as bait for the journalists seeking  cover JAA “atrocities.” To be sure there was bad blood  and no doubt neither side paid much attention to the laws of war.  My friends in the  JAA armor told me that they would  pull down the trousers of  captured Fedayeen and set them of the rear engines of their tanks. People were killed on the basis of their accent…the bedouin dialect being detectable from the west bank Palestinian. One example of the intense animosity between the PLO and the JAA was the fact that toward the end of the PLO insurrection, surviving Fedayeen. waded across the Jordan River to surrender to the Israelis  rather than the JAA

Captain Sayil of the second armored car regiment. My best buddy having a few in the desert


From our perch on Jebel Luweideh  we clearly see the advance of the JAA up the Palestinian stronghold on Ashrafiah. They were being stoutly resisted by the Fedayeen and the  m-48 tanks were being hit by RPG’s and getting knocked out. Amman is a city of stone and even the 106 Recoilless  Rifles  rounds were bouncing off the stone houses.

The King with his officers



The JAA, composed mostly of East bank Jordanians, were untrained in urban warfare and resorted to indiscriminate shelling and the use of the twin barrel Bofors 40 mm guns  mounted in tandem on an APC to pour fire into the refugee camp. However this was not a camp of tents. The camp had been there so long it had evolved into a stone house community, and despite the shelling  not a lot of visible  damage was apparent. There were considerable civilian casualties however and the journalists hyped the action to a frenzy in news print .”Amman on fire with Bedouin soldiers raping and looting” read  Newsweek. Journalists, as usual, were getting most of their information at the bar at the Intercontinental hotel. The JAA  and the  Government of Jordan (GOJ )was incompetent on press relations and the journalists  got all their information from the Fedayeen spokesmen.. some of whom were very slick and Western educated. We, being holed up in the embassy without any phone service, were out of the picture.

Hawker Hunter used against the Syrians in 71

The operation lasted 10 days and as the mortaring  and sniping at  the Embassy went on, we were issued M1A Carbines.  Not everyone took them but I must say the feel of the rifle and a pocket full of ammo made me  feel more confident.  A few days into the siege one of the secretaries and I were looking out the window ( all were shattered by then) when a round hit just a few inches from the ledge, spraying cinders into the secretary’s face  and mine. The cinders  were in my eyes and a  made few small cuts on my face. As I write this I am thinking that had I been  in Vietnam I would have received a John Kerry Purple Heart.

On 20 September , The Syrians invaded  north Jordan support of the Palestinians using armor with hastily repainted PLO  colors and flags. It was aimed at supporting a “free State” created in Irbid. Meanwhile there was an Iraqi Division-size force  sitting in the desert east of Amman. It  was expected that they too would join the Palestinians. Things were looking very poor for Jordan.  At this point, with American support  questionable and the British  and European governments wimping their way towards an understanding with the Palestinians…..and many Israelis saying “no problem….Jordan can become the Palestinian state they want,” Golda Meier indomitable as always, however  refused. She had met the PLK ( Plucky Little King.. as the Brits referred to him) on an Island in the Gulf of Aqaba earlier in 1969. According to Jack O’Connell in his book King’s Counsel, they had a  great social gathering.

One Tough Lady Golda Meier

Among the things  us military folks and the Marines were doing in the embassy was destroying all documents. One of the “burn before reading” messages  I saw was a message from King Hussein to Golda Meier  channeled through American communications asking for support. There was a full paragraph of personal endearments and warm words in the typical Arab florid style.  I do not know the response, but as its happened, It seems that King Hussein, rightly or wrongly, was confident of Israeli support and  loosed  his Air Force  on the Syrians, knocking out many tanks (according to  Ihsan (Sam) Shordom),  a fellow I knew well, and the  RJAF  top ace. He called it a “Turkey Shoot.” The Syrians did not put up their air force, grounded by  fratricidal Syrian politics and a well founded fear that the Israelis would shoot them down. The Syrians retreated in ignominy, and Hafez Assad the Syrian  Air Force chief who had disobeyed orders of the Syrian Government  to put up their Air Force, used  the Syrian humiliation to become  the President of Syria.

Note: Despite claims the Jordanians had destroyed up to Syrian 75 armored vehicles   when I went up to the Irbid area I couldn’t find any knocked out armor but was told the Jordanians allowed the Syrians to drag them back across the border.

Digression. One  can read all sorts of palaver and wringing of hands in the Western capitols on what was  to be  done to save Jordan or  whether it was worth it. The  Airborne Bde. was alerted in Italy for deployment to save Americans in Jordan ,: there were shipment of arms to Tel Aviv and Evacuation plans for being discussed for the Americans left in Amman. etc.  In fact at that time I knew very little or do not remember much about this.I was getting tons of messages requesting info on topographic features, port facilities, hyway  characteristics.  I was lucky in that I had been in Jordan a couple of times before and had at least a general idea of what was needed.  The recipients of my information were more grateful that they should have been.  Actually the intel folks who  labored  in Arlington Hall, gathering details were in my experience the super Intel people.  For example, Little old ladies spent all their time analyzing and putting together detailed info on the hyways in Jordan….no long treatises on the likely  future of some obscure Fedayeen organization.

Finally the US got into the act and we were told to ask the GOJ  what they needed. The list we receivedcould have outfitted the  Soviet army for a decade. What they got was a lot of small  and medium arms and tons of ammunition. It had to be flown in of course and the regular  Amman airport was still of questionable safety. So the new Air Force MAP ( Military Assistance Program), LTC Ted, a salt of the earth guy, and myself were flown by a RJAF helicopter to several sites in the desert. There colonel Ted using a pocket knife stuck it in the  ground to see if the salt flat would support a heavily loaded  C-141. Finally he decided the best place would be to use the  the Dawson Airfield, renamed the Thawra airfield  by the Fedayeen and which we remained the Raja’iyya  ( reactionary) airfield.

.Also as it turned out the Iraqis -for much debated reasons – were observed to be withdrawing their troops from Jordan and as  the Jordanian army was  overrunning Fedayeen bases and units—-and only tepid support from President Nasser of Egypt, forthcoming,  Arafat decided to come to terms.. So under the weary eye of President Nasser in Cairo, Hussein and Arafat basically agreed to a pact which ended Palestinian hopes of overthrowing the  Hashemite regime. Next day 28 September Nasser died. I had not heard the news but went I went out of the embassy to test the new peaceful atmosphere, I saw all these black flags flying from the homes. Mostly from the homes of Palestinians since most East bank Jordanians had little sadness for  his death.

A few weeks later,  the “Amman agreement” was signed which ended the Palestinian state within a state. and their arms were to be handed over to the GOJ. As the military attache it was my job and see if this was actually being carried out. That was a spooky job since I was driving  alone in a rented Volkswagen…….. thankfully without  diplomatic plates. Going into parts of Amman I had been warned by my JAA friends to never enter, was to say the least, stressful.Driving around the  urban jungle,  such as downtown Amman,  known enemy territory  and especially when you know you are not welcome, is downright unsettling.. I received quite a few scowls and distasteful grimaces but the armed fedayeen were gone to ground.

Fedayeen who waded across Jordan River to surrender to Israelis rather than face wrath of JAA

But I did actually observe that some arms collection was taking place, although I had doubts that many were collected. In fact the clashes between the JAA and various groups of Fedayeen continued until June  1971 in the Ajlun area. My next mission was to ascertain if  in fact the Iraqis were withdrawing. That was  easy, as I drove out toward the   Iraqi encampments, I could follow the line of their withdrawal by the numerous broken down vehicles  pointing eastward for many miles. The withdrawal of the Iraqis took then wind out of the Palestinian sails.

Emerging from the embassy was like emerging from Hitler’s bunker and seeing that the General Walter Wenks XII army had reached Berlin and driven the Russians all the way  back to the Caucasus. The fresh air and the smell of musakhan, my favorite Palestinian dish wafted in the breeze. After a year of sporadic violence, in which children were constantly  being picked up from school as soon as the shooting began,  Amman sprang to life. Jordanians were a people  who did not depend on government largesse, and families worked together to set up shop and get on with their lives.

The US army  sent in a MASH unit to handle Jordanian, Palestinian, and civilian  casualties, and the USAF sent in a surgical unit as well. They set up in. an amazingly short time and was the best thing we did for Jordan. It made me proud what the military can do if freed of political indecision.

The C-141 airlift was coming in the Dawson field,  and renamed by us embassy military folks  as Rajaiy’ya  (reactionary)  airfield was given  a high tech radio and a frequency to contact the aircraft going in but I was only able to contact one and I realized I had nothing tell him.

After a time families began to return and mine came in from Beirut. Also I received a new boss.  Col M was a strait forward  armor officer, not quite comfortable as attache in a culture that was mysterious  to him. However he was a very professional and a  good boss. He listened to what we had to say.  He began to inject some order into the Defense Attache Office, after months of free wheeling activity. My own activities were somewhat  curtailed, such as several hours  day at the cite sportive, swimming, playing squash, a game I loved, and tennis which I did not… and talking  and listening to what the word on the street was.

I spent many hours in the desert with   Sayil, Mejid, Adil,  Nayil, and  several other Bedouin  and Circassian officers, most of whom were in the armored car regiment that surrounded the palace or were  special forces.We went out drank beer, and fired various weapons to argue about their capabilities, the G-3, the M-14, the AK-47. The M-16 had not arrived there yet. Nayil from As Salt loved Tom Jones music and played it constantly in his car. He also enjoyed firing his AK 47 from his balcony sending the war weary citizens  scurrying for cover.I never quite used to the Jordanian  officers drinking scotch  shooting and then  replacing their pistols in the holster with the hammer to the rear.. But of course InShAllah.. all will be well.


I finally convinced my boss that an hour in the office is a wasted hour. , An attache has to be out driving around, talking to people, going  hunting in the  Azraq marshes….. and most beneficial going to parties and giving parties. There seems an American cultural trait that if one has fun in his work he  can’t be doing a good job.  He finally agreed with  some reservations. The colonel who was a bachelor was not comfortable at social occasions and gave me his representational money, which combined with mine, enabled me to put on some really  extravaganza  parties, made more attractive to the young Jordanian officers by the presence of the winsome Greek girls who were airline hostesses for Jordanian Air Lines. The abundance of beer and  scotch, with boxes of American cigarettes were great inducements.   Plus we had a fantastic Palestinian cook, Ali, a celebrity cook who once worked for the Belgian Ambassador. He began to mingle with guests as Jordanian ladies tried to hire him away from us.  The family  loved the guy, who lived in a refugee camp and had eight daughters. He never seemed to hear the cannon announcing the time for Iftar during Ramadan and when he asked my daughters they always assured him they had heard it. Of course  half way through his meal it sounded.

The Bedouin officers did not come to these parties, being cautious about drinking alcohol in front of non  tribal officers. Most of the officers who attended were Air Force and more sophisticated combat service support  types. Sometimes the Junior Pakistani officers from their training team came but they would not touch alcohol. Their commander General Zia al Haq, who later  became the president of Pakistan ( and was later assassinated in a plane crash) never attended the parties  but I spent quite a bit of time with him. I found him to be more British than the British.;  Immaculately groomed, articulate, and a great leader. I use to play (badly) tennis with him and enjoyed his company. I never recognized the man so vilified later in the Western press. At one point in the civil war, Zia took command of a Jordanian division, when the Jordanian commander  abandoned his post. (There were a number of Palestinian  desertions during the war, but less than anticipated.)

Well after a year, we settled down to a more usual function of embassy personnel. There were lots of parades, conferences,. diplomatic functions to attend. I remember one in particular when the military attaches were taken out to the desert for some exhibition and Tahseen  Shordom , a good drinking buddy of mine,  and the Circassian commander of the Special Forces invited  me to rappel  off a cliff. Thanks to my Ranger training I did so but with a typical Arab addition…. Tahseen firing his ak-47  hitting  on either side of me as I rappelled down. I was worried about ricochets but tried not to show it.

My fellow military attaches were a mixed lot. The French attache built up my ego by bringing his report, to be sent to Paris , to be vetted by me. The Taiwan attache retired and opened a restaurant. The Russian Attache was a drunk and routinely pinched the rear end of comely Attache wives. His assistant spoke Arabic very well but seemed to suffer from angst that I spoke it better. I didn’t.  But the Jordanians always told him I did. The Iraqis were sullen, uncommunicative assholes.  It doesn’t pain a bit to know they were probably executed in one of the numerous coups.The Iranian was nice but obviously not happy in his assignment. The Indian was a Colonel Bogie type and  like many British educated Indians  knew everything about everything.  I remember he once dashed triumphantly into my office with a piece of paper detailing the tail numbers of  Pakistani F-104’s shot down by the Indians in the 1971 war. They were aircraft we had given to the Jordanians with the stipulation that were not to be conveyed to any other country.  Yo Hum so what else is new?  The British were …… British. Envious that   Glubb Pasha  had been replaced by us amateur Americans.  I like their style. I’m a bit of an anglophile…despite the disdain  in which they seem to view us.

Zia al Haq head of Pakistani Training mission in Jordan

I did enjoy the parties thrown by Princess Muna, the King’s second wife, a  very nice  British lady in which dodge ball was the primary event, but I did care  much  for the silly British games. One in particular  was  the parties thrown by the British air attache ( without Jordanians) in which  the wives  were standing on chairs and their blindfolded  husbands  would go down the line feeling the ladies legs to see if they could identify their wife. Generally  the American  wives were too prudish or sober (or both) to take part.

princess Muna with future King Abdullah looking at Camera

Well…. all good things come to an end and it came time to go back to the real army.  Anyway the routine of diplomatic receptions and attending official functions  was a comedown from  my previous more exciting experiences, but I did learn  a few  more things , one from the British military attache. It was always a chore coming up with what to say to the  people coming through a reception line, and I learned from the British colonel that it is immaterial to speak anything intelligible when greeting the  guests. He just smiled and with a boisterous voice  and a hearty and congenial disposition  spoke some unknown tongue…HOWHEWAHOWNICEHEWHO.

I cannot to say I added much to the Jordanian  triumph although I was able to make the PLO hit list along with Jack O’Connell. In retrospect, I relate my time there to the hilarious  story of Malcolm Muggeridge  in some obscure African Portuguese colony  during WWII as an agent in Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Despite his justifiably humble recounting of his service there, he was amused to find in the German intelligence files after the war, how the Germans  had him identified as a master spy with agents over all of Africa. I wonder what the Russkies wrote about me? A master  linguist and James Bond super spy?

Queen Alia. Killed in helicopter crash


Anyway  when I revisited  Jordan  several times, years later, it was not the same.  One old friend had just been released from jail for allegedly having compromising photos of Queen Alia before she became the wife of the King. He looked like a ghost. We had met Alia…  Pre-Queen days…. at a picnic one time and  she was indeed a vivacious,  “forward thinking” and attractive woman. Another friend was in prison for trying to sell information to the Libyans.  Amman now had glassy  shopping malls, American fast foods, Islamists  had replaced the marxists as the primary pain in the ass, and the young gallants had nargillas  (water pipes) mounted in their Mercedes.  Many of the young ladies in miniskirts common in  the seventies, were now pretending to be holier than A’isha the Prophets (PBUN)  favorite wife. As Thomas Wolfe wrote, You Can’t go Home Again.

Oh BTW… Why the “legal spy.” At a reception General Sharif  Zayd Bin Shaker, Commander of the JAA  introducing embassy staff to guests pointed me out and told then I was the “legal spy.”

Sharif bin Shaker. Cousin of the King and bee noir of PLO












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The Legal Spy; My time as Army attache in Jordan 70- 72; Part 0ne

Well it all began in about July of 1970. I had received orders to report to the Defense  Intelligence Agency for a new assignment in Washington, but before we departed we prepared for one more trip- to Israel wrapping up my wonderful tour at the American University of Beirut after 2 1/2 years in the Arab Studies  MA program and my Foreign Area Specialty assignment. We… my wife and I… left our little darlings  with Therese, a very young,  very excellent maid, baby sitter, and Lebanese guide into the  intricate labyrinth  of Lebanon.  We flew to Cyprus and then to Tel Aviv. We had to use a piece of insert paper in our passport  for entrance into Israel. When we exited Israel they would stamp the piece of paper and take it…therefore no Israeli stamp in our visa…part of the  make believe world the Arabs live in.

In out visit to the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Army Attache there told me that my orders had been changed. The Army Attache in Jordan,  Major Bob Perry had been murdered by a gang of Palestinian thugs in his home in front of his wife and kids.

So we returned to Beirut and shortly thereafter I departed for Jordan. When I arrived in Amman the wives had already been evacuated and the new embassy personnel came without spouses.

Amman and parts of Jordan were in chaos, King Hussein had lost control of the situation and Palestinian thugs of the 12 different wings of the Palestinian Liberation Organization were patrolling the streets, setting up roadblocks, harassing residents and foreigners. the message below lays out the situation. The US  Embassy was also in disarray as the Ambassador had been declared persona non Grata and was not at the Embassy. The leadership at the Embassy…,. both State and military ……. did not inspire confidence..

The message from the Deputy at the Embassy pretty well lays out the situation. The Fedayeen were there Palestinian gangs roaming about creating chaos. The second memo was to Dr Kissinger concerning what we were too do about it, BTW The documents were declassified later.

Things going to hell in Amman
so what do we do about it? as it turned out not much.


I arrived in the Airport near Amman and went through two customs, one of the Government of Jordan (GOJ) and one of the PLO. A very strange situation and not reassuring. There upon  to the Embassy then located in Jebel Luweibdeh , a middle class mostly Palestinian neighborhood.  After desultory briefings and and briefs forecasting  a coming calamity,, I went to my quarters  in the up scale Jebel Amman. The home of the military boss. It was spacious and the Palestinian cook was a nice loyal fellow.l My boss in his hasty departure left behind his Saluki dog. He kept it on the roof. The cook would take it out for a walk with gunfire going every which a way. Once it got away and me and the cook chased it around the neighborhood  midst the fire works as the Jordanian Army exchanged fire with the fedayeen every night. The Saluki,  one of the fastest animals alive, was finally cornered and put back in his cage. We shipped it out on a military Aircraft a few days later,

Back in Beirut, since we had already given up our apartment near Hamra street, my wife with three kids, was walking the streets looking for l’Ajar, or a Louer, signs in the windows. There were no realtors one could turn to for help and as we military students at the Embassy were merely hanger ons,  there was very little help there.Happily she found one on Rue Mexique in the  Armenian district, with an accommodating concierge who was very protective.

In further narrative I will not mention all the names for obvious reasons  but the chaos continued until the new Ambassador, L Dean Brown arrived. Short of stature, but a  no nonsense, take charge kind of guy, he sent my boss and the Charge  packing immediately and new life came back into the embassy. However he did not come until later. For a long time, we at the Embassy were subjected to searches by the Ashbal( teenage fedayeen) carrying AK- 47’s with the safety off  sticking the weapon in our faces and asking the same stupid questions  day after day as we traveled back and forth from Embassy to home. At this time American media has absorbed the Guerrilla Ethos and  were enamored  of the Palestinian terrorist in his tailored tight fitting tiger fatigues. Many Western journalists were in town  to help build up their largely underserved reputation. On the rare occasion when anybody from the media asked our opinion it was never printed. Also I noticed many Scandinavian chicks arrived en mass to help the Palestinian refugees,  primarily by shacking up with the cool well attired  leaders . One found her way into my attache house courtesy of the  administrative  warrant  officer who had moved in with me. When she appeared at breakfast I told the WO to  send her back to the refugees  she was ostensively there to help.  The WO said he was getting information on the conditions on the refugee camps.

Anyway I am not writing this chronologically but as my dim memory recollects  the events.

At this point I should mention the name of the guy who kept Jordan in the win column for the US. Jack O’Connell was the CIA station chief and had a close relationship with King Hussein  and was a tough CIA type of the old school, quite different from the many  dilettantes that hang around Langley these days.  He had faith in the Jordanians and their army ( JAA) . When many at the top of the CIA, and of course the squishy State Dept., were advocating kissing up to the PLO, O’ Connell stayed the course. He said stick with the King.

Abu Ammar Arafat

As the new people came in to the Embassy I have to say that the State people were the top of the line. They spoke Arabic  better than me and knew the culture. One I have to mention. Hume Horan, the political officer was a quintessential Arabist. He would  enthrall   Jordanians with his recital of Arab poetry and most of all he was  a pragmatic Arabist, not one of those who act as facilitators for the inexplicably  stupid  things the Arab leaders  often do, and not go gooey when  the word “Arab” is mentioned.The secretaries were very courageous and stayed the course. They we’re older gracious ladies who blended well with the Jordanians.I especially admired the CIA admin lady who always spoke with authority with few words. Jack later married her.

Because of the special situation I was welcomed into into the top floor of the Embassy into the CIA inner sanctum without the  usual security clearances required. They were a bunch of hard working folks  and they knew what the Fedayeen were doing before their own rank and file did. They were the communication people and as the new Ambassador L Dean. Brown made it clear nothing went from the Embassy without his approval. The CIA often were lone riders, sending in their own opinions oblivious of the opinion of the Ambassador. In the Defense Attache course run by DIA,  ( which happily I avoided) they taught the use of the one time code (OTC)  which was to enable us military types to send sneaky cables without the Ambassador approval. I never knew how to use one.

Late King Hussein

The junior CIA guys were ex-military and terrific guys to work with. One was an ex-Naval officer, the other an ex-Marine. Since they were part of the covert side of C IA Im not sure I can use their  names, even though one has passed on and the other  I lost track of after he left the Agency. They had excellent contacts with the civilian and military Jordanians. We shared sources.  I had great contacts with Jordanian Bedouin officers and I was happy to share the info. This is rarely true in my other experiences. To be clear I was not a secret agent. I never asked questions. I just let them talk. If I was sober enough—since they talked the most when in the midst of heavy drinking bouts  in the  desert– I made a few mental notes.

Laila Khalid two time plane hijacker Her second attempt ended in her Jail time but she was released by a fearful British government.


Of course the King and Chairman Arafat had made a number of pacts to stop the violence- so many in fact that it became a joke… I ran out of fingers and toes counting the peace agreements. But every day the violence got worse and there were several attempts on the life of the King. Just driving to and from the Embassy became an  adventure. As the violence increased it became obvious a confrontation was coming. I sent a message to DIA relating what I observed when I was standing near a Bedouin  soldier and a Palestinian Toyota came by with one fedayeen manning a 12.7 machine gun, the Palestinian manning it gave a smile to the Bedouin  in a way to suggest a Kiss my ass attitude. The face of the Jordanian was one of contempt hatred, and a barely concealed urge to kill. So much for Arabism I thought.

Now in the military office we had me as the chief honcho, since my boss had been fired, and three military training officers and NCO’s.They were a gregarious bunch. Like most military training assistance  officers, they were not career oriented and therefore much more fun to work with.

At this time I should mention this is not a narrative of the Jordanian civil war… it has been   covered better in Clinton Bailey’s Jordanian Palestinian Challenge 1948-1983 and  Avi Shlaim’s Lion Of Jordan The life of King Hussein.

Anyway the the final straw was when one of the Palestinian organizations hijacked four aircraft, forcing  three  to land at Dawson’s field, a salt flat dirt airstrip in the s desert formerly used as an RAF dispersal field. After terrorizing the passengers, taking about 50 hostage they blew up the planes. The stage was set and at that time our new ambassador, Dean Brown arrived in an Armored personnel carrier.

Part two whenever



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