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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta WodnoMtey, February THE LETHBRIDOE Spunky ruler of Jordon West bank's return vital to Hussein By WILLIAM L. RYAN NEW YORK (AP) King Hussein of Jordan is scheduled to talk soon in Washington with President Nixon and other ad- ministration leaders about his Middle East country, a kingdom with a curious past and a doubtful future. The visit opens yet another chapter in a 20- year-old story of the perils of Hussein, who now may be subject to renewed and intense pressure. The spunky monarch has been reported dickering with Israel on arrangement for disengagement of forces and, while Egypt can get away with that sort of thing after the latest Mideast war, Hussein likely will be blistered by Arab elements who long have wanted to see him overthrown. For 20 years of the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan sat in the eye of a hurricane in the Arab world. Today the future of its nimble and scrappy king depends on whether he can get back from Israel that territory on the west bank of the Jordan River taken from him by Israel in 1967 As usual, the 37-year-old king is in a tough spot. He survived more than six perilous years without the west bank He still would be in danger even if he had it back, because he is a perennial target of Pale- stinian Arab elements implacably hostile to him But without the west bank under his crown he would have not much kingdom at all, nor would his throne have much reason for long- term survival. The story of Hussein's country is one of many examples of the enormous complexity and confusion of Arab East affairs. It goes back to the First World War and the rising against Turkish' rule by Arabs under Sherif Hussein of the Hejaz, an area of the Saudi Arabian peninsula. She- rif Hussein, great- grandfather of the present king, based his claim to authority on the lineage of his Hashem family, which he traced directly to the Prophet Mohammed. At British instigation, Sherif Hussein led a revolt against the Ottoman Empire, on the under- standing that Britain would help re-establish an Arab country to restore Arab self-respect after 400 years in Turkish thrall. The British failed to deliver. They and the French busily played power politics, dividing influence between their League of Nations mandates over the defeated territories. Hussein's sons had to settle for two minor kingdoms in ancient Mesopotamia. Britain installed the Sherif's son, Faisal, in Damascus, but the French kicked him out of Syria. He set himself up in Iraq at Baghdad. To the south, on the east side of the Jordan, Britain carved a new country and took another Hussein son, the Emir Abdullah, from his Bedouin tent and made him ruler of Transjordan under its protection. To the west, the British ran Palestine under a League mandate. Abdullah got nominal independence in 1946, though Britain still managed his army and for- eign affairs. Supporting him was a crack division of British-trained loyal Bedouins, the Arab Legion. In 1949, with Arabs and Jews locked in battle, Abdullah sent his legion across the Jordan and annexed the west bank bulge, at which point Transjordan became the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan. Abdullah thus signed his own death warrant. In 1951 in a Jerusalem mosque, a Palestinian assassin gunned him down as 15- year-old grandson of Hussein looked on. Hussein's father, Talal I, proved incompetent to rule and at 17 Hussein became king. Cultivated and British-educated, he had little in common with the dusty and illiterate Bedouins who would be his mainstay. He looked less a ruler than a playboy dedicated to fast cars and planes. But the ensuing years demonstrated Hussein's steel toughness. He survived plot after plot, some mounted by Palestin- Jostling for power in China could be at decisive stage KING HUSSEIN ian officers in his own Arab Legion. He survived the scheming of Syria and Egypt in the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser, who tried' hard to dethrone him. In the 1967 lightning war, Israel took the Arab sector of Jerusalem and the west bank from Hussein. The Israelis may have been prepared to leave Jordan territory intact if Hussein didn't join the war, but he did under pressure of all- Arab emotion, only to be defeated in three days. That created one of the toughest problems facing today's international peacemakers. By JOHN BURNS Special to The Herald PEKING The political struggle that is going on in China appears to have entered a new and possibly decisive phase with the sounding of a clarion call to the entire nation to close ranks behind chairman Mao Tse-tung in a battle to the finish with the forces of reaction. The summons, in an editorial that appeared in Saturday's edition of the People's Daily, raises fresh doubts as to whether the struggle can remain an orderly process under the tight control of the party or will erupt into turmoil and shake the country to its roots, as a similar campaign did during the 1966-69 cultural revolution. The party paper, in effect, threw down the gauntlet. By declaring unequivocally that the campaign is the personal brainchild of Mao, that its outcome is crucial to the future of socialism and that leaders at all levels of the party will be judged by their wllingness to enlist, it eliminated the middle ground and posted a challenge that will te hard for the most determined fence-sitter to ignore. By insisting the campaign cannot be waged successfully unless the masses of the people "rise in action" the editorial also appears to move the struggle into a realm in which it may be increasingly difficult for the party to chart the course and choose the tactic that implies that Mao may be seeking to outflank resistance by drawing directly on his massive support among the people, as he did during the cultural revolution. While clearly of the first importance, the editorial did not greatly enhance an Stsider's understanding of e purposes of the campaign. In form, it was yet another essay on the necessity of criticizing 'the ancient sage Confucius and his alleged discipline, Lin Piao. But there was nothing to suggest who constitutes the real target of the allegory on the contemporary political scene. Lin Piao is said to have died uf an aircraft crash that followed an abortive attempt to assassinate Mao 28 months ago Since it is not the habit of the party's ideological spear carriers to do battle with ghosts, it is a logical deduction that the campaign is aimed at elements on the current scene who are seized with the same reactionary ideas that are supposed to have inspired Lin's plot and brought about his demise The Chinese object strenuously to interpretations of the political scene that suggest a hostling for power at the top, and officials have said flatly that those who see the current campaign as a mask for a major power struggle are mistaken. However, the history of conflict within the party is that the possibility of new casualties even prominent ones cannot be ruled out. The examples that are cited show just how careful officials will, have to be if they are not to run afoul of the campaign. The management of a chemical fertilizer plant in Lanchow were criticized for proposing that every worker be given a free teapot as a reward for filling the production, the workers refused. And the men responsible for running a wharf in Shanghai were hauled over the coals for urging the workers to accept cash bonuses the workers not only refused, but demanded the privilege of working overtime for nothing It is difficult to conceive of local managements proposing such improbity unless they sensed that there was a willingness to tolerate it among the officials who man the ramparts of the economy The best to you from Palm. Cottage Cheese. rrv PRLM PALM DAIRIES LIMITED beauty aids, and many other needs COFFEE Edwards Regular, or Etac. Perc. Grind Vac Pak Ib. tin BREAD Pionaor Mill White or Brown Sliced 20 oz. not wt. 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