"World leaders gather at King Hussein's funeral" was an outstanding corrective to the non-stop fawning over the dictator/king Hussein. I looked in vain in the international press for a single suggestion that he was, after all, he was an absolute monarch who did not tolerate dissent! You provided that and offered a brilliant portrait of Hussein and Jordan in historical context. Thank you again, you're the best.
You're always the best.
To the editor:
In the article, "World leaders gather at King Hussein's funeral," by Peter Symonds, 10 February 1999, a suspicion I have carried concerning Hussein became suddenly quite possible. From shows on public TV it was my understanding that during the 1967 war, Hussein led the Arab army single file down a road heading towards Israel. Hussein's obvious military blunder came after his extensive British military training. This single file military formation allowed Israeli jets to easily destroy the Arab army in one afternoon. The other five days of the war were merely formality.
In recent weeks I began to wonder if in fact Hussein had intentionally committed this blunder. It seemed unthinkable he would. That is, until I read the above mentioned article. Not only did he warn Israel of the 1973 surprise attack, he was on the US payroll and he was having secret talks for several years leading up to the 1967 war.
If he had been Japanese, Hussein would have committed suicide for the blunder in 1967. As an Arab, he would have been too ashamed to show his face in public. He appeared too intelligent to make such a blunder regardless.
Upon reading your article, I was able to reconcile what appeared to be conflicting indicators of the past. Hussein had either alone, or helped convince others, to surge into Israel. Either he would be successful and be a hero of the Arab people, or, he would be rewarded by Israel and the US for secretly setting up the Arab army for massacre. A kind of win-win strategy.