Prince Hassan Warns of World War III
Prince Hassan of Jordan has expressed fears that the current Middle East crisis may eventuate in “World War III.” He points to the Israeli murder of Sheikh Yassin, the renewed tensions between Hizbullah and Israel, the possibility of Syria and Iran being drawn in, and the general repercussions on countries in the region (Jordan’s population is about half Palestinian). He said that extremist voices in the region were rising, and that states were increasingly acting extra-legally.
Hassan has been angling for the vacant throne of Iraq, but appears to have lost out, since the interim constitution specifies that the country is a republic. It is hard to see his speech as any sort of continued campaigning for the job. Rather, it is more likely that he recognizes that the opportunity has passed, and he is free to speak his mind.
Hassan is no radical, and that he is speaking so apocalyptically shows the mood among some in the Arab elite. I don’t take it as a good sign.