Caroline Glick, in a column in the Jerusalem Post entitled "Slouching Towards Tehran," notes that Jordan's King Abdullah II was one of the first world leaders to sound an alarm regarding Iran, warning in 2004 of a "Shi'ite crescent," extending from Iran to Iraq and then through Syria to Lebanon. As recently as 2009, according to State Department communication disclosed by Wikileaks, U.S. Ambassador to Jordan R. Stephen Beecroft reported that a Jordanian Senator, Said Rifai, had beseeched, “Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb. Sanctions, carrots, incentives won’t matter.”
However, two weeks ago, Ms. Glick notes, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, the chief of staff of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met with King Abdullah Amman and extended a formal invitation from Ahmadinejad for him to pay a state visit to Iran. His Hashemite Majesty accepted the invitation.
What happened to erode King Abdullah's former defiance of the Tehran mullahs? The Obama Administration. The Jordanian monarch watched President Obama's feckless efforts to engage the Islamic Republic in Iran in dialogue and diplomacy. According to the Beecroft cable from Wikileaks, King Abdullah had previously warned Washington that if the Arab world perceived that the U.S. was appeasing Iran at their expense, "that engagement will set off a stampede of Arab states looking to get ahead of the curve and reach their own separate peace with Teheran."
Ms. Glick writes that Jordan watched as Ahmadinejad stole the Iranian election, and the U.S. did nothing. Iran prevented the pro-U.S. faction that won the Iraqi elections from taking office, and forced the reinstallation of the defeated pro-Iran Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and the U.S. did nothing. Iran conducted repeated war games along the Straits of Hormuz, progressed in its nuclear program, deepened its military alliances with Turkey and Venezuela and escalated its proxy war against the US and its allies in Afghanistan. The Obama Administration said little and did nothing.
And so, Ms. Glick observes, Jordanian King Abdullah II has adopted the strategy successfully employed by his father: "The late King Hussein survived by watchng the prevailing winds closely and always siding with the side he believed was strongest at any given time." Jordan, a weak nation, is moving quickly to make its separate peace with Ahmadinejad.
The biggest immediate loser of this American foreign policy failure, of course, will not be the United States, but rather Israel, which now watches as yet another of its neighbors cozies up to the Islamic Republic of Iran, an implacable enemy set on the destruction of the Jewish State.