Jeffrey Goldberg seeks advice on Egypt’s democratic transition by bragging of talking to a monarchical dictator, who appoints the members of the legislature and whose foul regime tortures at will. This is how Wiki describes human rights in Jordan:
According to a report by Amnesty International, intelligence agents in Jordan frequently use torture to extract confessions from terror suspects. Common tactics include, “beating, sleep deprivation, extended solitary confinement, and physical suspension.” Palestinians and suspected Islamists are treated especially harshly. Though Jordan has improved many procedures including a prison reform campaign in partnership with EU in this respect, agents at the General Intelligence Department remain largely immune to punishment.
In May 2010, the UN Committee against Torture reiterated long-standing concerns at Jordan’s failure to investigate and prosecute allegations of torture, to provide adequate protection against torture, and to prosecute perpetrators in accordance with the seriousness of the crime. It noted the “numerous, consistent and credible allegations of a widespread and routine practice of torture and ill-treatment” including in General Intelligence Department (GID) and Criminal Investigations Department detention. The government did not respond to the Committee’s recommendations.
But they’re not Islamists, so that’s fine. You can even be chums with dictators and brag about it on Bloomberg news. If you somehow don’t see how Abdullah fits into Goldberg’s alleged support for Arab democracy, then you clearly know nothing about the region and should understand all its nuances better.
(Photo: King Abdullah II of Jordan arrives at an official celebration for the 65th anniversary of Independence, on May 25, 2011 in Amman, Jordan. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan gained independence from Britain on May 25, 1946. By Salah Malkawi/Getty Images)