Off and on when I was in the U.S. I found myself worrying that something would happen and that the U.S. embassy would send out a message stating that it was closing and that I wouldn’t be able to return. I felt a great sense of relief when the plane touched down in Amman. Ironically, one of the first news stories I stumbled upon tonight had to do with two embassies closing in Amman. Both the British and the Canadian embassies are shutting down operations here. I don’t exactly know yet what this means for Jordan or for its relationships with these countries, but it is a bit disconcerting. But perhaps what is even more frightening is the sense that the U.S. is not taking any steps to distance itself in Jordan, but rather to enmesh itself here. Jordan is actually considering legislation that would grant Americans immunity from war crimes prosecution:
“The Legal Committee of the Lower House on Monday approved a controversial agreement that the Kingdom signed with the US, giving American citizens and personnel immunity against prosecution for war crimes.”
Of course, escaping war crimes prosecution brings to mind everyone’s favorite war criminal, Ariel Sharon. For those of you who are not familiar with his history, I strongly encourage a read of Robert Fisk’s latest article in The Independent. It’s a brilliant piece about Sharon’s real legacy, not the one that dominated the headlines this summer and of late.
Finally, for those of you who have not seen the latest incarnation of hell that the Israeli’s have created, here is a link for an eyewitness report and photographs of the new Qalandia checkpoint (read: international border crossing between Ramallah and Al Quds).