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Amman, Jordan

by Geraldo Rivera | Nov 25, 2007

En route to Iraq through the capital of this small, but important and moderate Arab nation whose King Abdullah has played a helpful role calming this region's turbulence and anti-Americanism. Like his dad, the late great King Hussein, Abdullah is reasonable, progressive and modern.

Like Mubarak in Egypt, but unlike so many others in these parts, the King accepts our aid, without resorting to deceit, treachery or double dealing.
Now he's in the States for President Bush's Annapolis peace conference, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but which is already being handicaped as a non-starter by long-time observers of the Mid-East scene who learned long ago that around here optimism is usually crushed before the ink is dry on any purported agreement.

Abdullah's nation lives in peace with Israel, but many of his people are Palestinians for whom the Jewish State is still the devil. A general peace settlement and the recognition of the two state solution gloriously envisioned by President Bush who has scarcely lifted a diplomatic finger to make happen would go far toward lowering the temperature between East and West, Arab and Chrisitian/Jew.

But it's attainment, particularly given the late stage of Bush's presidency and the wounded political status of both Israel's scandal-plagued Prime Minister Olmert and Palestine's hobbled President Abbas who lost half his territory to Hamas radicals makes any meaningful compromise especially unlikely.
Still, they are at least going through the motions and that is better than just staring at each other through holes in blast walls and barricades.

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