March 31, 1993

For more than two decades, Patrick Theros served as U.S. foreign service officer in several Middle Eastern capitals, including Amman and Damascus.  His sharp recollections include colorfully accurate assessments of Black September, East Bank – West Bank frictions, the perennial anger within the PLO – Jordanian relationship, and Amman’s views of the negotiating process after the 1973 October and 1991 Gulf Wars.  Serving in Damascus from 1976-1980, he recalled President Assad’s euphoria in meeting President Carter in Geneva in May 1977 and Assad’s view of Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem later that year as “the greatest betrayal in modern Arab history.”  Theros repeatedly witnessed blazingly dysfunctional inter-Arab politics, a reality that many American presidents failed to grasp in crafting policies toward the region

Ken Stein, July 29, 2022

KWS: Patrick, when did you go, when did you get to Amman?

PT: October 1st, 1970. October 2nd, 1970, excuse me.

KWS: So, just before the war broke?

PT: No, it’s, uh, 1970.

KWS: I’m sorry, 1970. Excuse me, October 1, 1970.

PT: Yeah, it was the first day the airport reopened after Black September.

KWS: Umm, and you left Amman as presi—  

PT: First of January, 1974.

KWS: First of January may —

PT: Or second.

KWS: Okay, and then you went back to Amman?

PT: In April of 1987.

KWS: And stayed until?

PT: Until the beginning of July 1981.

KWS: And the first time, you were there as a political officer?

PT: I was a junior political officer there.

KWS: Umm, Black September began —?

PT: The fighting, the actual outbreak of heavy fighting in Amman, was the 17th September [1970].

KWS: And you got to Amman?

PT: The second of October.

KWS: Which is just several days after [Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel] Nasser passed away.

PT: That’s right. Just after Nasser passed away. I was supposed to go — I was in Beirut at the time — I was supposed to go to Amman on the 18th of September on my transfer —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: — and they shut down on the 17th. So, I stayed in Beirut. Nasser died, and I went two days after Nasser died, so I may be off on the second of October.

KWS: Tell me what you remember about, umm, the events of Black September, its causes, and the ultimate impact on the Palestinian-Jordanian relationship.

PT: Okay. First part is hearsay, what I was told. Essentially, following the failure of the War of Attrition in ’69, the failure to grow a campaignץ Fedayeen organizations began forming themselves on the back part of the East Bank. [Unintelligible] cross-border strikes and occasional cross-border operations. This would provoke Israeli retaliation and the [unintelligible] would engage in counter battery fire, artillery fire across the border, uh, which was generally inconclusive. Nothing decisive ever happened. People got killed, guns and [unintelligible] — guns got knocked down, buildings got shot through, but nothing conclusive, you know, grew out of this. The Jordanians were getting the worst of it, but clearly it bothered the Israelis. There was some — the [unintelligible] — the Jordanian artillery was doing damage to the Israelis. There’s not much evidence that the Palestinians were doing the damage, not even much damage with the Israelis. Uh, in the grand scope of things, the amount of damage being done mutually was probably, I mean, uh —. Things began to change with the Battle of Karameh [unintelligible].

KWS: 1969.

PT: 1969. The Battle of Karameh was an Israeli strategic victory and tactical defeat, and a political defeat. It was not a fedayeen victory in the military sense but it was clearly a fedayeen political victory. The Israelis telegraphed their punch across both the, uh, the northern bridge, Damia, nicknamed [unintelligible] bridge originally, and the King Hussein Bridge, otherwise known as the Allenby Bridge, uh, and pushed in on, uh, Karameh from both directions. They, the Palestinians were waiting for them. The mainstream Palestinian organizations pulled out of Karameh. The PFLP stayed there and essentially ambushed the lead column that went in, knocked out a couple of tanks, and they, they were just wiped out. The Israelis pushed two covering forces up the mountain, up the mountain roads up to Wadi Shu’eib and I forget the name of the other wadi, uh, and the Jordanians mouse-trapped the two covering forces. In fact, the Israeli operations at Karameh were not interfered with in any degree. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: The heavy fighting was the two roadblocks the Israelis pushed up to wadis. They lost an indeterminate number of men, they left seven or eight tanks behind, and so forth. The Palestinians came out of it smelling like roses. Uh, they had won a victory, they had defeated the Israelis, they had — they participated in the parade of Israeli casualties. There were no Israeli prisoners, there were several dead bodies, and so forth. The king continued to play up at that time to the Palestinians, he was none — not only not prepared to take on the Palestinians, he — perversely —seemed to be encouraging them. Umm, he favored them. He, uh, met regularly with their leaders. He, uh, uh, decorated some of them. He, he and [Yasser] Arafat were in, you know, keeping good company.

KWS: Did he do it out of fear of them or he did it because he, I mean, it was a way to placate them? Umm —

PT: My impression is he was torn, uh, between his desire to maintain the stability of the country, his inability to discipline Arabs for fighting Palestinia— for fighting Israelis.

KWS: His inability to discipline Arabs?

PT: Arabs, Ken. Arabs.

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: {unintelligible] Arabs for fighting Palestinians. The man really believes in Arab —

KWS: For fighting Palestinians?

PT: For fighting the — 

KWS: The Israelis.

PT: The Israelis, excuse me. The man really believes in the Arab world, alealam alearabiu. He really believes. He’s probably the last surviving Arab leader who pays more than lip service to the concept of a single Arab ethnic nationality of one.

KWS: Yes, except [Hafez] Assad.

PT: I don’t think so.

KWS: You don’t think so.

PT: I don’t think so. I think that is a convenient thought. Uh, Syrian kids in school are taught that they are the leaders of the Arab world; they are not taught to sacrifice for the Arab world. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: The Jordanian kids are taught that they are part of the Arab world for which they must sacrifice. There’s a, there’s a difference there. Uh, I don’t believe the Alawites regard themselves — or most Syrians.

KWS: Did King Hussein before Black September believe that the Palestinians were actually [unintelligible]?

PT: Yes, but remember, before Black September he had as many East Bank enemies, uh, as he had Palestinian enemies. Before 1967, the king’s enemies were political enemies, they were ideological, it was the ideological left, which was as much East Bank as it was Palestinian. The [1957] Ali Abu Nuwar coup, the other attempts at a — primarily, the dangerous coups, the one that really threatened the regime were all generated by East Bankers and the armed forces. They were Palestinians trying to assassinate him throughout this period of time. So [unintelligible]. So, I don’t think he really associated the Palestinians with his enemies per— the Palestinians as a people.

KWS: As a threat.

PT: As a threat. They were individual Palestinians. It was the Palestinian left.

KWS: And individual organizations and perhaps individuals.

PT: That’s right.

KWS: But not per se.

PT: Not per se, no [unintelligible].

KWS: Did that change as a result of Black September?

PT: Uh, he said it did. And I say, he said it did. He acted as if it did. I’m not sure it ever really changed. I still think he sees himself as king of the Palestinians as well as king of the Jordanians.

KWS: King of the Arabs.

PT: King of the Arabs.

KWS: That’s probably why he offered United [Arab] Kingdom plan in 1972 [that is, a Jordanian-Palestinian federation plan].

PT: 1972, right, as dual marking.

KWS: Right.

PT: Yeah, so at that point as the Palestinians began to be less and less effectual against the Israelis, and the Jordanian Army — sometimes not operating under order, sometimes with the king’s approval — began to restrict the ability of the Palestinians to conduct cross-border operations because they weren’t accomplishing anything. And all they were doing was provoking more and more fights. One of the things the Israelis did after Karameh was by a generous use of artillery fire destroyed the irrigation system in East Ghor.

KWS: The Israelis?

PT: The Israelis [unintelligible]. They just — umm, when I got there in October-November, the first time I went down there, it was gone. Umm, the only thing, the only thing left was the tunnels the Israelis hadn’t brought down. But once you got out of the tunnel, the intake from the Yarmouk River — every pumping station, every, uh, branching of irrigation canals had been, had been destroyed.

KWS: The, the attack, the Israeli attack on Karameh, and the prelude to Black September is contemporaneous with Israel’s deep penetration raids on the Suez.

PT: Mm-hmm.

KWS: Across the Suez Canal, the War of Attrition, the Soviet pilots’ intervention, Israelis not believing the Soviets would either say yes or would come —

PT: Mm-hmm.

KWS: — the knocking down of Soviet pilots. So you have both on the Syrian and the Jordanian front, a clear warming of the animosity — 

PR: Mm-hmm.

KWS: — between them —

PT: Right.

KWS: — without question. To your knowledge when you got to Amman, what kind of coordination was there at all between — or had you heard that it had been before Nasser’s death, between — Jordan and Egypt and tried to make life difficult for Israelis? I mean, was there any —

PT: There was an assumption —

KWS: Yes.

PT: — that, flowing out of the Khartoum Conference —

KWS: Right.

PT: — that they would not accept — you know, the three no’s of the [1967] Khartoum Conference [no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel]?

KWS: Right, right.

PT: And all three governments were now locked into that as policy. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: A derivative consequence of that policy was the Palestinians should have a free hand to raid into Israel or the [unintelligible]?

KWS: [Unintelligible] from Khartoum?

PT: I think it was understood. I don’t think it was explicit to Khartoum.

KWS: You think because it wasn’t explicit that the Palestinians had to promote themselves ultimately with, with Rabat. I mean, what you see evolving in the Palestinian movement after Black September is, first of all, a denial of their prerogative to operate freely, and then their fear that someone is going to take the prerogative from them —

PR: Mm-hmm.

KWS: — the united kingdom plan, umm, then a fear that Sadat is going to make a separate peace. And so they have to assert their, their role. 

PR: Mm-hmm.

KWS: Is it fair to say that in, in a five-year period of ’69 to’74 that that’s how you understood it evolving amongst the Palestinians?

PT: That’s fair. That’s fair. A —

KWS: How would you refine it, change it?

PT: I was trying to think, it was specific, uh — between ’69 and ’70, Arafat essentially lost control of the Palestinian movement in Jordan. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: Uh, I think — at least I’m told by a lot of East Bankers — that had the Palestinians played their cards right, they were seen as winners by a lot of East Bankers. And had Arafat been able to control the nuts and the crazies, substantial elements of the East Bank establishment would have backed him. Right? Because they saw the king as a loser in his, uh, vacillation towards the Palestinians, his inability to deliver anything from the outside. Remember, we had cut off aid; his relationship with the Saudis was terrible for reasons that are not entirely clear with me, for me. Uh, the relationship with Syria was, despite the fact that they were allies, was still, uh, rocky. Uh, Jordan was increasingly more isolated; the Western intelligentsia was talking about the inevitability of a Palestinian takeover, the end of monarchies, if you remember. This was time when monarchies were, uh, you know, their end was being predicted, uh, right and left. So a lot of, uh, East Bankers were prepared, had made up their minds, that they would, could acquiesce and even support a PLO takeover of Jordan as at least [unintelligible] a powerful government in —

KWS: In ’70?

PT: In ’70, before — leading, leading up to it. Sometime after Karameh and before April, Arafat lost control of the radical groups —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: — and they began to behave like thugs. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: All the kids in tiger suits, chatting up the girls, doing all the things just guaranteed to infuriate the East Bankers —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: Not doing all the things infuriated the army — humiliating the army, which was an institution in Jordan that has no parallel elsewhere in the Arab world. So, around February to March, some place in there, East Bank opinion solidified against the Palestinians.

KWS: In ’70.

PT: Yeah. But it was not in favor of the king. The king was in considerable disrepute. You heard the story of the bras and the tank turrets?

KWS: No.

PT: Okay, March 19, uh, 70, there was a particularly bad — March or Ap— early April — particularly bad incident in which the Palestinians roughed up some civilians and then shot up a Jordanian Army unit, and the king prevented the army from, uh, reacting. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: Uh, shortly thereafter — it may have been later — shortly thereafter, the king visited the tank battalion and inspects the battalion and he does, he, as the inspection is about to begin the troops run bras up on the radio antennas of the tanks. And the king is astounded. He says, “What this means is that you have turned us into women so we might as well wear bras.” It was a tremendous resentment against the king at that point. There was fighting in April. The king stopped the Army before it could act decisively.

KWS: Fighting between?

PT: Palestinians and the army.

KWS: Over the right of the Palestinians to do what?

PT: To do anything. I mean, to do — basically, the Palestinians were asserting themselves to stay within a state group, grabbing control of territories, setting up roadblocks on, on major highways, preventing, uh, Jordanian authorities from operating and intimidating the police. So, the situation was steadily worsening and the king in the eyes of the army was seen as continuing to vacillate, continuing to be able to come to a decision — how do you deal with this? Trying to avoid a clash. Now, I happen to believe that the king was determined to avoid civil war. He wanted — it was personal. He didn’t want civil war. And he saw civil war as the outcome of an army move against the Palestinians. Uh, the army saw this as weakness. I forget — moment, be reminded — precise sequence of events from between the 10th and the 16th of, uh, September. Uh, the prime minister [Bahjat al‐Talhouni] who was sort of sympathetic to the Palestinians resigned, the Army created, there was an army government created. It was a gamble to intimidate the fedayeen, it failed. Fedayeen asserted themselves grabbing pieces of terrain, overrunning a couple of police stations and prisons, policemen, closing roads down, and stuff like that. Uh, essentially, on the night of 15, 16 September, Habes al-Majali, the field marshal, and several senior officers, not including, uh, Shairf Zaid [ibn Shaker] who had been in effect pushed aside — he was chief of staff at the time — walked into the king and said, “We’re moving. You can come with us, or you can get out of the way of the, but, uh, we’re moving. We’re going after the Palestinians.” And the king at that point decided to then go with the army. But the decision to attack was essentially an army decision which the king adopted.

KWS: You have that on —

PT: I have that on what I regard as a —

KWS: — pretty good —

PT: — pretty good authority, yeah.

KWS: Umm, after October of 1970, Black September continued into 1971.

PT: Yes, until April ’71. There was sporadic fighting in the city and elsewhere and the army essentially did a salami on them, on the Palestinians. You’d have three or four days of truce, then three or four days of fighting in which at the end of fighting the Army had moved two more city blocks someplace or had taken another village, uh, umm — Almost all the fighting after November, I would say, was provoked by — not — was exploited by the army. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: The army knew that there were enough undisciplined elements among the Palestinians, that with a guy running by, you know, coughing [unintelligible] at them, they’d get something to shoot at. And then they would set it up so that he would shoot the troops just about the time they had a [unintelligible] surrounding two of the fedayeen.

KWS: And this went through the spring of ’91.

PT: Yes.

KWS: Uh, spring of ’71.

PT: Through the spring of ’71. Fedayeen finally negotiated a truce in April — eighth of April sticks in my mind — to evacuate the — Amman. And they were moved up to Debeen in the woods in the hills above the Jordan Valley, an army corset around it. And in June, the army decided to disarm them. Uh, they refused and the army overran Debeen. And that was the end of that. A thousand Palestinians were permitted to flee into Israel, [unintelligible] the occupied territories there. A few hundred more fled into, uh, Lebanon.

KWS: How many Palestinians do you think were killed in the civil war? 

PT: Best figure I have seen is between three and five thousand dead total in the civil war. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: The reason I think the figures are a lot lower than what the press reported is it was very hard — aircraft weren’t used. And you’ve seen the houses in Amman. And frankly, you know, everything short of 105 — one five five Hauser shells are bouncing off the walls. There was a large amount of ammunition expended for not a lot of damage, mind you.

KWS: Umm, what the U.S. policy towards the civil war?

PT: A hundred percent support of the king. And if it changed, I don’t know what it changed to.

KWS: How did we manifest that or demonstrate it?

PT: Uh — no more, thanks — uh, but at time I was there, it was manifested in a very large aid package for, for the time, talking about almost a hundred million dollars in cash.

KWS: Which you used for what?

PT: We just give it to them in cash. Every quarter, he was given twenty-five million dollars [unintelligible] aid support. 

KWS: Oh, well, all right.

PT: [Unintelligible] aid support. And, uh, that equivalent in military equipment being unloaded steadily and, of course, in 1960— 1970, a hundred million dollars in military equipment went a long way. Much different than today. It was manifested in the deployment of aircraft carriers off the Syrian coast, when the Syrians took its division masquerading as a PLA [Palestine Liberation Army] division across the border, strong notes in Damascus, uh, lots of public statements supporting the king, some over-flights, and essentially, we flew in some ammunition, we did, uh —  The amount of physical support that arrived in those few days was probably small, but the, the psychological support of a great power was considerable. And what I remember was the Soviets weren’t on the other side.

KWS: Mmm. Any explanation given?

PT: No. [Unintelligible.] I think the Soviets figured they didn’t have a dog in that fight.

KWS: As a junior political officer did you get any sense that what was going on in American foreign policy in terms of our efforts to try and — with [the] Rogers [plan] — and try cobble together something between the Egyptians and the Israelis?

PT: Mm-hmm. 

KWS: Uh, any spillover into Amman or Jordan?

PT: Very little. The emphasis was on Egypt.

KWS: Do you have an explanation?

PT: No. I think the [unintelligible] was doable and Egypt was the major Arab country, the Arab major protagonist —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: — and that if you could do Egypt, the rest of the Arab world would fall into place. Particularly, uh, I think the theory was, “Llet’s take on the most important and the hardest one” — Nasser, a man who could be appealed to as a statesman, and so forth, despite his —

KWS: — rhetoric.

PT: — his rhetoric — and a country that was seen as not being as intimately involved in Palestinian cause as Jordan and Syria were. They Egyptians were people exploiting — were seen as people exploiting — the Palestinian cause for their needs rather than being involved in it.

KWS: In other words, there was a Jordanian-Palestinian-Syrian conundrum, which was a little complex.

PT: Yeah, real hard to work with. So, I don’t have the, an impression of tremendous U.S. interest at that time in solving the Jordanian-Palestinian — we never wanted to solve the problem. There was no interest in solving the Palestinian problem, is, uh — What you will get from the Jordanians now is a general conviction that once we got [U.N. Resolution] 242, we walked away from it.

KWS: We, the Americans?

PT: We, the Americans, walked away from it. You know, it’s on the table but, uh, it was as if achieving the, uh, achieving the resolution was an end in itself. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: And then we went to work fulltime with the Egyptians.

KWS: What, uh, what transpired in ’71 that made you think that the king was going to make a statement or articulate a feeling for the West Bank and the united kingdom? I mean, where was he headed in, in ’71 that gave —

PT: I think the king was trying to figure out how to get into a peace process. Uh, he was looking for an opening, and none — no attractive ones were being offered to him.

KWS: And one that would also foster his own interests as being the leader of the Arabs.

PT: The Arabs [unintelligible]. 

KWS: — uniting under Amman.

PT: So I think the idea of the dual kingdom was broached as a peace process initiative. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: It was also meant, uh, to be an early manifestation of what later led to the breaking of the ties with the West Bank: a recognition of Palestinian, of Palestinian nationhood. “I will be king of the Jordanians and king of the Palestinians simultaneously,” more like Austria-Hungary, the way I remember it being articulated at the time, rather than, uh —

KWS: [unintelligible] the Palestinians.

PT: Yeah, it was interesting. The Palestinian intelligentsia and the Palestinian upper-class reacted very, very negatively. It was — they themselves were still caught up in, uh — there were two kinds of Palestinian leadership at the time: those who wanted a separate, completely separate, Palestinian identity, and those who said this was a betrayal of the Arab cause. [Unintelligible], which was the first reaction I heard from it, liked the idea. The only thing he didn’t like about the idea was being governed by Palestinians rather than by Jordanians.

KWS: What was the betrayal of the Arab cause?

PT: The splitting up the Palestinian state.

KWS: I see.

PT: And splitting up the Jordan into a Palestinian and East Bank state.

KWS: Now, I tell you one more state is a violation of Arab unity.

PT: That’s right.

KWS: And solidarity.

PT: Yeah.

KWS: Did you get any notion at all that the United States was, was going to endorse the united kingdom plan or that, you know, we were all wrapped up in Vietnam, Kissinger’s running around Paris, umm —

PT: My memory was we almost ignored it. We said some nice things and almost ignored it.

KWS: But we ignored it.

PT: We ignored it, yeah. It sort of went right by.

KWS: Right. At the first no notice was taken of it.

PT: Hmm.

KWS: Umm —

PT: Our objective in Jordan was maintaining the stability of the Hashemites.

KWS: And this is ’71, ’72 —

PT: ’72 and on.

KWS: Being sure that the civil war wouldn’t break out again, stabilize —

PT: Stable, stabilizing the military, stabilizing the government. 

KWS: We continued to provide the economic [unintelligible] [unintelligible] that’s fair to do so.

PT: Yes.

KWS: Was there ever any interest in, in ’72 or ’73 by the United States, by the government, by [Joe] Sisco, [Hal] Saunders was part of this group now, of Kissinger, of trying to cobble something together between the Jordanians and —?

PT: People kept showing up.

KWS: In Amman?

PT: In Amman, Sisco was — visited a couple of times, others. Kissinger hadn’t shown up yet. I never saw Kissinger in Amman until after the ’73 War, to be perfectly honest. I don’t think he ever came out before ’73. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: [William] Rogers came out, Sisco came out, Saunders came out, umm — And my, my impression of the Jordanian reaction was, “That’s very interesting.” Great enthusiasm when they’d meet these guys and then a feeling of emptiness when these guys went away.

KWS: And why was there a feeling of emptiness?

PT: Because nothing transpired. Nothing, uh — they couldn’t get their hands around it.

KWS: It’s because we didn’t offer anything? Or we were just coming with, umm, you know, probings?

PT: It was probings — my impression again — because I, at that time, I don’t think I was privy to more than one or two of those meetings generally, as the ambassador —

KWS: And the ambassador at the time was?

PT: It was Dean Brown. 

KWS: Umm.

PT: And he was such a cynic you could never tell.

KWS: King Hussein was, umm, punished by the Egyptians and the Syrians.

PT: Yes.

KWS: And they broke diplomatic relations.

PT: Over the civil war.

KWS: United king— united kingdom [that is, King Hussein’s United Arab Kingdom plan]. United kingdom.

PT: You’re right, and for that. 

KWS: And those relations were only restored, restored about the 15th of September in 1973. Tenth, 12th, 15th of September, Hussein goes off to —

PT: But there were embassies still there run by interest, interest sections. 

KWS: Umm, you —

PR: As a matter of fact, the relationship with Syria was particularly bad. For a long time, the only way out of Amman was an [unintelligible] flight because the Syrians had closed their airspace to Royal Jordanian airlines and feyadeen had threatened, Beirut had threatened to blow up any [unintelligible] aid plane that went to Amman. So, the only way north out of Amman was by Aeroflot flight once a week.

KWS: Did you have any sense that Sadat was, umm, was not displeased with this tension in the Jordanian-Palestinian relationship? 

PT: I had a sense in the ’71, ’72 of tremendous Jordanian distrust percolating down on Sadat and the Egyptians. Mmm, I had a Jordanian police colonel in casual conversation one day describe the Camp David agreement in detail. He said if the Egyptians were smart, this is the sort of deal they would cut with the Palestinians— with the Israelis. That was in mid-1972. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: Jordanian fear of a separate Egyptian deal was palpable at the time.

KWS: Really? Umm, we know the Jordanian, we know the king met with a bunch of Israeli leaders in ’71 and ’72, almost on a regular basis. Uh, was there any effort made to get Kissinger to try and do something more serious with the Jordanians in 1973, that you recall?

PT: Not until after the war.

KWS: Umm, how did the war change King Hussein’s attitude toward the United States or toward Egypt?

PT: I think it hurt the relationship with the United States. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: Umm, primarily because we worked so hard to keep him out of the war. It was a classic case of he got in the ’67 War when he should have stayed out. And he stayed out of the ’73 War when he should have gotten in. 

KWS: And the Americans worked hard to keep him out.

PT: The Americans worked very hard.

KWS: How did we do that?

PT: Intense diplomatic pressure, umm, plus — thought I can’t vouch for this myself, my impression is — an exaggeration in the early days of infor— the information I think that we gave them in the early days about the amount of damage done to the Syrian-Egyptian armies was exaggerated.

KWS: We said it was much more than it was.

PT: Was, yeah. I don’t think the Jordanians tumbled to the amount of damage the Israelis had suffered, particularly in their inability to get their — Israeli mobilization essentially, uh, miscued.

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: And I don’t think the — miscued because they were feeding troops up to the front faster than units could be organized.

KWS: And you don’t think the Jordanians understood that?

PT: I don’t think the Jordanians understood that. Uh, there was a point, say three or four days into the war, where the Jordanians had launched an armored assault across the river. There was nothing between them and Jerusalem. 

KWS: And why do you suppose they didn’t do that?

PT: A combination of — well, the Israelis conducted a certain campaign of deception, indicating that there were more units in place along the river than there were.

KWS: Do you have evidence for that?

PT: Yes.

KWS: It’s quite, quite well known?

PT: Quite well known. And the, uh, intense diplomatic efforts in [unintelligible] the Jordanians out of the war.

KWS: You think Assad and, uh, and Sadat trusted King Hussein?

PT: I would never use the word “trust” at all in a conversation about the relationship between Assad, Sadat, and Hussein.

KWS: Do you think Sadat wanted to share with Hussein the notion that he was going to war?

PT: No. That to me is very clear. The Jordanians were very surprised. 

KWS: And what gives the evidence for that?

PT: Well, the personal reaction of Jordanian officers that I know. Umm, Dean Brown, who kept me with him as interpreter, would take me around all the time. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PR: Clearly, the Jordanians were surprised. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: I remain convinced that the first news that Hussein had of the move was in effect the sound of guns. 

KWS: Well, that’s what he told me. That’s what [Jordan Prime Minister] Zaid [Rifai] told me too. Umm, after the war started, how much desire on the part of Jordanians was there to be part of whatever was unfolding politically or diplomatically?

PT: There was ambivalence.

KWS: Ambivalence?

PT: Yes. On the one hand, uh, there was an element within the, uh, Jordanian military that was saying “Let’s strike now.” These were the guys in the field units, uh, guys operating the radar [unintelligible] for example, that were counting the number of Israeli airplanes returning from sorties. They had a fairly accurate picture. You know, uh, [unintelligible] Ajlun sits on high ground, which gives you coverage over a large part of Israel. Uh, and they were sort of counting, you know, ten planes left, eight came back. So it was very clear to them, uh, that the Israelis were taking heavy casualties in the air. It was also [unintelligible] — Egyptians at that time, conducted one of the most effective propaganda campaigns I have ever seen Arabs conduct. 

KWS: How so?

PT: Uh, they lowballed it.  They underplayed the scope of their victory of the initial days and yet when they played it, they played it right. Uh, uh, they would bring captured Israeli pilots and officers directly from the battlefield where they were captured to TV studios —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: — and conduct the interrogation. The first and —almost the first interrogation in front of TV cameras it was then, allegedly — it may not have been live, it may have been taped and put out later, but it was — the impression you had was a, a live interrogation at the time. I remember sitting one morning in, uh, about 2:00 o’clock in the morning, sitting in a coffee house in [unintelligible] watching this. And it, it was spellbinding. 

KWS: Umm —

PT: On the other hand, I think the king was afraid to go to war because deep in his heart of hearts, he felt they were about to have a repetition of ’67. He had been so badly burned by being sucked into the war by Nasser that it was going to take a tremendous amount of pressure to overcome this.

KWS: Did it, did it go through his mind, do you think, the impact of joining the war, what it would, what it would have on his relations with the Palestinians?

PT: That has the impression of people thinking very, very analytically there, you see, you know, “Is it better for me to go in, better for me to stay out?” There was a, the groups, the junior officers who wanted to go to war. Uh, there were the older guys saying “No, the — you know, these guys are gonna have us for lunch.” Umm —

KWS: What was your sense of the Jordanian-umm, Egyptian relationship once the war broke?

PT: Tremendous resentment the first couple of days, you know, at, uh, at the establishment level. I knew the king would be pissed off, you know, hearing about it from the, the afternoon news. Uh, after that, a certain grudging admiration for the Egyptians: they pulled this off. They didn’t expect the Egyptians to be able to do it. 

KWS: And what did he know about what was going in Golan, and the Syrians —

PT: He probably knew more about that physically. He probably had better intelligence against the — about the course of the fighting.

KWS: Because of proximity.

PT: Because of proximity. I mean, he had, he had a vis— you could see visually on a clear day —

KWS: Right.

PT: — and count burned out tanks and so forth. 

KWS: Umm, was he at all consulted about Resolution 338? You know —

PT: I have to think that he was but not, but I’m — it’s not part of my knowledge. 

KWS: Right. Umm, Zaid said they weren’t informed.

PT: I, I find that difficult to believe. They may, may have been informed. I, I — I may be wrong.

KWS: They were only told afterwards [unintelligible], how Hussein was [unintelligible].

PT: Kissinger made several visits afterwards, one before [UN Resolution] 338, uh, the others afterward. That said, first visit didn’t go real well. Kissinger was having talks with, uh, Assad, being delayed and delayed and delayed. I remember sitting around the palace and the food all turned bad at the table. And Kissinger finally, you know 4:00 o’clock, rolling in around 11, 11:30, 12:00 o’clock.

KWS: Yeah, but that’s around December 7th and — 

PT: Yeah.

KWS: That’s after —

PR: After.

KWS: — 338 but before Geneva.

PT: That was the first time Kissinger came too.

KWS: That’s correct.

PT: So there was no Kissinger visit before 338?

KWS: Nope.

PT: Okay.

KWS: Umm, why do you suppose King Hussein accepted the notion of going to Geneva, December conference in which there was supposed to be a Middle East peace conference. What was, what was in it, umm, why was it in his interest?

PT: I think there was a reflex on his part that he can’t be out of any major act. You know, on the one hand, the Jordanians still walk around with this psychological burden of what happened to [King] Abdullah after Rhodes [Egypt and Israel signed armistice talks in Rhodes in February 1949; agreements with Lebanon, Jordan and Syria were signed in the following months]. But the advantage of Geneva was that the other Arabs were going too.

KWS: That would have been commensurate with Arab unity —

PT: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: — and Arab solidarity and —

PT: And the alternative of not going was not very good. Not going didn’t offer anything. I don’t think he was prepared to allow the Palestinians — even if he could identify their leadership, you know, even if they had leadership that was compatible with him — I don’t think he was prepared to let the Palestinians dictate Jordanian action.

KWS: What was, how would you characterize the Jordanian-Palestinian relationship in October of ’73?

PT: Very hostile. Even at a popular level. The Palestinian population of East Bank Jordan was still intimidated, still cowed, uh —

KWS: From what? From the civil war?

PT: From the civil war. And the East Bankers still felt as if they had just pulled off their salvation, they had —

KWS: Were they haughty and arrogant toward the Palestinians?

PT: No. Their attitude was of a guy who’s just won a fight, who’s still fighting with the other guy who was going to push him around. Uh, there were tests of being a Jordanian: how you spoke, your accents. And the number of Palestinians who suddenly began to acquire these Bank accents was amazing. 

KWS: [Laughs.] What do you remember about the Algiers Summit of November 27th, ’73? Anything in particular? 

PT: Umm, you know, I’ve almost completely forgotten.

KWS: [Reading:] Jordan announced that it would boycott the proposed peace conference with Israel if the Arab Summit Conference endorsed the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, which [unintelligible] —

PT: The conference did.

KWS: Did do that.

PT: Did do it, and then he went anyway.

KWS: Right, exactly. [Reading:] “But Jordan still participated in the Geneva conference precisely to lay its own claim to the territories controlled by Israel. Two days later, after the conference, the Arab states gathered in Summit Meetings to discuss the implications of the October War and the upcoming international conference. Public discussions and resolutions passed there had little bearing on the diplomatic process in Kissinger’s hands. And already had — been asked to by Sadat, King Hussein, and the Israelis. According to several members of Kissinger’s shuttle team, little if any attention was paid to the Arabs meeting together, the meeting of the Algiers Summit or the platforms [unintelligible]. The Americans just didn’t worry about what was going on.”

PT: I think they decided that they could do it by [unintelligible] There was a worry. I mean, I remember sort of a “Oh Jesus” when the summit resolutions were passed. And then the next morning, the U.S. government collectively waking up and saying, “I think we can keep our heads down and ignore it. We can still do what we want to do.”

KWS: Umm, did the Jordanians or King Hussein get any notion that Kissinger and Sadat had agreed that, already that there would be just a Jorda— just an Egyptian-Israeli agreement that would be negotiated? Did the Jordanians have any notion that they were going to be frozen out of this thing?

PT: No, I think it was another surprise attack. I think it, uh, it dawned on them slowly.

KWS: That —?

PT: — that there was nothing for them. Because the message they were getting from Kissinger was, “I want to do this [unintelligible]. I want to get this thing nailed down and then I’m going to talk to you guys.” And feeling that, you know, they were waiting for him to show up. And he never did.

KWS: Did Jordan ever have a sense of what the UN role should be or what Moscow’s role should be in any of this, in this emerging proposal?

PT: At this point, and by — until the time I left, the Jordanians had clearly nailed their flag to the Western mast. It wasn’t going to be — there was less role possible for the Soviets.

KWS: And the UN?

PT: Uh, the UN, I think, was seen by the Jordanians as a vehicle for accomplishing something rather than having a role.

KWS: [Pause.] According to some, there’s a belief that either Zaid Rifai or [Egyptian Foreign Minister] Ismail Fahmy gave the harshest talk at Geneva. Some people even said Rifai — I asked him. He said, “You bet. I gave the toughest one.”

PT: I don’t remember.

KWS: But he, but he said, “No, but I gave the — well, I gave the toughest talk,” he said, “We dearly wanted agreement with the Israelis.” And [Israel Foreign Minister Abba] Eban confirmed it.

PT: Yeah, I don’t remember the, the talk, but I’ll tell you, I think the Jordanians wanted an agreement with the Israelis. Uh, what the —

KWS: But what would, what would, what if — what would have been satisfactory for the Jordanians in terms of an agreement? What would they have wanted?

PT: Uh, first of all, they wanted a sovereignty deal in Jerusalem. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: No Jerusalem, no deal.

KWS: Really?

PT: Yeah. I don’t think the king could have gone to bed without —

KWS: Interesting.

PT: Uh, secondly, I think the king was prepared to countenance considerable border modifications to the West Bank if there were some reciprocal modifications in the other direction. You know, lose ten, take back one someplace else.

KWS: And he was still thinking about a united kingdom?

PT: And he was still thinking of the united —

KWS: Umm, do you remember anything specific about the, the run-up to Kissinger’s invitation to the Syrians and then the Syrians saying no? Having the Geneva conference itself, and the reaction of the Jordanian community to the Geneva conference? Any sense of what the expectations were for Geneva?

PT: There were a lot of popular expectations that something important was going to happen.

KWS: Any fear that the Syrians wouldn’t be there, you know, give Sadat an opportunity to go his own separate way?

PT: Give Sadat? Uh, I don’t remember that being articulated to me [unintelligible]. I don’t remember.

KWS: What do you think prevented King Hussein from moving more forcefully toward Jordanian-Israeli agreement? I mean, if he really wanted one, what would have prevented him from getting one? Or just was it just not possible? What he wanted, what the Israelis wanted, which was [unintelligible].

PT: I think he believed that what he wanted could only be achieved if he could enlist the United States’ support.

KWS: Explicitly?

PT: Explicitly. He couldn’t do that. 

KWS: Couldn’t.

PT: [Unintelligible] Jerusalem. And Jerusalem was very important. The one thing that has been beaten into my head by every Jordanian I know who knows the king is that Jerusalem’s important.

KWS: Did Jordanians ever get a sense of what —



KWS: The Jordanians started talking that they should have joined the war because they ultimately got invite—

PT: Because it gave them a seat. It would have given them a major role. How can there be a, uh, how can there be interim arrangements at the border if you haven’t fought over it? How can you be, how can there be disengagement if the forces aren’t engaged?

KWS: Did they ever reason that that’s why Sadat didn’t want them involved in the wars, because he didn’t want, he didn’t want them involved in the post-war diplomacy?

PT: They were prepared —

KWS: Were they that conspiratorial about Sadat?

PT: They were prepared to believe anything bad about Sadat. 

KWS: So it didn’t surprise them when — 

PT: It surprised them that we played that game.

KWS: — that Kissinger played that game.

PT: — that Kissinger played that game.

KWS: What did that do to U.S.-Jordanian relations, that Kissinger played the game?

PT: Uh, in substance, very little because we were still the major aid donor and their supporter and we were beating up the Arab countries to give them assistance and stuff like that. So, it didn’t change the substance very much, uh, which was all right with Kissinger. In effect, it was the absence of a Jordanian role in the peace proc— what passed for peace process in those days, in disengagement. That was Kissinger’s objective.

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: And if the Jordanians could be — in his eyes — bought off with substantial quantities of aid and diplomatic assistance and other things —

KWS: That was sufficient.

PT: That was sufficient.

KWS: [Pause.] You left Amman in January?

PT: January, right.

KWS: And headed for?

PT: And headed for the Armed Forces Staff College. 

KWS: For how long?

PT: Six months, put me essentially out of, uh, commission for six months. 

KWS: And then?

PT: Then I went to the department, and as a staff aid and the undersecretary for management. 

KWS: Uh-huh.

PT: I spent a year and a half doing that —

KWS: Right.

PT: — and then went off to the economics course, preparatory to going to Damascus as economic commercial officer.

KWS: And you were in Damascus when?

PT: I was in Damascus from roughly the first of September ’76, ‘til late spring-early summer of ’80. And from there I went to the Emirates. 

KWS: All right. So ’76 to ’80 —

PT: [Unintelligible] Syria.

KWS: You were in Syria. Do you recall at all Syrian attitudes to either Ford or Nixon, uh, Kissinger, Carter, differentiation?

PT: Yes. Ford they dismissed out of hand. Nixon was gone by the time I got there in ’76. Kissinger they intensely distrusted. Uh, they felt they had been dealt half a hand with Golan. There should have been more, they felt that there should have been further disengagement, further widening, uh, of the gap, further Israeli withdrawal in the Golan as a second or third step.

KWS: Does that mean they wanted a second Syrian-Israeli disengagement?

PT: I think so. That’s my impression.

KWS: I see. Well, for your information, [head of the IDF’s strategic planning] Abrasha Tamir told me that they negotiated a second one and that the Israeli government of Rabin didn’t follow through with it. And the Syrians very dearly wanted it. And what I now know from Itamar [Rabinovich] is that that agreement that has been in the can since 1975, ’76, is the same one that they’re dusting off and trying to reach now. The same sort of maps are being used, the same sort of delineation and with —

PT: With the same prime minister?

KWS: With the same prime minister. And the same president of Syria.

PT: You wait long enough, it all comes around again.

KWS: Sam Lewis and I decided when we did “Making Peace Between [sic] Arabs and Israelis,” if you wait long enough, they’ll accept it [“Making Peace Among Arabs and Israelis: Lessons from Fifty Years of Negotiating Experience,” published 1991]. 

PT: Yup, yup.

KWS: You know, it’s seventeen years later, but what the hell. Umm, but for your information, there was, there was an agreement drafted, it was initialed, it just wasn’t implemented. Umm, I’m gonna, I’m gonna stop with this but let me just ask one more question. Since you were there between ’76 and ’80, umm, the high point in Egy— Syrian-American relations was of course, Assad’s visit with Carter —

PT: Carter —

KWS: in May.

PT: In Switzerland.

KWS: In Geneva. 

PT: Yeah.

KWS: Remember anything about that?

PT: Yes. I remember, uh, that Assad came back elated. Uh, from my point — I was the first one to notice this because the attitude toward American businessmen and contact with the United States suddenly changed enormously for the better.

KWS: Really?

PT: Yeah. I was, you know, dickering for a place in the Damascus fair. And I was being shown one ramshackle hut after another and suddenly he called down to the fair office. They said, “Look, we’ll build you a pavilion.”

KWS: Really?

PT: I mean, they were really, all of a sudden —

KWS: This was right after the meeting.

PT: Right after the meeting. Uh, pictures of Assad hugging Jimmy Carter were all over Damascus. 

KWS: Hmm.

PT: It was a big event.

KWS: Why was it such a big event in Syria?

PT: Uh, they had felt they had achieved a breakthrough. They felt they had achieved an understanding with Israel’s most important patron.

KWS: And that understanding would have translated into what?

PT: Into, if not equality in treatment, at least an American ear for Syria’s point of view and a willingness on the part of the United States to back off from some of its extreme positions in support of Israel. I don’t think they were, they were fool — They might have even fooled themselves into thinking that they could obtain, if not parity of importance, at least, uh —

KWS: Significance. 

PT: — significance. And this lasted until just after Sadat’s visit in Jerusalem. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: And uh —

KWS: How did that build-up of Sadat’s visit, how did you view it from Syria?

PT: Uh, the Syrians went bananas.

KWS: Did they go bananas over the U.S.-Soviet declaration in October of ’77 that sort of made the United States and the Soviet Union equal partners in that reconvened Geneva conference? Did they see that as a, as a real possibility?

PT: I don’t remember that as much.

KWS: Do you remember their attitude about Palestinian participation?

PT: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Umm, do you remember Sadat’s visit to Damascus?

PT: Vividly.

KWS: Tell me about it.

PT: Sadat arrived to persuade Assad to come with him to Jerusalem. What the Syrians told us afterwards was that Sadat couched the invitation that made it impossible for Assad to accept it.

KWS: That probably didn’t surprise you.

PT: No, it didn’t. But what surprised me was the passion that the Syrians put into it. We went and called on the phone [unintelligible] right [unintelligible] Tal Seelye’s mentor. And describing Sadat’s visit, the guy literally broke into tears twice. 

KWS: Why?

PT: They had been betrayed, the greatest betrayal in modern Arab history had just taken place. 

KWS: Sadat had [unintelligible].

PT: Sadat was going to go to Jerusalem. He didn’t listen to the president. The only reason he came to Damascus was to go through the motions. He had no intention of taking the Syrians to [unintelligible] —

KWS: And the Syrians told you that.

PT: The Syrians told us that.

KWS: I mean this wasn’t your interpretation.

PT: This was — and uh, this was treason. The Egyptians were walking away from their responsibility for, walking away —

KWS: Well this was [Abdul-Halim] Khaddam who was the —

PT: It wasn’t Khaddam; it was [unintelligible]. Khaddam was the deputy prime minister for foreign affairs. This was the charming white-haired guy with the moustache, whose name I’ve forgotten. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: I want to say Farouk Al-Sharaa, but it’s not, Farouk Al-Sharaa was a minor, you know, a minor official. But it was the then prime minister [unintelligible], the minister of state for foreign affairs or some title.

KWS: And the Syrians were just —

PT: They thought it was the wrong thing to do.

KWS: What would they have preferred to have done?

PT: I’m not sure, I’m not sure. They were caught flatfooted —

KWS: Mmm.

PT: — by, by this. They were still in a state of consternation and confusion when Sadat showed up in Damascus. And Sadat walked in and gave them a take-it-or-leave-it deal that, in their minds, involved them coming as a supporting player in Jerusalem. They were so mad that I don’t think they were [unintelligible] 

KWS: Did they try and rationalize why Sadat came to Damascus?

PT: Yeah. To go through the motions, was their explanation.

KWS: But why go through the motions? What was, what was Sadat’s goal from their view?

PT: Sadat’s goal was to be able to say the Arab world, “Well, I tried to get the Syrians to come along but they wouldn’t. So, I had no choice and here I go.”

KWS: “And here I go” to do what?

PT: To go make peace between Egypt and Israel.

KWS: Did the Syrians ever articulate to you the sense that this is not the first time that they had a problem with Sadat’s harassing(?)

PT: Uh [laughs], you had to work the way back to his mother.

KWS: I can’t believe you said that. Was that fun?

PT: They were mad. I mean, it was very hard to have a rational conversation with the Syrians at that point. The next thing that happened, uh, I really shouldn’t say this with that recorder.

KWS: Well, I’m, I’m, I’m —

PT: Be careful, yeah. He got, umm, Assad got a private message from Carter —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: — that said, “I will keep you fully informed.” 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: And this buoyed Assad’s feelings. There was a, a relaxation in Syrian view of the way things were going. And no other message followed.

KWS: Carter’s [unintelligible]. 

PT: The [unintelligible]. 

KWS: And, and no other message followed?

PT: Then no other message followed. 

KWS: Okay. 

PT: Uh, the next thing that happened was that Senator [Robert] Byrd shows up. 

KWS: When?

PT: Just about that time, during the time they were pushing, they were all set to go to Camp David.

KWS: Sadat go to Jerusalem or go to Camp David?

PT: It was later on. This was the last — next big milestone.

KWS: So you’re talking about now ’78.

PT: ’78. The next big milestone. So, the last message from Carter was, “I’ll keep you informed.” Then nothing happened.

KWS: And, and this — as, as Carter tells me, he informed him of this after Sadat’s visit to Damascus but before the trip to Jerusalem.

PT: That sounds about right. I’d, I’d be lying if I said I remembered precisely —

KWS: Well —

PT: — but —

KWS: — my understanding from Carter is that it happened during the first fifteen days of November, and Carter said he believed it happened after Sadat announced that he was going to —

PT: It was certainly after Sadat came to Damascus. Now whether it was before he went to Jerusalem — I have a memory of it being after he went to Jerusalem, but I wouldn’t swear to it. 

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

PT: Yeah, but nothing happened.

KWS: Why didn’t the Syrians show up at the [December 1977] Mena House talks?

PT: Don’t know. I think various — 

KWS: I mean, they were really —I mean, Sadat invited all the Arabs to come to Cairo to sit and talk to the Israelis.

PT: They really felt that they had been set up. The Syrians at this point were, you know, they were foaming at the mouth. 

KWS: So not even a Geneva conference was going to make a difference?

PT: At this point, no. I mean, they really felt that Sadat had just given the whole game away for Egyptian national interests. Sadat is no longer an Arab; he behaved like an Egyptian. One time, there was a riot [unintelligible] at the embassy — I remember the embassy was across the street from my house, the Egyptian embassy — and they ransacked it. Uh, after that, they broke relations and there’s still an interest section there, uh, clearly inspired by the government. But there was a lot of passion in the streets. Even people who would — didn’t pro-Assad. There was a lot of passion at what they regarded as an Egyptian betrayal. And, uh, the radio started turning on [unintelligible] invective directive. Cairo, Cairo reciprocated and then we were off down that road and so forth. And then the thing that tore it with us was Senator Byrd’s arrival.

KWS: Tell me about that.

PT: Senator Byrd shows up either just after they showed up at Camp David or they were about to go, it was right about that time. He delivered himself the kind of message that [unintelligible] chief would deliver, which was, “the only game in town, we’ll screw you if you don’t go.” And I was translating. [Laughs.] I politely changed —

KWS: Intonation is [unintelligible]. 

PT: Intonation, definitely. And that didn’t make any difference because Khaddam knew full well what the guy had said. And he turns to [unintelligible] and said, “This son of bitch is threatening me.” And it just went steadily down. Then Khaddam was sort of half out of his ch—  [unintelligible], Khaddam was sort of half out of his chair talking to him, “You come here to threaten me? Let me tell you what we can do. Who do you think you are?” And, I mean, very, very unpleasant, and —

KWS: Can I go back a moment? Do you think from May of ’77, after the Sadat— after the Assad-Carter meeting, do you think that the Syrians believed that Carter was going to continue to keep Assad informed about changes and things, and policy and procedure and mechanisms? I mean was it a sense that — you, you said earlier that Assad came back and there was a sense of buoyancy, that the Americans now, umm, understood that the Syrians were at least a participant, if not a player, uh —

PT: I think they came away — Assad came away saying, “I have now got the Americans’ attention. This is a president who is open to me, who is willing to listen to me and this is a president who is going to pay the amount of attention I deserve. Pay me the attention I deserve.”

KWS: And Assad needed that attention paid to him because of his ideology or because he wanted Syrian interest promoted? 

PT: ’Cause he wanted Syrian interests promoted. Ide— Assad has never struck me as an ideologue.

KWS: Would you be surprised if I were to tell that one of the major reasons that many people give me for Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem was a fear on the part of Sadat’s part that the United States was moving too far, too fast, too close toward wanting to concentrate on the Syrian-Israeli relationship? 

PT: No, I wouldn’t be surprised.

KWS: And that one —

PT: I’ve not heard this.

KWS: And one of the reasons Sadat chose to go to Jerusalem was to prevent the Americans from traveling any further down that road. He saw that as too dangerous. And one that would complicate and — if not block — his desired role of getting that [unintelligible]. 

PT: My impression of Egyptian-Syrian, and to an extent Egyptian-Jordanian relations, is each of them has a, a very different view of the interests and tactics of the other. And I don’t know who is more wrong or more right. 

KWS: [Laughs.]

PT: Uh, there is a conviction in Syria and a near-conviction in Jordan that Egypt’s interests are purely Egyptian, that Egypt exploits its role in the Arab world —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: — and will sell it out tomorrow, if it is in —

KWS: But that’s post-’73.

PT: No, that uh, that is I heard that in ’72. 

KWS: Okay.

PT: And I think all ’73 did was confirm that the number of guys, it increased the number of guys walking around saying, “I told you so.” Uh, what surprised them was that Sadat got away with it in Egypt, not that Sadat would do it. They were, they were constantly predicting his overthrow for a few days or weeks there. When he finally was assassinated, the number of people who told me, “See, I told you so” —

KWS: [Laughs.] Did Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, umm, quicken the pace or depth of Syrian engagement with the Soviets?

PT: The impression is that it was going along fairly smartly to begin with, that the pace quickened — if you remember, I don’t remember the sequence now but there was one point where it really looked like it had fallen apart. Like the Sadat-Assad— like the Sadat-Israeli deal wasn’t gonna work. [Unintelligible.] And when things began to turn around on that one, I think the Syrians had harbored a belief that it wouldn’t work, that this thing was just going to embarrass Sadat and, in the end, uh —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PR: — fall apart. And when they slowly began to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t, that it had a good chance of working, was when they started making their, uh, major approaches to the Soviet Union. The amounts of the armaments that came into the country —

KWS: You can’t put a time on it?

PT: I can tell you that at some point in the summer of ’78, it would have been — yeah, my son was a year old, we had just come back from a trip from Greece, got off the freight boat in Latakia —  Tartus excuse me — and got on the road and were stopped by a convoy of over, over two hundred T-72 tanks. That was the first time we had seen a T-72 tank outside the Soviet Union. It was really shocking. The contract had only been written three months before.

KWS: This was ’77, summer of ’77?

PT: ’78. Uh, there was a dramatic increase in Soviet military assistance to Syria.

KWS: Now both Syrian and the Soviet Union used Sadat’s “Egyptian first” policy to enhance their respective relationships with the other.

PT: Right. There were different reasons at that point. 

KWS: Very different reasons. But that’s fair.

PT: Yep, that’s fair.

KWS: All right, let’s leave it at that and let me, uh, let me pick up tomorrow after the lunch you’re [unintelligible].

PT: Okay.

KWS: Fascinating story about, umm — See, I’ve always heard the Carter-Assad story from the Carter side. I’m still hoping that [Syrian Ambassador to the U.S.] Walid Moalem will make possible for me to see Assad sometime in the spring or something. He’s promised to see me [unintelligible].

PT: There really was a tremendous [unintelligible]. It was as if being a commercial attaché was the absolute best job in the embassy in Damascus.

KWS: ’76 to ’80?

PT: ’76 to ’80. There was no better job. You saw more people. More people came to see you. You were more visible than anybody else in the embassy. You were safe. And yet, you were the, you were the thermometer of the relationship. Uh —

KWS: But the U.S. never made an effort to try and bring Assad on board after the visit in Jerusalem. 

PT: No, we didn’t, but they were still hoping that we would. That letter, the Carter letter that said, “I’ll keep you informed,” kept their morale up for several months. And it was hope against hope. I remember their talking to the ambassador time and again about when, you know — complained Khaddam [unintelligible], secretary of state of foreign affairs was, saying, you know, “We’d like a briefing. We’d like to know what’s going on. We don’t agree with that. We need to know what’s going on from the American perspective.”

KWS: Talcott Seelye have a pretty good memory of this stuff, you think?

PT: I think so. Talcott is exceedingly bitter of [unintelligible]. 

KWS: Of ’76 to ’80?

PT: Yeah.

KWS: Why?

PT: Something, I left in, uh — he feels that he got caught holding the bag.

KWS: He did [laughs]. And you know [unintelligible] —

PT: In fact, Talcott Seelye was really diplomatic, the old school. He felt, you know [unintelligible] —

KWS: Did you ever read the article in the Atlantic Monthly about Arabists in the State Department [“Tales for the Bazaar,” August 1992]?

PT: Yes.

KWS: In which they mentioned Talcott as being, you know unenlightened, like you.

PT: Yeah. Actually, there’s a huge difference between [unintelligible] and Talcott Seelye. Talcott Seelye was, Talcott Seelye was emotionally developmentally delayed. I mean the [unintelligible].

KWS: [Laughs.]

PT: On the other hand, he was a great boss to work for.

KWS: What was he like? Was he smart?

PT: He was very, very formal. One of the nice things about working for a boss who’s extremely formal is as soon as you can figure out the rules, you know [unintelligible]. 

KWS: Isn’t that the kind of thing that the rules were like?

PT: Yeah, in that you knew exactly what the rules were, I mean if you knew, if you obeyed the rules, Talcott Seelye would do anything for you.

KWS: Who was the political officer there at the time?

PT: Uh, at first it was [Edward] Ned Walker. No, It was Ned Walker and then it was Ed [unintelligible]. And [unintelligible].

KWS: Ned [unintelligible]?

PT: Ned Walker.

KWS: Ned Walker. So he’s working with [unintelligible]. 

PT: Yeah, he’s working with [unintelligible]. And Ed Addington is in D.C. [unintelligible]. 

KWS: So, Ned Walker was there when you were there?

PT: Yeah. I was there four years. And they were each there three, had been there a year. One had been there a year when I got there and one was, left happily through my tour, and the other one came for two years and stayed for another.

KWS: When was Ned there?

PT: Ned, Ned would have gotten there in the summer of ’75. 

KWS: So, he was there from ’75 through ’77?

PT: Through ’78.

KWS: [Unintelligible.] I better go see James Jonah at the UN. That’ll be a lot of, maybe I’ll have to [unintelligible]. Sounds logical.

PT: You know who would [unintelligible]? The executive assistance to [Boutros] Boutros-Ghali, he was head of the UN program in [unintelligible]. 

KWS: Yeah, I had got that feeling because his relationship with the [unintelligible] is extraordinarily close. 

PT: Yeah. He talks. [Unintelligible.]

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

PT: Mm-hmm. How [unintelligible]?

KWS: Which war?

PT: The Gulf War.

KWS: I want to get into that some more. I really want to pursue that. I don’t, I don’t have a sense as to what Jordanians felt and why they felt [unintelligible]. And I only have the Jordanian view of the [unintelligible] and —

PT: Very critical [unintelligible].

KWS: Mmm.

PT: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Oh, wow. They feel totally misunderstood, totally misunderstood and don’t understand what [unintelligible] was saying [unintelligible], don’t understand that because [unintelligible]. 

PT: Hear things, you’d hear from articles [unintelligible]. That’s the way [unintelligible] the United States until eight point seven [unintelligible]. Here, where I think that stems from is how [unintelligible] had a leaked article in New Yorker magazine. [Unintelligible] New York Times reports [unintelligible] and they told us it inspired her [unintelligible].

KWS: [Unintelligible] in that, any article which is [unintelligible], you haven’t seen enough files, how long are the [unintelligible], and, and it’s more important than the [unintelligible] and, and that may have been [unintelligible]. He said [unintelligible] mind, I’m thinking that it’s [unintelligible]. Okay, what’s next for this person you were thinking of bringing? Aren’t you gonna [unintelligible] policy? You [unintelligible]. How do you know it’s true? I said, “You can’t base your foreign policy on a newspaper article.”

PT: For Americans, she was one of the worst judges in the United States I’ve ever seen in my life.

KWS: Terrible! Terrible! She’s not very bright. She has a superficial knowledge. And I, you know, I sat there and I, I let her have it. I mean, the next day I saw [unintelligible] in his office and said, “[unintelligible].” [Laughs.]

PT: [Laughs.]

KWS: I said, “You know, I was just being honest with her” and, and, yeah.



KWS: Umm, recapitulate this thing about the ’73 War. Your sense was that early on in the war, the first week, there was some discussion within the Jordanian military and the king and those who made decisions, that maybe Jordan should join. But after the Israeli breakthrough on the 16th, 17th

PT: A little earlier than that. Probably about the time that, uh, the fighting on the Syrian front became, uh, about the time the fighting on the Syrian front became trench warfare. Once the Syrian, initial Syrian breakthrough, turned back, Hussein would say is a base civil war. It was at that time the Jordanians lost their interest in joining the war.

KWS: And they turned down the Egyptian request for the commandos to use Jordanian space to build [unintelligible]. 

PT: Clearly, they saw that as a request to drag them into a losing war. Now, at ’67 —  

KWS: Uh, and you said to me in the car, you said, “Jordanian expectations of Geneva were just to participate in a process,” umm, and you weren’t quite sure what they thought they would get out of it.

PT: No, my impression was that they went on the assumption that you’ve got to have peace. They wanted peace, they didn’t know how to get here, anything was better than what they had then.

KWS: Let’s jump ahead to ’87. You came back to Jordan as DCM [Deputy Chief of Mission] in 1987.

PT: That’s correct.

KWS: Month of?

PT: April.

KWS: Umm, where was the Arab-Israeli negotiating process when you got there?

PT: Nowhere.

KWS: It was nowhere. 

PT: Umm, even — I even had the impression that the king’s own enthusiasm for further meetings with Israelis had just about died. It was stagnant.

KWS: And that had come about because of what? What was — what had caused the stagnation or his frustration or —

PT: The feeling that over a period of time that, you know — he continued to meet with people at our urging and was getting nowhere. He had no feeling of any movement, no feeling of any other discussions in his eyes were sterile. Uh, the Israeli leadership had made up its mind what it was going to do. What it was going to do was incompatible with what he wou— wanted. Uh, he didn’t think there was dialogue. It was a dialogue of death [unintelligible]. 

KWS: What were the Jordanian attit— what was the Jordanian attitude when you got there about the West Bank and the West Bank’s future? I mean you’d been there from ’70 to ’74 and this was when he was still willing to make the West Bank part of the united kingdom through monarchy.

PT: Yeah. The Jordanians didn’t see — the Jordanians, well, the Jordanian East Bankers, uh, military leaders and tribes and the big East Bank families, saw the dual monarchy in terms similar to what they later saw as the breaking of ties with the West Bank — an attempt to isolate the West Bank politically, the Palestinians politically, from the East Bank, from the Jordanians. They didn’t see it as maintaining the union of the kingdom. Every East Banker that I knew was vehemently opposed to return to status quo on [unintelligible]. The one thing you heard constantly from Jordanian soldiers and policemen was, “We’re not gonna go break skulls and be happy that you’re on the West Bank.” Jordan will not ever again impose order. And there were officers who said, “If we ever have a peace problem, you know, a peace settlement, and my instructions are to go across and enforce, you know, and keep the Palestinians down, I’ll resign first.”

KWS: Interesting. The purpose of Jordanian influence over the West Bank was not for integration or control of the West Bank.

PT: That’s right. It was to provide [unintelligible] the Jordanian —

KWS: To preserve the identity of the East Bank.

PT: That’s right. There’s a paranoia on the East Bank.

KWS: How do you — what do you mean, paranoia?

PT: Of being swamped by the Palestinians. They are slowly making the refugees, the old refugees in particular —

KWS: The ’48.

PT: — the ’48, into Jordanians. They are slowly assimilating them. They’re not confident that the assimilation has succeeded. I happen to believe that it has succeeded. But most East Bankers, most of the dyed-in-the-wool, you know, East Bank [unintelligible], you know has got a, got a grandfather test on those people.

KWS: Hmm.

PT: Uh —

KWS: Interesting.

PT: That’s — I happen to think that the 80% of the Palestinians that are neither guys living in the camps nor the political leadership, all they want to do is become Jordanians and stay there. But they haven’t convinced the East Bankers that that’s the case. What you will find is the acceptable Palestinian is the one who had family on the East Bank prior to 1948 because — so because they were related to people who grew up on the East — who were born and raised on the East Bank, the [unintelligible] are, they’re becoming Jordanian. Uh, non-political Christians are becoming Jordanian, because they’re seen as people who have no homes so they might as well be accepted on the East Bank. Uh, [unintelligible] and [unintelligible] like this, some of the guys who real Bedouin on the, on the West Bank in Israel [unintelligible] on the West Bank, the Negev. And who are members of the [unintelligible] confederation. They, they blend in with their families. But the, uh, East Bankers have got something that can only be described as paranoia when it comes to discussing the, uh, the Palestinians. And yet, I think the overwhelming majority of the people who have descended from the refugees of ’48 — keep in mind that fifty percent of the population is under the age of fifteen. They were all born after ’67 on the East Bank, they’ve been to Jordanian schools. All they’ve been hearing is [word in Arabic repeated]. Except for the ones who live in the camps and go to the UNRWA schools. All the others are in the Jordanian school system until the Jordanians abolished conscription last year. They serve in the army. The reaction of Palestinian — the reaction of young men, of Palestinian parents, Palestinian fathers in particular, when the king declared the breaking of ties with the West Bank was one of horror. Because they were afraid they would be classified as Palestinian. And if you remember, there were speculations, this rumor going around right at the beginning that Palestinians would have to choose what they were.

KWS: That’s right. Everyone with — the morning after the only thing people were worried about was “my identity and what it would mean to me —”

PT: Yeah, that’s right.

KWS: “— and I traveled back and forth —”

PT: Mm-hmm.

KWS: “— and what about my work permit.”

PT: Yeah, and the panic was that they would be classified as Palestinians. And these guys were Jordanians. And there was passion in this. You know, “I want to be seen —”

KWS: Well, they wanted to be Jordanians for pragmatic reasons. 

PT: No —

KWS: I’m not saying —

PR: “— this is my heart.” No. “I’ve got no place to go. This is my home. I live here. My father came from Safed. We’re never going back to Safed. I have no place to go. I have no ties with Bethlehem and Nazareth or, uh, Hebron. This is home, this is where I live, my mother is an East Banker, two of my sisters are married to East Bankers.”

KWS: Can you make a distinction between Palestinians who came from what was Israel prior to ‘67 —

PT: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: — and those who came from the West Bank?

PT: When you get away from the political class, yes. Uh, those who came from Haifa, from Jaffa, they’re not going home. They know they’re not going home, and their kids have no interest in going home.

KWS: Would you say there’s a greater realism on —

PT: Yes. Uh, it doesn’t mean that they like — I compare them to —

KWS: No, no, they don’t have to like Israel.

PT: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: They can still hope that Israel disappear tomorrow. 

PT: Right.

KWS: I mean, I understand that.

PT: Yeah, but no. They harbored no hope about that. Other than the political classes. And I think the political class basically exploits everything else. They are a political class only because they harbor a desire to go home. And whereas they advocate the desire to go home. But the guy who’s got the barber shop on the corner, he’s not going home. He came when he was seven years old. They don’t make [unintelligible] jokes anymore. They make [unintelligible] jokes. 

KWS: So, for King Hussein, the West Bank, the purpose of having influence over the West Bank is to prevent it from pinging or hurting upon the future, the destiny, the integrity, the wholesomeness, the polity of the East Bank.

PT: I’m not sure for King Hussein. I think so, but I’m not confident that that [unintelligible] for King Hussein. 

KWS: But he —

PT: But that is certainly the message that his East Bank subjects have picked up.

KWS: Well, King Hussein would prefer to have it all.

PT: That’s right.

KWS: I mean, he wouldn’t mind having all of Palestine.

PT: I think King Hussein is faced with a dilemma, an internal dilemma, uh, or trilemma. One, he can’t abandon Jerusalem. 

KWS: Yeah.

PT: Lots of people who know the king well tell me the man wakes up at 3:00 o’clock in the morning wondering what the history books are going to say about him in Jerusalem in 2025. Two, he really believes he’s the last monarch or leader in the Arab world who really believes in Arab unity, who still thinks it is a goal, a secular goal toward which to work. Though he is himself a person, he really is a secular Arab nationalist. And third, he knows that the unity of the two banks is probably inimical to survival of nationalizing part of Jordan. And the guy lives by a code which [Ambassador] Dean Brown once described as “the last guy in the world who still reads [unintelligible] and believes it.” 

KWS: Can you characterize him as a person?

PT: Remarkably charismatic. Conveys a feeling that he really believes what he’s saying. You never, uh, get the impression of a man who quite — never get the impression of a man who, uh, is trying to tie you into a course of action, who is trying to persuade you, is trying to convince you into a course of action.

KWS: He’s not wily.

PT: He’s not wi— He, he may be, but then he is so wily that he hides it. But let me tell you, I — there’s nothing I have ever seen. People could deal with him.

KWS: Would you say he’s truthful?

PT: If — When he is not truthful, I think it’s because he thinks there’s a higher cause being served. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: Uh, he is remarkably good at co-opting his enemies.

KWS: Co-opting his enemies? 

PT: Without absolute question.

KWS: You’ve got an example then of how he’s done that?

PT: Yeah. Ali Abu Nowar, Ma’an Abu Nowar. These are the two guys who ran this [unintelligible] coup against him in ’58.

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: Uh, one of them later ended up as lord mayor of Amman and the other went, as ambassador to London. Well, Ma’an I think is now in the senate, a royal appointment. Most recently, his handling of [Arabic name], the Muslim Brother member of parliament. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: The guy is caught with the goods on him, explosives and documents and everything else. Sentenced to death by court martial. Uh, sentence commuted and then pardoned by the king. By accepting the pardon, [Arabic name] destroyed his credibility.

KWS: And the king knew what he was doing?

PT: And the King knew what he was doing. But he does it with such open-handed generosity that the other guy’s got no choice. Standard joke among the [unintelligible] in Jordan is if you want to become a minister, stage a failed coup.

KWS: Mm-hmm. Who does he listen to for advice, or who has he listened over the years, or how has it changed — how did it change from, let’s say, ’70 to ’74 as compared to ’87 to ’91?

PT: ’70 to ’74 he got a lot of advice from old Jordanians [unintelligible], the guys that had been his father’s mentors, his grandfather’s mentors.

KWS: The people who had helped rear him.

PT: The people who had helped rear him. By ’87 they were all gone, either dead or [unintelligible] or looking someplace. By ’87, the circle had gotten much smaller. It included his brother, Zaid Rifai, Zaid ibn Shaker, one or two others that drifted in. Uh, [unintelligible], for example commanded the airforce, was sort of — not quite, wasn’t in the inner circle, but the next layer up. 

KWS: What about Ali Ghandour?

PT: Ali Ghandour had been further in. By the time I got back in ’87, Ali Ghandour had gotten himself in sufficient trouble on so many different fronts that he was no longer part of the innermost circle. I’d say in, in ’74, he was part of the innermost circle, but the innermost circle was a bigger circle in those days. He was still a tribal king in the early ’70s; everybody had access.

KWS: But by the late ’80s?

PT: By the late ’80s, he had become much more a martyr political leader.

KWS: Meaning?

PT: Smaller circle of people who saw him every day. Uh, not as readily accessible for advice — still accessible in the social sense, still a, you know, gladhander, still a lot of people saw him. But not as many people would spend evenings with him [unintelligible], more dependent on his, on his closest advisors to be told what was going on. 

KWS: Were there times when he did or did not take his brother more or less seriously?

PT: Uh, my impression is —

KWS: On certain issues and —?

PT: My impression is, uh, that he always listened to his brother, and his brother was the guy who would frequently be asked to carry bad news for him, ’cause even his innermost circle did not want to carry bad news to [unintelligible]. So, thinking out loud now, one has almost the impression that, yes, his brother was his closest, in the end, his closest confidant — this is the Middle East; blood is a lot thicker than anything else — because the only guy who ever carried bad news and therefore was identified as bad news was his brother. I have a real impression that if terrible news had to be presented, uh, Zaid Rifai, ibn-Shaker, all the rest hit the [unintelligible] and said, “Do me a favor, you go tell him. I’m not.”

KWS: Why does King Hussein have the street appeal that [Prince] Hassan doesn’t?

PT: King Hussein is — it’s personality proven. Hassan tries to do what the king does. I mean he shows up in the middle of the night at your house at some Iftar [nighttime feast] during Ramadan. He visits the troops; he wears his uniforms. He’s too cerebral; he loses his audience three minutes into the conversation. He’s onl— the only time I’ve ever seen Hassan coherent, straight, with his eye on the donut was in the middle of crisis. The trouble with Hassan is, he’s been vice president for umpteenth years, and like all vice presidents he doesn’t have an assigned job that has real responsibility attached to it. He doesn’t run anything. He hasn’t had to run anything since 19—, since he came back from England in the late ’60s. So, he theorizes. When he’s had to — his conduct — I, for example, think his conduct during the ’89 riots was absolutely right on and real national. I mean, he marched to the sound of guns. He went down there, he was criticized for this by a lot of people, but I think he did absolutely the right thing [unintelligible]. But it didn’t come out that way, it didn’t look that way afterwards. I think he, uh, put the blame on Zaid Rifai for being [unintelligible] and not on Hassan [unintelligible] There was a certain element particularly among Amman’s cafe society to, uh, blame Hassan for the fact that the riots weren’t handled properly. One of the things you couldn’t use was force to put down riot [unintelligible].

KWS: In ’87 you got there, Jordan’s big thing, you just said to me that you didn’t think the negotiating process was going anywhere and the item on everyone’s agenda in mind, the method, the procedure that was to be used was an international conference. 

PT: Essentially Jordanians had — insomuch as they had formulated their thoughts, was restarting [unintelligible].

KWS: What did that mean to them, to restart [unintelligible]?

PT: You have a conference — you sit there; you’ve got a Russian, you’ve got the Soviets and the Americans as co-chairmen — a conference in which the rules were that the co-chairmen beat people up when they couldn’t agree. And the Jordanians served as a conduit to the Palestinians. This was their role. They were not there to negotiate on their behalf. Uh, the Jordanians were going to figure out some way —

KWS: They were a door to the, the Palestinians [unintelligible].

PT: Yeah, yeah. They were going to figure out some way to be conduit, the interface, what have you, between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

KWS: Did, did that change over time? I mean, what they perceived their role to be?

PT: I don’t think it’s ever changed. They are comfortable with the present negotiations because the Palestinians are there and all they have to talk about is the three-square miles of disputed territory, water and economic issues.

KWS: So, they — did they ever articulate to you that they saw the negotiating process or an international conference as a way to further legitimize these things?

PT: Not in those terms. They talked about when peace comes, “We need peace so that we can rid ourselves of the Palestinian problem.” The moderate East Banker would say at that point, “You go to the Palestinians in this country and say, ‘You have to make a choice. Are you a Jordanian? Then act like a Jordanian. Or are you a Palestinian? If you’re a Palestinian, you can stay here, you can work here, but you’re going to carry a Palestinian passport. Home is identity [unintelligible].’”

KWS: Mmm. Mmm.

PT: “‘And if you’re a Jordanian, you’re a Jordanian.’ And you wait one more generation, your daughter marries a Palestinian — I mean your daughter marries an East Banker and might even [unintelligible] to become king, or a chief-of-staff, or something like that.” 

KWS: What, in fact, did the outbreak of the [First] Intifada have on your attitude toward an international conference and the peace process?

PT: It briefly turned off the Palestinian political issue. It really upset them, uh —

KWS: What did it do to Jordanians?

PT: Jordanians sat there, sort of without a thought for about a week. And remember, the initial reaction was one of, “It ain’t gonna last. Just a few days. The Israelis will put it down, the Palestinians will go back to being the wimps that they are.” And then, as it continued —

KWS: Sounds like the Israeli estimate of the Egyptians [laughs].

PT: [Laughs.] Yeah, and then, as they continued, they started saying it’s, you know, it’s really funny — the East Bankers developed more respect for the Palestinians on the West Bank than the Palestinian political class did. The Palestinian political class frankly did not like — now I believe [unintelligible] in the early days, a disaster. 

KWS: Because it gave the Palestinians on the West Bank legitimacy?

PT: Because, well Theros deep in his heart of heart thinks because it undercut the legitimacy of the Palestinian political class on the East Bank. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: They were — and, you know, their importance on the East Bank, their importance in Jordan, is as representatives of the Palestinian people.

KWS: So now we have another person to vie with for who represents Palestinian —

PT: Absolutely. 

KWS: — Jordan.

PT: Not only who represents Palestinian-Jordan, but I as Pales— my ability to represent Palestinians in Jordan is dependent on my ability to represent Palestinians on the West Bank, on my credibility. Otherwise, these guys on the East Bank can, you know, just vote in Jordanian elections and they can pick whoever they damn well please. Uh, I don’t think it was really associated with the peace process initially. I think most people on the East Bank saw — my impression is that most people on the East Bank saw the intifada as how does it affect them? Uh, the Jordanians gave them a certain amount of grudging admiration. The — more and more, as the horror stories started coming back, of course it improved [unintelligible].

KWS: [Laughs.] The degree of horror improved.

PT: Yeah. Uh, the — there was a strong reaction against the mainstream of the PLO among Palestinians and Jordanians. I mean, you’d meet Jordanians on the East Bank who were always anti-PLO but [unintelligible] the Palestinians. “Why aren’t you doing something? Where are you when we need you?” I mean, these people are dying [unintelligible]. And there was a brief moment there when Damascus really grabbed the initiative. The Syrians through the radical Palestinian groups, all of a sudden, a radio station came on the air. They reacted fast, whereas the mainstream PLO continued to sort of stumble around in the dark as to what you do with intifada. The message they conveyed was that “we don’t like intifada, the mainstream PLO.”

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: And it was months before they rid themselves of that, of that problem. And then, uh, and then it made the peace proce— it made the need to get a peace process going again more important, more urgent for everyone. The worry on the East Bank was that I — A) uh, the radical liquid mix would get, would find an excuse in the intifada to drive more people across the river.

KWS: Fear of Jordan, East Bank, being a dumping ground?

PT: That’s right. 

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

PT: The second fear among East Bankers was that, uh, the resident Palestinians on the East Bank would become so inflamed by what was going on on the West Bank that they would then either destabilize Jordan or do something else stupid, drag the Jordanians into confrontation with the Israelis. They began to have a real problem with, uh, cross-border movements by [unintelligible]. A year into the intifada, the principle job of the Jordanian army on the bank, on the West Bank — I’m sorry, on the East Bank, on the river and in the Wadi Arava, was to keep guys from, uh, crossing, from going across. And it became a problem because individual Palestinian soldiers would pick up their M-16s across the river. Some of these guys were actually lethal because they were trained soldiers, not just a couple kids off the street.

KWS: What, uh, when did you get first wind of the, uh, the prospective Jordanian disengagement, which came about the end of July of ’88?

PT: We got first wind of it, uh, perhaps 48 hours before the announcement, as the U.S. got it.

KWS: No sense of it from Jordan’s action at the [June 1988 Arab League] Summit meeting earlier that they were going to be cut out as the conduit for —

PT: They always talked like that. They’ve been talking like that for as long as I can remember. 

KWS: So there was a continuity in their sense of being, uh, unappreciated.

PT: That’s right. Worse than that, there was a fear that the United States was hell-bent and determined to make the Jordanians responsible for the Palestinians. 

KWS: Why do you suppose they cultivated that fear? Was that our position?

PT: In many ways, it was. I mean, uh, we had opted a position some place between the Likud and the Jordanians, the Likud saying, “There is no Palestine, there’s a Jordan,” and the Jordanians saying, “We’re only here to provide a conduit, and the minute we can get you and the Israelis on the phone line, we’re, we’re, we’re hanging up.”

KWS: Is that why Hussein went through this effort in, in ’85 to try and get Arafat to accept [UN Resolution] 242?

PT: Yes. He wanted Arafat negotiating. He wanted the Palestinians, uh — he does not, and again, he’s faced with this dilemma — he wants, at the bottom of it, he wanted the Palestinians to agree to whatever happened. He — I was present at one conversation in which he once said, “I will never sign an agreement that the Palestinians haven’t signed first. It’s their agreement and their lives.” And the memory of, of his grandfather — it’s still vivid. 

KWS: Is that what this term “equal footing” meant? I mean, “We’re gonna go to a conference and we’ll have equal footing with the Palestinians.”

PT: That’s right: They’re a full partner, and goddammit, they sign it.

KWS: And we’re not gonna speak for them.

PT: We’re not gonna speak for ’em. We’ll help them get there.

KWS: But why did Arafat constantly develop this notion that King Hussein had this territorial appetite for the West Bank and he wanted to represent Palestinian interest, and he wanted to diminish the role of the PLO? The sense I get from talking to, to PLO people is that they have developed over time this sense that King Hussein is nothing more than a two-faced son of a bitch, who really, all he wants to do is kick us in the balls and take the West Bank as the spoils.

PT: They hate King Hussein. They really do.

KWS: That may be an understatement. 

PT: Yeah. Though I’m saying — and this, therefore, colors everything he does — their view, their colors are universal —

KWS: From ’70?

PT: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Or before ’70?

PT: From before ’70, but particularly from ’70. Uh, a lot of the Palestinians are steeped in the leftist tradition of the ’50s and ’60s. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: And so, the man is a known — the man, the man’s survival is an insult to their intelligence. Uh, on, on top of all that, if they were king, that’s what they would do.

KWS: [Laughs.] It’s the [unintelligible].

PT: And finally, if there is a glimmer of truth in it, it’s if everything the king does and says about the Palestinians and the West Bank don’t apply to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is different. Jerusalem is really important. Not that he wants sovereignty for himself — personally he would love that — but to me the king’s bottom line is Arab sovereignty over the Old City. If there’s any place where it will be difficult for him to sign up, it will be on that issue. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: I think he is willing to sign anything. There, even if the Palestinians sign up to a degradation of sovereignty, on the issue of sovereignty, over the Old City, I think the king will have a real, he will develop a first-class ulcer before he can sign that. I think it’s a little bit of an obsession on his part.

KWS: Is it more of an obsession in terms of who controls Jerusalem between him and the PLO and the rest of the Arab world, than it is between the Arab world and Israel?

PT: It’s between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world. The Old City — he, he is a Hashemite. He is a descendant of the prophet. He — his grandfather — his great-grandfather [Hussein bin Ali] lost Mecca [unintelligible] and the family was disgraced because they lost it to a bunch of [unintelligible] ragheads, who, uh — and now, he lost Jerusalem. The Saudis don’t deserve Mecca is the attitude.

KWS: Patrick, that’s great history. But how do, how do you see, how did you see it as, as the deputy chief of mission? I mean, they articulate it to you? They talk about, you know, their right for inheritance being [unintelligible] —

PT: No, no, not their. His.

KWS: His.

PT: Okay, what they say is not his, his —

KWS: I mean, I mean I can read this in a history book and it makes sense.

PT: Yeah, and it — but they say it over and over again. The East Bankers, the East Bankers worked [unintelligible] too [laughs]. I always had the impression —

KWS: I mean with him, it’s, it’s, it’s — It’s a consummate center.

PT: It’s a consummate center. It is his role in history. When he dies and they write the high school history books —

KWS: That’s right. He doesn’t want to wake up at 3:00 o’clock in the morning.

PT: That’s right. I, I get Jordanian and Likudnik friends whose idea of the perfect solution is a unitary state on the West Bank with all the Palestinians living in it. Run by Israelis, and the Palestinians are serfs. [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Mmm. All right. Let me terminate this now because it’s 8:15 and we’re gonna go in about ten or fifteen minutes. 


KWS: Now, we talk about an international conference and we talk about 1988 and we’re talking just about a month before the disengagement in July of ’88. [Secretary of State George] Schultz has come out in the early part of ’88, in an effort to try and somehow get the Jordanians and the Israelis talking. Why did Schultz not succeed but why did [James] Baker succeed? Was it, was it the moment? Was it the personality? Was it the style? What was it? What were the factors?

PT: Several factors. First of all, it was personality and style. Baker looked mean. Baker looked like a guy who hadn’t, hadn’t any particular sympathy for the Israelis. No particular sympathy for the Arabs either. But a guy who had no precond— no prejudices or biases. He looked like a man who was out to make a name for himself, trotting on anybody and that’s all right. ’Cause you can live with that sort of guy. Whereas Schultz looked like a guy who, while he was devote— devoutly interested in finding a solution, he had the procedures wrong, in their view. Uh, Schultz enunciated the peace process as a labor arbitrator would: Clearly, you know, we all have an interest in peace, therefore, if you get everybody in the room and you negotiate, uh, we will find a solution. A solution is inevitable. The Jordanians didn’t believe a solution was inevitable. And finally, Schultz came across as an individual extremely sympathetic to the Israelis. And so, that’s —

KWS: You needed to have a mediator who is perceived as someone who not only could cut a deal but someone who wasn’t, at the beginning, looking like he was a spokesman for the Israelis.

PT: That’s right. Secondly, the disengagement was behind him. The Israe— the Jordanians had played their major card.

KWS: What do you mean?

PT: Until the disengagement, the Jordanians felt that they hadn’t really convinced us that they were not surrogates for the Palestinians.

KWS: They hadn’t convinced the Americans.

PT: Had not convinced the Americans.

KWS: Did they do the disengagement in order to convince us?

PT: Yeah. I think that’s a large part of it. 

KWS: Did Schultz, I mean, was — 

PT: We were upset with the disengagement. Schultz was clearly upset with the disengagement.

KWS: Why? 

PT: Because it, uh, he felt that it would distance the Israelis — that he could not get the Israelis to the peace conference if there was a smell of Palestinian about it. This is our — this is the view from Amman.

KWS: Schultz’s view with Jordan represents the —

PT: Yeah.

KWS: — Palestinians.

PT: That was, I mean, he may have said that that wasn’t his view, but that was the message and every word he said portrayed it. 

KWS: He was conveying it.

PT: He was conveying it.

KWS: So, it was both the message and the messenger that the Jordanians didn’t like in Schultz.

PT: That’s right. 

KWS: And it was the messenger in Baker that they did like.

PT: And they had killed the message, with the disengagement. They had set— With the disengagement proclamation, they had in their view revised the ground rules.

KWS: In other words, they forced the issue now with the Likud and with the Americans. 

PT: That’s right.

KWS: “You have to deal with the Palestinians, you can decide whomever those Palestinians are, but we are not going to be the actors.”

PT: That’s right. “Don’t call me.”

KWS: What is it about —

PT: Let me add just one thought to that.

KWS: Sure. Please.

PT: Having said that, in having a — what the disengagement agreement proclamation did is it also enabled the king to turn to his population and say, “I’m not going to get snookered,” [and] to his leadership who didn’t want to go. He is not — in other words, what they were afraid of was that there would be some sort of vague formula that would allow the Palestinians to come to the peace conference and then the Jordanians would get snookered into representing them.

KWS: And that would damage the influence the East Bank Jordanian leadership who wanted to protect their own prestige and their own —

PT: The purity of the Jordanian state, for want of a better term.

KWS: I won’t make analogies to the Third Reich, I promise. Umm, do you, in your lecture today and what you said to me last night, you — you’re convinced that there is an East Bank establishment that wants to preserve itself with or without the Hashemite monarchy?

PT: That’s right.

KWS: And if the Hashemite monarchy can do that for them, that’s terrific. But the morning after King Hussein goes, they’re going to be there to preserve themselves. 

PT: That’s right.

KWS: Because they have a prerogative and a stake in the system that gives them perks. 

PT: That’s right. Gives them identity. They, I know, identify themselves as Jordanians. They are real Jordanian. This is their state, this is their nationality. They are drifting away from the concept — as they were for years — the concept of being part of Greater Syria. They are — this is their state, it is better run than their neighbor’s, uh —

KWS: So, King Hussein’s Arabism is anachronistic to them.

PT: That’s right. And it all came out —

KWS: But it’s not anachronistic if it preserves their prerogatives. 

PT: That’s right.

KWS: It’s only anachronistic if it threatens their prerogatives —

PT: Right.

KWS: — and status and everything else.

PT: Mm-hmm. And this extends way down into the Jordanian population. It is —

KWS: We’re not just talking about the military.

PT: We’re not just talking about the military.

KWS: We’re not talking about the upper-middle class, the upper-classes, the merchants, the bankers —

PT: You go to the villages, the stuff like that. You go — the guy who owns the restaurant, the taxi drivers, all these people. There’s a real sense of threat from the outside. Uh, you know, one of the jokes was if we ever have a unitary state, the first thing we’re going to establish is the JLO.

KWS: [Laughs.] Having said this to me, how much in the minds of these people at the village level, at the urban level, in the military, with merchants, with businessmen, with traders — how much of a Jordanian identity is it?

PT: A very strong one. Very strong. And it is, uh, it tends to have, not abso— not exclusively, it tends to be centered around families and clans and tribes. 

KWS: And as long as the king is there, he is the beneficiary of that allegiance.

PT: That’s right. Because he represents the state. You started with [King] Abdullah, Abdullah formed the army, and the army formed the state. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: And that was the sequence of the creation of Jordan.

KWS: Now explain to me, in that context, why, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, the decibels of Jordanian nationalism went off the charts.

PT: The Kuwaitis had it coming to them. Saddam had backed ’em. The Iraqis were the only Arab state standing up for them. Uh, Kuwaitis were shits. Uh, the Palestinians — the great sense of frustration was that the Palestinian joined in with this one, probably more enthusiastically than the East Bank Jordanians in the beginning. The East Bank Jordanians had some hesitancy in the beginning. Then they pitched in. But the Palestinians were pro-Saddam invading Kuwait from day three. Day one and day two was just confusion.

KWS: So, in other words, both the Jordanians and the Palestinians who lived in Jordan said, “The Kuwaitis have it co— coming to them.”

PT: That’s right.

KWS: Why?

PT: Kuwaitis treat foreign workers badly. They pay ’em well and treat them badly. They haven’t understood that you can underpay a guy, and if you treat him real nice, he’ll be loyal. And it doesn’t matter how well you pay him, if you treat him like shit, he’ll, he’ll reciprocate. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: Uh, secondly, they had snubbed the king. What really bothered the Jordanians — there were several occasions where the king had gone to Kuwait and not only come away emptyhanded, but once was actually denied landing class and told to fly back. And the story spread throughout Jordan. If you’ve got 400,000 people living in Kuwait carrying Jordanian passports, that means two-thirds of the population in Jordan is related to somebody living in Kuwait. Everybody’s got a Kuwaiti story. Uh, thirdly, or whatever number I’m at, uh, if you look at Iraqi actions preceding the, uh, the run up to the war, the ACC [Arab Cooperation Council, founded in 1989 by North Yemen, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt partly in response to being left out of the Gulf Cooperation Council] — uh, the Iraqis really built up toward throwing the ACC. The Iraqis really conveyed the ACC to Jordan and to Egypt — [unintelligible] had forgotten now — as a funnel. Uh, not as a funnel — as an instrument to [unintelligible] the pressure on the Gulf states for assistance to them, and therefore, this is the reason why the Iraqis convinced the Jordanians and the Egyptians to bring the Yemenis into the ACC. We all forget the effect of the ACC formed shortly before the, uh, before this war. The Arab League Summit held June? May? of ’90?

KWS: May of ’90 in Baghdad.

PT: In Baghdad, in which Saddam, uh, beat up all over the Gulf Arabs and their failure to support the Jordanians. Uh, the Jordanian army’s view that — the armed forces view, that the only way they can successfully — not successfully — the only way they can deter the Israelis, is with a Jor— an Iraqi back up. The Iraqis give depth. The Iraqis give them reinforcements, big time reinforcements. Uh, the Jordanians had supported the Iraqis for eight years against the Iranis. They felt the Iraqis owed them. And would pay back. Jordanians have a strong — I think displaced — a strong sense that the Iraqis are loyal to their friends, that they remember who helped them.

KWS: Misplaced Bedouin concept of loyalty.

PT: Yeah. So, figure all these factors in and then you add to that the king’s absolute conviction that he was undercut by [Egyptian president Hosni] Mubarak, [unintelligible], when he tried to find an Arab solution to the problem.

KWS: What — Why did the Saudis treat him so shabbily and why did he intentionally antagonize them by start talking about Sharifian interests? I mean that had to be stupid. 

PT: Eh, he — 

KWS: I mean just stupid.

PT: Yeah, see, he doesn’t think — see, their view is that the Saudis overreacted to a chance remark, which then provoked the king, which then provoked the Saudis. In other words, it’s —

KWS: Well, if Sharon says that Jordan has Palestine, that’s just a chance remark.

PT: Yeah, yeah. Having said that —

KWS: Come on Patrick. I’m sorry, that’s lame.

PT: Look, I’m not — I’m telling you what they think, not what I think.

KWS: That’s pretty weak.

PT: What they, what they will say when they — when you ask them about this is that someone addressed him as Sharif Hussein. 

KWS: Yeah.

PT: And his response in a public, uh, forum was, “I regard that as the greater title than king.”

KWS: [Laughs.] Oh God.

PT: “Because I am a sharif, because I am who I am,” and so forth. “My grand— you know, my great-grandfather” and so forth [his great grandfather was Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the last Hashemite Sharifian that ruled over Mecca, Medina and the Hejaz]. The other thing [laughs] is the Saudis and the Hashemites don’t like each other. Really don’t like each other.

KWS: Do the Saudis care if the Hashemites go?

PT: There are some views — Saudis don’t want the Hashe— They dislike the Hashemites individually and collectively. They fear the Hashemites because the Hashemites have a legitimacy, a historical and religious legitimacy, that they also lack. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: Uh, they continue to believe that there is a Hashemite conspiracy to regain Hejaz. They read into anything the Hashemites say that will lead them in that direction. Uh, they read into that, whatever the Hashemites say. Uh, do they want to destabilize Jordan? During ’91 they did. I don’t think they want to anymore. But during the latter half of ’90 and ’91, I think they were so pissed off at the Jordanians that they would have been perfectly happy to see Jordan destabilized. 

KWS: Umm —

PT: They were angry.

KWS: Let me get back to, to U.S. foreign policy toward Jordan, umm, from August of ’90 through the war. Did, did we understand Jordan’s geographic dilemma? Did Washington — 



[KWS takes phone call and then shares with PT before resuming the interview.]

KWS: Where was I?

PT: Hashemites, Jordanians, uh, Christ, I forgot. We were talking about the Saudis and the Hashemites. We moved on, oh, the American, uh —

KWS: Oh, the American view. Did the Americans understand the geographical dilemma that King Hussein was in?

PT: We understood it, but we were not prepared. We, in effect, told him that, “We know you got this problem. You’ve got to overcome it. This is the way the game goes.”

KWS: And, and what kind of rules did we lay down for it?

PT: The rules were the enforcement of sanctions and the cutting down of rhetoric.

KWS: But we understood that sanctions would drastically affect his economy.

PT: Yes. And we were initially prepared to go out and get help for his economy. 

KWS: But we didn’t.

PT: We didn’t and I’m not sure why. I think the reason is the rhetoric killed it.

KWS: Whose rhetoric?

PT: Hussein’s rhetoric. The Jordanian rhetoric killed it, even though, uh — We had made certain commitments through the UN on supporting the Jordanian economy. We didn’t follow through on them, I think primarily — uh, in addition to being distracted by other things going on, uh, the Saudis worked full-time at killing it. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: The Saudis [unintelligible] screaming. Every time we’d go to the Saudis and try and get some aid for Jordan in moments when we were, when we were trying to do so, the Saudis would go ballistic and [unintelligible] them down from ceilings. Egypt would, uh, would do everything in its power to prevent it and [unintelligible].

KWS: Did we understand, Patrick, by the time the war broke, how isolated Jordan was from its Arab moorings?

PT: Yes. We knew.

KWS: Did we use that at all to entice him into this march toward Geneva — march toward Madrid? 

PT: I don’t have a conscious opinion that we did it that way.

KWS: You see, the sense I get about Jordan is, Jordan had nowhere to go after the Gulf War.

PT: It didn’t, and — but I don’t think we consciously — No, I don’t get the impression that we linked Jordan’s isolation. Rather, we compartmented Jordan’s isolation and the Geneva peace conference.

KWS: Madrid?

PT: Madrid peace conference. What we did was we said to the Jordanians, “You have reasons of your own for going there,” and as long as the Jordanians were satisfied that they had reached a, an acceptable arrangement on Palestinian representation — one that they weren’t real happy with but one they could live with —

KWS: Yeah. And had articulated before [unintelligible] our delegation.

PT: Yeah. They were, uh, they were gonna go to Madrid almost in abstraction.

KWS: Was there any, was there ever any doubt they would go to Madrid?

PT: No, not in my mind. I never had any sense that once these got back — the issue was the Palestinian representation. Once that was settled to Jordanian satisfaction —

KWS: How early was it settled? Baker came out for the first time in February of ’91. I mean by the time you left, he’d been there four or five times.

PT: Yeah. And it was settled by the time I left. Pretty much, the general outlines.

KWS: Tahir Masri says that Jim Baker succeeded because he never talked substance; he only talked procedure.

PT: That’s right. But that was the only — that was the issue. See, Jordanians got no substantive issue —  issues with the Israelis.

KWS: And the Jordanians were willing to compromise on all these other things like a UN role, an ongoing conference —

PT: Yes.

KWS: — and permanent members of Security Council and all this other stuff.

PT: That stuff was relatively unimportant to the Jordanians compared to the process of how you get procedure, how do you get the Palestinians as principal interlocuters.

KWS: Did Jordanians want a two-tiered diplomacy to evolve? You know, one of Israel and the Arab states, and Israel and the Palestinians?

PT: They — one — [unintelligible] — I’m just trying — I know the question. The answer is, uh, their best solution would be a single tier with the Israelis — with the Palestinians out there as full partners in negotiating, negotiations. 

KWS: Yeah.

PT: Uh, their second-best solution is what they’ve got now.

KWS: Now, that — that’s what they can say to you publicly —

PT: Right.

KWS: — and even privately— 

PT: Yeah.

KWS: — but they know full well that if they have a tier of their own, they can essentially control the Palestinian tier, because they know the Israelis want to control it with them.

PT: There is a strong feeling among Jordanians that there is a convergence of interest with the Israelis, at a point. Once the Israelis — what the Jordanians I think feel — this is Theros’s reading of body language —

KWS: That’s okay. 

PT: You know —

KWS: That’s all right.

PT: — is that once the Israelis get off their hobby horse about “Jordan is Palestine” and “the West Bank is Jordan,” and really understand that what we’re talking about is controlling the Palestinians, “We could get along fine, thank you.” 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: See, they’ll, they’ll tell you, and — that the Israelis don’t understand their own best interest.

KWS: But the Jordanians do understand that Israel sees Jordan as in their national interest because the alternative to Jordan —

PT: But they fear there are nuts in Israel who don’t. They — most Jordanians accept that Ariel Sharon is a relatively minor player, but every time he says something, then all the paranoia jumps to the top. 

KWS: What kind of assurances did the Jordanians want from us to get into this? I mean everyone’s always — historically, whenever we do negotiations, we write letters of assurances and understanding and — what did we promise the Jordanians, what we promised everyone else?

PT: An active role. What we promised everyone else, an active role.

KWS: And how did we, how did we define that on the, on the road to Madrid? I know how we’ve defined it since, but what did an active role mean, [that] the UN would be an interlocutor, a mediator, an advocate —

PT: No, they were looking at our role, behind the scenes.

KWS: What, what did that mean, to them?

PT: That meant that we would make sure that we would strive mightily, I should say [laughs] for want of a better term, to undo positions that had no place to go — 


KWS: Yeah. Yes?

PT:  — to insure —

KWS: [Unintelligible]. Appreciate it. 

PT: To ensure that the —

KWS: [Conversation with woman at regarding university salaries.] 

PT: Uh, there are a couple of exchanges that I wasn’t privy to, toward the end of my tour and just after I left, uh, between Baker and the king that were, if not one-on-one, close to one-on-one — 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: — uh, out of which the king, [unintelligible] the king, far more comfortable than they had been going in.

KWS: Were — I know the Saudis and the Gulf states were impressed with the power that we demonstrated in the Gulf War. They were impressed with the fact that we committed ourselves to something. We did it, and you know, we didn’t linger, we didn’t stay on, we didn’t [unintelligible] through. Did the use of American power influence the Hashemites?

PT: In what way?

KWS: Did it influence the king to say, “Well, you know, we got no other game in town, the Soviets are dead, we got to do this.”?

PT: I don’t think that was a crucial or even an important factor in this [unintelligible]. Uh —

KWS: What you’re saying is that the Hashemites decided to join us because they thought it would be in their national interests to do so?

PT: Because they thought it would be in their national interest to do so. 

KWS: And it would preserve the national interest. Am I, am I making that up or is that true?

PT: That’s true. Uh, I think that when, you know, they reverted to rational thought after the Gulf War was over —

KWS: [laughs] I love you sometimes. You say some of the greatest things out of context that are really true.

PT: They, uh, they, they saw the Gulf War as this great big hiccup and they wanted to get back to the peace process. They saw it as a disaster for their interests, uh, but that the key was to make sure that they were going to go back to the peace process. There was a certain amount of wild talk coming out of the United States during the war, uh, saying that “this war has changed everything, uh, Jordan is no longer relevant to the peace process, uh, the Saudis are going to make all the decisions. You know, we’ve got the Saudis on board, you know, we are going to be able, with the Saudis and the Gulf States, to determine —”

KWS: And what the Jordanians wanted to be able to say was, “We’re not part of the problem, we’re part of the solution.”

PT: That’s right. But worse than that is that every time somebody would mention this to the Jordanians, they’d burst out laughing.

KWS: Umm, was there ever any kind of effort to try and invite Arab foreign ministers to Washington in early ’91, like a, an effort to try and do a mini-conference before Madrid?

PT: I honestly don’t remember, Ken. I’m completely blank, doesn’t, uh —

KWS: Was there ever any effort, any discussion about just sending out invitations and seeing who would show up?

PT: Yes, frequently. This would surface about once a week and then somebody would drag it down again. This would — the idea would come up with greater frequency as we were frustrated, you know, whenever our frustrations would reach a certain point, particularly when we’d get frustrated with the Israelis. Somebody would surface that, “Why don’t we just invite everybody and see what happens.”

KWS: Would it be fair to say that Baker kicked issues of substance into the future?

PT: Yes, absolutely. 

KWS: That would be fair?

PT: That would be fair.

KWS: Umm, did he make promises he couldn’t keep?

PT: None that I heard. I’m aware of no promises, other than “an active role,” whatever that means.

KWS: Umm, is it fair to say that Baker knows how to manage people? I’ll even go so far as to say manipulate them into reaching an arrangement, an agreement?

PT: Occasionally intimidated them. Some days, manipulation and intimidate. He really can be a fairly intimidating character.

KWS: How so?

PT: Well, mannerisms. Uh, brooding face. He leans forward. He, uh, conveys a lot of body language and umm, uh —

KWS: He can, he can wag a finger at you without picking up his hand.

PT: That’s right. Yeah, that’s a good one. I like that. 

KWS: [Laughs.]

PT: [Laughs.] It’s as good as, “We turned irrational” but — 

KWS: [Laughs.] Umm —

PT: But he also conveyed consistently the idea that he had no friends.

KWS: Meaning what? 

PT: He had no friends in the region. He was not pro-Israeli. He was not pro—

KWS: In other words, he was not carrying someone else’s brief.

PT: He wasn’t carrying anybody else. That was conveyed consistently. 

KWS: Did the Jordanians want to know from him whether the Syrians were on board or not? I mean, did they use Baker as a, as a check, you know, as a gage to see if the Syrians really were going to come along, or by this point after the war, did Jordanians not care whether the Syrians would come along?

PT: No. They, they had to come along. 

KWS: For the Jordanians?

PT: For the Jordanians. The Syrians and the Egyptians had to come along. The Syrians and the Palestinians, excuse me, had to come along. They weren’t going by themselves. 

KWS: How much communication, do you know, that was before you left Amman between Jordan and the Palestinians in persuading them to get on Baker’s train?

PT: A lot. Uh, I don’t know what the messages were —

KWS: No, no. I’m just, I’m just interested in frequency —

PT: A lot.

KWS: — or quantity —

PT: A lot, there were frequent attempts to get the Palestinians to buy on to something acceptable to the Jordanians. 

KWS: And, and why did the Jordanians feel that they could push the Palestinians into something that they couldn’t push the Palestinians into a year earlier?

PT: Because the Palestinians had no friends left.

KWS: Is it reasonable to say that the Palestinians saw Jordan as their only friend?

PT: At that point, unless you count Iraq and Yemen.

KWS: So, the changed regional environment had an impact upon the Palestinians saying yes?

PT: Greater than it did upon the Jordanians.

KWS: But the inter—, international environment had a greater impact upon the Jordanians than it did upon the Palestinians.

PT: In what way? It’s your terminology I don’t understand.

KWS: Well, in the sense that only the United States could do it and could no longer hold out for the kind of mechanism that you’ve been preaching for the West five or six years in — of Moscow and the United States [unintelligible] and the United Nations playing —

PT: Yeah —

KWS: — a role —

PT: But how did then, Schultz, with or without the existence of the Soviet Union — I’m not sure he could have convinced, uh —

KWS: If it had been Schultz and not Baker in that same environment?

PT: I don’t think he could have pulled it off.

KWS: Baker’s credibility was he was an old [unintelligible] and was not perceived to be.

PT: Schultz, after Lebanon, was perceived to be 100 percent on Israel’s side.

KWS: You mean, after the May ’83 —

PT: That’s right. 

KWS: Border. The thing at the border [an agreement signed between Lebanon and Israel providing for Israel’s withdrawal of troops and a framework for establishing relations]. Umm —

PT: Yeah.

KWS: And Assad couldn’t have come along with Schultz.

PT: I don’t honestly know the answer to that. My guess is no, but I don’t honestly know —

KWS: No, but your—

PT: — the answer to your question.

KWS: — the seat of your pants feeling. 

PT: Yeah, yeah.

KWS: Mine, mine would be the same too.

PT: Schultz overreacted to the failure of the agreement. He so overreacted to it and it stayed with him as an albatross, the failure of the agreement with Lebanon.

KWS: Well, Schultz felt that he tried something and he failed. He didn’t succeed.

PT: But it —

KWS: He felt —

PT: He felt that he had been lied to by the Syrians and the Syrians told him, “We never lied to you. You never consulted with us.”

KWS: But didn’t Baker feel diddled by the Palestinians in June of 1990, and 1989, and the [Yitzhak] Shamir Plan, and, and Baker tried?

PT: Yeah, but Baker didn’t carry grudges. Baker never let that — he never conveyed body language that said, “You fucker, you screwed me.”

KWS: In other words, he’s, he’s pragmatic enough to forget quickly —

PT: Yeah.

KWS: — that someone screwed him over ten minutes ago. 

PT: That’s right.

KWS: Because wants to, he still wants to get to his goal.

PT: That’s right. That man was so actually fixed on the donut, not the hole. He did not get side-tracked. Everything he did was designed to convey either body language, symbolism, uh, his crossing of the [Allenby] bridge in [unintelligible]. We lost the press bus going to the bridge, in traffic. He stopped the whole convoy and just about demolished the secret service guys and everybody else around him. To wait — coming down the Wadi Shueib, the press bus could pass him and get to the bridge.

KWS: Before him.

PT: Before him. And be set up for a symbolic crossing in which he could say the right things. And he just about [unintelligible] the Jordanian division commander there, and he actually got this guy, who didn’t want to go at all, to come half-way across the bridge with him and hand him off to the Israeli on the other side. He just packed this thing with symbolism going across. He knew exactly what he was doing.

KWS: Who choreographed this thing, do you know?

PT: I think he did. He choreo— he made it up as he went along. We got the word that he was crossing the bridge as the airplane was going into, into its landing.

KWS: You mean, when he was landing in Amman.

PT: When he was landing in Amman. I mean, I was sitting, uh, you know, sort of half asleep, watching the airplane land when they called me and they said, “The secretary didn’t land; he’s going by land to Jerusalem.” And he —

KWS: How much time did you have to plan for that?

PT: Twenty-four hours. You know, you can imagine — That evening — no, I’m sorry, not twenty-four hours, that evening. You can imagine the Chinese boat fire-drill we went through.

KWS: He went the next morning?

PT: He went that night.

KWS: He went that night.


PT: I did nothing of substance that day accept plan the — arrange the crossing of the bridge. All the plans changed. [Laughs; unintelligible] the Israelis because he didn’t tell the guys at the bridge that he was coming.

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

PT: [Unintelligible] as hell.

KWS: Who didn’t tell?

PT: The Israeli government didn’t tell their guys at the bridge. Their — We had more problems with the Israelis on the other side as admin— I mean, none of this had to do with substance or policy or anything like that, because they were caught off guard even more than we were. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: And apparently their system is a little bit more rigid than the — the Jordanian system is essentially that the army takes over and does it. Uh, but the Israelis apparently have got different organizations that, uh —

KWS: Overlapping jurisdictions would be an understatement.

PT: Yeah. We were at one point down to talking into the walkie-talkie with the security officer from the embassy in Tel Aviv who was at the bridge arguing with the last guy in the Israeli chain who hadn’t gotten the word that he was supposed to get the motorcade in.

KWS: What did Baker want to accomplish by going across the bridge?

PT: Symbolism.

KWS: What, what, what symbolism? What does that mean?

PT: Yeah, uh, he wanted to focus attention on his crossing. He wanted to focus attention on his efforts. Uh, this is the man who’s gonna cross — he’s crossing the bridge on foot. This is the way, you know, this is the road from Amman to Jerusalem. You get on an airplane, you fly it round and you go land someplace else; it doesn’t have the same, uh —

KWS: Yeah, but he’s not the first guy that’s —

PT: He’s the first guy who did it with that much fanfare. 

KWS: Well —

PT: I mean, yeah, there was a — it looked like MacArthur wading ashore at Leyte [in the Philippines in 1944].

KWS: Really?

PT: Yeah. [Unintelligible.] Let me tell you, he had —

KWS: What month was this, do you know? 

PT: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: You left in when?

PT: I left in the beginning of July. Maybe a couple months earlier.

KWS: So maybe March or April?

PT: March or April. And the second part — the last part of the Chinese boat fire drill, besides getting the bus down there, was, uh, first of all, the Jordanians, umm, they had a major general intervene and said in effect to the “do what the Americans tell you to do.” So we pushed the reporters across the bridge who, however, were still — half of them were throwing up from having this wild bus ride down through the mountain and they had to get there. We were calling them on the radio, telling them to get the reporters across the bridge and set up. We were talking by walkie-talkie to the guys across the bridge, our guys across the bridge, saying, “Make sure that the Israelis give you — what the secretary wants is maximum —”

KWS: — Coverage.

PT: “— coverage.” And you know what reporters do, they were trying to push the Israeli guards aside, and these eighteen-year-old kids, “I ain’t gonna get pushed aside.” 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: But he gets there, and there are, you know, scenes with the Jordanian major general and a conversation there with TV cameras all around him. And [laughs] the major general is looking around and, you know, sort of saying to himself, “Is this the end of my career?” Because clearly, Baker was dominating the scene at the bridge. The Jordanians had lost complete control of the atmosphere. 

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: And, and he almost literally says, “I want you to come with me to the middle of the bridge,” and the general looks around, you know, “What am I supposed to do next?” And the foreign ministry guy’s doing this, so he got the — showed him the — 

KWS: Did, umm —

PT: [Laughs.] The Israelis were no happier to do it from their side.

KWS: What do you think most Americans didn’t realize about Baker and his success, and his abilities? I mean, what did we underestimate, or understate, or underknow, or undervalue about that February ’91 to October ’91 effort on his part? It seemed rather incredible to someone who followed the Middle East. I’m not sure Americans really understood what he did.

PT: I’m sure Americans didn’t care then.

KWS: No. I, I, I think you’re right. I think you’re absolutely right. 

PT: Uh, I think one of the reasons he did this show was, was to attract Americans [unintelligible].

KWS: Why?

PT: Because he felt that we needed support, we needed to be seen as a — Remember how Kissinger was?

KWS: Yeah?

PT: Anything Kissinger did was [unintelligible]. 

KWS: Yeah.

PT: There was an aura [unintelligible], a sort of [unintelligible], a super-diplomat.

KWS: And everyone knew that if he was representing Bush, [unintelligible], sorry. I mean, there was not ever any doubt that he was the president’s man.

PT: Yeah. Or just Kissinger was something above that. But nonetheless, he had to get, I think — international recognition was important to his efforts. Press. I think he was playing to the press, uh, trying to build up momentum for this.

KWS: Did he understand that time would be required after each trip for the respective sides to sort of sit with these ideas on procedure that he was bringing, that they — 

PT: But he wasn’t prepared to give them too much time. 

KWS: In other words, he, he knew that they now had to digest it, but he wasn’t going to let ’em sleep it off.

PT: That’s right. He had to [unintelligible], had to [unintelligible], keep them focused upon — in effect, what he had done from about three meetings in, says, “Well, you’ve agreed to go to the conference while we’re working the details. Right? Don’t tell me otherwise.”

KWS: He wouldn’t let, he wouldn’t let people backslide. 

PT: That’s right.

KWS: He wouldn’t let people re-open something that had been closed. 

PT: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Did people try and re-open things?

PT: Uh, no. The, the difference between him and the Jordanians was primarily redefining what it was — you know, a lot of what they had agreed upon, particularly the Jordanians, was oral.

KWS: Yeah, someone told me he wrote very little down.

PT: Yeah, and I, uh, we — The embassy didn’t take notes and we didn’t see his report. We took notes for ourselves, but we didn’t take notes for reporting. There was no reporting [unintelligible].

KWS: There was no reporting of his trip back to Washington.

PT: There is but it’s internal within the party. I have never seen it.

KWS: No, but not —

PT: There was no embassy reporting.

KWS: That’s what I meant. 

PT: Yeah.

KWS: In other words, it was either Dan [Kurtzer] or, or, or —

PT and KWS: Aaron [Miller]. 

KWS: — or Dennis [Ross] or one of these characters did it. 

PT: Yeah.

KWS: Was that strange?

PT: No, I mean, we’re chameleons. “What did the secretary want? We’ll do what the secretary wants.”

KWS: And those were, sort of — it was understood that that’s what you guys wouldn’t do?

PT: Yeah. Well, more than this, we were told [unintelligible].

KWS: Did he rely at all on any of the ambassa— ambassadors for assistance and help, other than getting in and out of doors? The image we have in America is “Dennis and Jim Baker did this.”

PT: The image I have is Jim Baker did this. Uh, Dennis was out on earlier trips. He and Aaron came out, and Richard [Haas] and so forth and they turned the Jordanians off completely.

KWS: Why?

PT: Uh, for guys that have dealt with this issue for so long, they thought they were dealing with the Soviets.

KWS: What does that mean?

PT: They were harsh, unwilling to devote time to the cultivation of a good atmosphere prior to giving substance.

KWS: Mm-hmm. And you’re convinced that’s required?

PT: I’m convinced absolutely that’s required. You don’t have to — There’s a certain amount of “you’ve got to build up rapport.” The third meeting you don’t have to do it anymore.

KWS: But you better be sure the atmosphere is right.

PT: You better be sure the atmosphere is. If the atmosphere is wrong, they’re not listening, because they associate atmosphere with credibility.

KWS: So, it’s the atmosphere, it’s the messenger, it’s the message?

PT: It’s the message. The Jordanians feel they want a message.

KWS: Did they get an American commitment to run these negotiations on the basis of 242 or on the implementation of 242? ’Cause they’ve always made that distinction.

PT: I couldn’t honestly answer the question of where the line was. I mean, you sort of — I think that was one of those issues that was left to substance.

KWS: It was left also to each person’s personal interpretation.

PT: Right.

KWS: “Bring it to the table. We’ll negotiate on the basis of 242. If you think that’s implementation, we can talk about it.”

PT: That’s right.

KWS: Because that was always the strong point that — 

PT: Mm-hmm.

KWS: — the crowned prince always made.

PT: Yeah. And it sounds very Syrian. The Syrian idea again, 242. “We’ve got to settle. What do you have a conference for?”

KWS: International legitimacy is based upon 242. [Unintelligible.]

PT: Yeah.

KWS: Cool. Umm, when you left in — you left in August?

PT: July.

KWS: You left in July. Umm, were you surprised on the Jordanian side to see the Israelis accept the notion of a regional conference? Were you surprised to see the Shamir government already by mid-summer saying, “Yeah, I think we can do this.” 

PT: Yeah.

KWS: It wasn’t a shock to you though. 

PT: It wasn’t a shock. I mean, it was the sort of thing that — My feeling, and the feeling of a lot of us, was it’s inevitable. It’s just a question of whether this Israeli government recognizes it —

KWS: — or the next one.

PT: — or the next one. ’Cause they ain’t gonna get there any other way.

KWS: What do you think the Jordanians wanted out of the conference? What were the goals?

PT: Their short-term goal was to make this an Israeli-Palestinian negotiation. And they generally think they’ve accomplished that. There’s danger of backsliding; it’s not as clear, as clean as they would like it to be. Umm, their next goal is to make it into an Israeli-PLO.

KWS: Why is that important to them?

PT: Because the PLO is a legitimate Arab [unintelligible]. It is the — and that they recognize the representative of the Palestinian people by the Arab world, further locking the Arabs into the Jordanian view of things.

KWS: Didn’t that give too much legitimacy to the PLO?

PT: It beats giving legitimacy to their role.

KWS: As representing the Palestinians?

PT: As representing the Palestinians.

KWS: Well, can’t you just let this delegation be responsible?

PT: At a certain point, this delegation can’t sign. The delegation has to draw legitimacy from some source. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: Who is that source?

KWS: Well, why, why is it in Jordan’s interest to have that — 

PT: Because they don’t —

KWS: — clearly, clearly articulated?

PT: ’Cause they don’t have all of that [unintelligible]. But see what they needed clearly articulated is that they are not the source of legitimacy.

KWS: Well, I mean, then [unintelligible].

PT: Yeah, but they needed, they needed explicit. But if they are not the source of legitimacy, who is?

KWS: Is it fair to say that their reason for going to Madrid was like their reason for disengaging? [Unintelligible] their Jordanian identity and give the Palestinians a chance to speak for themselves, and not to be dinged for not being able to deliver, and wanting to be sure that the Israelis got into it with the Palestinians, without the West Bank, without the [unintelligible], without the Jordanians?

PT: Internal affairs, that’s it. They would bridle at being told you can’t deliver. They think they have delivered everything they have ever promised to deliver.

KWS: Well, let’s put it this way, I’m not — they — I don’t think they want to blamed for not delivering.

PT: Yeah, but they, they think they were in a position to deliver twenty years ago. That’s an exaggeration, but, early on in the process. Once the Gulf War took place, once the Palestinians lost all their other allies, they saw the Egyptians as meddlers. They saw the Egyptians as guys playing a double game. 

KWS: Mmm.

PT: Uh, they’d get — uh, they would talk to the Palestinians; we would talk to them — this is during Schultz’s time and before the war — we would talk to them; we would talk to the Egyptians. And then the Egyptians would talk to the Palestinians because the Egyptians had locked that relationship in before the war. And then the feedback they’d get from the Palestinians and the Egyptians on what the Palestinians and Egyptians said to each other was always different.

KWS: [Laughs.]

PT: That was another thing that really hurt Schultz. Schultz never understood that the Egyptians had that much [unintelligible]. 

KWS: What was [unintelligible]?

PT: Egyptians wanted to be in a position to control the Palestinians and make sure that they had, they had a veto on Jordanian and Syrian positions to the Palestinians. And they always held out to the Palestinians, Egyptian support. 

KWS: Hmm. 

PT: You’ve got to [unintelligible.]

KWS: So Schultz was a bit naïve, a little bit to inter-Arab machinations.

PT: Yeah.

KWS: So Baker wasn’t?

PT: Baker assumed that everybody was [unintelligible]. 

KWS: [Laughs.] And he just assumed that everyone was fucking everyone and that’s the way the game got played.

PT: That’s it exactly. Schultz, I think —

KWS: That’s wonderful.

PT: Schultz, I think, assumed good will. Schultz’s view was as a labor negotiator: Come, you know, you’re looking after the interests of your workers, you’re looking after the interests of your share-holders.

KWS: A mediator can’t really be having — a mediator can’t be an idealist. I mean, Jimmy Carter could [unintelligible]. There’s a lot of similarity, now that you mention it, between Schultz and Carter.

PT: And he kept, you know, he kept assuming that these were guys who had good intentions. Well, they may have had good intentions by their lights —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

PT: — but they weren’t his good intentions. I think Schultz tended to define “good” and what was right. The most frustrated guy I ever saw was Phil Habib who was sent out on what he clearly felt was a fool’s errand and tried real hard early on. Yeah, I remember sitting with him at dinner one night, some comment about [unintelligible]. 

KWS: Phil had a way of breaking things down to five or six words.

PT: Yeah, yeah. Clearly a guy who was a, was a good soldier, salutes smartly, and God, tried hard as hell to —

KWS: Who made the decisions in Jordan about going, not going, choreography, procedure? I mean, okay, Baker, Baker talked to the king but, I mean, was his brother involved in all this?

PT: Yes, his brother was involved, ibn Shaker was involved, Tahir Masri was involved. Tahir Masri actually had a fairly high, uh, profile through a lot of this.

KWS: Well, he was prime minister.

PT: Yeah, but not only that, but [Mudar] Badran as prime minister did not. But Tahir Masri did, because Tahir Masri brought, brought a Palestinian element to this. This was a man whose ultimate loyalty was seen to the Palestinians. The Jordanian basically regarded [unintelligible] as a Palestinian. He was brought in as prime minister. Well, first as a foreign minister and then as a prime minister, so as to provide a vehicle for the Palestinians to find out — 

KWS: Is that why he was made prime minister in December of ’90 [sic; December 1889 to June 1991], just before the act of Desert [ Desert Storm took place January to February 1991]?

PT: Yeah, that and the fact that Badran was about to tear what little international credibility Jordan had. Badran was manipulating parliament, particularly lining up the [Muslim] Brotherhood. Badran is a really, uh, smart [unintelligible].

KWS: But the Musri appointment in December of ’90 [sic; 1989] was clearly done to bring the Palestinians on board.

PT: To bring the Palestinians on board, uh — First of all, they had to get rid of Badran. Badran was [unintelligible].

KWS: Tahir knew this.

PT: Huh?

KWS: Tahir already knew this.

PT: Yeah. Tahir had very realistic views of his own limited importance.

KWS: Do you think he’s smart? Is he as smart as Zaid?

PT: No.

KWS: Or Ibn Shaker?

PT: Yes, he’s as smart as Ibn Shaker. Uh, he is a little bit more confident. In other words, he and Ibn Shaker I think are about the same intellectually. He may be smarter than Ibn Shaker. Ibn Shaker has a pretty clear picture of where he stands in their [unintelligible]. It’s pretty clear [unintelligible]. But he also knows where he can’t go.

KWS: How come, how come there are so few people like Musri and [unintelligible] and Shaker in Jordan? How come there are only like a half a dozen of them?

PT: Because all the smart Jordanians go into business. [Unintelligible.] They don’t like politics. They’re really not into foreign policy. There were a lot of smart people in the ’50s and ’60s.

KWS: Because, I mean, it’s, it’s an enormous gap.

PT: There’s no reward for a guy like that to go into politics. One of the advantages of Zaid Rifai and Tahir and ibn Shaker is they don’t [unintelligible] living. And they can always go away and live happily ever after. [Unintelligible.] The best and the brightest in the East Bank establishment go to army; the best and the brightest of the Palestinian establishment go into business.

KWS: I’ve always been amazed at the shortage of competent people at the top. As it evolves into a constitutional monarchy, will it change?

PT: I think so. Because then there will be real power associated with it, real power. The importance and the prestige will be intrinsic to you as a politician, rather than to your relationship with the king.

KWS: And right now, it’s predicated on your relationship with the king?

PT: Yeah. It’s changing, but right now — when I left Jordan, it was primarily your relationship with the king. But Badran was the first politician that I saw try to develop any kind of [unintelligible].

KWS: If you were a betting man would you say that the king, if he had to, would use force to suppress fundamentalism? To do what Mubarak —

PT: It would be done differently. The Jordanian way.

KWS: The Jordanian way, but it would still be non-toleration.

PT: That’s right. Umm, the danger the king would try to avoid is to make it a Palestinian-Jordanian —

KWS: Gripe. But that doesn’t send the wrong [unintelligible]?

PT: Uh —

KWS: Why did he allow the Hamas free access inside Amman?

PT: Because for the longest time, they were his principle supporters of his [unintelligible]. Everything was Hamas, Hamas, [unintelligible] Hamas. He used brotherhood and its satellites, that for years in return for a [unintelligible], in return for [unintelligible], and it functions. They were the only organized political support against the [unintelligible] within the lower classes [unintelligible]. I think it’s only been since ’89 that the king has begun to recognize a threat. [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Let me get back a moment, umm, Haas, Miller —

PT: Can I get [unintelligible] of [unintelligible].

KWS: Sure.

PT: The reason I’m [unintelligible] —

KWS: No, no, no. Please. Sorry.