January 27, 2013: One of the 61 parties competing in the recent legislative elections in Jordan was forced to change its name. So the Saddam Hussein party became the Nation’s Honor party. The nine candidates of this party deny they support the Baath Party (which controlled Iraq until 2003 and is barely hanging on in Syria) but do want to honor executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. About ten percent of Jordan’s population consists of refugees from Iraq. Most of them are Christians fleeing Islamic terror attacks, but many are people who worked for Saddam Hussein and fled to avoid retribution from their victims. About 30 percent of Jordanians are Palestinians, most of them are citizens and nearly all of them are big fans of Saddam Hussein (and anyone else who will blame the Jews and the West for all the shortcomings of the Arab world). The kingdom is controlled by Bedouins native to the area, who are fiercely loyal to their king, a Bedouin belonging to a family that used to administer the holy places in Mecca and Medina (until run out by the Saudi family after World War I).
The mostly Sunni Arab population of Jordan contains a minority that backs Islamic radicalism, and many from this group went to join terrorist groups in Iraq in the last decade. The Islamic radicals have been a problem in Jordan from time to time but the police and military (both of them among the most professional in the Arab world) have been able to handle it. But as a rallying cry, support for Arab dictators is common, especially if they are theatrical (like Saddam Hussein) in their defiance of the West.