Country of the World Jordan

About the country Jordan, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: Located in southwest Asia, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is landlocked except for a small strip on the Gulf of Aqaba. Save for the Jordanian Highlands on the western edge of the Arabian plateau, which receive moderate rainfall, the eastern three fourths of the country is largely desert. Central Jordan is made up of a segment of the Great Rift Valley (which continues southward into Africa) and includes the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. West Jordan, which is part of historic Palestine and under Israeli occupation, is composed of two hilly regions--fertile Samaria in the north and barren, stony Judea in the south.

Size: 37,737 sq. mi. (97,740 sq. km.). In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israeli captured and occupied all of Jordan located west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, an area known as the West Bank, comprising about 2,165 sq. mi. (5,607 sq. km.) and including the Old City of Jerusalem.

Population: 2.9 million.

Who Rules: A constitutional monarch, Hussein I, through an appointed prime minister and cabinet who are nominally responsible to a 30-member Senate (also appointed by the king) and a 60-member House of Representatives, popularly elected to a four-year term but subject to dissolution by the king.

Who REALLY Rules: King Hussein is propped up by the CIA, the World Bank, loans from his like-minded friend the shah of Iran and reactionary monarchs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and direct U.S. military assistance to his 68,000-man Bedouin armed forces.

During the period 1946-1976, the U.S. lavished $1.6 billion in military and economic assistance on Hussein's regime. This figure does not include millions in secret annual payments the CIA made to Hussein from 1957 to 1977 in an operation code-named "No Beef"--that's right, no beef, just gravy.

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