A Consul's View of King Hussein

Yesterday I found this description of Hussein b. Ali, the King of the Hejaz and the Sharif of Mecca, by the British Consul in Jedda from December 1923:

 Imagine a cunning, lying, credulous, suspicious , obstinate, vain, conceited, ignorant, greedy, cruel Arab sheikh suddenly thrust into a position where he has to deal with all sorts of questions he doesn't understand, and where there is no human power to restrain him, and you have a picture of King Husein ... Lying, robbing, and other crimes no more come amiss to him than they did to the founder of his religion.

The British Consul does not pain a pretty picture of him. I did not know it was possible to pack so much negativity into one sentence. King Hussein was Britain's Arabian ally during the Great War, but their relationship hardened in the years that followed when King Hussein became a small annoyance to Britain and when Britain did not fulfill her war-time promises to him. According to the book where I found the quote he had, by 1924, become both a despot and a figure of fun.

Taliban før NATO

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