Jordan is often called an oasis of stability. But that’s as much a reflection of the people as it is the geography. The Jordanians are truly gracious, and they don’t have to be. They’ve endured a great deal to remain a stabilizing force in the Middle East.
Jordan has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, a country once known as a common daytrip destination. And things haven’t been the same since Muath Al-Kasaesbe, a pilot in the Royal Jordanian Air Force, was killed by ISIL. It’s a terrible, familiar feeling.
King Abdullah says, “The war on terrorism and extremism is our war.” The ‘our’ there has great meaning. For them, in addition to protecting their people and sovereignty, it’s a war to defend their faith and ideals.
It’s no surprise, then, that Jordan’s leaders recognize that defeating this threat will require a comprehensive strategy. It can’t just be military: we also have to address what’s driving radicalization socially and economically.
In a similar way, the partnership between our peoples run deep, well beyond security matters. At our embassy, I met a man whose company makes air conditioners in the Middle East. (A lucrative business, I’d imagine.) He just placed an order for 8,000 compressors from Copeland, a company based in Sidney, Ohio — which used to be part of my district.
The Jordanians kept thanking us for standing with them over the years. But really, we’re the ones who should be thanking them. A true example and inspiration.
This is the second entry in a series from Speaker Boehner as he travels with a Congressional Delegation in an effort to strength America’s relationships abroad.