NEW YORK (Feb. 18)
Two of America’s most influential newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post, have strongly denounced the Administration’s decision to supply Jordan with arms, particularly the F-104 supersonic Starfighter jets, which were promised King Hussein last week. The newspapers reflected a rising chorus of protest in both Houses of Congress against renewed arms shipments to Jordan.
The Times, in an editorial today, declared that by shipping arms to Jordan, the United States would “Join the Russians and the French in cynical subversion” of the peace-seeking mission of United Nations envoy, Ambassador Gunnar Jarring, to which the United States has pledged support. The Post, in an editorial published Friday, warned that the United States would be “increasing tension and accelerating the arms race between the Arabs and Israel” by sending weapons to King Hussein.
Senator Daniel Brewster, Maryland Democrat, a member of the Armed Services Committee, demanded in a Senate speech Friday that the United States rescind its decision to ship arms to Jordan and, instead, take action on Israel’s request to buy supersonic Phantom jet fighters. Rep. Frank Horton, New York Rep., sounded the same note in a letter to Secretary of State Dean Rusk pointing out that the Administration had failed to meet developing Israeli military requirements.
Rep. Joseph Y. Resnick, New York Dem., urged the Administration to reconsider the matter. In letters to the Secretaries of State and Defense, Rep. Resnick said “that if the Administration insisted on sending weapons to Jordan, we should at least use this as leverage to insist on peace and stability in terms of a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel.”
The Times termed the Administration’s decision to send arms to Jordan because otherwise the Soviets would send them, “a poor excuse for an untimely action that could help topple the already tottering effort to achieve peace in the Middle East.”
The Post declared that “the stated reason for resuming arms shipments to Jordan – that otherwise Moscow would gain the upper hand – is a bad reason which does not justify the decision. The American interest in Jordan is not that the United States have more influence than the Soviet Union but that Jordan pursue regional peace. There is no evidence that the purchase of American rather than Soviet arms would make Jordan a responsible – or more responsible – state. And there is the evidence of the June war to indicate contrarily that suppliers cannot control the use to which the recipients put their arms.”