The Queen of Jordan said that for her part, it had simply been a matter of putting up "a good front," but a U.S. senator saw her speech Monday night at Georgetown University as part of her husband's "pragmatism."
"It's a great public relations weapon to have an attractive queen," said Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.) last night, referring to Queen Noor's remarks about Palestinian rights and the balance of power in the Middle East.
The occasion was a black-tie dinner for the American-born queen where the 120 guests included some of Washington's more important political powers.
"Oh, there's Caspar Weinberger--that's interesting," said the queen's father, Najeeb Halaby, when the secretary of defense, with his wife, Jane, arrived at the predinner reception in the Mayflower Hotel. "Cap's pretty brave to show up and say hi to the queen."
And indeed, "Cap" Weinberger may have been more than brave considering the opposition to his recent remarks about Jordan's needs for a mobile air-defense system.
Last night, though, Weinberger seemed to be downplaying any such talk with the Jordanians about the United States supplying them with F16 fighter jets and ground-to-air missiles.
"There was an assumption that I had my order book out," the secretary said, curtly.
Hatfield doubted the Reagan administration would allow Jordan's defense needs to evolve into another AWACS situation, as some observers have begun to suggest.
"How you avoid that," said Hatfield, "is you get some alternative going."
Sen. John Tower (R-Tex.) refused to discuss the possibility of another AWACS.
"I'm not going to speculate on anything," he said. "Let's wait for the request to come through."
Jordan's Ambassador Abdul Hadi Majali said that won't happen until a joint U.S.-Jordanian military commission, meeting in the "near future," comes up with recommendations based on new threats in the area and what defense Jordan can muster.
"We believe that first the American administration should be convinced of our needs and then that the Congress understands them," said Majali.
Queen Noor was tall and regal in a long black gown, her upswept blond hair lending some maturity--but only some. Up close, as she stood before a trellis of spring flowers to greet the guests, she seemed younger than her 30 years.
Arab and American friends said they had not been surprised by her speech at Georgetown since she is an activist who can do everything, as one put it.
Her father said he wasn't surprised either. "She's had it in her--all you have to do is live in Amman and look across to see . . . the Israelis cementing more land."
For her part, Noor said she did not know what King Hussein thought of her address before Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service--"He probably watched the television reports tonight." Its content was something else, since she had talked by telephone to him shortly before she delivered the speech.
"I know he was pleased to have had the opportunity to send the message," she said.