The drums of war are sounding across the Middle East, driven by the Trump administration as well as by disputed attacks on Saudi Arabian tankers and an oil pipeline. But Rohile Gharaibeh, a prominent Jordanian politician and newspaper columnist, has watched it all with a mixture of disdain and weary exasperation.

"A circus," Gharaibeh said in a phone interview, describing recent events as little more than a spectacle with multiple foreign actors on the stage. "It's no more than shenanigans to apply more pressure on Iran."

As the Trump administration squares up against Iran, with what many see as alarming