15 September 2003
Yasser, that's my baby
When, exactly, did Yasser Arafat, derided by blogdom as "The World's Oldest Terrorist", ascend to the status of a Head of State? The more I think about this, the more baffling I find it; it's like Al Capone being given an honorary governorship.
Early in his Presidency, George W. Bush made it clear that he wasn't keen on dealing with Arafat, but for some inscrutable reason the State Department seems to want to keep Arafat, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, in business long enough to make their vaunted "roadmap" work. Well, the map is folded and then some it's ragged and dog-eared and barely even recognizable anymore and yet State still seems to want to keep Arafat around.
The Israelis, for their part, are still talking about sending Arafat into exile, and more than one minister has suggested that they might as well kill him. I'm not sure either of these is such a great idea: exile will merely give Arafat an opportunity to regroup his forces elsewhere, and killing him well, the Arab world loves its martyrs, and loves to avenge their deaths. The solution, I think, is going to have to be a Latin American-style "disappearance", after which which no one will know for sure whether he's alive or dead. It might be worth it to hire some al-Jazeera technicians to fake up some regular TV appearances by Arafat during his, um, absence hey, they do a bang-up job of keeping Osama bin Laden "alive" and preserve the mystique. Under this plan, everybody wins: the Israelis get plausible deniability, the Palestinians get the leadership they deserve (and they say nature hates a vacuum), and Colin Powell gets someone to clean out his garage once a week.
And anyway, if we have to have a World's Oldest Terrorist, Fidel Castro is three years older than Yasser Arafat, and never mind how he got to be a Head of State.
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And anyway, if we have to have a World's Oldest Terrorist, Fidel Castro is three years older than Yasser Arafat, and never mind how he got to be a Head of State. - CG Hill......[read more]