A little while ago, I gave a commenter a brief spanking for being stupid, calling his stuff “recycled stupidity” vs. “original stupidity.” I think I owe James an apology — I found out I overlooked a previous comment of his that, especially in light of Yassir Arafat’s finally ending terrorism, needs attention. In fact, I think I’ll give James’ piece a thorough Fisking to make my own points about Arafat.
There is no doubt that Arafat was a terrorist at one stage of his life and enriched himself at the expense of his people.
A terrorist at ONE STAGE of his life? How about nearly his entire life? Arafat started out in 1964 as a terrorist, and was still supporting, endorsing, and financially backing terrorism right up until the end. He ordered the death of a United States ambassador, and never faced justice for it. He publicly praised suicide bombers, and even (this is probably the most obscene) had a kid’s summer camp named after one.
Some have cited other “terrorists’ who went on to become heads of state and peacemakers, most notably Nelson Mandela and Menachem Begin. But they overlook one key point: they both gave up terrorism long before they rose to legitimate power. Arafat was a terrorist leader right up to the bitter end.
And as far as “enriched himself,” that’s a pretty mild term for someone who out-and-out stole an estimated 3 to 4 billion dollars from his own people (that’s billion with a “B”), and had his “government” pay his wife $100,000/month to live in Paris while his own people wallowed in their own squalor.
However he is a moderate compared to other Palestinean groups.
Yes, let us praise the moderate. Let us all praise his moderation. Let us sing the praises of moderates like John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy, who merely killed people, versus extremists like Jeffrey Dahmer, who would kill and eat them.
His demise will not help the peace process and may in fact make the matter worse.
The “Peace Process” under Arafat was a bad joke. The Israelis started living up to their side immediately. The Palestinians had three commitments: 1) renounce and uproot terrorism; 2) put forth leadership untainted by terrorism; and 3) hold democratic elections. Instead, the incitement, support, and backing of terrorism increased geometrically. Long-time terrorist leaders took posts in the Palestinian Authority. And as far as democracy goes, Arafat won the first election, with his term slated to end in 1999. A second election has yet to be held. Everyone, it seemed, was calling on the Israelis to be patient. To those people, “patience” is measured in dead Israeli bodies, especially women and children.
I can understand people’s anger after 9/11. But bombing mountains in Afghanistan and deposing Saddam Hussein has not made the world a safer place and done nothing to alleviate the pain and loss of the friends and relatives of the victims of 9/11. If anything it has probably only made it more dangerous. The American people have been duped into a war, which they can not win. Their allies have been bribed and it will only be a matter of time before the coalition disbands as the real motives for the war become apparent.
Gee, thanks, James, for your understanding why we Americans are were a bit peeved at 3,000 of our people (citizens and guests of our nation) were killed and our economy took a huge blow. But if you can extend that understanding a smidgen, perhaps you can grasp these facts:
1) the mountains in Afghanistan you mentioned were where those who organized the attack on 9/11 were hiding. They, for the most part, ain’t doing that any more.
2) Saddam, while most likely not involved in that particular incident, had a long history of backing those who did it and their allies, as well as killing Americans and innocents and starting wars in a region already too wracked with turmoil. He ain’t doing that any more.
3) From most of the relatives of the 9/11 victims I’ve heard, they gain comfort from knowing the planners of that atrocity (and those who would emulate it) are largely dead or imprisoned, and more and more are joining them every day.
4) There hasn’t been a major terrorist attack on American soil since that day, and the mastermind is reduced to sending out vaguely-threatening video tapes.
5) “The American people have been duped into a war they cannot win?” I think you’re having flashbacks to the 1960’s, James, when France did exactly that to us in a little place called Viet Nam. We went into this with our eyes wide open, and we are WINNING.
6) No, James, our “traditional allies” were the ones who were bribed. Take a look at the Oil-For-Food scandal. Saddam was paying off France and Russia to keep us off his back. France was going around Africa before the last UN session with threats and bribes to get others to vote against us. They even made pissy noises at Eastern Europe (where they actually appreciate freedom, having been vassal states of the Soviet Union for too long) for supporting us, the power that had helped them gain that freedom.
By all means, will on the demise of Arafat if you must. He was a man looking for a homeland for his people. His methods in the beginning might have been crude, but show me any conflict in any part of the world where both sides have not stooped to the lowest level of humanity, America included.
Arafat was “looking for a homeland for his people?” Hmm… I guess Egypt (the land of his birth) and Jordan (the real homeland of the “Palestinian” people) weren’t enough. And he wasn’t interested in a homeland — look at the Palestinian Authority’s web site. Every map shows “Palestine” as occupying the entire region now known as Israel. The clear goal of the PA is obvious to anyone willing to believe the evidence of their own eyes — the utter obliteration of the Israeli state.
Yes, his methods at the beginning were crude. But he improved with age. He brought us such great refinements as airplane hijackings, school seizures and shootings, Olympics massacres, cruise-ship hijackings (with old men in wheelchairs being shot and tossed overboard), and then his crowning achievement — the suicide bomber, where young people with their whole lives ahead of them strapped themselves with explosives (impregnated with nails, screws, and rat poison to maximize the carnage) blow themselves up in such high-value military targets as buses, pizza parlors, night clubs, religious dinners, and shopping malls.
Yassir Arafat was a walking AIDS virus, spreading death wherever he traveled. He tried to lead a rebellion in Jordan to overthrow the royal family. He failed and fled, leaving thousands of civilians to be killed in his wake. He went to Lebanon, where he triggered a civil war there that left that nation (once a shining example of peace and prosperity and tolerance) a battered, strife-torn wreck, with Syria occupying most of it and the Bekaa Valley a haven for terrorists of all stripes. He turned Germany’s 1972 Olympics into a charnel house, ordered the attack on an Israeli school that killed over 20 children. I don’t know if I can count the numbers of innocents we can lay at his feet, and it was a great day for humanity when he finally died (too peacefully, but at least he’s gone) and would not claim any more lives.
And it speaks volumes that the United Nations accorded him the respect of a head of state by flying it’s flag at half-staff. I think there’s a Biblical verse about “ye shall know them by the company they keep…”
And show you a conflict that doesn’t stoop to the lowest level of humanity? How about Israel’s fight against terrorists, where they reduce the explosives in missiles to minimize casualties? How about the current war in Iraq, where the gravest sin so far proven against Americans is we put panties on some guys’ heads?
One final point. When a teenage girl blew herself up and killed numerous innocents in Israel, Yassir Arafat named a summer camp after her. When we caught our soldiers abusing and humiliating prisoners in Abu Ghraib, we arrested them. Simply saying that “bad things happen” and everyone to blame is the most simple-minded form of moral relativism. Where the real differences appear is when you see how they are handled by the offending side.
James, James, James… you are a grave disappointment to me. I have such respect, affection, and gratitude to our Aussie allies, and you diminish that slightly.
But I do owe you a little gratitude, James. I don’t think I’ll ever get to travel to the Middle East so I can properly piss on Arafat’s grave. But your idiocy gave me the excuse and the venue to do so figuratively.