Arafat’s still dead, (with 2 updates)
but at least now it’s official. As this DEBKA report predicted, “They also decided to settle the Arafat problem before November 12, because that is when Ramadan ends with “Orphan’s Friday” and moves into the three-day Eid al Fitr festival”, not that they’d try to maximize the propaganda value. Honest Reporting is not playing along (link via erpayo). Neither is Aaron Mannes:
it would not be accurate to say that Arafat was directly behind 9/11 and the growth of al Qaeda. But Arafat’s life’s work was to justify the use of random violence and equip a generation with the means to do so. He helped set in motion the web of alliances that has manifested itself in today’s super-terrorists. This is Yasser Arafat’s terrible legacy.
Don’t miss also Think Again: Yasir Arafat, by Dennis Ross, written in 2002.
Arhtur hears echoes of a Shakespearean tragedy. The Beeb shed a tear. (Update Take a look at CNN’s hipocrisy.) Jacques called Yasser “a man of courage and conviction who for 40 years embodied the Palestinians’ fight for recognition of their international rights”. Jane, on the other hand, is thinking in terms of a rap song.
Second update A commenter named Nikita in Roger’s blog linked to an article by Ion Mihai Pacepa — the highest ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc — titled, The KGB’s Man
He was an Egyptian bourgeois turned into a devoted Marxist by KGB foreign intelligence. The KGB had trained him at its Balashikha special-ops school east of Moscow and in the mid-1960s decided to groom him as the future PLO leader. First, the KGB destroyed the official records of Arafat’s birth in Cairo, replacing them with fictitious documents saying that he had been born in Jerusalem and was therefore a Palestinian by birth.
The KGB’s disinformation department then went to work on Arafat’s four-page tract called “Falastinuna” (Our Palestine), turning it into a 48-page monthly magazine for the Palestinian terrorist organization al-Fatah. Arafat had headed al-Fatah since 1957. The KGB distributed it throughout the Arab world and in West Germany, which in those days played host to many Palestinian students. The KGB was adept at magazine publication and distribution; it had many similar periodicals in various languages for its front organizations in Western Europe, like the World Peace Council and the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Next, the KGB gave Arafat an ideology and an image, just as it did for loyal Communists in our international front organizations. High-minded idealism held no mass-appeal in the Arab world, so the KGB remolded Arafat as a rabid anti-Zionist. They also selected a “personal hero” for him — the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, the man who visited Auschwitz in the late 1930s and reproached the Germans for not having killed even more Jews. In 1985 Arafat paid homage to the mufti, saying he was “proud no end” to be walking in his footsteps.
Arafat was an important undercover operative for the KGB. Right after the 1967 Six Day Arab-Israeli war, Moscow got him appointed to chairman of the PLO. Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser, a Soviet puppet, proposed the appointment. In 1969 the KGB asked Arafat to declare war on American “imperial-Zionism” during the first summit of the Black Terrorist International, a neo-Fascist pro-Palestine organization financed by the KGB and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi. It appealed to him so much, Arafat later claimed to have invented the imperial-Zionist battle cry. But in fact, “imperial-Zionism” was a Moscow invention, a modern adaptation of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” and long a favorite tool of Russian intelligence to foment ethnic hatred. The KGB always regarded anti-Semitism plus anti-imperialism as a rich source of anti-Americanism.
The KGB file on Arafat also said that in the Arab world only people who were truly good at deception could achieve high status. We Romanians were directed to help Arafat improve “his extraordinary talent for deceiving.” The KGB chief of foreign intelligence, General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, ordered us to provide cover for Arafat’s terror operations, while at the same time building up his international image. “Arafat is a brilliant stage manager,” his letter concluded, “and we should put him to good use.” In March 1978 I secretly brought Arafat to Bucharest for final instructions on how to behave in Washington. “You simply have to keep on pretending that you’ll break with terrorism and that you’ll recognize Israel — over, and over, and over,” Ceausescu told him for the umpteenth time. Ceausescu was euphoric over the prospect that both Arafat and he might be able to snag a Nobel Peace Prize with their fake displays of the olive branch.