Jun 24, 2004 8:03 pm


Yes, I got the book. I know I am strange but the first person I looked up in the index was Arafat and on P. 929 I discovered the following paragraph:

"Two days later, still not knowing who my successor would be, I saw Arafat in the Oval office. The violence was subsiding and I thought he might be serious about peace. I told him that had only ten weeks left to make an agreement. In a private moment I held his arm, stared straight at him, and told him I also had a chance to make an agreement with North Korea to end the long-range missile production, but I would have to go there to do it. The whole trip would take a week or longer by the time I made the obligatory stops in South Korea, Japan and China.

If we were going to make peace in the Middle East, I knew I would have to close the deal. I told Arafat I had done everything I could to get the Palestinians a state on the West Bank and Gaza while protecting the security of Israel. After all my efforts, if Arafat wasn't going to make peace, he owed it to me to tell me, so that I could go to North Korea to end another serious security threat. He pleaded with me to stay, saying that we had to finish the peace and that if we didn't do it before I left office, it would be at least five years before we'd be this close to peace again".

Again on page 939 -"Madeleine Albright had made a trip to North Korea and was convinced that if I went, we could make the missile agreement. Although I wanted to take the next step, I simply couldn't risk being halfway around the world when we were so close to peace in the Middle East, especially after Arafat had assured me that he was eager for an agreement and had implored me not to go".

O.K. other administration also are lousy and walking and chewing gum i.e, focusing on the Atlantic and the Pacific at the same time. But Wow! Clinton was one gullible president (not that Albright was far behind). Arafat must have enjoyed dealing with him. After all, Clinton had all but told him that ME peace was his number one priority and that achieving that priority depended on Yassir Arafat. The idea that Arafat would put personal loyalty to Clinton above achieving a Palestinian deal nobody thought possible is nothing short of bizarre. Clinton forgot that Arafat already had a Nobel price!

Of course, Arafat was not the only tyrant which must have enjoyed dealing with the Clinton administration. Kim Jong Il also basked in the international legitimacy with which Albright showered him while he continued his secret development of his nuclear arsenal and his distribution of missile technology to other rogue states. Arafat may have done us all a favor. But if you do accept Clinton's premise that he was a visit away from removing a serious security threat from the US, how could he trust Yassir Arafat to forgo doing his utmost to remove that threat?

I must admit, I find it all rather amazing. I thought Clinton was smarter than to trust Arafat. But, then, he also trusted Kim Jong Il

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