Terrorists and Greek Choruses; Arafat Is No Achilles.(OPED)
Byline: Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Greek chorus in Agamemnon chants in the background, "Good, Prevail, Prevail." Unfortunately, life is not a Greek chorus, particularly if it involves Muslim terrorists.
Recently, President Bush reiterated what he had said in September: " . . . if you harbor a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist. If you feed one or hide one, you're just as guilty as those who came and murdered thousands of innocent Americans."
The president absolutely, positively meant what he said - unless you were talking to him about Yasser Arafat. Mr. Arafat is still treated by us as the head of state for 3.3 million Palestinians. Back in the real world, he has been only the ruler of Ramallah. Sitting in the rubble like a fermenting piece of rotten cabbage, he was for months unable to send out for a pizza. However, he was still able to direct, or at least condone, children becoming suicide bombers or ordering up a shipload of arms and explosives.
Searching for terrorists, we have developed a bad case of myopia where Mr. Arafat is concerned. The reason, of course, is Arab oil, and the perception that when we launch our attack against Iraq we will need Arab support. We believe the absolute reverse to be true.
Before sending Secretary of State Colin Powell off on his mission to the Middle East, Mr. Bush said, "This is a conflict that can widen or an opportunity we can seize." He was so right, but he was referring to the wrong thing. We have now a unique opportunity to forever end Arab ability to use their control of oil as a weapon of blackmail against the West.
At the same time, we can also send the Arabs a message that we understand at least part of their thinking. They have no great love for the Palestinians, having kicked them out of Arab countries whenever the opportunity arose. But, since they do not want us to go to war against fellow Arab Saddam Hussein, as long as the cauldron keeps bubbling between the Israelis and the Palestinians, they believe Saddam is safe. So far they have been right.
We have the ability to do what has to be done in Iraq on our own. Mission accomplished, Mr. Arafat will truly be irrelevant. Events can then be viewed in a realistic perspective.
Some facts are clear, and these realities should drive our policies in the region. …