Image Image

  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Friday, 27 November, 2020

Yasser Arafat — Freedom Fighter or Criminal?

Date: 12 November, 2004

By: Chief

Imagerafat died yesterday in a military hospital in France at the ripe old age of 75. He was buried today in a marble and stone tomb in Ramallah, the West Bank. Prior to his actual burial he was given a state funeral in Egypt. His burial was attended by numerous Middle Eastern government officials. The U.S. even sent a representative, Assistant Secretary of State William Burns. Israel sent no one.

Yasser Arafat will be remembered by history for many things. Some good. Some bad. It really depends upon who you ask and who writes the historical chapter on Arafat. In the Western world history will remember him as a criminal. A terrorist mastermind. And yes, he was indeed that. His Fatah organization blew up many an airliner. Took innocent children hostage at a school and killed 21 of them. Those are just two examples of many.

In the Middle East version of the history book Arafat will be remembered as a true freedom fighter for the Palestinian people. A man who brought their cause to the forefront of world opinion. A man who spoke to a jam packed United Nations general assembly. And he stayed with his dream of a Palestinian state to his very bitter end.

So which version is true? Both are.

Arafat and his Fatah movement slaughtered innocent men, women and children. So did the U.S. Army during the "Indian wars." Entire tribes wiped out. Innocent men, women and children were butchered. Arafat is just as guilty of crimes against nations as President Andrew Jackson and his ordering of the infamous relocation of Indians — the Trail of Tears. Oh, let us not forget the Catholic church and its inquisitions which lasted hundreds of years, maimed and murdered millions of people. Courtesy of the popes. Do you know that over 5,000,000 (five million) women were tortured and subsequently burnt at the stake for the horrific crime of being mid-wives and/or being able to read? Christianity cannot have educated women. Heaven forbid.

The French revolution, the reign of terror lasted for a decade. Maximilien Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety. Its hallmark event, of course, was the massive extermination of counter-revolutionaries and so-called enemies of the republic. Over forty thousand Frenchmen lost their lives to the guillotine in these years. (Abbè Siéyes, when asked what his great accomplishment was during the years of terror, replied simply, "I survived").

Bringing it a little more up to date how about the Zionists murdering and destroying Palestinians and their property? Or how about David Ben-Gurion, who would become the first prime minister of Israel, and his Haganah and Irgun organizations? The Haganah set up the "Organization of Illegal Immigration" of Jews into Palestine which worked through bases in Switzerland and Turkey. The Irgun was an even more militant organization and was considered to be a terrorist organization by the British, among others, but many Jews regarded its members as freedom fighters. Irgun is known by its Hebrew acronym Etzel. Its most notable achievement was the bombing of King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, which killed close to a hundred people.

Even closer to home is our current disaster in Iraq. Various news reports have placed nearly 100,000 innocent Iraqi deaths because of U.S. bombs and artillery since we, as in the United States, decided to, for reasons unknown, invade Iraq. Those dead innocent Iraqi citizens owe it all to G.W. Bush. Then there is the U.S. Army torturing prisoners in the Abu-Ghraib prison complex. No officer has been court martialed for that. A few enlisted personnel have and should have been. But none of the top dogs.

Let us not forget Vietnam. The My Lai massacre for instance. Lyndon B. Johnson was president at the time. The primary culprit was 1st Lt. William Calley, U.S. Army. Calley was finally convicted by court martial of premeditated murder and sentenced to "life of hard labor." Calley served almost none of the imposed sentence — he was placed under house arrest and was subsequently pardoned by President Nixon. Ain't that just nice. Pardoned for murdering men, women and children.

From what I have been able to discern from the current crop of history books, it is 'Ok' to maim and murder innocents — if — you are a western country, a Christian country or Jewish. It was done for the 'advancement of their culture' and for the 'greater glory of God'. Therefore, it becomes painfully obvious that western, Christian cultures or the Jewish culture can commit crimes against the laws of nations because they are not terrorists, indeed they are true freedom fighters. But for a people or culture who do not meet the above criteria then it is not 'Ok' to maim and murder innocents and they are not true freedom fighters. That culture is, in fact, according to western beliefs, not a culture but a terrorist organization. A rather interesting double standard would you not agree?

This is not to excuse Arafat for what he did. Not even close. However, we had ought to put things into perspective. If Yasser Arafat is a terrorist, then so is George W. Bush, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Andrew Jackson, David Ben-Gurion, Maximilien Robespierre, William Calley and the various and sundry popes of the Catholic church. That is just to name a few. Each and every one of them are guilty for crimes against the laws of nations. They should all meet or have met their end ... dangling from the end of a rope. I do believe in suspended sentences.

Hence history should judge Arafat in the same light as the aforementioned people. Whether that will that happen or not is rather hard to say. As Napoleon famously stated:

"What is history but a fable agreed upon."

As for the Western and Jewish columnists who have lambasted Arafat and branded him a thug or terrorist or whatever the term du jour currently is, they should do a little bit of research before casting a stone or two through their own glass house.

(Return to the top)