The Godfather of Terror

The Godfather of Terror
Vol: 24 Issue: 22 Monday, September 22, 2003

Yasser Arafat should not be alive today. All the odds are against it. Terrorism isn t exactly the kind of business where one expects to reach the ripe old age of seventy-four. There are at least a dozen times in recent memory in which it looked like the old terrorist was finally going to get the justice he so richly deserves.

It looked like Arafat was toast when the West discovered that all the money it had contributed for Palestinian aid was siphoned off into Arafat s private bank account. (Arafat is reputed to be one of the richest men in the world, on a par with Bill Gates and formerly Saddam Hussein).

Arafat simply ignored the criticism, and the West ignored the theft and somehow, Arafat was able to link the resumption of financial aid to peace until the money started flowing back into the Palestinian Authority, where Arafat resumed his siphoning operation openly. Effectively, then, the western governments contributing to Palestinian aid know they are giving it to Arafat. But it is easier to pay him off than it is to fight him.

Arafat s career looked like it had come to an end when both US and Israeli intelligence linked him directly to the Karin-A.

The Karin-A was a ship intercepted on the Red Sea by Israeli commandos. Inside were fifty tons of weaponry from Iran that was bound for the Gaza Strip. Documents discovered when Arafat s compound was raided showed Arafat personally ordered the shipment before the uprising had even begun.

Somehow, Arafat survived that, too.

Then Bush and Sharon isolated Arafat. They refused to deal with him and forced him to name a prime minister ‘untainted by a terrorist past.’ Arafat first offered up Mahmood Abbas, the bagman who financed the 1972 Olympics massacre of eleven Israeli athletes.

Israel and the US chose to overlook that little detail and embraced Abbas with open arms. Abbas lasted 100 days before being replaced by Ahmed Queria. (Who never speaks when Arafat is drinking water).

Somehow, some way, Arafat’s interpretation of the road map to peace (Israel surrenders in exchange for being allowed to live) has become the accepted interpretation by every country on earth except the US, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. After overseeing a terrorist machine that since 2000 has killed more than 1,000 people, including U.S. nationals, Arafat’s safety has become a key element in U.S. policy in the region. So much so that the United Nations General Assembly thought him important enough to merit a special resolution pledging global fealty toward the terrorist leader and demanding Israel keep him safe from harm.

What gives Yasser Arafat leverage in the current situation is Ariel Sharon. Ironically, the administration has equated Arafat with Sharon. Sharon, who has followed every U.S. dictate, is viewed as a bloodthirsty tyrant similar to Arafat who can’t make peace but can’t win a war.

“Arafat and Sharon are both the same,” a senior U.S. State Department official recently told the Washington Times. “They are interested in power only. So, it’s no surprise that they are willing to sacrifice every one of their people to stay in power.”

Assessment:

How did the administration come to compare a bloodthirsty terrorist with the democratically elected head of a key U.S. ally?

Arafat has long enjoyed a lobby at Foggy Bottom and at the CIA. Since President Gerald Ford’s administration, Arafat has been seen as somebody who could get things done — whether this meant facilitating an intelligence exchange between Washington and the CIA or maintaining quiet during the 1991 Gulf war.

In short, Arafat was the godfather of terrorism with allies in virtually every rogue regime in the Middle East.

In 1975 Israel had extracted a pledge from the United States that Washington would not negotiate with Arafat or the PLO.

Privately, the CIA maintained ties to Arafat. Ironically, Israel changed the status quo in 1992 when it engaged in back-channel negotiations with Arafat and the PLO.

That led to the 1993 Oslo agreement for a five-year plan of Palestinian self-rule followed by a two-year effort to establish an independent Palestinian state. The Oslo plan formalized U.S. ties with Arafat and led to a huge increase in direct funding to the PLO leader.

Washington poured hundreds of millions of dollars to boost Arafat’s power in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, allowing him to purchase advanced security equipment and to train an elite bodyguard unit. Much of the U.S. money, as previously noted, went directly into Arafat’s pockets.

The height of U.S. aid to Arafat came in 2000 when the Clinton administration sought to conclude a peace deal between Israel and the PA.

Arafat was quietly promised billions of dollars in U.S. and international aid to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, sources said.

Instead, Arafat refused the U.S. peace plan and launched a war that soon will enter its fourth year. Even during the Israeli-Palestinian war, Arafat kept receiving U.S. aid.

Intelligence sources estimate that the Clinton and Bush administrations have relayed hundreds of millions of dollars to Arafat since 2000 even as his terrorist machine killed American citizens.

Much of the U.S. money has come from a special CIA fund concealed from Congress. Other funds came in the form of U.S. security aid to the PA that ALSO ended up in Arafat’s pocket.

The main reason for the U.S. aid to Arafat, the sources said, is to protect American interests in the Middle East. The CIA assessed that a desperate Arafat could facilitate terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as well as throughout the Middle East.

It seems to work — despite harsh U.S. criticism of Arafat, American diplomats and CIA officers have not been killed in the PA areas over the last three years.

“The United States does not support either the elimination or the exile of Mr. Arafat,” U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said. “It is not our position and the Israeli government knows this. There would be rage in the Arab world and the Muslim world. And I don’t see this moving forward the roadmap.”

Officials said the Bush administration have made Arafat’s well being an issue of U.S. national security. They said the administration has pledged to Arab allies such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia that Washington would prevent Israel from expelling or harming Arafat.

The United States exercised this policy on Sept. 13 when it prevented Israel’s military from capturing Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah.

But there is some indication that Arafat s influence in Washington is waning.

Quietly, the United States has been sending cryptic messages to Israel that Washington might tolerate Arafat’s demise. But the messages stress that Israel must act quickly and efficiently as it did in the 1967 war. As one former senior U.S. intelligence official said, this operation must take no longer than four days and completely destroy the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure.

“I see Bush looking away for three days, maybe four at most, while Israel destroys the PA,” the intelligence official said. “After that, Bush will respond harshly.”

Arafat is more than just a master terrorist, he is a master of intrigue so adept that he seems almost demonic. More than almost. He has survived a half century longer than most of the kids he sent out to be killed.

Israel may be planning to end Arafat’s career, once and for all.

But Arafat’s history suggests demons aren’t that easy to kill.

This entry was posted in Briefings by Pete Garcia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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