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September 1998 
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MER - Washington - 28 Sept:

Yasser Arafat looked like a wooden Indian today at the White House. Flanking the President on his left, with Bibi Netanyahu on the right, Arafat was little more than a prop for Clinton's divert-me-from-Monica comments. The collusive press dutifully did its thing, reporting "progress" in the "peace process" and shouting a few obvious questions, all of which Bill answered while Bibi watched with a hint of a smile and Yasser stood rigid in his wooden Indian pose.

The Americans, and the Israelis too, are rather desperate these days. Bill of course wants to avoid impeachment by acting Presidential -- that's what today's White House photo op was really mostly about. But beyond those low politics considerations there is the high politics of the historical moment that will far outlive all three of those who posed for the cameras in the White House today.

No matter what they say in public, the U.S. and Israel very much want to conclude Oslo III with Yasser Arafat before he is gone -- naturally or otherwise. If there were a serious Palestinian nationalist strategy, which unfortunately there is not because there are no longer any independent and potent Palestinian institutions on the international stage, it would be to in fact prevent any new agreements while Yasser is still around to do the dirty deed.

Yasser was brought to Washington this morning -- after extended pep and warning talks with Madeleine Albright in New York -- read the riot act, told to repress and suppress his people some more, told not to dare declare a Palestinian State in his afternoon U.N. address, and then trotted out in front of the press while the American President uttered his own lines twisting and distorting as he is now so well-known for.

The world is now overly exposed to the low lies of this particular American President. But when it comes to high-diplomacy dealing with the "Middle East Peace Process" American Presidents have engaged in this kind of word twists and political manipulation for a very long time. The very term "peace process" would involve perjury charges if an international political Grand Jury were ever convened.

As for Arafat's wooden Indian pose -- how fitting. A few years ago Arafat secretly sent his long-time personal aide, "Dr. Sami", to the American southwest to visit the Indian tribes in the area. And he wasn't there to vacation or buy trinkets. Reservations for the Palestinians is indeed what "autonomy" and "redeployment" and "by-pass roads" are all about. And Arafat is the chosen and manipulated agent to sign and legitimize these "autonomy" agreements and to set up an "authority" to police these modern-day Reservations -- complete with gambling casinos, alcohol, drugs, repression, and demoralization.



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