Tuesday, August 20, 2002
Consider the various contradictory stories being planted about Abu Nidal, some by his own people, some by the Palestinian Authority and some from Iraq itself and what might one conclude? My speculation is that Arafat and Saddam Hussein were clearing the decks of old business. I don't credit the story that Arafat had secretly conspired with Abu Nidal ( with respect to Michael Ledeen) to fake a split from the PLO. Rather, I think that Abu Nidal was in Baghdad because Saddam Hussein wanted a hole card to pressure Arafat - its the way Saddam thinks. Now as the Iraq war approaches, Saddam discarded that card in exchange for something from Arafat. Now the real speculation, I admit, I believe that when the Iraq war commences that the Palestinian Authority will use that timing to put out an all-out offensive against Israel. Their goal will be to use the timing to force Israel into an unconditional pullout from all West Bank and Gaza. I've long thought that Arafat's present goal is to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza that was free of treaty restrictions on military forces, arms and free of security obligations to Israel. Such would be the base for the next war against Israel.
Robin 3:36 PM