On May 21 the United States Department of State released its Patterns of Global Terrorism-2001report. At the time of its release the report’s somewhat unreal discussion of terrorism in the Middle East was widely noted. The report continues the State Department’s dishonorable practice of covering up the substantial and now thoroughly documented terrorist activities of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority with diplomatic double talk.
Almost unbelievably, however, instead of laying substantial reponsibility for terrorism at the foot of Arafat and the forces under his direct control, this year’s report adds a sick twist to the usual double talk. Now the State Department finds that Israel’s attack on the “security” forces operating and committing terrorism under Arafat’s command has compromised Arafat’s ability to prevent terrorism: “Israel’s destruction of the PA security infrastructure contributed to the ineffectiveness of the PA[‘s counterrorist activities].” The State Department’s report constitutes an exercise in Orwellian doublethink.
But other relevant facts that have not been noted in this context render the State Department report something worse than Orwellian. Many Americans have of course become terrorist victims of Arafat and his terrorist entities. The United States has its own unsettled score with him. Preeminent among the American victims of Arafat is the Honorable Cleo Noel, the former United States Ambassador to the Sudan. On March 2, 1973, in the midst of the first wave of PLO terrorism, the PLO took over the Saudi Arabian embassy in Khartoum, holding Ambassador Noel and his charge d’affaires hostage. At the express order of Arafat, reputedly intercepted both by Israeli intelligence and the National Security Agency, the PLO brutally murdered Ambassador Noel and his charge d’affaires. The story is told in detail in the book Assassination in Khartoum by former State Department diplomat David Korn.
Contrast the behavior of the State Department vis a vis Ambassador Noel with that of the American military forces depicted in Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers. Those American military forces engaged in acts of heroism and great personal sacrifice so as not to leave the remains of any of their fallen comrades behind. Not only is the State Department’s double talk on behalf of Arafat and the PLO dishonorable in itself, it is a disgusting betrayal of the department’s own fallen comrades as well as our own representatives as Americans.
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