October 17, 2004


RETHINKING THE INTIFADA (Amir Taheri, 10/15/04, New York Post)

The second intifada was Arafat's latest move in the complex chess game he had played with the Israelis since the days of back-channel diplomacy in Oslo. Later, Arafat was to claim that this intifada, far from being a deliberate move on his part, had been provoked by Ariel Sharon's controversial visit to the Islamic edifices in East Jerusalem.

As a form of low-intensity warfare, intifada is an instrument in the service of a policy. The problem for the Palestinians is that it is used not as a means to an end but as an end in itself. What Arafat rejected in 2000 was clear. But what exactly it was that he wanted was never clarified. This ambiguity is the inevitable result of contradictions in the strategy that Arafat developed from 1991 onwards.

He wants power and when there is a Palestinian state with democratic elections he won't have it. Seems simple.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 17, 2004 5:50 PM

Arafat thought he could win a war of attrition.

Sharon changed the terms, and slid Arafat off the board.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 17, 2004 10:45 PM

I know little of NJ but something is going on there.

A year ago I had to drive to Atlantic City for an event. I cannot stand AC and think it is a tacky dump. The hotel I stayed at appeared to draw heavily frome working class folks in the NYC area. I was stuck in traffic and had to drive through parking garages for a half hour before finding a spot.

I travel a lot enjoy reading bumper stickers whereever I go. The bumper stickers -- many homemade - on the generally modest cars in the area were the most hawkish I've ever seen ("let the crusades begin' or 'destroy islamic terrorism' vs. 'the power of pride.' Several vehicles featured elaborate memorials individuals or relatives killed on 9/11. The hotel was flying the Navy Jack ('don't tread on me') on every other flagpole. I saw the same thing going to Giants games the 2 seasons after 9/11.

Doubt W will carry NJ now that a landslide is looking unlikely, but there is definitely a segment in NJ that agrees with him on an aggressive stance in the war on terror. Kerry will have to work to get them back in the fold.

Posted by: JAB at October 17, 2004 10:46 PM