Only fame, fortune, dozens of trips to the White House, and a Nobel Peace Prize.
(Page 2 of 3)
With little dissent, the PLO leader was lionized by most of the world media as an Arab “Moses” struggling to lead his people to the promised land. He became a welcome guest in presidential palaces and residences around the world — most especially including the White House. Time magazine called Arafat the Clinton administration’s “Most Frequent Visitor — President Clinton has held more tete-a-tetes with the Palestinian leader than any other world leader during his eight years in office.” Arafat also became a near-billionaire (according to his former finance minister, more than $900 million of western aid money had gone missing) — cited by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s wealthiest leaders.
Neither Nixon (then up to his neck in alligators as a result of the Watergate scandal) nor the ever ambitious and opportunistic Kissinger ever came close to denouncing Arafat for his role in ordering the execution of U.S. diplomats. To call the leader of the PLO out for the murders of an American ambassador and his top assistant would have terminated any possibility of future relations with the murderer and his followers.
Later on in 1973, as Kissinger became secretary of state as well as national security adviser, he was obviously keen to keep open all channels of communication with the Arab world, including relations with Arafat — both because of the Yom Kipper War and, tied to that, the OPEC oil embargo, which soon caused gas prices in the U.S. to skyrocket and the U.S. to tumble into what was then the worst recession in post-World War II history. As the world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia was one of Arafat’s strongest supporters.
Arafat made his first visit to the United States (an event that could not have happened without State Department approval) in November of 1974, and he made the most of it — in terms of thumbing his nose at the U.S.
Wearing a sidearm (or at least an empty holster; stories vary) and accompanied by several of the participants in the Khartoum operation, Arafat made his famous debut at the United Nations in New York on November 13 — using the occasion to denounce Zionism as racism.
And it is not as though Arafat and the various branches of the PLO under his command had been staying quiet and behaving well between the time of the murders in Khartoum and Arafat’s appearance at the UN.
In May 1974, Palestinian terrorists entered Israel from Lebanon and took over a high school in the town of Maalot, six miles south of border — killing 22 children (mostly 15-year-old girls) with grenades and automatic weapons and injuring many more. Another similar attack a month earlier killed 18 people in the town of Kiryat Shmona.
THERE WAS AT LEAST ONE person who was intimately involved in tracking the events in Khartoum who was outraged by the decades-long cover-up that followed. His name is James J. Welsh and he contacted me after reading a recent article of mine in TAS entitled “Obama Fiddled … While Benghazi burned … and a U.S. election approached.”
Now 66-years old and running a grocery store in the coastal resort town of Manzanita in northern Oregon, Welsh still seethes with indignation over what happened inside the Nixon administration over that lost weekend of 40 years ago.
In achieving a top security clearance as a result of his knowledge of Arabic and his skill as a communications technician, Welsh served in the U.S. Navy as a foreign language specialist assigned to the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept and analyze foreign radio transmissions in the Middle East.
From 1969 to 1972 he worked at an intercept site just outside of Nicosia, Cyprus, and from then until 1974 he worked at NSA headquarters at Fort Meade near Washington, D.C. — supporting his old colleagues back in Cyprus and elsewhere in the Middle East.
In a series of interviews lasting over eight hours, Welsh told me this story of what happened between Thursday, Feb. 28 — the day before the takeover of the Saudi Embassy — and Monday, March 4, when different agencies in the U.S. government were just beginning to take stock of Saturday night’s disaster in Khartoum.
This is the first part of his story:
Late in the morning on Thursday, the teletype machine at his office at NSA headquarters clattered with the receipt of a printed message from an old colleague at the listening post in Cyprus.
“This is Mike,” the message said.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?