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Thursday, November 11, 2004

A clash of civilizations

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on Arafat's death:
"Chairman Arafat personified the Palestinian people's struggle to see their right to self-determination realized. Canada calls on Palestinians, and all peoples of the Middle East, to reflect on the tremendous cost of conflict, and, building on the legacy of their leaders and the guidance of their governments, to renew their commitment to peace."

Australian Prime Minister John Howard
on Arafat's death:
"I think history will judge him very harshly for not having seized the opportunity in the year 2000 to embrace the offer that was very courageously made by the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barack [sic], which involved the Israelis agreeing to 90 per cent of what the Palestinians had wanted."

Posted by Kevin Libin on November 11, 2004 | Permalink


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Tracked on 2004-11-11 11:41:36 PM

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Tracked on 2004-11-12 8:13:33 AM


Ouch. I know which side of the argument I support, and it isn't my country's.

Posted by: Ben | 2004-11-11 12:06:51 PM

Martin is still in the lineup of yesterday's liberals looking for someone to whom to surrender. With Arafat gone, the list of potential candidates just got smaller.

Posted by: Barry Stagg | 2004-11-11 12:52:00 PM

Um, does Paul Martin realize that you have to read his little blather about three times before you even make any sense of it? Even then, its extremely clear that he doesn't actually have a point (what does it mean to "reflect on the cost of conflict"? are they supposed to be angred by their lost soliders and make Israel pay?), while Howard does.

Posted by: Lars Ormberg | 2004-11-11 3:18:45 PM

Sure nice to know someone out there won't spout the obligatory bilgewater about Arafat.

The man was a thug. His people are in rags because they chose to follow him. And the hatred he stirred up will dog the Middle East for decades to come.

May he rest in the same "peace" his leadership gave his people.

Posted by: BD | 2004-11-11 10:00:30 PM

I think Mr. Martin is advising Palestinians to think about the past cost of the conflict, which will continue unless Palestine is willing to give in on some of their demands. Arafat told Clinton that Clinton was a great man. Clinton said no, he was a failure because of Arafat. The UN made a gigantic mistake in establishing Israel; they caused an impossible situation to exist that has no real possibility of solution. Both parties will be stubborn to the end, and who knows when?

Posted by: Benny Gibsoon | 2004-11-11 10:01:03 PM

Martin surely does have a point. It's right there on top of his head.

Posted by: Buck | 2004-11-11 10:07:43 PM

A martin is a type of weasel isn't it?

Posted by: AST | 2004-11-11 10:22:05 PM

The UN has made its share of mistakes, but we will never know if its assistance in the creation of the State of Israel was one of them because it never came to pass the way they intended. Remember that the Israel envisioned by the UN was half the size of what it became, partitioned into the two-state solution that Arafat could never countenance. It was his mistake and the mistake of the his Arab sponsors to believe that through constant war and terror they could one day drive all the Jews from the area. It was their determination to defeat an unconquerable foe that doomed generations of their fellow Arabs to a life of homelessness and hopelessness. With Arafat gone, at least there's a chance that the Palestinians might finally get the autonomous state the UN had planned for them more than 45 years ago.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2004-11-11 11:02:31 PM

Gee!, Ben, that's a great one liner. Except we don't know just what country you're refering to.
You do have a country don't you? Or are you a cosmopolitan internationalist, a man without a country. Get clear or get lost. Ouch! indeed.

Posted by: Gerry | 2004-11-11 11:30:24 PM

Psh. Martin is a smart liberal.

He recognizes, like most every rational human being, that Arafat was a thug.

And now that the thug is dead, someone who was immature, childish, and concerned with self-gratification could rightfully talk about the thuggish things Arafat did. That would be easy. It would also be counterproductive.

Martin uses his death as a diplomatic opportunity to attempt to remind the Palestinian people of their own stake in pursuing a free society.

That's constructive, for whatever it's worth. It involves saying flowery things that essentially aren't so, but part of being a grown-up is learning to say things you don't truly mean.

Posted by: Joe | 2004-11-12 12:24:59 AM

Since when is speaking the truth not 'part of being a grown-up'? Good for Mr. Howard for calling it like it is and not pretending that Arafat was anything of a help to this world. He stole billions from his own people and reveled in their misery. He sent thousands of his own to their deaths and presided over the slaughter of untold thousands of innocent Israelis. Arafat was a truly evil man. A freedom fighter cares for those he is fighting for--Arafat proved again and again the only concern he held was for Yassir Arafat. What a waste. Good riddance.

Posted by: Ed | 2004-11-12 12:47:46 AM

At least the Aussie PM has some common decency that extends beyond mere politics. We've had too much of politics, and terrorism as well, in today's world.

And if Arafat wasn't the original terrorist he lost in a photo finish.

Posted by: SteveoBrien | 2004-11-12 1:24:22 AM

Joe said:

"That's constructive, for whatever it's worth. It involves saying flowery things that essentially aren't so, but part of being a grown-up is learning to say things you don't truly mean."

Thanks for pointing out why liberalism in its currently twisted form is failing around the world. Their inability to deal with reality even though they can see it right in front of them is sad. Martin needs to grow some cajones, as does a good portion of the internationalist elite. Howard is a good ally and I appreciate his candor.

Posted by: Collin | 2004-11-12 1:35:39 AM

Joe, Paul Martin (whether grown up or not) already knows how to say things he doesn't mean. That's how he became a Lieberal politician in the first place!

Posted by: Lars Ormberg | 2004-11-12 3:06:50 AM

When "Canada calls", does anybody answer?

Posted by: HA | 2004-11-12 3:19:30 AM

Arafat was just a shit stain on the bed sheets of life. He was a destroyer, of both life and hope. The world is a much better place to live in now that he's dead.

Posted by: Vulgorilla | 2004-11-12 4:13:52 AM

Arafat died of AIDS. Since that is considered a great shame in Arab lands, he will be forgotten very soon. The only question is how may other murders are committed in the meantime by his Islamofascist cohorts.

Posted by: leaddog2 | 2004-11-12 5:42:26 AM

Hey! We got Instalanched!

Posted by: The Meatriarchy | 2004-11-12 5:53:04 AM

Joey says: "...but part of being a grown-up is learning to say things you don't truly mean."

Um, Joe baby, are you being a grown-up here, or childish and saying what you truly mean? Because, you know, if you're a grown up, then like what do you realy truly mean? Gee. The dilemmas of adulthood just keep on like kicking in, man. Know what I mean?!

Posted by: Hanyu | 2004-11-12 5:59:21 AM

There's still more similarities than differences.

If the Conservatives had won the recent elections instead of Martin's Liberals, and Labor had won the even more recent elections instead of Howard's Liberals (Ironic, eh?), the quotes may well have been interchanged.

As an Australian, I miss the Princess Pats, and the Maori too for that matter, in Iraq. But they're doing stirling service in Afghanistan. "This too shall pass". I hope. IMHO Canada deserves better than its current government. But that's a matter for Canadians to decide, not Aussies.

Posted by: Alan E Brain | 2004-11-12 6:07:50 AM

I'm modestly encouraged that the Great Yasser's death has been accompanied by little more than pro-forma "grief" among most world leaders, and even among the Arab world and Palestinians themselves.

One can judge fairly accurately judge the cravenness of particular Western leaders by gauging how much they kowtow to this sleazy gangster and the head-choppers in Fallujah.

The French govt. laid it on particularly thick...nothing like groveling when it isn't even necessary anymore. Everyone's pretending to be sad but is secretly happy the old bastard croaked. Suha's cut herself a deal for $22 million a year, and the Palestinian leadership seems more interested in getting its hands on Arafat's dough than in wailing at the grave. Today, there are a lot of ordinary people and many Swiss bankers who are very happy indeed.

On a more serious note, here's hoping that the Palestinians can finally get some serious and sober political leadership that can make peace with the Israelis. Nobody has been more ill-served by Arafat's incompetence and thuggery than the Palestinians themseleves.

Posted by: Daniel Calto | 2004-11-12 6:23:35 AM

"A martin is a type of weasel isn't it?"

Bwa ha ha!

Posted by: Ghost of a flea | 2004-11-12 7:47:08 AM

Weasel words from a martin.

Posted by: circe | 2004-11-12 8:10:08 AM

You are all insipid little twits & morons just absolutely drooling to lick the undersides of any fascistic leader or pundit's jackboots.

And YOU WISH you lived in Canada, jerks. We don't bomb people cause we feel like it and want to control the world. But America, Australia, Britain, etc. My, they sure do. Empires. Gotta love them. And the excuses they make for bombing the planet to submission. Hmm. Such delicious ironies.

And, by the way, 911 WAS an inside job by the Bush Admin & extremists to foster a culture war AND both 2000 and 2004 elections were absolutely rigged. Clue: Diebold. Another clue: using an encryption key standard broken in 1997. All machines are locked to the same key. Thus, when you log in to a Diebold machine, you can control every machine in that lot and change the results. Last clue: Ohio.

so keep on licking them jackboots, cause in the end, karma is a real bitch. and i'd like to see you jerks get yours.

there's nothing sadder or more pathetic than people who feel superior and righteous cause they get a hardon for people with power...

By the way, Arafat was the respected leader of a people without a home for decades. show some %$^#ing respect. But nooooooo, gotta show support for fascist Israel.

Don't get me started on the ironies of a Fascist Israel now.

Hope you all have a bad day, pigs.

Posted by: les ketchum | 2004-11-12 12:31:11 PM

Thanks, les. My stock of post-US-election schadenfreude was running low, but I get a recharge from any and all rants by people who try to deny their degradation by projecting it.

Posted by: lrC | 2004-11-12 12:59:06 PM

ummm, les-

hate you rain on your parade, but Canada can't bomb anyone even if you wanted to do so.

the NYPD is bigger than your entire military because of your neighbors and nothing more.

i am dying to hear more about the proof you have the Democratic party does not that proves you assertions about the elections being rigged or about 9/11. simple request for your simple mind - prove it.

Posted by: jcrue | 2004-11-12 3:56:35 PM

Howard had me in stitches with 'offer that was very courageously made by the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barack [sic]'. Cant tell you how many times I hear in the US media that any Palestinian who wants to make peace with Israel would be shot, while the truth is that its the Israelis who want to make peace with the Palestinians who have actually been shot. I guess now he can admit that even Barak's lame offer of isolated Bantustans for the Palestians in return for all of their water rights and arable land, was 'courageous' from the Israeli perspective.

Posted by: Mike G | 2004-11-12 4:25:15 PM

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