Friday, May 10, 2002

Writing for the Jerusalem Post, Barry Rubin observes that a remarkable new development seems to have taken place: The Bush administration is now speaking of Arafat in the past tense. What's more, the CIA(!!!) is apparently planning to take an active hand in reshaping the Palestinian security infrastructure.

Rubin notes that Bush's policy change came about, not coincidentally, in the aftermath of his Crawford tete-a-tete with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. This raises some interesting questions:
"So [is Bush] saying that the Arab leaders are going to demand Arafat reform or else? Or [will Bush] go to Palestinian leaders and say that we will give you lots of money if you get rid of Arafat? ... Have the Saudis volunteered to get the Arab world to dump Arafat? ... Either this is going to develop into the most creative and courageous initiative the region has seen in a long time or American policy makers have become shockingly disoriented."
Curiouser and curiouser...! The rope-a-dope theory is starting to look more promising again.


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