Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Comedy of Terrors?

Daniel Pipes on Arafat's passing.

The mise-en-scène is as preposterous as what came before, only much funnier. First, there is the wife, Suha, a Greek Orthodox convert to Islam who nonetheless continued to observe Christian holidays and now bellows out "Allahu Akbar" as she spends a reputed $100,000 a month living the good life in Paris. Then there are the long-suffering minions, hoping to get their day in the sun, free at last of their irascible, unpredictable, domineering leader. Finally, there are the hapless French politicians, stung by their own stupidity in sending a military plane to Jordan to retrieve Arafat to Paris, then treating him like royalty (including a courtesy visit by President Jacques Chirac), only to find themselves parties to his death-bed antics.

Here are some of the specifics; as they say, you couldn't make this stuff up.

On Nov. 7, French foreign minister Michel Barnier told the LCI television channel that Arafat was alive, but "I would say he is in a state that is very complicated, very serious and stable at the time we are speaking." Asked if Arafat was already dead, Barnier memorably answered: "I wouldn't say that." The foreign minister of a major country, supposedly a serious man, has satisfyingly been made to look like an idiot.

The banality of evil...
papijoe 1:45 PM