Marlowe's Shade

Friday, November 19, 2004

"French paper reports liver cirrhosis killed Arafat"

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of cirrhosis of the liver, but French doctors were loath to say so because of a common public belief that the disease is the result of alcoholism, a French newspaper reported Wednesday.

The doctors, who weren't named because they were violating French law by discussing Arafat's case, described Arafat as "a true water drinker" and not an alcoholic, according to the paper, Le Canard Enchaine. The weekly, whose name means "the connected duck," is well known for political satire and accurate investigations.

Allegations that Arafat was a heavy drinker - forbidden in Islam - would have clouded the mourning that began Nov. 11, when the 75-year-old died.

The report that Arafat was suffering from cirrhosis was bolstered by an article in another French newspaper, Le Monde, which said that Arafat had suffered from "intravascular coagulation," a blood clotting condition that can be a sign of late-stage liver failure and can be consistent with cirrhosis.

Le Monde, citing "very good sources," reported that doctors couldn't make an indisputable diagnosis, however, since the blood abnormality "is not a disease as such, but the symptom of a pathology, which in a patient of his age is either of infectious origin or of cancerous origin." Doctors found no evidence of cancer.

My gut is that this is disinformation, sort of a compromise between the AIDS rumors on the one hand and poisoning rumors on the other. We may never know for sure.
papijoe 9:34 AM