maandag, december 16, 2002

Trouble In Paradise and The Idiot's Guide to Argumentum ad Captandum

Underscoring the bizarre squabble of competing populists, Al Bawaba reports that Palestinian leader and defacto terrorist Yasser Arafat demanded in a newspaper interview on Sunday that al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden stop exploiting the Palestinian issue to further his own interests.

"Why is bin Laden talking about Palestine now?" he asked in an interview with Britain's Sunday Times. "He never helped us. He was working in another, completely different area and against our interests." Late in November, Bin Laden's spokesman Sulaiman abu Ghaith said, "Liberation of our holy places, led by Palestine, is our central issue".

Last month al-Qaida also claimed responsibility for twin terror attacks against Israelis in Kenya, calling the attacks a "Ramadan greeting" to the Palestinian people, referring to the Muslim holy month. The statement was seen as an attempt to win support for the terror network in the Arab and Muslim world, where resentment of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians is high. Recently the Israelis claimed that al-Qaida members had infiltrated into the Gaza Strip, but the Palestinians hotly denied that.

Meanwhile the Debka File has reported that their experts on terror assert that al Qaeda terrorists are in Israel at the invitation of Yasser Arafat and with logistical support approved by him in person. He imported the Hizballah first, then Osama bin Laden’s Islamic fighters, to advance his single, never-changing goal, to fight Israel until it is destroyed.

Is this merely a lover's quarrel or is it another annotation in Arafat's history of big lies formulated to take heat off of himself in a time of crisis? Is he just trying to whine his way into Xmas in Jerusalem or is he just looking for new material to bitch about in his diary?

Arafat's lack of credibility when speaking to the foreign public is no secret. He loves to lie. Stephen Small, a doctor in developmental psychology notes that children lie for a number of reasons, including:

A.) To make themselves look better in the eyes of others because they don't feel good about themselves;
B.) To avoid punishment because they don't feel they can handle their parents' anger or the consequences of their wrongdoing; or
C.) To avoid responsibility because they don't want to do what's expected.

It doesn't take a doctorate to figure out that Arafat doesn't want to do what is expected of him and is trying to avoid the responsibility for not doing so. It doesn't take a doctorate to figure out that Arafat's game is survival and there isn't much room for truth in the world of survival. Dr. Small says parents can teach children the benefits of telling the truth by citing examples from fairy tales and from real life in which telling the truth was important and helpful.

Arafat might want to check out The Brothers Grim's tale called Old Sultan which begins, appropriately enough: A Shepherd had a faithful dog, called Sultan, who was grown very old, and had lost all his teeth. And one day when the shepherd and his wife were standing together before the house, the shepherd said, ‘I will shoot old Sultan to-morrow morning, for he is of no use now.’ But his wife said, ‘Pray let the poor faithful creature live; be has served us well a great many years, and we ought to give him a livelihood for the rest of his days.’ ‘But what can we do with him?’ said the shepherd, ‘be has not a tooth in his head, and the thieves don’t care for him at all; to be sure he has served us, but then he did it to earn his livelihood; to-morrow shall be his last day, depend upon it.’

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