Thursday, November 11, 2004

Arafat Was Poisoned

Is it just me or should we be trying to figure out who killed Arafat? I can't believe nobody is talking about this, it's clear he was poisoned.

By the way, Olson - who argued Bush v. Gore for Bush, is now lining up to become Chief Justice. He not in right field, he's foul.


5 Thoughts:

Blogger Doug said...

BBC on cause of death.

NYT on cause of death. Quote: "After two weeks, the medical databases at Percy military hospital in suburban Clamart must be crammed with information about Mr. Arafat's condition. Scans. Biopsies. Reams of blood test results that would have defined within minutes his kidney, liver and lung function. But those remain top secret.

The hospital officially announced Mr. Arafat's death in a terse statement delivered by a hospital spokesman, Gen. Christian Estripeau, who told reporters that there would be no details released on tests, the cause of death or whether there would be an autopsy.

In France, a patient or the next of kin must give permission for doctors to release information, and in his carefully worded statements, General Estripeau has suggested that this permission was not given. "It is not up to the defense forces health services to reveal information given to the family," he said Thursday.

It is accepted medical practice throughout the world that patients or their families have to the right to keep medical information private."

On poisoning: sure, anything's possible. The question would be motive -- and why now? And plausibility, if it can be created, is not proof -- at least not to "reality-based" folks.

Arafat's family has the power to release all French medical records any time they want to, as far as I can tell.

Anyway, trying to figure out next steps is clearly at least as important. We'll see. Even if the Israelis didn't poison him, they certainly isolated and undermined him for the last 2 1/2 years, adding to the ebbing of his power. All sanctioned by the US, of course.


Friday, November 12, 2004 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


I don't know who poisoned him. Sadly, any number of groups including the US might have wanted him killed. I just think its funny that nobody in the press is even entertaining the idea when it seems clear to me that sudden liver failure followed by a coma and death wasn't investigated as a murder. Rich and powerful people go the doctor all of the time. Their health situations are very well known. This time a guy drops dead in a matter of weeks and nobody cries foul. As for his family, I can guess that they are playing it safe until they know who did it. At any rate, they have little to gain by stating their hunch other than to possibly earn the same fate themselves.
As for a future deal between I & P, it looks worse than at anytime in my lifetime. We need a honest broker and the US is not filling that role. The slaughter in Falluja isn't helping none.


Friday, November 12, 2004 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Andrew:

I don't know...something might turn up positive in the turmoil. The character for "crisis" and "opportunity" are the same in Chinese, no? (Or, as Homer put it: "Crisitunity!").

We sure don't have an honest broker, and if anyone tried to poison Arafat, you can be damn sure it would be untracable, medically or legally. But the French docs ain't talking, as per law and custom (and the French, if anyone, is [relatively] pro-Palestinian).

Anywho, we can all rest easy now that Ashcroft, the guy who enforced torture but wasn't much of a lawyer and was kooky to boot, is out and Gonzales, the guy who actually came up with the legal justification for torture and is "safely" Hispanic, is in.

I feel safer, don't you?


Friday, November 12, 2004 7:38:00 PM  
Blogger michael said...

I'm pretty skeptical of anyone who would suggest it is clear that he was poisoned. How did he die? I don't know. But poisoning seems unlikely.

First, why would Israel poison him now? He was old. He was marginalized. He was losing his grip. In later public statements, he appeared to have Parkinson's or something other disabling condition. Killing him by any means only exacerbates a situation that currently is going rather well for Israel's leadership - the wall is still being built, Sharon is still withdrawing out of Gaza. Killing Arafat now served no purpose.

Second, why poison him at all? They've had him trapped in his headquarters in Ramallah for quite some time, dictating his travel and destroying his compound. If they needed to kill him, they could have done so by any number of other means.

Third, why the secrecy about his death? Proving to the world that Arafat was poisoned by Israel would be hugely advantageous to the Palestinian cause. More likely they are being secretive because a] the mere rumors of poisoning add to the myth of Arafat and that is good for the cause or b] the real cause of his death would hurt the cause or otherwise weaken Arafat's legend.

Or perhaps you're suggesting that someone else - not actors for Israel - poisoned Arafat. That's an even darker, and less clear, idea.

Saturday, November 13, 2004 7:18:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


I didn't say Israel poisoned him. I have no idea who did. I think it's pretty obvious that a man who's medical situation was very well known - and didn't include any possibility of the rapid demise he experienced - might have been poisoned. I haven't heard any other explaination for his death. "An unknown blood disorder" was all I heard from the French doctors. That sounds an awful lot like "poison." Given that the first thing to go was his liver followed by a coma, I connected the dots. I am not surprised that the doctors didn't find anything obvious. If he was killed by an intelligence service it would not be obvious.
Given the fact that most participants wanted Arafat out of the picture, the burden of proof seems to lie on those who wish to prove his death was natural.
How like Arafat, we can't even determine who might have killed him, there are too many possibilities.


Sunday, November 14, 2004 9:50:00 AM  

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