First In War, First In Peace, First In the Hearts Of His Countrymen?

I don’t think so, but Yasser “Jihad” Arafat apparently does.

Responding to harsh criticism by US officials, Arafat also made an appeal yesterday to the American people in a program on the Qatari satellite channel Al- Jazeera, asking them to compare the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation to their own against British forces in the American War of Independence.

“Did you ever accept the British occupation of the United States,” Arafat asked. “Didn’t George Washington fight, along with his people, until they freed the United States?”

Obviously, my education of colonial history is deficient. I can’t recall reading about that part where England had millions of people living in cities on the east coast, and George Washington had the colonials strap black-powder balls to themselves and walk into New York shops to set them off.

I also must have been asleep in class on the day when they described how George Washington made speeches in English feigning conciliation and victimhood, and different speeches in colonialspeak urging his followers to drive all English men, women and children into the Atlantic.

And I must have cut class the day they explained how Washington, listening to the wise council of the French, and Spanish and Italians, urged him and his followers to withdraw from their own land to Mexico, and wait for the ultimate war that would defeat those evil Englishpeople living in America, after which they would be able to have all of the territory, even that part of it which had been legally granted by treaty. And that when that war was launched, and ignominiously lost, that George Washington started up bands of terrorists to kill innocent English civilians.

I was apparently taught by some historical revisionist that George Washington was fighting an empire across the sea, and that he waged war on the armed forces of that country, many of them mercenaries–not on innocent civilians in Philadelphia.

But I’m sure that now that Yasser has straightened us out, he will receive appropriate respect from world leaders. Maybe he’ll even get another well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize…

[Update at 3:30 PM]

UPI Columnist Jim Bennett provides an alternate point of view:

Actually, there were millions of English people living on the Eastern seaboard. Washington was one of them. The equivalent of the Arabs were the Indians, who did try terrorist tactics for a long time. In fairness, that was the way they always fought. And the surrounding powers did try to aid the Indians, while mostly exploiting them for their own strategic purposes.

But I don’t suppose Arafat would find the analogy of use in appealing to
Americans. It’s also not hopeful to the Palestinians.