Calm Down and Think

Perhaps James will ban me after this post, but I have to say that I’m unsurprised yet saddened to read all the gloating about Yasser Arafat’s death. For a bunch of bloggers tagged as part of the Christian Right, many are acting much more Right than they are Christian.

First, to celebrate someone’s death seems bizarre to me. My first instinct was to pray that God will have mercy on Arafat’s soul. Not exactly a clean soul, granted, but a human soul nonetheless. Second, my thoughts turned to the tremendous opportunity that new Palestinian leadership could mean toward securing lasting peace in the Middle East.

But this opportunity must be met with dignity and maturity. I’m hearing talk about the United States not sending a representative to Arafat’s funeral. Is this really the right time to snub the new Palestinian leadership and send the message to the Palestinian people that we don’t even recognize them? Disrespecting Arafat in death will only anger the very people that need to be convinced that America can be an honest broker of peace in the Middle East. I’m not suggesting we send Colin Powell, but an olive branch should be extended in the form of having an American of stature attend his funeral.

Remember, Arafat himself said that the biggest mistake of his entire life was his refusal to accept the terms offered at Camp David in July 2000. His passing should be seen as an opportunity to reengage that conversation, not an occasion to revel in a man’s death.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, World Politics, ,
Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.


  1. libs4lunch says:

    Sorry. I feel about the same for him as I do for the scum who are getting a quick ticket to hell compliments of our Butt Kicking Marines.

    My only problem is that it didnt happen 20 years ago.

    Good bye. Good riddance.

  2. Dodd says:

    Not being a Christian, I am under no duty to extend the unlamented Mr. Arafat any charity. How God chooses to treat with him is God’s business; I will spare him no more kind words than he did the tens of thousands he caused to be maimed and murdered.

  3. Sarah says:

    If only the trash at wizbang had half the moral apptitude as this post, then I would have faith in the world

  4. Digger says:

    I’m not sure why you are assuming everyone, or even a majority, on the right are christians.

    I’m glad he’s dead because it gives an actual chance to stop the continuous death of others in his name or by his command.

    So yeah, I’m cheering for the death of a man that could save thousands or hundred of thousands of others in the future. I’m sure when Hitler died people cheered too. I’m not comparing them, just their potential to inspire others to kill while alive.

  5. Timmer says:

    I’d like to feel bad about feeling good about his death, but I simply can’t. One reason.


    For a brief time in the late ’90s I had some sympathy for the Palestinians and their quest for freedom and their quest for their own state. And then Hamas blew up another bus and I saw a picture of a bloody doll and a bloody little shoe lying next to each other in the street. That was the end of any sympathy or good will I had toward them and their cause.

    As long as these kinds of actions and the people who support them are given ANY respect whatsoever, the belief that terror works and is a viable option will remain.

  6. Brandon says:

    The news of Arafat passing is only slightly less relieving than if I were to hear news that bin Laden had died. Nowhere in my religion does it even infer (much less instruct) that I should mourn every death; however, I pray for his soul.

    Unfortunately, the situation in the Middle East necessitated Arafat’s death in order to improve. As morbid as that sounds, it’s still the truth. Now, hopefully, and God willing, we can look to the first steps of peace.

  7. bains says:

    re sending an official envoy to represent the US at Arafat’s funeral. I wonder what the implications would be if Bush asked either Bill or Hillary Clinton to attend in an official capacity?

  8. Tia Newhouse says:

    You managed to be sanctimonious, morally blind, self martryed, and get a malicious dig at “the Right” all in one post. Congratulations. Next time I see you I will kiss the hem of your robe, Saint Stotch.

  9. McGehee says:

    Everybody let up on Leopold. I don’t agree with him either, but all he’s doing here is expressing an opinion.

    It’s not like he’s sending people into neighborhoods to blow up kids on buses or anything.

  10. Jeremiah says:

    Tough crowd…

  11. fallohide says:

    I do hear what you say, Leopold. It’s very considerate of you, and says a lot for your character. However, I cannot mourn Arafat’s passing, or honestly pray for his mortgaged soul. His Al-Fatah group and its children groups like PFLP & Black September made modern terrorism and no-rules guerilla warfare a common characteristic of the Middle East and other places. Even in his old age, Arafat could not let go of his hatred of Israe for a lasting peace. Even with the Oslo Accords laid out before him, and a peacenik Israeli prime minister and Bill Clinton ready to help him achieve a favorable peace, he refused the Light way for the Dark path of premeditated atrocity for a goal that no one of conscience in the West could ever condone. His leadership has cost the Palestinian Arabs many chances for peace. They may have lost their last chance by now. Hizbollah and Hamas don’t just want a nation-state, they want the extinction of Israel and the removal of the USA from Mideast Affairs. We cannot allow these groups to achieve these goals in the post-9/11 world. In the end, I regret not Arafat’s passing, but all the bridges to a better world that he burned for the sake of a transitory notoriety in the annals of history.