Yasser Arafat Analysis

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In his 1974 speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Yasser Arafat said: “The difference between the revolutionary and the terrorist lies in the reason for which he fights…for the justice of the cause determines the right to struggle.” In this same speech, Arafat addresses the international community and provides commentary on a multitude of different subjects. He traces what he believes to be the positive and increasingly popular growth of the United Nations, mentioning the inclusion of three new member states: Guinea-Bissau, Bangladesh, and Grenada. This diversification of the UN membership, according to him, is an indicator of the general trend in the world at that time towards “freedom.” In this bit of tendentious logic, as one has license to expect, Arafat takes this-the erosion of colonial power and the upending trends of international finance, for instance-to mean that the world, through the focal point of the UN, is at a threshold. This threshold, of course, straddles the nadir of Old-World injustice and subjugation and the zenith of universal liberty and co-prosperity. The world therefore “aspires to peace, justice, equality and freedom” and that “it hopes to place the relations between nations on a basis of equality, peaceful coexistence, mutual respect for each other’s internal affairs, secure national sovereignty, independence and territorial unity on the basis of justice and mutual benefit (emphasis added).” Arafat explicitly acknowledges then that this universalizing trend in the premier international forum signals a trend; of new composition, new identity, and consequently new aims. He argues that this newfound dedication, deftly grafted onto the original aims and purposes of the UN, carries with it not merely proced... ... middle of paper ... ...riolic anti-communism.’ So, while the American patriots, whose ostensible nation did not yet exist, or was properly the nation of Great Britain, and the Resistance in the Second World War, a sizeable part of which was Communist and ready to drown the land in blood for their ideals, is being reified for upsetting the order of the day (with sometimes happy and fortuitous outcomes), the status-quo ante (which oftentimes happens to be the lesser of two evils, in absolute terms) must be rejected on articles of blind faith, and lofty ideology, on the untenable premise that change is always good if only a better future awaits a ways. The problem is, as can be observed today, that one can always imagine a better future-thus insurrection is covered by the flimsy fig leaf of one’s whims (I am facetiously excluding the real substance and nature required of insurrection.)
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