Thursday, November 11, 2004

Yasser Arafat in Pensive Mood

With all the reports I've been hearing, on and off, especially on the internet, I was surprised today to learn the news media is now claiming Yasser Arafat is "dead." I mean, we've been through this before. Most notably during a pre-election news conference by President Bush when a reporter asked him for a reaction to the news that Arafat had died. Not the best extemporaneous speaker, I felt it fortunate that he was able to put together a few nice sentiments and ask for God's mercy on the man's soul. And I give him credit for that. I would probably be up there asking who took the vitals before I had a statement to make. Suppose a reporter had said, "North Korea just nuked Los Angeles. Do you have any comment?" Hopefully the president would not have whipped out the nuclear suitcase then and there and fired back on national TV. Then I suppose the reaction might have been "may God have mercy on Aaron Spelling's soul." And don't ask me why the only person who comes to mind is Aaron Spelling. It is probably some latent Charlie's Angels kneejerk reaction that got wired into my brain in the 70s. And I totally approve of asking for God's mercy at all times whether a person is definitively dead or not. But in Arafat's case I was wondering yesterday when his condition was "deteriorating" that how much worse than dead could he get? It was hard to keep track of the reports. One group had him still governing the Palestinians and issuing statements about the how unfortunate it is that people keep dying when the bombs go off. The other group was working on the burial plans and was angling to have him interred in a closet in Ariel Sharon's bedroom. Personally I think they should move Arafat, the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall to North Korea. We could install the whole thing there, like a kiddie playset with action figures and nuclear tipped devices sold separately! I think the North Koreans would enjoy the added attention on the world stage, and then we could go about our business and make sure holiday sales are booming. Meanwhile, may I suggest that someone be in charge of making sure the man gets embalmed correctly. I'll tell you, though, this is one funeral I would NOT want to be invited to. Let's hope those who attend are wearing their body armor. And may God have mercy on ALL our souls.

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