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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 19, 2002

Vietnam a blueprint for Arafat?

What follows is an article by the inestimable Joseph Farah

"It's working, again.

An evil, manipulative, propaganda campaign hatched nearly 33 years ago when top officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization traveled to North Vietnam to meet with Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap is turning Israel's problems with Arab terrorism into another Vietnam.

Ever since that meeting in Hanoi in 1970, in which the Vietnamese Communists recounted their success in influencing the U.S. and Western media and undercutting the American will to fight, Yasser Arafat's strategy has been shaped by the Vietnam model.

In a conventional war, the U.S. could not have been defeated in Vietnam. U.S. military forces won every battle it fought. Yet, the nation's commitment was undermined by a war of attrition and a war of propaganda.

The uprising led and inspired by Arafat over the last two years is the culmination of his 33-year quest for a violent eruption that will compel Israel to surrender – surrender its territory, surrender its sovereignty, surrender its will, surrender, ultimately, its very existence.

Terrorism expert Yossef Bodansky foretold the events we have experienced since the eruption of the 2000 Intifada in a paper he wrote in 1997 – "Arafat's 'Peace Process.'" The outbreak of violence was predictable back then. And it has followed the script first drafted in that 1970 meeting between the PLO and the North Vietnamese.

The PLO asked the Vietnamese back then why their "armed struggle" was considered terrorism while the Vietnamese struggle had gained acceptance, approval and even support through much of the West.

"The Vietnamese attributed this phenomenon to the different packaging of the goals of the two liberation movements," wrote Bodansky. "The Vietnamese team then agreed to sit with the PLO delegation and develop a program for the Palestinians. The Vietnamese told the PLO to develop appealing, catchy programs that would appear flexible and moderate. The appearance of political programs should be based on the principle that in dealing with the U.S. one must 'sacrifice the unimportant if only in order to preserve the essential.'"

Yes, the PLO got media training from the Vietnamese. They got advice on appealing to liberal political groups – even on ways to court the Jewish community, which, at that time formed a solid bedrock of support for the Jewish state.

"The Palestinians were taught how to manipulate and exploit these subjects and how the West could not stomach the sight of blood and casualties," Bodansky relates.

From the start, the final objective was always the same – the destruction of the state of Israel. But it was the Vietnamese who helped persuade the PLO to consider as an interim step the acceptance of an Arab mini-state – because that was a goal the U.S. and the West would embrace.

What we are witnessing today, as a result, is a years-long "Tet Offensive" – one that, like the original, was not designed to win a military victory over superior forces but, rather, "to shatter the resolve and determination of the Israeli population."

"Washington will apply tremendous pressure on Jerusalem to offer additional unilateral concessions just to avoid the collapse of the 'peace process' and Arafat is convinced he can win the resultant media battle," Bodansky predicted nearly six years ago.

That was the lesson the Vietnamese taught Arafat. Arafat learned it well. Is there any question that the plan is succeeding? Is there any question the major players have followed the script crafted by Hanoi?

Here's what Bodansky said would come next: "Arafat intends to build pressure on Israel through gradual escalation and expansion of violence. Through a major provocation, the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) may 'invade' Zone A – the main Arab cities controlled by the PA (Palestinian Authority). Such an escalation will bleed Israel, incite the 'peace camp' opposition and embarrass the U.S. government with carnage against Arab civilians (to be placed intentionally in harm's way and in front of TV cameras)."

History is repeating itself in the Mideast – not by accident, but by careful, cold, crude political calculation."
The Universe, according to Arafat or N. Vietnam, is unfolding.....so far. But I think it will be up staged by the Big Bang Theory.