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March 19, 2007

Operation Democrats Rewrite History Also Resounding Success

As noted below, George Bush is merrily rewriting the history of the Iraq war. But Democrats are no slouches in the murdering of history, either. Here's George Soros writing in the New York Review of Books:

The Palestine problem does not have a purely military solution. Military superiority is necessary for Israel's national security, but it is not sufficient. The solution has to be political, as President Clinton recognized. He exerted enormous energy to bring about a peace settlement and his efforts were so successful that it took the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 by an Israeli extremist to prevent an Israeli peace initiative with Arafat from being implemented. Even after Ariel Sharon's walk on the Temple Mount in September 2000 set off new violence, Clinton offered a peace deal several months later that was rejected by Arafat but probably suggests the shape of a future settlement.

I suspect Soros genuinely believes that Arafat rejected the Clinton parameters in January, 2001, and that he's relying on Clinton himself for this tale. God knows Clinton's made this claim every time he's opened his mouth since he left office. For instance:

[W]e had seven years of progress toward peace in the Middle East before Yasser Arafat rejected my last proposal...


When Mr. Arafat rejected my last peace proposal late in 2000 and the Intifada had begun, it changed a feeling, the attitude that peace was possible....


I think someday there will be peace in the Middle East, and when it comes it will look much like the proposal I put forward in December 2000 and January 2001 that Prime Minister Barak accepted but Chairman Arafat rejected.

So, it's an open and shut case. Unless, of course, you pay attention to what these two know-nothings were saying at the time:

Jake Siewert, Clinton press secretary, January 3, 2001

[B]oth sides have now accepted the President's ideas with some reservations.

Bill Clinton, January 8, 2001

Both Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat have now accepted these parameters as the basis for further efforts. Both have expressed some reservations.

But what did those two doofuses know? Far better for George Soros to listen to Bill Clinton, a man who has never lied to America and never would.

Posted at March 19, 2007 10:48 PM | TrackBack

I expect this one to turn into one of the infamous letter exchanges. NYRB has published several accounts with different perspectives on the supposed rejection, as I remember.

Posted by: darrelplant at March 19, 2007 11:56 PM

Great post Jonathan, Clinton’s charisma now seems more like a miasma than charisma. But then our neo-liberals have always smelled of marsh gas or decomposing animals. Of course Clinton would not lie to us about the vast benefits of NAFTA either. And certainly, certainly the democrats who gained office with a mandate to stop the war in Iraq would not lie either as they would have stopped the war if only they didn’t have a hair appointment or were handicapped by a hangnail.

Posted by: rob payne at March 20, 2007 12:33 AM

i'm sure they settled on fingering arafat for bureaucratic reasons.

Posted by: hibiscus at March 20, 2007 01:09 AM

While Arafat was waiting for 2 hrs. at the Whitehouse lanes, Willie Clinton was too tongue tied-up with Monica Lewinsky.
Let's cut out the chase--Clinton took aRafat as a sucker and dragged the issue out to it's limits. Demos are no better than Repubics- Zealot Zionists

Posted by: genrikh yagoda at March 20, 2007 07:47 AM

Judging by the Zionist line that the whore Hillary is toeing these days, it's not surprising that her bitch Bill is also following along in lockstep.

Posted by: abraham at March 20, 2007 11:19 AM

Charles Enderlin and Clayton Swisher (sp?) both have good books on what happened with the Camp David talks and also what happened in the following months, culminating at Taba. Basically, all three sides screwed up, but Clinton and Barak decided to blame Arafat. The American press, with few exceptions, dutifully repeated what their masters told them.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at March 20, 2007 12:09 PM

F.D.R. was often accused of being a traitor to his class, however Bill Clinton is much more deserving of this distinction. He betrayed the poor white working class from which he hails as well as minorities and others who he has enchanted!

Posted by: Wallace at March 20, 2007 01:38 PM

This lie should be Clinton's legacy. It allowed Sharon and now Olmert to say "there is no one to talk to". I believe Clinton empowered the ultra-right in Israel and Sharon aside is most responsible for the latest intifada.

Posted by: syvanen at March 20, 2007 03:48 PM

Clinton was working with a stacked deck. It's easy to heap scorn on him, but the alternative would have been a Republican administration. One of the Republican's great successes was not so much the policies of Clinton, but his vilification amongst the left and consequent splitting of the Democrats.

Regardless, rewriting history is wrong. But don't be naive about why he did what he did. I honestly believe he did the best he felt he could in the circumstances. That's not to say he was right: he may have been able to do more. But calling him a class traitor or whatever is idiotic and lends weight to the "they're all the same" meme.

A good debate on this matter can be found here:

Posted by: me at March 21, 2007 06:08 AM

The bad thing about it is that Clinton keeps repeating the lie. He should disown it or at least qualify the assertion: the argument made in the discussion I linked to is that Arafat did not explicitly reject the offer, but took actions to undermine it. Clinton should couch it in those terms instead of pandering to the extremist tendencies in Israel as he seems to be doing.

Posted by: me at March 21, 2007 06:20 AM

"the alternative would have been a Republican administration"

Huh? That wasn't the alternative, that's what we got.

Posted by: buermann at March 21, 2007 03:54 PM

it might actually feed the israeli right more to blame them than to let them slide. they're much more paranoid than the usual.

Posted by: hibiscus at March 22, 2007 01:39 PM

Buermann, are you suggesting that the Clinton administration can be compared in any sane way to the Bush administration?

If so, are you stupid, or just ignorant? There is a world of difference between a center-right and a Republican administration.

Posted by: me at March 22, 2007 05:58 PM