Latest Arafat Diagnosis.....Stomach Cancer
EFL and Fair Use.....if this is the right diagnosis, he’s in for some suffering. Couldn’t happen to a nicer dirtbag....
Yasser Arafat’s gaunt, fragile appearance during last weekend’s inauguration of an emergency cabinet for the Palestinian Authority has raised hopes for an end to suicide bombings a flurry of speculation over the state of the 74-year-old leader’s health. Palestinian officials on Wednesday denied rumors that Arafat had last week suffered a mild heart attack and explained that Arafat has been suffering from a bad case of the flu or the trots an intestinal infection.
"That’s the last time I eat Fatima’s tabbouleh!"
But according to a source inside the compound, the recent working diagnosis is that Arafat is suffering from stomach cancer.
Pray for mets...
The prognosis for stomach cancer patients depends on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed and treated, and the size and location of the tumor.
Dear God, if this is right, please make it inoperable, and I promise I won’t ask for anything more this week...
Whatever the state of the cancer, however, such a diagnosis poses a major challenge to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which could require some nimble refereeing by the Bush administration.
Refereeing? Sounds like a job for the NFL’s number one fan, Condoleezza Rice....
The most immediate crisis would involve the need to hurry along the inevitable treat Arafat’s condition. The Ramallah compound in which Arafat has been holed up for the best part of two years is hardly the most conducive environment for invasive surgery. It would, in theory, be possible to erect a surgical suite at the compound, but hospitalization would certainly be preferable from a medical standpoint. Israel has until now insisted that if Arafat leaves his compound, he’d be on a one-way ticket out of the West Bank. If Arafat’s condition proves to be terminal,
God, I really wasn’t kidding about the previous request....
the Palestinians will be forced to answer the long-deferred question of succession, and the running debate in Washington and Jerusalem over the prospects for pursuing a peace agreement without the aging Arafat will have been settled. The question of Arafat’s succession is complicated by the fact that his power derives from the three separate offices he holds: Palestinian Authority president, PLO original gangsta chairman and leader of the group of terrorists known as the Fatah movement. The PA constitution requires that if the president is incapacitated, his post would be temporarily filled by the Speaker of the Palestinian legislature. However, the Speaker’s position is currently vacant, following Ahmed Qurei’s resignation from it in order to become prime minister. Rather than a simple transfer of the mantle of power from one uncontested national leader to another, Arafat’s passing would likely open a protracted period of gang warfare over turf power struggles and realignments in Palestinian politics — and it appears unlikely that all three of his positions would be filled by a single successor.
Why is this a bad thing?
The immediate implications for any peace process will be uncertain, although the Israelis and the Bush administration have long insisted that breaking Arafat’s grip on the Palestinian national movement is a prerequisite for progress.

That's assuming a healthy Yasser. Yasser on his deathbed is a different story. After my initial jubilation wore off — and especially in the case of a protracted illness like stomach or pancreatic cancer or Alzheimers — my thought is that it's better he hang on.

Took your breath away, didn't it? Consider: Given a terminal illness, who's going to actually tell him that's what it is? He'd have them shot. At the very least, he'd have the Praetorian Guard Force 17 bump off the guys he doesn't want to take over. And pain, especially pain coupled with morphine, doesn't make you more discriminating in your actions.

That leaves Yasser in power until the very end, only with his grip on the reins (or reigns, as it were) loosening a bit every day. The backstage maneuvering will have the Byzantines chuckling in their graves, but the coordination of action by the Paleostinians will be choked off. The Israelis will still get hit, but it'll be sporadic. The actual open warfare in Gaza and the West Bank probably won't even wait until the old man's in the grave, unless he goes quickly. I saw one bit of speculation yesterday (can't remember where, though I'd have put it here if it'd been reputable) that it had spread to his liver. Six months? Eight months, at the outside? That's a fairly long period for an area to disintegrate into internal anarchy. We're talking Ein el-Hellhole on a massive scale, without really major damage to innocent bystanders.

Why rush things?

Posted by: Baba Yaga 2003-10-09