"look on these works, o man, and despair"

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    "Look on These Works, O Man, and Despair"
    by Walter O´Brien
    Nov 11, '04

    One need not dignify the passing of this most gleefully prodigious murderer of civilian Jews since the Second World War with a recounting of his merciless yet ineffectual deeds - ineffectual because the courage of the Jewish people is not borne of Man, but is a radiance emanating from Hashem through the lens of the soul of Israel to illuminate this traitor to humanity for what he was. Rather, let us consider the ghastly infliction of loss upon the people he presumed to lead under his pre-medieval, made-in-the-Soviet-Union dictatorship.

    No ode to Ozymandias could encompass fully the damage done. The vision Yasser Arafat and his paymasters destroyed beggars description when one considers the resources put at his disposal by an unthinking worldwide diplomatic, banking and humanitarian community. Resources already committed combined with those at hand, taken together, easily equal that which the Marshall Plan put at the disposal of the German people following World War II, yet, over the period Arafat has been operational (1968-2004), not one step forward has been taken by him to advance the condition of his gunpoint-driven Arab chattel.

    Let us first consider the riches of natural resources and blessings of geography cast away, damning generations of Arabs in the region to poverty. Those coastal areas under his leadership possess proven and accessible reserves of natural gas and oil to such an extent that the energy needs of his satrap could have been met, not only to provide electric power, plastics, road-building material and transport fuel, but also to power desalinization units for further transforming this presently lush cornucopia of agricultural productivity into a global food factory. The produce could have stocked the grocery shelves of Europe, thus providing needed export revenues.

    For 10,000 years, the seacoast ports he ruined have served as exchange points between East and West, until the futile and wealth-wasting intifadas commenced; which were undertaken solely to advance and perpetuate Arafat's position of power and flow of unwitting donors' wealth into his French, Swiss and (surely not?) Norwegian bank accounts. Now these ports sit idle, the tall gantry cranes rusting, their empty cargo hooks swinging in the breeze like hangmen's nooses.

    Put next to the human loss, Arafat's legacy of waste of what he presumed to be -- erroneously and illegally -- his own people's lands are as nothing. The massive USAID projects for water resources development undertaken in conjunction with the US Department of Agriculture have proven to be an abject failure, and continues as a black abyss into which US taxpayer dollars are thrown with blithe abandon, the Arabs' fields sitting idle for lack of tillers and replacement parts and operators for tractors and irrigation pumps. This tractor and pumping equipment shortfall is made all the more nauseating to contemplate when the fact of the GATT-violating boycott of Caterpillar, Inc., main supplier of this equipment, by the International Solidarity Movement is considered.

    The excellent engineers, businesspersons and agricultural experts trained at Bir Zeit University and other educational institutions, paid for out of Israeli taxpayer shekels, have all migrated to countries where upward mobility is possible without the need to pay 30% of their gross incomes or more as baksheesh to Arafat's gunmen. The Arab carpenters, welders, concrete layers, electricians and riggers who built the construction miracle of Teddy Kollek's Jerusalem, as commuting workers to and from Arafat's domain, now sit home in idle, silent rage, living off the food, clothing, electricity, medical care and educational stipends provided out of the State of Israel's coffers, cursing Israel at the same time they avail themselves of Israel's services and goods and spitting on the ground whenever their monthly welfare from the State of Israel arrives. Thanks to Arafat, a proud and industrious people have been transformed into the welfare tramps of the Arab world, fully worthy of the contempt not only of the West, but also of the contempt of their co-religionists in the rest of the Middle East. The spirited and canny Arab merchants and traders in the legal goods for which the region is noted have all disappeared to more congenial venues for trade worldwide.

    The machinists, millwrights and production engineers who worked in small- to medium-sized factories throughout Israel now have only Kassam missiles to fabricate in auto repair shops, all the while awaiting the throbbing sound of helicopters overhead and the final whooshing sound of an incoming missile to their illegal rocket factories. This is the only enterprise left open to their skilled hands, thanks to the Egyptian ersatz "son of Jerusalem" who cannot even see fit to die in his own "homeland."

    Beyond all this loss to human enterprise, one shudders to contemplate the private loss to mothers and children. And all for nothing; thanks to one man.

    So many combat veterans are in the construction business because construction is war in reverse; the spirit of contrition and setting things right is what drives nails through wood and joins steel to steel. Let the warriors of the intifada drop their AK-47s and rebuild whatever world they wish to inhabit. If it is a world of peace they wish to craft, let it be known that no one would be more supportive of this effort than the State of Israel, its people and its allies.

    Copyright 2004 Walter James O'Brien

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