- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2003

‘Enemies of peace’

Jordan’s King Abdullah II set the stage for his meeting tomorrow with President Bush by condemning Islamic extremists as “enemies of peace” who try to divide the United States and its friends in the Muslim world.

The king also denounced the September 11 attackers for the damage they did to Islam.

“The evil that occurred … two years ago left scars on the whole world, but none as great as the false idea that Islam encourages violence,” the king wrote in an article published Monday in the Los Angeles Times.

He said Islamic terrorists threaten “to divide the friends of peace, Arab and American, just when we need to stand together.”

The king added: “The only people who win when Americans feel divided from their Arab and Muslim friends are the extremists and haters. Let us not allow these enemies of peace to do any more violence.”

In his talks with Mr. Bush, King Abdullah is expected to discuss the troubled U.S. “road map” for Middle East peace and the reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

Albright on Arafat

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright believes Israel has played into Yasser Arafat’s hands by threatening to expel him from the Palestinian territories or even kill him.

“He loves being the victim,” she told Barry Schweid, diplomatic correspondent for the Associated Press, in an interview this week.

“He’s very good at being the victim, and actually, he likes the idea that he might end up in history as a martyr.”

Mrs. Albright, who is promoting her memoir, “Madam Secretary,” said Mr. Arafat’s popularity was declining before Israel declared last week that the Palestinian leader was an “obstacle to peace.” Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week said killing Mr. Arafat was an option, but the Israeli government on Monday denied it is considering assassinating him.

Thousands of Palestinians have rallied to Mr. Arafat’s compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah to demonstrate their support.

“In some ways his power was waning, and people found him kind of out of touch,” Mrs. Albright said. “And all of a sudden, there is a kind of revival, a sense that he is a hero. People are out on the streets about it.”

She criticized President Bush for failing to appoint a special Middle East negotiator.

“It is a full-time job. How can we not have somebody who is full time on it and has a historical context for it?” she asked.

On Iraq, she urged the Bush administration to adopt an “international approach” but keep military control.

“What I hope they will do is to realize the political and economic programs in Iraq can benefit from an international approach,” she said, referring to the United Nations. “But the United States has to have the military command. There is just no question about that.”

Reflecting on her service as U.N. ambassador and secretary of state in the Clinton administration, she praised former President Bill Clinton for his “unlimited intellectual energy” and grasp of foreign policy issues. However, she also revealed her disappointment with Mr. Clinton over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

She wrote of her hopes that the scandal, which led to his impeachment, “had been cooked up to destroy the president and that this would become clear when the full truth came out.”

Mrs. Albright remembers the 1998 Cabinet meeting when Mr. Clinton admitted he lied.

“It was very strange. He did say, ‘I am sorry,’ but then he got into this discussion about the fact that he had been so angry, and none of us understood about what. That is what got confusing.”

However, throughout the scandal, Mr. Clinton remained popular among foreign officials.

They “couldn’t understand why anybody would care what the president might or might not have done,” she wrote.

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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