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Random interesting news-of-the-day: According to David Frum (former Bush speech writer and a Canadian), Arafat is dying of AIDS.  The article quotes some eastern block documents as well to bolster the claim that he has engaged in homosexual sex.  

Ottawa Citizen article below the fold...

(More details about his sexual escapades are in the longer version of the article at

Former White House speechwriter David Frum has raised the prospect Yasser Arafat is suffering from AIDS, citing a former Romanian spymaster's allegations the Palestinian leader had sex with his male bodyguards.

Mr. Frum, a key figure in the Republican neo-conservative establishment, writes in the National Review Online that Mr. Arafat's undisclosed illness is well-known, but has been kept under wraps by the mainstream media.

"Speaking of media bias, here's a question you won't hear in our big papers or on network TV: Does Yasser Arafat have AIDS?" asks Mr. Frum, who also writes for the National Post.

"We know he has a blood disease that is depressing his immune system. We know that he has suddenly dropped considerable weight -- possibly as much as one-third of all his body weight. We know that he is suffering intermittent mental dysfunction. What does this sound like?"

Mr. Frum, who recently co-wrote a book warning of the dangers of Islamic extremism with Richard Perle, an adviser to U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, pointed to KGB evidence linking Mr. Arafat to homosexual activities between the 1960s and 1980s.

He cites a 1987 book by Lt.-Gen. Ion Pacepa, the deputy chief of Romania's intelligence service under Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. In his memoirs Red Horizons, Lt.-Gen. Pacepa claims Mr. Arafat's extensive KGB file revealed him to be a voracious homosexual and that Romanian agents had taped Mr. Arafat's sex sessions with his bodyguards in Buch-arest in 1978.

"The report was indeed an incredible account of fanaticism, of devotion to his cause, of tangled oriental political manoeuvres, of lies, of embezzled PLO funds deposited in Swiss banks, and of homosexual relationships, beginning with his teacher when he was a teenager and ended with his current bodyguards," Mr. Pacepa wrote of Mr. Arafat.

"If true, Arafat would have a great deal to conceal from his people and his murderously anti-homosexual supporters in the Islamic world," writes Mr. Frum.

Mr. Frum's allegations were quickly discounted by Mazen Chouaib, executive director of the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations.

Mr. Chouaib said he was in contact on the weekend with an Arab diplomat with intimate knowledge of Mr. Arafat's medical condition.

"He informed me that the disease, according to sources within the medical team who are observing Arafat, is a rare blood disease that his family suffered from. His sister died not too long ago from the same disease and his brother (Fathi) is also dying in Egypt of the same disease," he said.

Mr. Chouaib said he did not know the medical term for the disease, but described it as a rare form of cancer.

Mr. Chouaib also questioned how Mr. Frum could allege Mr. Arafat was gay when he had a reputation in PLO circles as a lady's man and had fathered a daughter with his much younger wife.

"It sounds very strange that a respected person like David Frum would make such a statement," he said, noting the allegations have never been made by anyone within the PLO leader's inner circle.

Mr. Arafat, 75, is being treated for an undisclosed illness at a French military hospital.

Mr. Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, who coined the phrase "Axis of Evil," suggests Mr. Arafat was airlifted to France for medical treatment because he "could trust the French to protect his intimate secret."

Robert Fife is parliamentary bureau chief

Originally posted to dehbach on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 07:39 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If the source is Bushies... (none)
    ...or former Bushies, I would have to discount it. Word on the Arab street is arsenic poisoning. Arafat was under house arrest, the problem came on very abruptly --complications of AIDS are usually painfully slow. Interesting gossip, but I'm going with arsenic, placed in his food or water.

    "What luck for rulers that men do not think" - Adolf Hitler

    by Bensdad on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 07:39:57 PM PST

    •  Word on the Arab street ... (none)
      ..may trump a NeoImp, but personally I'd rather have a more trustworthy source than people who are already saying he was poisoned by the Jews.

      Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 07:50:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  yeah... (none)
    This sounds a little too convenient of a story.  Almost as though it was straight out of Sharon's office.

    "My leader can beat up your leader!"

    "Yeah!  Well your leader's gay!"    

  •  Frum (none)
    David Frum was the guy who wrote the "Axis of Evil" State of the Union Address in January 2002.

    He's also the co-author of a book, "An End to Evil," with Richard Perle.

    So anyway, he's a well plugged-in younger generation necon...

    I'm GregP and I approve this message.

    by GregP on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 07:47:09 PM PST

  •  Rubbish! (none)
    I can think of at least 3 other diagnoses that fit his reported symptoms better...

    and I don't even play a doctor on tv!!

    If the 2004 Vote Count had happened in any other country, we'd all be sneering about their "democracy"...

    by bushdemocrat on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 07:47:17 PM PST

  •  Eh (none)
    I would need more credible evidence than David Frum citing KGB files (and trying to make an accusation against the "liberal media" in the process).  By the way, the link points to a WorldNetDaily link, which, as most of you know, is a far-right site.  
  •  Perfect (4.00)
    What a stunning confluence of two of the Right's most loathed ideas:  Islam and Homosexuality!  Are we living in a Jackie Collins novel or what?  Does anyone honestly believe that Arafat has been sexually active within the last decade?  He's 75 years old!  With the tough life this guy has lived, his libido has been dead for thirty years.

    Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.

    by bink on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 07:53:21 PM PST

    •  You better watch yourself. (none)
      I was "super-troll" rated last night for saying something similar.

      There are way too many people how are way to eager to shovel GOP agit-prop down their throats.

      This dairy is garbage. Take it down.

  •  Please change the diary title (4.00)
    There is no evidence that he has AIDS. Nothing even close to evidence. You are relying on an extremist, right wing fascist who hates gays and wants anything he can that will humiliate gays and associate them with criminals. He also wants more Jews to hate gays and vote against them, as he does.

    I am really offended by the diary title. You have no proof that he has AIDS.

  •  Deeply Offensive (4.00)
    Not the assertion that he has AIDS, in and of itself, but the assertion he has AIDS because of a ridiculous rumor that he had homosexual relations.

    AIDS in NOT a gay disease!  

    Holy crap, people, don't buy into that spin!

  •  Ridiculous... (none)
    If he has AIDs then his daughter would probably have it.  His wife would have it.  And would his brother and sister be suffering from it?  What, are we supposed to believe there is alos incest in the Arafat family?  Incest at a fairly old age too, it couldn't have been when he was a child.

    This is one of the most ridiculous assertions I've ever heard.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 08:20:15 PM PST

    •  quite reasonable (none)
      The fact that he has AIDS doesn't mean that his whole family would.  No one is accusing Arafat of incest.  Suha has been living comfortably in Paris off Arafat's billions for several years now.

      Again, given the campaign of obfuscation and disinformation that the Palestinians have engaged in, some speculation is inevitable.  The symptoms all point to AIDS, and several other diagnoses have been ruled out.  Perhaps had Arafat's handlers been more transparent about goings on, then there would not be this problem of rumormongering.

  •  Shrimp Ceviche (none)
    Shrimp Ceviche from Mexico One Plate at a Time

    1 generous pound unpeeled smallish shrimp (preferably 41/50 count to a pound)
    1/2 cup plus 2 TBLSP. fresh lime juice
    1/2 medium white onion, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
    1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus several sprigs for garnish
    1/2 cup ketchup
    1 to 2 TBLSP. vinegary Mexican bottled hot sauce  (such as Tamazula, Valentina or Bufalo)
    About 2 TBLSP. olive oil, preferably extra virgin (optional,  but recommended to smooth out sharpness)
    1 cup diced peeled cucumber or jicama (or 1/2 cup of each)
    1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
    Several lime slices for garnish
    Tostadas or tortilla chips

    1. Cooking and marinating the shrimp. Bring 1 quart salted water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Scoop in the shrimp, cover and let the water return to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat, set the lid askew and pour off all the liquid. Replace the cover and let the shrimp steam off the heat for 10 minutes. Spread out the shrimp in a large glass or stainless steel bowl to cool completely. Peel and devein the shrimp if you wish. Toss the shrimp with the remaining 1/2 cup lime juice, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

    2. The Flavorings. In a small strainer, rinse the onion under cold water, then shake off the excess liquid. Add to the shrimp bowl along with the cilantro, ketchup, hot sauce, optional olive oil, cucumber and or jicama and avocado. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

    3. Serving the Ceviche. Spoon the ceviche into sundae glasses, martini glasses or small bowls; garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of lime. Serve with tostadas or tortilla chips.

    The Ceviche is best made the day it is served. The flavorings can be added to the shrimp a few hours in advance. Makes 3 cups, serving 6 as an appetizer.
  •  David Frum (none)
    is not a credible source. He will say anything. If I heard him claim the sun rises in the east I'd demand proof that the world hadn't reversed its rotation.

    Massacre is not a family value.

    by Canadian Reader on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 08:41:24 PM PST

  •  Cran-Orange Relish (none)
    1 large orange, including peel but not including seeds
    1 bag fresh cranberries (pick out the bad ones)
    sugar to taste (approx. 1 cup)

    Throw everything in food processor (a little at a time).  Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Tart but delicious.

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