The Case for Skepticism

Talking to Yasser Arafat is not like talking to Mikhail Gorbachev. During the past three years, in word and deed, Gorbachev has earned the West's cautious trust. The INF treaty, the recent announcement of planned unilateral reductions in Soviet conventional forces, the removal of old-line naysayers suggest, in Margaret Thatcher's words, that Gorbachev is a man with whom "we can do business."

Arafat is another story. He and his confederates have raised double-talk to an art form. Seeming concessions have become traps, hard-line interviews in Arabic have contradicted hopeful statements in English, renunciations of terrorist acts have been undermined by evidence...

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