"Going to Palestine Via Iraq" (Dec. 22) describes Ahmed Rahal as having risen to the pinnacle of Saddam Hussein's army "from an impoverished childhood in the West Bank." Then a few paragraphs down we're told that he is 51 years of age. Now, the impression given, and I would suspect intended, is that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is responsible for his miserable childhood. But then I started doing the math. If he is 51 years old, then he was born around 1952. Israel didn't capture the West Bank until 1967, when he would have been about 15. Jordan controlled the West Bank from 1948 until 1967, so then Jordan must have been responsible for his lousy childhood.
This raises a question I've had for a long time. If the Palestinian cause is so precious to the Arab nations, why didn't they help them form an independent Palestine when an Arab country controlled that territory? For that matter, why didn't the Palestinians send suicide bombers against their Jordanian occupiers? And why didn't the United Nations pass resolutions condemning the evil Jordanians? Oh, that's right, the Jordanians aren't Jewish.
Your article on Rahal leaves out one significant issue. It never asks him the question about what his plans were for the state of Israel. It describes his "one dream: returning to an independent Palestine," but it never covers what that "Palestine" would consist of and whom Rahal would destroy in the process of getting it. It seems to me that that would be an obvious issue for an in-depth article such as this.
Larry J. Hochberg