I found it interesting that Bush can speak for an hour, talk pretty much the whole time about how Arafat has let everyone down, and then utter 2 sentences about how Israel should withdraw, and the media is full of Bush says Israel should withdraw and very little mention of his criticism of Arafat. Even Annan from the UN had criticism of Arafat, but you seldom see that in print, justthe anti Israel stuff makes the press
Today Bush reiterated his comments on Arafat for just that reason
Bush: Arafat 'hasn't earned' U.S. trust
April 5, 2002 Posted: 12:15 PM EST (1715 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush sharply questioned Yasser Arafat's ability to act as a peacemaker in the Middle East and said the Palestinian leader "hasn't earned" the U.S. administration's trust.
In an interview with Britain's Granada Television -- to be broadcast Friday -- the president pointedly added, "There are others in the region who can lead."
Bush's interview with British television comes on the eve of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit this weekend to the president's ranch in Texas, where the two leaders will hold talks.
The president said he didn't know if Secretary of State Colin Powell would meet with Arafat next week when Powell goes to the region. Arafat met with U.S. Middle East envoy Anthony Zinni Friday.
Bush left little doubt that he was disappointed in Arafat, who remains pinned down in his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah as Israeli forces continue with an aggressive military operation to root out what they have described as a terrorist infrastructure.
"My worry is that Yasser Arafat can't perform," Bush said, according to a transcript of the interview. "He's been given plenty of opportunities."
Asked whether Arafat had forfeited Bush's trust, the president replied, "He certainly hasn't earned it."
As an example, Bush said that Arafat had pledged to fight terrorism, but then ordered a shipment of arms from Iran. "He's got a long way to go," Bush said.
Bush demurred, however, when asked if the Palestinian people should look for another leader.
"That's up to them," Bush replied. "Far be it from the American president to get to decide who leads what country. I'm just telling you since I've been the president, the man hadn't performed."
The president repeated his call for Israel to "withdraw from the occupied territory."
As for the Palestinians, Annan said, "The Palestinian Authority seems to believe that failing to act against terrorism, and inducing turmoil, chaos and instability, will cause the government and people of Israel to buckle. They will not."
Annan also expressed concern about the escalation of violence along the Blue Line, the U.N.-designated boundary between Israel and Lebanon.
"There seem to be efforts coming from Lebanese territory to deliberately create instability along the Blue Line," Annan said.