We started watching the second disc of The Fifty Years War last night, which eventually will bring us up to 1998.
By far the most moving segment of the whole series is about the Camp David accords. Dreamlike home movies of those 12 days (Zbigniew Brzezinski in tennis whites...Amy Carter wiping out on her bike) and current-day interviews with my hero Jimmy C. tell a poignant story, capped by the famous footage of Begin, Sadat, and Carter clasping hands in front of the White House after signing the agreements.
The Reagan Years are glossed over, and then--wham!--there's Bush, Sr. in all his oiliness, intentionally mispronouncing Arabic names and cooking up his schemes to oust Saddam Hussein.
While the kindly King Hussein of Jordan is the most constant thread through the saga, Arafat is the most enduring playa. Think what you will about him (and I don't like him a bit) but the guy has nine lives--he is always on the brink of being shot, blown up, ambushed and he always escapes unscathed. He's like the grandma (there's one in every family) who's "just too mean to die."
Anyway, this documentary is a great way to catch up on the facts if you've forgotten what has led up to the turmoil over there (and here) today.
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