"[T]he big lie"-- [is] the U.S. State Department's deliberate cover-up of the fact that [in the Cold River operation of 1973] Yaser Arafat personally ordered the murder of State's own overseas personnel, including an ambassador. This [cover up] is indeed a very big lie.
But why was State willing to give Arafat a pass through seven Presidential administrations? State lied about Cold River in order to advance a much bigger and more important lie: the myth that the Israel-Palestinian "peace process" is the key to solving the Middle East's many problems.
State lied about Cold River because, had it acknowledged that Arafat was the unrepentant and cold-blooded murderer of an American ambassador, the American people would have demanded action. It would no longer have been possible to pretend that the PLO was anything other than a terrorist gang. It may no longer have been possible to pressure Israel to accept Arafat as a "partner in peace"; to invite Arafat to stay at the White House; to applaud his speeches at the U.N.; to hold hands with him at one futile "summit" after another.
The world has no shortage of longstanding ethnic and religious conflicts. Take just one example: the conflict between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan over Kashmir. This dispute is almost exactly as old as that between the Israelis and Palestinians. more people have died in Kashmir and as a result of that dispute, than as a result of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Yet where are the front-page headlines to accompany every fatality in Kashmir? Where are the endless U.N. resolutions? Where is the international pressure on India to trade "land for peace"? Where is the endless procession of Sunday morning talking heads assuring us that resoluton of the Kashmir dilemma is the key to solving all of the problems of Central Asia?
Israel has little or nothing to do with the many pathologies that beset the Arab and Persian Middle East. A magical, overnight solution of the Palestinian problem would have zero impact on Iraq, on Iran, on Syria's domination of Lebanon, on the sinister threat posed by Hizbollah, etc.
Yet the State Department soldiers blindly on, committed to what must be the biggest lie in American foreign policy--the near-mystical belief that the Palestinian "peace process" holds the key to progress in the Middle East. So committed is State to this myth that it preferred to cover up the murder of its own personnel rather than confront the hollowness of its own policy.