In the meantime, the bestselling The Big Fix was reported to be still on the New York Times bestseller list for the 23rd consecutive week. Americans in droves seemed to be buying the book's main argument that the French government blew up the Louvre in order to start a war with Libya to obtain its oil.
However, not all Americans were so hardnosed. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was reportedly arguing for an American presence in the French-led coalition: "Don't worry; at the end of the day we will be on board and send a frigate or at least some military police boats to show our solidarity and thanks for Lafayette." And Attorney General Ashcroft assured the French that his investigators would pass on any information concerning the Louvre murderers "as long as the American people can be assured by the French government that so-called terrorists will not face capital charges."
ISLAMIC WORLD UP IN ARMS Meanwhile America's troubles only seemed to have gotten worse in the Middle East. Recently it was announced that some of the 15 American suicide bombers who attacked the holy shrines at Mecca had, in fact, received indirect financial support from the Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush families. Riyadh was pressing the FBI to be more "forthcoming" in its investigations of these supposed money links and rated American cooperation so far as only a "C."
In a related matter, the Saudis were still pressing the Defense Department to be more serious in its investigations of the murders of dozens of Saudi liaison officers who were blown up in their Virginia Towers dormitory, allegedly by terrorist "Knights of Malta" cells. "We are not saying that all Christians are behind these killings of Saudi citizens," Ambassador Bandar remarked, "but there is a particular strain of Falwellabism abroad that seems to incite and enrage the criminally minded — and operates with apparent impunity right under the noses of the American government."
In that vein, Yasser Arafat has alleged that American television stations were conducting telethons to raise bounty money for Israeli officers who are credited with sure "kills" in their missile attacks against suspected terrorists. And according to the Palestinian Authority, when reports of Palestinian civilians killed while at work were televised on American television, there were spontaneous cheering and celebrating on American campuses.
"All that blood money from America has to stop," Arafat demanded, noting that the New York Times was running a five-part news series called the "The Arab Protocols" that was little more than a racist 19th-century slur alleging that a small circle of Arabs had conspired to rig the world energy market and form cartels to gouge the West. Arafat noted that in Israel "You have five-year-old kids dressed up with plastic Tomahawk missiles and M-16s hanging from their belts. What kind of culture is that?"
In Jordan, King Hussein expressed frustration that American authorities had not apprehended the murderer of a Jordanian diplomat in Washington, D.C. — a complaint echoed by the Lebanese authorities who were still pressing the administration for action regarding the execution-style shooting of a young female Islamic relief worker in New