from Angry Arab :
When I received the new book, “Revolution Airport: In the Shadow of Ghassan Kanafani” [in Arabic] by `Adnan Badr, yesterday I knew that it was the book that you could not put down until you complete it. I finished it yesterday and it is written by a person who works in the media department of the PFLP without him being technically a member of the PFLP. He worked closely with Ghassan, and provides a vivid picture of him. His account of Wadi` Haddad also sheds new light about his personality, and also provides a picture (unpublished before) of media sensitivity (by Haddad). He also reveals (for the first time in print, to my knowledge) that Kanafani did not hold any position of leadership within the Front at the time of his death, although the obituary by the PFLP after his assassination claimed that he was a member of the Politburo. It is an honest and interesting account of an interesting political era where the names of Habash, Haddad, and Kanafani dominated press accounts of Palestinian struggle (compare that to today, where the names of Rajjub, Dahlan, and Fayyad dominate press accounts of Palestinian politics). The writer is a Syrian leftist who was drawn into Palestinain struggle inspired by George Habash. He talks about his brief love story with one of the flight attendants of one of the hijacked planes in 1970 (Is the American “Vicky” still around in Philadelphia?). He also talks about the splits within the PFLP and talks about the Stalinist methods and jargon of Hashim `Ali Muhsin and his role at the time. The account is biased in favor of the people with whom `Adnan worked: like Kanafani and later Bassam Abu Sharif. Toward the end, the book took a bizarre twist: the author has words of praise for Arafat, and reveals his close ties to the Iraqi political leadership who were willing to welcome a Syrian dissident (just as the Syrian regime would welcome Iraqi political dissidents–it was part of the war between the two lousy regimes). This book, however, is an important and original contribution to the literature on the era: and the author knew what he was talking about, unlike those terrorism experts who write about Wadi` Haddad and company. He mentions that first meeting between Yuri Andropov and Wadi` Haddad but he did not mention that Haddad was later coopted by Andropov, and Haddad would say this to senior PFLP leaders in later years. Haddad felt he was compelled after Habash and company distanced themselves from Haddad’s actions in November 1971 in that famous Central Committee meeting of the Front.