The last time the French were really our friends was the recently celebrated Revolutionary War (search).

It's been a while, and guess what the French are up to now?

The French foreign minister is agitating to get the Israelis and the Americans to quit hassling that poor Yasser Arafat (search).

Michel Barnier is complaining about Arafat's living conditions in his wrecked compound, saying "I directly and personally saw his living conditions, which are inappropriate for him considering what he represents."

What does Arafat represent? He represents a now three-year-old war against Israel, which he is losing and has cost the Palestinian people thousands of lives and the Israeli people hundreds of lives.

Arafat represents a bad idea, which was the idea of waging war against Israel using teenage suicide bombers.

He represents the reason George W. Bush refuses to be dragged into the conflict. It was, after all, Arafat who spat in Bill Clinton's face and turned down the best deal the Palestinians had ever been offered by Israel — a deal Clinton brokered.

As columnist Charles Krauthammer noted recently, Israel is winning the war with Arafat — the fence is stopping suicide bombers, Hamas can hardly organize any more because its leaders are trying to outrun Israeli missiles... and all of this can be laid at Arafat's feet.

So the world is supposed to feel bad because a crazy old terrorist, who was once overheard ordering the murder of American diplomats, is uncomfortable living in the ruins of his compound in Ramallah?

The French are preening for the Arab world again, and fomenting more anti-Americanism in places where it is already raging.

Arafat's problems are Arafat's problems. President Bush and America did not create his difficulties, and we are not the ones who should make his life easier.

That's My Word.

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