If it wasn't war to the death before, it is now

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 9 11:46:46 MDT 2002

>Sharon has just announced that, due to the deaths of 13 IDF occupiers in
>Jenin, the offensive against Palestine will continue until it is "crushed".
>MSNBC commentators are saying, quite rightly, that "the gauntlet has been
>thrown down" in front of Washington by Tel Aviv. Any speculation on U.S.
>response now?

Boston Globe, 4/9/2002

Powell's trip is called a way to buy time for Sharon sweep

By John Donnelly and Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff, 4/9/2002

WASHINGTON - While calling on Israel publicly to end its offensive against
Palestinians in the West Bank ''without delay,'' the Bush administration
has privately signaled to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he can phase out
the operation gradually, two US officials said yesterday.

The understanding was that Sharon should start making substantive
withdrawals at about the time of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's
arrival in Jerusalem, which is expected to be Friday, said the officials,
speaking on condition of anonymity. The officials said the US government
does not view Sharon's continued military operations as defiance of the

''Sharon knows how far he can go on this,'' said a Defense Department
official. ''There might be a little more pressure on him publicly if he
hasn't done something serious by Friday, but he has a window to get things
done right now.''

He said the administration expected gestures from Israel before Friday,
like the pullback announced last night from the West Bank towns of Tulkarem
and Qalqilya, but did not expect substantive moves by Israel until closer
to Powell's arrival.

The officials said they did not know whether the administration explicitly
gave Sharon until Friday or rather suggested that the timetable could be
more flexible.

Bush reiterated his call for an immediate pullout. ''I meant what I said to
the prime minister of Israel: I expect there to be withdrawal without
delay,'' the president said before a speech yesterday in Tennessee. ''I
also meant what I said to the Arab world to strongly condemn and act
against terrorist activity.''

But the US officials and an array of Middle East analysts said that Bush's
public rhetoric was aimed at the Arab world.

full: http://www.boston.com/globe

Louis Proyect
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