2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 1, 2002
Bush silent about Mideast conflict
Los Angeles Times
President Bush is under growing pressure to
do something - almost anything - to defuse
the intense hostilities between Israel and the
Palestinians, which flared anew yesterday with
two more suicide bombings and Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon's solemn pronouncement
that his country is in "a war over our home."
Unlike the many world leaders who weighed in on
the mounting crisis, Bush was silent yesterday. His
only public appearance was at Easter services at a
Baptist church near his Texas ranch, and aides said-
he made no calls to Mideast leaders.
Bush's thoughts were relayed indirectly following
the day's suicide bombings, which killed 17 and
injured more than 40. White House spokesman Gor-
don Johndroe told reporters that Bush "condemns
these acts of terrorism. The president will not let
these latest attacks deter him from the pursuit of
But as European presidents, Arab princes and reli-
gious leaders made their own appeals yesterday for
peace, current and former U.S. officials questioned
the lack of American action as the region plunged
into deeper conflict.
Perhaps the most poignant words came from an
ailing Pope John Paul II, who denounced the "horror
and despair" that have converted the holy lands into a
war zone. Using his annual Easter message to urge
international intervention to end the bloodshed, the
pontiff said, "No one can remain silent and inactive,
no political or religious leader."
Many had tough words for the Bush administra-
tion. At home, former National Security Advisor
Zbigniew Brzezinski - who served in the Carter
administration, which orchestrated the first Mideast
peace accord, between Israel and Egypt in 1978 -
said U.S. policy in recent months reflected "strate-
Brzezinski also faulted the Bush administra-
tion for responding only to the "outrage" of ter-
rorism, and not to a simultaneous offer of peace
made at an Arab League summit in Beirut,
Lebanon, last week.
"Three days ago, we had an outrage, the
bombing (of a Passover Seder), but we had a
moment of historic opportunity - the proposal
made by the Arabs, for the first time in 50 years
... to recognize Israel and to live with it in peace.
The United States has seized on the outrage. It is
not exploiting the opportunity. And that is a
major strategic shortcoming," he said on ABC's
Ailing priest pleas for end to violence
Struggling with his own physical suffering, Pope John Paul II used his Easter mes-
sage to issue a forceful plea for an end to a bloody spiral of violence that has created
"horror and despair" in the Holy Land.
Following a string of Palestinian suicide bombings and the Israeli takeover of
Yasser Arafat's compound in the West Bank, John Paul dedicated much of the tradi-
tional address, entitled "Urbi et Orbi" - "To the city and to the world" - to the
Assisted by two cardinals, the frail, 81-year-old pope celebrated Mass on the steps
of St. Peter's Basilica.
It was a victory of sorts for John Paul, who in recent days was forced to defer to his
doctors and give up several of his traditions, including celebrating Palm Sunday and
Holy Thursday Masses and walking in a Good Friday procession at the Colosseum.
The Vatican has said the pope is cutting back his activities to rest a knee afflicted
with painful arthrosis, a joint disease. Yesterday, a Rome surgeon said the Vatican is
looking into the possibility of knee surgery soon for the pontiff.
At times yesterday, the pope's face was contorted in apparent pain, his left
hand shook as he rested it on the altar and he clenched a prayer book stand
for extra support.
Extremists aim to punish Musharraf's alliance
Ramallal rocked by Israeli attacks
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -
This city used to be a Palestinian suc-
cess story, a bustling commercial hub
top-heavy with academics and profes-
sionals. Yesterday, two days after Israeli
troops and tanks swept in, Ramallah
looked as if it had been hit by a hurri-
Broken glass and shattered concrete
crunched underfoot. The streets were
dotted with the flattened wrecks of cars
- some of them luxury models like
BMWs - that had been smashed by
advancing tanks. Lampposts and sign-
posts leaned at crazy angles. Water
gushed from broken mains, flooding
across pavement chewed up by tank
Israel's principal target so far has been
the stone compound of Yasser Arafat,
where troops punched their way through
the perimeter walls, moved in tanks and
cornered the Palestinian leader together
with about 100 aides - punishing him,
Israeli officials said, for a relentless
wave of suicide bombings. At least 15
people were killed yesterday and scores
injured in the latest suicide attack, a
powerful blast that ripped through an
eatery in the port city of Haifa.
While the 3-day-old siege of Arafat's
headquarters was capturing the greatest
share of attention, the Israeli military
presence was felt in every corner of this
city as troops searched for militants and
Palestinians trapped in their homes by
the fighting described a mixture of ter-
ror and tedium as the hours and days
"We hear the sound of gunfire and
tank shells, and the children are afraid,
and then it stops, and we have nothing to
do but talk about things we have talked
about over and over again," said Emad
el-Atshan, 38, whose apartment house,
home to six families, is less than 50
yards from Arafat's compound.
Troops have commandeered homes
and buildings, set up sandbag emplace-
ments draped with camouflage netting
on residential streets, erected barricades
and dug trenches, turning the hilly
streets into a near-impassable maze.
"My car," said Ziad Abu Arah, gestur-
ing toward a late-model tan Ford that
had been run over by a tank. "It's the
second one of mine this happened to."
Almost the only vehicles out in
the streets were Israeli armored per-
sonnel carriers, the occasional
ambulance and journalists' cars that
maneuvered gingerly - often
turned back by tanks that swiveled
their turrets and trained their big
guns on anything or anyone that
ventured too close.
Power and water had been cut in
many districts. "Everything has rot-
ted in the refrigerator - it smells
terrible - and we can't even wash
our clothes," said 20-year-old
Sireen Abdel Hadi, who lives with
her parents and three sisters in an
affluent hillside neighborhood.
Just below her home, neighbors
rigged up lengths of garden hose to
catch the runoff from a water pipe
shattered when Israeli armor carved
a deep trench across the road. A
couple of small children were fill-
Continued from Page A
back-to-back attacks yesterday that killed 15 Israelis.
In an expansion of Israel's "Operation Protective Wall,"
dozens of Israeli tanks entered the West Bank town of
Qalqiliya late yesterday, governor Mustafa Malki said.
Electricity was cut off and exchanges of fire could be
heard. Armored vehicles also amassed near biblical
In Ramallah, under Israeli control since Friday, dozens of
European peace activists, their arms raised and holding white
flags, marched past bewildered Israeli soldiers into Yasser
Arafat's office to protest the confinement of the Palestinian
leader by Israel. The protesters said they would stay with
Arafat, who has accused Israel of trying to kill him, human
Earlier in the day, Israeli forces surrounding the building
exchanged fire with Arafat's guards, and Palestinian officials
said Arafat was just a few yards from the fighting. Several
guards were wounded, two of them seriously. At least 15 Pales-
tinians and two Israeli soldiers have been killed in Ramallah
The Israeli army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ron Kitrey,
acknowledged that Arafat was at risk, even if he was not
Addressing the nation in a five-minute televised speech,
Sharon said Israel is fighting a "war over our home."
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ing plastic bottles and pitchers from
A university lecturer watching the
scene, who gave his name only as Abed,
could hardly contain his anger and bit-
terness. "We used to see scenes like this
in Palestinian refugee camps," he said,
his sweeping gesture taking in the chil-
dren and the comfortable nearby homes.
"And now here:'
Throughout the city, businesses and
shops were shuttered tight. One grocery
store opened briefly and furtively, crack-
ing open one of its outer doors to let
customers in while keeping the lights
out in the storefront.
"Kids need milk - we feel we have
to open for a little while at least," said
the proprietor, who feared the activity
would attract the attention of the soldiers
a few streets away.
Despite pockets of intense poverty,
Ramallah - whose area has some
200,000 people - has long had an air
of cosmopolitan sophistication. It boasts
fine schools and is home to many Pales-
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -
An.American reporter was shot and
wounded in the shoulder in Ramallah
yesterday, and Israel warned that for-
eign journalists were at risk and
should not be in the occupied West
Anthony Shadid, a Washington-
based Boston Globe reporter on
assignment in Ramallah, was standing
in a doorway of a shop with Globe
stringer Said al-Ghazali when he was
shot in the shoulder, said Globe for-
eign editor James Smith.
Shadid, who is in his early 30s, was
conscious and in stable condition in a
private Arab hospital in Ramallah,
Smith said. The bullet was lodged in
the shoulder. Globe officials were
talking with Shadid's family members
about the best course of action, and
how to get him out the West Bank.
Large numbers of Israeli troops
control the empty streets in the area
where Shadid was shot, though it was
not clear who shot him. Israel's army
said it was investigating.
A group of about 10 Western and
Palestinian journalists went to the
hospital to see Shadid, and soldiers
who were just inside the door would
not allow them to enter.
They waited for an about an hour
and left just before sunset, when
travel on the city's streets becomes
A short while later, Dr. Moussa Abu
Hmeid, a Palestinian Health Ministry
official, said troops confined the doc-
tors and nurses in the hospital to sev-
eral rooms and cut off the phone lines.
The military spokesman's office
said it would investigate the claim.
Israeli officials, meanwhile,
warned that the city was a closed
military zone and journalists should
not be in it.
The city was declared a closed zone
on Friday, but this was only sporadi-
cally enforced and journalists and
other foreigners were able to get in as
late as yesterday morning. However,
officials had been complaining that
the reporters are getting in the way.
"No foreign citizens (including
members of the media) are allowed to
be in the closed zone," said a state-
ment issued by the Government Press
Office. "Anyone found in the closed
zone henceforth will beremoved.
Members of the media are advised
that their presence in the closed zone~
In Pakistan's wild country along the Afghan border, al-Qaida fugitives and home-
grown Islamic extremists are teaming up to confront Pakistan's government and its
Pakistanis and Afghans familiar with extremist organizations say their aim is to
punish President Pervez Musharraf for abandoning the Afghan Taliban and banning
several militant groups in Pakistan in connection with the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
Police fear the kidnapping and slaying of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel
Pearl and the March 17 grenade attack on an Islamabad church attended by foreign-
ers may be examples of what the extremists have in store.
"It is their hate for America that bonds them," said retired Maj. Gen. Anwar Sher,
who worked with militant Islamic groups during the war against Soviet forces in
Afghanistan in the 1980s. "This hate against America naturally is also directed at
Musharraf. He has joined with America and these religious groups don't like it."
Evidence of that cooperation surfaced last week when Pakistani police, assisted by
FBI agents, raided extremist hide-outs in two Pakistani cities, arresting about 60 peo-
ple, including 25 Arabs and four Afghans.
Britain pays homage
to Queen Mother
The great State Bell of St. Paul's
Cathedral tolled yesterday in remem-
brance of the Queen Mother as people
across Britain prayed for her at Easter
services and admirers lined up at royal
palaces to sign books of condolence.
Queen Elizabeth II, who has lost her
mother and her only sister, Princess
Margaret, within seven weeks, attended
a private service at Windsor Castle,
grieving a much-loved royal matriarch
who died Saturday at 101. Prince
Charles and his sons flew home from a
ski trip in Switzerland to join the rest of
the royal family.
Crowds of admirers gathered out-
side WindsorCastle's gates, and,
some left flowers and notes. More
than 50 bright bouquets of spring
flowers rested.against a St. James's
Palace wall in central London where
hundreds of people lined up on a
chilly and overcast morning to sign
books of condolence.
top Fortune 500 spot
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the dis-
counter that has become the domi-
nant force in American retailing, is
now the largest company in the
nation and in the world, capturing
the top spot on the annual Fortune
Wal-Mart, No. 2 on the list a year
ago, traded places with oil giant
Exxon Mobil Corp. in the rankings
compiled on the basis of companies'
annual revenue figures. The retail-
er's ascendancy was expected after
both companies issued their 2001
results earlier this year.
The list of America's 500 biggest
companies, published in the issue of
Fortune magazine that reaches news-
stands today, has some surprises,
most notably bankrupt Enron Corp.
moving up two notches to No. 5
despite its downward spiral.
Afghan assembly to
choose new officials
In an important step for Afghanistan's
political transition, an independent com-
mission announced yesterday the final
plans and rules for a nationwide assem-
bly in June that will choos!, a.new gov-
ernment to hold office for 18 months.
The week-long assembly, known as a
loya jirga, will be virtually the first
attempt in Afghanistan's modern histo-
ry to choose a representative govern-
ment, and it will follow a
quarter-century of war, civil conflict
and repressive religious rule.
The commission said that any
Afghan - including former members
of the Taliban militia or armed political
factions - could be elected to the
1,500-member loya jirga, as long as he
or she has no ties to terrorist groups
and has not been involved in crime or
human rights abuses.
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