For the past 2 days i've been reading the egyptian newspapers and they are all expressing utter joy for the Gaza withdrawel. All of them happy that the settlers are getting uprooted, and everyone is talking about how this is all a wonderful "first step" and a great "historical achievment". They use the word Achievment, like they did anything to make it happen, as if those whole thing wasn't pre-empted by Sharon and done by him unilaterly. I guess its true, we arabs will take whatever "victory" we can claim or invent for that matter. Luckily, not everyone is that stupid. And i am glad that one my readers- Highlander- smelled a rat in that withdrawel. Here are her comments: No SM I think you have it only partially right. Gaza withdrawal IMHO is not to please but to placate the US, but more importantly it is a great strategy. Sharon is not stupid you know , he has not survived all this time and done exactly what he wanted only to be deprived of his goal I really admire him and wish we had someone like him to get what needs to be done done ! She is not wrong you know, and this analysis by the METimes should give you an idea on why exactly he went through and did this thing. It should give you a glimpse in the mind of the man that has been a thorn in the backsides of arabs- egyptians in particular(1973's loophold anyone? Guess who commanded that army? Yep, our boy!)- for more then 40 years The foreign journalists who are besieging Gaza at this moment are asking again and again: Why did he do it? What caused him to devise the disengagement plan? This question has several answers. Like every historic event, the withdrawal has more than one motive. The plan was not the result of consultations. When he was one of the prominent army generals, Sharon was known as a "tactical" general, in the style of Erwin Rommel and George Patton, rather than a "strategic" general, like Dwight Eisenhower and Georgi Zhukov. He had an intuitive grasp of the battlefield, but not the ability to think several moves ahead. He brought with him the same attributes to political life. This explains the circumstances of the birth of the "disengagement". [...] However, behind all these motives there stand, more importantly, the personality and world-view of Sharon himself. [...] Sharon's is a classic Zionist ideology, consistent and pragmatic: to enlarge the borders of the Jewish State as much as possible, in a continuing process, without including in it a non-Jewish population. To settle everywhere possible, using every possible trick. To do much and talk little about it. To make declarations about the desire for peace, but not to make a peace that would hinder expansion and settlement. [...] He wants to expand Israel's borders as much as possible, and minimize the number of Arabs within them. Therefore it makes sense to him to give up the tiny Gaza strip with the million and half Palestinians living there, and also the centers of Palestinian population in the West Bank. He wants to annex the settlement blocs and the sparsely populated areas, where new settlement blocs can be set up. He is content to leave to future generations the problem of the Palestinian enclaves.