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URUK Net 16 February, 2009 Part 2

Last updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:50

Out of Africa…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…Actually to be more precise, this new “film” did not start in Kenya, but in Egypt. They say Egypt is the gate between Africa and the Arab world…so I guess it makes sense that it all starts there… This “film” starts with Abu Omar, kidnapped from Milano by the CIA aided by the Italian secret services, on 17th February 2003, and flown to Egypt via Germany on charges of “terrorism”. He “looked suspicious”, as many others “looked suspicious”. When telling his ordeal, it was a similar story, told time after time — he was punched, beaten, handcuffed, eyes covered…the whole works…I need not repeat myself each time. The minute he landed and overheard the Egyptian dialect, he said
“ My heart stopped…” With no legal procedures whatsoever and no clear charges, Abu Omar was detained in Egypt where he was tortured and sodomized until he “lost consciousness…” He was left to rot there for a few years, until he was released with NO CHARGES. I am sure you have already read about the secret network of flights of the CIA, to various destinations and the shadow secret prisons in Uzbekistan, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lybia, Iraq Afghanistan, Pakistan, Guantanamo and Uganda…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51851

Between Resistance and Peace Process
Dina Jadallah-Taschler
It really is time to be biased, and emphatically so. Biased against racism, injustice and oppression. The assault on Gaza and its wake leave the Palestinians on uncertain ground. On the one hand, there is their legitimate right of resistance in order to achieve national liberation. On the other hand, are internal, regional, and international forces that seek to impose an externally imposed and pre-determined hegemonic solution. War is consistently used by Israel as the prime means of statecraft. In the past, it has usually succeeded in achieving its goals, being the far more technologically advanced party. But as that gap shrinks, it is less useful against the asymmetric tactics of the weaker and oppressed Palestinians. With the second intifada, it became clear that war was no longer sufficient. It was still useful to terrorize, but not so productive in ensuring submission…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51854

Obama’s Caterpillar Visit a Thumb in the Eye for Human Rights Activists
Stephen Zunes
Over the objections of church groups, peace organizations and human rights activists, President Barack Obama decided to return to Illinois to visit the headquarters of the Caterpillar company, which for years has violated international law, U.S. law and its own code of conduct by selling its D9 and D10 bulldozers to Israel. In his speech on Thursday, Obama praised Caterpillar, saying, “Your machines plow the farms that feed our families; build the towers that shape our skylines; lay the roads that connect our communities; power the trucks that deliver our goods.” He failed to mention that Caterpillar machines have been used to level Palestinian homes, uproot olive orchards, build the illegal separation wall and, in some cases, kill innocent civilians, including a 23-year old American peace activist…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51860

From the Ending We Shall Begin
By Natalie Abu Shakra – Gaza
…The core of this reality is not humanitarian. It is political. The core of this being is that it has been a being of 61 years of waiting, and the people are still waiting. The core of this absurdity is that there were around 483 children massacred during a period of twenty two days, and the criminal has not been tried yet. The core of this existence is that there have been numerous peace processes bringing about a series of episodes of massacres and acts of ethnic cleansing. The core of this actuality is that there is a society crippled, its development obstructed, its people repressed, oppressed, and imprisoned, and negotiations are still ongoing. From the tragedy of a siege to the tragedy of human slaughtering, and the sea still roars with pride along the coast of Gaza. “What can we do without the sea? I would die without the sea in Gaza” a friend tells me. There is always a sea…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51857

Whitehall devised torture policy for terror detainees
MI5 interrogations in Pakistan agreed by lawyers and government
Ian Cobain and Richard Norton-Taylor , Guardian
A policy governing the interrogation of terrorism suspects in Pakistan that led to British citizens and residents being tortured was devised by MI5 lawyers and figures in government, according to evidence heard in court. A number of British terrorism suspects who have been detained without trial in Pakistan say they were tortured by Pakistani intelligence agents before being questioned by MI5. In some cases their accusations are supported by medical evidence. The existence of an official interrogation policy emerged during cross-examination in the high court in London of an MI5 officer who had questioned one of the detainees, Binyam Mohamed, the British resident currently held in Guantánamo Bay…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51858

Hamas Pushed to the Wall Over Ceasefire
By Mel Frykberg
…A statement released by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office Saturday said that Israel would not agree to any ceasefire unless captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released as part of any deal. “The prime minister’s position is that Israel will not reach understandings on a truce before the release of Gilad Shalit,” the statement said. Shalit was captured by Hamas fighters in 2006 near the Gaza-Israel border, and has been held in a secret location in Gaza ever since. Hamas has demanded the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel jails, many of whom have been detained without trial, in return for Shalit. The group labelled the tying of a ceasefire to the release of Shalit unacceptable, and said this was part of a later and separate deal involving an exchange of prisoners. Even Hamas’s bitter enemy, the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank called Israel’s latest demand unreasonable. Sa’eb Erekat, a PA negotiator, rejected the link. He called the idea “blackmail” and a violation of a 2005 agreement between Israel and the PA on the management of Gaza’s border crossings…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51863

Video: Gaza women struggle in aftermath of Israeli war
AlJazeeraEnglish
Following Israel’s war on Gaza, many women are struggling to come to terms with the deaths of their husbands and children. Al Jazeera’s Mike Kirsch hears their stories of survival, and reports on the challenges they face as they try to rebuild their lives…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51861

Karzai welcomes Iran-US talks
Press TV, Iran
Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomes the prospect of direct Iran-US talks, describing both countries as important allies for Kabul. “Iran and the US have been told in clear words, by me, that we would like them to put aside their differences and to begin to talk to each other. We find this in the interest of Afghanistan, and also in the interest of the region,” Karzai told CNN on Monday. “Iran is a neighbor, and a country that shares a language and religion with us, and culture. The United States of America is a partner and a strategic ally with us,” he added…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51859

German Media Censorship on Gaza?
By Ali Fathollah-Nejad – Gaza
Germany’s most prominent political debate TV program ‘Anne Will’ had announced to run a show on Gaza on 11 January, but in what many observers believe to be an unprecedented step canceled the topic only three days earlier. The talk show is broadcast every Sunday night by the country’s foremost public-service broadcaster ARD while attracting on average 3.6 million viewers. On the evening of the second day (28 December) of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the German government’s spokesperson said that in a telephone conversation German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert “agreed that the responsibility for the development of the situation in the region clearly and exclusively lies with Hamas”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51856

A Theft Bigger Than Madoff
Iraq Reconstruction: the Greatest Fraud in US History?
PATRICK COCKBURN
In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn (£88bn) in a US -directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme. “I believe the real looting of Iraq after the invasion was by US officials and contractors, and not by people from the slums of Baghdad,” said one US businessman active in Iraq since 2003…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51855

Blair wins million-dollar world leadership prize
AFP
Former British premier Tony Blair, now peace envoy for the Middle East, on Monday won a prestigious million-dollar prize for his leadership on the world stage, the Israel-based Dan David Foundation said. The foundation awarded him the Dan David Prize — worth 780,000 euros — for “his exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict.” It cited his role in brokering the 1998 peace deal between Protestants and Catholics in British-ruled Northern Ireland, and in the Kosovo conflict — but makes no mention of his support for the US-led war in Iraq…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51862

Israeli soldiers continue West Bank sweep, arresting at least 50 Palestinians
Ma’an news
Israeli forces arrested nearly 50 Palestinians from across the West Bank Monday, at least 30 from the Ramallah area. All were taken to undisclosed locations, after troops broke into several homes. Soldiers also installed a checkpoint at the entrance of Ni’lin village, west of the West Bank city of Ramallah. In the early morning “Israeli military jeeps invaded the city from every direction, broke into several homes—ransacking them—while intensely firing live ammunition and percussion grenades,” Palestinian security sources said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51853

MRFC: 303 Iraqis killed by U.S. fire in 2008
Aswat Al Iraq
A total of 303 Iraqis were intentionally or unintentionally killed by U.S. fire in 2008, according to the Iraqi Monitor of Constitutional Freedom and Bill of Rights (MRFC). “The monitor’s statistics have shown an increase in these transgressions since January 1, 2009,” according to a statement released by the organization and received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Since the beginning of the current year, 15 were killed and six were wounded in Baghdad, Ninewa, al-Qadissiya, Babel, Kirkuk and Missan, the statement noted, adding that most of the casualties were civilians and some were children and women…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51852

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