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URUK Net 20 March, 2009

Last updated: Sunday, March 22, 2009 7:53

Year 7.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
Exactly six years ago, in a dark delivery room, obstetricians and midwives gathered around a tattered mattress covered with torn sheets while rats and roaches scurried past, on the edges of its forgotten walls… Exactly six years ago, her screams of agony were heard, the midwives rushed with no anesthesia, no gloves and no syringes, rushed to watch in anticipation the birth of this new infant… It was designed, genetically modified, cloned and conceived overseas — implanted in vitro through a brutal gang rape, implanted in her womb on a dark night, 6 years ago. Its conception took over 13 years ago, and its delivery was not without violent labor contractions and pangs…not without gut wrenching pains…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52778

Six years of Washington’s war in Iraq
Bill Van Auken
Today marks six years since Washington launched its “shock and awe” campaign against Iraq, raining bombs and missiles on Baghdad. Despite the massive opposition of the American people to this war and the change from the Bush to the Obama administration, the US war in Iraq continues, with no end in sight. This anniversary is both tragic and infamous. It marks the beginning of a war of aggression based upon lies. Launched in the name of “liberating” the Iraqi people, it has inflicted a catastrophe of world historic proportions upon their country and constitutes the greatest crime against humanity of the 21st century. In six years, the Iraq war has, by the most credible estimates, claimed the lives of over 1 million Iraqis, while leaving countless others wounded and maimed. Nearly 5 million people have been driven from their homes, either forced into exile or displaced in Iraq by US repression and sectarian violence…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52788

Racist and sexist Israeli military shirts show the mindset that led to war crimes in Gaza
Mondoweiss
There is another report in today’s Ha’aretz that I do want to comment on. Uri Blau’s article “’No virgins, no terror attacks’” describes the practice of Israeli soldiers getting custom clothing printed with their unit’s insignia along with graphics and text. Below are some examples of shirts that were printed, along with some of the images. These images only appeared on Ha’aretz’s Hebrew-language website: * Sdfsd A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription “Better use Durex,” next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him. * A sharpshooter’s T-shirt from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, “1 shot, 2 kills.” …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52797

The Writing on the Wall in Kabul
Eric Margolis
…President Barack Obama, who is sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, ought to be asking himself why he is expanding a war in which military victory is unlikely and that threatens to drain America of more lives and billions at a time of national bankruptcy. Americans should think about waging an increasingly bloody war against lightly-armed mountain tribesmen who face the 24/7 lethal fury of the US Air Force’s heavy bombers, strike aircraft, helicopter and AC-130 Spectre gunships, killer drones and heavy artillery. Do we really want a test of wills against such men who have the courage to endure cluster bombs, with thousands of sharp fragments, white phosphorus that burns through flesh to the bone, fuel air explosives that burst the lungs and tear apart bodies? Men who if arrested by the US-installed regime in Kabul are subjected to the foulest medieval tortures in government prisons run by members of the old Afghan Communist Party. Our western propaganda brands these Pashtun tribesmen `Taliban terrorists.’ Or, `insurgents.’ They call themselves warriors fighting occupation by the Western… Al-Qaida’s few hundred members long ago vanished…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52799

Iraqi Children: Bearing the Scars of War
César Chelala
The great number of Iraqi children affected by post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the saddest, and least known, legacies of the Iraq war. That a new clinic for their treatment — opened last August in Baghdad — is the first of its kind says a lot about how this problem is being addressed. Dr. Haider Maliki and his team at the Central Pediatric Teaching Hospital in Baghdad have treated hundreds of children suffering from PTSD. Hundreds of thousands remain untreated…Dr. Haithi Al Sady, the dean of the Psychological Research Center at Baghdad University, has been studying the effects of PTSD in Iraqi children. According to him, 28% of Iraqi children suffer some degree of PTSD, and their numbers are steadily rising. It is easy to see children’s psychological status being affected by daily explosions, killings, abductions, threatening noises and turmoil in Iraq’s main cities… Hundreds of children held in prison — some as young as nine years old — are kept in overcrowded cells and are frequent targets of sexual abuse by prison guards, according to information from current and former child prisoners…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52792

The crimes we witnessed in Gaza
Radhika Sainath writing from Los Angeles, US, Live from Palestine
Two days after Israel ended its 22-day invasion of the Gaza Strip, a friend and former clinical law professor in Jerusalem, Huwaida Arraf, asked me: “What do you think about organizing an emergency legal delegation to Gaza?” A small committee formed and we quickly put a call out for participants. Dozens of attorneys and law students from across the nation expressed their interest in traveling to Gaza to investigate the circumstances that led to massive Palestinian casualties, and to determine, what, if any, violations of international law occurred…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52794

PFLP protest in Beit Lahiya, in support of dialogue and unity
Gaza; Peace n’ Freedom
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in cooperation with the National Democratic Rally, organized a manifestation in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza strip in support of the Cairo dialogue and national unity. The protestors condemned the failure of Palestinian factions to reach an agreement in Cairo. In his speech Mahmoud Salman, the leader of PFLP in Beit Lahiya, called on Palestinian factions to realize the dangers of the incoming Israeli far-right government, based on Zionist hatred against Arabs…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52781

Afghanistan unrest kills more than 70: officials
AFP
A wave of clashes in Afghanistan killed more than 70 people, including 18 policemen and four Canadian soldiers Friday, officials said, amid alarm about the country’s mounting Taliban-led insurgency. The four Canadians, part of the international assistance force, were killed in two separate explosions that also killed an interpreter and injured eight soldiers and an Afghan national, the Canadian military said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52795

Soldier says rabbis pushed “religious war” in Gaza
Reuters
Rabbis in the Israeli army told battlefield troops in January’s Gaza offensive that they were fighting a “religious war” against gentiles, according to one army commander’s account published on Friday. “Their message was very clear: we are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land,” he said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52780

Obama, in video appeal, offers new start with Iran
Reuters
President Barack Obama issued an unprecedented videotaped appeal to Iran on Friday offering a “new beginning” of diplomatic engagement to turn the page on decades of U.S. policy toward America’s longtime foe. “My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties,” Obama said in a message released to select broadcast outlets in the Middle East timed for the Nowruz holiday celebration in Iran. Obama went further than he has since taking office on Jan. 20 in extending an olive branch to Tehran… Reaching out to Tehran, Obama said: “This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.” He said the United States wanted Iran to take its “rightful place in the community of nations”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52779

Fatah youth post banners: “No to the Iranian intervention” around West Bank
Ma’an news
“No to the Iranian intervention in the Palestinian independent decision” screamed oversized billboards with stark font to drivers and pedestrians passing the Qalandiya Refugee Camp and Ramallah on Friday. The same slogan is repeated on more than 1,500 billboards, banners and posters line the streets to Ramallah, intermittently condemning interference from Iran, Syria and Qatar. Residents of Bethlehem also reported seeing the signs posted on billboards along the main roads…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52793

Shell Oil to Planet Earth: Drop Dead
Chris Floyd
The Guardian reports on some admirable candor from the paladins at Shell Oil, still raking in gargantuan profits despite the global economic cratering. Shell says it is dropping its much-publicized work on alternative energy sources – because the bucks just aren’t big enough. Green energy, it seems, just doesn’t produce enough long green for the Oil Lords. Instead, they are going to keep scraping out carbon from the guts of the earth – and going in for biofuels, i.e., diverting vast acreages of arable land from food production for the world’s poor to energy for the world’s rich…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52796

Our Shame
Cindy Sheehan
…Six years and over a million lives later, our military is still shamefully in Iraq. Our “Peace President” has created no positive change there and is in fact extending the length of the deployment of “combat troops.” The country has been ethnically cleansed. Violence is down because everyone there is either dead, displaced or too poor, wounded or frightened to move let alone continue fighting. Violence is down, but not out, and you can bet there will be a strong US military presence in Iraq until every last drop of oil has fallen into the hands of foreign oil companies. What about Afghanistan? When will the “peace movement” begin to protest the anniversary (Oct. 7, 2001) of the invasion of that war-torn country? When will we begin saying “illegal and immoral” in connection with Afghanistan and start mourning the dead there?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52798

Intelligence made it clear Saddam was not a threat, diplomat tells MPs
David Hencke, Guardian
A former diplomat at the centre of events in the run-up to the Iraq war revealed yesterday that the government has a “paper trail” that could reveal new information about the legality of the invasion. Carne Ross, who was a first secretary at the United Nations in New York for the Foreign Office until 2004, told MPs: “A lot of facts about the run-up to this war have yet to come to light which should come to light and which the public deserves to know.” There were also assessments by the joint intelligence committee which had not been disclosed, Ross told the Commons public administration select committee…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52790

Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques – IDF fashion 2009
Uri Blau, Haaretz
…Dead babies, mothers weeping on their children’s graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques – these are a few examples of the images Israel Defense Forces soldiers design these days to print on shirts they order to mark the end of training, or of field duty. The slogans accompanying the drawings are not exactly anemic either: A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription “Better use Durex,” next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him. A sharpshooter’s T-shirt from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, “1 shot, 2 kills.” A “graduation” shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, “No matter how it begins, we’ll put an end to it.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52791

Dozens of Iraqis Arrested
Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI)
Current occupation government police forces initiated another wave of arrest campaigns in various areas of Diyala Province on Friday morning which led dozens of Iraqi people arrested. According to the sources government forces arrested 8 people from al Waciha and al Salam districts of Bakuba City. At the same time government police arrested 48 people as a result of raid and search attacks in Ishaqi area of Saladin Province. It is worth to remember that sectarian Iraqi Government armed forces generally target areas which are anti-occupation and cradle of resistance operations…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52789

Video: Israeli soldiers say killing of civilians ‘allowed’
AlJazeeraEnglish
Israel’s army is accused of war crimes after more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed in the war on Gaza. In interviews published by a leading Israeli newspaper, Israeli soldiers say killing Palestinian civilians and destroying their homes was allowed in Israels rules of engagement during the war. Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from Jerusalem…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52786

Four Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan
Grant LaFleche, SUN MEDIA
Four Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan yesterday. Port Colborne resident Cpl. Tyler Crooks, 24, was killed sometime Thursday. He was based out of CFB Petawawa and had been in Afghanistan since the fall. Crooks and three other Canadian soldiers were killed Thursday in Helmand province by a roadside bomb. No information has yet been released about the circumstances of their deaths…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52783

IDF Soldiers Admit ‘Shoot to Kill’ Orders Against Gaza Civilians
Richard Silverstein
Thanks to reader Peter Drubetskoy for alerting me to a riveting Haaretz report (in Hebrew) describing a “reunion” of IDF soldiers who discussed their combat experience during the Gaza war. The eyewitness accounts give the lie to the IDF and its supporters who touted the army’s adherence to the highest moral standards in prosecution of the war against Gaza. The English edition gives a truncated version of the original Hebrew. I’ll translate below the portions that were left out of today’s English language story…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52782

Al Maliki excludes Baath Party from politics
Alsumaria
…”The Iraqi Constitution forbids any dialogues with or return of the dissolved Baath Party or any orientation to have it as a partner in the country’s political process for its heinous crimes against all groups of the Iraqi people throughout 35 years,” read a statement by Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki’s office…
.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52785

Israeli Army’s Heart of Darkness
Mary Rizzo, Palestine Think Tank
News has come out, which normal people with eyes have seen anyway, that some IDF soldiers have admitted that killing civilians was routine and they knew it. Haaretz has started a series of the accounts, but I urge you to visit Richard Silverstein’s blog, where he translates the bits the English Edition didn’t really want others to see, the worst parts, obviously… and they are revolting. Yet, for the moment, I’m not going to address this issue. I’ll wait until the MFA lie factory comes out with their excuses. In the meantime, I present another side to the fun and games that is life as an Israel soldier, and that is, the company unit t-shirts that they wear for bonding reasons. If anyone has any doubts about the Morals of this Moral Army, read this article from Haaretz written by Uri Blau. No Virgins No Terror Attacks shows the utter banality of evil…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52787

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