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URUK Net 23 March, 2009

Last updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:52

Not so Discreet…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…In Iraq, prior to our “liberation” sects and religion were not discussed, they were not an issue. Your sect and or your religious affiliation was at your discretion. We were discreet about such matters. Not because we were afraid, but because I and many others intimately understood that these matters belonged to the domain of the private and in this instance were inconsequential. It did not really matter who you belonged to what, figuratively speaking…what mattered was what you can achieve, what you can produce, what you can accomplish, what you can contribute to the highest good – of all, regardless… And it worked, it worked for many years…because this is how nations are built.
Nations and nation building, nationhood is not something one acquires from text books…nation building requires an ideology for all. Where each single citizen finds his and her place. In that sense, Baathist ideology was an ideology for all. I am no Baathist myself. Not because I don’t believe that the above precepts were wrong in themselves, but because I am discreet by nature and discreet people can’t subscribe to mass ideologies…People like me live in their own world, unhampered by masses, but can still distinguish the tree from the forest, so to speak. Then came the “liberation”…It not only destroyed physical infrastructures, but also “ideological” ones…and pitted one sect and one religion against another…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52851

WHERE ARE WE TODAY?
Malcom Lagauche
For the past five years or so, Iraq was always in the headlines. In the past few months, the plight of the country is mentioned less-and-less. President Obama has told us all that Afghanistan is the number one threat to the U.S. Pundit-after-pundit has hailed the diminishing violence in Iraq. There is a Santa Claus. Iraq is now peaceful and the Iraqi people are free. This newly-assessed theory about Iraq is false. There is still much violence, only the players may have changed. Many U.S. forces stick close-by their barracks as the new Iraqi police and military forces take over security. There has been a recent increase in resistance attacks that has devastated some Iraqi police forces and military personnel. We are not reading about this in the West. Plus, electricity and clean water supplies are just as minuscule as they were after the March 2003 invasion. If an Iraqi lapsed into a coma before March 2003 and recovered today, he/she would not recognize Iraq. Plus, the person would probably prefer to relapse because of the horrible nightmare that is today’s Iraq…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52856

Back to the old-new “three-regions” argument
Roads to Iraq
This headline “Six years of the US dwelling in Iraq” published on Russian Novosti Arabic-edition, it says the following: The U.S. still considers the possibility of dividing Iraq into three regions, the Kurds in northern Iraq, the Sunnis in the center and the Shiite in the South. Which means that the U.S. authorities unaware of the consequences, because such a division could cause political problems with neighboring countries…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52848

White washing ethnic cleansing
Marcy Newman, Body on the line
Ethan Bronner, the tool of the Israeli terrorist regime, who writes propaganda pieces supporting their terrorism for the New York Times, did a profile on the Israeli terrorist mayor of al quds the other day. Here is how Bronner characterized the massive land confiscation creating new Palestinian refugees… In several East Jerusalem neighborhoods these days, demolition orders are being issued. The result is that while Mr. Barkat is bringing a sense of modern renewal and entrepreneurial spirit to City Hall, he is also infuriating those who wish to see Jerusalem shared as the capital of two states…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52849

Palestinian brothers: Israel used us as human shields in Gaza war
Three teenage boys say they were made to kneel in front of tanks to deter Hamas attacks
Clancy Chassay, Guardian
Israel has been accused of using Palestinian human shields during its invasion of Gaza, a breach of the Geneva conventions that prohibit intentionally putting civilian lives at risk.The Guardian has interviewed three Gazan brothers who described how they were taken from their home at gunpoint, made to kneel in front of tanks to deter Hamas fighters from firing and sent by Israeli soldiers into Palestinian houses to clear them. “They would make us go first, so if any fighters shot at them the bullets would hit us, not them,” said 14-year-old Al’a al-Attar. His brothers, Ali, 15, and Nafiz, 16, described how when the three of them were being led through built-up areas in their home town of 'Attartra, the soldiers would order them to suddenly stop — then fire their rifles over the brothers’ shoulders and between their legs…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52852

Palestinian Mothers in Gaza: Beauty and Dignity Personified
Ahmad Barqawi
I wonder if this day is any different than any other “ordinary” day for Palestinian mothers in Gaza; more blockade, no access for running water, more electricity blackouts, more explosive sounds of leftover missiles from the latest attack and certainly more disappointments from the international community. This day I imagine; the Palestinian Mother in Gaza is going about her usual business (which does not even resemble the normal life we sometimes deem “intolerable”). Standing in long lines from 5:00 in the morning to try and get hold of one loaf of bread for the little ones still asleep at home; Holding back her tears before entering the hospital room where a child of hers lies; rendered disabled because of a white phosphorous shell and she wishes if it had been her instead…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52859

Screwed Again: Seymour Hersh Puts Pro-War Spin On What We Would Normally Call Acts Of Terrorism
Winter Patriot
Famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh ruffled a few feathers last week with comments in Minnesota regarding an alleged “executive assassination ring” — a squad of elite killers who have allegedly been infiltrating foreign countries and murdering … well, officially, nobody knows who their victims have been, really, but if this story were officially acknowledged (whatever that means these days), we would no doubt be told that the alleged victims of the alleged murders were “the worst of the worst”, without whom America will now be safer, huzzah huzzah…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52858

Cut to pieces: the Palestinian family drinking tea in their courtyard
Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles – the dreaded drones – caused at least 48 deaths in Gaza during the 23-day offensive
Clancy Chassay
Mounir al-Jarah slowly takes down the bricks he used to wall up the entrance to his sister’s courtyard. Inside, flesh still clings to the walls; blood-soaked furniture and family items lie broken and mangled. Mounir’s eyes search around the old house as he recounts the events of 16 January, when a rocket fired from an unmanned aerial vehicle killed his sister, her husband and four of her children. Sitting around drinking tea with the family in their small courtyard, Mounir heard the loud buzzing of an Israeli drone, clearly visible in the sky above…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52863

Baghdad in a time of cholera
Matthew Schofield
Matthew Schofield talks about the lack of infrastructure in Baghdad. The reality of the situation kicks in five minutes into the 15-minute video when the power fails.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52866

UN report says Israel used 11-year-old boy as human shield in Gaza
BRADLEY S. KLAPPER, AP
Israeli soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield during the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, U.N. human rights experts said Monday. The Israeli Defense force ordered the boy to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in the Gaza neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa and enter buildings before them, said the U.N. secretary-general’s envoy for protecting children in armed conflict. The boy also was told to open the bags of Palestinians — presumably to protect the soldiers from possible explosives — before being released at the entrance to a hospital, Radhika Coomaraswamy said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52850

Most Unsurprising Headline of the Year (so far)
Chris Floyd
From the New York Times: Sunni Fighters Say Iraq Didn’t Keep Jobs Promises The American military marked another milestone the other day in the initiative perhaps most responsible for taming the violence in Iraq: All but 10,000 of the 94,000 Sunni militiamen — many of them former insurgents who agreed, for cash, to stop killing American soldiers — had been turned over to the control of the Iraqi military. Significantly, the militiamen themselves were not celebrating. The same day, one group of the fighters north of Baghdad announced they were resigning from their Awakening Council, the Iraqi name for what the Americans call the Sons of Iraq. And in the town of Salman Pak, councils in southern Baghdad and its suburbs, an area once called “the ring of death,” met to denounce Iraqi efforts to integrate them. These are among the signs that the fighters’ patience is fraying badly at a difficult moment. After months of promises, only 5,000 Awakening members — just over 5 percent — have been given permanent jobs in the Iraqi security forces…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52857

Israel accused of ‘new Gaza crime’
AlJazeera.net
A senior UN official has suggested that Israel could be guilty of a “new crime against humanity” during its January assault on the Gaza strip. Richard Falk, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said Israel had confined Palestinian civilians to the combat zone in Gaza, a unique move which should be outlawed. “Such a war policy should be treated as a distinct and new crime against humanity, and should be formally recognised as such, and explicitly prohibited,” Falk said in a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52855

Under attack: how medics died trying to help Gaza’s casualties
Israeli military says medical staff ‘take the risk upon themselves’
Clancy Chassay, Guardian
Medical staff and ambulance drivers who attempted to assist casualties of the Israeli invasion of Gaza have told the Guardian that they were attacked by Israeli forces while trying to carry out their job. The offensive left 16 medics dead. Nearly all of them were killed by Israeli fire while trying to save lives, and many more were wounded. According to the World Health Organisation, more than half of Gaza’s 27 hospitals were damaged by Israeli bombs. Two clinics were completely destroyed and 44 others received damage…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52861

“Open Fire Also Upon Rescue”
The Rules of Engagement in Gaza
Amira Hass
“Rules of Engagement: Open fire also upon rescue,” was handwritten in Hebrew on a sheet of paper found in one of the Palestinian homes the Israel Defense Forces took over during Operation Cast Lead. A reservist officer who did not take part in the Gaza offensive believes that the note is part of orders a low-level commander wrote before giving his soldiers their daily briefing. One of the main themes in news reports during the Gaza operation, and which appears in many testimonies, is that IDF soldiers shot at Palestinian and Red Cross rescuers, making it impossible to evacuate the wounded and dead. As a result, an unknown number of Palestinians bled to death as others cowered in their homes for days without medical treatment, waiting to be rescued. The bodies of the dead lay outside the homes or on roadsides for days, sometimes as long as two weeks…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52860

“Down the Memory Hole,” Alan Greenspan Style
by Stephen Lendman
He’s back and in denial in a March 11 Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined: “The Fed Didn’t Cause the Housing Bubble.” He lied, the way he did throughout his career and for 18.5 years as Fed chairman. How else could he have kept the job, be knighted in the UK for his “contribution to global economic stability, wisdom and skill,” then afterwards be extolled by the Money Trust he enriched. So now he’s preserving his “legacy” by expunging its dark side the way Orwell described in 1984 – “down the memory hole,” a convenient slot for “any document…due for destruction,” politically inconvenient truths to be erased to preserve only sanitized versions for the public. It’s called historical revisionism, but even some on the right aren’t convinced…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52853

THE ‘GAME’ CALLED WAR
Desertpeace
…Israel has created an enemy of a nation which it claims does not even exist. It has, for the past 61 years, occupied the land belonging to that nation. It has denied them every basic human right guaranteed them by the United Nations. It has ignored every condemnation against them by the World Body as well as a handful of other nations. It has waged war against this nation… a nation without an army. Who then are the targeted ones? The civilians… innocent children and mothers…It’s time for the world to wake up and see the reality. Israel wants to see a Palestinian State without inhabitants. They speak of a ‘One’ or Two’ State Solution, but their aim is a ‘Final Solution’… This we saw elsewhere in history, with the same tactics and the same evil ideologies…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52847

Deadly attack on Iraq funeral
AlJazeera.net
At least 25 people have been killed and dozens of others injured in a suspected suicide bomb attack at a wake in northeastern Iraq, police say. The suspected bomber blew himself up at a funeral tent in Jalawla, Diyala, on Monday and police say the number of casualties is likely to rise. A police officer told the Voices of Iraq news agency “the death toll will likely be high because of the strength of the blast”. Mohammed Osman, a local official, said that Monday’s bombing happened as a Kurdish family was receiving condolences…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52854

March 23, 2009: 45 Iraqis Killed, 96 Wounded
Margaret Griffis, Antiwar.com
An astounding serious of bombings and other attacks killed at least 45 Iraqis and wounded 96 more across the country. Meanwhile, Iraq’s Interior Minister said that a hiring freeze for security forces will not affect the U.S. drawdown; however, Turkish leaders are separately discussing their relationship with the U.S and Iraq which could affect the manner of withdrawal…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52864

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