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URUK Net 4 April, 2009

Last updated: Monday, April 6, 2009 8:47

A “SADDAM APOLOGIST”
Malcom Lagauche
…If the truth about Iraq is not allowed to be heard without qualifying statements, the truth will be lost. If the truth is lost, there will be more horrendous U.S. attacks against innocent countries in the future. The script is the same each time: demonize a leader and the public will think the U.S. has launched an epic battle against the most diabolical person in history. It worked with Ghadaffi; it worked with Noriega; it worked with Aidid; it worked with Milosevic; and it certainly worked, and still is working, with Saddam Hussein. It appears that the campaign against al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, and Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president is beginning to escalate. Once military actions against these African nations begin, we will hear the same story: “We are liberating the people from a brutal dictatorship.” My conscience is clear. In all my writing about Iraq, I never qualified a statement or apologized for my words. If telling the truth and exposing the lies about Iraq and its government earns me the moniker “Saddam defender,” “Saddam apologist,” “Saddam dupe,” so be it. At least I did not sell out or succumb to the lies or find myself in a position of assisting the pro-war and imperialist agenda of the U.S., all the time being an opponent to the war…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53164

Chalabi Recounted to Al-Hayat the Story of a Long Chase that Changed Iraq and Shook the Balances of the Region (Final Part)
Ghassan Charbel, Al-Hayat
…[Al-Hayat]: If you want to describe George Bush, then how would you describe him? [Chalabi]: A man with very little skill and knowledge. [Al-Hayat]: He did Iran a great service by toppling Saddam? [Chalabi]: Iran benefited from toppling Saddam. Bush didn’t mean to do it a favor but it was clear that Iran would benefit from Saddam’s fall. I am convinced that Saddam would not have fallen except for an implicit agreement between America and Iran. [Al-Hayat]: This happened? [Chalabi]: Yes, of course it did. [Al-Hayat]: Through whom? [Chalabi]: We worked on this and so did the Supreme Council and Jalal Talbani [Al-Hayat]: What is Talbani’s role in toppling Saddam? [Chalabi]: Very important…[Al-Hayat]: It was said that you met with Israelis before Saddam’s fall? [Chalabi]: Yes in America. They were present in research institutes and we met with them, including Israeli professors and some politicians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53157

Student Merna foils Israeli bid to wreck family’s education hopes
STUART LITTLEWOOD
Bethlehem University has been closed a dozen times by Israeli storm-troopers and shelled by their tanks, but it remains one of those magical places in the Holy Land where you always feels good ‘vibes’. Meeting the students is a continual source of inspiration, as so many apply themselves to their studies with cheerful determination in spite of difficult family circumstances and almost insurmountable obstacles put in their way by the Occupation. So I enjoy the newsletters the Brothers regularly send me. Their latest includes the heart-rending story of a young girl, Merna, an honors student in her final year majoring in English. For most people studying for a degree is tough enough, but this youngster also has to battle against armed intruders who invade her home and have systematically destroyed her family life…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53143

The bantustan as prison
Marcy Newman, Body on the line
I often think about what the word normal means here. The way that people accept, on some level, the facts of colonialism around them. It is not like people have a choice, but that mental process of barriers and occupation armies keeps people who live here in a particular mode of thinking: that we all live in bantustan prisons and cannot get out. cannot live a normal life in which people just go to work, school, visit friends and family. A dear friend of mine in al quds decided to take the day off to visit me in nablus yesterday. He drove all the way here in his brother’s car (meaning he had yellow license plates) and he tried two different checkpoints (each about 30 minutes apart, each separated by a number of israeli colonies with excessively violent terrorists living inside)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53149

Raping Sovereignty: Forcing Non-Consensual “Peace” in this Era of “International Consensus”
Dina Jadallah-Taschler
Proclamations (and delusions) of sovereignty in the Arab world create and necessitate resistance. As a political concept, sovereignty means the independence and power to exercise control over a political and territorial entity free from external interference. But in this age of selective and externally-defined “democracy,” of “fighting terrorism,” of “international consensus,” and of “globalization” and its concomitant neo-liberal privatizing “reforms,” how can any Arab state or an aspiring-to-be-a-state like Palestine be sovereign?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53144

Military court rules in favor of extremist settlers occupying Palestinian lands
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
An Israeli military court decided on Friday that it is “illegal” to evacuate Israeli settlers from Palestinian lands they illegally annexed by them more than three years ago in the northern part of the West Bank. What this decision means is that the army would not evacuate settlers from outposts even where the army itself ordered the evacuation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53145

Video: MY LIFE in Palestine – “Let Me Die!” poem by a Palestinian child
cuezed
An innocent child’s life in Palestine
Written by my little sister
Narrated by my good friend
Compiled by me

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53161

Inside Guantanamo
IslamOnline.net
Tracing the day-to-day treatment of detainees at the hands of their jailers at the notorious detention camp, a new documentary is giving the first in-depth look at the Guantanamo Bay. “Guantanamo Bay was the legal equivalent of outer space — a place with no law,” former Navy defense lawyer Charles Swift says in the National Geographic documentary, “Explorer: Inside Guantanamo.” Shot in August, the one-and-a-half-hour movie depicts the daily routine in a cellblock of Guantanamo’s concrete-and-steel maximum-security facility…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53146

The Smooth Criminal Transition from Bush/Cheney to Obama
Corrupt new administration deepens and expands systemic criminalization and war agenda
Larry Chin
To sober, clear-eyed observers of history and political deception, the ascension of Barack Obama held the promise for unprecedented new dangers: a revitalized New World Order, led by the Anglo-American empire’s neoliberal criminal faction and an iconic, deceptive new facilitator; and a continuation of Bush/Cheney criminality and war, under smarter and much more effective management…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53147

Video: Iraqi detainees struggle to rebuild their lives
AlJazeeraEnglish
The US military has started to release prisoners from detention centres in Iraq ahead of its planned withdrawal from the war-torn country. But many among those freed say they were tortured and ill-treated while being held. Al Jazeera’s Omar al-Saleh reports on how many of them are struggling to rebuild their lives…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53158

Economic blues hovering over Israel
Analysis by Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem
The main challenge facing the new right-wing government in Israel is not going to be the moribund peace process with the Palestinians, but rather the depressive crisis now haunting the Israeli economy. Some economists label the current crisis as the “harshest in Israel’s history.” Manifestations of the present deepening crises includes decreasing exports, mainly due to the world-wide recession, growing insolvency and bankruptcy, rampant unemployment, shrinking investments and huge losses incurred by both the public and private sectors. Added to this is what one Israeli economist called “widespread pessimism” throughout the Israeli economic organs due to the international financial crisis…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53150

Financial Times: US may cede to Iran’s enrichment plan
IRNA – Islamic Republic News Agency
US officials are considering whether to accept Iran’s pursuit of uranium enrichment and may cede to “Iran’s nuclear ambitions”, Financial Times reports. “As part of a policy review commissioned by President Barack Obama, diplomats are discussing whether the US will eventually have to accept Iran’s insistence on carrying out the process, which can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons-grade material.”…Financial Times reported that there is a growing recognition in Washington that the zero enrichment solution is “unfeasible” and that the US may still have zero as its opening position, while recognising it may not be where things stand at the end of a potential agreement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53151

Fatah urges Abbas to settle differences with Hamas
Mohammed Mar’i | Arab News
A senior Fatah official yesterday urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to settle the differences between international demands and Hamas movement’s redlines. Qaddoura Faris, a member of Abbas’ Fatah Revolutionary Council, said that “President Abbas is asked to find out a formula enabling Hamas to live with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the upcoming government without colliding with the international community.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53152

Sheikh Jarrah eviction notices expire Saturday night as Israelis continue to cleanse East Jerusalem
PNN
The Israeli cleansing of Palestinians from East Jerusalem continues to proceed rapidly: neighborhoods include Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, At Tur and Shu’afat, among others. Palestinians are fighting hard through the courts, solidarity tents, demonstrations, and appeals for help. The last in the line of 21 day eviction notices issued by the Israeli courts to the 4 families living in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah is expiring tonight ( Saturday, 4 April) at midnight…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53153

Gaza: Sharka Street poverty
Eva Bartlett | In Gaza
“This was empty yesterday before you came,” Fathiya said, pointing to the refrigerator now stocked with left-overs from a meal. “We didn’t know how we were going to buy food.” The 100 shekels ($25 roughly) I’d passed on to her husband, Saud, the day before had gone a long way, filling the fridge with fresh vegetables and even fish, what would be a luxury for the family. It wasn’t my money, and I’d told him as much. “This is from people outside of Palestine who want to support you, who know how Israel has crushed your economy and means of existence,” I’d said. [I managed this in broken Arabic!] I’d only seen Saud sitting on the stairs; I hadn’t actually spoken with him until yesterday, the 2nd visit to the cluster of houses of the Bateran family, all terribly poor…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53154

Video: Focus on Gaza – Legacy of war
AlJazeeraEnglish
Focus on Gaza takes a closer look at one deadly legacy of the war on Gaza – unexploded munitions. Plus, we examine the obstacles facing young Gazans as they attempt to pursue an education…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53155

Shooting and Crying – Nothing New Since 1948 … Or is it?
Anis Hamadeh
With amazement the world public has noticed in recent weeks that war crimes had apparently been committed in Gaza. (1) Even Israeli soldiers and military staff now report about their own cruelties against the Palestinian population, cruelties that we do not even know from movies. (2) The stylish T-shirts, that promote the shooting of pregnant Palestinian women by indicating that in this way you can kill two human beings with one bullet, appeared strange to people abroad, too. (3) Moreover, the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israeli foreign minister horrifies the public. (4) There would be further reasons to be disgusted, like the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, the plans for expanding the illegal settlements, some killings, the abduction of Gazan fishermen and so on, but these details do not enter the global discourse, because, well, because they never did. The question is: how genuine is the amazement about what happened in Gaza?

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53159

Jerusalem, the heart, soul and home of Palestine
Reham Alhelsi
In 1929 Ben-Gurion said: “Jerusalem is not the same thing to the Arabs as it is to the Jews”. While he meant to say that Palestinians were not part of Jerusalem and are not attached to it as the Jews are, I would say, he almost got it right: Jerusalem is not the same thing to the Palestinians as it is to the Zionists. To us, Jerusalem is a home and an integral part of each of us, to the Zionists it is but another construction site, for he who loves a city would not destroy it as the Zionists are doing right now with Jerusalem.—

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53139

Iraqi police: 2 gay men killed in Sadr City
By SAMEER N. YACOUB, AP
The bodies of two gay men have been found in Baghdad’s Shiite slum of Sadr City after a leading cleric repeatedly condemned homosexuality, an Iraqi police official said Saturday. The killings come after Shiite cleric Sattar al-Battat repeatedly condemned homosexuality during recent Friday prayers, saying Islam prohibits homosexuality. Homosexual acts are punishable by up to seven years in prison in Iraq. The two men were believed killed Thursday by relatives who were shamed by their behavior, said the official…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53142

Israeli army kills two Palestinians in northern Gaza
Saed Bannoura – IMEM
Israeli Army radio reported on Saturday morning that soldiers shot and killed two Palestinian gunmen who approached the border fence in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Army officials told the radio that the two gunmen exchanged fire with the army east of the Jabalia refugee camp after they attempted to infiltrate into Kfar Azza Kibbutz. Soldiers said that automatic rifles and an explosive charge were found in the possession of the two slain fighters…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53140

‘US drone’ hits Pakistan compound
AlJazeera.net
Up to 13 people have been killed in a suspected US drone attack in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region near the Afghan border, security officials say. The attack on Saturday occurred in an area 35km west of the region’s main town of Miranshah. The death toll is 13, including some foreigners, but information is very sketchy because it’s a town which is very remote,” one security official said on condition of anonymity. Pakistani officials use the word “foreigner” to refer to suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, but the precise identities of the dead was not confirmed. A local official said the compound that was hit belonged to Tariq Khan, who was described as a “facilitator of the Taliban”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53141

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