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URUK Net 18 May, 2009

Last updated: Friday, May 22, 2009 10:56

Pakistani Military Killing Fleeing Swati Civilians
Witnesses Say Military Helicopters Targeted Families Crossing Mountain Path
Jason Ditz
As the Pakistani military’s offensive against the Swat Valley continues, around 1.45 million are reported to have successfully fled. For several families today attempting to leave their homes, that trek ended in disaster as the Pakistani military attacked and killed several of them, and wounded an unknown number of others. Women and children were among the slain…

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Video: 12 yo girl shot by Israeli Occupation Forces – Ni’lin May 15 2009
ISMPalestine
12 year old girl shot in her arm by the Israeli forces while being in her home. The film also shows how the red crescent team are attacked by the border police during the demonstration…

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The American War on Wana
Peter Chamberlin
…We have forced our war that we wage in the name of vengeance, out of our sense of righteous indignation, for an attack that killed thousands of innocent civilians, blamed on an ill-defined enemy, offering no evidence of their guilt, killing over one million innocent civilians and turning five times that amount into refugees in the process. Now, our new president, the one elected on a promise to “change” (one of those changes being the salvation of the first war in Afghanistan, by winding-down the second war in Iraq), is the latest facilitator of the Empire’s plans, a marionette, dancing to the “New World Order blues,” as he “song and dances” us around these first two wars and into a third unwinnable war in Pakistan…

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Most Jerusalem Arab children ‘live in poverty’
by Patrick Moser Patrick Moser
Three in four of Jerusalem’s Arab children live in poverty, a civic rights group said on Tuesday, partly blaming Israeli “discrimination” aimed at securing a Jewish majority in the city. A total of 74 percent of Arab children in Jerusalem live below the poverty line, as compared with 47.7 percent of the Jewish children in the city, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said. It said 66.8 percent of families in predominantly Arab east Jerusalem live in poverty as compared with 23.3 percent of the city’s Jewish families, but that only 22 percent of the population receives social services…

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Losing Pakistan
Sic Semper Tyrannis
The tragedy now unfolding in Pakistan is occurring due the pursuit of shortsighted policies by the United States as well as the Pakistan government and military. The US has pressured Pakistan into engaging in brutal military operations in Bajaur and Swat, with no regard for how this would affect its own vital interests in the region. The Pakistani rulers (bedazzled by the glitter of all those promised billions) have meekly complied in waging war on parts of their own people, again with no thought to the likely outcome for them and their country. The main impact of this has been to the civilian population, some million and a half of whom have been displaced (with many killed and maimed, although no figures for these are yet available). Incidentally, what Pakistan is doing is little different from what Sudan did in Darfur and what the Sri Lankan government is now doing – fighting an insurgency with minimal or no regard for civilians in the area. This got Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir indicted as a war criminal, while the Sri Lankan government is the object of widespread condemnation in the West…

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Blackwater guards shoot civilians in Afghanistan
Ed Brayton
Four guards employed by Blackwater (now renamed Xe), a company founded by Michigan native Erik Prince, have sparked yet another international incident by opening fire on a vehicle full of Afghani civilians after a car accident in Kabul, Afghanistan…

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Video: US signals shift in ties with Israel
AljaeeraEnglish
For decades, the United States has stood up for Israel, vetoing UN resolutions against it and sending billions of dollars in aid. But as Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s new prime minister, begins his visit to Washington, there are signs that the US alliance with Israel may be changing. Al Jazeera’s Nick Spicer reports…

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Obama and Netanyahu differ in talks
Aljaeera.net
Israel’s prime minister has refused to commit to an independent Palestinian state during talks with Barack Obama, the US president, at the White House. Binyamin Netanyahu told Obama that he wanted the Palestinians to govern themselves, but steered clear of explicitly endorsing the two-state solution set out in the so-called “road map”. He said that Israel was “ready” to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, which stalled during the 22-day offensive in the Gaza Strip, but he attached conditions to any new process.

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One Day in Iraq – Six years after the Invasion
ANTIIMPERIALIST MEDIA
The reports from Monday 18/05-2009 do not include all the Statements from the Iraqi Resistance. However, they give a good view about what the situation looks like, more than six years after the most powerfull army of the world invaded the small country…

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UN Committee Against Torture expresses ‘deep concern’ at Israel’s treatment of detained children
Defence for Children International
On 15 May 2009, the UN Committee Against Torture (the Committee) concluded its 42nd session in Geneva by issuing concluding observations and recommendations on periodic reports submitted by five states, including Israel…In its Concluding Observations and recommendations to Israel’s Fourth Periodic Report, the Committee expressed: * Concern regarding numerous, ongoing and consistent allegations of the use of torture and ill-treatment taking place before, during and after interrogations.* Deep concern at reports that Palestinian children are detained and interrogated in the absence of a lawyer or family member and are allegedly subjected to acts in breach of the Convention against Torture in order to obtain confessions.* Concern at reports that approximately 700 Palestinian children are detained annually and are prosecuted in Israeli military courts. * Concern at reports that in 95% of cases involving Palestinian children before the Israeli military courts, conviction is obtained using confessions extracted during interrogation…

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“My father’s condition is worsening by the day”
An urgent call to help Tariq Aziz
Ziad Aziz
In regard to your reply to our letter, it is my sad duty to inform you that you information are inaccurate or perhaps you are ill-informed on the matter.
My father, Mr. Tariq Aziz, has been held in U.S. custody in camp cropper for more than 6 years till this date and he suffers several life threatening diseases that require constant, highly sophisticated and immediate medical attention. Camp Cropper, as you may well know, is basically a holding facility, in which high-value prisoners are being held in the custody of the U.S. forces. It is highly inaccurate to say that a holding facility, i.e. a prison, of any kind can provide “state of the art medical car” for any sort of condition or disease. For example, my father fell during taking a shower 2 years ago, and fearing that he had suffered a stroke, the moved him to the air base in Balad (200 kilometers north of Baghdad) to perform a C.T. scan…

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Caught in a Lie
The U.S. is Using White Phosphorous in Afghanistan
DAVE LINDORFF
When doctors started reporting that some of the victims of the US bombing of several villages in Farah Province last week—an attack that left between 117 and 147 civilians dead, most of them women and children—were turning up with deep, sharp burns on their body that “looked like” they’d been caused by white phosphorus, the US military was quick to deny responsibility. US officials—who initially denied that the US had even bombed any civilians in Farah despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, including massive craters where houses had once stood—insisted that “no white phosphorus” was used in the attacks on several villages in Farah. Official military policy on the use of white phosphorus is to only use the high-intensity, self-igniting material as a smoke screen during battles or to illuminate targets, not as a weapon against human beings—even enemy troops. Now that policy, and the military’s blanket denial that phosphorus was used in Farah, have to be questioned, thanks to a recent report filed from a remote area of Afghanistan by a New York Times reporter…

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Iraq’s once-envied health care system lost to war, corruption
By Corinne Reilly | McClatchy Newspapers
…Stories of missing drugs, of desperately ill-equipped doctors and of patients left to suffer the consequences are everywhere in Iraq’s public health care system. Some hospitals are filthy and infested with bugs. Others are practically falling down. More and more, the blame is being placed on Iraq’s U.S.-backed government, which by many accounts is infested with corruption and incompetence…Before the 1990s, Iraq had perhaps the best health care system in the Middle East. Nearly two decades of international sanctions and war have changed that. For nearly two years in 2006 and 2007, when Iraq’s sectarian violence was at its worst, the national health ministry was controlled almost completely by Shiite Muslim militias. In many neighborhoods, Sunnis avoided hospitals for fear of being killed in them…

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Brief & Hot News from Liberated Iraq.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…I personally know of two cases, one which vividly comes to mind, that of a Sunni neighbor of ours, whose 14 years old son was kidnapped by Jaysh Al-Mahdi, tortured to death and dumped in Najaf. When she received a phone call to come and recuperate his body – she had to go in a coffin. Yes in a coffin. She pretended she was dead and was transported in a coffin from Baghdad to Najaf, to get to see her son and take her son’s body back to Baghdad for burial. When she finally arrived there, they told her they had nothing to give her. She returned emptied handed in a coffin. I bet you this 14 years old boy could be found in that mass grave…

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The Right of Return: the heart and soul of the Palestinian cause
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem
Sixty-one years ago, one of the greatest crimes in the annals of human history occurred when European Ashkenazi Jews, aided by western powers, took over Palestine and expelled and dispersed its native inhabitants to the four corners of the world. The barbarians committed widespread massacres, replaying and reenacting in Palestine some of the genocidal episodes that had been done in Europe a few years earlier. The criminal thieves created Israel, a manifestly racist and bellicose entity based on murderous ethnic cleansing, usurpation, dispossession and lies…

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“Cowboys” and Other Horrors of Empire, Version Obama 1.0
Arthur Silber
…The determined refusal of liberals, progressives and sundry other defenders of the U.S.’s interventions and wars of conquest and control (but only when those interventions and wars are directed by Democrats) to see that the Bush administration represented a continuation of what had gone before and was not in any significant way a “break” with the past representing some “unique” evil, results in commentary that is hopelessly superficial and completely useless in terms of political and historic analysis. As is true of Obama himself, all such liberals and progressives offer no serious challenge to the existing system of oppression, destruction and death; to the contrary, they are the most faithful representatives and adherents of the system that causes havoc in every area it affects, both abroad and at home. Anyone who expected otherwise hadn’t been paying attention and had understood very little about world and national events, if anything at all…

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Iraq to re-detain released prisoners
Kareem Zair, Azzaman
Iraq wants to put detainees freed mainly by U.S. troops behind bars once again, a senior Interior Ministry official said. “Efforts are being exerted to re-detain jailed Iraqis who have been set free by U.S. troops and according to the government amnesty,” the official Adnan al-Asdi said. A government amnesty saw the release of thousands of Iraqis imprisoned without trial…

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Detainee Said He Was Brought To Gitmo To Give Info On Iraqi Army
Zachary Roth
More possible evidence that the Bush administration used torture to get information about Iraq Back in 2004, the Associated Press reported on the plight of a several Guantanamo detainees who had previously been held by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Among them was one Iraqi: The Iraqi, Arkan Mohammed Ghafil al Karim, says he deserted from Saddam Hussein’s army and was later imprisoned and tortured by the Taliban for two years. He says he was brought to Guantanamo in 2002 so that the American military could learn about Iraq’s army ahead of the invasion of that country…

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“War on Terror” Causes Mass Exodus in Swat
by Farooq Sulehria
The mass exodus from Swat is making headlines globally. Over a million have been displaced. This is the worst humanitarian crisis since the Rwanda tragedy in 1990s. The explanation offered is that this is necessary to flush the Taliban out of Swat’s lush-green valley in Pakistan’s north. This military operation, launched in order to stabilize the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and its so-called “war on terror,” is hardly mentioned in the corporate media. On the contrary, major U.S. newspapers have been invoking the fear that Pakistani nukes might fall into the hands of Taliban. Is this a story planted by the CIA? This is the fourth time in less than three years that the Swat area has been subjected to a military operation. However the latest offensive is of a different character…

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U.S. stirs a hornet’s nest in Pakistan
ERIC MARGOLIS
Pakistan finally bowed to Washington’s angry demands last week by unleashing its military against rebellious Pashtun tribesmen of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) — collectively mislabelled “Taliban” in the West. The Obama administration had threatened to stop $2 billion US annual cash payments to bankrupt Pakistan’s political and military leadership and block $6.5 billion future aid, unless Islamabad sent its soldiers into Pakistan’s turbulent NWFP along the Afghan frontier. The result was a bloodbath: Some 1,000 “terrorists” killed (read: mostly civilians) and 1.2 million people — most of Swat’s population — made refugees…

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Palestinian refugee family demands to return home
Rami Almeghari writing from occupied Gaza Strip
“Only if we return to our homeland, can there be peace. But as long as [Israel] keeps us refugees, we have no choice to resist them now and for generations to come, until we are back in Beir al-Saba,” said 75-year-old Suleiman Abu Jazzar in his home in the Brazil refugee camp in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Along with more than 700,000 other Palestinians, Abu Jazzar was forced from historic Palestine by Zionist forces in 1948, a period referred to by Palestinians as the Nakba (catastrophe) and commemorated in mid-May while Israel celebrates its “Independence Day.” During 1947-48, Zionist paramilitary groups — which later formed the Israeli army — attacked and destroyed more than 450 Palestinian towns and villages. Abu Jazzar’s town of Beir al-Saba was given the Hebrew name of Beersheva by its conquerers…

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Video: Destruction of Shofa, Gaza
International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
This is the village of Shofa, east from the town of Rafah, Gaza Strip. About 60 houses demolished by the Israeli occupation forces, during the recent war. People living in tents. Part of their agricultural land also destroyed. Palestinian farmers told us that after 5 pm they need to leave their fields because the Israeli troops along the Green Line, start to shoot…

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West Bank Becomes Waste Land
By Mel Frykberg*
Israel has found a cheap and easy way to get rid of its waste, much of it hazardous: dump it into the West Bank. A few Palestinians can be bought, the rest are in no position to complain. “Israel has been dumping waste, including hazardous and toxic waste, into the West Bank for years as a cheaper and easier alternative to processing it properly in Israel at appropriate hazardous waste management sites,” Palestinian Environmental Authority (PEA) deputy director Jamil Mtoor told IPS…

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Hisham Zreiq’s film Sons of Eilaboun: introduction by Gilad Atzmon
GILAD ATZMON
The truth of the Nakba has been hidden for many decades. Not many except the Palestinians are aware of the scale of 1948 ethnic expulsions and even fewer are aware of the atrocities occasionally performed by the newly born IDF. As a young Israeli pupil I was taught to believe that the ‘Arabs’ (this is how we called them) just run for their lives. No one forced ‘them’ to do so, they were just a bunch of cowards, we were told. Similarly, we were preached that they were not as attached to the land as we, the Israelis, are. While they fled for their lives without fighting back, we, the chosens, schlepped all the way back to Zion after 2000 years to reclaim ‘our’ historic land. The truth of hundreds of massacres of Palestinian villagers committed by a young and well-trained enthusiastic IDF was absolutely hidden. There wasn’t even a hint that such a thing took place. We knew of one massacre only, the one in Deir Yassin..

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Beholden to the BIG POWERS: Israel, Gaza and the UN
Media Lens
On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a massive assault on Gaza. 22 days later, around 1,400 Palestinians, including over 300 children, and 13 Israelis were dead; about 5,000 Palestinians were wounded. Israeli forces bombed and shelled schools, medical centres, hospitals, ambulances, United Nations buildings (including UN schools), power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges and civilian homes. This was described in much of the press as hitting “Hamas targets” (e.g. David Gardner, ‘U.S. accused of white phosphorus against Taliban’, Daily Mail, May 11, 2009). Earlier this month, the UN announced the results of an inquiry into attacks on its buildings and personnel in Gaza. It concluded that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were: “involved in varying degrees of negligence or recklessness with regard to United Nations premises and to the safety of United Nations staff and other civilians within those premises, with consequent deaths, injuries, and extensive physical damage and loss of property”…

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Karzai’s brother survives attack
Aljaeera.net
The brother of Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, has survived an attack on his motorcade, which killed one of his bodyguards. Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the provincial government council in southern Kandahar, said he was ambushed on his way to Kabul, the capital, by Taliban fighters, in what he believes was an assassination attempt. “We were driving to Kabul. All of a sudden we were attacked from the mountains by rockets and PK machine-guns,” he told the AFP news agency…

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Reviewing Ellen Brown’s “Web of Debt:” Part VI
Stephen Lendman
This is the sixth and final article on Ellen Brown’s superb 2007 book titled “Web of Debt,” now updated in a December 2008 third edition. It tells “the shocking truth about our money system, (how it) trapped us in debt, and how we can break free.” This article focuses on establishing a people-oriented banking system. It’s high time we had one and reclaimed what’s rightfully ours.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54360

Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons
Abeer Baker
Data is presented below regarding detainees and prisoners in Israeli prisons, as collected from various sources. As of January 2009, approximately 22,500 individuals were imprisoned or detained in Israeli prisons; around 70% of those individuals are Arabs…

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Sheikh Dari: Passing Days Confirm HEYET
Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI/HEYET)
The media officer of the Iraqi League made an interview with the Secretary-General of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq, Sheikh Dr. Harith al-Dari during the conference of National-Islamic Conference where the Iraqi League also invited this year. Here is the text of the interview…

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The Siege on Gaza is Not Over
Palestine Monitor
Since the end of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, the humanitarian situation there has been constantly worsening. And although Israel unilaterally declared an end to the war, the violence has not stopped in Gaza. From mysterious explosions (most likely from explosives that did not detonate during the conflict); to continued Israeli shelling from sea, land, and air; to the death toll that keeps rising due to the discovery of bodies in the rubble or people succumbing to their wounds—the situation in Gaza is now worse than ever. The Israeli blockade that has been imposed on Gaza since 2007 has severely limited the Gazan people’s basic food supply. In addition to this, the blockade is causing a water and sanitation crisis by not allowing enough electricity, fuel and replacement parts into the territory so they can keep the infrastructure in working-condition…

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