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URUK Net 2 June, 2009

Last updated: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:35

Silent Words…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
Am not writing much about Iraq… Well, not true, am alway writing about Iraq, but maybe not out loud…maybe it’s all in my heart and in my mind… Maybe it’s all silent, but very alive. Today I prayed the Isha prayers (evening) and I prayed to the 1 million and more, to forgive us for our silence…to forgive you too…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54779

Abuse Photo Controversy Reveals Obama Lies
Thomas R. Eddlem
…Barack Obama is now engaged in covering up crimes of the past in order to ensure that he has the same unchecked power to conduct violations of the U.S. Constitution. And he’s not without allies in the media. “Barack Obama, whose first act as president was to re-criminalize torture, initially favored making the pictures public. Then Mr. Obama changed his mind. His critics (civil libertarians, human rights advocates and press commentators) are saying that this makes him no different from his predecessor,” Philip Gourevitch wrote in the May 24 New York Times. “They are mistaken. Just as it was a public service to release the Abu Ghraib photographs five years ago, Mr. Obama is right today to say we don’t need more of them… Who are we trying to fool, if not ourselves, if we pretend that we need more photos to know what has been going on?” But many Americans remain unconvinced that our government tortured, or are bizarrely convinced that we were justified in doing it. The release of more pictures may convince others of the truth that we’ve tortured as a nation, and the release of the names of those tortured, many of whom were children or ended up being found innocent, will give a much-needed shock to the national conscience. The strategy Obama is employing is not directly lying to the American people. The new Obama regime lies to the American people by parsing phrases, and answering questions no one is asking…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54781

Obama Has 250,000 “Contractors” in Iraq and Afghan Wars, Increases Number of Mercenaries
Jeremy Scahill
A couple of years ago, Blackwater executive Joseph Schmitz seemed to see a silver lining for mercenary companies with the prospect of US forces being withdrawn or reduced in Iraq. “There is a scenario where we could as a government, the United States, could pull back the military footprint,” Schmitz said. “And there would then be more of a need for private contractors to go in.” When it comes to armed contractors, it seems that Schmitz was right. According to new statistics released by the Pentagon, with Barack Obama as commander in chief, there has been a 23% increase in the number of “Private Security Contractors” working for the Department of Defense in Iraq in the second quarter of 2009 and a 29% increase in Afghanistan, which “correlates to the build up of forces” in the country…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54788

TORTURE IS IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER
Malcom Lagauche
…Below is Appendix VII from my book The Mother of All Battles: The Endless U.S.-Iraq War. They are transcripts of prisoners who were tortured at Abu Ghraib. Keep in mind, these people were non-combatants who were picked up off the street.[…] “They brought three prisoners completely naked and they tied them together with cuffs and they stuck one to another. I saw the American soldiers hitting them with a football and they were taking pictures. I saw Grainer punching one of the prisoners right in his face vary hard when he refused to take off his underwear and I heard them begging for help. And also the American soldiers told to do like homosexuals (fucking). And there was one of the American soldiers they called Sergeant (black skin) three was 7 to 8 soldiers there also. Also female soldiers were taking pictures and that was in the first day of Ramadan. And they repeated the same thing the second day of Ramadan. And they were ordering them to crawl while they were cuffed together naked. “I saw (name blocked out) fucking a kid, his age would be about 15-18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets.<../i>

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US Rabbi calls on Israel to kill Palestinian ‘women, children and cattle’
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
Hasidic Jewish Rabbi Manis Friedman, from St. Paul, Minnesota, has issued a statement that Israel should destroy Palestinian holy sites and kill civilians in what he calls “the Jewish way” to fight a “moral war”. The statement was printed in response to the question “How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?” in the May/June edition of the Jewish magazine ‘Moment’, in a section titled ‘Ask the Rabbis’… His full statement was as follows: “I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle)…”

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54783

Ruins of war
The News International
It seems inappropriate to be celebrating what seems like approaching victory in the battle for Swat. The initial accounts of the scenes in Mingora are horrifying. Corpses are said to lie along streets. There are grotesque stories of stray dogs gnawing them. People report cooking leaves or grass to survive. The injured lie untreated in beds. There are acute shortages of medicine and the International Committee of the Red Cross, after going into Swat, has expressed concern over the situation in hospitals…

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US inviting Iranian diplomats to July 4 parties
MATTHEW LEE, AP
In a new overture to Iran, the Obama administration has authorized U.S. embassies around the world to invite Iranian officials to Independence Day parties they host on or around July 4th. A State Department cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late last week said that U.S. diplomats could ask their Iranian counterparts to attend the festivities, which generally feature speeches about American values, fireworks, and, of course, hot dogs and hamburgers. The notice, sent on Friday, said that the posts “may invite representatives from the government of Iran” to the events, a State Department official said Tuesday, quoting from the document. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal communication…

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Obama says Iran’s energy concerns legitimate
NANCY ZUCKERBROD, The Associated Press
President Barack Obama reiterated that Iran may have some right to nuclear energy _ provided it takes steps to prove its aspirations are peaceful. In a BBC interview broadcast Tuesday, Obama also restated plans to pursue direct diplomacy with Tehran to encourage it to set aside any ambitions for nuclear weapons it might harbor… “Without going into specifics, what I do believe is that Iran has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations. On the other hand, the international community has a very real interest in preventing a nuclear arms race in the region,” Obama said…

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GM bankruptcy will devastate communities
Tom Eley
In conjunction with its Monday bankruptcy filing, General Motors announced that it will shutter nine more plants and place three others on indefinite suspension. GM will also break contracts with more than 2,100 auto dealerships. The closings and layoffs were dictated and worked out in their detail by the Obama White House and its Auto Task Force. The closures will devastate cities and towns in Michigan, where half of the shutdowns will take place, and in Indiana, Ohio, Delaware, Tennessee and Virginia. Somewhere between 18,000 and 20,000 workers will lose their jobs, according to GM. These workers will be turned out into the worst job market since the Great Depression. In addition, scores of auto dealerships will shut down across the US…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54790

4 US troops killed in IED strikes in Afghanistan
By JASON STRAZIUSO, AP
Two roadside bombs that struck back-to-back and only miles apart hit two U.S. military vehicles in Afghanistan Monday, killing four American troops, U.S. and Afghan officials said. U.S. military officials have predicted a 50 percent spike in IED attacks in Afghanistan this year as militants step up attacks and thousands of more troops pour into the country…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54777

Maliki’s warnings prompted Obama’s reversal on detainee photos
Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
President Barack Obama reversed his decision to release detainee abuse photos from Iraq and Afghanistan after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki warned that Iraq would erupt into violence and Iraqis would demand that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq a year earlier than planned, two U.S. military officers, a senior defense official and a State Department official told McClatchy . In the days leading up to a May 28 deadline to release the photos in response to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, U.S. officials, led by Christopher Hill , the U.S. ambassador to Iraq , told Maliki that the administration was preparing to release photos of suspected detainee abuse taken from 2003 to 2006. When U.S. officials told Maliki, “he went pale in the face,” said a U.S. military official, who along with others requested anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity…Maliki said, “ Baghdad will burn” if the photos are released, said a second U.S. military official…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54774

Ahmad Sa’adat speaks from isolation in Asqelan:
The so-called “Two state solution” is a threat to the Palestinian people and the right to return
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
Ahmad Sa’adat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said in a letter issued from isolation in Asqelan prison where he is held by the Israeli occupation, that the so-called “two state solution” is dangerous, threatens the right of return and the very existence of the Palestinian people in the occupied lands of Palestine ‘48. The letter was sent on May 30, 2009 to the Preparatory Committee for the Palestinian National Day in Sweden. Sa’adat stated in the letter, which greeted the Palestinian and Arab communities and their consistent work to defend our rights, that the only termination of the historical and substantive conflict with the occupation is the end of Zionist rule in Palestine, the establishment of democracy and the achievement of the right of return. He noted that ending the Zionist project was the only real solution for the Palestinian people, while the so-called “two state solution” only opens the door for the acceptance of the “Jewish state,” a racist concept based on the expulsion of our people…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54785

Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees
By Omar al-Issawi, Al Jazeera
In 1948 hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from or forced to flee their homeland in the wake of the creation of the state of Israel. While some were forced out by armed Israeli militias – perhaps the most notorious being the Irgun and Stern gangs – others fled in the belief Arab armies would defeat those Jewish forces fighting for independence and that they would then be able to return home. There are thousands of Palestinian refugees across the globe, many of whom settled in neighbouring Arab countries including Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Not to mention those Palestinians classed as refugees within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, of all the Palestinian refugees in the Arab world, it is those who have taken shelter in Lebanon who have suffered the most…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54791

Grand Theft Auto: How Stevie the Rat bankrupted GM
Greg Palast
Screw the autoworkers. They may be crying about General Motors’ bankruptcy today. But dumping 40,000 of the last 60,000 union jobs into a mass grave won’t spoil Jamie Dimon’s day. Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase bank. While GM workers are losing their retirement health benefits, their jobs, their life savings; while shareholders are getting zilch and many creditors getting hosed, a few privileged GM lenders – led by Morgan and Citibank – expect to get back 100% of their loans to GM, a stunning $6 billion. The way these banks are getting their $6 billion bonanza is stone cold illegal. I smell a rat. Stevie the Rat, to be precise. Steven Rattner, Barack Obama’s ‘Car Czar’ – the man who essentially ordered GM into bankruptcy this morning…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54772

UN chief knew Tamil civilian toll had reached 20,000
Catherine Philp, Times
The top aide to the United Nations Secretary-General was told more than a week ago that at least 20,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the Sri Lankan Government’s final offensive against the Tamil Tiger rebels this month, The Times can reveal. UN officials told Vijar Nambiar, Ban Ki Moon’s chief of staff, that their figures indicated a likely final death toll of more than 20,000, during a briefing in preparation for Mr Ban’s visit to the region on May 23. Two staff present at the meeting confirmed the exchange to The Times but Mr Ban never mentioned the death toll during his tour of the battleground, which he described as the “most appalling scene” he had witnessed in his long international career…

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NATO, U.S., seek supply route in Iran to Afghanistan
Mainichi Daily News
NATO and the United States are both seeking a supply route in Iran for troops engaged in the war on terror in Afghanistan, several sources revealed to the Mainichi on Sunday. NATO has filed an official request with Iran for a supply route, and the U.S. is in unofficial talks with Iran for the same. Foreign forces see a possible passage through Iran as highly desirable, as delivery trucks and supply terminals for foreign forces have been the target of escalating attacks by the Taliban along Pakistan supply routes since November 2008…

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Lobby Connection: Japan and the ‘War on Terror’
By Maidhc Ó Cathail – Japan
apan may be ‘in the American Embrace,’ as Gavan McCormack’s Client State cogently argues, but in whose embrace is America? In Client State: Japan in the American Embrace, Gavan McCormack demonstrates how Japan’s apparent nationalist turn owes much to the need to conceal the country’s increasing subordination to American imperial designs. However, a closer examination of the driving forces behind the US Empire in the 21st century suggests that both countries may be serving a quite different agenda. Rightly described as a “masterful” analysis by fellow Japan expert Chalmers Johnson, McCormack’s 2007 book expertly documents how Japan’s postwar “peace constitution” has been steadily attenuated to the point of meaninglessness, as Tokyo has consistently bowed to pressure from Washington to become more active in its support of US hegemony, culminating in a “merger” of their military forces in the wake of 9/11…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54776

Checkmate
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
Can you please Chess ? Sorry, I meant play Chess. That was an honest slip. And I will not correct it. I can’t play Chess myself. But I have learned the Art…It’s Dead Easy…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54793

Sri Lanka: Tamil detainees kept in appalling conditions
By Sarath Kumara
Despite considerable international pressure, the Sri Lankan government is continuing to block free access for the media and aid agencies to the military-run internment camps where more than 275,000 Tamil civilians have been detained under shocking conditions since fleeing the military’s final offensive against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the country’s north. Aid agencies have been given restricted access to some camps but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned that the access remains inadequate to meet the vast needs of the detainees. ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger last week described the situation as serious. “It is essential that we obtain access to all IDPs [internally displaced persons] in order to provide medical care, water and other essentials.”…

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Waterboarding was ‘well done,’ Cheney says
John Byrne
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is usually very careful at choosing his words. Perhaps not so today. In a speech Monday at the National Press Club, continuing along familiar themes of terrorism, Guantanamo and his hatred for The New York Times, Cheney spoke defensively of the administration’s practice of water-boarding detainees. “I don’t believe we tortured,” Cheney remarked, noting that the interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration were vetted by White House lawyers. They didn’t cross a “red line,” he said. And then he delivered the whopper: “There were three people who were water-boarded… It was well-done.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54778

ISRAEL’S PERPETUAL STATE OF WAR
Desertpeace
If the Bible was written today it would most likely speak of David’s Empire being surrounded by imaginary enemies. The zionists have claimed for 61 years that “they want to push us to the sea.” Who are ‘THEY’? Could it be Jordan, Israel’s FRIEND to the East? Could it be Egypt, Israel’s FRIEND and COLLABORATOR to the South? Could it be the Palestinians languishing in refugee camps since 1948? Could it be the Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank who are surrounded by a concrete wall of apartheid and 600 illegal checkpoints that must be gone through to enter Israel proper? Or is it the Palestinians living in Gaza, the WORLDS LARGEST CONCENTRATION CAMP?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54784

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