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URUK Net 10 August, 2009

Last updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:18

Obama Seeks to Block Release of Abuse Photos
By Eli Clifton
The United States Supreme Court will hear the U.S. government’s appeal on a lower court ruling requiring the release of photos showing the abuse of prisoners held in overseas facilities. The government is appealing a 2008 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which ruled that the government must release the photos to comply with an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. The Obama Administration initially agreed to release the photos – and decided not to appeal the courts decision – but they reversed their position on May 28 when the government asked the appeals court to recall its order for the photos release since an appeal was to be filed in the Supreme Court. ..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56848

Excess cynicism: Our biggest challenge
Mazin Qumsiyeh
Our biggest challenge in my opinion is not the Israeli occupation, corrupt politicians, the apartheid wall, the economic deprivation, the moral slide, or the environmental catastrophe unfolding. Our biggest challenge is excess and paralyzing cynicism. How can one not be cynical when even just the past week: – Israeli courts ruled that any Jew can claim land supposedly owned even after 100 years (or 2000 years for collective ownership) evicting others whereas a “nonJew” has no similar rights. Palestinian refugees in East Jerusalem for example cannot reclaim their lawfully registered property in West Jerusalem but a Jew can claim property (rightly or wrongly) anywhere even with forged documents. Meanwhile evicted Jerusalemites sleep on the street outside their homes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56847

Tortured Logic: In The Government’s Own Words
Christy Hardin Smith
The torture memos produced by the OLC were never meant to be seen and parsed by the public. These memos used incredibly tortured logic to justify acts which, in prior wars, the United States prosecuted as war crimes. The ACLU has put together a video of these words of tortured logic being read aloud. Watch it…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56843

No Rivaling the Slogan of Peace
By Ali Jawad
Working for ‘peace’ in the Middle East comes in all sorts of different shapes and forms; some see its birth-pangs in the shadow of raining bombs, others see the cause of peace furthered in crippling sieges and sanctions, and yet others see peace to be impersonated in war criminals. As far as clichéd sleights-of-hand go, there is simply no rivaling the slogan of ‘peace’. As a rule of thumb, the region’s many swindlers and part-time soothsayers (also known as politicians) often mean by “peace” a notion so vulgar as to draw disgust at its very mention. Indeed this distinguished tradition was repeated in Binyamin Netanyahu’s “historic” speech at Bar-Ilan University in which he managed to summon the utterance no less than forty-three times…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56845

Al-Maliki Assassination Attempt Inside Job
By Rahmat al-Salaam
Asharq Al-Awsat-Jalal al-Din al-Saghir, a member of the United Iraqi Alliance coalition, and a leader in the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was recently subject to an assassination attempt by a member of his own security protection team. Al-Saghir informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Prime Minister al-Maliki had confirmed to him that he had been subject to an assassination attempt by a member of his security protection detail. Al-Saghir added that “the Prime Minister spoke of this failed assassination attempt a few months ago” and that “it is an ordinary issue for security breaches to occur in these institutions.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56846

Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere With Obama
Chris Hedges
The American empire has not altered under Barack Obama. It kills as brutally and indiscriminately in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as it did under George W. Bush. It steals from the U.S. treasury to enrich the corporate elite as rapaciously. It will not give us universal health care, abolish the Bush secrecy laws, end torture or “extraordinary rendition,” restore habeas corpus or halt the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of citizens. It will not push through significant environmental reform, regulate Wall Street or end our relationship with private contractors that provide mercenary armies to fight our imperial wars and produce useless and costly weapons systems…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56844

If You Live in Occupied WB Your House is Besieged by Settlers and Checkpoints
Palestinian Information Center
Trees clothing the hills with a perpetual cover of green; people moving from one town to another without difficulty or impediments; children who only enjoy playing in the courtyards of their homes; that was a lifestyle the forefathers lived, but to talk about it now has become a type of fantasy when compared with the current reality of Zionist land seizures and checkpoints. Between these two realities the Zionist occupation forces are carrying out a systematic campaign of demolitions of dozens of Palestinian houses under a variety of pretexts, the flimsiest of them being construction without a permit…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56841

Video: Taliban target Afghan elections
AlJazeeraEnglish
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have told Al Jazeera they regard the country’s upcoming elections as a major target. In parts of the country, poor security conditions are already preventing presidential candidates from campaigning. James Bays reports from the capital, Kabul…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56840

Ali Larijani Congratulated Mir Hossein Mousavi on Election Day
Khordaad 88
…Today Rajanews, a pro-Ahmadninejad news site published an interview with a Member of Parliament questioning Ali Larijani’s PhD degree. He also said: “What Ali Larijani did on the evening of election day, calling Mousavi and congratulating him for winning the election is inexcusable. As a head of Parliament and someone who clearly has access to classified and firsthand information calling Mousavi president even before the polls closed, encouraged him to take aggravating and dissonant positions after the election results were announced. Mousavi’s behavior has compromised the security and safety of people, harmed the country and damaged the prestige and authority of the system…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56839

August 11, 2009: 72 Iraqis Killed, 356 Wounded
Margaret Griffis
About 72 Iraqis were killed and 356 more were wounded in a devastating day in Iraq. Once again, Ninewa province and Baghdad bore the brunt of the violence. No Coalition deaths were reported. Back in the U.S. though, the Spokane VA Center reported that they had underestimated the suicide rate among local vets. Also, an Iran exile group accused the Iraqi government of human rights violations and asked the Pentagaon to retake control of Camp Ashraf, where about 3,500 Iranian exiles reside…

US losing in Afghanistan, top general admits
John Byrne
…The top American commander in Afghanistan declared that the Taliban are winning in Afghanistan in a startling interview published Monday — a striking contrast to the “Mission Accomplished” rhetoric of the Bush Administration as regards Iraq. His remarks appear carefully tailored to lower expectations and shift public opinion in support of operations in the war-torn country where few foreign powers have ever seen victory. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when they were routed by a US invasion. Currently, US operations in Afghanistan cost taxpayers about $4 billion a month. That comes to roughly $133 million per day, or $5.5 million per hour…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56832

Continuing Settler Violence in Sheikh Jarrah
The Alternative Information Center (AIC)
Residents of embattled East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah were subjected again to violent attacks by religious settlers on Saturday, 9 August, injuring dozens and culminating in the arrest of two Palestinians. According to Ma’an News, the violence began when “bottles hit children attending a local summer camp,” after which a mob of settlers threw stones and empty glass bottles at Palestinian families in the area. One man, 59-year-old Khamis al-Ghawi, was severely beaten by the attackers and arrested by Israeli forces soon thereafter for reasons unknown up to the present…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56834

Israeli Medical Association Severs Ties with Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) Over Torture Allegations
The Alternative Information Center (AIC)
The recent decision of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) President Ruchama Marton to sign a petition against the torture of prisoners by Israel has led the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) to sever ties with the organization, Haaretz reports The petition was in reaction to the condoning of torture by Dr. Yoram Blachar, President of the IMA and the World Medical Association (WMA), and called for his removal as President. According to PHR, Marton signed the petition in a personal capacity, and the organization should therefore not be punished as a whole…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56838

Piecing the Injured Back Together
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
On a Saturday morning in Gaza city, the Artificial Limb and Polio Centre (ALPC) is filled with people waiting to see the director, Dr. Hazem Al-Shawwa. Following consultation with him and with the specialist in prosthetics and orthotics rehabilitation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), many will begin the long road to treatment. “It was the second day of the war,” says Omar Al-Ghrub (24), referring to the three weeks of Israel attacks in the winter of 2008-2009. “I was working that day,” he said. By day he worked in the Al-Waleed marble and granite factory northwest of Gaza city, and by night served as its watchman…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56816

US cities criminalize homelessness
By Ali Ismail
As the economic crisis continues to intensify, scores of US cities are enacting undemocratic laws that criminalize homelessness and trample on the rights of the growing number of homeless individuals and families who reside in these cities, according to a report released last month. The level of homelessness has been increasing rapidly since 2007, and attacks on the democratic rights of homeless individuals are also on the increase, according to the report entitled, “Homes Not Handcuffs,” which was issued on July 13 by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) in coordination with the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56836

Israel’s school apartheid highlighted by court case
Arab family sue Jewish mum over ‘racist incitement’
By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
An Arab couple whose one-year-old daughter was expelled from an Israeli day-care centre on her first day are suing a Jewish mother for damages, accusing her of racist incitement against their child. Maysa and Shua’a Zuabi, from the village of Sulam in northern Israel, launched the court action last week saying they had been “shocked and humiliated” when the centre’s owner told them that six Jewish parents had demanded their daughter’s removal because she is an Arab. In the first legal action of its kind in Israel, the Zuabis are claiming $80,000 from Neta Kadshai, whom they accuse of being the ringleader…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56824

There is No Recession
It’s a Planned Demolition
By MIKE WHITNEY
…Working people are not being crushed by accident, but according to plan. It is the way the system is designed to work. Bernanke knows that sustained demand requires higher wages and a vital middle class. But Bernanke works for the banks, which is why the Fed’s monetary policies reflect the goals of the investor class. Bubblenomics is not the way to a strong/sustainable economy, but it is an effective tool for shifting wealth from one class to another. The Fed’s job is to facilitate that objective, which is why the economy is headed for the rocks. The financial meltdown is the logical outcome of the Fed’s monetary policies. That’s why it’s a mistake to call the current slump a “recession”. It’s not. It’s a planned demolition…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56825

Taliban Have Upper Hand in Afghanistan: US
IslamOnline.net
Taliban have gained the upper hand in Afghanistan, inflicting record losses on the US-led troops and forcing the US to change its strategy, the top US commander in Afghanistan admitted. “It’s a very aggressive enemy right now,” Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who will soon present his assessment of the war to Washington, told the Wall Street Journal on Monday, August 10. He noted that Taliban are now advancing from their traditional strongholds in southern Afghanistan to threaten formerly stable areas in the north and west. McChrystal said Taliban are launching a record number of sophisticated attacks on Afghan and foreign forces, causing significant number of causalities…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56826

As Threat of Violence Still Looms Large over the Media in Iraq, another Menace Emerges in Form of Draft Law to ‘Protect’ Journalists
Iraq Still the Most Dangerous Country in the World for Reporters
International Press Institute
As U.S. troops continue to hand power over to Iraqi authorities in Iraq, IPI calls on the Iraqi government to protect press freedom in the country. Iraq remains the most dangerous country in the world for journalists – who now face a new threat in the form of a draft law published in Iraq on Friday 31 July, according to news reports…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56833

A corrupt election in Afghanistan
James Cogan
It is widely acknowledged that the August 20 presidential election in Afghanistan will be characterised by vote-rigging and the bribing or intimidation of voters in the areas under US/NATO control. In the ethnic Pashtun southern provinces where the Taliban-led insurgency, which has called for a boycott, is most active, it is predicted that there will be mass abstention. The result will not be credible and the new government will lack any legitimacy. The head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Abdul Qader Nurzai, told the New York Times earlier this month that he expects a turnout of less than 30 percent in the south. Pointing to the potential scale of the rigging, an anonymous Afghan electoral observer estimated that there are over 3 million duplicate voter registration cards in circulation, or close to 20 percent of the total of 17 million…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56831

The 2009 Fatah Conference
Orgy of the Dead
By SOUSAN HAMMAD
…As one Fatah official said, “There are two planes in this movement: one plane of Dahlanists [Mohammed Dahlan and his cohorts] — those who spout peace and pragmatism, and another plane of resistance — those who want to keep armed struggle alive. But there is so much corruption that is occurring from those who hold high positions that I don’t think we can come together … it’s between them and us.” No matter that the West Bank and Gaza are becoming increasingly dependent on Western aid organizations to develop their own cities and villages, Abbas insisted on showing the exiled delegates the PA’s “success.” Despite Palestine’s statelessness, Abbas mentioned how he has been improving security for the state. Upon hearing this, Mohamed Edwan (Head Press Officer to the PA who happened to sit beside me) shook his head and said, “This is a police state, not a state of security.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56829

APR- Political Parties are behind Bombings
Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI/HEYET)
The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (HEYET) in its press release expressed its deep concern at the continuing acts of violence targeting innocent citizens where it accused the political parties of being behind them to pursuit to create chaos, and inspire the spirit of discord among the sons of one people… HEYET invited in a statement the struggling and mujahid Iraqi people to not to be dragged into this pathetic attempts, which sought to provoke sectarian and ethnic realignment once again at the service of the poles of the political process in the next election stressing the sanctity of innocent blood…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56830

Road in East Jerusalem collapses, allegedly due to Israeli excavation
Katherine Orwell
Part of a main road in the Silwan area in East-Jerusalem collapsed on Monday, allegedly due to underground Israeli excavations, a local civic activist that witnessed the incident told local media. In the area the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem Municipality is digging a tunnel that is heading towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City. After the street collapsed, Israeli authorities closed down the section of the road. Around two months ago a similar collapse was reported in the Ad-Daraj neighborhood in Silwan. Israeli archaeologists have been digging for years underneath Silwan, which they say is the site of the city of David, the fortress of the biblical King David…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56827

No Letup In Political Witch-Hunts Under Obama
Stephen Lendman
For eight years, the Bush administration relentlessly targeted Muslim, environmental, and animal rights activists as national security or terrorist threats. Shamefully, Obama continues the same practice. On May 20, the FBI arrested four New York men, claiming they planned to bomb a Bronx synagogue and community center and shoot down Newburgh, New York-based Air National Guard jets with stinger missiles….

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56822

Netanyahu calls Gaza withdrawal ‘a mistake’
Emile Hokayem and Richard Pretorius
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, yesterday said the withdrawal of nearly 9,000 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip four years ago was a mistake, bringing mixed reaction from Middle East experts on the significance of his comments to relations with the United States and the peace process. “We can only conduct genuine introspection and say that the unilateral evacuation from the Gaza Strip brought neither peace nor security,” Mr Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting yesterday in Jerusalem, according to a transcript e-mailed by his office to news agencies. “We will not repeat this mistake.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56818

Death of Political Prisoners in Palestine
Kawther Salam
…The level of tensions between the factions has increased recently after Hamas prevented the Fatah members residing in Gaza from participating in the opening of the sixth Fatah Congress in Bethlehem. * Until when will Hamas and Fatah continue harassing, incarcerating, torturing and murdering Palestinian political activists and members of the resistance? * Are the years which these people spent incarcerated in Israeli jails not enough? * Do you not understand that these people protect the rights of all of our nation? * Is it not beyond injustice, below depravity, to collaborate with the zionists in moving these people from jail to jail? Do they not deserve a fate far better than that? * How can Fatah call their criminal activities against political activists and members of the resistance a “national project” when it is far more appropriate to call say that they are conspiring with foreign occupiers against the Palestinian nation? * How does the PA explain the death of three political prisoners in less than two months? How do the countries financing the PA explain these crimes against all Palestinians?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56837

Hamas turns its attention to ‘virtue’
Forced ‘Islamisation’ is raising concerns about government direction, as some point to Gaza’s isolation as the root cause
Ben White
…While the authorities in Gaza focus on “preserving public morals” and clampdown on dissent, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority carries out arrests of political opponents across the West Bank and deploys US and Jordanian-trained forces to police Israel’s occupation. As one man told a BBC reporter last week, “No Hamas, no Fatah – all no good”. This is a viewpoint likely to be shared by increasing numbers of Palestinians in the occupied territories, in the absence of a unified leadership offering a programme of strategic sense and political integrity….

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56835

Scores die in Iraq bomb blasts
Aljazeera.net
More than 50 people have been killed and at least 286 others wounded in a series of bombings near the northern city of Mosul and in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, officials have said. In the deadliest attack, two lorries packed with explosives blew up simultaneously on Monday in the predominantly Shia village of Khazna, 20km north of Mosul. At least 35 people were killed and 200 others wounded in the attack, police and hospital officials said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56821

TESTEMONIES OF GAZA WOMEN
Memory Chasing Us
Commentary and Photo by Ayman Quader
This reminds me of the Palestinian catastrophe 1948 (Nakba 1948) but much more intensive; more cruelty and suffering. It has been 8 months since the 23 days of the Israeli assault over the Palestinian civilian people. Our writings reflect the pain reflected on the faces of the children, men and women The scenes of the massive destruction that resulted from the Israeli attacks hasn’t gone away leaving people in a great ordeal. Today while walking past my home, I met a woman called Rawia Hamda sitting on a piece of stone and looking sadly at her practically destroyed house…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56820

Afghan govt compound attacked as vote looms
By Sharif Koram (AFP)
Taliban armed with rockets and a suicide bomber attacked an Afghan government and police headquarters near Kabul on Monday, in an audacious assault 10 days before nationwide elections. At least one Afghan policeman was killed in the brazen strike on compounds that sparked gunbattles in Pul-i-Alam, 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Kabul, but no other casualties were immediately reported, officials said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56828

Bush’s torture legacy haunts the US
By Mark LeVine
…However, US military officials have condemned the release of a video depicting Berghdal in captivity as propaganda that is “exploiting the soldier in violation of international law”. Yet even as it condemns such practises, the Obama administration is struggling to come to grips with the many consequences of Bush-era detention and interrogation policies which will continue to impact the experiences of US forces on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to major human rights organisations, Obama’s record on this issue remains disappointingly mixed. ..The most startling example of this continuity is the administration’s concerted efforts to continue detaining Mohammed Jawad, the youngest Guantanamo detainee, in a case the federal judge presiding says is “riddled with holes.” …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56823

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