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URUK Net 17 October, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, October 22, 2009 13:08

Family who lost 29 members in Gaza war: We envy the dead
Amira Hass
October 17, 2009 – Richard Goldstone visited the Gaza City neighborhood of Zaytoun in late June to tour the compound of the extended Samouni family. Twenty-nine members of the family, all of them civilians, were killed in the Israel Defense Force’s winter assault – 21 during the shelling of a house where IDF soldiers had gathered some 100 members of the family a day earlier. Salah Samouni and the owner of the house that was shelled – Wael Samouni – took Goldstone around the farming neighborhood, showing him its devastated homes and uprooted orchards…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59032

FRAUDULENT AFGHAN ELECTION RAISES ODDS AGAINST U.S. “SUCCESS”
Sherwood Ross
October 17, 2009 – Given the eight destructive years of the illegal U.S. occupation in Afghanistan, the indiscriminate bombings, the thousands of innocent people killed, arrested, detained without legal rights, and tortured, the use of polluting radioactive ammunition, the fraudulent election of puppet Karzai (previously a long-time U.S. resident), and the worsening conditions of daily life, plus the tragic losses to American troops stationed there, it ill behooves President Obama to pursue the war President Bush started one day longer. Afghanistan is now Obama’s War and Obama’s disgrace…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59037

IRAQ: U.S. Diplomatic Adviser’s Troubling Role in Oil Politics
Analysis by Helena Cobban*
October 17, 2009 – – In 2003, U.S. diplomatist Peter Galbraith resigned at the end of a distinguished, 24-year government career. Over the years that followed, he worked as a contract-based adviser to leaders in Iraq’s Kurdish community, while also arguing passionately in public media that Iraq’s Kurds should be given maximum independence from Baghdad – including full control over any new sources of oil. But in June 2004, more quietly, Galbraith also established a small, U.S.-registered company, Porcupine, that held a five percent stake in a newly exploited oilfield in Iraqi Kurdistan, a Norwegian daily revealed last Saturday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59030

Michigan Public Radio Censoring Announcement on Palestine event
If Americans Knew
October 17, 2009 – Michigan Radio (WUOM 91.7), an affiliate of National Public Radio (NPR), is censoring a program announcement. The local chapter of the nonprofit organization If Americans Knew, whose mission is to inform Americans on topics of importance that are under reported or misreported in the American media, is attempting to place the following paid announcement on the radio station: “’If Americans knew dot org,’ a non-profit organization focused on media coverage of the Palestine-Israel conflict: Executive Director Alison Weir will visit southeast Michigan the week of Oct 12th. Details on the web at “If Americans Knew dot org”.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59029

Iraqi refugees stuck in limbo
David Sapsted
October 17, 2009 – Embarrassed British government officials were trying desperately yesterday to sort out a deportation fiasco over 29 Iraqis stuck in limbo between London and Baghdad. The failed asylum seekers were among a group of 39 who became the first to be forcibly deported en masse from the United Kingdom to central and southern Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003, despite objections from the United Nations. After they and 80 escorts aboard a charter flight were flown from London to Baghdad, via Italy, on Thursday, only 10 actually got off the plane when it touched down in their homeland…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59036

Comrade Mizher: All-out campaign of solidarity for Comrade Sa’adat on October 22 court date
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -PFLP
October 17, 2009 – Comrade Jamil Mezher, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, called for the broadest possible campaign of solidarity with imprisoned PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, calling upon the Palestinian people, political parties, Palestinian, Arab and international human rights organizations and community institutions, the people of the Arab nation, and all progressive forces in the world to support the struggle of Palestinian prisoners. Comrade Mizher, speaking on October 17, 2009, emphasized the importance of solidarity on October 22, 2009 when Comrade Leader Sa’adat will go to court in order to challenge his isolation of over 200 days inside the occupation prisons, demanding an end to isolation and the freedom of Comrade Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59035

The Poverty Line in Iran. A “Hoax?”
Iranian Progressives in Translation
October 17, 2009 – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that customary approaches used by economists to determine the poverty line are a “hoax” and cannot be used as a measure to prove that there is poverty in Iran. Existing facts, however, contradict Ahmadinejad’s statement. According to a World Bank study done in 2005 and published in 2008, over 8% of Iran’s population of 72 million live under the severe poverty line of $2 per day or $240 per month for a family of four. Based on a study done by the Central Bank of Iran in 2006, the general poverty line is currently no less than $400 per month for a family of four…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59034

PFLP leader: Hamas wrong to postpone unity deal
October 17, 2009 – “[Hamas is] wrong to link the postponement of the Goldstone report with postponement of Palestinian reconciliation,” said Kayid Al-Ghoul, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s Central Committee. Referencing the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority’s prior inaction on approving Richard Goldstone’s fact-finding mission on Gaza, Al-Ghoul said both sides needed to make reconciliation a priority. In an interview on Egyptian TV, the official urged Hamas to “stop making excuses to procrastinate, because procrastination means more time wasted and the continuation of division that could become even more complex and further postpone an agreement.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59033

Reaction out of Gaza to yet another resolution
Ayman Mohyeldin, Aljazeera
October 17, 2009 – …Many here want to see prominent international jurists, international organizations and human rights group pursue cases against Israeli political and military leaders on behalf of Palestinian victims. In recent years, European courts have allowed for Palestinian victims represented by European lawyers and organizations to introduce cases in individual countries against Israeli officials, so far without much success. But Israeli officials are increasingly worried about traveling to European countries that have pending cases working their way through the legal system out of fear of being arrested. That may be wishful for thinking for some on the streets of Gaza, who for the time being don’t draw a direct correlation between Friday’s vote in Geneva and the likely execution of justice for the victims and their families…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59028

…Digging US grave in Afghanistan
Asif Haroon Raja
October 17, 2009 – Despite rapidly rising number of Americans disfavouring war and opposing troop increase in Afghanistan and Obama’s approval rating dipping, Obama Administration is still favouring continuation of Bush aggressive policies. Obama says it is war of necessity and has repeatedly expressed his resolve to dismantle, disrupt and defeat al-Qaeda and is still optimistic that war will be won. Adoption of hard-line posture through troop surge proved costly since US and other allied troops suffered more casualties from July to September than what they had suffered from 2001 onwards. Allegations of rigging and fraud during presidential election in Afghanistan further compounded the woes of US-Nato. On 3 October, two US outposts in Nuristan province were attacked by Taliban fighters killing eight US and 30 Afghan soldiers and capturing as many Afghan soldiers. It was deadliest battle in last 15 months. Taliban are now gaining strength in northern and western Afghanistan as well which has become a serious cause of worry for US military commanders in Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59013

Vultures & Pistachios…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
October 17, 2009 – …It is more and more apparent that the Iraqi occupation is no longer an American affair but an Iranian one. And the deeper the U.S gets itself in the Afghan/Pakistan quagmire, the greater the Iranian final hold on good chunks of Iraq will be… If you fail to understand that very simple equation, then sorry to tell you, but you qualify to be called a bunch of dumb asses. And dumb asses should not meddle in politics nor write articles. Got it ?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59004

Morale crumbling among US and British troops in Afghanistan
By James Cogan
October 17, 2009 – Several reports from the frontlines of Afghanistan this month provide an insight into the growing demoralisation among US and British troops who have been sent to kill and be killed for the neo-colonial occupation. The articles suggest that many soldiers believe that the war is not justified and not worth dying for. On October 8, the London Times published the comments of US Army chaplains and personnel from two battalions of the 10th Mountain Division that are in the final three months of a year-long tour of duty in the province of Wardak, to the south of Kabul. Out of 1,500 troops, 19 have been killed in action, one has committed suicide and at least 100 have suffered severe injuries…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59006

HANIEH: Arab Jews
by Adam Hanieh
October 17, 2009 – The official ideology of Israel, Zionism, has always portrayed itself as a liberation movement for all Jews. But although Zionism claims to offer a home for all Jews, that home has never been offered equally. The question of Arab Jews strikes at the heart of the Zionist contradiction — an attempt to build an anti- Arab, exclusively Jewish state on Arab lands. From the early days of the Zionist project, large numbers of Jews from neighbouring Arab countries were brought to Palestine. Ostensibly they were “returning home”, but in reality they came as cheap labour for their European counterparts (Ashkenazi Jews). These Arab Jews were given the name Mizrahim (the eastern ones)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59011

Ayrilik: The Turkish TV Drama That Israel Don’t Want You To See [Video]
Haitham Sabbah
October 17, 2009 – Israel’s increasingly troubled relations with its main ally in the Muslim world took a turn two days ago when it formally protested to Turkey over the “incitement” generated by a television series featuring fictional scenes of barbaric acts by Israeli soldiers. The airing of the series, on Turkish state television, coincides with tensions triggered by a decision last week by Ankara to exclude Israel – which it has severely criticised over last winter’s war in Gaza – from a planned Nato air exercise…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59015

White House “Ordered” Lawmakers to Amend FOIA in Order to Conceal Torture Photos
Jason Leopold
October 17, 2009 – Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-New York) said in a floor statement that the provision to amend the Freedom of Information Act was stripped from an earlier version of the bill, but the language was quietly reinserted in recent weeks, “apparently under direct orders from the administration.” The Obama administration will likely drop its Supreme Court petition challenging the release of photographs showing US soldiers abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan now that lawmakers are set to pass legislation authorizing the government to continue to keep the images under wraps…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59018

Resisting Injustice In Guantánamo: The Story Of Fayiz Al-Kandari
Andy Worthington
October 17, 2009 – At Guantánamo, as was recently revealed in the ruling of a District Court judge in the habeas corpus petition of one of the remaining 222 prisoners, the authorities’ view about the prisoners, back in 2003 or 2004, was that “there is no innocent person here.” The man who spoke these words was an unidentified senior interrogator, and he was not explaining the truth, but was explaining the prevailing attitude that passes for the truth in Guantánamo. The truth is that hundreds of innocent men have been held at Guantánamo…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59020

British High Court rejects U.S./British cover-up of torture evidence
Glenn Greenwald
October 17, 2009 – There is a vital development — a new ruling from the British High Court — in a story about which I’ve written many times before: the extraordinary joint British/U.S. effort to cover up the brutal torture which Binyam Mohamed suffered at the hands of the CIA while in Pakistan and while he was “rendered” by the U.S. to various countries. While Mohamed, a British resident, was in American custody, the CIA told British intelligence agents exactly what was done to him, and those British agents recorded what they were told in various memos. Last year, the British High Court ruled that Mohamed — who was then at Guantanamo — had the right to obtain those documents from the British intelligence service in order to prove that statements he made to the CIA were the by-product of coercion. The High Court’s original ruling in Mohamed’s favor contained seven paragraphs which described the torture to which Mohamed was subjected..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59021

International Conference to discuss Future of Palestinian Refugees
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC)
October 17, 2009 – The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) will host a conference on the 16th of December 2009 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency UNRWA. UNRWAs work over the years is unparalleled in many ways. No other institution has been asked to tackle humanitarian crises that affect an entire nation for so long and no other agency has been demanded to plug the gaping holes left by failures in the international community…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59022

Masri: Hamas to inform Egypt about its reservations on the reconciliation paper
Palestinian Information Center
October 17, 2009 — MP Mushir Al-Masri, the secretary-general of Hamas parliamentary bloc, stated Saturday that the delegation of Hamas to Cairo would convey the Movement’s reservations on the Egyptian reconciliation paper. “It is not important to sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper, but what matters is the mechanism for implementing it on the ground because we do not want to reproduce the previous agreement that quickly collapsed,” Masri underlined…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59019

Pakistan launches Taliban offensive
Aljazeera.net
October 17, 2009 – The Pakistani military has launched its ground offensive against Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan, hitting back after a string of deadly attacks across the country. The ground operation began early on Saturday, with troops advancing from three directions, officials said. Tens of thousands of civilians are said to have fled the area ahead of the fighting…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59017

Iraq approves oil deal with BP-led consortium
By SINAN SALAHEDDIN (AP)
October 17, 2009 — The Iraqi government has approved a deal with a consortium led by British giant BP PLC to develop a prized oil field in the south in a major step forward for the country’s oil industry. BP, which was booted from the country in 1972 when Saddam Hussein nationalized the oil industry, and its partner CNPC of China were the only winners in Iraq’s first international oil auction in over 30 years for development rights for the 17.8 billion barrel Rumaila field…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59014

Palestinian prisoner Linan Yosif Abo Gholbi
ISM visits Linan Yosif Abo Gholbi on her release from prison
International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
Ocotber 17, 2009 – …Linan’s husband Amjad Mletod was killed in a battle with Israeli soldiers in 2004 and shortly after that Linan was arrested and their home demolished. Although they were married for 5 years, they were only able to live together for a year since Amjad was a wanted man. Linan was held in an interogation centre where for 20 days she was questioned, tied for hours to a chair and bound hand and foot, a form of torture. She was sentenced to 4 years in prison for her activities in the PFLP but in revenge two more years were added, one for her husband’s activities as a fighter and one for her brother’s who had also been killed. She was sent to Ramla, a prison for Israeli women criminals, and soon after to Al-Sharon prison for 3 and a half years. She spent the last 2 years of her imprisonement in Demon, a former stable for horses during the British Mandate period. All of the women incarcerated there suffered from the dampness, filth and insect infestations, many becoming ill.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59012

Three US troops killed in Afghanistan: NATO
AFP
October 17, 2009 — Bomb attacks have killed three more US troops in Afghanistan, the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force said Saturday. “Two US service members were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in eastern Afghanistan October 16, and one US service member was killed in an IED attack in southern Afghanistan on the same day,” it said. It gave no further details…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59010

Iraqi refugees sent back to Britain
Aljazeera.net
October 17, 2009 – Twenty-nine Iraqi asylum-seekers who were sent from Britain back to Baghdad on Thursday have been returned to the UK. Britain’s border agency told Al Jazeera that out of 39 refugees who were on the aircraft, 10 had got off in the Iraqi capital, but the rest had been flown back after no provision had been made to transport them from Baghdad to Basra. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (Ifir) had raised concerns over the welfare of the asylum-seekers once they arrived in Iraq, which has seen a continuation of deadly suicide bombings in recent months…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59009

Promised lands – Israel’s cultural and political connections in Canada
Eric Walberg
October 17, 2009 – The Teflon cloak Israel has tried to wrap itself in since Operation Cast Lead, the invasion of Gaza in December 2008, looks as strong as ever in Canada. “Canada is so friendly that there was no need to convince or explain anything to anyone. We need allies like this in the international arena,” gushed Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in July. Toronto’s new Israeli consul, Amir Gissin, recently announced his Toronto staff would be expanded, despite the fact that Canada already has more Israeli diplomatic staff per capita than any other country in the world, due to “the city’s large Israeli population” and the fact that Toronto is “an arena for Israel from a PR, cultural and commercial point of view”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59008

United States admits tackling Italians over payments to the Taleban
Tim Reid in Washington
October 17, 2009 – The US Government acknowledged for the first time yesterday that payment of protection money to the Taleban by Italian forces in Afghanistan was discussed by American officials and their Italian counterparts last year. A senior US official confirmed, two days after The Times reported that Italian authorities had paid the bribes, that “the issue [of payments] was raised with the Italians”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59005

Military Resistance 7J11: The Mission
Thomas F. Barton
October 17, 2009 – …Iraq’s prime minister suspended classes and banned political activities at one of Baghdad’s leading universities following student protests on campus, a government spokesman said Wednesday. Iraq also banned the student union at Mustansiriyah University, raising questions over Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s commitment to free speech. Studies at the university were suspended for one week, spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement posted on a government Web site. Al-Dabbagh said the action was taken because of problems caused by “undisciplined individuals.” The statement did not provide any further details. Earlier this week, a small number students demanded a role in governing the university, a protest that led al-Maliki to temporarily close the campus…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59027

Military Resistance 7J10: Trick
Thomas F. Barton
… “Ninety percent is a tribal, localized insurgency,’’ said one US intelligence official in Washington who helped draft the assessments. US commanders and politicians often loosely refer to the enemy as the Taliban or Al Qaeda, giving rise to the image of holy warriors seeking to spread a fundamentalist form of Islam. But the mostly ethnic Pashtun fighters are often deeply connected by family and social ties to the valleys and mountains where they are fighting, and they see themselves as opposing the United States because it is an occupying power, the officials and analysts said. “That doesn’t sound like someone who wants to create a global caliphate,’’ said Arturo Munoz, who retired earlier this year after a 30-year career as a CIA analyst and case officer and is now a senior political scientist at the government-funded Rand Corporation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59026

Military Resistance 7J9: What The Soldiers Say
Thomas F. Barton
…The Soldiers’ Biggest Question Is: What Can We Do To Make This War Stop?” “’We’re Lost — That’s How I Feel. I’m Not Exactly Sure Why We’re Here,’ Said Specialist Raquime Mercer, 20" “We Want To Believe In A Cause But We Don’t Know What That Cause Is” “Asked If The Mission Was Worthwhile, He Replied: ‘If I Knew Exactly What The Mission Was, Probably So, But I Don’t’” “Lieutenant-Colonel Kimo Gallahue, 2-87’s Commanding Officer, Denied That His Men Were Demoralised, And Insisted They Had Achieved A Great Deal Over The Past Nine Months” But Sgt. Hughes Says: “The Only Soldiers Who Thought It Was Going Well ‘Work In An Office, Not On The Ground.’ In His Opinion ‘The Whole Country Is Going To Shit’”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59025

Military Resistance 7J8: “Obviously Useless”
Thomas F. Barton
… Zaeef told me the militant leadership refers to its forces not as Taliban now, but as “mujahedeen,” a throwback to the Afghan “holy warriors” who ousted the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s. The reason is that only one out of 10 militant fighters is a true “Taliban.” The rest are ordinary Afghans, Zaeef said. That bodes extremely ill for U.S. and NATO efforts. “Every day you are killing people. Dozens of people. They have brothers, they have fathers, they have sons,” Zaeef said. “The Taliban are my brothers, the Taliban are my sons. The Taliban are my cousins. “They are not different from us. They did not come from the sky. They did not come from another Earth. “They are all from Afghanistan.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59023

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