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URUK Net 23 October, 2009 Part 2

Last updated: Saturday, October 24, 2009 20:12

Blair President of Europe? No, A War Crimes Trial
Various undersigned
October 23, 2009 – …We, the citizens of the United Kingdom and other countries listed, wish to uphold The United Nations Charter, The 1998 Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court, The Hague and Geneva Conventions and the Rule of International Law, especially in respect of:- 1: 1949 Geneva Convention IV: Article 146: The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention. 2: 1907 Hague Convention IV: Article 3: A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation. It shall be responsible for all the acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces. We therefore call on you to indict Anthony Charles Lynton Blair in his capacity as recent Prime Minister of the UK, so long as he is able to answer for his actions and however long it takes, in respect of our sample complaints relating to the 2003 Iraq War waged by the UK as ally to the United States of America…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59275

Iraq Embassy Scandal Expands: Contractor May Have to Repay $130 Million
By Jeremy Scahill
October 23, 2009 – The extent of the massive waste and abuse surrounding the construction of the monstrous US embassy in Baghdad continues to expand. The State Department has just released another audit of the embassy’s construction and suggests that the Kuwaiti contractor hired by the Bush administration to do most of the construction work may have to repay more than $130 million to US taxpayers as a result of construction deficiencies, incomplete and undocumented design work, inadequate quality control and interest on unauthorized payments…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59281

Why I disrupted Olmert
Ali Abunimah
October 23, 2009 – If former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had merely been a diplomat or an academic offering a controversial viewpoint, then interrupting his 15 October speech at University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall would certainly have been an attempt to stifle debate (Noah Moskowitz, Meredyth Richards and Lee Solomon, “The importance of open dialogue,” Chicago Maroon, 19 October 2009). Indeed, I experienced exactly such attempts when my own appearance at Mandel Hall last January, with Professor John Mearsheimer and Norman Finkelstein, was constantly interrupted by hecklers. But confronting a political leader suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity cannot be viewed the same way…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59278

PCHR Release English Version of ‘Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009)’
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
October 23, 2009 – Today, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) releases the English-language version of ‘Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009)’. This report comprehensively documents the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, in which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, and over 5,300 injured. The overwhelming majority of those killed and injured were civilians. Attention is also paid to the extensive destruction of civilian object, including homes, and the damage inflicted on industry, agriculture, and the infrastructure of the Gaza Strip.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59284

Allied exit strategy at risk as Afghan police run out of recruits
Jerome Starkey in Kabul
October 23, 2009 – It is the $120-a-month job that is crucial to any Allied exit strategy from Afghanistan but at the moment a career in the police force is only for the desperate. American efforts to expand Afghanistan’s security forces are faltering, leaving the largest training centre in the country operating at only 25 per cent capacity. Recruitment has been low in recent months amid rising Taleban violence and political instability after the unresolved election. Thousands of men are leaving the force every month, with about one police officer in three resigning over the course of a year, The Times learnt. Some have joined the Taleban…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59282

Hamas rejects Abbas’ decree over holding Palestinian elections on Jan. 24
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly
October 23, 2009 — Gaza Strip ruling Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Friday the decree of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who called on the Palestinians to go for general elections on Jan. 24, 2010. In a written statement sent to reporters, Hamas movement considered Abbas’ decree “a destructive strike” to all the efforts to achieve an inter-Palestinian reconciliation, adding “the decree is a rejected step.” Meanwhile, Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Radwan told Xinhua in an interview that holding the Palestinian elections without a national agreement of accordance “is a response to the American instructions.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59280

Islamic-Christian Committee: IOA investing millions to judaize Jerusalem
Palestinian Information Center
October 23, 2009 – The Islamic-Christian Committee said on Thursday that huge sums of money were allocated by the Israeli occupation authorities for the judaization of the occupied city of Jerusalem. Dr. Hassan Khater, the secretary-general of the committee, pointed out that the Israeli budget for the fiscal year 2009-2010 included hundreds of millions of dollars that were purposely allocated to distort the Arab identity of Jerusalem and the surroundings of the Aqsa Mosque…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59279

From the Endless Annals of Intimidation and Delegitimization
Arthur Silber
October 23, 2009 – Because these issues tie into several of my ongoing themes, it’s worth spending some time analyzing the methods and purposes of these recent remarks by Obama. (I use that link solely because it was the first one I encountered that offers a lengthy transcript of what Obama said on this occasion.) Consult the link for the longer version of Obama’s comments. I will focus on several passages in particular…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59277

Karroubi is attacked at Tehran press fair
HomyLafayette
October 23, 2009 – Mehdi Karroubi, the leader of the Etemad Melli Party and the most vocal critic of the Iranian regime, was attacked at the Tehran Press Fair this afternoon after being loudly cheered by supporters, according to Iranian media reports. The following footage shows the crowd shouting ‘Long live Karroubi! May Mousavi stand long!’…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59285

Iran delays reply on nuclear plan
BBC News
October 23, 2009 – Iran will respond to a proposed deal on its controversial nuclear programme by the middle of next week, it has told the UN’s atomic energy agency. Agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei said he hoped the answer would be “positive”. The UN watchdog had suggested exporting most of Iran’s enriched uranium to Russia and France for further refining…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59276

AARP’s Tradition of Betrayal
Stephen Lendman
Founded in 1958 for aged 50 and older Americans, AARP call itself “a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization (dedicated to) improv(ing) the quality of their lives,” even though from inception it sold insurance to earn royalties – now to its 40 million members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands while claiming a mandate to: — deliver “value to members through information, advocacy and service; — work “tirelessly to fulfill its vision: a society in which everyone ages with dignity and purpose, and in which AARP helps people fulfill their goals and dreams;” and — speak “with one voice – united by a common motto: ‘To serve, not be served.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59274

Polish emergency workers’ trade union expresses solidarity with Palestinian emergency workers under occupation
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -PFLP
October 23, 2009 – On October 6, 2009, the movement of international workers’ solidarity with Palestine took another step forward, as Poland’s biggest independent medical rescuers union – The Nationwide Trade Union of Medical Rescue Employees (Krajowy Zwiazek Zawodowy Pracownikow Ratownictwa Medycznego) KZZ PRM – passed a historic motion of solidarity with Palestinian rescuers and emergency workers, and against Israeli occupation. The statement, agreed upon at the Union’s national conference on October 6th in Piotrkow Trybunalski, southern Poland, condemned the Israeli occupation and its violation of international law and announced plans to form twinning relationships with Palestinian ambulance stations in Gaza and the West Bank…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59283

Audio: Interviews with Olmert protesters in San Francisco
Nora Barrows-Friedman
October 23, 2009 – Last night, 22 activists were arrested at Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s speech to the World Affairs Council at the Westin St. Francis Hotel at Union Square in downtown San Francisco. More than 250 individuals were protesting outside the hotel, as dozens of activists launched an organized campaign of disruption inside the auditorium, including attempting to place Olmert under citizen’s arrest. Every couple of minutes, more activists disrupted his speech, barely allowing him to speak. Activists read the names of the children killed in Gaza last winter, or read from the recently published Goldstone report and displayed banners that read, “Lift the Siege on Gaza” and “War Crimes are Not Free Expression!” Activists were removed from the auditorium chanting “war criminal!” and taken to the Tenderloin Police Station where they were held for citation and released…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59287

IMPORTANT NEWS FROM OCCUPIED IRAQ
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
October 23, 2009 – Managed to get hold of some alternative Iraqi sat TVs namely Al-Rafidain, Ar-Rai, Al Babeliya which I have mentioned before. I made it a point to watch some of the news on these channels as they cover events that are totally blacked out in the mainstream media, including the Arabic speaking ones. 1) The Iraqi Resistance under its different factions: Several resistance activities against the Occupier namely in Kirkuk, where one US patrol came under attack . Same in Mosul. Two days ago, another US patrol under attack in El Anbar province, and in North of Baghdad. Today another US patrol came under fire in Falluja, and several mortar bombs fell on the US airbase in Nasseriya. I must add that all the above were successful operations. US commander Odierno in Baghdad admitted that there has been a upsurge of Resistance activities in the past week…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59244

Washington pushes Pakistan to the brink
Keith Jones
23 October 2009 – Under heavy pressure from the Obama administration, Pakistan is now waging all-out war in South Waziristan. Since last Saturday, 28,000 Pakistani troops, supported by F-16 fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships, have mounted a three-pronged offensive in the Pashtun-speaking tribal agency. Their target is the Tehrik-i-Taliban, an alliance of tribal-based militia groups opposed to the US occupation of Afghanistan and the pivotal logistical support that Pakistan’s government has provided the occupation, first under the US-backed dictator General Pervez Musharraf and since March 2008 by the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59251

Video: Protesters shut down Ehud Olmert’s speech in San Francisco
biggbaby
October 23, 2009 – On October 22 1009, Ehud Olmert spoke at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, an event sponsored by the World Affairs Council. There were protesters inside and outside of the building. Together, we were successfully able to disrupt his speech. Recording and photography were officially banned at Olmert’s request, but I used my cell phone anyway as protester after protester rose to make a statement before police forced them to leave…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59258

Victims of human trafficking speak out
By EDITH M. LEDERER
October 23, 2009 – A father of two from Nepal who thought he was going to America wound up in Iraq, forced to work at a U.S. airbase. A 14-year-old Ugandan girl kidnapped by rebels spent nearly eight years in captivity as a sex slave and human shield. And a young Venezuelan woman lured to New York by the man she loved wound up in a brothel his family was running. The three victims of human trafficking spoke Thursday at an event organized by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay who said it was “pressing and urgent” not only to listen to their stories of survival but to get their recommendations on how the international community can help end the growing global scourge…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59255

Wanted for murder
How long will it take to charge Israeli war criminals?
Dina Ezzat
October 23, 2009 – Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week instructed his government to draw up a proposal to amend the international laws of war after a damning UN report. Netanyahu, international news agencies reported Wednesday, is determined to prevent Israeli leaders from being prosecuted by international justice for committing war crimes — which could amount to crimes against humanity — against Palestinians under occupation. Netanyahu said the amendment that Israel is planning to launch in an intensive campaign should be secured in view of what he qualified as the need for the world to maintain its war on terror…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59252

Getting away with murder
Doubtless Israel is pulling out the stops in efforts to block the Goldstone Report from reaching the Security Council
Ayman El-Amir*
October 23, 2009 – Israel is incensed by the decision of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to refer to the UN Security Council the report of the Goldstone Commission that investigated war crimes committed during the Israeli onslaught on Gaza last December and January. While the report pointed a finger at the government of Hamas in Gaza for firing rockets against Israeli settlements in southern Israel, it reserved volumes of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the former Israeli government of Ehud Olmert, singling out its top leaders for their individual responsibility. Fuming over the UNHRC’s decision, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to launch an aggressive diplomatic campaign against the decision and its pursuant consequences…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59253

Video: Citzens arrest and mass disruption of former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert in San Francisco
electronicIntifada
October 23, 2009 – Bay Area residents attempted a citizen’s arrest of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, while he gave a speech to the World Affairs Council in San Francisco on 22 October 2009. Twenty-two people were arrested for challenging Olmert directly and demanding he be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59273

Palestinian who tells Blair “you are a terrorist, go home” is beaten for his outburst
From Khalid Amayreh in al-Khalil, occupied West Bank
October 23, 2009 – Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, had an unpleasant experience Tuesday, October 20th, when during a visit to the ancient Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, a young Palestinian worshiper shouted at him “you are a terrorist, you are not welcomed in Palestine.” The mosque, the most ancient in occupied Palestine, was the site of a 1994 massacre when an Israeli settler terrorist from the nearby colony of Kiryat Arba, murdered 29 Muslim worshipers as they were praying at dawn during the holy month of Ramadan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59254

AFGHANISTAN: Virtually no safety net for war victims’ families
IRIN news
October 23, 2009 – Ahmad Wali died in a bomb blast in Kandahar city on 25 August and Samim was killed in a suicide attack in Kabul on 15 September. Both men left grieving families with little capacity to cope on their own. “We could not afford to pay the rent so we left our old home and have moved into a small room outside the city,” said Samim’s eldest son, Arif. “My children cannot go to school any more because we cannot afford their education,” said Wali’s widow, Pashtana. Both families have found it increasingly difficult to meet their food needs: “We eat whatever we can find but wait for God’s mercy when there is no food,” said Pashtana. “We don’t receive a single dollar from the government to help war victims and their families,” Suraya Paikan, deputy minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Martyrs & Disabled, told IRIN…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59265

150,000 people await assistance in South Waziristsn: Naimatullah
The News International
October 23, 2009 – President Al-Khidmat Foundation Naimatullah Khan has demanded of the government to end the military operation in tribal areas as it is further deteriorating the situation. In a statement issued here on Friday, he said conditions in Pakistan are same as of Gaza. ‘’At least 0.15 million people have lost their homes in South Waziristan besides schools, seminaries, mosques and infrastructure conditions completely destroyed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59267

Texas Oil Man: US Should Plunder Iraqi Oil
by Len Hart
October 23, 2009 – Texas oil man T. Boone Pickets typifies what is dead wrong about America and what passes for ‘foreign policy’. Pickens claims the US is ‘entitled’ to Iraqi oil. How convenient for the oil barons who conspired with Dick Cheney to carve up the oil fields of Iraq before 911 would give Bush the pretext he would need to attack and invade Iraq, a nation that had nothing whatsoever to do with 911. Nevertheless, it would be claimed that Iraq was —somehow —a part of the ‘war on terror’. Is there no end to the lies? …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59269

Musicians (Finally) Say No To Music Torture
Andy Worthington
October 23, 2009 – Well, that took a while. Nearly a year after George W. Bush’s Republican party was voted out of office, and at least five years after reports first surfaced that music was being used in “War on Terror” facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo as part of a package of “enhanced interrogation technique,” — which, in any world other than the reality-defying one inhabited by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, would have been defined as torture — several noted musicians have spoken out to condemn the practice…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59266

Involuntary returns to Central Iraq contrary to UNHCR guidelines
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
October 23, 2009 – UNHCR is concerned about the fact that some European states have begun forcibly returning Iraqi originating from the region of Central Iraq over the last few months. In our guidelines issued last April, we noted that in view of the serious human rights violations and continuing security incidents throughout Iraq, most predominantly in the central governorates, asylum-seekers from these governorates should be considered to be in need of international protection. UNHCR therefore advises against involuntary returns to Iraq of persons originating from Central Iraq until there is a substantial improvement in the security and human rights situation in the country. This reminder comes after the UK attempted to forcibly return 44 Iraqi men to Baghdad earlier this month.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59263

Administrative Detention in Israel
Palestinians Behind Bars with No Recourse to Justice
By Christoph Schult
October 23, 2009 – Hundreds of Palestinians are kept behind bars in Israel without charges having been filed and with no access to a fair trial. Not even their lawyers are allowed to look at the evidence. Some governments in the West have expressed their concern, but the Israelis haven’t budged. The cell is only a few square meters in size and there are no windows. A mattress lies on the floor; a hole in the floor for prisoners’ needs, cynically called a “Turkish toilet” is next to it. Mohammed Othman has been held in Kishon Detention Center in northern Israel for almost a month. But neither he nor his lawyer knows exactly what he is being accused of. Othman is locked up as an administrative detainee — called Maazar Minhali in Hebrew — and is one of around 335 Palestinians currently in the same position…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59260

I’ll Take Iranian Oranges over Yellow Cake Any day
Pedestrian
October 23, 2009 – Naj has an excellent post about how the pro-Ahmadinejad media has been covering (or rather, NOT covering) the nuclear negotiations. I’ve been watching IRIB for the past two days, trying to figure out the mood of that medium. The most popular news program which airs on IRIB2, Bist o Si (8:30) started its news segment on imported oranges. The first five minutes of the half hour news program were dedicated to interviews done with local store owners about European and South American oranges which have recently hit the Iranian market. (You should note, that just last month, IRNA reported that fruit imports had increased by 63% in the past six months.) The program then went on a full scale DEFENFSE of Madame Hillary Clinton and actually aired footage of Fox News criticizing her and then the Iranian presenter fired long and hard at Fox News in defense of Clinton…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59256

Israel asks UN chief to nix Gaza war crimes report
AFP
October 23, 2009 — Israel’s foreign minister has urged UN chief Ban-Ki-moon not to send the Goldstone report on Gaza war crimes to the Security Council or the General Assembly, his office said on Friday. During a telephone conversation on Thursday night, Avigdor Lieberman also harshly criticised Cuba, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, which are among the 25 countries that voted in favour of a resolution endorsing the Goldstone report. “Lieberman told Secretary General Ban ki-Moon that he hopes he will not move the Human Rights Council decision on the Goldstone report to the Security Council or the General Assembly,” the minister’s office said in a statement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59259

Nineveh ethnic divide fuels tension
By Ahmed Janabi and Tanya Goudsouzian
October 23, 2009 – Tensions between ruling Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh are threatening to spill over into ethnic violence and reverse security gains made in the region since the US-led invasion in 2003. The chances of the Sunni-Arab al-Hadbaa party and the Kurdish Nineveh Brotherhood group reaching a power-sharing deal appear more difficult, after both sides failed to reach an agreement at specially-convened conferences in September this year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59249

A Palestinian Dismay
Hiyam Noir
October 23, 2009 – A Hamas news conference last week regarding the Egyptian Palestinian conciliation proposal, came the day after that Hamas political and social leader Khaled Mash’al conveyed at a dinner together with supporters in Damascus Syria, where Mash’al live in political asylum since 2001. Hamas media office spokes person Fawsi Barhoum, informed the journalists gathered in Gaza City, that Hamas leaders are engaged in intense dialogue with Egyptian mediators ,maintaining a composure adhering to the principles of democracy, of course consulting it’s institutions and members of the Palestinian community…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59270

Gaza: A Prison by the Sea (Video)
Little Alex in Wonderland
October 23, 2009 – The U.S.-Israel-Egypt blockade forced on Gazans has turned it into—what AntiWar Radio host Scott Horton calls—”a prison by the sea”. This documentary for al Jazeera (AJE), Locked In: Life in Gaza by George Azar and Mariam Shahin, looks into the everyday life of Munzer al-Dayyeh, a 40-year-old mechanic supporting a family of eight children in the Gaza Strip. “It’s like we are orphaned,” he says…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59271

Iran lawyer in ‘blood money’ plea
BBC News
October 23, 2009 – An Iranian lawyer has appealed for money to spare the lives of four of his clients, who face execution for murders committed when they were aged under 18. Under Iranian law, a family can pardon a relative’s murderer, and compensation – called blood money – is often paid. Mohammad Mostafaie said he needed to raise $200,000 (£120,700) to pay the families of his clients’ victims. Amnesty International says Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile offenders since 1990, flouting international law…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59261

Aftermath Goldstone’s Report Delay, Abbas’ Popularity Drops To 12.1 Per Cent
Samir Fawara
October 23, 2009 – A poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC) reveals that 43.8 per cent of the Palestinians hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for the postponing of the Goldstone report at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. Meanwhile, the poll indicates that, 18.1 per cent believe that the United States stands behind this delay, and 17.2 percent said that Israel is to be held responsible while 14.5 per cent blamed the Arab states for this delay…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59257

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