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URUK Net 1 December, 2009

Last updated: Friday, December 4, 2009 17:56

Video: Afghanistan: ‘Graveyard of empires’
AljazeeraEnglish
December 1, 2009 – Afghanistan has been called the ‘graveyard of empires’ – a land that has never been conquered by a foreign force. Russia’s red army spent a decade there and returned to the Soviet Union broken and defeated. As the US sends more troops to Afghanistan, it could learn from the former Soviet Union’s experience there. Al Jazeera’s Neave Barker reports from Moscow on the lessons to be learned…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60671

Video: Desertions undermine Afghan army
Aljazeera.net
December 1, 2009 – An exclusive Al Jazeera investigation has found that the number of existing security forces in Afghanistan has been greatly exaggerated with widespread desertions by members of the army and police. Senior officials in the Obama administration say US troops will start to return home from July of 2011. That is when Afghan forces are supposed to be ready to take over. But an investigation by Al Jazeera’s James Bays shows that may not be feasible…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60670

Israel ranks as the 4th least peaceful country (surprise surprise)
Mary Rizzo, PTT
December 1, 2009 – The Global Peace Index Rankings have been released. Vision of Humanity has published them, and nothing there is surprising. The least peaceful nation is Iraq, followed by Afghanistan, Somalia and in the fourth position: Israel. Not surprising, as on many of the parametres used to measure peace. quite specifically respect for human rights, they fall short again and again. 144 countries were ranked in 2009…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60659

Torture continues at US prisons in Afghanistan
By Tom Eley
December 1, 2009 – Recent media reports reveal that the US military continues to carry on torture and illegal detention in Afghanistan at a dungeon known to inmates as “the black prison.” The jail, located on the Bagram Air Base next to the notorious Bagram prison north of Kabul, operates under the executive order of President Obama. After entering office, Obama ordered the closure of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prison “black sites”—which were in fact no longer active—but exempted those prisons run by the military’s Special Operations, which was headed from 2003 until 2008 by General Stanley McChrystal, now US commander of the Af-Pak theater…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60660

New IDF unit to fight enemies on Facebook, Twitter
By Anshel Pfeffer and Gili Izikovich, Haaretz Correspondent
December 1, 2009 – The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman’s Office is to begin drafting computer experts with an eye toward establishing an Internet and new media department unit, Army Spokesman Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu said Monday. Speaking at the Eilat Journalists Conference, Benayahu said the new department would focus on the Internet’s social media networks mainly to reach an international audience directly rather than through the regular media. The new unit, as well as an initiative by the Information and Diaspora Ministry to train people to represent Israel independently on the Internet and in other arenas, were presented Monday at the conference during a panel discussion on Israeli public relations abroad…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60661

Iraq sees alarming rise in cancers, deformed babies
By Suadad al-Salhy, Reuters
December 1, 2009 – Incidences of cancer, deformed babies and other health problems have risen sharply, Iraqi officials say, and many suspect contamination from weapons used in years of war and accompanying unchecked pollution as a cause. “We have seen new kinds of cancer that were not recorded in Iraq before war in 2003, types of fibrous (soft tissue) cancer and bone cancer. These refer clearly to radiation as a cause,” said Jawad al-Ali, an oncologist in Iraq’s second city of Basra. In the city of Falluja in western Iraq, scene of two of the fiercest battles between U.S. troops and insurgents after the 2003 U.S. invasion, a spike in the number of births of stillborn, deformed and paralyzed babies has alarmed doctors…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60665

Israeli secret agency defends use of torture
Saed Bannoura
December 1, 2009 – The Israeli secret service agency, Shin Bet, responded to a petition in Israel’s High Court on Monday, defending their use of torture against detainees. The petition was filed by the Public Committee Against Torture, a prisoner advocacy group which challenged the Israeli practice of forcing Palestinian detainees to sit on small chairs with their hands cuffed behind the chair during interrogations. But Shin Bet agents insisted that their methods of interrogating Palestinian detainees are ‘humane’. They said that since they increased the length of the chain between the handcuffs to 48 inches, their methods of handcuffing are now humane…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60663

Mizan: IOA blackmail Palestinian patients at crossing points
Palestinian Information Center
December 1, 2009 – The Mizan center for human rights has accused Tuesday the Israeli occupation authorities of blackmailing Palestinian patients at Beit Hanon (Erez) crossing point and pressuring them to turn spies in exchange for allowing them go for medical treatment outside the besieged Gaza Strip. In a statement it issued in this regard, and a copy of which was obtained by the PIC, the human rights center revealed that the IOA stopped Palestinian citizen Ahmad Asfoor, 19, and his father at the crossing point as they were heading for Mar Yousef hospital in the occupied city of Jerusalem for treatment. Both the son and the father were forced to take off their clothes before the Israeli soldiers put them under interrogation despite the deteriorating health of the son, and confiscated around three thousand dollars allocated for Ahmad’s medical treatment in the hospital in addition to the passports and the medical reports they were carrying, the center confirmed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60669

Text of President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan, Dec. 1, 2009, as provided by the White House
Barack Hussein Obama
December 1, 2009 – … As your Commander-in-Chief, I owe you a mission that is clearly defined, and worthy of your service. That is why, after the Afghan voting was completed, I insisted on a thorough review of our strategy. Let me be clear: there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war. Instead, the review has allowed me ask the hard questions, and to explore all of the different options along with my national security team, our military and civilian leadership in Afghanistan, and with our key partners. Given the stakes involved, I owed the American people – and our troops – no less. This review is now complete. And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60674

Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture
Kawther Salam
December 1, 2009 – On Friday, Nov, 27 2009, on occasion of the celebration of “Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture” in the “Haus der Begegnung” in Vienna, a great cultural and folklore evening was held under the auspices of Dr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Fritz Edlinger, Secretary General Society for Austro-Arab Relation, “SAAR”, Dr. Zuheir Al-Wazir, Palestinian Ambassador, and the Palestinian Forum…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60677

Obama’s exceedingly familiar justifications for escalation
By Glenn Greenwald
December 1, 2009 – …But to anyone with a memory that extends back for more than a few weeks, all of this seems anything but new. In January, 2007, George Bush delivered a speech to the nation announcing his escalation in Iraq — that one only 20,000 troops, compared to the 30,000-40,000 Obama has ordered for Afghanistan. It’s worthwhile to compare what Obama officials are excitedly featuring as new and innovative ideas with what Bush said; I’m not comparing the Iraq and Afghan escalations: only the rhetoric used to justify them.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60675

Israeli Offer…not our kind of offer
Hussein Anwar
For the reader’s information: The information in this post is strictly confidential, only a handful of people know about it. these handful of people are President Saddam Hussein, Barzan Ibrahim Al-Tikriti, Hamid Youssef Hamadi (Minister of Information), The Israeli Intelligence MOSSAD, Iraqi Intelligence Service IIS. I am revealing this information for the first time to the public. I am responsible for the information in this post and I dare anyone to have revealed it to the public before me. This information was given to me by President Saddam Hussein himself and Barzan Ibrahim Al-Tikrit. Barzan told me this story on more than one occasion therefore I still remember every word he uttered…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60672

Canadian Government Rocked by Accusations of Abuse, Torture of Afghan Prisoners
Roger Annis
December 1, 2009 – …The latest torture revelations will make it all the more difficult for the Conservative Party government, or a Liberal Party government that might replace it, to sell the Canadian public on any delay or reversal of the 2011 withdrawal commitment. While a public inquiry into the latest revelations may expose more scandal, it is no substitute for building a sustained anti-war movement that fights for an end to the interlocked wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine. Only such a movement can end these reckless and predatory wars and help create the political conditions needed to end the regimes of permanent war that now rule in all the major capitalist countries of the world…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60676

Video – Freedom For Gaza: Why We’re Marching
GazaFreedomMarch
December 1, 2009 – Activists for peace and justice in the Middle East discuss the events that first inspired them to get involved with the Gaza Freedom March.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60673

Israeli courts give permission for settlers to move into Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah
International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
December 1, 2009 – Israeli settlers take over Palestinian home, elderly resident suffers severe medical complications. On Tuesday morning at around 9.30am, a group of settlers surrounded the al-Kurd family home in Sheikh Jarrah and took over a section of the house. Fifteen to twenty settlers, accompanied by private armed security and Israeli police forces, entered an extension of the Palestinian house, and started clearing it of the family’s belongings. The family was not present in this section of the house in compliance with a previous court order, however local sources reported that the settlers also attempted, on several occasions, to gain entry to the inhabited part of the house…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60668

Israeli authorities deport African American political activists
Press release, Al-Awda New York
December 1, 2009 – Al-Awda New York, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, condemns the racist denial of entry to Palestine of African American political activists Dhoruba Bin Wahad and Naji Mujahid by the Israeli occupation. The occupation of Palestine has always been based on the racist theory and practice of Zionism, including the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and the denial of millions of Palestinian refugees’ right to return home as part of building a “pure Jewish state” through the dispossession and oppression of the indigenous Palestinian Arab people…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60664

Netanyahu Approves The Construction Of 25 Units In Keidar Illegal Settlement
Saed Bannoura
December 01, 2009 – While peace talks are obstructed due to Israel’s ongoing illegal settlement activities, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, approved the construction of 25 units for Jewish settlers in Keidar illegal settlement in the West Bank. Netanyahu also said his government would compensate settlers “affected by the temporary settlement freeze”. He added that the 25 units are not subjected to his cabinet’s decision to temporarily freeze settlement activities…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60662

Honduran vote held amid repression, mass abstention
By Bill Van Auken
December 1, 2009 – Sunday’s national elections in Honduras were marked by systematic repression against opponents of the country’s coup regime and reports of record abstention. Nonetheless, the Obama administration in Washington hailed the results as a “very important step forward for Honduras” and a “legitimate way out” of the crisis that began with the military overthrow of the country’s elected President Manuel Zelaya on June 28. The election was held just a day after the coup’s five-month mark, with Zelaya still trapped in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, where he sought refuge two months ago after staging a clandestine return to Honduras…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60658

Obama issues order for escalation in Afghanistan
Barry Grey
December 1, 2009 – At a White House meeting with military leaders on Sunday, President Barack Obama formally issued the order to send at least 30,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan. Underscoring his contemptuous attitude toward popular opposition to the war or any other democratic considerations, Obama did not wait to issue the order until he had offered his explanation for the escalation to the American people in tonight’s nationally televised speech. The new “surge” follows the 21,000 additional troops Obama ordered to Afghanistan in the first weeks of his administration. It will bring the total US troop deployment to 100,000—the highest since the invasion eight years ago…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60657

Report: Prisoner deal hinges on 50 names
Ma’an News
December 1, 2009 – Israel and the captors of soldier Gilad Shalit have okayed 400 names of Palestinian prisoners who would be released as part of a prisoner swap, while the names of 50 others are still being debated, the London-based daily Al-Hayat reported on Tuesday. The report cited anonymous Hamas officials saying that controversy remains over three female prisoners: Amina Muna from Jerusalem, Ahlam Tamimi from Nabi Salih village near Ramallah, and Qahira As-Sa’di from Jenin. Israel accuses the three of organizing operations in which Israelis were killed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60656

LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT ‘ZIONGATE’
Steve Amsel, Desertpeace
December 1, 2009 – One of the gates to the Old City of Jerusalem is called Zion Gate… it is one of the 8 gates leading to the old City. These gates have been witness to the zionisation of Palestine. For Palestinians, the day marks the expulsions and flight of Palestinians from their towns and villages in the face of Jewish and later Israeli troop advances, their defeat in the 1948 Palestine War and 1948 Arab-Israeli War,their displacement from Palestine, and the loss of their property. The above refers to the Nakba, a period so heinous, it is forbidden to be mentioned in Israeli textbooks. Of all the 8 gates referred to, I choose the Zion Gate as the example, not only because of its name, but because of its history…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60679

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