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URUK Net 9 December, 2009

Last updated: Sunday, December 13, 2009 8:21

Thousands of Afghan students protest against US forces
Hundreds of villagers on Tuesday brought the bodies to Mehtarlam and placed them in front of the Governor’s House.
Javed Hamim Kakar
December 9, 2009 – Thousands of university students protesting against US forces in eastern Nangarhar province blocked the Kabul-Jalalabad Highway for hours on Wednesday. The demonstration was staged by Nangarhar University students in Daronta district to denounce the US forces’ operation in Laghman province, where 15 civilians were allegedly killed. The operation in the village of Armal on the outskirts of Mehtarlam triggered a violent protest. Hundreds of villagers on Tuesday brought the bodies to Mehtarlam and placed them in front of the Governor’s House. One person was killed when ANA soldiers opened fire at the protesters…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60909

Not Satire: Obama to Invoke Aghanistan in His Nobel Speech
Daniela Perdomo
December 9, 2009 – …But as it turns out, reality is much more wondrous than my imagination. Timing matters, too, and tomorrow’s speech comes just one week after announcing the escalation of war in Afghanistan. As a result, official word is that in his address, Obama plans to frame the war in Afghanistan as part of his wider plan for peace. I am not kidding. Orwell could not have written it better himself. “Thank you for this award. I accept it in the name of war — WAR IS PEACE.” Hell, even Bush could string that one together. Obama is going to stand before the men and women who gave him this award in hopes of making the escalation of Vietghanistan a political impossibility, and extol the peace-making virtues of warfare…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60911

Detainee 063: serialized interrogation and torture log of Mohamed al-Kahtani
Xeni Jardin
December 9, 2009 – detainee063.com: “This is the interrogation log of Mohammed al-Qahtani. It is being published in real time: each entry will appear exactly seven years after it was first recorded. The interrogation took place at Guantanamo Bay.” That is him in the photo above. He is still imprisoned in Guantanamo. The serialized logs are not for the faint of heart. By way of background, al-Qahtani was the first “war on terror detainee” the United States admitted to having tortured…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60914

Afghan rape victim lives in fear
Aljazeera.net
December 9, 2009 – Two-years after she was beaten and raped by eight men, fourteen-year-old Samiya has yet to see justice. Her story stands in contrast to Western claims that the lot of women in Afghanistan has improved since the US-led invasion. Seven of the eight men who attacked Samiya were arrested, but her family believes their daughter’s rapists have powerful connections and are looking for revenge. Samiya and he family live in fear and her father, whose story Al Jazeera reported on two years ago, has been imprisoned by a local leader after he sought justice for his daughter…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60912

Afghan Resistance Statement Regarding Violation of Commitment by South Korea
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
December 9, 2009 – According to media reports, South Korea has showed readiness to send 500 soldiers to Afghanistan and deploy them in Parvan province. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers this decision taken by the rulers of the South Korea to be an act against national independence of Afghanistan, an act against the Afghans and an attempt to violate the commitment made by Korea in 2007 exchange for the release of 19 Koreans who were detained by the forces of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Ghazni province. They had promised to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan and committed never to send soldiers to the country in future…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60898

Gaza Power Strip
The Palestinian power plant has endured bombings, embargoes and blockades: Can it ever fully power Gaza’s grid?
Sharon Weinberger
December 9, 2009 – …The most recent war, which began on 27 December 2008, brought yet another catastrophe to Gaza. Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a three-week military offensive retaliating against Hamas for a series of rocket attacks that fell on civilian areas in southern Israel. The military operations, which combined strikes from the air and sea with a ground assault, damaged transformers and several of the transmission lines that brought power from Israel. Gaza also lost a line from Egypt during the offensive. Lacking fuel, the power plant shut down completely. Vast swaths of Gaza were left once again to fend for themselves in massive blackouts. The Israeli offensive also knocked out three of the four remaining lines from Israel to the Gaza Governorate. So for the first two weeks of the war, most residents of Gaza City, Gaza’s main population center, lived in darkness. By the time Israeli forces withdrew in late January 2009, GEDCo reckoned that 40 percent of the population was entirely without electricity, while the other 60 percent were getting only intermittent power. In all, GEDCo estimates that the military operations caused some $10 million in damages to its systems…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60913

Abuse and show trials – Amnesty reports on Iran
Ian Black
December 9, 2009 – Human rights abuses in Iran are now as bad as at any time in the past 20 years, Amnesty International reports tomorrow in a survey marking six months since June’s disputed presidential election. Amnesty documents “patterns of abuse” by the Basij militia and revolutionary guards involving beatings, rape, death threats, forced confessions, intimidation and official cover-ups. Many detainees have been subjected to show trials and five have been sentenced to death…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60919

Khiaban No. 57: Looking back at Student Day 2009
Khiaban, via Revolutionary Flowerpot Society
December 9, 2009 – … 16th of Azar has passed. With the widespread and courageous presence of the people in the streets. People who, despite the [undeclared] military law and the military occupation of the streets, took to the streets and fought for their presence in public spaces and shouted out their demands. 16th of Azar has passed. With the announcement of the absolute will of the society to continue their movement until a free and equal society is achieved. The Student Day passed so that the society’s season may begin. They [reformists] said, and we heard, ‘do not raise slogans against the system’. They said, and we heard, ‘do not take to the streets; hold your ceremonies within the universities’. They said, and we heard. We heard it said by all from the reformist wing of the regime to Nehzat Azadi [Freedom Front], to the analysts outside the country, and in numerous media. From this interview and that radio, to this and that green statement. The people, however, and the university students raised their own voices. Their own slogans…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60907

Video: Israelis protest settlement freeze
Aljazeera.net
December 9, 2009 – As talks continue over the release of Galid Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas, Israeli settlers have been demanding access to land that does not legally belong to them. Many Israelis are angry at a proposed partial-freeze on building new settlements in some parts of the occuptied West Bank, prompting thousands of protesters to gather in occupied Jerusalem, which incidentially is not part of the building freeze. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnstone reports from the settlement of Ofra…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60904

The Great Wall of Israel
Tom Engelhardt & Ellen Cantarow
December 9, 2009 – Much is heard of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the story of the determined, long-term nonviolent resistance of many Palestinian villagers to the loss of their lands, striking as it may be, is seldom told. Here’s my report from just one village on the West Bank. At no time since its 1967 West Bank occupation have Israel’s seizures of Palestinian land and water resources seemed as shocking as the ones attending its construction of “the wall,” begun in 2002. Vast, complex, and shifting in form, the wall appears most dramatically as 25-foot-high concrete slabs punctuated by militarized watch towers, supplemented by electronically monitored electrified fences stretching over vast distances…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60900

Obama expands war into Pakistan
Barry Grey
December 9, 2009 One week ago, President Obama in a speech at West Point sought to portray his escalation of the war in Afghanistan as the prelude to an early withdrawal of US troops. It has since become increasingly apparent that the speech was nothing more than a calculated exercise in public deception. The speech was crafted to chloroform the public, the better to defy and disorient mass popular opposition to the war. It is now clear that the actual policy Obama has decided to pursue is not only the maintenance of an indefinite military occupation of Afghanistan, but a vast expansion of the war into Pakistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60888

Who will save Gaza’s children?
Never mind Copenhagen, an environmental catastrophe is going on right now – contaminated water is poisoning babies in Gaza
Victoria Brittain
December 9, 2009 – Among all the complex and long-term solutions being sought in Copenhagen for averting environmental catastrophe across the world, there is one place where the catastrophe has already happened, but could be immediately ameliorated with one simple political act. In Gaza there is now no uncontaminated water; of the 40,000 or so newborn babies, at least half are at immediate risk of nitrate poisoning – incidence of “blue baby syndrome”, methaemoglobinaemia, is exceptionally high; an unprecedented number of people have been exposed to nitrate poisoning over 10 years; in some places the nitrate content in water is 300 times World Health Organisation standards; the agricultural economy is dying from the contamination and salinated water; the underground aquifer is stressed to the point of collapse; and sewage and waste water flows into public spaces and the aquifer…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60906

Targeting Civilians In Gaza
By Stephen Lendman
December 9, 2009 – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an “independent legal body dedicated to the protection of human rights, the promotion of the rule of law, and the upholding of democratic principles in the Occupied Territories.” It issues frequent press releases, statistics, fact sheets, documents, and reports like its October 22, 2009 English version of “Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009).” Its 184 pages comprise a comprehensive, conclusive, and damning account of Israel’s war crimes, along with numerous others, including: — PCHR’s “Through Women’s Eyes” on the war’s effect on women; — B’Tselem’s “investigation of fatalities in Operation Cast Lead;”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60899

Israeli prisons as revolutionary universities
Khaled al-Azraq writing from Nafha prison
December 9, 2009 – Let me start by saying that the role of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement in educating its cadre, and thereby contributing to Palestinian “national education” is a large topic, and one worthy of much more discussion and research. As a Palestinian political prisoner who has spent the past 20 years in Israeli jails I would like to highlight some of the general characteristics of the prisoners’ movement’s struggle to build a system of self and collective education as a central part of developing a patriotic and revolutionary culture that can be a pillar of the liberation movement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60897

Boiling Point: Hijacking the Planet for Power and Privilege
Chris Floyd
December 9, 2009 – …Or what about the vast, spreading, man-made disaster that is Afghanistan? As Silber notes, many people who decry the potential disasters of climate change actively support the catastrophic intervention in Afghanistan — which, as we pointed out here, produces the very ills that is ostensibly designed to reduce (just as Israel’s choking of Gaza does). Yet here too, the vast suffering and degradation of millions of people could be addressed more effectively at a modicum of the cost it now takes to kill and plunder them…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60895

Another EU policy statement will not stop Israel’s colonization
Hasan Abu Nimah
December 9, 2009 – Israel started a preemptive campaign against a EU statement on the Middle East session even before it was formally presented for discussion by EU ministers this week on whether to adopt it. Israeli spokesmen expressed outrage at what they saw as an EU effort to “divide” Jerusalem, and claimed that the European position would “harm the peace process,” as if it is only Israel that has been carefully protecting it from the harmful moves of others. Despite the usual hype, the document, a version of which was published by the Israeli daily Haaretz on 2 December, does not contain much that should cause Israel any undue worry. It is no more than a fine tuning of long-stated, and ineffectual EU positions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60896

Another Carnage in Baghdad…
Layla Anwar
December 9, 2009 – The world did not stop with my silence/absence. Isn’t that good to know ?! Another confirmation that am not God. And am sure some of you sighed with relief too. The bitch is gone for good, so you thought… Guess what ? The Bitch is back with more news of your criminal, evil acts… Another carnage in Baghdad…oh but you got used to that, or you think to yourselves — damn those Iraqis or Eyeraqis, (very much doubt you learned how to spell in my absence) they just can’t seem to get along…after all, we American (assholes) have pulled out. Right ? Wrong…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60894

ANOTHER WALL THAT MUST FALL
Steve Amsel, Deserpeace
December 9, 2009 – Even before it’s completed… IT MUST FALL! The reasons Netanyahu (see report below) gives for construction of the proposed wall are nothing but LIES! The wall is to guarantee the further imprisonment of the people of Gaza… no other reason. The crossings into Egypt are the only ways out of the existing prison camp. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak at least lied in a more diplomatic manner when discussing the situation, as can be seen in THIS report…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60893

Congressional hearings set stage for escalation of Afghanistan war
By Bill Van Auken
December 9, 2009 – Testimony Tuesday by the senior US military commander and the US ambassador in Afghanistan before the House and Senate armed services committees has set the stage for a dramatic escalation of the war in Afghanistan and its further expansion across the border into Pakistan. Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, a retired general who previously commanded US forces in Afghanistan, both asserted their agreement with President Barack Obama’s decision—announced at West Point on December 1—to send another 30,000 US troops into the country…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60886

More investors abandoning Lev Leviev and Africa-Israel
Hasan Abu Nimah
December 9, 2009 – Israel started a preemptive campaign against a EU statement on the Middle East session even before it was formally presented for discussion by EU ministers this week on whether to adopt it. Israeli spokesmen expressed outrage at what they saw as an EU effort to “divide” Jerusalem, and claimed that the European position would “harm the peace process,” as if it is only Israel that has been carefully protecting it from the harmful moves of others. Despite the usual hype, the document, a version of which was published by the Israeli daily Haaretz on 2 December, does not contain much that should cause Israel any undue worry…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60892

A new report questions “suicides” at Guantanamo
By Glenn Greenwald
December 9, 2009 – On the night of June 10, 2006, three Guantanamo detainees were found dead in their individual cells. Without any autopsy or investigation, U.S. military officials proclaimed “suicide by hanging” as the cause of each death, and immediately sought to exploit the episode as proof of the evil of the detainees. Admiral Harry Harris, the camp’s commander, said it showed “they have no regard for life” and that the suicides were “not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetric warfare aimed at us here at Guantanamo”; another official anonymously said that the suicides showed the victims were “committed jihadists [who] will do anything they can to advance their cause,” while another sneered that “it was a good PR move to draw attention.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60891

IOF troops bulldoze lands in Gaza
Palestinian Information Center
December 9, 2009 — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) advanced east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday and bulldozed Palestinian cultivated lands, locals reported. Local sources told PIC reporter that four IOF tanks escorted two bulldozers 200 meters into Palestinian lands. Meanwhile, the Hamas Movement said in a monthly report monitoring IOF aggression that the IOF troops killed a Palestinian citizen in Gaza and arrested 160 citizens in the West Bank in November…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60905

‘Demoqratia’, indeed
By Ramzy Baroud
December 9, 2009 – So this is how democracy works? In 2004, France banned headscarves and school principals chased after young, defiant Muslim girls who continued to cover their heads in school. Now, following a national referendum, Switzerland has banned the construction of minarets because minarets also somehow symbolise oppression. Thanks to the dedicated action of the far-right Swiss People’s Party, the Alpine skies will be free from the snaking menace that would spread intolerance and taint the splendor of Swiss architecture…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60890

Blair ‘was told Iraq had disarmed – but still went to war’
Sir John Scarlett tells inquiry of pre-war intelligence doubts
By Michael Savage, Political Correspondent
December 9, 2009 – Tony Blair was aware of last-minute intelligence revealing that Saddam Hussein had probably dismantled his chemical and biological weaponry, a key adviser has said. Sir John Scarlett, who was the head of the Joint Intelligence Committee in the run-up to the war, said that two reports received in March 2003, which suggested that Iraq’s weaponry had been taken to pieces, were sent directly to the former prime minister. He also said that Mr Blair was made aware of doubts over Saddam’s access to the warheads needed to deliver them…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60889

The case of Berlanty Azzam :
Israel’s High Court Decides: Berlanty Azzam Not Allowed to Finish Her BA at Bethlehem University
Jews sans frontieres
December 9, 2009: · Despite the fact that the State did not produce the requested documents, Israel’s High Court of Justice accepted the State’s refusal to allow Berlanty to complete her degree. · Israel admits that it has no security concerns about Berlanty and that she was removed only because the address on her identity card is in Gaza. · Since 2000, Israel has enforced a ban preventing Palestinian students from Gaza from studying at Palestinian universities in the West Bank. · Some 25,000 people in the West Bank are at risk of being removed from their homes and separated from their families, jobs and studies…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60903

The Anti-Empire Report
Yeswecanistan
by William Blum
December 9, 2009 – All the crying from the left about how Obama “the peace candidate” has now become “a war president” … Whatever are they talking about? […] Why should anyone be surprised at Obama’s foreign policy in the White House? He has not even banned torture, contrary to what his supporters would fervently have us believe. If further evidence were needed, we have the November 28 report in the Washington Post: “Two Afghan teenagers held in U.S. detention north of Kabul this year said they were beaten by American guards, photographed naked, deprived of sleep and held in solitary confinement in concrete cells for at least two weeks while undergoing daily interrogation about their alleged links to the Taliban.” This is but the latest example of the continuance of torture under the new administration. But the shortcomings of Barack Obama and the naiveté of his fans is not the important issue. The important issue is the continuation and escalation of the American war in Afghanistan, based on the myth that the individuals we label “Taliban” are indistinguishable from those who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, whom we usually label “al Qaeda”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60902

Obama’s Nobel & START: Peacemaker Arrives Empty-handed
by Eric Walberg
December 9, 2009 – Obama desperately needed a new nuclear arms treaty to replace START I to provide some justification for the Nobel Committee’s gamble. The award in the face of US imperial wars and hubris is proving to be extremely embarrassing to everyone, left and right. In awarding the Nobel Prize to Obama on 9 October, the selection committee “in particular looked at Obama’s vision and work toward a world without atomic weapons,” giving him an out, if he could at least bring a nuclear arms treaty with him…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60901

‘Anti-Semitism up, Islamophobia down” a New Academic Research Says
Gilad Atzmon
December 9, 2009 – …As much as Israel uses every possible means to drag us all into an endless war against Islam, the Europeans are coming to terms with the devastating reality of Zionist murderous brutality. Some 45.7% of the Europeans either “somewhat or strongly” agree that “Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians.” In case someone fails to understand the meaning of it all, I will say it plainly: almost half of the Europeans accept that Israel employs genocidal tactics.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60887

Palestinians in Europe conference to partake in massive march from Cairo to Gaza
Palestinian Information Center
December 9, 2009 – The conference of Palestinians in Europe said it will actively participate in the massive Gaza freedom march which will set off from Egypt towards the besieged Gaza Strip in a peaceful attempt to break the Israeli blockade. Hundreds of multinational participants will take part in this rally and gather in Cairo on December 27, the day which marks the first anniversary of Israel’s brutal war on Gaza. The participants intend to stay there until the second of January to attend several events. Secretary-general of the conference Adel Abdullah said that its delegation is composed of international figures from Britain, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Ireland…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60885

Gates Eyes ‘Several Years’ of War in Afghanistan
US Will Be Expected to Foot Bill for Decades to Come
Jason Ditz
December 9, 2009 – Speaking at a press conference during his unannounced visit to Kabul, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates assured that the US would remain in Afghanistan for “several years,” expressing hope that a gradual change in the troops’ role to supporting the Afghan military could begin in “three years or two years or four years.” Even then the US is looking at bankrolling the Afghan military for decades, Gates conceded…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60884

Israel bans EU MPs from Gaza
Ma’an News
December 9, 2009 – Israel banned a delegation of European members of parliament from entering the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing on Wednesday, despite previously approving the visit, the EU said. “Israel had yesterday afternoon granted final permission for all members of our delegation to travel,” the European Parliament group said in a statement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60883

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