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URUK Net 13 December, 2009

Last updated: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:13

Suffocating Suffixes…
Layla Anwar
December 13, 2009 – Was reading the latest from the West Bank where Jewish settlers attacked a mosque in the village of Yasuf, torching the mosque’s library and spraying death threats with “ get ready to pay the price, we will burn you all.” Now the article, and that is not the only one nor the first time, calls these culprits hardline Jews. Fair enough. Christians who aggress Muslims are also called hardline Christians. Adjectives like hardline, extremist, ultra-orthodox, fundamentalist, occasionally fanatical…almost always precede; qualifying those particular groups, designating them apart from the rest of mainstream Jews and Christians. Again, fair enough. But did you notice something when it comes to Muslims ? I sure did. I have observed time and time again, the specific use of language to designate hardline and extremist Muslims. They are not called hardline Muslims they are called IslamIST…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61047

Padilla v. Yoo: Obama administration backs appeal of Bush torture memo author
By John Burton
December 13, 2009 – Obama administration lawyers under the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder are once again supporting the dismissal of a civil case brought by a victim of illegal detention and torture during the Bush administration. On December 3, Department of Justice attorneys filed an amicus curiae “friend of the court” brief on behalf of John Yoo, the notorious draftsman of Bush’s “torture memos,” in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reviews federal court decisions in the western United States. The brief urges a reversal of District Judge Jeffrey S. White’s refusal to dismiss the case brought against Yoo by Jose Padilla, the US citizen held incommunicado and tortured for over two years after his arrest at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61053

Obama Declares War On Pakistan
By Webster G. Tarpley, Rense.com
December 13, 2009 — Obama’s West Point speech of December 1 represents far more than the obvious brutal escalation in Afghanistan — it is nothing less than a declaration of all-out war by the United States against Pakistan . This is a brand-new war, a much wider war now targeting Pakistan , a country of 160 million people armed with nuclear weapons. In the process, Afghanistan is scheduled to be broken up. This is no longer the Bush Cheney Afghan war we have known in the past. This is something immensely bigger: the attempt to destroy the Pakistani central government in Islamabad and to sink that country into a chaos of civil war, Balkanization, subdivision and general mayhem. The chosen strategy is to massively export the Afghan civil war into Pakistan and beyond, fracturing Pakistan along ethnic lines…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61050

Taliban stalls key hydroelectric turbine project in Afghanistan
Convoy diverted British troops from front but generator may never be used
Jon Boone in Kabul
December 13, 2009 – An enormous hydroelectric turbine dragged at huge cost by British troops through Taliban heartlands last year may never be installed because Nato has been unable to secure a 30-mile stretch of road leading to an isolated dam in northern Helmand. The daring mission to deliver 220 tonnes of equipment to the Kajaki dam in Afghanistan in September 2008 was hailed as one of the biggest success stories of the British Army’s three-year deployment in Helmand. Two thousand British troops took part in the five-day convoy through enemy territory, which was launched because the main road leading to the dam was too vulnerable to Taliban attacks…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61049

Israel to pump millions more into West Bank settlements
AFP
December 13, 2009 – Israel approved Sunday listing some Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank as zones that entitle the communities to millions of dollars of extra state funding. The cabinet decision was seen as a gesture toward settlers furious about a 10-month moratorium on new building permits in settlements after months of US pressure…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61048

New Documents Explode Myth Gitmo Torture Opposed in Al Qahtani Interrogation
Valtin, Daily Kos
December 13, 2009 – Stephen Soldz has published a devastating critique of the work of the FBI and Criminal Investigative Task Force (CITF) on the controversial interrogation of Guantanamo prisoner 063, the supposed “20th hijacker,” Mohammed al-Qahtani. Entitled “Ethical Interrogation”: The Myth of Michael Gelles and the al-Qahtani Interrogation, the article seriously questions claims that Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Chief Psychologist Michael Gelles, and other interrogators associated with FBI, CITF, and other agencies, had fought against the Rumsfeld/SERE-derived coercive interrogation of al-Qahtani, proposing instead a lawful and ethical approach based upon “rapport-building.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61051

1.2 million Iraqis have fled to Syria, official says
Azzaman
December 13, 2009 – Nearly 1.2 million Iraqis have fled their country for safety in neighboring Syria, a high-ranking Syrian government official said. The Iraqis fled following the 2003-U.S. invasion and the ensuing upsurge in violence and absence of law and order. Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad said Iraqi refugees, though a strain on his country’s economy, had the right to enjoy public amenities like their Syrian counterparts…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61054

Sign A Petition To Ask For the Implementation Of the Goldstone Report
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
December 13, 2009 – One year since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, raining bombs on 1.5 million Palestinians, killing over 1400 and wounding over 5,000, the Israeli government has tightened its blockade on Gaza, creating a dire humanitarian disaster. Appallingly, the British government abstained on the votes at the UN on the Goldstone Report, which called for an end to the blockade, and for war criminals to be brought to justice…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61046

Full text: ‘A moment of truth’
A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering
Various undersigned
December 13, 2009 – We, a group of Christian Palestinians, after prayer, reflection and an exchange of opinion, cry out from within the suffering in our country, under the Israeli occupation, with a cry of hope in the absence of all hope, a cry full of prayer and faith in a God ever vigilant, in God’s divine providence for all the inhabitants of this land. Inspired by the mystery of God’s love for all, the mystery of God’s divine presence in the history of all peoples and, in a particular way, in the history of our country, we proclaim our word based on our Christian faith and our sense of Palestinian belonging – a word of faith, hope and love. Why now? Because today we have reached a dead end in the tragedy of the Palestinian people. The decision-makers content themselves with managing the crisis rather than committing themselves to the serious task of finding a way to resolve it. The hearts of the faithful are filled with pain and with questioning: What is the international community doing? What are the political leaders in Palestine, in Israel and in the Arab world doing? What is the Church doing? The problem is not just a political one. It is a policy in which human beings are destroyed, and this must be of concern to the Church…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61030

SADDAM HUSSEIN’S GREATEST LEGACY: DECEMBER 2003 TO DECEMBER 2006
Part One
Malcom Lagauche
December 13, 2009 – Saddam Hussein was Iraq’s leader from 1973 (officially becoming Iraq’s president in 1979) to April 2003. His legacy is two-fold. On the one hand, he and the Ba’ath Party were the impetus behind turning Iraq from an Arab nation indistinguishable from its Arab neighbors to the most advanced Arab country in history. From 1973 to 1990, the literacy rate in Iraq rose from 35% to over 90%. Thousands of miles of roads were built and the country was completely electrified. Excellent universal health care and education from primary school to university were available at no cost. Foreign scholars and writers were invited to visit Iraq and write about the country, as well as the Arab world. The Iraqi government gave them housing and paid their salaries so they could gain and disseminate information. In 1987, the New York Times called Baghdad “The Paris of the Middle East.” …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61034

Untouchable: Blair to give Iraq War evidence in secret
By Jane Merrick and Brian Brady
December 13, 2009 – Key parts of Tony Blair’s evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War will be held in secret, sources close to the hearings revealed last night. His conversations with President George Bush when he was prime minister, and crucial details of the decision-making process that led Britain into war, will fall under the scope of national security and the protection of Britain’s relations with the US. But there are also suggestions by well-placed sources that anything “interesting” will also be shrouded in secrecy, leaving his public appearance containing little more than is already known…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61039

The Nine Surges of Obama’s War
How to Escalate in Afghanistan
By Tom Engelhardt
December 13, 2009 – In his Afghan “surge” speech at West Point last week, President Obama offered Americans some specifics to back up his new “way forward in Afghanistan.” He spoke of the “additional 30,000 U.S. troops” he was sending into that country over the next six months. He brought up the “roughly $30 billion” it would cost us to get them there and support them for a year. And finally, he spoke of beginning to bring them home by July 2011. Those were striking enough numbers, even if larger and, in terms of time, longer than many in the Democratic Party would have cared for. Nonetheless, they don’t faintly cover just how fully the president has committed us to an expanding war and just how wide it is likely to become…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61042

This is what the Only Democracy in the Middle East Looks Like
P U L S E
December 13, 2009 – This Friday, International Human Rights Day was marked for the first time in Israel. In Tel-Aviv, some 5000 people marched in a general human-rights march. It was a quiet event that was covered very favorably and widely by the press. What wasn’t being covered by the press? The second March to Sheikh Jarrah, which ended up with 24 arrests and one demonstrator in the hospital…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61041

Wall on Gaza Violates International Law
by César Chelala
December 13, 2009 – The collusion between Egypt and the U.S. to build a wall separating Egypt from Gaza not only threatens Gazans’ health and quality of life, already severely deteriorated by the de facto Israeli blockade, it is a serious violation of international law. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Egypt is installing an underground metal wall 70-100 feet deep along the border strip where Palestinians have dug a maze-like set of tunnels to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The construction of the wall, carried out with the collaboration of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, has been denied by the Egyptian government…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61037

Pan-Arabism in context
Galal Nassar
December 13, 2009 – A debate over Arab nationalism and its continued relevance, if any, was an inevitable corollary to the skirmishes between rival football fans in Om Durman. Some took the events in Sudan as a sign that Arab nationalism was over. Others said that Arab nationalism would survive all obstacles, presenting it as an immutable historical fact. There were still others who argued that it was time to pause and reconsider existing bonds without necessarily discounting the validity of pan-Arabism. There are those who continue to advocate Arab nationalism for reasons that are no longer comprehensible to the great majority of people in the region. To clarify the matter, I will review some of the ideas that paved the path to Arab nationalism…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61036

Obama’s Big Sellout
The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway
MATT TAIBBI
December 13, 2009 – Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the expense of hardworking Americans.” Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61045

Taliban bring order, say Afghans
The Australian
December 13, 2009 – TALIBAN insurgents in Kabul are nailing night letters to the front doors of police, soldiers and government officials, warning them to leave their jobs or face punishment. The militants are being welcomed in the Afghan capital’s poorer areas by people who are angry over corruption and give them food, cash and weapons. Safe houses and bomb-making workshops have begun to appear in poor districts close to the city centre as the militants increase their presence and plot attacks on prominent targets…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61027

GAZA ~~ RELIVING THE CHANUKAH MASSACRE
Steve Amsel, Deserpeace
December 13, 2009 – Never to forget… Never to forgive! I selected the following photos to sum up all that can be said to describe the Israeli massacre in Gaza today and what we expect to see very soon…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61026

Saddam’s lawyers seek Blair prosecution over war
AFP
December 13, 2009 — Lawyers for the overthrown Iraqi leadership have asked England’s attorney general for consent to prosecute Tony Blair, claiming a new interview revealed offences contrary to the Geneva Conventions. Giovanni di Stefano, representing former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz, wrote to the British government’s chief legal adviser on Saturday with a “request for consent to prosecute” former British prime minister Blair, according to the letter seen by AFP…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61025

Afghan resistance statement
Cobra’s Anger Will Lead to Great Regrets
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
December 12, 2009 – Last week, the invading and brutal foreign armies stationed in Helmand, launched vast operations in Nawzad district and a few other areas of the province. Since then, they have been prosecuting, torturing and harassing common people of this land of the Mujahideen (Helmand) under operations christened Cobra’s Anger. Still, according to recent reports from the province, the invaders have not gained any remarkable success, nor they have been able to destroy any stronghold of the Mujahideen as yet. Similarly, the foreign forces have not taken any area of vital importance to Mujahideen militarily. So far, they have been roaming in empty deserts. Despite that, they constantly claim of having captured kilometers of areas from the Opposition…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61024

Flourishing Palestinian Sex Trade Exposed In New Report
by Amira Hass – Haaretz
December 12, 2009 – Young Palestinian women are being forced to into prostitution in brothels, escort services, and private apartments in Ramallah and Jerusalem, including areas inhabited by Jews, according to a report released Wednesday. The Palestinian organization SAWA (All Women Together Today and Tomorrow) published the paper, the first of its kind, urging Palestinian society to break its silence over its sex industry. The report was compiled with support by UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, which allotted resources for research on the subject. SAWA conducted research and interviews for the study in the beginning of 2008, but for a variety of reasons has only now been published…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61023

Israel has made settlers of all its citizens
By Amira Hass, Haaretz Correspondent
December 13, 2009 – Would any of the settlers who opposed the Civil Administration inspectors this week be living in the territories had the governments of Israel not established and encouraged them? Would the Gush Katif evacuees have moved to mobile homes in Ariel in the expectation of spacious permanent housing had the government clearly declared that this was forbidden – because the settlements will be evacuated in the near future for a peace agreement – and that evacuation-compensation money would not be paid to anyone who moves to the West Bank?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61043

Building on extremism
While there is an ideological shift in Israeli society towards the right, it is not the only reason why Jewish settlements are quickly being inhabited.
Saleh El-Naami
December 13, 2009 – One month ago, Shamon Kara, who lives in the Hatikva Quarter in south Tel Aviv, sold his apartment quickly and left. His relatives told neighbours that he has relocated to the settlement of Beit Ebel, one of the Jewish settlements in northeast Ramallah in the middle of the West Bank. Kara, who had previously held moderate political views and always voted for Labour candidates, went to join more than 300,000 settlers living in Jewish settlements that were built on Palestinian land annexed by occupation forces. In an interview with Israeli Radio, Kara revealed his reasons for moving to this settlement, explaining that they were fundamentally economic. The large financial incentives that the government gives Jews who choose to live in the West Bank were key to his decision, especially that he has been facing serious economic deprivation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61035

To the soul of my father
Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, thepeoplesvoice.org
December 13, 2009 – At the age of 80 my father passed away, after a long journey of suffering, and working hard to obtain us, his children decent life, a life that is better than his own. As many refugees my fathers’ life was not normal nor easy, he had to work harder than any body to change a reality that he has nothing to do with it, the reality of losing the home, the land, the reality of being a refugee, an adjective that stolen all his rights as a human being, the rights of having a home, and living in dignity and respect. When my father passed away I felt so sad, overwhelmed with anger and pain that a person can hold, not only for loosing my father, but mainly because he passed away without fulfilling his main dream of seeing his homeland again for the last time. A wish that he was looking forward it, a year after a year, without any feeling of desperation or tireless…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61033

Unity and steadfastness: Over 70,000 rally in Gaza for PFLP 42nd anniversary (see photos)
PFLP – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
December 13, 2009 – Over 70,000 cadres, members and supporters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the people of the Gaza Strip, converged on Palestine Stadium for the 42nd anniversary rally of the PFLP on December 12, 2009, spilling into the surrounding streets and carrying Palestinian flags, PFLP banners and posters of the Front’s martyrs and leaders. From the early morning hours, crowds of young and old, men, women and children traveled from the various provinces of the Strip and all camps and villages to Gaza City to the rally, answering the call of the Front to attend under the slogan of “Unity, Steadfastness and Resistance – Towards Victory!”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61032

Israeli forces arrest Palestinian mother of 5 prisoners
Xinhua
December 13, 2009 – Israeli forces arrested a mother of five prisoners in the West Bank city of Nablus early Sunday, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights center said. The soldiers broke into the house of Rab’a Belal and detained the 65-year-old woman after searching her house in the northern West Bank town, Ahrar center said in a statement. Five of Belal’s sons are serving various sentences in Israeli jails, Ahrar added. The reason behind her detention is unclear…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61028

Another Childhood Nakba Memory
By Khalil Nakhleh – Ramallah
December 13, 2009 – I remember it was one Sunday afternoon, sometime around one or two o’clock, when my father barged running into the house shouting “we have to leave, we have to leave”. His face was all red; his eyes shined with piercing outrage, uncertainty and incredulity. I remember it was Sunday because my mother was fixing our special Sunday lunch that included meat –the only day in the week where we had a little bit of meat. Sundays were the only days in the week where the butchers would butcher fresh goat meat. I remember my mother had prepared a big kettle of “tabeekh” (stew of beans, tomato sauce and a bit of meat) with rice on the side. My village was mostly Christian with some Druze. We were a farming community relying, primarily, on olives and oil, without much cash…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61038

Gaza power cuts up to 32 hours per week
Ma’an News
December 13, 2009 – Electricity is to be distributed in Gaza on just four days a week, for eight hours a day, a spokesman for the local power company said on Sunday. “Gaza is suffering a 25% shortage of electricity. It is expected that the shortage will increase to 35% because of winter and low temperatures which lead to an increase in [electricity] use during winter, as residents use electric heating appliances,” said Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) spokesman Jamal Ad-Dardasawi during a telephone interview with Ma’an…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61040

Iran offers to swap low-enriched uranium for fuel
AFP
December 12, 2009 – Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday proposed that Tehran swap 400 kilos of low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel in an exchange on a Gulf island as the first phase of a deal with world powers. Any new sanctions against Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme “will have no impact,” Manouchehr Mottaki also said at a security conference in Bahrain. “We are prepared to take 400 kilogrammes (880 pounds) of 3.5-percent enriched uranium to the island of Kish and exchange it” for the equivalent in 20-percent enriched uranium, he said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61022

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