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URUK Net 18 January, 2010 Part 2

Last updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8:36

The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle
By Scott Horton
January 18, 2010 – When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great.” Toward that end, the president issued an executive order declaring that the extra-constitutional prison camp at Guantánamo “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” Obama has failed to fulfill his promise. Some prisoners are being charged with crimes, others released, but the date for closing the camp seems to recede steadily into the future. Furthermore, new evidence now emerging may entangle Obama’s young administration with crimes that occurred during the Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously—and may even have continued—a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62301

Murders at Guantánamo: Scott Horton of Harper’s Exposes the Truth about the 2006 “Suicides”
Andy Worthington
January 18, 2010 – It’s hard to know where to begin with this profoundly important story by Scott Horton, for next month’s Harper’s Magazine, but let’s try this: The three “suicides” at Guantánamo in June 2006 were not suicides at all. The men in question were killed during interrogations in a secretive block in Guantánamo, conducted by an unknown agency, and the murders were then disguised to look like suicides. Everyone at Guantánamo knew about it. Everyone covered it up. Everyone is still covering it up…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62300

Suffocating: The Gaza Strip under Israeli Blockade (Full Text)
Amnesty International
January 18, 2010 – More than 1.4 million Palestinian men, women and children are trapped in the Gaza Strip. Their daily lives are marked with power shortages, little or no running water and deteriorating health care. Mass unemployment, poverty and food insecurity exacerbate the impact of the Israeli blockade which was brought into force in June 2007. In this campaign digest Amnesty International calls on the Israeli government to immediately lift the blockade; return all arable land inside Gaza; agree a fair fishing zone and ensure that Israeli security forces use force only when necessary to counter genuine threats…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62306

Dark as a Dungeon: A Brutal System Stripped Bare
Chris Floyd
January 18, 2010 – If you really want to know the truth about the sickening wretches who run our country, if you want to know exactly what they will commit, what they will command, what they will countenance and conceal, all the way to the very top of the blood-greased pole of the Oval Office, then read every word of this astounding piece by Scott Horton in the new edition of Harper’s: “The Guantanomo ‘Suicides.’” This is a full-length article which the magazine is making available for free on its website. In it, Horton unfolds the story of three men, almost certainly innocent, who were almost certainly murdered by American “interrogators” at a secret site in the American concentration camp in Guantanomo Bay, Cuba, on the night of June 9, 2006 — an atrocity that set off a long, complex chain of deceit that continues to this day…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62316

Iraq: The Bloc That Has No De-Baathification Worries
Reidar Visser
January 18, 2010 – For weeks, we have been waiting for the formal release of the parliamentary candidate lists by the Iraqi elections commission (IHEC), at which point campaigning for the 7 March elections is expected to start in an official way. Pending the formal certification by the IHEC, Iraqi political parties have mostly refrained from discussing the details of their candidate lists in the various provinces. There is however one exception: The Shiite-led Iraqi National Alliance (often abbreviated as the Watani alliance), which last week began circulating its candidate lists in full. How can the Watani list be so confident and go ahead with the publication of its candidate lists even before the IHEC has formally approved them? The explanation is very simple, and is contained in the Watani lists themselves: Its candidate number twenty-four in Baghdad is named Ali Faysal al-Lami and belongs to the Iraqi National Congress headed by Ahmed Chalabi. Sounds familiar? Yes, that’s right, Lami is the director of the accountability and justice board that recently moved to bar several hundred candidates from taking part in the elections…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62304

Israel Jails Palestinian Peace Activists
By Mel Frykberg
January 18, 2010 – Israel has long argued that Palestinians should pursue their political objectives in a non-violent way. However, several prominent Palestinian peace activists have recently been arrested and jailed for doing just that. Abdallah Abu Rahme, 39, the coordinator of the Bi’lin Popular Committee, which has challenged Israel’s illegal expropriation of Palestinian land both in an Israeli court and a Canadian one, has been charged with “illegal arms possession, stone throwing and incitement.” The “illegal arms possession” charge relates largely to a protest exhibition Abu Rahme had made out of spent tear-gas canisters and plastic-coated rubber bullets, shot by Israeli soldiers, and assembled to form a large peace sign…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62309

A lootin’ an’ a burnin’?
By William Bowles
January 18, 2010 – It was obvious from the getgo that media ‘coverage’ of the earthquake in Haiti was heading in the same, predictable direction, namely down the same racist path that Western media coverage of things ‘darker than blue’ always travels. […] Meanwhile, the US has de facto occupied Haiti, no doubt to preserve its sweatshop investments, amongst which are Walt Disney and Walmart[1]. And no wonder aid can’t get through, the US seemed to have moved Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) to Haiti, even blocking the organization of Caribbean states, Caricom, from landing badly needed assistance…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62319

Cruise ship docks at private beach in Haiti for barbeque and water sports
Boing Boing
January 18, 2010 – The Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ ship Independence of the Seas went ahead with its scheduled stop at a fenced-in private Haitian beach surrounded by armed guards, leaving its passengers to “cut loose” on the beach, just a few kilometers from one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the region’s history. The ship’s owners justified it as a humanitarian call, because the ship also delivered 40 palettes of relief supplies while its passengers frolicked on zip-lines and ate barbeque within the 12-foot-high fence’s perimete…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62310

Go home US military: Haiti doesn’t need anymore pain!
By Ezili Danto
January 18, 2010 – …It’s not just Haitian doctors, nurses and other first responders who are being blocked as the US takes control of the airport and uses it for evacuating foreign nationals and bring in US military, CARICOM is also blocked. Like during Katrina, there’s no simultaneous rescue of rich and poor alike. It’s Monday, six days after the earthquake hit and the bulk of Haiti’s earthquake victims still await aid – have received no water, food, medicine, treatment or their areas sent significant search and rescue teams. The airport is being used to evacuate foreign nationals and bring in US military. These planes loaded with Haitian doctors and nurses and other first responders may have gone to the poorer areas, but are being turned back. The US has prioritized landing military and evacuating the privilege few in Haiti…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62314

Hundreds Displaced By Gaza Flood
Saed Bannoura
January 18, 2010 – Dozens of Palestinian homes were flooded in the Gaza Valley area on Monday evening, and hundreds of families were rendered homeless after Israel opened one of its dams that were overfilled with heavy rain water. Local civil defense teams, and medics of the Military Medical Services in Gaza, rushed to rescue the flooded area and rescued seven residents who reached a near death situation they were swept away by the flood. The Civil Defense teams said that this was a deliberate Israeli attempt to flood the area after the Israeli authorities opened the dams allowing the water through…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62311

Abu Zuhri: “Israel Deliberately Trying To Flood The Palestinians”
Saed Bannoura
January 18, 2010 – Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesperson of the Hamas movement, stated that Israel deliberately opened the dams allowing the water to flood the Gaza valley area, and added that this is yet “another Zionist crime targeting the residents and their property”. Abu Zuhri added that the “Zionist occupation is to be held responsible for this crime”, and that the latest violation is meant to inflict further harm on the impoverished and war-torn Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62312

General Gambit
Peter Chamberlin
January 18, 2010 – The war for the future of the human race is more about truth –vs- lies, than it is about a physical contest between hostile adversaries. The strangest part of it all is that no one is seeking absolute vindication in this war of perceptions as either a liar or a “truth” teller. No one wants to pin down the other side for telling obvious lies. Why is that? Everybody has something to hide in the war on terror. Dig too deeply, or expose the most dangerous lies strung together to tie-up the world in a state of permanent limited war, and the flimsy alliances and “coalitions of the willing” begin to fall apart. The utter hypocrisy of the entire “war on terror” brings to the front all the worst traits of mankind, in an endeavor that is the most stupendous fraud ever perpetuated upon the human race.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62322

No, Mister! You Cannot Share My Pain!
John Maxwell
January 18, 2010 – If you shared my pain you would not continue to make me suffer, to torture me, to deny me my dignity and my rights, especially my rights to self-determination and self-expression. Six years ago you sent your Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to perform an action illegal under the laws of your country, my country and of the international community of nations. It was an act so outrageous, so bestially vile and wicked that your journalists and news agencies, your diplomats and politicians to this day cannot bring themselves to truthfully describe or own up to the crime that was committed when US Ambassador James Foley, a career diplomat, arrived at the house of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide with a bunch of CIA thugs and US Marines to kidnap the president of Haiti and his wife…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62313

11 reported dead in Iraq today, 10 reported wounded
The Common Ills
January 18, 2010 – …We’ll come back to the violence in a moment but Yacoub notes that Najaf has given ‘Ba’athists’ “a one-day deadline to leave the province or face an ‘iron fist.’” What Ba’athists? You don’t have to prove anything, you just have to accuse. Nouri’s allowed that sort of smearing to take place and now Sunnis — and that is who will be effected — are being driven out of Najaf. This as Missy Ryan, Muhanad Mohammed, Waleed Ibrahim, Jim Loney, Michael Christie and Louise Ireland (Reuters) report that the proposed banned on various candidates has led Sunnis to talk “about an election boycott that could pour new fuel on a Sunni Islamist insurgency just when it has begun to be beaten back.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62320

Taliban attacks strike at the heart of occupation
Morning Star
January 18, 2010 – Taliban militants have struck at the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul, launching suicide attacks on key government targets in a clear sign the insurgents plan to escalate their fight as the US and its allies ramp up a campaign to end the war…Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that 20 armed militants, including some with suicide vests, had entered Kabul to target the presidential palace and other government buildings in the centre of the capital. Explosions and heavy machine-gun fire rattled around the city for hours afterward…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62293

Fractured Narrative: Haitian Calm, American Cynicism
Chris Floyd
January 18, 2010 – One can almost feel the disappointment amongst Western media mavens that earthquake-stricken Haitians have not, in fact, degenerated into packs of feral animals tearing each other to pieces. Day after day, every single possible isolated incident of panic, anger, “looting” (as the removal of provisions from ruined stores by starving people is called) and vigilantism has been highlighted — and often headlined — by the most “respectable” news sources. [As you can imagine, Britain’s truly vile — but eminently “respectable” and politically pampered — Daily Mail is a leader in this odious field, with stories about “slum warlords” leading gangs of violent “pillagers.”] And yet the prophesied riots never seem to materialize…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62295

Disaster Capitalism Headed to Haiti
by Stephen Lendman
January 18, 2010 – Since the 19th century, America dominated Haiti. Before the quake, a proxy paramilitary Blue Helmet force occupied the country, dispatched not for peacekeeping but iron-grip control. Worse still, it was the first time ever that UN forces supported a coup d’etat government, the one Washington installed after US Marines kidnapped President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, forcibly exiled him to Africa, and ended the political, economic and social reforms he instituted – in areas of health, education, justice and human rights. Ever since, conditions for Haitians have been nightmarish, and now the quake and further misery ahead from the Pentagon’s iron fist and greater than ever exploitation. Obama’s top priority is control, underway immediately after the Pentagon took over the Port-au-Prince airport, reopened it after its brief closure, and set up a temporary air traffic control center. Military personnel now decide what gets in or out, what’s delivered, how fast, and according to unconfirmed reports, they slowed arriving search and rescue equipment, supplies, and personnel, except for what other countries managed to send in types and amounts way short of what’s needed. As a result, trapped Haitians perished, whereas a concentrated, sustained airlift, including heavy earthmoving and other equipment, might have saved hundreds or thousands more lives…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62296

A new stage: A balance sheet of the present Iranian revolution
by Hamid Alizadeh
January 18, 2010 – …What the mass movement now requires is the decisive intervention of the organised working class. That is what the Marxists insist on in this situation. After six months of struggle the Iranian revolution is entering a new phase. After the intense battles of the last few weeks ending with many killed and an unknown number of activists imprisoned, it has become evident to large layers of the masses, if not the majority, that a point of no return has been reached. From here there is no way back…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62318

Interview: Jesse Hagopian
Witness to a nightmare
Socialist Worker
January 18, 2010 – …ON SATURDAY, Hillary Clinton flew into Haiti to oversee the relief effort—supposedly. But I think her trip to Haiti tells you all you need to know: They had to shut down the airport for three hours so she could land, which meant that no actual aid flights could come in. And this happened at a really critical time, because we’re right at that point where every extra ounce of water matters. At this point, people who have been without water are facing imminent death. But they stopped the aid shipments so Clinton could give a canned speech from Haiti about how much the U.S. is doing to help. And in any case, the U.S. government is sending more boots on the ground and more guns to help with “law and order.” But this isn’t what the Haitian people need. They need people with shovels, and people to give them water…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62291

Bush, Clinton and the crimes of US imperialism in Haiti
Patrick Martin
January 18, 2010 – The Obama administration has announced that former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will head the fundraising for relief efforts in the wake of the Haiti earthquake. In his radio speech Saturday, Obama declared: “These two leaders send an unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and the world. In a moment of need, the United States stands united.” The message of the Clinton-Bush appointment is indeed significant, but hardly what the White House and the American media have suggested. In selecting his two immediate predecessors, those who have set US policy in the Caribbean since 1993, Obama demonstrates that the devastating human tragedy in Haiti will not bring any alteration in the rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62289

US military tightens grip on Haiti
By Alex Lantier
January 18, 2010 – Amid the humanitarian tragedy following the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, Washington has concentrated on establishing indefinite military control of the country. Fearing mass protests and riots by desperate Haitians against inadequate rescue efforts, US logistical efforts are focused on massing tens of thousands of troops for use against the population. Speaking yesterday on ABC television’s “This Week” program, US General Ken Keen, who commands the military task force in Haiti, said US troops would “be here as long as needed.” He confirmed there were roughly 4,200 US troops in Haiti, largely in cutters patrolling offshore, and that by today there would be 12,000 US troops in the country…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62294

Gazans raise money for Haiti
Ma’an News
January 18, 2010 – Palestinians in Gaza set off for the Red Cross headquarters on Monday to offer donations and financial support for the victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake on Tuesday. Relatives of Palestinian prisoners also participated in the drive, with many offering financial donations and goods including blankets and covers, as well as food and milk for children…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62286

Video: Taliban attacks target Afghan government
Aljazeera.English
January 18, 2010 – Kabul has been struck by a series of deadly co-ordinated attacks, including blasts close to some of the Afghan capital’s heavily secured ministry buildings. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks and told Al Jazeera that the presidential palace was their intended target. As causality figures grow there are fears further attacks may be planned…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62284

Afghanistan: Taliban Put Kabul Under Seige
By Gilbert Mercier
January 18, 2010 – Today the Taliban insurgents have launched a wave of coordinated attacks on the highly fortified area of Kabul according to CNN, CBS, AP and AFP. It is once again a confirmation that the Taliban can strike anywhere they want, and that the regime of President Karzai is more fragile than ever. Eye witnesses reported a series of large explosions and gunfire near the presidential palace. There is still no full report available on the number of casualties from the attacks…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62282

Taliban attacks Afghan capital
Aljazeera.net
January 18, 2010 – Afghan security forces have locked down the centre of Kabul after Taliban fighters launched a series of attacks on key government targets in the Afghan capital. The first attack on Monday was reported close to the presidential palace as Hamid Karzai, the president, swore in several of his cabinet ministers inside…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62281

The olive tree: a symbol of Palestinian steadfastness, subject to systematic destruction
Senussi Bsaikri
January 18, 2010 – The supreme judge in Palestine, Tayseer Al-Tamimi, has denounced what he calls the “repeated crimes of the Israeli occupation authorities against all things Palestinian, be they human beings, stones or trees”. The judge was speaking after dozens of olive trees in the town of Burin, south of Nablus, were destroyed by the Israelis; the trees date back to the Roman period of history. Al-Tamimi has urged the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) to “protect the agricultural land of Palestine which is being seized and destroyed in order to build illegal settlements”. He called upon the organisation to protect the olive trees, which he describes as the historic source of livelihood for tens of thousands of Palestinian families…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62285

Gaza family appeals to Abbas to help save dying son
Ma’an News
January 18, 2010 – The family of a young boy in Gaza who suffers from cancer appealed on Monday to President Mahmoud Abbas to intervene in their son’s treatment. Ahmad Al-Agha, 12, suffers from cancer of the abdominal lymph nodes. A medical report issued by the Al-Rantisi Pediatric Hospital revealed that in mid 2009, Al-Agha’s condition improved following chemotherapy. However, his condition deteriorated over the last six months and is urgently in need of medical treatment in a developed cancer ward outside of Gaza, the report said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62287

Israeli Excavations Lead To A Collapse Near The Al Aqsa Mosque
Saed Bannoura
January 18, 2010 – The ongoing illegal Israeli excavations near and under the Al Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding areas, in occupied East Jerusalem, caused on Monday at dawn a collapse in the center of Wad Hilwa Street, in Silwan, south of the Al Aqsa Mosque. Jawad Siyam, head of the Wad Hilwa Information Center, told the Maan News Agency that the new collapse is 10 meters deep, and is located only a few meters away from another slide that took place last week due to Israel’s ongoing excavations…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62288

Turkey: Israel is strategic ally with shared interests
By Barak Ravid, Jack Khoury and Amos Harel
January 18, 2010 – Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul on Sunday publicly put an end to a week-long row that threatened already tense ties between Israel and Turkey, saying his country would remain strategic allies with Israel for as long as necessary. “We are living in the same area, although we don’t have common borders, we have the same interests,” Gonul told reporters following a meeting with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Ankara. “As long as we have the same interests, we work together, to fix the common problems. Also we are allies, we are strategic allies as long as our interests force us to do so,” said Gonul…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62303

Interview: Joe Sacco
By Laila El-Haddad
January 18, 2010 -When it comes to the world of cartooning, Joe Sacco is considered a luminary. Sacco, who is hailed as the creator of war-reportage comics, is the author of such award-winning books as Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde. His latest work, Footnotes in Gaza, is an investigation into two little-known and long-forgotten massacres in 1956 in the southern Gaza Strip that left at least 500 Palestinians dead. It is a chilling look back at an unrecorded past and an exploration of how that past haunts and shapes the present – including the beginning of mass home demolitions in 2003 in Rafah…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62302

Nahr al-Bared’s economic recovery hampered by military siege
Ray Smith, Electronic Lebanon
January 18, 2010 – More than two years after the end of the fighting, the war-torn Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, located in northern Lebanon, is far from the model the Lebanese government has promised the camp would become. Instead, reconstruction of the camp is delayed, the area is a military zone with restricted access, and the camp’s economy is stalled and residents are largely unemployed. Following a 15-week war in the summer of 2007 between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam, who occupied portions of the camp, Nahr al-Bared was totally destroyed. So far, about two-thirds of its 30,000 Palestinian inhabitants have returned and resettled on the camp’s outskirts. One of them is Jihad Awed, who sits in front of his tiny clothing store and tells about the good times before the war. “My shop was larger and I sold more products. It went well and I made a living. I sold between $130 to $200 per day.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62299

U.S. 10 Army Sets New Suicide Record – Again
Don Emmerich
January 18, 2010 – With 160 active-duty soldiers killing themselves last year, the US Army set a new record for suicides. As Jason Ditz reports, “This surpassed the previous record of 140 in 2008, and the previous record before that was 115 in 2007. The Army has been keeping track of suicides since 1980, with the level suddenly rising to epidemic levels in recent years.” First released by the AP on Friday, this story has been almost completely ignored by the mainstream media…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62298

Palestinian NGO Network calls for national unity
Ma’an News
January 18, 2010 – Seventy Palestinian NGOs and human rights organizations have called on Hamas and Fatah to respond to Egyptian efforts to end internal Palestinian division on Monday and to work towards national unity. The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization Network (PNGO) has made the call to guarantee Palestinian rights and freedoms, achieved through strengthening national unity, representatives said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62307

Mustafa Barghouti: Israel using negotiations as cover for expansionism
Ma’an News
January 18, 2010 – – Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouti said on Sunday that returning to negotiations with Israel is not possible until a complete settlement standstill, including in occupied East Jerusalem, is enforced, as well as population growth, during a reception for the European Council…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62321

Repression continues: Eight Arrested Following a Night Raid in Ni’ilin
Jonathan Pollak
January 18, 2010 – Four residents of Ni’ilin have been arrested last night during a military incursion into the West Bank village. Four others, who were not home at the time of the raid surrendered themselves in the morning. These recent arrests are a part of a concerted assault on the popular movement and the arrest of three prominent organizers from the village last Wednesday. At around 3:00am last night, a large military force invaded the village of Ni’ilin to stage mass arrests of residents suspected of participating in demonstrations against the Wall. During the incursion, over ten houses were raided and ransacked…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62297

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