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URUK Net 4 February, 2010 Part 2

Last updated: Saturday, February 6, 2010 16:13

Haiti: The corporate vultures circle
By Regan Boychuk
February 4, 2010 – Haitians’ incredible plight has always been difficult to fully appreciate. Then the earthquake struck: hundreds of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands more hurt, a million homeless and two million in need of food. It defies imagination. And according to a journalist just returned from Haiti, even the heart-rending footage we’ve seen here on television fails to “portray the magnitude of the tragedy that has happened – and the degree to which the Haitian people are suffering. When looking at images from the disaster”, writes Steven Edwards, “we need to multiply by ten times our reaction of horror – only doing that can give you a true picture of what is going on in a place that has become hell not far from our shores…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62952

When Israel joins NATO
Galal Nassar
February 4, 2010 – Israel wants to be a member of NATO. It no longer looks down its nose at military alliances. It no longer wants to stay away from Western military arrangements. It wants in. A majority of Israelis believe NATO membership would boost Israel’s security as well as NATO’s strategic power. Interestingly enough, there has been no Arab reaction to Israel’s desire to join NATO, no Arab attempt to block the move, and no preparations to deal with its consequences. Israel and NATO have grown closer over the past decade or so…Before Operation Cast Lead was launched in Gaza, NATO was already exchanging intelligence with Israel, sharing security expertise, and organising military drills. Israel and NATO also cooperated in non-proliferation programmes. Former NATO chief Scheffer visited Israel in the midst of Israel’s offensive on Gaza. And NATO officials were at the time of the opinion that cooperation with Israel was essential for their organisation. We know everything we need to know about NATO-Israel cooperation. What we don’t know is what Arab leaders intend to do about it…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62943

Bagram: Graveyard of the Geneva Conventions
Andy Worthington
February 4, 2010 – …Gopal’s account is not the only insight into the dark realities of current US detention policies in Afghanistan, beyond Bagram, beyond the Geneva Conventions, and, it seems, beyond the law. Late last year, a reliable Afghan source informed a lawyer friend of mine that there were, at the time, about two dozen secret facilities in Afghanistan, including three or four in Herat, four or five in northern Afghanistan, and three or four in Kabul. According to this source, the majority were US facilities, although a few were run by the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan government’s domestic intelligence agency, and a few others were run by the Afghan Army. The source added, “They are all worse than Bagram. All contain a mix of combatants, criminals and totally innocent persons. The main difference is that those at the US prisons are fed better. No one has any rights.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62950

Is Iran Fixing Iraq’s Elections?
Mark Seddon
February 4, 2010 – …So if Iran appears to be being successful in barring Sunnis from election, and opening the way to Shi-ite control over most of the country, who has been busy helping to pull the levers? We cannot be certain, but the word in the European Parliament is that some Parliamentarians detect the hand of Iraq’s Prince of Darkness, Ahmed Chalabi, now miraculously restored to respectability by Prime Minister Maliki and running several key Ministries in Baghdad, charged with ‘re-construction’, and funded generously by foreign aid. Chalabi, it will be recalled, along with influential lobbying shop BKSH & Associates, helped persuade the Bush Administration that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction and, absurdly, that he was connected to Al-Qaeda. Chalabi was subsequently found guilty in the Petra banking scandal in Jordan, and a warrant for his arrest on counterfeiting charges was issued in 2004. Should we be surprised that the Iranians – with the apparent assistance of others – are helping to stack the next Iraqi Parliament? Of course not…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62944

The Expanding US War in Pakistan
By Jeremy Scahill
February 4, 2010 – Three US special forces soldiers were killed in northwest Pakistan this week, confirming that the US military is more deeply engaged on the ground in Pakistan than previously acknowledged by the White House and Pentagon (see “ The Secret US War in Pakistan,” November 23, 2009). The soldiers died Wednesday in Lower Dir when their convoy was hit by a car bomber in what appeared to be a targeted strike against the Americans. According to CENTCOM, the US soldiers were in the country on a mission to train the Pakistani Frontier Corps, a federal paramilitary force run by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry that patrols the country’s volatile border with Afghanistan. A Pakistani journalist who witnessed the attack said that some of the US soldiers were dressed in civilian clothes and had been identified by their Pakistani handlers as journalists. The New York Times estimates that there are sixty to a hundred such US special forces “trainers” in Pakistan. Capt. Jack Hanzlik, a spokesman for the United States Central Command said there are about 200 US military personnel in Pakistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62940

A Proselytizing Religion
The Invention of the Jewish People
By HARRY CLARK
February 4, 2010 – The fundamental myth of Zionism is the return of the Jewish people to its land. The sovereign people was conquered, and exiled far and wide, but remained aloof and united, inspired by the memory of its ancient sovereignty. In the late 19th century the people began its return, which culminated in the dramatic establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, fulfilling two millennia of longing. Tel Aviv University historian Shlomo Sand, in his remarkable book The Invention of the Jewish People, marshals past and present academic work to refute the Zionist historiography underlying this myth, and tells instead a story of a religious minority and its creed, waxing and waning through proselytizing and conversion, subject to the same social forces as any other religious minority…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62947

Dubai Police May Seek Israeli PM’s Arrest Over Assassination
Jason Ditz
February 4, 2010 – Dubai police chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khaifan Tamim today warned that if it is proven that Mossad is behind last month’s assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the city, they will seek an international arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The Israeli prime minister will be the first to be wanted for justice as he would have been the one who signed the decision to kill al-Mabhouh in Dubai,” insisted Lt. Gen. Khaifan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62946

Ignoring Torture Claims and Questionable Evidence, New York Jury Convicts Pakistani Scientist Aafia Siddiqui
Democracy Now!
February 4, 2010 – A New York jury has convicted the US-educated Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui of attempted murder for shooting at US forces while jailed in Afghanistan in 2008. None of the Americans were injured, but Siddiqui was shot and wounded while in US custody. Human rights groups have long alleged that Siddiqui was forcibly disappeared by Pakistani authorities in 2003 and interrogated and tortured at the behest of the United States. In her testimony, Siddiqui claimed to have been held in a US secret prison. We speak to Siddiqui family spokesperson Tina Foster of the International Justice Network and Petra Bartosiewicz, an independent journalist who has been closely following Siddiqui’s case. [includes rush transcript]..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62939

Oh, Democracy! What crimes are committed in thy name
Ameen Izzadeen
February 4, 2010 – … At the Nuremberg trial, prosecutor Robert H. Jackson declared, “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” The Chilcot inquiry is expected to submit its report by June this year. Will its ruling be like that of the 2004 Butler report which concluded there were intelligence flaws but made little or no criticism of Blair? Or will the Chilcot Inquiry hold Blair guilty and describe the war on Iraq as a war of aggression?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62948

Statement of Support for Mohammad Bakri, Director of “Jenin Jenin”
WRITTEN BY ANTOINE RAFFOUL
February 4, 2010 – In April 2002, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield by invading the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin, south of Nazareth. In this operation which lasted about 8 days and followed a suicide bomb attack on the Israeli town of Netanya. Israel deployed 30,000 reserve soldiers against a camp population of 33,000 refugees. It sealed the camp and refused to allow journalists and human rights organisation from entering leading to a rapid rise in rumours that a major massacre had taken place. Various casualty figures circulated ranging from 50 to 500 Palestinian civilians and fighters were killed. On the Israeli side, 23 IDF soldiers died. By the end of this operation, more than 10% of the camp was levelled. The UN fact-finding mission was never allowed in…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62938

Gaza power plant to cease operations
Ma’an News
February 4, 2010 – The Gaza Strip’s sole power plant will cease all operations late Friday night due to a lack of fuel, officials warned. The plant had already shut down services to all but 30-40 percent of the coastal strip by nightfall on Thursday, the Gaza Energy Authority said, noting that the sudden cold front in the region spent the remaining fuel faster than expected. The Energy Authority has notified mayors and municipalities across Gaza, and was informing the Health Ministry and major telecommunications companies PalTel and Jawwal to prepare for the worst…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62942

Haiti – Still Starving 23 Days Later
Bill Quigley
February 4, 2010 – You can walk down many of the streets of Port au Prince and see absolutely no evidence that the world community has helped Haiti. Twenty three days after the earthquake jolted Haiti and killed over 200,000 people, as many as a million people have still not received any international food assistance. On February 4, the UN World Food Program reported they had given at least some food, mostly 55 pound bags of rice, to over a million people. The UN acknowledges that it still needs to reach another one million people. The 55 pounds of rice are expected to provide a two week food ration for a family. Beans and cooking oil are scheduled to come later…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62937

Arab Population Accuses: Israel Systematically Acting to Impose Violent Confrontation
Public Committee for Defending Liberties, in the framework of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee
February 4 2010 – This coming Friday, 5 February 2010, a public campaign will be launched to defend the Arab population under the slogan “Meeting challenges and defending existence.” The campaign is organized by the Public Committee for Defending Liberties, under the auspices of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee. All political parties and movements, in addition to civil society organizations, are partners in this campaign. The public campaign will be a systematic and collective working method, the goal of which is to halt the institutional and political Israeli escalation as expressed in the demolition of Arab homes, political persecution against the leadership of the Arab population and an escalation of occupation policies in everything concerning East Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Additionally, the campaign will act to prevent the malicious use of legal mechanisms in an attempt to exhaust the Arab leadership…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62936

Video: Did you know? Gaza
CJPME Gaza
February 4, 2010 – CJPME Gaza video. On December 27, 2008, Israel launched an Assault on the Gaza Strip. The attack of Dec. 27 caused the deadliest one-day death toll in 60 years of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Over 3 weeks, 1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62949

Abbas at a loss
Khaled Amayreh
February 4, 2010 – With the Obama administration effectively reneging on pledges to get Israel to freeze settlement expansion in the West Bank, or even abide by the outdated “roadmap” peace plan, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas is finding himself in an increasingly unenviable position. Abbas had been insisting all along that he wouldn’t agree to resume talks with Israel unless the latter agreed to halt settlement expansion in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem. However, in recent weeks, the Palestinian leader has been signalling that he may return to the negotiating table virtually without conditions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62951

Iraq snapshot – February 4, 2010
The Common Ills
Thursday, February 4, 2010. Chaos and violence continue, Little Nouri attacks the press, Little Nouri tries to reinstate banning of political opponents, the Iraq Inquiry forgets the “Iraq” part, and more. The Times of London notes this week’s bombings resulting in mass fatalties and that “Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister, has made security a central theme in his re-election campaign.” And that, in response to the latest wave of bombings, Nouri made the usual move: “He called on security forces to offer greater protection.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=62945

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