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URUK Net 29 January, 2009

Last updated: Sunday, February 1, 2009 8:29

Nine Brutal Disappointments For US Obama Fans
Jay Janson
… Even more heartbreaking and disappointing is the continuing of U.S. air attacks on Pakistan territory, a supposed ally, whose president and legislature have in the past angrily condemned the strikes as a criminal and merciless taking of civilian lives, and as counterproductive to both countries aims. No change from Bush. (We had hoped candidate Obama was only just talking tough about bombing Pakistan, confronting a militarist John McCain. “President orders air strikes on villages in tribal area” Ewen MacAskill in Washington, The Guardian, Saturday 24 January 2009 “Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for his first military action yesterday, missile strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan which killed at least 18 people.” Is it now Obama who has set himself up for war crime charges – violating the U.S. Constitution, U.N. Charter, International Treaties, etc.?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51328

Obama’s program of war
James Cogan, WSWS
Within days of taking power, the Obama administration has made clear that it will escalate the war to subjugate the Afghan people, intensify US military strikes on targets inside Pakistan and continue the occupation of Iraq indefinitely. What is being prepared is a brutal escalation of US military violence in Afghanistan and a widening of the conflagration in the region. Obama left a two-hour meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday pledging to ensure that the military received the “resources and the support” to wage the wars being conducted by the United States. He told journalists he would soon be announcing “some difficult decisions that we’re going to have to make surrounding Iraq and Afghanistan.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51335

The Great Fear of Israel’s Leaders
John Spritzler
The great fear of Israel’s Zionist leaders is that ordinary people in all of historic Palestine, no matter what their religion, will define the struggle against Zionism not as Jew versus non-Jew but as a struggle by those who seek equality under the law for all people, no matter what their religion, versus those who oppose that goal…Israeli leaders have a fundamental strategy for staying in power: #1. Make ordinary Jews in Israel and the American public believe that Jews are surrounded by violent anti-Semitic terrorists. Do this by portraying all resistance to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians as anti-Semitic terrorism.#2. Use Israeli and American military power to ensure that resistance to Zionism never succeeds in overthrowing Israel’s Zionist ruling elite. The first part of the strategy is clearly essential for the second part…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51324

“Can Obama Bring Back My Mother, Life?”
Aamir Latif, IOL Correspondent
Watching the news about US President Barack Obama’s decision to close down Guantanamo within a year did not bring a smile on the face of Mohammad Saad Iqbal.It rather reminded the 31-year-old Pakistani of the hellish days he endured in the notorious detention center and how that many innocent people would still have to do that for more 365 long days. “Obama has given one more year to brutal interrogators to torture innocent people,” Iqbal, released last August, told IslamOnline.net in an exclusive interview in his family’s home in Lahore…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51325

White House Revealed: the letter Obama team hope will heal Iran rift
Symbolic gesture gives assurances that US does not want to topple Islamic regime
Robert Tait and Ewen MacAskill
Officials of Barack Obama’s administration have drafted a letter to Iran from the president aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks, the Guardian has learned. The US state department has been working on drafts of the letter since Obama was elected on 4 November last year. It is in reply to a lengthy letter of congratulations sent by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on 6 November…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51346

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 04/2009 (22- 28 January 2009)
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (22 – 28 January 2009): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 17 others, including four children, and two international journalists in the West Bank. Two Palestinian civilians, including a child, also died of injuries they had sustained during the IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip.On 27 January, IOF opened fire at a number of Palestinian farmers east of Khan Yunis, killing one of them. On 22 and 23 January, medical sources confirmed that two Palestinian civilians, including a child, had died of injuries sustained during the IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip. During the reporting period, seven Palestinians were injured by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51342

Mercenaries move into Afghanistan
Luke Baker, Reuters
Private security companies are expanding operations in Afghanistan as the war there heats up, but industry experts say those that made fortunes in Iraq may find business much tougher in the new market. As Iraq has grown more stable, Afghanistan, where the Taliban insurgency is strong, has been a natural next-step for dozens of mainly British and U.S. firms that compete for contracts to protect military bases, escort engineers and diplomats and help train local security forces…

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“Gaza will take years to recover”
Mel Frykberg
Gaza will need years to recover from the devastating Israeli assault, says Katharina Ritz, head of mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Israel’s 22-day assault left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead, and decimated much of the coastal territory’s infrastructure…Rebuilding all the damaged and destroyed homes will obviously take several months, assuming the Israelis permit the importation of the necessary construction material, which they prevented from entering the territory even before the military operation. But before the reconstruction can even commence it is essential for the remaining Israeli ordnances left over from the war to be cleared away to ensure the safety of the population…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51334

Soleful tribute: Bush shoe-throwing now a work of art
Statue honours Iraqi journalist who hurled footwear at former US president
James Sturcke, Guardian
A statue of a giant shoe has been unveiled in Saddam Hussein’s hometown in honour of the Iraqi journalist who threw his footwear at the former US president George Bush. The statue also features a poem honouring Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who shot to international fame last month when he hurled his shoes at Bush during a farewell press conference…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51344

Khan Younis: Unmanned Israeli plane fires a missile at civilians, injuring six
Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC
Six Palestinian were injured when an unmanned Israeli plane fired a missile at a group of civilians in Khan Younis city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning. Witnesses said that the missile targeted a motorcyclist driving on the road near al-Nasser hospital. Doctors said that the driver and five children, from a nearby UN run school, where injured by the attack. ..

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Amnesty International says Israel used dart weapon in Gaza
Ma’an news
Apart from white phosphorus, the Israeli army used a variety of other weapons in densely populated civilian areas of Gaza in the three-week conflict, Amnesty International alleged on Wednesday. In the assault that began on 27 December, Israel used flechettes, 4cm-long metal darts that are sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear, the international human rights organization said in a statement sent to Ma’an. The weapon contains between 5,000 and 8,000 flechettes packed into 120mm shells, which are generally fired from tanks. The shells explode in the air and scatter the flechettes in a conical pattern over an area about 300m wide and 100m long. An anti-personnel weapon designed to penetrate dense vegetation, flechettes should never be used in built-up civilian areas, Amnesty explained…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51332

…and now the Mitchell fantasy
Khaled Amayreh
It is really difficult to take seriously those who think that the new American envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, has a real chance of getting Israel, the Nazi-like entity, to end its occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and therefore achieve a just and lasting peace in this tortured part of the world. True, Mitchell succeeded in resolving the 800-year-old conflict in Northern Ireland . However, with Israel in tight control of the American Congress, media and public discourse, it is unlikely that Mitchell will be able to do much in terms of pressuring the apartheid state to take a strategic decision to end its 40-year-old colonialist occupation of Palestinian territories…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51337

Israeli War Criminals in Jenin & Lebanon
Kawther Salam
The right place for the war criminals is jail. Leaving war criminals free is a big threat against the security of the international society, and they are a grave danger to their own societies. The International lebanon_aCriminal Court was established to deal with exactly these criminals. Let us work together to bring these criminals to justice. Let us work together to push the International Criminal Court to fulfill it’s duties and to play an active roll in ridding the planet of this grave kind of criminality…

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Hamas political bureau: PLO does not represent the people
PNN
The head of the political bureau of Hamas said last night that the Palestine Liberation Organization is no longer a real representative of the people. Saying that in its current form the PLO serves to divide inside of reconcile, Khalid Meshal is working to reconstruct the factional body into what can be in today’s terms “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.” The Hamas leader spoke from Doha Wednesday night of the move undertaken by some factions and that will come as a surprise to others…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51338

Uprooted lives
By Ewa Jasiewicz
Yesterday saw the first canvas tents go up in the Gaza strip to house internally displaced people. The UN estimates 50,000 people have been made homeless due to the bombing and bulldozing of homes and properties by Israeli occupation forces in Israel’s 21 day offensive in the Gaza Strip. The displacement is just meters in the case of many families who don’t want to move far from their ancestral land, and have opted to move into tents on the site of their destroyed houses. People have lost more than their homes here. Entire families, living on family land, handed down throughout generations, have had their protection, life’s investment, and community networks literally crushed. The Al Eer family, living on land close to the border in ‘Izbat ‘Abed Rabbu had eleven homes reduced to rubble, and had five members dragged out from under one home…

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Exiled Iraqi Christians await polls with fear, frustration
Shereen El-Gazzar and Abdelghani Yehia
Fifty three-year-old Umm Farah, a mother of three, had no choice but to flee from Mosul to Baghdad on a wintry night. Like many others, she says, she was subject to death threats simply because she is a Christian. As the country heads into an election period widely hoped to deliver stability and greater democratic representation, Iraq’s Christian community is barely emerging from a wave of sectarian murder and intimidation..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51345

UN to probe attack on Gaza compound
AlJazeera.net
The UN secretary-general has announced an investigation into the attack on the main UN compound in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s 22-day assault on the Palestinian territory. Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that he was angered by the “unacceptable” Israeli attacks on civilians and UN relief agency (Unrwa) compounds. “Over the past several weeks, unacceptable and terrible situations have taken place against the civilian people and against particularly the United Nations compounds, where many civilians were sheltered,” he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos…

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Report : Fate of Gazans taken during attacks remains unknown
Ali Samdoui – Palestine News Network
Some 300 Palestinians were taken during the attacks on Gaza, but for many, their fate remains in limbo. President of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, Qaddura Fares, told PNN today that the Israeli administration refuses to disclose their names. It is unknown know exactly who was taken and to where. Tens have been released and report the existence of many remaining, including those with untreated medical conditions. Approximately 40 people were put in al-Naqab Prison where they are being held without access to the Red Cross, lawyers or winter blankets…

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ezbet abed rabbo area: remnants of houses and soldiers’ presence
In Gaza
Two of her boys worked to pull pieces of clothing, books, and anything reachable from under the toppled cupboard. Every item is sacred. She led me through her house, pointing out the many violations against their existence, every graffitied wall, each shattered window and glass and plate, slit flour bags –when the wheat is so precious –and the same revolting array of soldiers’ left-overs:spoiled packaged food, feces everywhere but the toilet, clothes used as toilet paper. The same stench. “They broke everything, broke our lives. That was the boys room,” we continue through the wreckage. “Look, look here. See that?! Look at this!” This is to be the refrain as we step over destroyed belongings into destroyed rooms. It isn’t only the destruction, defiling, vandalizing, waste… it’s also the interruption of life, a life already interrupted by the siege. She held out school books, torn, ruined, and asked how her children were supposed to study: when they have no books, no power, had to flee their home, are living in constant fear of another bombardment of missiles (from the world’s 4th most powerful and most abundantly-equipped military)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51330

Bolivia’s New Constitution: Progressive Change or Business as Usual?
Stephen Lendman
In Bolivia’s history, January 25 was historic but getting there violent and uncertain. On July 2, 2006, a new Constituent Assembly was elected. On August 6, it was sworn in, but for six months remained snagged in procedural debates and achieved little. By late December 2007, a new constitution was passed, but the country was as polarized as ever. It still is. On one side, indigenous, popular rights. On the other, elitist interests wanting business as usual. Street battles ensued and continued for months until Bolivia’s National Congress ratified a new constitutional draft (with 411 articles) and scheduled January 25 for a referendum to let popular sentiment decide up or down to enact it.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51322

Hamas rejects Israel’s truce conditions
MSN News
Israel’s conditions for a long-term truce with Hamas are unacceptable, the exiled leader of the militant Palestinian group has said. Khaled Mashaal rejected Israel’s plan to open the border crossings with the Gaza Strip only after Hamas releases an Israeli soldier captured by Gaza militants in June 2006. He declared: “We reject these Israeli conditions. We will not accept them.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51329

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