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URUK Net 5 February, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, February 7, 2009 7:40

Protection Racket: Obama Gets Tough to Shield Bush Torturers
Chris Floyd
How many times do you have to see it? How many times must it be shoved in your face, crammed down your throat, brought down on your head like a ton of bricks, before you get the picture? When it comes to the lineaments and methods of empire — war, murder, torture, extortion, and deceit — there is no difference, none whatsoever, between the hip, cool “progressives” in Team Obama and the gaggle of militarist goons who preceded them. The comely mask of the new regime was torn away — once again — in a scandal that exploded in Britain on Wednesday. With unprecedented harsh language, two of Britain’s high court judges revealed that both Bush and Obama officials have strong-armed the British government to quash evidence of the torture of a UK resident held captive in the American concentration camp on Guantanamo Bay. The judges said that the Bush-Obama officials threatened to stop sharing intelligence about terrorist threats against Britain unless the Brits played ball and stopped court hearings in the case of Binyam Mohamed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51523

“My mother, my wife, and my three daughters all held white flags…
Innocence Lost
The story of Khaled Abd Rabo
By: Janet Zimmerman and Sameh A. Habeeb
…He explains how they invaded his home and investigated him and his family. “They found nothing. I am a police officer in the Ramallah government; I have nothing to do with Hamas. “That day when they left us, they did not take anything or harm anyone,” he continued. “I remember it was 12:50pm on the fourth day of the military ground invasion when the army took control of the region. A real battlefield was born and thousands of people were trapped. Nobody could leave due to the excessive fire from the Israelis, and the soldiers kept on coming, and coming, and coming. “And then the tanks came. One of them was based only meters away from my house. There were twenty-five of us, and we were all told to leave,” he said as his voice trembled and he began to cry. “The soldiers were eating chips and chocolate, and they were smiling when they killed my daughters. “My mother, my wife, and my three daughters all held white flags when they tried to leave the house. We saw two of the soldiers get out of their tank, and we told them how we wanted to leave. We waited and waited for their response but were given no answer. Then, to our own surprise, a third soldier emerged and he opened fire on the children with insanity. “Souad was only seven years old, Summer was three, and Amal was of only two years. My mother was shot as well, and I watched all that I loved fall to the ground. I screamed fo! r them t o stop! I ran into the house to call civil defense, ambulances, anyone who could help…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51520

Fear Itself, and the Deadly Varieties of State Terrorism
Arthur Silber
I recall a beloved friend recounting for me, several decades ago now, a brief exchange of dialogue from The Andy Griffith Show that she had found especially funny. Barney Fife, as played by the wonderfully loopy Don Knotts, is rapidly hurtling himself into one of his regular fits of hysteria. Andy Griffith attempts, for perhaps the thousandth time, to calm Barney down before he melts into a pool of gibbering goo. “Just remember, Barney,” Andy drawls, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This pronouncement fails to have the desired effect. “But that’s what I have!” yells Barney. “Fear itself!” And that’s what Barack Obama wants you and every other American to have: fear itself. He wants all of you to become quivering pools of mindless goo…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51526

Obama set to launch military “surge” in Afghanistan
Barry Grey
President Barack Obama is set to formally authorize the dispatch of 10,000 to 12,000 additional US combat troops to Afghanistan, the beginning stage of a military “surge” that will likely add 30,000 more soldiers and Marines over the next 12 to 18 months, doubling the US occupation force to 60,000. Obama’s announcement of the initial compliment of three combat brigades, to begin deploying in April, could come this week. The first stage of the escalation is bound up with a strategic overhaul of US policy in the region that will initiate a vast expansion of military violence and increase the focus on exterminating the popular resistance to the neocolonial occupation of Afghanistan, both in Afghanistan and the neighboring regions of Pakistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51527

Revolt Spreads Across the Globe as “Crisis” Continues to Unfold
Nathan Coe, GNN
After numerous European governments expressed fear that the unrest in Greece would spread to neighboring countries and perhaps around the world, the spreading global revolt has taken on another tone: that of confronting the elite for their manipulation of the economic “crisis” (which is really a systemic collapse) in order to consolidate yet even more wealth as the masses of the world suffer the brunt of the former’s greed. The spirit of the Greek revolt has not been forgotten, however, for it is clear whose interests the police serve and protect (as America was recently reminded in Oakland). As Iceland became the first country to fall due to popular revolt against the economic elite, and then proceeded to elect their first female PM, who is also openly gay, things are heating up around the globe. Recently, over 1,000 protesters assembled illegally to protest the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, and while the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, fear of unrest prompted the police to systematically target and arrest known and identified militants and revolutionaries…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51529

Israel kidnaps 18-year-old boy having hearing and speech impairment
Palestinian Information Center
The family of 18-year-old Palestinian young man called Yousef See’ifan, having hearing and speech problems, said that the Israeli occupation authority has been holding their son for more than 10 days without revealing his fate. The family added that their son suffers from hearing and language impairment by 70 percent and was kidnapped as he was returning to his home in the Shuyukh town coming from the nearby Ras Al-Arud area. The family stated that the boy was not aware of the existence of clashes between IOF troops and citizens because he could not hear the voices of young men who were warning him of entering the area, adding that Israeli soldiers physically assaulted him despite the fact that some citizens told them about his medical condition…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51535

The case of Yusef Al-Hububi
Missing links
Al-Akhbar and Azzaman print quotes that are apparently from an original AFP story, including remarks by Yusef Al-Hububi (or Al-Habubi; top vote-getter in the election for provincial council in Karbala), responding to charges that he is a Baathist. Al-Hububi has a long career in the civil service in Karbala, having served in a number of local-government positions during the Saddam years, the highest position being deputy-governor of the province, and after 2003 as well. His point being that he was not a party member, rather he was an “administrator,” and it was his attention to the needs of the people during those years—including following the 2003 collapse of the old regime—that won him popularity…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51532

14,000 homes, 68 government buildings, 31 NGOs destroyed leaving 600,000 tons of rubble in Gaza
Ma’an news
At least 600,000 tons of rubble will need to be cleared before Gaza can be reconstructed, estimated UNDP in a report released Wednesday. The document estimated that 14,000 homes, totaling 2.6 percent of all homes were completely destroyed and 20 percent have sustained light to heavy damage from the fighting. Also hit were 68 government buildings and 31 NGO complexes or buildings were completely or partially destroyed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51531

Cairo talks end without Gaza deal
AlJazeera.net
The latest round of talks between Egypt and Hamas has ended in Cairo without a final agreement on a truce in Gaza. Egyptian officials had expressed hopes a deal would be signed on Thursday, but Hamas negotiators returned to Gaza and Damascus overnight with a number of issues still unresolved. Despite the setback, Hamas delegates are expected to return to Egypt on Saturday and officially accept an at least 12-month truce with Israel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51530

Buried alive
Eva Bartlett writing from the occupied Gaza Strip
“This is at the beginning, when they started digging survivors and bodies out of the rubble,” Abu Qusay said, referring to a photo of himself buried up to his shoulders in rubble, his face bloodied. Just a few weeks after being buried alive by the bombing which attacked the building he was in, only a mere scar at his left eyebrow hinted at the ordeal. Abu Qusay is in his 30s, is the father of six kids between the ages of four and 15, and has worked as a policeman and security guard for 14 years…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51528

Israel detains 548 Palestinians without trial: rights group
AFP
A total of 548 Palestinians are detained without trial in Israel, including 42 who have been held for over two years, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said on Thursday. Among the Palestinians detained without trail, two have been held for four and a half years, B’Tselem said in its annual report. Six of those detained without trial in December were minors, including two girls, the report said. It said a total of 7,904 Palestinians were in Israeli custody at the end of December…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51525

Hamas’ popularity soaring following Israel’s Gaza blitz
Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah
The latest public opinion survey in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has shown a dramatic rise in Hamas’ popularity among Palestinians, with a significant decline in Fatah’s public standing. Moreover, the poll showed that a majority of Palestinians believed that the advent of the Obama administration in the U.S. wouldn’t make a big difference with regard to American efforts to resolve the Palestinian issue. According to the poll, Turkey, Venezuela and Iran as well as Hezbullah are the most popular regional forces among Palestinians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51524

Israeli navy hijacks Lebanese ship carrying aid to Gaza
Palestinian Information Center
Al-Jazeera TV reporter Salam Khadr aboard the Lebanese fraternity ship on Thursday reported that Israeli naval troops stormed the ship, which is carrying humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, and physically attacked the passengers. The reporter said, before losing contact with her, that three Israeli soldiers climbed on board the ship and pointed their weapons at the passengers, noting that the break-in took place in the Gaza territorial waters…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51522

Shoe thrown at Israeli ambassador in Sweden
Daniel Edelson, Ynet
Apparently only the latest victim in a growing trend, Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Benny Dagan, had a shoe thrown at him, while giving a lecture at the University of Stockholm on Wednesday. Dagan was discussing Israel’s recent military operation in Gaza – Operation Cast Lead – when a 35-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman threw a shoe and a book at him. Both were apprehended by local police…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51521

British officer held over Afghan casualties leak
Independent
A senior British Army officer has been arrested in Kabul and faces charges under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking figures about civilian casualty figures in Afghanistan to a human rights group. Lt-Col Owen McNally was detained after details about people killed and wounded during Western military operations were leaked from Nato headquarters in the Afghan capital. According to defence sources, Col McNally had become friendly with a female employee of a human rights group which had been carrying out an inquiry into the extent of “collateral damage”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51519

The aftermath
Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, Nusierat Camp, Gaza Strip – thepeoplesvoice.org
…The uncertainty grown inside us that an end will be soon to the countless Israeli wars against us as Palestinians, keep us tensed and alerted all the time. Then in any second we all will breakdown, and will not be able to act normally in our lives, with our children, and with others. The Israeli government taught us how to hate violently by their frequent operations against my people; however, with the last war they taught us the real taste of fear. A combination of feelings that can direct its host to dangers reactions and behaviors…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51534

Photos of Turkish president’s reaction to serial killer Perez
Iraqirabita
Such strong reactions should have come in from Arab leaders against the thug, butcher of the Palestinian children, Perez, during the Davos conference… We wished a heroic act like this was taken by an Arab leader. But, what do we expect of such collaboratoring puppets that were the creations of the Imperialists, they play with them any way they wish?…We leave you now with the eloquent pictures. We call upon every Arab and Muslim leader, to act like President Erdogan..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51539

Israeli commandos assassinate Islamic Jihad commander
Palestinian Information Center
Special units of the IOF troops have succeeded in assassinating commander of the Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, Ala Abul Rub in Kabatia town at dawn Thursday after Abbas’s security forces disappeared from the village. Local sources confirmed to the PIC that big numbers of IOF troops infiltrated into the village, south of Jenin city, and surrounded house of Abul Rub, 23, after he refused to surrender. Fierce clashes between the Palestinian fighter and the invading IOF troops took place at the house of Abul Rub that led to his martyrdom after IOF troops peppered his body with bullets, the sources added..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51516

Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki’s party sweeps elections
By Tina Susman and Monte Morin
Nouri Maliki’s party scored a sweeping victory over rival Shiite Muslim groups in provincial elections as voters rewarded him for security gains and rejected other Shiite parties’ overt religious leanings, according to results released today. The results, which still must be verified by international and national observers in a process expected to take weeks, were read at a crowded news conference in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone five days after voting took place. Although the election was peaceful, a suicide bombing hours before the results came out killed 16 people and underscored Iraq’s volatility, particularly in areas where Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds are vying for dominance…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51533

Slow resettlement for Palestinian-Iraqi refugees
IRIN News
The start of 2009 offers little hope to the residents of Al Tanf, a refugee camp on the Syrian-Iraqi border housing over 700 Palestinians who had fled persecution in Iraq. No country has given any concrete pledge to take any of the refugees for resettlement in 2009, leaving them to battle the cold desert weather this winter with more despair than ever. The refugees say that despite visits from foreign delegations, resettlements have been few and far between since the camp opened in May 2006. Jamal, 53, said residents are giving up hope. Originally from Haifa, he moved to Baghdad following Israel’s taking over of the city. He said that he and his family fled to Syria in February 2007 after being targeted by militia groups. “We just want to be resettled,” he said. “I don’t mind where. I just want to live the rest of my days in peace.” Resettlement is the pressing need for the people of Al Tanf. Stuck in tents in No Man’s Land between the border crossings, the refugees are legally unable to go forward into Syria and fear going back to Iraq where they face persecution from Kurd and Shia groups who accuse them of being too close to the Sunni-dominated insurgency or resent the privileges they received under Saddam Hussein’s regime…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51540

The World Economic forum (WEF): Requiem for an overweight
Eric Walberg
…This push for global regulation of the criminals is part of the process of greater globalisation for us all. Schneider may be right that the WEF is no world government, but it and the likes of it are where economic policy is formulated these days. The Bush regime already agreed to a proposal by Britain and France for a “college of supervisors” at the G20 summit in Washington last November. We are being globalised whether we like it or not. The question is: who will supervise the supervisors? It all comes down to responsible national governments with the interest of their citizens in mind, not just of their banksters and corporate sponsors…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51544

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