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URUK Net 12 February, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, February 14, 2009 14:52

Resistance is not Terrorism!
Campaign to remove “terrorist” designations
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
In the European Union, Canada and the United States, numerous organizations – including many national liberation movements and organizations – are listed as “designated terrorist organizations.” This status is used in an attempt to criminalize popular resistance and national liberation movements, equate those movements with “terrorism,” frighten and silence communities’ support of their national movements, and potentially penalize supporters of the Palestinian cause, as well as other national liberation movements…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51739

Revealed: Pentagon’s secret prisons, legal loopholes and CIA ‘ghost’ detainees
Stephen C. Webster
Three major human rights organizations have declared the Department of Defense was running secret prisons at Bagram and in Iraq, actively sought ways around the terms of the Geneva conventions and cooperated with the CIA’s “ghost detention” program which saw prisoners hidden from Red Cross oversight. The arrival of the documents comes on the same day the ACLU published two unredacted pages of a government report which reveals detainees in US custody were tortured to death…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51750

Unredacted documents reveal prisoners tortured to death
Stephen C. Webster
The American Civil Liberties Union has released previously classified excerpts of a government report on harsh interrogation techniques used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. These previously unreported pages detail repeated use of “abusive” behavior, even to the point of prisoner deaths. The documents, obtained by the ACLU under a Freedom of Information Act request, contain a report by Vice Admiral Albert T. Church, who was tapped to conduct a comprehensive review of Defense Department interrogation operations. Church specifically calls out interrogations at Bagram Air base in Afghanistan as “clearly abusive, and clearly not in keeping with any approved interrogation policy or guidance.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51746

Freedom Rider: When Will We March Against Obama?
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“Give Obama a chance.” some of his less critical supporters say. “Do you think you’re smarter than Obama?”, some of the less polite ones ask. But those are not the real questions. The real question is how long it will be before the left wakes up and finds its own voice. Shut out of Obama’s policymaking circles, there are few choices but to speak up. How long before more of us seek to unambiguously hold the new president and his record accountable? How long before protesters hit the street?

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51745

Palestinian officials on Knesset results: Israeli society tends toward extremism and violence
Amin Abu Wardeh, PNN
With the announcement of the results of the Israeli Knesset elections the Palestinian street did not show significant interest in the winner. Palestinian pundits, political forces and theorists are filling the airwaves but much of the public is not watching. The people who are do not register a difference in the effects on their lives as the occupied population…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51748

Dahr Jamail, Iraq from the Inside of an Armored BMW
Tom Engelhardt & Dahr Jamail
Already it’s begun — the endless non-departure from Iraq. The Obama plan, restated many times during the presidential campaign, involved a 16-month schedule for withdrawing not all U.S. forces, but only U.S. “combat troops.” Now, his (and, of course, George W. Bush’s) generals are showing visible evidence of dragging their combat boots in the sand on the subject. We were given fair warning. Over the last two years, numerous military figures have claimed that, as fast as they got into Iraq, it would be hell just getting all the U.S. stuff now embedded there out — and that’s without even taking into account the political situation in that country. Recently, according to military leaks to the media, “U.S. military planners” have come up with two alternate scenarios to Obama’s 16-month plan. One is reportedly 19 months long, the other 23 months long, and — here’s a shock — the two top generals in charge, Centcom commander David Petraeus and U.S. commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, favor the 23-month approach…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51747

Israelis Vote their Equally Warmongering Leaders to Knesset
Adib S Kawar
The last parliamentary elections of the Zionist entity proved beyond doubt that there is no right or left as well as there are no extremist Zionists and no moderate Zionists, they are equally extremist in their hatred of Arabs, and their aim to fulfill their final goal that is to complete their ethnic cleansing of every single Palestinian Arab still sticking to their land from their historical homeland, Arab Palestine. Zionists consider the indigenous Arab population as an enemy within the entity; so being as such it is either our death or uprooting…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51742

Obama’s real foreign policy agenda
JUSTIN RAIMONDO
…Obama refused to say that he’d reject the Bushian policy of keeping cameras away from those coffins, claiming he doesn’t yet “understand all the implications involved.” A truly oily evasion, that one, to which the only possible rejoinder is: What are the implications of continuing the policy? Such a decision would underscore the essential continuity of American foreign policy and chip away at the myth of Obama the great change-maker. This is made all to clear in the rest of his answer, in which he touts the recent Iraqi elections as if they weren’t fraught with fraud and carried out in an atmosphere of intimidation, with the whole country practically put into lockdown..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51740

US ‘lost track of Afghan weapons’
BBC News
The US military has failed to keep track of thousands of weapons shipped to Afghanistan, leaving them vulnerable to being lost or stolen, a report says. The report has been compiled by congressional auditors, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). It found that, in the four years up to June 2008, the US military failed to keep complete records on some 222,000 weapons entering the country. The report will be discussed in the US House of Representatives on Thursday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51749

February 12, 2009: 1 US Soldier, 22 Iraqis Killed; 53 Iraqis Wounded
Margaret Griffis, Antiwar.com
Violence against Arbaeen pilgrims not only continued today, but a bomber was able to plant explosives less than 1 km from an important shrine in Karbala. This attack and others across Iraq left at least 22 Iraqis dead and another 53 wounded. A U.S. soldier died from non-combat causes in Baghdad on Sunday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51751

American Democracy & the Art of Torture.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
A program (on al-Jazeera, Arabic) I try not to miss at all, is Sami Al-Haj’s detailed ordeal in Guantanamo. It is on every Tuesday. I missed part I but did manage to watch part II and III and I strongly urge anyone who understands Arabic, to watch it too. The program consists of a series of live interviews with Sami and how his nightmarish odyssey into the underworld of American democracy begun. Briefly, he was arrested and detained in Kabul, then moved and detained in Kandahar, then flown to Guantanamo. Prisoner 345, 7 years of his life gone in the dungeons of American democracy. He survived it to testify. It served a purpose, I guess. But at what price !? Watching him speak, is like watching a holocaust survivor out of a concentration camp. Nay, worse than a holocaust survivor. This man was detained, humiliated, tortured, traumatized for life, changed for ever, by American Democracy…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51722

Afghanistan: Attacks in Kabul expose US occupation’s deepening crisis
Bill Van Auken
Coordinated attacks by Taliban guerrillas left at least 26 dead and 57 wounded in the heart of Kabul Wednesday, while paralyzing the Afghan capital for hours. The sophisticated operation, which targeted three government buildings, underscored the mounting crisis confronting the eight-year-old US occupation of Afghanistan and the American-backed puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai. The attacks came just days before the scheduled visit to Kabul of President Barack Obama’s special envoy, Richard Holbrooke, who is conducting what he has described as a “listening tour” that is a prelude to a major escalation of the US intervention throughout the region…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51735

Education Hampshire College becomes first college in U.S. to divest from Israeli Occupation!
By Call for Action! With commentary by Axis of Logic
Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, has become the first of any college or university in the U.S. to divest from companies on the grounds of their involvement in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This landmark move is a direct result of a two-year intensive campaign by the campus group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). The group pressured Hampshire College’s Board of Trustees to divest from six specific companies due to human rights concerns in occupied Palestine. Over 800 students, professors, and alumni have signed SJP’s “institutional statement” calling for the divestment. The proposal put forth by SJP was approved on Saturday, 7 Feb 2009 by the Board. By divesting from these companies, SJP believes that Hampshire has distanced itself from complicity in the illegal occupation and war crimes of Israel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51732

French Echoes of the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
JEAN BRICMONT
At each new war waged by the West, certain leftist or pacifist movements fall back on a “neither-nor” position. “Neither Milosevic nor NATO”, “Neither Bush nor Saddam”, and, now, rejecting both Israel and Hamas in the same breath.
In all these cases, there is a triple problem. * We ignore the difference in the relationship of forces. * The aggressor and the aggressed are treated in the same way. * And, worst of all, we act as though we were outsiders, above it all, whereas our governments are obviously not. In the case of the Gaza conflict, the main version of neither-nor is to condemn in the same breath the Hamas rockets and Israel’s response, sometimes described as disproportionate…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51730

Shock Absorbers: Progressives Stunned by Obama Non-Surprises
Chris Floyd
There is certainly a great deal of slack-jawed shock going around these days, especially in progressive circles, where pundits, commentators, analysts and kibitzers continually find themselves reeling from yet another “inexplicable” move by the Obama Administration to uphold the core principles of their predecessors: enriching the rich, extending the empire, and enhancing the authoritarian power of a thoroughly militarized state. For example, Glenn Greenwald and Scott Horton at Harper’s (among many others) are deeply shocked by Team Obama’s draconian maneuvers to quash a court case based on clear, abundant and credible evidence that American security forces — and their corporate accomplices — colluded to inflict horrendous tortures on a gulag captive (whose only “crime,” it turns out, was reading a satirical magazine article). While Horton struggles to find some small justification for what he sees as an unwise decision, Greenwald is scathing and detailed in denouncing Obama’s action, in which the new president seeks to uphold — and to seize for himself — some of the most egregious claims of arbitrary, tyrannical power once advanced by George “Unitary Executive” Bush…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51726

Building the case of war crimes
Kristen Ess, PNN
Successfully prosecuting the Israelis for war crimes stands a good chance this time due to the scale of the recent attacks on the Gaza Strip, the undeniability of the horror. Hours of direct footage filmed by journalists from Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya are providing some of the proof required to garner international support, Professor of Politics at Gaza’s Al Azar University Dr. Mochamar Abu Sada said on Thursday. “It is often difficult to prosecute crimces against humanity cases because of the political reality: the Americans don’t want to see this happen and the Israelis are not signatories. But there has been a lot of European and Arab effort to bring these recent cases to court,” he said in Gaza City…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51725

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 06/2009 (05 – 11 Feb. 2009)
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (5 – 11 February 2009): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed four Palestinians and wounded five others, including one child, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, IOF killed three members of the Palestinian resistance in two separate incidents in Khan Yunis and Beit Hanoun towns on 5 and 9 February. On 6 February, a Palestinian fisherman was wounded when IOF naval troops opened fire at Palestinian fishing boat in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51736

THE FORGOTTEN TERRORIST ATTACK
Malcom Lagauche
In a few days, much of the world will celebrate Valentine’s Day, in commemoration of love. However, an event that occurred on Valentine’s Day 18 years ago has diminished any affinity for celebrating love for many Iraqis. On the morning of February 14, 1991, when I turned the TV on to see the latest lies being told to the public about the U.S. bombing of Iraq, I saw a chaotic situation in Baghdad. The Amiryah bomb shelter had just been struck by two 2,000-pound superbombs. Information was sketchy, but it was evident that many people lost their lives…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51731

Coordinated Kabul assault shows Taliban strength
By Anand Gopal | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
Insurgents attacked three government offices in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 26 and wounding nearly 60. The assault was one of the most complex and daring to take place in the Afghan capital since 2001. Five armed militants stormed the Ministry of Justice building, in a crowded section of downtown, killing some workers and taking others hostage. Afghan security forces exchanged gunfire for hours before freeing the hostages and killing all of the insurgents. At the same time, suicide bombers assailed a government prison affairs office in the north of the city, while a gunman opened fire outside the education ministry before being killed by police…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51718

Extremism Dominates Israeli Polls
Mel Frykberg
“The peace process is based on three false basic assumptions,” said Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Israel’s extreme right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, which will dictate the formation and political course of the next Israeli government. “These include the assertion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main cause of instability in the Middle East, that the conflict is territorial and not ideological, and that the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders will end the conflict.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51738

FEATURE-Iraqi refugees in Syria reluctant to return
Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Reuters
Iraqi musician Abdel Razaq al-Ghazawi, who sought refuge in neighbouring Syria from his country’s raging conflict, returned home last year after hearing about a fall in the violence. Within weeks, disillusioned by Iraq’s continued insecurity and what he saw as creeping intolerance, he crossed the border back to Syria where he scrapes a living as a refugee. “I found out that security has not improved enough. The spread of religion has also made life intolerable,” said Ghazawi, who trained as an orchestra conductor in Britain. “Artists and intellectuals no longer have a place in the new Iraq,” said Ghazawi as he waited for his turn to collect rice and flour rations at a United Nations centre…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51737

Israel lurches into fascism
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada
Whenever Israel has an election, pundits begin the usual refrain that hopes for peace depend on the “peace camp” — formerly represented by the Labor party, but now by Tzipi Livni’s Kadima — prevailing over the anti-peace right, led by the Likud. This has never been true, and makes even less sense as Israeli parties begin coalition talks after Tuesday’s election. Yes, the “peace camp” helped launch the “peace process,” but it did much more to undermine the chances for a just settlement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51733

Norwegian doctor says Israeli media blackout designed to discredit Palestinian journalists
Hussam Izzadin
Text messages coming from Dr. Mads Gilbert read: “The situation in Gaza is intolerable and terrible” and “Do something to help the people and children of Gaza.” He was one of the few foreign doctors working inside the Gaza Strip during the 23 days of major attacks that began on 27 December. Dr. Gilbert was on staff in Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital from where he reported on burns on the bone and smoking wounds due to the Israeli use of white phosphorus…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51727

Israeli “investigation” whitewashes West Bank execution
Report, Al-Haq
On 2 February 2009, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported the findings of an “investigation” into an incident in which, that morning, “a Palestinian gunman opened fire at an [Israeli army] Patrol Force near the Community Yatir [sic], south of Hebron.” As a result of the investigation, the Israeli military Central Command “assumes” that the “terrorist,” who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers, “was intending to execute a terror attack against Israeli civilians.” After a full field investigation, Al-Haq has determined serious factual inaccuracies and false assumptions in the Israeli authorities’ version of events..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51724

Ban lifted on Valentine flower exports: an Israeli ruse
Hiba Lama, PNN
The Israeli ban on the export of Palestinian flowers from the Gaza Strip was lifted today for the first time in three years. Twenty-five thousand flowers left the Gaza Strip en route to Europe after years of calls from farmers whose livelihoods are devastated by siege. The agricultural sector has suffered heavy losses from the Israeli bulldozing of land, two and a half years of siege and also from the recent three weeks of major attacks. A limited amount of exports allowed in the midst of the Valentine’s Day holiday is merely a ruse, Gazans say. Owner of the Green Garden market in Rafah, Majid Abu Hadeed, told PNN Thursday, “This is a fake. Export season is near an end. Farmers have declared bankruptcy. What is this now?” He said the limited opening of the crossing for 25,000 flowers comes “too little, too late.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51723

Iraq and Iran draw roadmap to hike bilateral trade to $5 billion
Alaa al-Mawsawi, Azzaman
Iraq and Iran have drawn up a roadmap that will boost the value of trade exchange between the countries to $5 billion next year, Trade Minister Abdulfalah al-Sudani said. The minister said Iran was emerging as Iraq’s top trading partner with Iranian goods and pilgrims streaming into the country at record levels. The current trade exchange is estimated at more than $3 billion a year. Sudani made the remarks on the margins of a visit to Iraq by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51734

Iraqi FM says no sudden US pullout
AFP
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Wednesday he had been “reassured” by the United States that there would be no sudden pullout of American troops, despite an improving security situation. President Barack Obama’s desire to redeploy thousands of US soldiers from Iraq to Afghanistan has raised expectations of a troop drawdown ahead of a 2011 deadline for leaving the country. Zebari, however, insisted that there would be no sudden withdrawal…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51721

Israeli 2009 Election Winner: Herzl (1895)
By William A. Cook
The mind of Israel’s “decider” in yesterday’s election, Avigdor Lieberman, Head of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, comes out of the late 19th century, a veritable verbal parallel to Herzl: “They (Palestinian leaders) have to disappear, to go to paradise, all of them, and there can’t be any compromise.” This is the same man that casually remarked that Israel should do to the Palestinians what the United States did to the Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, drop the atomic bomb on them. This man will decide who speaks with President Obama about “peace in the mid-east.” This man will control the right-wing agenda that will be Israel’s agenda under its newly formed government, whether Tzipi Livni or Bibi Netanyahu hold the title of Prime Minister. This man will see to it that there is no end of the occupation of Palestine, no Palestinian state, and no evacuation of the settlements, in short, no progress toward peace…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51719

Stop Destruction of Khavaran Grave Site, Tehran
Reza Fiyouzat, Revolutionary Flowerpot Society
This is an appeal by the Amnesty International to the Iranian government, demanding that the government of Iran stop destroying the Khavaran grave site, in south Tehran. Khavaran grave site is the burial place for hundreds of political prisoners, who were summarily executed in the summer of 1988, and were buried in unmarked mass graves. The families of the murdered political prisoners have since then been seeking justice for the killings as well as get exact information about the executions and the places of burial…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51728

PWA: No building supplies in Gaza means no water purification; donor projects failing
Ma’an news
Emergency drinking water projects initiated by Palestinian Authority (PA) funds in Gaza are close to failure on account of the total lack of materials getting into Gaza, said deputy to the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), Rebhi Ash-Sheikh said on Thursday Israel has refused to allow any building or repair equipment into the Gaza Strip, citing security concerns. Several international projects have now been canceled due to the restrictions and the PWA is increasingly concerned that no aid will be allowed in to ensure safe water throughout Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51717

February 11, 2009: 31 Iraqis Killed, 94 Wounded
Margaret Griffis, Antiwar.com
At least 31 Iraqis were killed and 94 more were wounded during attacks that included a significant bombing in Baghdad. No Coalition deaths were reported, but the mystery of four Guantánamo detainees who were handed over to Iraq has apparently been solved. Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, today joined the parade of foreign dignitaries visiting Baghdad. Four Guantánamo detainees, who went “missing” after being handed over to Iraqi authorities, have turned up in an Iraqi jail. According to an acting justice minister, the four will remain in custody until investigations are completed and the four have been cleared of any charges. The fate of the four might have remained unknown were it not for one prisoner’s relatives complaining that they did not know the whereabouts of their family member. Although the four have been in Iraq for weeks, as recently as Saturday justice ministry officials claimed to have no knowledge of them…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51720

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