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URUK Net 28 February, 2009

Last updated: Monday, March 2, 2009 12:08

Obama announces plan to continue US military occupation of Iraq
Joseph Kishore
President Obama formally announced his administration’s plans for the continued US military occupation of Iraq on Friday, in remarks delivered at the Camp Lejeune marine base in North Carolina. Far from bringing the war to an end, the plans will maintain present troop levels for one year and ensure a substantial military presence for at least three years, through the end of 2011. As leaked to the press earlier this week, Obama’s plan calls for the withdrawal of all “combat troops” by August 31, 2010, 19 months after his inauguration. This means that the US military presence will continue at present levels through the Iraqi elections scheduled in the fall, ensuring that the occupying forces can maintain a watchful eye over the “democratic” process…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52227

Israeli Sacrilege Angers Muslims, Christians
By Khalid Amayreh, IOL Correspondent
Muslim and Christian leaders across the occupied Palestinian lands are shocked with repeated Israeli insults of the prophets and religious sanctities. “I don’t really know when Jews will start to respect the religious sensitivities of non-Jews,” the Chief religious judge of Palestine, Dr. Taysir Tamimi, told IslamOnline.net on Saturday, February 28. “It is very shocking and very telling that Jewish religious leaders in Israel and abroad have not condemned these blasphemous acts.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52231

Israel’s death squads: A soldiers story
Donald Macintyre, Independent
The Israeli military’s policy of targeted killings has been described from the inside for the first time. In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, and in his testimony to an ex-soldiers’ organisation, Breaking the Silence, a former member of an assassination squad has told of his role in a botched ambush that killed two Palestinian bystanders, as well as the two militants targeted…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52243

Video: Focus on Gaza – Policing Gaza
AlJazeeraEnglish
Focus on Gaza offers a rare look at what life is like for ordinary people inside the Gaza Strip. In this episode: It has been two months since Israel’s war on Gaza began with a devastating air strike on a police academy. Lauren Taylor reports from Gaza on the impact of that strike on the affected families and on the job of policing itself. Also, host Imran Garda talks to Usama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, about attempts at Palestinian reconciliation. And, in the first of our weekly glimpses into family life in Gaza, we catch up with the incredible story of the Samouni children…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52241

Obama Admits ‘Vague’ US Afghan Strategy
By IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
…Eight years after the US invasion, most Afghans still lack the very basics of life. Afghanistan is so destitute and undeveloped that most inhabitants have no central heating, electricity or running water. More than 70 percent of Afghans are chronically malnourished, with less than a quarter having access to safe drinking water, according to the international policy think tank Senlis. NATO called last week for ‘civilian surge’ to boost reconstruction in war-wrapped Afghanistan. A confidential NATO report cited by The Independent last week unveiled that Afghanistan was sliding into chaos…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52240

Email to Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill on Iraq
Gabriele Zamparini
You write: “For Iraq, the death toll is unknown, in the tens of thousands…” A few weeks ago the Nation published: Iraq’s Shocking Human Toll: About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans. A year ago your newspaper (I assume you read it) published: What is the real death toll in Iraq? Jonathan Steele and Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, Wednesday 19 March 2008. It’s shocking that the Guardian’s Washington DC bureau chief ignores the most important aspect of the war of aggression against Iraq, the Nuremberg’s supreme international crime: its human toll. No wonder people trust newspapers even less than banks?..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52244

Sermon from the Corporate Church
Peter Chamberlin
…The Afghan/Pakistani quagmire, the focus of this plan, has been made worse by the sheer ignorance, neglect and brutality of the previous American administration. This policy was custom made for driving entire populations into taking-up arms in self-defense, with the only other path to “victory” given serious consideration being the complete decimation of those targeted populations. There is no room at the top for discussions of possible solutions of the impending intersecting world crises that involve moving resources from the accounts of the master class into the hands of the suffering masses. I was recently very surprised to hear one of the master strategists of the empire, adviser to President Obama, Zbigniew Brzezinski, advocating just that in an interview, when he called for creation of a National Solidarity Fund. Another of Obama’s advisers, Richard Holbrooke, recently explained that the idea in Afghanistan/Pakistan was to separate the “reconcilables from the irreconcilables,” a call taken-up by Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The “reconcilables” (those who will submit and become collaborators to the empire) could either be bought or brought into submission by a process of coercion. In the grand design those who prove to be immune to the fear tactics are coerced by more lethal persuasion. Surely Obama himself is in the dark about the depth of the depravity of the plan he has been hand-picked to administer. The actual cost of the truly extremist “plan-to-takeover-the-w! orld” is not to be measured in dollars, but in innocent lives claimed..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52245

Obama embraces Bush’s “war on terror” policy without naming it so
Abdus Sattar Ghazali
President Barrack Obama has virtually embraced his predecessor George Bush’s “War on Terror” policy without naming it so. Asked in a CNN interview why he hasn’t used the oft-repeated “war on terror” phrase coined by the Bush administration, Obama said he believes the U.S. can win over moderate Muslims if he chooses his words carefully. “Words matter in this situation because one of the ways we’re going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds,” Obama said. The “war on terror” catchphrase burned into the American lexicon soon after the 9/11 attacks is deliberately being replaced by the Obama administration in a bid to repair America’s negative image in the Muslim world…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52239

Industrial wastelands
Amira Hass
The Abu E’ida company for concrete and construction materials could stand a very good chance of winning any public tender issued during the Gaza reconstruction process – if it ever gets under way. This family business manufactured the concrete and carried out the concrete works in the construction of Gaza’s power station (under joint American-Palestinian ownership). It also supplied the concrete used to build the sewage treatment facility in northern Gaza, known as the “Blair project” because of the former British prime minister’s role in securing the funding. After June 2007, this was the only infrastructure project in the Gaza Strip whose construction Israel allowed to continue. Abu E’ida’s company produced and supplied 35-40 percent of all concrete used in the Strip before the crossings between Israel and Gaza were hermetically sealed that summer… Abu E’ida stood a good chance of being awarded rebuilding contracts. The only problem is that his company’s plants were destroyed by Israel Defense Forces tanks and bulldozers sometime between January 5 and January 18. The pumps and the conveyor belts were demolished, along with the silo and the laboratory, the control rooms and the cement scale, the ventilation, electricity and water systems, the cement mixers and the trucks and cars…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52238

They shoot farmers, don’t they? Israeli Snipers shoot at unarmed Palestinians and Internationals VIDEO
Written by Vittorio Arrigoni, Translated by Mary Rizzo
One heart, two hands, a beating heart and a mind that is still working. Two eyes deep enough to focus on injustice and aimed at by snipers Two hands that are still working so that they can comfort the little child who is A “dispersed son of a lesser God”, and a heart that is skipping beats and pumping blood for a mind that is not ready to show indifference before a tragedy such as this. I am alive, but this could quite easily have been the video of my execution…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52235

2 months into 2009, US deaths spike in Afghanistan
JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer
U.S. deaths in Afghanistan increased threefold during the first two months of 2009 compared with the same period last year, after thousands more troops deployed and commanders ramped up winter operations against an increasingly violent insurgency. As troops pour into the country and violence rises, another sobering measure has also increased: More Afghan civilians are dying in U.S. and allied operations than at the hands of the Taliban, according to a count by The Associated Press…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52234

‘Unity, only choice for Palestinians’
Daoud Kuttab
For the first time since the Hamas takeover in June 2007, Palestinian national unity talks have a better chance of success than in previous times, and the Gaza situation is probably the reason. This optimistic prediction can turn out terribly wrong, but I think the time is now ripe: the parties are much more realistic in their expectations and the public disgust with both sides after Gaza might produce the needed tipping point in favour of genuine reconciliation. Both negative and positive factors appear to favour such national unity among Palestinians today…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52233

Soldier guilty of murder in Iraqi detainee killing
By KRISTIN M. HALL, AP
A military jury in Kentucky has found an Army officer guilty of murder in the death of an Iraqi detainee. First Lt. Michael Behenna of Edmond, Okla., was also found guilty Friday night of assault but acquitted of making a false statement. Behenna has testified that he was trying to defend himself when he fatally shot Ali Mansour Mohammed during an interrogation last May. But Behenna says he hadn’t intended to kill him…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52232

Obama’s racist and imperialist agenda
Body on the Line
…Obama promised that there would be a complete withdrawal by march 2008. now that has changed to most will be withdrawn by 2010. here is Jamal Dajani on mosaic tv giving us a more accurate picture of what obama promised and what how that campaign pledge has been altered…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52228

They Thought I Was Dead
Eva Bartlett | In Gaza
“They thought I was dead. I was covered in blood. They put me in the morgue fridge. I was in there for maybe 10 minutes. A neighbour came to say his good byes and saw that I was breathing. He took my pulse and discovered I was alive. I was transferred to an operating room and had surgery to remove the shrapnel from my abdomen and side.” Maher Habashi was sleeping in his home in Tuffah neighbourhood outside Gaza city when a tank shell hit the house. It was 1:15 am on 15 January. “I was with my uncle and a friend. We all ran outside after the tank shell.” Two drone missiles followed minutes after, hitting the trio. The first hit two other people outside and injured Habashi in the torso and leg. The second was dropped as they continued to flee. This time it reached Habashi’s uncle and friend, killing them…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52242

PCHR Weekly Report: Palestinian child killed; 19 people injured by Israeli forces
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 19 – 26 Feb. 2009, a Palestinian child died of wounds sustained during the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza. In addition, Israeli troops injured 19 Palestinians, 17 of whom were unarmed civilians, of whom eight were children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The injured include a radio reporter from the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Israeli forces carried out intensive air strikes along the border with Egypt, forcing residents from their homes. Two members of the Palestinian resistance were injured in an air strike…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52236

US policy and the Palestinian cause
So far, Obama’s Israel-Palestine policy appears indistinguishable from that of previous US administrations
Galal Nassar
…So far, therefore, it seems that the US administration is, once again, echoing the Israeli position and that its priorities in dealing with the Palestinian cause are to keep up the pressure on the Palestinians in order to compel them to make more concessions on the questions of Jerusalem and the right to return, while sustaining the strategic relationship with Israel at a level that obviates the exertion of any pressure whatsoever relative to the fulfilment of Palestinian rights. Under the best of circumstances, we might see a new memorandum of understanding or working plan to add to the growing list of partial agreements that came out of Taba, Sharm El-Sheikh, Wye River, Camp David, Oslo and Annapolis, all of which have remained ink on paper. For the Palestinians, therefore, little hope seems to be forthcoming from Washington…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52237

An Update on my Previous Post ( Afghanistan – Another Forgotten People)
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
I just finished watching watching the Youtube video from Al-Jazeera – ENGLISH — on events in Ghazni-Afghanistan. I noticed slight variations from the news I watched yesterday around 8pm on Al-Jazeera ARABIC. I remember distinctly in the Arabic version, the same elderly person interviewed who features in the English video, said that --- the American troops stormed the Mosque and stomped their boots on the heads of those prostrated, then ransacked the place…he even put his hand to the back of his neck to show the exact location… The English version does NOT report — the stomping of soldiers boots on the heads of those prostrated in prayer. And that is a typical American practice as testified by many eventually released, innocent detainees from Kabul, Kandahar and Guantanamo…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52229

Strike paralyses West Bank
AlJazeera.net
A general strike to protest against Israel’s plans to evict 1,500 Palestinians from their homes in the Silwan district of Jerusalem has paralysed much of the occupied West Bank. Shops and schools were closed and the streets were deserted as the strike was observed on Saturday. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) had called the strike after Israeli officials and soldiers visited..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52230

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