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URUK Net 25 March, 2009

Last updated: Friday, March 27, 2009 9:47

Vacuum…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…Arab political vacuums huh ? But you traitors, you love vacuums don’t you ? You love being slaves for temporary winners. Don’t you ? Iraq prior to the sanctions was a regional superpower more so than Egypt. Iraq despite a bloody 8 year war with Iran, remained a regional superpower. Iraq, frail Iraq in spite of the sanctions still had weight in regional politics… And it took a full invasion and an occupation, unmatched in contemporary history… It took the decimation of a whole leadership, unmatched in contemporary history… It took the total destruction of a whole apparatus, of a whole infrastructure of a country, of history… It took the murder of thousands of men, women and children… It took well over 1 million dead in 6 years, over 4 million maimed in 6 years, it took 5 million orphans in 6 years, 3 million widows in 6 years, half a million street kids in 6 years, 5 million refugees in 6 years…plus 2 million killed by the sanctions and 1 million killed by the Persian – Iraq war… It took sectarian ghettos, sectarian mass graves, rapes, torture, abduction, kidnappings, detention of thousands (including women and children – 85% are Arab Sunnis — FACT)…It took loss, bereavement, displacement, exile, slurs, slanders, insults… It took the most disgusting pillaging and plunder…it took theft, crime, torture, rape and killings to render Iraq into a … Into an Arab vacuum… It took America the so-called world superpower — an armada of over 600'000 men to occupy, destroy a country th! e size o f California — and create an Arab vacuum… (…) And you have the audacity to tell me that Iraq had no weight in the Arab and Middle East region ???!!!
And you have the gall to come and tell me that the Iraqis did not and are not resisting ???!!! And the Arabs – ALL of them – watched and are watching on… like accomplice eunuchs, fantasizing about anyone who could fill their vacuum…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52912

Wake up, Christians, or lose the Holy Land
Stuart Littlewood
…The Holy Land is at the very centre of the Christian Church’s teachings. It is Christianity’s raison d’être. The Catholic Church at least keeps a considerable presence there, serving Christian and Muslim alike, and resists as best it can Israel’s continual encroachments on its freedom. The dozen or so patriarchs and heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem also speak out strongly from time to time. But few people in the West seem to realise how seriously Israel’s notorious ‘administrative’ controls disrupt the life and work of the Church. How many are aware that no Muslim or Palestinian Christian living outside Jerusalem is allowed to visit the Holy Places in the Old City? This goes for priests, too, although the Israeli military may, when it suits their mood, grant permits restricted to certain entry points and limiting the duration of stay. These bully-boy tactics make pastoral work a nightmare and participation at major religious occasions well-nigh impossible…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52898

The Palestinian Struggle Between Reconstructing Puppets and Reconstructing Resistance
Part II: Reconstructing Resistance
By Dina Jadallah-Taschler
…In light of the developments discussed above, one wonders if the combined results of the world financial crisis, the discrediting of neo-liberal economic policies, the wealth destruction and its concomitant creation of larger classes of poverty-stricken people (like the refugees in Gaza who are the electoral backbone of Hamas), the confidence-building realization for oppressed people that military might does not always translate into concrete political achievements (despite the violence and destruction), the growth in the world solidarity movement and in the power of communication beyond mainstream (controlled) channels would all result in a spreading of a new Intifada, this time beyond state borders in the Arab world? Affirmation of the right to resist until liberation is a necessary pre-condition in order to overcome unjust and deceptive hegemonic “consensus” demands…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52904

Incriminating Evidence of Israeli War Crimes in Gaza
Stephen Lendman
Throughout its history, Israel has willfully and repeatedly committed crimes of war and against humanity, always with impunity. Yet under customary legal standards and norms (including Geneva, Hague, the UN Charter, S.C. and G.A. resolutions), it’s lawless, a serial abuser, a threat to the region and humanity, mostly as an oppressive occupier. Attacking Gaza is the latest episode in its six-decade reign of terror satisfying the definition of genocide against defenseless Palestinian civilians. This article covers more evidence from some disturbing but unsurprising newly published information…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52901

It’s fear that keeps Baghdad’s peace
By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press Writer
The streets are calmer now. The fighting between Shiites and Sunnis has largely ceased. But this is not a sign of normalcy in the Iraqi capital. It’s fear that keeps the peace. Only an estimated 16 percent of the mainly Sunni families forced by Shiite militiamen and death squads to flee their homes have dared to return. Families that have gone back are sometimes met with spray-painted threats and other forms of intimidation. “Back after a break, the Mahdi Army,” is a Shiite militia’s slogan — playing off the same words that Iraqi television uses as a lead-in to commercials…In the capital, however, the calm has been achieved in part because the city is now ethnically divided. Shiites predominate. Sunnis have largely fled…”Baghdad has been turned from a mixed city, about half of its population Shiite and the other half Sunni in 2003, into a Shiite city where the Sunni population may be as little as 10 to 15 percent,”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52906

“There is no respect for the grieving”
Barghouthi shocked by the Israeli assault on the press conference with injured American’s parents
Palestinian National Initiative
Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative condemned heavily yesterday Israeli aggression consisting in shutting down and beating Palestinian activists and journalist during the press conference held by the parents of Tristan Anderson, the American peace activist who was shot in Ni’lin last week. “The boundaries of minimum respect for the victims have been crossed once again. We feel that there are no limits in the Israeli troops behaviour, no respect for the grieving of Tristan’s family”, the deputy said, shocked. Tristan Anderson, 37 years old, an American citizen and peace activist, had an Israeli high velocity gas canister shot at his head in Ni’lin on the 13th of March. His skulls shattered several injuries and he was left in a very critical state at Tel Aviv hospital…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52918

Return to Gaza
Sherine Tadros, Al Jazeera
…In two months, there has been no reconstruction, the siege has tightened and Israel has kept its crossings with Gaza almost permanently closed…One thing that is new are the tents … tents, tents everywhere – every size, every colour and they have one thing in common … none are withstanding the terrible weather. Over the past few days there have been severe gales and low temperatures and the tents are falling like paper. And in Gaza, when your tent is blown away, there is not much anyone can do for you. Now 100,000 people are homeless and what strikes me as so unfair is that they are not even allowed to be refugees…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52915

From Skokie to Um-el-Fahm
By Khalid Amayreh
I am re-posting this article, which I wrote seven months ago, on the occasion of the provocative Judeo-Nazi march by Jewish extremists at the Arab town of Um el Fahm across the green line in what is known as Israel. The march, which took place today (24 March, 2009) was protected by as many as 2500 Israeli soldiers and paramilitary policemen. As expected, the people of Um el Fahm rose up to defend their city against the Jewish disciples of Hitler who wanted to communicate the same message the “Hitler Youth” and other Nazi groups communicated to Jews at Kristallnacht, long before Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Bergen Belsen. The marchers, mostly Jewish settlers from the West Bank, said they only wanted to exercise their freedom of speech. This is the same argument that members of the American Nazi party made in justifying their march through the small Jewish town of Skoke near Chicago in 1977. I was studying in the United States in 1977 and I remember I took part in a protest against the Nazi provocation. Now, it seems, the Israeli state, and security forces, as well as the vast bulk of Israeli Jews, are saying nothing and doing nothing as they watch these despicable thugs shout “death to the Arabs” and “Arabs to the Gas chambers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52916

Despite Obama’s Vow, Combat Brigades Will Stay in Iraq
Gareth Porter*
Despite President Barack Obama’s statement at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina Feb. 27 that he had “chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months,” a number of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), which have been the basic U.S. Army combat unit in Iraq for six years, will remain in Iraq after that date under a new non-combat label. A spokesman for Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates, Lt. Col. Patrick S. Ryder, told IPS Tuesday that “several advisory and assistance brigades” would be part of a U.S. command in Iraq that will be “re-designated” as a “transition force headquarters” after August 2010…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52899

Who’s the Popinjay?
Barring British MP Galloway Puts Canada in Shameful Light
Eric Walberg
Who ever thought that Canadian politics could be so interesting? First there was the attempted coup last December, when the fractious opposition Liberals, socialists and separatists stunned the nation and joined together, almost ousting the ruling Conservatives. Now the intrepid British MP George Galloway, fresh from bringing the walls of Gaza tumbling down, is launching a land invasion of Canada from the US in a replay of the war of 1812…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52900

Netanyahu ‘plans to expand settlement’
AFP
Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has struck a secret deal with one of his coalition partners, pledging to expand settlements in a highly-contentious area of the West Bank, army radio said. The agreement is not included in the official coalition deal between Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of firebrand Avigdor Lieberman but the two men struck the understanding during their coalition talks, the radio said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52914

Waiting to enter Gaza
Kris Petersen writing from Ramallah, occupied West Bank
If there is a single act that characterizes the plight of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, it is waiting: waiting in lines to pass through the hundreds of checkpoints scattered across the West Bank, waiting for Israel to issue an identification card, waiting for permission to travel to the next village or out of the country, waiting for loved ones languishing in Israeli prisons to be released — waiting for peace, waiting for justice. And for nearly two months, I found myself sharing the experience of waiting — for Israel to allow me into Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52911

Let the Numbers Speak
Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi, Associate Professor, Baghdad, Iraq, member of the BRussells Tribunal Advisory Committee
I pride myself in being a scientist and a researcher. I built my academic career on theories and numbers. As a teacher, I teach my students that everything is based in science – everything has reason. For this reason, I am always frustrated with myself when I find I am overwhelmed with feelings on specific topics. One such topic is the occupation of my country, Iraq. On this subject I find that I cannot always be dispassionate. I cannot be the researcher and observer and discuss it without feeling or emotion as I am sometimes expected to do. I find myself doing research on the damages caused by the war and occupation, and my head buzzes with anger, my eyes burn with tears of desperation at the state of my country. Six years after the attack and the pain is as fresh and cutting as it was in March 2003. This year, I decided, I would view it as a scientist. I would not attack the subject with emotion. I would let the numbers speak for themselves…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52909

US and Iranian diplomats said to have met in Beirut
AsiaNews
Dialogue between the United States and Iran appears to be underway in Beirut, this according to the al-Liwaa daily which quoted informed sources. According to the latter, US and Iranian diplomats met first at the US diplomatic mission in Beirut’s suburban Awkar neighbourhood and then at the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital’s Bir Hassan neighbourhood. The sources cited by the newspaper refused however to name the people who took part in the meetings or what was discussed. If such information is confirmed, it would support claims by those who saw some opening in the otherwise hard-line stance taken by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in his response to US President Barack Obama’s Nowruz video-message to Iranians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52910

God Damn the International Criminal Court
Ali Baghdadi
…God damn the “International Criminal Court” (ICC) that has issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir for one of the most ridiculous and outright lies ever manufactured, “committing war crimes in Darfur,” Sudan’s western region, the size of France. I visited Darfur, north and south. I freely interviewed men and women from all walks of life. Indeed, there is a tragedy. There are rebels who are financed, trained and equipped by the West, particularly Israel. The rebels are vicious and ruthless. They terrorize villagers in remote areas. They hit and run and hide in neighboring countries. Their innocent victims are mostly civilians… The court that issued an arrest warrant against Mr. Al-Bashir, an innocent man dedicated to defending his country against outside interference, is telling us that it has no jurisdiction over the most wanted criminals on earth. It has no authority to try former U.S. President George W. Bush, former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Rumsfeld and their ruthless lieutenants…Bush’s Iraqi war has almost wiped out 7,000 years of civilization. Iraq as a whole is literally in ruins. Civilian body count exceeds one and a half million. Three million women have become widows. Five million children are orphans..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52908

Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza
Rory McCarthy, The Guardian
Israel’s military fired white phosphorus over crowded areas of Gaza repeatedly and indiscriminately in its three-week war, killing and injuring civilians and committing war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. In a 71-page report, the rights group said the repeated use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells in populated areas of Gaza was not incidental or accidental, but revealed “a pattern or policy of conduct”. It said the Israeli military used white phosphorus in a “deliberate or reckless” way…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52907

Iran official on Iraq visit downplays US overture
AP
Iran’s influential parliament speaker on a visit to Iraq is downplaying U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent videotaped overture to Iran. Ali Larijani told reporters Wednesday in Najaf that Iran’s problems with the U.S. are not due to a “sentimental issue” that can be removed with “a blessing and congratulations.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52913

Two Afghan farmers killed by NATO-led troops
Reuters
NATO-led troops shot dead two Afghan farmers who were watering their land in east Afghanistan, a police chief said…The two Afghans were killed late on Tuesday just outside Khost city, east of the capital Kabul, provincial police chief Abdul Qayum Baqizoi said, adding they were innocent civilian farmers tending their land…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52905

Taliban not blocking polio campaign
UPI
Afghan officials backed claims from the Taliban that the militant regime is not inhibiting efforts to vaccinate Afghans against polio, the United Nations said. “We are not against polio immunization, and we have not impeded vaccinators in areas under our control,” Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi told the U.N. humanitarian news agency, IRIN. “Vaccinators must coordinate with us before they begin the process,” he added. The United Nations along with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health embarked on a immunization campaign across the country last week in an effort to deliver the polio vaccine to children younger than 5. A spokesman for the Health Ministry, Abdullah Fahim, confirmed the statements from his Taliban counterpart…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52903

Ottoman Archives Show Land Deed Forged
Turkey’s Fallout with Israel Deals Blow to Settlers
JONATHAN COOK
A legal battle being waged by Palestinian families to stop the takeover of their neighbourhood in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers has received a major fillip from the recent souring of relations between Israel and Turkey. After the Israeli army’s assault on the Gaza Strip in January, lawyers for the families were given access to Ottoman land registry archives in Ankara for the first time, providing what they say is proof that title deeds produced by the settlers are forged. On Monday, Palestinian lawyers presented the Ottoman documents to an Israeli court, which is expected to assess their validity over the next few weeks. The lawyers hope that proceedings to evict about 500 residents from Sheikh Jarrah will be halted…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52902

De facto government bans funeral ceremony in honor of Fatah leader killed in Lebanon
The de facto government banned the funeral ceremony in honor of slain Fatah Kamal Medhat, who died in an explosion in southern Lebanon Monday, his parents said. Ceremonies were set to take place both Tuesday and Wednesday for the Gaza native, said his relatives in Jabaliya. On Tuesday members of the de facto government security services delivered letters to 25 family members who participated in the first funeral rite. The papers gave orders to see officials at the government offices…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52917

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