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URUK Net 6 May, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, May 7, 2009 13:27

Rolling Out the Product: A New Full-Court Press for Pakistan War
Chris Floyd
We are now in the midst of a full-blown campaign to “roll out the product” for a new war: this time, in Pakistan. Anyone who lived through the run-up to the invasion of Iraq should be able to read the signs — anyone, that is, who is not blinded by partisan labels, or by the laid-back cool of a media-savvy leader far more presentable than his predecessor. We noted some of these signs in a long post yesterday and won’t belabor them here. But today brings yet another bumper crop of panic buttons and alarm bells from the powers-that-be, with ever-increasing emphasis on the “Taliban kooks with Muslim nukes” theme: one more variation on the old “mushroom clouds rising in American cities” ploy that has worked like a charm for our militarists lo these 60 years or more…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54013

US interrogators may have killed dozens, human rights researcher and rights group say
John Byrne, Raw Story
United States interrogators killed nearly four dozen detainees during or after their interrogations, according a report published by a human rights researcher based on a Human Rights First report and followup investigations. In all, 98 detainees have died while in US hands. Thirty-four homicides have been identified, with at least eight detainees — and as many as 12 — having been tortured to death, according to a 2006 Human Rights First report that underwrites the researcher’s posting. The causes of 48 more deaths remain uncertain…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54027

Red Cross confirms dozens dead in Afghan air strikes
Reuters
Afghan villagers mourned relatives buried in mass graves after U.S.-led air strikes that the Red Cross said killed dozens and local officials said may have killed more than 100 civilians. Villagers who survived the bombing of houses packed with terrified civilians told Reuters by telephone dozens of members of one extended family alone had died. They wept as they spoke of orphaned children and burying loved ones’ fragmented remains. “My son and my daughter in-law have been killed and left me with a 13-month-old baby,” said Gul Bibi from Geraani village. “Their remains were buried in a mass grave with others, and I didn’t even have a chance to see his face for the last time because his body was blown apart,” she sobbed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54014

Farewell to Gaza’s courageous Priest
Stuart Littlewood
I hear that Fr Manuel Musallam, the Catholic priest in Gaza, has finally retired at 71. His is a hard act to follow. Many of us feared that ill health had forced him to hang up his cassock last year, but he returned to the fray to be with his community during their darkest hour when Israel’s psychopaths, with a nod from America and the EU, unleashed their blitzkrieg intended to finally crush the isolated and half-starved Gazans. This is simply the continuation of a hateful religious war by Zionist fanatics to oust Muslims and Christians from the Holy Land. And they are happy to vaporize and maim Palestinian women and children to gain exclusive control. But who cares? […] The only official tribute I have seen so far to Fr Manuel says that he “has done great work over the many years he has been in Gaza where he has given a lot to support the Christian community and many others.” Is that it? Is that all the Church can find to say about one of its most remarkable servants, who has served God and community for many perilous years in the world’s most notorious hell-hole? I emailed the Latin Patriarchate twice to ask for a copy of their news release on Fr Manuel’s retirement, but received no reply. It’s a poor show when the Church doesn’t hail its heroes. I have now waited five days. The Vatican’s grasp of public relations is shaky at best, a prize example being Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to skip Gaza on his trip to the Holy Land…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54020

Putting words of support into boycott action
Adri Nieuwhof and Omar Barghouti,
The Derail Veolia and Alstom Campaign, operating in full coordination with the leadership of the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), is in full swing. After Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized Israel in Geneva, the BNC called on Iran to cut its business ties with Veolia Environment and Alstom. The French transportation giants are involved in the Israeli light rail project in occupied Jerusalem, linking the city with the illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Veolia and Alstom are playing a key role in Israel’s attempt to make its annexation of Palestinian East Jerusalem irreversible […] The BNC is the major voice of Palestinian civil society, unifying a broad spectrum of more than 170 Palestinian non-governmental organizations, political parties and trade unions that have endorsed the July 2005 Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Iran could give substance to its criticism of Israel’s practices towards Palestinians by acting upon the call of the Palestinian BNC to “take the necessary steps to ban Veolia and Alstom and their subsidiaries from any contracts and operations in the country.” According to the Tehran Times, the Tehran Municipality and Veolia agreed to collaborate on the implementation of some projects concerning the environment and the development of the urban transport system. Alstom has a headquarters in Tehran and received a number of large contracts, including a 192 million euro contrac! t with I ran’s state railways in 1999 and a larger 375 million euro contract to supply 50 turbo compressors to Iran in 2002…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54017

UN committee charges Israel with maintaining secret jail
Palestinian Information Center
The UN committee against torture has denounced the Israeli general security apparatus for using a secret detention center for interrogation that could not be visited by the Red Cross, lawyers or relatives of those detainees. The ten independent experts, members of the committee, said that the installation “1391" was located in an unspecified area in Israel. They added that the committee received complaints on torture, maltreatment and inappropriate detention conditions in this installation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54030

Ban Ki-moon’s moral failure
Hasan Abu Nimah
Late last week, according to the BBC Arabic news website, a report was submitted to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the scale of destruction Israel inflicted on UN installations in Gaza. This was also mentioned on a BBC news bulletin on 1 May, but I could find little trace of this story anywhere else. The brief news item stated that the UN report contained secret information supplied by Israel about an incident in which more than 40 Palestinian civilians were massacred when Israeli shells fell “outside” a UN school where many Palestinians were taking shelter. The secretary-general is reportedly considering how much of the information he can release without revealing the information supplied by Israel, the news item said, adding that the UN report concluded that Hamas fighters were not inside UN buildings but close to them…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54032

Israeli military occupation ‘severely compromises Bethlehem’
Rory McCarthy
The Israeli military occupation around Bethlehem is severely restricting its growth, undermining its economy and compromising its future, according to a UN report. The combined effect of Israeli annexation, the West Bank barrier, settlements, settler bypass roads, closed military zones and Israeli nature reserves, has left only 13% of the 660 sq km Bethlehem governorate available for Palestinian use, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says…

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Palestinian and Israeli Human Rights Organisations Release Joint Fact Sheet Calling for an End to International Donor Complicity in Israeli Violations of International Law
Joint Statement of Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations
On 2 March 2009, major international donors convened in Sharm al-Sheikh to collectively respond to the destruction caused by Israel’s 23 day military offensive on the Gaza Strip. During the conference, a total of $4.5 billion was pledged in reconstruction funds for Gaza. In light of the extensive destruction across the Gaza Strip, especially the destruction of civilian homes and infrastructure, reconstruction is urgent. However, as Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations, we must note that by agreeing to reconstruction without specific, binding assurances from the State of Israel, international donors are effectively underwriting Israel’s illegal actions in the occupied Palestinian territory…

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America has protected Israeli nuke program for 40 years
Eli Lake
The origins of the U.S. shield of Israel’s nuclear program date to a 1969 summit between President Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, documents released in the past few years show. There is no one piece of paper that actually describes the accord. However, the closest acknowledgment of the deal came in 2007, when the Nixon Library declassified many of the papers of former National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. A July 7, 1969, memorandum to Mr. Nixon titled, “Israeli Nuclear Program,” said that by the end of 1970, Israel would likely have 24 to 30 French surface-to-surface missiles, 10 of which would have nuclear warheads…

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Siege breeds malnutrition
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
“We have no potatoes, no tomatoes, nothing. Only onions,” said Maher Wishah, confessing that he was ashamed to admit this. Wishah, his wife, and their 6 children live in a simple gray cement home in Bureij camp in central Gaza Strip. Although it was not leveled or torn apart in Israel’s war on Gaza, it did receive the more subtle but still troubling structural damage as so many homes: deep cracks cutting through weight-bearing walls, fallen and broken asbestos roof-tiling, and shattered windows. “My neighbour can see through our wall,” Wishah said pointing at a crack which merged into a deep hole…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54010

Record bombs dropped in Afghanistan in April
By Bruce Rolfsen, Navy Times
Air Force, Navy and other coalition warplanes dropped a record number of bombs in Afghanistan during April, Air Forces Central figures show. In the past month, warplanes released 438 bombs, the most ever. April also marked the fourth consecutive month that the number of bombs dropped rose, after a decline starting last July. The munitions were released during 2,110 close-air support sorties…

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Notes on tools of the Zionist entity (and thus complicit in their war crimes)
Marcy Newman, body on the line
So far news from the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference is as banal as can be. It’s the same old propaganda. You can probably just replay past speeches, just change a few names here and there, but insert the same words. Mondoweiss has been tweeting and blogging about it, but here is the most interesting part of what they tweeted in the screen shot below…

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Is There a Save Darfur Industrial Complex?
Bruce Dixon
African tragedies, observed Ugandan scholar and Columbia University professor Mahmood Mamdani in a March 20 presentation at Howard University, usually occur in the dead of night, outside the sight, concern or hearing of the Western public. The exception to this, he noted, has been Darfur. No armchair observer, Mamdani has traveled and worked extensively in Darfur as a consultant to the African Union in its attempts to peacefully resolve the conflict there. Mamdani called Save Darfur “the most successful piece of single issue organizing since the Vietnam era antiwar movement, really more successful than the antiwar movement.” But Save Darfur, with slogans like “boots on the ground,” “out of Iraq, into Darfur” and persistent demands for the creation of “no fly zones” is far from being an antiwar movement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54029

The New Discourse on anti-Semitism
Shafiq Morton
Those who criticize Israel or those who interrogate Zionism (the ism that gave birth to Israel) are often labeled “anti-Semitic” by the Zionist lobby. This lobby, a world-wide movement, is seen to be most influential in the United States where it vigorously defends the interests of Israel. To view Israel unsympathetically means vilification by this group: it avows political critique is something that threatens the existence of all Jews. Yet, ironically, some of the most ardent critics of Israel have been Jews – academics and political liberals who have not denigrated their Jewishness in any way because of their conscience…

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Bomber strikes in Baghdad market
Aljaeera.net
At least 11 people are feared dead after a bomb went off in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The explosion near a fruit and vegetable market in the southern Dura neighbourhood on Wednesday wounded 30 other people, the authorities said. The mainly Sunni area experienced high levels of sectarian violence during Sunni-Shia battles between 2006 and 2007 in the wake of the US-led invasion of 2003…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54018

CHRISTIANITY AS WEAPON
Malcom Lagauche
There is a storm brewing because of U.S. soldiers bringing bibles into Afghanistan and distributing them to the local population. According to Al-Jazeera News in a report on May 4, 2009, called “Probe Call in Afghan ‘Convert’ Row:” A former Afghan prime minister has called for an inquiry after Al Jazeera broadcast footage showing Christian US soldiers appearing to be preparing to try and convert Muslims in Afghanistan. Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai said there must be a “serious investigation” after military chaplains stationed in the US air base at Bagram were filmed discussing how to distribute copies of the Bible printed in the country’s main Pashto and Dari languages. In one recorded sermon, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, tells soldiers that, as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility “to be witnesses for him”. This may be news for some, but I have been following the religious activities of the U.S. military for years. There is an in-depth program that has been in place for some time in which officers indoctrinate soldiers to fight in the name of Jesus…

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Gaza Aftermath (8) Life is blind
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Mahmoud Mattar spent his 15th birthday in February this year, lying in the intensive care unit of Egypt’s Sheikh Zayid hospital. He is one of the 1,606 children who were injured during Israel’s military offensive on Gaza, some of who sustained horrific disabilities, head and spinal injuries, facial disfigurement, burns and amputation. On Wednesday 7 January 2009, Mahmoud Mattar, then 14, was struck by a rocket near his home in Sheikh Radwan, Gaza City, that left him permanently blind and with extensive injuries. It was around 09:30 in the morning and Mahmoud was at home with his mother and siblings when an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at al-Taqwa mosque, 150 metres away…

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Khaled Mashal says US daily’s report ‘not true’
The News International
The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, denied report carried by a US daily claiming that Hamas political bureau leader, Khalid Mashal, said that Hamas decided to temporarily halt the firing of homemade shells. In a statement issued here Mashal stated: “what was reported is not true”…

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Gaza: Two Israeli strikes leave four Palestinians injured
Ma’an News
Four Palestinians were injured in two Israeli air strikes on smuggling tunnels on the Egypt-Gaza border on Wednesday afternoon. Director of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, Muawiya Hassanein told Ma’an that four people were evacuated to Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in the city of Rafah for medical treatment. Hassanein said injuries ranged between slight and moderate. Earlier on Wednesday, Israel said that a homemade projectile launched from the Gaza Strip landed near the beach at the Israeli city of Ashkelon. More than five mortar shells were also reported falling in open areas in western Negev. No casualties have been reported…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54012

“Web of Debt”: The Inner Workings of the Monetary System
A review of Ellen Brown’s book
Stephen Lendman
This is the first of several articles on Ellen Brown’s superb 2007 book titled “Web of Debt,” now updated in a December 2008 third edition. It tells “the shocking truth about our money system, (how it) trapped us in debt, and how we can break free.” Given today’s global economic crisis, it’s an appropriate time to review it and urge readers to digest the entire work, easily gotten through Amazon or Brown’s webofdebt.com site. Her book is a remarkable achievement – in its scope, depth, and importance…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54026

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