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URUK Net 12 May, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:18

“As good as it gets”
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…It kind of reminded me of this killing spree that took place in a “counseling” center in Iraq, where one of your brave boys shot 5 of his mates…during a counseling session. I’m afraid to break it to you, but this is as good as it gets. Subsequent “intelligent” reports, blamed the killing spree by “friendly fire” on combat stress resulting from frequent deployment to battle zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.Excuse me but who created the battle zones in Iraq and Afghanistan but yourselves? […] Combat stress ? My ass! Who told you to come to Iraq anyways ? You chose that “career”, hoping to make extra dollars by spilling Iraqi blood. So are you surprised that guys blow themselves up in your faces ? I am not. Combat stress huh ? Please come and see our combat stress. The paralyzed old man with drill holes in his legs. The wobbly woman unable to walk after her “visit” to Abu Ghraib. The kids who stutter at age 14 and still piss in their pants because they saw the unspeakable. Whole families living one damp bedroom, with no mattresses and no blankets. Women prostituting themselves and slashing their thighs with razor blades after their clients have gone. Children who can’t read and write because they can’t afford school. Displaced families still living in tents and rummaging in garbage to find something to eat. Thousands maimed with bullets, bombs, burns because of you. Hundred of emptied homes in ruins or occupied by militias because of you…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54198

Cambodia Deja Vu: the Invasion of Pakistan
William Pfaff
Last September, during the American presidential campaign, I wrote a column declaring that the United States had again invaded Cambodia, only this time “Cambodia” was Pakistan. President George W. Bush had ordered U.S. ground attacks on the Taliban inside Pakistan’s Tribal Territories, without Pakistan’s authorization. That was also when Barack Obama’s foreign policy campaign platform was promising withdrawal from Iraq and military emphasis on Afghanistan and Pakistan, location of the “real” problem in the great war on terror. A younger generation than mine, including senior military officers (not to speak of Barack Obama), may not know exactly why the United States and the South Vietnamese army invaded Cambodia in 1970, and what the result was. The invasion was a failure, and the result a humanitarian catastrophe…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54203

Displaced Iraqis stay away as violence persists
Aseel Kami
In summer, the heat is unbearable. In winter, the torrential rains turn the cramped, leaking tent where Khalid Jamhuri lives with his family into a freezing morass of mud. Still, Jamhuri is unwilling to leave this refugee camp in the semi-autonomous, northern Kurdistan region and return to the Sunni Arab area of Baghdad where Shi’ite militiamen killed his parents, brother and cousin in 2006. “Some days I make enough to bring home food to eat. Some days I don’t,” said the slender 19-year-old, who now looks for construction work to support his wife, brother and new baby. Jamhuri is one of the 3.8 million Iraqis who, prompted by six years of sectarian killing, packed up their belongings and fled to safety. About 1.8 million of them fled to different parts of Iraq and the rest left the country, mostly to Syria and Jordan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54210

The Man Who Knew Too Much? A Convenient Suicide in a Libyan Prison
Benjamin Davis
Little noted thusfar by the newspapers of record in the United States, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the al-Qaeda operative tortured for the United States by the Egyptian secret police, died in a Libyan prison this past weekend of what has been called a “suicide.” For those who only vaguely remember al-Libi’s name, al-Libi is the al-Qaeda person picked up at an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and extraordinarily rendered to Egypt to be tortured at the United States behest. Al-Libi is the one reported to have linked al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein in a false confession that was the result of this torture that Saddam Hussein was training al-Qaeda in bomb making, poisons, and deadly gases…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54209

Video: Zardari says Osama was an “Operator” for the United States
Infowars
In the interview here, NBC’s David Gregory completely ignores Pakistan president Asif Ali Zadari when he declares that Osama bin Laden was an “operator” for the United States. Gregory wants to know if Zadari believes Osama is alive. He wants to know why Pakistan has not gone after Bin Laden…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54205

Taliban are growing in strength in Kandahar
Chris Sands, Foreign Correspondent
The Taliban are gaining strength in Kandahar province, their southern heartland, as frustration with the US-led occupation and state corruption mounts, local politicians have warned. As 21,000 extra American troops begin to arrive in the country and the fighting season gets firmly underway, there is real concern among Afghans on the front line that violence will escalate. Speaking during a visit to Kabul, a delegation of provincial council members and other community leaders from Kandahar said the insurgency was winning over many Afghans disaffected with life under foreign occupation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54207

Pope Snub Upsets Gaza Christians
Pope Snub Upsets Gaza Christians By Motasem Dalloul, IOL Correspondent

…Monsignor Mussalam was more vocal and critical. “Your voice must be louder and louder and you must deal with the Holy Land far from the greed of the Europeans, but from the eye of humanity and the eye of sanctity,” he stressed. “Western countries are the reason behind the creation of Israel which was built on the bodies, lands and worship places of the Palestinians,” fumed the Christian clergyman. “It is true that not all of them are Catholics, but all of them are Christians and so they are under your word,” he said, addressing his words to Pope Benedict. “You must tell them that they have to facilitate our return to the occupied lands. Don’t forget that the origin of your current position is from Palestine and your faith is originated from Palestine as Jesus who came with Christianity is from Palestine.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54204

The hidden hand of Dick Cheney
Out of office, he continues to push his tortured version of reality — and his vision of an imperial presidency — and there are signs he is succeeding.
Juan Cole
Dick Cheney is out there. He is defending torture, dissing Colin Powell, and genuflecting before radio personality Rush Limbaugh as the high priest of what’s left of conservatism. His refusal to go quietly, unlike his much-reviled boss, is risky. He was a laugh line more than once at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. But the media’s focus on the sheer spectacle of the ex-veep’s antics, and on the Republican vs. Democrat feud he’s stoking, underestimates the way Cheney’s principles still inform many of the country’s most crucial policies…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54201

Sun in Tel Aviv and Fire in Gaza
Kawther Salam
Sun in Tel Aviv and Fire in Gaza) is a daily protest on the other side of the “Tel Aviv Beach “ farce at the Donau Kanal here in Vienna, which takes place under the auspices of Major Dr. Michael Häupl, 2009_03_06-150awho won the last election with the voices of the Arab and Muslim Communities. The protest is also in memory of the Palestinian victims who were murdered during the so-called “Operation Cast Lead” and their surviving families, who are still jailed in Gaza turned into a concentration camp after the world turned the back on them. The pro-Palestinian protest activities will continue on the Donau Kanal until the end of summer of 2009…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54200

Iraq says Kurd’s oil deals still illegal
Xinhua
Iraq’s Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahrastani said that Kurd’s oil deals with foreign oil firms still considered “illegal” despite approving Kurdish plans to export crude oil through national pipelines. “Iraq’s oil ministry considers the contracts signed by Kurdish regional government (KRG) with the international oil companies illegitimate and illegal,” Shahrastani said on Tuesday in an interview with the state-run television of Iraqia…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54199

Al-Baghdadi ‘denies’ Iraq capture
Aljaeera.net
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, a senior al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, has denied in an audio message that he has been captured by the Iraqi authorities, a US group monitoring Islamist websites has said. “Everyone was shocked by the lie promoted by the [Iraqi authorities] in which they claim again that they have arrested me,” SITE Intelligence Group quoted al-Baghdadi as saying in the message issued to several websites on Tuesday. Iraqi authorities said in April they had captured al-Baghdadi, identified as one of the top leaders of the local wing of al-Qaeda blamed for a wave of violence across the nation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54197

Ahmadinejad leads election poll by big margin
PressTV
A recent poll shows the Iranian president’s popularity has grown among the electorate, while support for his rival, Mir-Hossein Mousavi has remained unchanged. The opinion poll was conducted in Tehran as well as 29 other provincial capitals and 32 important cities on May 3-4. The poll indicates that 58.6% will cast their ballots in favor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while some 21.9% will vote for Mousavi, the pro-administration website, Rajanews, reported. The report did not include any further details about the organization that conducted the poll or the number of people who were surveyed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54202

Israeli Tactics to Seize Al-Quds Properties
Khaled Amayreh
He says that his lineage goes back to Tamim al-Dari, a companion of Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him), who arrived from the Arabian Peninsula and settled in the Al-Khalil region around 650 A.D. “Without the slightest exaggeration, I can solemnly testify that my roots in this land are deeper than the roots of 99.99% of Israeli Jews, the very people who are now claiming we don’t belong here and who are trying to expel us from this land, our land,” he told IslamOnline.net…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54208

Burn After Reading: Intel Dump Muddies Dirty War Waters
Chris Floyd
Throughout the long history of the Afghan War, the United States has never accused the Taliban of using white phosphorus weapons — until now. Suddenly, after the emergence of glaring evidence of Afghan civilians being seared and maimed by these chemical weapons following American airstrikes and combat operations, the Pentagon has released “classified information” claiming that the Taliban have actually been using white phosphorus weapons for six years, since 2003: a practice that the Pentagon — which has been using white phosphorus weapons in Afghanistan since 2002 if not before — denounced as “reprehensible.” This is very curious. The bipartistan managers of the Terror War have always been eager to trumpet — even exaggerate — the atrocities committed by the various armed groups opposing the imposition of foreign troops in Afghanistan. But now we are to believe that the Pentagon has been keeping evidence of the Taliban’s chemical weapons use — chem weapons! WMDs! — under wraps for years…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54185

After Afghan massacre, Washington says airstrikes will go on
Bill Van Auken
In the final days of his trip to Washington, President Hamid Karzai demanded an end to US airstrikes in Afghanistan. In response, US National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones (ret.) insisted that the bombing of Afghan villages will continue, whether the country’s supposed sovereign government likes it or not. The juxtaposition of Karzai’s and Jones’ remarks speaks volumes about the nature of the US war in Afghanistan. It is a dirty, colonial-style intervention in which Washington dictates policy to a puppet government while unleashing military violence against an increasingly hostile population…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54189

“City of Love” – A Love and War Song.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
Ishtar, Inanna, the Goddess of Love and War. When combined, She gives birth to a painful beauty like in this song – Medinat Al-Hob,City of Love. Painfully beautiful and sad, in its lyrics, musical composition and rendition by the Iraqi singer Kazem Al-Saher… I found one translation online which I was not too happy with, but I did borrow some of the translated lines, changed some and added my own. I wanted the non-Arabic reader to get a glimpse into the Iraqi soul, through a song…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54181

Pakistan war fuels international tensions
Peter Symonds
Comments by China’s ambassador in Islamabad last Thursday highlight the reckless character of the Obama administration’s escalating intervention in Pakistan. By pressuring Islamabad to wage an all-out military offensive against Islamic insurgents in the Swat Valley and neighbouring districts, Washington is not only destabilising Pakistan but raising tensions in a highly volatile area. Speaking to Pakistani business leaders, Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui pointedly voiced concern about the growth of “outside influence” in the region. He singled out the US in particular, saying that China was worried about US policies and the presence of a large number of foreign troops in neighbouring Afghanistan. While reiterating China’s support for “the fight against terror,” Luo declared that US strategies needed some “corrective measures”. He added, “These are issues of serious concern for China.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54184

Taliban rejects US claim it used white phosphorous ammunition
Telegraph
…Qari Mohammad Yousuf, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the Islamist group did not use white phosphorous at all. “We neither have nor use phosphorous. The Americans have used it in many operations and now want to attribute their tyranny to the Taliban,” he alleged in a telephone conversation with the Reuters news agency. Reuters reported last week that US military doctors had treated an eight-year-old girl with white phosphorous burns. The US military said it believes that no rounds had been fired by Western forces near her house when she was hurt, and that a mortar fired by militants may have been to blame. However, the girl’s father told Reuters that the house was hit by a volley of artillery fired by Western troops…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54187

Remembering Jenin
Stephen Williams
The Martyrs’ Cemetery is but a few meters from Jenin Refugee Camp. On a warm, sunny day I stood in front of the memorial to the victims of the massacre of 2002 and remembered them, as I had long promised to do. I remembered the forgotten. It is not an imposing monument; had the victims been Israeli, a more grandiose memorial would have been built, perhaps with a museum, perhaps with a carefully-maintained eternal flame. I was disappointed at first. Is this what I had travelled from Occupied Jerusalem to see? Through Ramallah, Nablus and those checkpoints manned by bored, surly adolescent soldiers? But then I understood; the victims were ordinary people- men, women and children- trying to live ordinary lives, until they came face to face with an extraordinary interruption; the appearance of the highly-mechanised, US- resourced Israel Defence Force at their very their doorsteps…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54183

Israel allows 93 Christians to leave Gaza during pope visit, denies 400 others
Ma’an News
Israel granted permits to 93 Palestinian Christians to leave Gaza to attend a papal mass in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and turned down applications for more than 400 others, a church official in Gaza said on Monday. Amin Sabbagh of the Latin Patriarchate in Gaza said that Israel refused to allow anyone under the age of 35 to leave Gaza. Israeli officials have confirmed that they imposed some restrictions on allowing the faithful to leave Gaza, citing “security concerns.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54182

Saberi is free: How about the others?
Reza Fiyouzat, Revolutionary Flowerpot Society
The case of Roxana Saberi attracted international attention as a cause célèbre for free-speech rights activists around the world: the photogenic Iranian-American freelance journalist working for BBC and NPR, who had worked in Iran for the six years prior to her arrest in January, and who famously celebrated her 32nd birthday in prison recently, while serving an eight year sentence for espionage charges handed her after an hour-long closed-door ‘trial’. Saberi has now been freed, after an appeals court suspended her sentence on Sunday, May 10. My own guess was that Saberi would be released as a ‘show of good will’, and as it turned out, she was released on May 11. There are, however, plenty of other cases that have not received their deserved international attention..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54180

The Pope is welcomed, but…
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem
As hospitality is a key Arab-Muslim character, the Pope of the Vatican, Benedict XVI, should be accorded all the respect he deserves as the religious leader of hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics, many of them stand alongside Muslims in rejecting the criminal policies and practices of the Israeli state. The recent genocidal blitz against the effectively imprisoned and thoroughly starved people of Gaza is only one example of Israeli criminality, a criminality that can be compared with the evil deeds of the worst offenders in history. I understand that the Vatican often refrains from calling the spade a spade for a variety of reasons. We are talking after all about a unique religious-political entity that is expected to satisfy and please a whole spectrum of people with different, even discordant, political orientations. However, it is only fair and just to expect the Pope to denounce, politely but strongly, acts and behaviors that Jesus Christ would have denounced…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54195

Obama’s Middle East Imperialism
Shamus Cooke
The velvet gloves are off and the reality of Obama’s Middle East plans are being revealed: a bare-fisted pummeling of Afghanistan and Pakistan — with Iraq’s fate yet to be determined. The media have been preparing this for months, with incessant talk about the alleged “troop drawdown” in Iraq, the “surge” in Afghanistan and the “immediate threat” that supposedly is represented by Pakistan. It’s now crystal clear that zero “change” will be forthcoming when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, minus a strategic shifting of troops. This fact was highlighted recently when Obama asked for an additional $83.4 billion in “emergency spending” to fight the Iraq/Afghan/Pakistan wars. It must be noted that so-called “emergency funds” were precisely the avenue Bush chose to fight his wars, enabling him to skirt the already-gigantic military budget…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54178

alone and impoverished
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
Hadwa lives among the same cluster of impoverished shacks and broken cement houses as the other al Bateran families I’d already met. It seems the lane holds sad story after sad story, a micro-segment of Gaza’s overall suffering under siege and warfare, and every encounter of the extended al Bateran family alone reinforces this. Hadwa said she used to receive aid but that the Ramallah government cut it in the past two years. She takes what she can get from her relatives, but lives hand-to-mouth day by day…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54193

Prisoner Who Tied Iraq to Al-Qaeda Found Dead in Libyan Jail
Brad Friedman
British journalist and historian Andy Worthington, an expert and author on Guantanamo, reports that the man who had supplied a key false tie between Iraq and al-Qaeda --- after being tortured in Egypt, where he had been rendered by the U.S. --- has died in a Libyan prison. “Dead of suicide in his cell,” according to a Libyan newspaper. Worthington has excellent coverage of the story tonight, which, he says, is “ablaze” in the Arabic media, but so far unreported in all but one English language outlet…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54175

Pakistan: 700 Militants Killed in Past Four Days
Thousands More to Die, According to Zardari
Jason Ditz
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik today claimed that 700 militants have been killed in the past four days of military offensives in and around the Swat Valley. Yesterday the military said it had killed 200 in one 24 hour period. The tolls and the success being touted by the government in its attacks could not be independently confirmed because the military has barred journalists from the valley…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54176

Karzai’s brother threatened McClatchy writer reporting Afghan drug story
I managed to record just one full sentence: “Get the (expletive) out before I kick your (expletive).”
By TOM LASSETER
The ride to Kandahar airport was tense. The Afghan president’s brother had just yelled a litany of obscenities and said he was about to beat me. Ahmed Wali Karzai is feared by many in southern Afghanistan, and being threatened by him, in his home, isn’t something to be taken lightly. In a place like Kandahar, I try to take precautions – letting my beard grow and wearing the traditional Afghan outfit of baggy pants and a long tunic – but at the end of the day, there’s no protection when the most powerful official in the region orders you to leave. So after a quick consultation with locals, I decided to do just that…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54174

Israel ‘using tourist sites to assert control over East Jerusalem’
Peace groups say government’s secret plans with settler groups could prevent two-state solution
Rory McCarthy
Israel is quietly extending its control over East Jerusalem in alliance with rightwing Jewish settler groups, by developing parks and tourist sites that would bring a “drastic change of the status quo in the city”, according to two Israeli groups. Ir Amin, a group working for a shared Jerusalem, said the purpose of the “confidential” plan was to link up several areas of East Jerusalem surrounding the Old City with the goal of asserting Israeli control and strengthening its claim to Jerusalem as its capital city. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it, a move not recognised by the international community…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54173

What Lebanon’s Palestinian Refugees need from the June 7th Election
Part I: Will the Political Parties honor their Planks?
Franklin Lamb
…As the Lebanese get ready to vote, more than 10% of its population, three generations of whom were born in Lebanon, wait, watch and listen. Still possessing almost no civil rights including voting, home ownership, employment, secondary state education, health care, identification documents, marriage registration, places to bury their deceased loved ones or equal protection of Lebanese laws, Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees nonetheless have a huge stake in next month’s election results. The 420,000 UNRWA registered Palestinians, more than half living in squalor and jammed packed into 12 camps and half a dozen ‘Gatherings’ barely subsist, the wretched refuge of Zionist ethnic cleansings in 1947-48, and 1967. They are the survivors of various illegal population transfers as well as massacres at Sabra-Shatila (1982), Qana I (1996), Qana II ( 2006), Hula (Burg Shemali Camp 1982) Tel al-Zaayter Camp (1975) to mention a few…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54192

Haaretz reporter Amira Hass arrested upon leaving Gaza
By Haaretz Service
Israel Police on Tuesday detained Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass upon her exit from the Gaza Strip, where she had been living and reporting over the last few months. Hass was arrested and taken in for questioning immediately after crossing the border, for violating a law which forbids residence in an enemy state. She was released on bail after promising not to enter the Gaza Strip over the next 30 days…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54188

New US General Vs. Taliban, Pashtuns
Robert Dreyfuss
The war in Afghanistan has been overshadowed in recent weeks by the crisis next door in Pakistan, but no more. Secretary of Defense Gates has fired the US commander there, General David McKiernan, and replaced him with a counterinsurgency specialist with a spotty track record, General Stanley McChrystal. It’s the first time a wartime commander was fired since Harry Truman got rid of General Douglas MacArthur in the Korean War. Don’t expect any quick improvement on the battlefront…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54196

US fires top general in Afghanistan as war worsens
By PAULINE JELINEK and ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press Writers
President Barack Obama fired the top U.S. general in Afghanistan on Monday, replacing him with a former special forces commander in a quest for a more agile, unconventional approach in a war that has gone quickly downhill. With the Taliban resurgent, Obama’s switch from Gen. David McKiernan to Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal suggests the new commander in chief wants major changes in addition to the additional troops he’s ordering into Afghanistan to shore up the war effort. McKiernan, on the job for less than a year, has repeatedly pressed for more forces. Although Obama has approved more than 21,000 additional troops this year, he has warned that the war will not be won by military means…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54172

Lebanon displays tools it says Israel used to spy
Hussein Malla (AP)
Lebanese police displayed sophisticated devices Monday that they said Israel used to spy on Hezbollah, including a water cooler fitted with sensors to survey the landscape. Other devices shown to reporters and photographers included a car battery charger that the police said was used to store and transmit data and USB flash drives containing detailed maps of Lebanon. Some of the maps showed bridges and military outposts that were hit by Israeli warplanes during the 2006 war with Hezbollah, police said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54186

Security Guards of the Deputy Al-Dayni Have Faced Awful Torture
Al-Dayni Press Office
Reliable sources from the Green Zoon prison informed us that the security guards of the deputy Al-Dayni have faced awful torture in order to force them to say fabricated accusations against Al-Dayni .Their feet and bodies are bleeding till now. That is why the Iraqi authorities refuse the right of their lawyers to meet them. More than 80 days have passed and the fate of Al-Dayni and his brothers still unknown, for no guilt they committed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54171

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