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URUK Net 14 May, 2009 Part 2

Last updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 10:28

White Phosphorus Lies
Moon of Alabama
Two days ago the U.S. military again denied the use of white phosphorus grenades in directly targeting enemy positions in Afghanistan. In today’s NYT, a reporter embedded with U.S. front troops again confirms such use… The U.S. denies any use of white phosphorus grenades and bombs in direct combat and in turn accuses the Taliban of having used WP. That I find laughable. While the Taliban may use old WP grenades from somewhere to prepare IED’s it is very unlikely that they would use them in direct fighting. A Taliban spokesperson denied any use of WP by them… But while not one independent report can be found of Taliban use of WP, the U.S. military has used such in direct combat as anti-personel weapon has been documented in Fallujah, Iraq, and also in Afghanistan…
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Once Again: Thanks, Bill. Deep Sigh.
Arthur Silber
…I just reviewed in my mind all the presidents since the end of World War II, and I can’t think of one who is not a war criminal, if we took that phrase with any degree of seriousness. By that, I mean that we invest that phrase with the meaning provided to it by the Nuremberg Principles. When we remember all the interventions, covert operations, brutalizing and murderous sanctions regimes (see this essay, too, including the excerpts from Stanley Kutler: “The sanctions and bombings of the 1990s are directly linked to Bush’s determination to invade Iraq in 2003 and attempt to remake it—again, in our image.”), together with the fully-armed military incursions and invasions, we see that all of those presidents, including most emphatically Obama today, calmly and deliberately ordered and continue to order the murder of people who could never even hope to harm the United States, often in huge numbers. Obama is poised to exceed even the abominable George W. Bush in that regard, an issue I will soon be examining in more detail — and an issue very, very few people care to acknowledge. Anyway, thanks again, Bill. You miserable bastard…
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Video: Palestinian child pays price of Israel’s siege
Firas Mazloom was born desperately ill in Gaza just as Israel started its siege on the impoverished Palestinian territory two years ago. Al Jazeera’s Casey Kauffman reports on the race against time to save two-year-old Firas.
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Pull The Other One
Nell Lancaster
Pres. Obama’s decision to resist the release of long-withheld images of U.S. torture in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo is yet another self-inflicted injury to the idea that his administration is willing to be “transparent”. The excuse offered adds insult — an insult to the intelligence: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters yesterday that President Obama has “great concern” about the impact that releasing the photos would have on soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Puhleeze. His great concern is about the impact on the U.S. public, half of which is already far more interested in accountability for torture than he is, and the other half unwilling or unable to conceive of U.S. torture unless shown pictures. The Iraqi and Afghan public don’t need five-year-old pictures of torture to loathe and wish harm to U.S. troops: they’ve lived it, they’ve heard the survivors’ accounts, and they’re still experiencing massacres by air strikes, house raids, checkpoints, lawless detention, and the multiple humiliations of occupation. The only things that could dampen their anger are the departure of U.S. troops and trials, conviction and long sentences for higher-ups responsible for the crimes committed against their peoples…
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As the war planes loom overhead
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
…”Israel is now the biggest exporter of conflicts in the world, in my opinion, surpassing even the United States. For example, the Sri Lankan government uses Israeli weapons and expertise against the Tamils, committing massacres even as we speak. And Israel profits financially. The Israeli economy is booming because it is based on the export of weapons and conflict. In addition, the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip nets Israel billions of dollars each year. Approximately 40 to 45 percent of all humanitarian aid into the Occupied Palestinian Territory ends up in Israeli hands. This is documented by a series of publications and research on the economy of the occupation by Israeli researcher Sher Hever of the Alternative Information Center. The occupation is big business.”…
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The Ongoing Nakbas
Marcy Newman, body on the line
Below are a few photographs–first historical ones and then photographs from recent events. These are just a sampling of the multiple Nakbas that Palestinians experience in the few years that i have lived in the region. The historic photographs come from a french book entitled les palestiniens and the recent photos are mine, except for matthew’s photo from gaza, which is noted. But there are many more. And i fear that there will be more to come unless un resolution 194 is implemented…
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Unity Comes First
By Joharah Baker
Saying we are back to square one hardly does our situation justice. If we are to be more accurate, we should say we are below zero, pushed back to a place we tried to avoid in the first place. But here we are – no national unity government, no factional conciliation and not even unity within Fateh itself. The Palestinian squabbling has splintered the leadership even more, leaving us empty handed once again. For months now, the Palestinian people have been on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, alternately raising their hopes and watching them plummet with the start of every conciliation meeting and their subsequent failure. Each time, we average citizens hoped beyond hope that this time, our leaders would come to their senses and realize how important it is to see the bigger picture, to transcend these petty feuds and maintain the age-old aspiration of our people, which is a united front with the goal of national liberation…
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Israel Expanding ‘Beautifully’ In Jerusalem
By Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler
Even as Pope Benedict XVI tries his best during his current Holy Land visit to pay reverence to the attachment of all three monotheistic faiths to Jerusalem, on the ground a less lofty imprint is already furthering Israeli control over the Holy City in a way that could threaten the claims of all but Jews to Jerusalem. The Israeli government is quietly implementing a development plan that aims at transforming the area known as the “Holy Basin” – land both inside and just outside the walled Old City – into a major “Biblical Kingdom”, the aim of which is to strengthen Israel’s hold over the whole of the city…
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Mission Accomplished
by Christopher H. Pyle
President Barack Obama appears to be endorsing the Bush administration’s larger mission — to turn the American presidency into an elected monarchy. By refusing to enforce the laws against torture, he not only violated his oath of office; he joined George W. Bush in declaring that CIA operatives can commit crimes with impunity, provided that a government lawyer gives them a permission slip. In so doing, Obama has embraced a new version the old Adolf Eichmann defense of following orders — “my lawyer said I could do it.” Do not try this at home. According to our current president, only Justice Department lawyers can secretly authorize the commission of crimes…
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Nakba Day…”They Killed Anyone They Saw”
By Khalid Amayreh
Mohammed al-Saghir Abu Sharar was 37 when the Hagana and other Jewish terrorist gangs attacked al-Dawayema, a village located 18 kilometers northwest of Al-Khalil (Hebron) in 1948. “When they came they started killing the civilian population en mass, men, women and children,” recalls Mohammed, now nearly 100-year-old. “They killed anyone they saw. They broke the heads of children and cut open the bellies of women with bayonets. They even raped some women before murdering them.” Mohammed said one of the bloodiest chapters of that day took place in the mosque…
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Leon Panetta’s mission to stop Israel bombing Iranian nuclear plant
James Hider, Times
America’s spy chief was sent on a secret mission to Israel to warn its leaders not to launch a surprise attack on Iran without notifying the US Administration. As Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, prepares to visit Washington, it emerged yesterday that Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, went to Israel two weeks ago. He sought assurances from Mr Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister, that their hawkish new Government would not attack Iran without alerting Washington…
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US House approves $96.7 bln bill funding wars
The US House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a 96.7-billion-dollar measure to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars through October 1 as well as aid ally Pakistan. Lawmakers passed the bill, which also included two billion dollars to prepare for fighting an influenza pandemic, by a lopsided 368-60 margin. The measure did not include President Barack Obama’s request for 80 million dollars to close the prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amid congressional concerns about what to do with the detainees there…
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Thousands of Palestinians gather to mark the ‘catastrophe’
Jail Arabs who mourn Israeli creation: Lieberman and Agencies
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s party wants to ban Israeli Arabs from marking the anniversary of “the Catastrophe” in 1948 when Israel was created as thousands of Palestinians marked the 61st anniversary of the Naqba that sparked an exodus of hundreds of thousands of refugees. The ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party said it would propose legislation next week for a ban on the practice and a jail term of up to three years for violators. “The draft law is intended to strengthen unity in the state of Israel and to ban marking Independence Day as a day of mourning,” said party spokesman Tal Nahum…
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US firms allowed to invest in Iran oil
Five American companies participated last month in Iran’s International Exhibition of Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals. There is no barrier for the presence of foreign companies in the Iranian oil industry, says the head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). “The Islamic Republic has always welcomed the investment by all foreign companies in Iranian oil, gas and petrochemical projects, including US firms,” Seyfollah Jashnsaaz said Tuesday. He said there would be no legal obstacle if US firms want to negotiate over their investment in the Iranian oil industry, adding that their return would benefit all parties…
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Suspected war criminal to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan
Nicolas J S Davies
On July 22 2006, Human Rights Watch issued a report titled “No blood, no foul” about American torture practices at three facilities in Iraq. One of them was Camp Nama, which was operated by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), under the direction of then Major General Stanley McChrystal. McChrystal was officially based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, but he was a frequent visitor to Camp Nama and other Special Forces bases in Iraq and Afghanistan where forces under his command were based…
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War Crimes Against Children: new report on the 313 children killed during Gaza offensive
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
A new report released today reveals the true extent of child killings by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip during its 23 day offensive on Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is publishing War Crimes Against Children in response to the unprecedented number of children killed by Israeli forces in its latest operation; a total of 313 children under the age of eighteen. Containing numerous eye witness testimonies, the report brings to light Israel’s widespread targeting of unarmed civilians, including children, throughout the offensive…
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Average Americans stand behind their President in covering up Abu Ghraib torture
Imad Khadduri
…The lovely “progressive” Barack Obama, is now trying to (again) brush the truth about Abu Ghraib under the rug, just like George Bush did. Ask yourself: If Obama really wanted to make a significant change in America’s way of doing business — if he really wanted to ‘come clean’ on what America has been doing to the world, over (at least) the last 8 years, then why would he be trying to censor the pictures coming out of Abu Ghraib?”…
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Pakistan government prepares for long-term war
By Peter Symonds
Refugees continue to flood out of embattled areas of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) as the military extends its offensive in the Swat, Buner and Lower Dir districts against Taliban militants. The UNHCR puts the total number of people registered as internally displaced at more than 670,000 since May 2, but the figure is certainly higher. Speaking in London after meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari pledged to continue the so-called fight against terrorism, saying that it would be “a long term affair”. Under intense pressure from the US and its allies, the Pakistani government last month abrogated a peace deal with Taliban leaders in the Swat district and gave the green light for major military operations against the Islamist guerrillas…
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Israeli soldier confesses to looting home during Gaza offensive
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
Israeli sources reported Wednesday that a soldier confessed on Tuesday to looting a home in the northern part of the Gaza Strip during the latest Israeli offensive. The soldier was arrested along with another soldier last week, and an army spokesperson stated that the acts of the soldiers “were not in line with the Israeli army policies. The other soldier was released after the first confessed. The investigation unit at the Israel army said it received a complaint last month and started probing the issue…
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Hamas and Fatah security arrests members of both movements
Ghassan Bannoura
Both Hamas and Fatah announced that each rival movement security forces arrested members of the movements in Gaza and the West Bank on Thursday. Hamas which control the Gaza strip announced that security forces controlled by the Fatah movement arrested four members of the movement in deferent parts of the west Bank. Meanwhile Fatah reported that two of its members were arrested by the Hamas run security forces in the Gaza strip…
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Israel rejects Vatican request for 500 Arab clergymen visas
Ma’an News
The Israeli Ministry of Interior rejected a request presented by the Vatican to grant 500 Christian clergymen from Arab states a permanent entry visa to Israel. The ministry rejected the petition under the pretext of security. The request had been passed along by Ozi Arad, the Israeli director of national security…
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