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URUK Net 16 May, 2009

Last updated: Monday, May 18, 2009 8:19

Rumsfeld’s renegade unit blamed for Afghan deaths
Jerome Starkey
A single American Special Forces group was behind at least three of Afghanistan’s worst civilian casualty incidents, The Independent has learnt, raising fundamental questions about their ongoing role in the conflict. Troops from the US Marines Corps’ Special Operations Command, or MarSOC, were responsible for calling in air strikes in Bala Boluk, in Farah, last week – believed to have killed more than 140 men, women and children – as well as two other incidents in 2007 and 2008. News of MarSOC’s involvement in the three incidents comes just days after a Special Forces expert, Lieutenant-General Stanley McChrystal, was named to take over as the top commander of US and Nato troops in Afghanistan. His surprise appointment has prompted speculation that commando counterinsurgency missions will increase in the battle to beat the Taliban…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54321

Giving Some Love to the Inquisition
Robert Parry
At a Senate hearing this past week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, rallied to the defense of ex-President George W. Bush’s torture techniques by implicitly endorsing the Spanish Inquisition’s brutal treatment of Jews, Muslims, Protestants and other alleged heretics from the 15th to 17th centuries. “One of the reasons these techniques have been used for about 500 years is that they work,” Graham said on May 13 in the latest Republican justification of Bush’s authorization of tactics such as forced nudity, sleep deprivation, painful stress positions and the near-drowning of waterboarding…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54320

In imperialist ‘surge,’ Washington pushes Pakistan into war
Mazda Majidi
…The U.S. government, under Bush and Obama, had relentlessly pushed Pakistan—a U.S. client state—to end negotiations with the tribal forces and attack them. Pakistanis in the tribal area bordering Afghanistan have shown sympathy and support for their Afghan neighbors under occupation. In the eighth year of a war it is not winning, Washington is hoping to cut off any aid given to the Afghan resistance forces coming from neighboring Pakistan. The term “Af-Pak” war, recently in vogue in the Pentagon’s terminology, is reflective of Washington’s plan to freely expand their “war on terror” to the Pakistani side of the border…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54315

After baby Feras, child Yasser waiting death
Pal Telegraph
Yasser Ahmed Al Swasi is a 12 year old child living in the Gaza Strip where the ongoing siege still suffocates 1.5 million Gazans. Gazans are not permitted to leave the strip, even for medical care denials are frequent. Yasser hasn’t left his own bed for two years, as he suffers critical health problems. Yassers’ life depends on a respiratory machine, he cannot breathe on his own. The recent diagnosis of Yasser was quadriplegia, and punctured larynx. He has been transferred to an Egyptian hospital for an operation that will cost $150, 000. “The surgical operation will be performed by an American specialist doctor”. Inquiring about his condition out of curiosity, I asked him “How are you Yasser?” In a very tiny voice full of sadness he replied “I have no chance to live as I am bedridden since two years ago, and nothing changed”. His condition is severe, due to paralysis he’s unable to do anything without assistance…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54323

Health ministry: Dialysis solutions to run out of stock in 3 days
Medical Aid for Palestinians Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)
The Palestinian health ministry in the Gaza Strip has warned that its stock of dialysis solutions is going to run out of its stores within three days. The ministry appealed in a statement on Tuesday to all human rights groups, Red Cross, Arab League, the organization of Islamic conference and all living consciences to demand the immediate opening of all crossings to allow entry of those solutions and to maintain the dialysis machines…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54314

To and From an Abu Ghraib Survivor
Layla Anwar, Uncensored Arabwomanblues
I am terribly distressed, words are imprisoned in my throat, I am their detainee no.O – Zero. I can’t write anything, my hands are tied…I feel nothing, my skin is numb. More cover up from Abu Ghraib. I need to spit it out, but I am stuck, am stuck for now. I can only offer a mirror play tonight…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54300

Testimony: Settlers throw rocks at ambulance transporting patient while soldiers stand idly by, Hebron, April ‘09
B’Tselem
…I went to the doctor’s office. He examined me, gave me new medications, and calmed me down. My daughter, Hanaa, went with me. After seeing the doctor, I decided to go home. I called the Red Cross, which called the Civil Administration to coordinate my return home by ambulance. Then my daughter and I went to the Red Crescent Medical Center, in H-1 [the part of Hebron under Palestinian control], to get into the ambulance that would take me home. The medical team was waiting, and Hanaa and I were told to get into the ambulance. The driver was Shaher Mujahed and the paramedic was Ahmad Makhamrah. When we got to the checkpoint at Gross Square, the soldier at the checkpoint made a telephone call and then let us pass. The ambulance drove along a-Shuhada Street to get to our house. When we passed by the gate of the army base, a soldier stopped us and spoke with the driver. He asked him why he was riding on this road. The driver explained that we had coordinated the trip with the Red Cross, and that the soldier at Gross Square let us pass, but the soldier didn’t let us continue on our way. He looked angry and told the driver to turn around..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54317

Campaign to release the Palestinian activist arrested in al-Ma’sara
International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
The Al-Ma’sara Committee against the Wall and Settlements has been organizing and participating in demonstrations against the confiscation of their land for the past two and a half years. Participants and committee members are known for their strict adherence to non-violent tactics in demonstrations. While the protesters maintained their usual tactics on 1 May 2009, Israeli forces escalated their attempt to suppress the non-violent resistance by arresting several demonstrators. A new military commander, stationed in the area two months prior, had announced his intentions to end the resistance and implemented tactics such as night invasions of organizer’s homes, destruction of property and threats…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54319

Gitmo general told Iraq WMD search team to torture
Mark Benjamin
It’s one thing if, as former Vice President Dick Cheney keeps saying, the United States brutally interrogated people to keep our kids safe from another strike by Osama bin Laden. If folks got tortured to provide a rationale for going to war with Iraq, though, that’s a whole different story. Recent news reports have suggested the possibility that the Bush administration might have endorsed torture to prove an Iraq-al Qaida link. And a recent report from the Senate Armed Services Committee shows that months after then-President Bush had declared Mission Accomplished in Iraq, an Army general working hand in glove with top administration officials tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to convince a unit charged with finding weapons of mass destruction to get tough on its prisoners…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54318

As Palestinians mark the Nakba, Occupation places the West Bank under siege
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
The Israeli Authorities imposed a strict siege on the Palestinian territories as the Palestinians are marking their 61 anniversary of Diaspora, disposition and Nakba, as they were displaced and force out of their homeland during the creation of Israel on historic Palestinian land. The siege would continue for 48 hours and is set to be lifted after midnight on Saturday. Palestinians in different parts of the country and in dozens of refugee camps in Palestine and in exile marked the Nakba day and expressed determination to their internationally guaranteed right of return…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54313

Torture’s Role in the Rush to War With Iraq
Gordon Prather
You’ve probably heard that Bush-Cheney and Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz had already developed plans to invade and occupy Iraq, months before the Saudi terrorists attacked the Pentagon and brought down the World Trade Center Twin Towers. These conspirators immediately set out to justify their impending war of aggression on your fear that Islamic terrorists might well strike again, this time with “weapons of mass destruction.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54312

Wa’ed: Israel practices the ugliest torture methods in secret prisons
Palestinian Information Center
The Wa’ed society for detainees and ex-detainees reported Saturday that all information available indicates that Israel practices the most heinous methods of torture against Palestinian prisoners in its secret jails, expressing disappointment at the Red Cross’s failure to visit these prisons where hundreds of Palestinians are locked up. In a statement received by the PIC, the Wa’ed society added that the Israeli intelligence imposes a news blackout on the incarceration conditions of Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in secret jails, noting that some prisoners no one knows their whereabouts such as prisoners Hasan Salama and Abdullah Al-Barghouthi…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54310

Human Rights Organizations Warn of Obstacles to Gaza Reconstruction (Report)
Palestinian Information Center
After the passage of more than a hundred days since the end of the Zionist war on the Gaza Strip, international humanitarian and human rights organizations are warning of the consequences of an alarming humanitarian situation in the Strip. This is due to an inability to reconstruct homes and businesses and to repair the extensive damage caused to infrastructure and basic services that were destroyed in the assault. That inability is a result of the ongoing Israeli policy of keeping the border crossings closed and refusing to allow the entry of many materials necessary for reconstruction…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54309

Obama: more dangerous than Bush (Reverend Wright was correct about Obama just being another politician)
TPMCafé
…Face it, Obama is a fraud, additced to the power of lies and deceit. It appears to me that Obama’s top priorities are: 1. (TIE) redistributing wealth from the taxpayers to the banksters AND playing basketball 2. permanent land war in Asia (how did that work out for the Romans, Greeks, and Russians?) 3. the rendition, permanent imprisonment and torture (especially slicing of penises) of Arab Muslims at his personal whim 4. Covering up the crimes of the Bush Admin, supressing evidence, or whole lawsuits by claiming national security 5. Keeping enough Republicans and Blue Dogs (Specter, Coleman, Gates) in power so that he has an excuse to not enact any of the meaningful promises he made 6. Letting EFCA fail, or become so watered down it is no change…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54307

Iran to host summit with Afghanistan, Pakistan
AFP
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will on Tuesday host a summit with his counterparts from Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is expected to discuss rebulding of war-shattered Afghanistan. Announcing the summit on Saturday, Ahmadinejad’s office did not reveal the agenda for the talks to be attended by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan. But the gathering comes less than three months after the three met in Tehran for a regional economic summit, along with leaders from other neighbouring states…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54311

Maliki Seeks to Limit Power of Sunnis, Kurds
Power-Sharing Would Lead to ‘Catastrophe’
Jason Ditz
Seeking greater control over the nation for his majority Shi’ite bloc, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is calling for a reduction of the nation’s power-sharing agreements, which were designed to assure that the Sunni Arab and Kurdish minorities of the nation had some say over the nation’s government. Maliki said “consensus” was necessary in the era immediately after the US invasion, but that now it was a “catastrophe” which had to give way to “majority rule.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54306

61 years of Nakba, 418 Palestinian villages destroyed
Reham Alhelsi
These two videos show the images of what Palestine was before the onset of Zionism. It shows the culture of the indigenous people of Palestine, their daily lives, their homes, families, work, play, social activities and education. It shows a peaceful society in harmony with its land. Then we see the effects of Jewish mass immigration to Palestine and how they devastated the land and committed outrage after outrage against its people…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54308

Life among the ruins in Gaza
Amira Hass
Wadi Gaza is an agricultural region southeast of Gaza City. The ruins of Hussein al Aaidy’s family home are immediately apparent. The houses (and several other heaps of ruins) are scattered among budding hills, lazing goats and fields that have been plowed but not sown. Up until nine years ago, these houses were surrounded by orchards and other fruit trees. Until the Israel Defense Forces bulldozers uprooted everything in order to safeguard the Israelis driving to the settlement of Netzarim…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54301

Insurgents kill 3 NATO troops in Afghanistan
AFP
Authorities say insurgent attacks have killed three NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, while air strikes that killed 22 militants thwarted a Taliban plan to storm a southern town. The Taliban-led insurgency, launched after the extremists were driven from government in 2001, has stepped up in recent weeks with a series of deadly attacks that come as about 21,000 US reinforcements move into the south…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54324

61 Years of On-Going Nakba: the Old Still Live through Us and the Young Never Forgot
Reham Alhelsi
On 18/07/1948 David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary: We must do everything to ensure they (the Palestinian refugees) never do return… The old will die and the young will forget.” Today, 61 years after the Nakba of 1948 and despite the on-going Zionist terror and ethnic cleansing, we are still here and we have not forgotten, nor will we ever. In 1948/49, accompanied by looting, pillage and plunder, 418 Palestinian localities, including towns, villages and tribes, were destroyed by Zionist terror groups, the predecessors of the IOF. A study by researcher Salman Abu Sitta lists 531 destroyed localities and 11 emptied urban neighbourhoods. Many villages were completely erased off the face of the earth, while others stand in ruins today. The inhabitants of these villages were faced with massacres and forced expulsion, and Palestinian houses, belongings and lands were usurped. 70 massacres left 15,000 Palestinians dead and up to 850,000 Palestinians were made refugees…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54299

Israel denies pontifical request; demands denunciation of Iran as Holy Father concludes peace pilgrimage
Ma’an News
Pope Benedict XVI made his final visits during his Holy Land pilgrimage Friday, where he met with church leaders from several sects in Jerusalem and paid a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Throughout his trip the pontiff has pushed a message of peace and urged Christians to remain and return to live in the Holy Land. Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Christians of the Holy Land on Thursday calling on them not to emigrate despite the difficult conditions and instability in this region…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54298

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