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URUK Net 20 May, 2009

Last updated: Friday, May 22, 2009 11:02

U.S. Officials Admitted that Boys Were Sodomized In Iraq Prison
Washington’s Blog
Many people have heard Nobel prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh’s claim that boys were sodomized at Abu Ghraib and that the Pentagon has video of the rapes. Many people think that they’ll believe it when and if they ever see the video. But we don’t need to wait for the military to release the videos. There is already proof that Hersh is right…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54436

The American Way: In Defense of George W. Bush
Chris Floyd
…To see the Bush Faction in the dock — charged with launching a war of aggression and creating a worldwide gulag of torture and illegal detention — is of course the fervent dream of millions of people across the globe. Such a sight would seem to provide tangible proof that the ideal of justice cannot be vanquished entirely by the brute force of elite power. The evidence supporting these charges is mountainous, and growing all the time. What’s more, the essentials are undisputed, even by the defendants themselves. In the case of aggression, the public reasons offered by the Bush White House for the invasion of Iraq were even less substantial than those put forth by Adolf Hitler for the invasion of Poland in 1939. And this is true even if you accept the highly disputable notion that the Bush Administration really believed that Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, it would be true even if Saddam really did have weapons of mass destruction. In the Nazis’ case, there was at least the pretense of a (faked) direct attack on German territory; not even Hitler dared publicly base his invasion on a mere threat, on the presumption that Germany might be attacked at some point in the future…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54441

IRAQ: Corruption undermining state food aid programme?
IRIN news
Iraq’s state-run food rationing system is crumbling and corruption in high places could be partly to blame. A new survey by the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation of 120,000 families which had qualified for state food handouts in 15 of Iraq’s 18 provinces, found that 18 percent of families had not received the nine-item food ration for 13 months; 31.5 percent for 7-12 months; 14.5 percent for 4-6 months; 22 percent for 2-3 months and 14.5 percent for one month. The survey also revealed concerns about the quality of food items: 16 percent of the surveyed families said the ration items in April were bad, 45 percent said they acceptable, while 29 percent said they were good…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54437

Why Obama Refuses To Release Torture Pictures
Yvonne Ridley
…Of course, if the interrogators were doing nothing untoward, there would have been nothing to hide. But clearly there is something to hide, isn’t there? And if what Moazzam says is true we are talking about the rape, sadistic abuse and brutalisation not just of men and women, but children too. While some Republican red necks would probably just scoff at pictures of olive skinned men being brutalised, I’m not so sure they would shrug off so easily pictures of women and young children being tortured…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54433

Gaza: Six Palestinians wounded in Israeli attacks
Ma’an News
Six Palestinians wounded in Israeli attack – Ma’an – A Palestinian man was hospitalized after being shot by Israeli soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, becoming the sixth casualty in less than 24 hours. On Wednesday afternoon, another airstrike was reported in eastern Gaza City. There are no reports of casualties yet. Earlier, Israel’s air force bombed smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip, just hours after overnight strikes left five Palestinians wounded. The renewed violence follows weeks of relative calm in Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54442

Abbas losing support from Fateh
Helena Cobban
Mahmoud Abbas is supposed to be the head of the Fateh movement, as well as of the PLO (!) and the US-supported Palestinian Authority (PA.) Yesterday, Abbas swore in a new PA ‘government’, headed as before by the strongly US-backed Salam Fayyad… and most members of Fateh’s own parliamentary bloc opposed the move and refused to join!…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54440

[Video Free Gaza] First edition 20th May 09
Free Gaza Movement
First edition of the “Video Free Gaza”, the latest news on the Free Gaza effort to end the siege on the Gaza strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54435

McChrystal & Pelosi
Stan Goff
…McChrystal ran Task Force 6-26, which became temporarily famous after the killing of Abu Masab al-Zarqawi, a boogyman figure cultivated by the US military and media complex. What made TF 6-26 infamous was their activity in Camp Nama, Iraq: torture. Massive, systematic, sustained torture, by special operators, under the supervision of Stanley McChrystal, this deceptively soft-spoken officer. The camp in Baghdad was used almost exclusively for the torture of detainees. The torture went on before, during, and after the scandal at Abu Ghraib. Detainees were killed by their torturers, members of the most elite units in the US armed forces. Almost in celebration of the activity of the camp, placards were hung that said, “No Blood, No Foul,” meaning if you don’t make them bleed, you can’t be charged with the crimes you are committing. Impunity. McChrystal represents a culture of impunity. Pelosi does, too. Be honest…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54434

Video: Pakistan’s displaced struggle to find shelter – 20 May 09
AljaeeraEnglish
Fighting between government forces and Taliban have forced two millions of Pakistanis to flee their homes. Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan reports from Mardan district in the North West Frontier Province, where every available space that can house the displaced is being utilised…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54432

Humanitarian crisis worsens in Swat
Aljaeera.net
…Rashid Khalikov, director of the United Nations’ humanitarian office in New York, has said that aid workers are struggling to reach many of those who fled as the number of displaced increased with “absolutely horrible speed.” The UN estimates that about 1.4 million people have been displaced since fighting in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) started at the end of April. That estimate is in addition to about 550,000 people already displaced by fighting across the NWFP and in other Pakistani regions. John Holmes, the UN humanitarian chief, said only about 20 per cent of displaced civilians are inside about 24 refugee camps at the moment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54431

Rift deepens between Palestinian factions
Omar Karmi
The swearing-in of a new, extended cabinet by Mahmoud Abbas is a “deliberate attempt” to undermine ongoing unity talks in Cairo, Hamas said yesterday. Mr Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, swore in the cabinet on Tuesday evening. The new government, which in effect will rule only over the parts of the occupied West Bank not under direct Israeli control, is headed by Salam Fayyad, who also led the previous Palestinian administration…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54430

Iran Missile Launch Confirmed By US
PAMELA HESS and PAULINE JELINEK
…But both U.S. government officials and independent American missile experts said Wednesday that the Iranian missile itself did not appear to be a new model. Charles Vick, a senior technical analyst for GlobalSecurity.org, analyzed photos and videotape of the launch released by Iran. “I’m not all that impressed,” Vick said. “It’s just another test that confirms they’ve got the system that was operational last summer.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54439

Who’s Next for Dinner ?
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
I am really a terrible woman. I am full of good intentions and really want to deliver some good news to you. But somehow, Reality catches up with me.
Mind you, what you are about to read may be considered as excellent news by some of you, possibly a good majority of you. I guess that does not make me so terrible, after all. You know, I was thinking about “ripple effects”, “avalanches” and “spreading fires.” I said to myself — first, Afghanistan, then Iraq, followed by Pakistan. Surely there must be more…surely there must be more “containment” to use a strategist’s term. I am no strategist for sure, but I do know a little. So who’s next after Pakistan ?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54410

Committee Against Torture’s Findings Highlight International Community’s Inaction in the Face of Israel’s Widespread and Systematic Violations of International Law
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
On 14 May, 2009, the United Nations Committee Against Torture published its concluding observations on Israel’s fourth periodic report. While the State of Israel was preparing its submission, other elements of the Occupying Power’s administration were, inter alia, reinforcing the siege on the Gaza Strip, solidifying the annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, expanding illegal settlement activities in the West Bank, and preparing for Operation ‘Cast Lead’, the 23 day military offensive on the Gaza Strip… PCHR note that the crimes documented in the Committee Against Torture’s report, and the countless other crimes committed by IOF, cannot be carried out without impunity. This impunity is granted on two levels: first, by the complicity of Israel’s judicial system, and second, by the silence and deference of the international community…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54419

McChrystal’s Rise: More Secrets, Less Daylight
Tom Hayden
All along there were two US wars in Iraq. There was the public war, in which the Pentagon tried to manipulate the mainstream media into being a “message amplifier,” while some intrepid reporters and bloggers fought back. Then there was the secret war carried out by the Special Operations forces, whose existence was denied even by the Pentagon. Now the secret operations threaten to completely compromise what remains of the public war in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the ascension of Gen. Stanley McChrystal to top commander from his classified role in running Special Ops in Iraq for five years. When questioned by the media or senators presiding at his confirmation hearing in a few weeks, Gen. McChrystal may have a simple answer to anything troubling: sorry, that is classified…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54411

Action, Cut!
by Eric Walberg
The centerpiece of United States President Barack Obama’s PR campaign to show the world the US is the nice cop was to end the military tribunals, which he called “an enormous failure” during last year’s presidential campaign, and close the infamous Guantanamo prison. This was Obama’s first major “achievement” upon assuming office. Rumblings about the impossibility of closing Guantanamo were being heard even as Obama took office. It appears there’s no place to send the prisoners, most of whom are innocent of anything other than fighting invaders, if that. Congress does not want to allow them to come to stay in equally notorious US jails, where overcrowding, violence, drugs and AIDS are endemic. Nor is Congress willing to fork over any money to close Guantanamo. Of course this is nonsense. Venezuela’s president offered to take them all, but Obama dare not accept any favors from someone so principled, lest his house of cards come tumbling down…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54412

US President Gives Green Light for Israel to Continue Its Nuclear Arms Program
Sergio Yahni, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
According to the Israeli press, US President Barak Obama promised Prime Minister Netanyahu that he would maintain the current understandings between the two countries regarding Israel’s nuclear program. Before the Obama-Netanyahu summit, at an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Rose Gottemoeller, declared that Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea should sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. These are the only four recognized sovereign states that are not parties to the treaty…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54425

An Interview with Khalida Jarrar of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Enrico Bartolomei for the Alternative Information Center (AIC)
…We do not think individuals can do a lot for the policy of a country. I believe that Obama will not bring any substantial change, at least with regard to the American foreign policy. We are talking about institutional policies, not those of individuals. Of course, each President, each party has a different approach on how to implement foreign policy, and there will be no crazy policies anymore like Bush did, but Obama cannot change the system, and the contradictions are within the system itself: the capitalist economic system, the imperialist view that led to the military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Toward the Middle East and especially the Palestinian cause, they are still talking about the “peace process,” that does not mean anything for us, it is not a real peace process. And I think the priority for the US now will be the financial crisis and the economic problems inside the capitalistic system itself. Therefore, we are not optimistic, Obama will not alter the system and consequently for the Palestinians, the situation will not change a lot…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54422

American Death Squad
Obama inherits Cheney’s army of assassins – and promotes their commander
Justin Raimondo
…The dark side includes McChrystal’s overseeing of Camp Nama, a detainee center outside of Baghdad (since renamed and relocated) notorious for its brutality. The very same administration that is up on its high horse about forbidding torture has just elevated one of the chief torturers to direct Obama’s war in Afghanistan. It is hardly inconceivable that what we saw at Camp Nama – beatings, degradation of prisoners, and outright, cold-blooded murder – is going to be replicated on a nationwide scale. That’s what they call “fresh thinking” over at Obama’s Pentagon…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54417

The Only Monopoly that Matters
Arthur Silber
The crack-up of Empire will provide its all-too-brief episodes of amusement, for which we subjects must be duly grateful. (”You will be grateful, you pathetic pissants!” scream Our Masters in D.C.) Here is Harry Reid on closing Guantanamo, releasing terrorists (alleged terrorists, to be accurate — “NO!” loudly proclaim Our Masters. “They are terrorists, because we say so! Why would they be in prison if they weren’t terrorists? Hah! Didn’t think of that, did you, you piece of scum!” “Oh, thank you, sir,” sez I. “Sorry, sorry, sorry. I forgot. Thank you, sir! Harder, sir! I deserve it!” grovel grovel grovel), and — o, wondrous mysteries of life! — the endlessly baffling epistemological and linguistic complexities raised by transferring a “terrorist” (”Oh, thank you, sir. That was a good one!”) from one prison to another…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54415

PCHR Is Concerned over Measures Taken by Security Services in the Gaza Strip against Fatah Activists and Prominent Figures
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned over a series of recent measures taken by security services against a number of Fatah activists and prominent figures in the Gaza Strip. Security services’ actions include detentions and restrictions on the freedom of movement and the right to peaceful assembly. PCHR calls upon the government in Gaza to stop such measures. These actions violate the rights to freedom of movement and peaceful assembly as protected by the Palestinian Basic Law and international human rights standards…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54427

Al-Aqsa Facing “Real, Immediate” Danger
Khaled Amayreh
Palestinians are sounding the alarm that Israel’s continuing excavation works beneath the Haram al-Sharif (Noble sanctuary) in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) is posing a “real and immediate” danger to its Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine. “Israeli excavations and continuing digging right beneath the Haram al Sharif’s esplanade have already caused irreparable damage to the stability of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s foundations,” Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement, told IslamOnline.net. Salah, who has been closely monitoring Israeli excavations in the Old City of Al-Quds for over 25 years, says Israel is paying no attention to protests by Arab and Muslim countries over the perils its digging poses to Islamic holy places…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54428

The “war on terror”: creating refugees one village at a time
Marcy Newman, body on the line
…of course, i wrote the other day about the zionist entity providing Sri Lanka with its weapons in order to carry out this genocide. The genocide may be over in Sri Lanka, but the trauma will not be over for a long time. Nor will the refugees lead a normal life for some time to come either. And while this massive refugee crisis comes to a head the one in Pakistan just continues to worsen also because of a so-called “war on terror” instigated by Americans…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54408

Stop the Press! This is what Israeli Democracy Looks Like
Nima Shirazi
Last Tuesday, prominent Israeli journalist Amira Hass was arrested by Israeli authorities upon entering Israel from Gaza. Hass, a correspondent for the daily Ha’aretz, had been living and working in Gaza for months, reporting on the lives of Palestinians and revealing many devastating truths about the brutalized and besieged community. Journalists are forbidden to enter Gaza, upon orders from the Israeli military. Clearly, where there are reporters, there may be reports. Where there are reports, there may be knowledge. And when there is knowledge, especially about the Israeli policy of constant aggressive oppression of the Palestinian people, there is sure to be outrage. Truth and dissent are the eternal enemies of history’s oppressors, therefore it is no surprise that Israel wishes to suppress knowledge and publicity of its own indefensible actions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54409

At Tel Aviv airport, even the pope gets searched
Ma’an News
Despite the diplomatic immunity that Pope Benedict XVI enjoys throughout the world, Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport security officials insisted on inspecting all the pontiff’s luggage when he left the Holy Land last Friday, according to the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv. According to Ma’ariv’s report, which appeared on Tuesday, the pope’s attendants were asked to put all the gifts he received during his weeklong visit through an X-ray machine. The aides were also questioned at the airport…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54429

Obama gov’t restores visa to former spy, Netanhayu adviser
Jonathan Cook
As might be expected of a former senior official with Israel’s spy agency Mossad, Uzi Arad — the most trusted political adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister — has become used to being in the shadows as he exerts influence. But that is fast changing. Arad was prominent in preparing Netanyahu’s tough positions as he headed for Washington this week to meet Barack Obama, the US president, who is seeking to advance a Middle East peace plan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54426

Afghan forces leaking US arms to Taliban
The Nation, Pakistan
US ammunition and assault rifles supplied to Afghan troops are finding their way into the hands of Taliban militants, enabling them to fight an insurgency for years against materially superior US-led forces, a media report said on Wednesday. A study of ammunition markings of 30 rifles recently seized from Taliban militia in Korngal valley suggests that munitions procured by the Pentagon have leaked from Afghan forces for use against US troops, the New York Times reported…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54424

Car bomb blast kills 41 in northwest Baghdad
SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer
A car bomb exploded Wednesday near several restaurants in a Shiite neighborhood of northwest Baghdad, killing 41 people and injuring more than 70, police and hospital officials said. No group claimed responsibility for the horrific blast but the style and location of the attack suggested it was carried out by Sunni extremists, such as al-Qaida in Iraq, in an apparent bid to rekindle sectarian warfare as the U.S. draws down forces in the capital…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54423

Roadside Blast Kills 2 Americans In Kabul
Kris Alingod – AHN Contributor
Two Americans, a service member and a civilian, died on Wednesday after a military convoy was attacked near Kabul. According to AFP, the convoy was on its way to Bagram when it was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). Bagram has a U.S.military air base and lies 60 kilometers north of the Afghan capital. The use of IEDs is the preferred method of attack by insurgents, according to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), but more civilians than troops are killed or injured in IED strikes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54421

Eight Afghan civilians killed in air strike: NATO force
PakTribune.com
Eight Afghan civilians are believed to have been killed when NATO-led troops under attack in southern Afghanistan called in an air strike, the alliance said Wednesday. Soldiers from the International Security Assistance Force came under attack from about 25 insurgents in the province of Helmand on Tuesday and were forced to call in the strike, ISAF said in a statement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54420

Hamas arrests a Fateh leader in Gaza after he returned from the West Bank
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
The Internal Security Force, operating under the dissolved Ministry of Interior in Gaza, reported Wednesday that it arrested two days ago a Fateh leader, and detained a minister and a university teacher after they all crossed the Erez Crossing heading back to Gaza. The wife of Ahmad Nasr, a senior Fateh leader in Gaza, told the Al Hayat Newspaper, published in London, that members of Hamas’ security forces arrested her husband after he returned to Gaza following a visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54418

Gaza fishermen protest Israeli harassment at sea
Ma’an News
Hundreds of Gazan fishermen launched their boats for a mass demonstration at sea Wednesday, in protest against the constant threat they are under when they sail into fishing waters. Dozens of fishermen have been attacked, boats damaged and hundreds scared off from entering the coastal waters to fish, said fishermen at a news conference directed at international human rights organizations. The protesters demanded they be guaranteed protection to go about their livelihoods…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54416

PFLP refuses to participate in new government
IMEMC
The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) stated that it would not participate in the new government, headed by Dr. Salaam Fayyad, in the West Bank. The PFLP said that it would not be part of a government that was not formed through unity talks. A PFLP spokesperson said that the front refused to participate in the government since it violates unity talks held in Cairo, and does not enjoy national consensus…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54414

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