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URUK Net 21-22 May, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, May 23, 2009 10:14

No, I Do Not Support “The Troops”
Arthur Silber
…On the occasion of this Memorial Day and on the days to come, all of which promise to be deeply tragic and murderously bloody so long as the goals of the American ruling class remain unchanged, the objects of your reverence must be severely restricted. That reverence must be reserved for innocent lives, and especially for those innocent lives ended, maimed and altered forever by needless, futile, endlessly destructive war, past, present and future. The historical and contemporary record makes possible only one conclusion: those needless and futile wars are not just “a few” or only “some” of them, and the trail of devastation is not the result of “regrettable misjudgments” for which amends have been made, or are even possible. No, almost every single war ever fought by the United States was entirely unnecessary in terms of any justifiable conception of self-defense; this is unquestionably true of every intervention since World War II. The murders are the result of intended and intentional policy, reached after deliberation and in service to the goals of the ruling class: power, wealth, dominion and control — and always more power, wealth, dominion and control. To challenge those goals and to begin to alter them, you must challenge every assumption underlying the myths upon which the United States feeds, as it continues to brutalize and kill in vast numbers. One of the key assumptions that you must question and finally reject is the demand for glorification of “the troops.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54491

Ha’aretz: Obama quashed Israel military option against Iran
Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent
Israel’s military option against Iran has died. The death warrant was issued courtesy of the new U.S. administration led by Barack Obama. All the administration’s senior officials, from the president to his vice president, Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others are sending strong, clear hints that Israel does not have permission to strike Iran. Yet, given their familiarity with the Israeli client, they have not made do with simple hints and intimations. Washington dispatched the new CIA director, Leon Panetta, to Israel. Panetta made clear to Netanyahu, in so many words, that an Israeli attack would create “big trouble.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54500

Demolishing Al-Quds Future
IslamOnline.net
akhri Abu Diab still can not imagine leaving the homeland and birthplace of his father in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem). “They are coming to demolish our future, our lives, our homes,” the 47-year-old told The Toronto Star on Friday, May 22. “I was born here. My grandfather was born here.” The Palestinian father of five received an order from Israeli authorities to demolish his house in the Silwan neighborhood in Al-Quds. He is one of more than 1,500 Palestinians facing the unknown following Israeli decision to demolish their homes in the Palestinian neighborhood…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54499

Internet Threatened by Censorship, Secret Surveillance, and Cybersecurity Laws
Stephen Lendman
At a time of corporate dominated media, a free and open Internet is democracy’s last chance to preserve our First Amendment rights without which all others are threatened. Activists call it Net Neutrality. Media scholar Robert McChesney says without it “the Internet would start to look like cable TV (with a) handful of massive companies (controlling) content” enough to have veto power over what’s allowed and what it costs. Progressive web sites and writers would be marginalized or suppressed, and content systematically filtered or banned…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54489

Remembering Omid Reza
Let the first blogger to die in prison be the last
The March 18 Movement
The March 18 Movement was born out of a tragedy. On this day in 2009, Omid Reza Mir Sayafi, Iranian blogger and journalist, died in Evin Prison in Tehran. The December before his death, he was sentenced to two and half years in prison for allegedly insulting religious leaders, and engaging in “propaganda” against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Omid Reza was the first blogger to die in prison and his death reveals that getting censored is far from the worst thing that can happen to a blogger. The irony is that, as more members of both the public and the media praise the ability of bloggers to inform, the more these de facto journalists around the globe become victims in fact. The March 18 Movement aims not only to make sure that Omid Reza is remembered, but also that other persecuted bloggers around the world do not disappear into interrogation rooms and prison cells. The March 18 Movement would like to become a voice for bloggers everywhere who are in risk of being crushed under the heavy machinery of repression…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54490

The Obama-Cheney “debate” and the threat of dictatorship in America
Joe Kishore
…It is no exaggeration to state that this public confrontation between Obama and Cheney has no precedent in modern American history. To believe that this bitter exchange between the president and former vice president does not raise the most serious questions about the viability of American democracy is the height of complacency. Make no mistake about it: Cheney speaks for powerful segments of the ruling class, backed by substantial sections of the military and intelligence apparatus, who are deeply hostile to democracy. As for Obama, his own position is riven by deep and insoluble political contradictions. His plea to observe constitutional norms is completely undermined by the fact that his administration has accepted without question the basic premises and foundations of the foreign policy of the Bush administration—that is, that the United States is waging a desperate struggle against “terror.” While opposing certain actions of the Bush administration, Obama is careful to avoid challenging the central political lie out of which all its crimes developed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54496

Biden Does Beirut
How not to win votes for the ‘US team’
Franklin Lamb
…Quite by chance, on “my” delegation was Vice President’s Biden’s Ophthalmologist from Wilmington, Deleware, a nice fellow with a dynamite Palestinian wife named “Mike”. (no, no, she’s a real and beautiful woman. “Mike” is a nickname for her real Arabic name which she never bothered to mention) Joe’s eye doctor explained to Walid that Biden had changed from his “I’am a Zionist” campaign assurances to AIPAC. “Well”, Walid replies skeptically, “I have met with Biden before. Why is he coming and can your government not understands that such visits are not helpful to the Majority but only help Hezbollah?” (…) Issam continued to explain that the Lebanese are no longer much impressed with US officials coming and reciting, sometimes word for word, the pro-Israel, anti-Resistance mantra of ‘free and independent “democratic Lebanon, without armed militias et cetera.” If Hezbollah wins the election one reason will be these “demeaning visits”, Issam concludes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54495

Convoy of Hope for Gaza Update
Pal Telegraph
The Hope for Gaza Convoy, organised by the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), are making final preparations in Port Said for departure this morning, heading to Al Areesh and Al Rafah. The organisers gathered the delegation into groups in order to consult on urgent procedural matters and to review current progress.There have been numerous delays since the cargo arrived in Alexandria last Saturday. Since then the organisers have been awaiting the arrival of a ship in Alexandria to take the medicines and medical equipment to Port Said where it will leave by road for the border crossing at Al Rafah…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54492

The Rape of Iraq’s Children.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…Thousands of refugee children with no future…thousands of maimed children, thousands with NO MORE access to education, health care…thousands of cases of malnutrition, poverty, illness…thousands deeply traumatized for life… Okay so what about hundreds of dollars ? You can count hundreds of green bills. Hundreds trafficked, sold, bought, turned into sex slaves…hundreds jailed and tortured…and the list goes on, and on, and on… But that is not all, Ladies and Gentlemen…that is not all. That is not all, because your “civilized” West with its “civilized” democratic system and its “civilized” state of law and its “civilized” civilizing mission, and its “civilized” culture…has literally fucked Iraqi children – SODOMIZED and RAPED them , to be more accurate…[…] So when your democratic Obooma agreed not to release more pictures from Abu Ghraib, because there was more committed in Abu Ghraib, much more…most websites re-ran old pictures with the caption — this is what the current administration does not want you to see. BULLSHIT and more BULLSHIT from “alternative” websites. What your current COMPLICIT government does not want you to see is the TORTURE and the RAPE of Iraqi children and women in Abu Ghraib. This is what they don’t want you to see…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54472

US Colonel Advocates US ‘Military Attacks’ on ‘Partisan Media’ in Essay for Neocon, Pro-Israel Group JINSA
Jeremy Scahill
…A new report for a leading neoconservative group which pushes a belligerent “Israel first” agenda of conquest in the Middle East suggests that in future wars the US should make censorship of media official policy and advocates “military attacks on the partisan media.” (H/T MuzzleWatch) The report for JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, was authored by retired US Army Colonel Ralph Peters. It appears in JINSA’s “flagship publication,” The Journal of International Security Affairs. “Today, the United States and its allies will never face a lone enemy on the battlefield. There will always be a hostile third party in the fight,” Peters writes, calling the media, “The killers without guns”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54466

Obama’s War: Drunk, Bored Trigger Happy Mercenaries Kill Afghan Civilians
Jeremy Scahill
Blessed with immunity from the laws of any nation and a new company name mercenaries for the company formerly known as Blackwater are still hard at work, doing what mercenaries do.. getting paid, while corporate media protect us from the news. Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill uncovers another instance of oru tax dollars at work in Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54479

Hailing the leader as a War President and the powers that go with it
Glenn Greenwald
In a February, 2004 interview with Tim Russert, George Bush provoked much derision by proudly declaring himself to be what he called a “war president.” This week, Newsweek’s Editor Jon Meacham interviewed Barack Obama, adopted Bush’s label and applied it to Obama, asking him: Can anything get you ready to be a war president? Nothing excites our media stars more than saluting and fetishizing the President as a “War President” and “Commander-in-Chief” (…). But isn’t the phrase “war president” a complete redundancy when it comes to the U.S.? Which American presidents were not “war presidents”?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54485

IRAQ: News website latest target in government’s offensive against independent media
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders condemns the Iraqi government’s continuing legal offensive against independent news media, which for the first time is also targeting Internet media. As a result of a lawsuit brought by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Baghdad court ordered the Iraqi news website Kitabat to pay 1 billion dinars (630,000 euros) in damages on 18 May. Although based in Germany, Kitabat uses reports provided by many correspondents inside Iraq and the ruling threatens its ability to continuing operating. “The Iraqi government must stop this campaign against independent media,” Reporters Without Borders said. “After bringing many lawsuits against newspapers and TV stations, websites are now being targeted, even those based abroad. This damages award of 630,000 euros is a threat to Kitabat’s survival.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54483

Israel destroying Gaza’s farmlands
Eva Bartlett

On the morning of 4 May 2009, Israeli troops set fire to Palestinian crops along Gaza’s eastern border with Israel. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that 200,000 square meters of crops were destroyed, including wheat and barley ready for harvest, as well as vegetables, olive and pomegranate trees. Local farmers report that the blaze carried over a four-kilometer stretch on the Palestinian side of the eastern border land. Ibrahim Hassan Safadi, 49, from one of the farming families whose crops were destroyed by the blaze, said that the fires were smoldering until early evening, despite efforts by the fire brigades to extinguish them. Safadi says he was present when Israeli soldiers fired small bombs into his field, which soon after caught ablaze..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54480

“The next generation must continue our struggle”
Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip
Dr. Abdullah al-Hourani is a Palestinian politician and researcher based in the Gaza Strip. He is the director of the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for National Studies in Gaza and chairman of the Palestinian Popular Committee for the Defense of the Right to Return. Al-Hourani was displaced by Zionist forces, along with more than 750,000 other Palestinians, from historical Palestine in 1948. On the occasion of the 61st aniversary of the disposession of Palestine, The Electronic Intifada correspondent Rami Almeghari interviewed Dr. al-Hourani at his Gaza City office…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54481

Mullen: U.S. Afghan surge could push militants into Pakistan
Andrew Gray, Reuters
A U.S. military offensive in southern Afghanistan could push Taliban fighters into Pakistan, whose troops are already struggling to combat militants, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Thursday. The comments by Admiral Mike Mullen raised the prospect that Pakistan, waging battles with militants who have forced about 2 million people from their homes, could face even greater turmoil in the months ahead. The United States is pouring thousands of troops into Afghanistan this year to try to reverse gains by a resurgent Taliban, particularly in its southern heartland…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54478

Nakba at 61
Khaled Amayreh
As they do every year, Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line that separates the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Israel have been commemorating the passage of 61 years since mainly East-European Zionist Jews created the Jewish state on 78 per cent of the Palestinian national homeland. This year, the commemoration affirmed a renewed determination to uphold the right of return for as many as five million Palestinian refugees whose forefathers were expelled from — and often massacred into fleeing — their ancestral motherland. Al-Ahram Weekly spoke to some elderly Palestinians who survived the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, which a growing number of Palestinians are now referring to as “the Palestinian holocaust”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54476

Not better but worse
Khaled Amayreh
After repeated deference, mainly due to opposition from the Fatah movement, a new Palestinian government headed by incumbent Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was sworn in on Tuesday in Ramallah. The new cabinet comprises 20 ministers, seven of them members of the outgoing government. Said Abu Ali, the governor of Ramallah, is the new interior minister. One of the major challenges facing Abu Ali is how he will relate to political opposition, especially Hamas…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54486

New York Times Falsifies Obama-Netanyahu Meeting
David Bromwich
The New York Times assigned to the story a campaign-trail reporter, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, whose political perceptions are bland and whose knowledge of Israeli-American relations is an antiseptic zero. At the newspaper of record, a thing like that does not happen by accident. They took the most anxiously awaited meeting with a foreign leader of President Obama’s term thus far, and buried it on page 12. The coverage of a major event, which the same newspaper had greeted only the day before by running an oversize attack-Iran op-ed by Jeffrey Goldberg, has officially now shrunk to the scale of a smaller op-ed. What is more disturbing and far more consequential is that the Times made this meeting into a story about Iran. They read into Obama’s careful and measured remarks exactly the hostile intention toward Iran and the explicit deadline for results from his negotiations with Iran that Obama had taken great pains to avoid stating…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54475

Settlers burn barley harvest belonging to Nablus-area farmer
Ma’an News
Israeli settlers from the illegal Yitzhar settlement south of Nablus set fire to bales of harvested barley in a large field owned by a Nablus farmer Friday morning. The owner, 37-year-old Muhammad Rida, had harvested half the crop on Thursday and stacked the grains to dry in the field near Khallat As-Siwar south of Nablus. When he arrived to the field Friday morning to finish harvesting the crop he saw dozens of settlers setting fire to the bales…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54473

Two Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
The Israeli army reported on Friday morning that its soldiers shot and killed two Palestinians near the Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) Crossing, in the Gaza Strip. The army stated that soldiers noticed two Palestinian fighters approaching the security fence near the terminal, and that the soldiers crossed the fence and exchanged fire with the two Palestinians…
.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54470

Fatah is key to Palestinian polity
As Fatah prepares for its sixth congress, it must recapture the essence of its movement if it is to redeem Palestinian politics
Karma Nabulsi
…When Fateh is spoken of today, the image immediately conveyed is of a politically and financially corrupted Palestinian Authority elite: a small, unrepresentative clique, subservient to Israeli whims and American dictats. This image applies to a small group at the top of the party, but causes one to overlook the other Fateh, the older and larger Fateh. The majority of the thousands of cadres in Fateh’s middle and lower ranks are as committed to the same old principles as they are disillusioned with its current practices. They also appreciate that their party is the only one capable of redeeming Palestinian politics, because it is the only one historically accommodating enough to carry a pluralist and inclusive national agenda forward. It is the vital first step needed to overturn the current regime of complete political, social, economic, and spatial imprisonment by Israel. Thus, the redemption of the Palestinian polity is utterly dependent upon the redemption of Fateh. And why the elusive sixth congress of the movement is so crucial, and why it is so important it be allowed to take place…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54468

Activists urge Palestinians, Jordanians to unite against Zionist scheme
Palestinian Information Center
Two prominent Jordanian political activists have launched a campaign they called “The call for independence”, urging the Palestinian and Jordanian peoples to unite against the Israeli scheme of turning Jordan into an alternative homeland for the Palestinian people. A couple of days ago, a rightist Israeli lawmaker filed a petition at the Knesset calling for turning Jordan into an alternative homeland for the Palestinians. Former Jordanian lawmaker Laith Shbeilat, and leftist writer Nahidh Hatar, who launched the initiative, wondered if there was any more ambiguity over the Israeli vicious intentions towards Jordan and Palestine after that petition was officially filed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54482

PCHR Condemns Gaza Security Services’ Prevention of Women’s Rights Activists from Traveling to Ramallah
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the ban imposed by Palestinian security services of the Gaza Government on women’s rights activists preventing them from traveling to Ramallah on Wednesday morning, 20 May 2009, to participate in the fifth conference of the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW). PCHR calls upon the Gaza government to stop such measures, which restrict the rights to freedom of movement and peaceful assembly ensured by the constitution and international human rights standards…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54465

Iran to host ‘Afghanistan’ summit on May 24
By Farhad Pouladi, AFP
A delayed summit hosted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts will now go ahead in Tehran on Sunday, diplomatic sources said. The sources confirmed the participation of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai in the summit, which will discuss the rebuilding of war-shattered Afghanistan. The meeting had been expected to go ahead on May 19 but was postponed due to the heavy programme of Zardari…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54487

Ex-soldier spared death sentence for Iraq murders
BRETT BARROUQUERE, Associated Press Writer Brett Barrouquere, Associated Press Writer
An ex-soldier convicted of raping and killing an Iraqi teen and murdering her family was spared the death penalty Thursday and will serve a life sentence after jurors couldn’t agree unanimously on a punishment. Former Pfc. Steven Dale Green of Midland, Texas, will be formally sentenced Sept. 4 by U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell. Jurors who convicted Green on May 7 told Russell they couldn’t agree on the appropriate sentence after deliberating more than 10 hours over two days…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54463

Group linked to Israeli lobby, neocons releases another Islamophobic film
Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton
A new documentary from a shadowy non-profit, the Clarion Fund, has ties to groups widely accused of Islamophobia. The Third Jihad purports to educate US citizens about the threat of a “cultural Jihad” by the country’s own Muslim-American population. The film goes to great lengths to define itself as an expose of radical Muslim elements, not the faith at large. But a group called the International Free Press Society (IFPS), which attended the Washington premiere of the film and documented the screening on behalf of the production company on a social media website, has some dubious affiliations…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54467

“Over the Rainbow”
Stephen Lendman
This writer just completed a six-part series on Ellen Brown’s remarkable 2007 book titled “Web of Debt.” This article follows from it by picking up on the theme she struck, using L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as a combination parable, monetary allegory, and political manifesto for change at a time it’s most needed. Published in 1900 as an American fairytale, it became a popular staple, later made into the classic 1939 film staring Judy Garland, the 1975 award-winning Broadway musical, The Wiz, featuring the first-ever all-black cast, followed by a hit film on the stage production…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54477

May 21, 2009: 3 US Soldiers, 28 Iraqis Killed; 72 Iraqis Wounded
Margaret Griffis
Three U.S. soldiers were killed in a Baghdad attack that left several more wounded. At least 28 Iraqis were killed as well, and another 72 were wounded in other violence. Among them were several Awakening Council fighters who were killed in Kirkuk. Last night’s bombing in Baghdad’s Shula district may have set off this spate of violence. Meanwhile, a U.S. soldier was given a life sentence for the rape of an Iraqi girl and the murder of her and her family…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54474

Slouching towards balkanization
Pepe Escobar
Happy Days are here again. It’s as if the George W Bush years in Afghanistan had never left, with Washington still wallowing in an intelligence-free environment. A surge is coming to town – just like the one General David Petraeus engineered in Iraq. A Bush proconsul (Zalmay Khalilzad) wants to run the show – again. A hardliner (General Stanley McChrystal) is getting ready to terrorize any Pashtun in sight. A new mega-base is sprouting in the “desert of death” in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. And as in Bush time, no one’s talking pipeline, or the (invisible) greatest regional prize: Pakistani Balochistan. Bush’s “global war on terror” (GWOT) may have been rebranded, under new management, “overseas contingency operation” (OCO)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54448

When will world leaders show “cruel racists” zero tolerance?
Stuart Littlewood
…The news this week that three British medics are on hunger strike in Egypt makes the cruelty point clear enough to those who have so far been blind and deaf to it. They are protesting against being refused entry into Gaza for a humanitarian mission to set up a cardiac surgery unit at the al-Shifa hospital and help train medical students and junior doctors there. But the team have been denied access through Rafah by Egypt since 4 May. “We are on hunger strike until they let us through,” says Omar Mangoush, a cardiac surgeon from London. “There are loads of people with heart disease in Gaza. They can’t get out to Egypt and they can’t get out through Israel.” He took a month’s holiday from work to go on this charity-based mission. So who are the mental retards responsible for this outrage? …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54456

Media Ignores Real Controversy Behind Torture Photos; They Show Prison Guards Raping Children
Paul Joseph Watson
The real reason behind Obama’s reversal of a decision to release the torture photos has been almost completely ignored by the corporate media – the fact that the photos show both US and Iraqi soldiers raping teenage boys in front of their mothers. The Obama administration originally intended to release photos depicting torture and abuse of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq by the end of May, following a court order arising out of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit first filed by the ACLU in 2004…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54461

The Israeli Murderer Who Eats Chocolate While Killing Children
Kawther Salam
After the return of the delegation of the Federation of Austrian-Arab Doctor from their visit to Gaza, where they could see the devastation and destruction left by the Israeli war machine during the so-called “Operation Cast Lead”, a meeting was held in Vienna where Dr. Tarek, who was in the delegation, told his colleagues about his observation in Gaza. He described his feelings during the visit in such awful words that they can not be described in an English language. He said, that he felt death inside him during his visit to Izbat Abed Rabbo, a small village of farmers near Beit Lahia in the north-east of Gaza Strip. He said that the smell of death was suffocating when he saw the ruins of a big house and the pieces of an ambulance buried under it. In the windows of ambulance he saw some pieces of clothes of the medical team which was killed inside the ambulance while trying to get out victims of the Israeli bombing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54455

3 US soldiers killed by roadside bomb in Baghdad
By SINAN SALAHEDDIN, AP
Three American soldiers were killed and nine others wounded Thursday in a bombing attack in Baghdad, the U.S. military said, in a burst of violence only weeks before American combat troops are due to leave Iraqi cities. The attack was one of a series of bombings to hit Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least 66 people and wounding dozens more in two days. The deadliest blast Thursday occurred in Baghdad’s southern Dora district, where a roadside bomb exploded near an American foot patrol, U.S. and Iraqi officials said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54449

Back to Black…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…I open the door… A dwarf stares at me…holding an old rusty tray and a list of names…encrypted on burned paper… Over 40 dead today, he said. An explosion. It happened at 7 pm, just when the Sun was setting and when a cool breeze made it safe… I shut the door in his face. I shut the door. I leave my winter clothes spread on the floor, like skeletons… waiting to find a corpse to dress…I shut the door and leave them lying there, pieces of fragmented red, pieces of fragmented black…I leave them lying there…in between seasons with no name…in between life and death… I leave them there…in the grey of my life, of our life…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54443

Gaza: Power Struggle Killing Patients
By Mel Frykberg
The lives of hundreds of critically ill Gazans continue to be jeopardised by the power struggle between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, and political blackmail by Israel. Mohammed Zibdeh, 12, who has cancer of the brain is waiting in Gaza city for a permit to travel to Israel for advanced treatment. He is dependent on a ventilator connected to his throat for survival. last year Mohammed was able to secure a permit to travel to an Israeli hospital where he received chemotherapy for his brain tumour, causing the tumour to shrink significantly. However, a power struggle between Fatah and Hamas over the issuance of exit permits for patients, and Israel’s reluctance to issue visas for Gazans on the basis of alleged security, means Mohammed has to now wait for a new permit to return to the Israeli hospital…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54454

Reports Say Obama Will Call for ‘Demilitarized’ Palestine
Land Swaps Would Aim for “Contiguous” Nation-State
Jason Ditz
Reports coming out of Israel today detail the so-called Obama-Abdullah plan, an initiative for Palestinian statehood created by President Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. The hugely ambitious plan aims for an “independent, democratic and contiguous Palestinian state,” which would not have a military of its own and would be forbidden from entering into military pacts with other nations “for Israel’s security.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54444

Obama dealt Guantanamo setback
Aljazera.net
The US senate has denied funding for Barack Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention centre by January, voting instead to keep it running indefinitely. The senate voted on Wednesday to block any transfer of prisoners to facilities on the US mainland, saying they wanted to first see a detailed plan from the president on what would happen to the men. The crushing 90-6 bipartisan vote comes a day before Obama is scheduled to outline his plan for the 240 detainees still being held at the much-criticised detention centre…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54445

Six Hamas members seized by PA
Ma’an News
Fatah-allied Palestinian Authority forces seized six Hamas members on Wednesday night, the Islamic movement said. Hamas listed the arrestees in a statement: Sheikh Riyad Nasser, 32, from Deir Qaddis village near Ramallah, Emam Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Ad-Dahleh, 32, from Beituniya near Ramallah, Tha’er Saba’nah, from Qabatiya village near Jenin, Bilal Asef Abu Arrah, from Aqaba village near Jenin, Sameh Ayyad, from Nablus…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54446

Palestinian lawyers condemn politically motivated arrests
Ma’an News
The legal community in Palestine is up in arms about continuous political detentions on the part of Palestinian Authority and de facto government security forces. In a statement sent to Ma’an, the Palestinian Legal Society said that “continuous political detentions” are “humiliating to Palestinian rights and will lead to the failure of the national dialogue.” “All human beings have the right to live freely and be safe, and political affiliation is a right for any Palestinian,” the statement went on to say…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54447

US soldiers charged over Spanish journalist’s death
AFP
A Spanish judge on Thursday revived murder charges against three US soldiers over the killing a Spanish television cameraman during the shelling of a Baghdad hotel in 2003. The same judge, Santiago Pedraz, had thrown out the charges one year ago, citing “insufficient evidence” of deliberate intent on the part of the three to target civilians inside the hotel where journalists were known to be staying. But Perez on Thursday cited new evidence, including reports by experts and from a former US soldier, for his decision to revive the charges…

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Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 20/2009 (14 – 20 May 2009)
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law escalated in the OPT during the reporting period (14 – 20 May 2009): Shooting: During the reporting period, 11 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, were wounded by IOF in the West Bank, and a resistance activist and a farmer were wounded by IOF in the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, 9 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, were wounded when IOF used force against a peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. On 18 May 2009, two Palestinian workers were wounded when IOF troops positioned at a checkpoint near Hebron opened fire at a number of workers…

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No hope or change from Obama-Netanyahu meeting
Ali Abunimah
Seldom has an encounter between an American and Israeli leader been as hyped as this week’s meeting between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As expected, Obama committed himself to diplomacy with Iran and pledged an enormous effort to achieve a two-state solution. Netanyahu continued to incite confrontation with Iran and refused to commit himself to a Palestinian state. On the surface it may seem there are real differences and that the forces arrayed on each side — including the formidable Israel lobby — are gearing up for an epic battle to determine the fate of US-Israeli relations…

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Candidates begin Iran election race
Four Candidates Approved To Run In Iran’s Presidential Vote, 471 Rejected
Aljazera.net
Campaigning has officially got under way in Iran’s presidential elections, with just four people cleared to run out of the 475 who registered. Iran’s Guardian Council cleared four candidates, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the current president, to run for election, Iran’s Jumhuri-ye Eslami newspaper reported on Thursday. The other candidates are: Mirhoussein Mousavi, a former prime minister; Mahdi Karoubi, a former parliament speaker; and Mohsen Rezaie, a former head of the Revolutionary Guard… A total of 475 Iranians had registered as prospective candidates – 433 men and 42 women. All were screened by the 12-member Guardian Council, made up of six clerics selected by Khamenei and six jurists proposed by the head of the judiciary…

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Netanyahu: Jerusalem will never be divided or partitioned
Ma’an News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on Thursday that all of Jerusalem will forever remain under Israeli control. Netanyahu made the comments during a speech marking the anniversary of the occupation of the eastern half of the Palestinian capital, according to Israeli news reports. “United Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided,” Netanyahu said at the state ceremony…

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Obama: From anti-war law professor to warmonger in 100 days
Alexander Cockburn
How long does it take a mild-mannered, anti-war, black professor of constitutional law, trained as a community organiser on the South Side of Chicago, to become an enthusiastic sponsor of targeted assassinations, ‘decapitation’ strategies and remote-control bombing of mud houses at the far end of the globe? There’s nothing surprising here. As far back as President Woodrow Wilson, in the early 20th century, American liberalism has been swift to flex its imperial muscle and whistle up the Marines. High-explosive has always been in the hormone shot…

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A misbegotten government
By Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah
The new Palestinian Authority (PA) government which was sworn in Ramallah Tuesday, 19 May, is another prescription for failure. Hence, one would exaggerate little by saying that the new cabinet will be a deformed replica of the previous government whose main task was confined to carrying out instructions and orders from the American “High Commissioner” in the West Bank , Gen. Keith Dyaton. To begin with, the raison d’etre of the new government is to meet the requirements of the status quo. It will be utterly unable, even if willing, to advance Palestinian national interests because it has no sovereignty of its own and can hardly do anything worthwhile without Israeli approval. Indeed, it is an insult to language and common sense to speak of a genuine “government” under a sinister foreign military occupation when such an entity has no authority, freedom and sovereignty of its own…

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Iran to privatize another state bank
PressTV
Bank Saderat will be the third Iranian state bank to be privatized.
Iran’s Privatization Organization has announced that a number of the shares of state-run Bank Saderat will be sold to private investors by the end of June. “Following the sale of Bank Mellat and Bank Tejarat’s shares, which was received warmly by customers, Iran’s Privatization Organization has decided to offer Bank Saderat’s shares in the stock market within the next month,” the organization’s chief, Gholamreza Kord-Zangene, said on Thursday.

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Ex-AIPACer Weissman comes out hard against military action in Iran
Daniel Luban
In March, former AIPAC chief lobbyist Douglas Bloomfield wrote a very interesting piece for the New Jersey Jewish News. In it, he revealed that although AIPAC publicly professed support for the Oslo peace process in the 1990s, it was secretly coordinating with then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and working behind the scenes to sabotage the process. By illustrating AIPAC’s willingness to work against the policies of both U.S. and Israeli governments when they proved insufficiently hawkish, Bloomfield noted, this information could “not only validate AIPAC’s critics, who accuse it of being a branch of the Likud, but also lead to an investigation of violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”…

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US keeps nuclear “don’t ask, don’t tell” -Israel aide
Reuters
The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama will not force Israel to state publicly whether it has nuclear weapons, an Israeli official said on Thursday. He said Washington would stick to a decades-old U.S. policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Obama’s bid to curb Iran’s nuclear programme through diplomacy has stirred speculation that, as part of a regional disarmament regimen, Israel could be asked to come clean on its own secret capabilities…

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