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URUK Net 24 May, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, May 28, 2009 8:16

U.S. prepares to withdraw, Iraqi resistance prepares for battle
By Ned Parker
…The commander and another insurgent leader interviewed for this story belong to the secret world of Sunni tribesmen and old military officers who laid down their arms and helped bring relative peace to Iraq in the last two years. They decided to try to fight the Shiite religious parties in control of the government through political channels instead — but they never renounced the insurgency. Now the dormant insurgent groups, with men, weapons and networks intact, are approaching their moment of truth. If their efforts to enter the mainstream fail, it appears almost inevitable that they will take up arms again, either after national elections early next year or sooner…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54548

US Holds Journalist Without Charges in Iraq
Liz Sly
The soldiers came at 1:30 a.m, rousing family members who were sleeping on the roof to escape the late-summer heat. They broke down the front door. Accompanied by dogs, American and Iraqi troops burst into the Jassam family home in the town of Mahmoudiya south of Baghdad. “Where is the journalist Ibrahim?” one of the Iraqi soldiers barked at the grandparents, children and grandchildren as they staggered blearily down the stairs. Ibrahim Jassam, a cameraman and photographer for the Reuters news agency, stepped forward, one of this brothers recalled. “Take me if you want me, but please leave my brothers.” The soldiers rifled through the house, confiscating his computer hard drive and cameras. And then they led him away, handcuffed and blindfolded…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54531

Despite Pledges, NATO Air Strikes Continue to Kill Afghan Civilians
Innocent Farmer Exonerated, After Being Killed in Air Strike
Jason Ditz
On Wednesday, NATO forces launched an air strike in Afghanistan Paktika Province, targeting a farmer along the road. The farmer was wounded, and later died of his wounds. NATO later admitted that “a subsequent investigation has determined that the individual was not emplacing improvised explosive devices, as originally suspected.” On Friday, NATO forces launched an air strike against a garden in Wardak Province, hitting a road construction crew. One of the workers was killed and 18 others were injured. According to the head of the provincial council, five of the wounded are in critical condition…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54545

Brief News from the Region : Iranian Fingers in the Pie.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…On the surface, Ahmadinejad fulfilled his role quite well, and spoke out against the foreign troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To be expected from an “anti-imperialist” who is in close alliance with the American puppet Karzai, the American puppet Zardari and the American puppet Nouri Al-Maliki…Funny how these wonderful “anti-imperialists” always know how to team up with American puppets. Don’t you think ?On the agenda were the following topics: – security and the rooting out of “insurgents and terrorists” in Afghanistan and Pakistan- stability through enhanced economic cooperation. However, the hidden discourse, or what is not said or admitted is that this summit would have never taken place without the green light from the USA. Fact of the matter, America has called upon Iran again, to “stabilize” Afghanistan just as it has and keeps calling on Iran to “stabilize” Iraq…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54543

Rethinking the Costs of Peace
By Josh Ruebner
In pledging to trim ineffective spending, President Obama declared that “there will be no sacred cows and no pet projects. All across America, families are making hard choices, and it’s time their government did the same.” By asking earlier this month for $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel in his FY2010 budget request, it would seem that on this important policy issue President Obama’s commitment is more rhetorical than substantive. Since 1949, according to the Congressional Research Service, the United States has provided to Israel more than $100 billion in military and economic assistance. In 2007, the United States and Israel signed an agreement for $30 billion in additional military aid through FY2018…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54544

America’s Nightmare: The Obama Dystopia
Manipulation, propaganda, imagery & PR wizardry
Andrew Hughes
After 8 years of the Bush-Cheney nightmare during which we saw the wanton destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, the cynical negation of centuries of Law designed to protect the most basic human rights and a foreign policy worthy of Genghis Khan, there came along the “Great Black Hope” in the persona of Barack Obama. The collective world consciousness turned uncritically to what was presented as a new era for peace, change and trust in Government. Never before had one witnessed such an accomplished use of manipulation, propaganda, imagery and public relations wizardry to sell the public a man who was to take the baton from Bush and run with it in the race to destroy the economy, the rights of the people and help birth a nation totally controlled by those who have always lurked in the shadows of power. “Change” was promised and was delivered in the form of a deepening of the already Dystopic nightmare…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54540

Dairy From the Ruins of Gaza
Kawther Salam
In one of the most beautiful areas of Gaza, near the beach and the beautiful sea. The driver of our vehicle stopped in front of the ruins of a big house. Spontaneously I asked why we stopped near dsc_5351athis particular house, said Austrian-Arab Dr. Tarek Afifi who was in Gaza with a delegation organized by the Federation of Austrian-Arab Doctor and the Austrian organization Saar, The “Society for Austro-Arab Relations”. “This was Abu Ammar’s house, the house of President Arafat, who died under the Israeli siege in Ramallah.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54527

AFGHANISTAN: COULD AFGHAN RESUPPLY EFFORTS PROMOTE US-IRANIAN COOPERATION?
Deirdre Tynan
The Defense Department’s US Transportation Command is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to find alternative routes of supply to Afghanistan. Documents obtained by EurasiaNet indicate that efforts to both ease and widen the flow of non-lethal materiel to NATO and US troops fighting the Taliban could potentially require cooperation between the United States and Iran. The US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) solicited transit proposals in November of 2008 under the guise of a “market survey.” One of the proposals received, submitted by a Turkish transport firm called Son Logistics, would use overland routes via Turkmenistan and Iran to deliver supplies to Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54536

Israel Armed Israeli police close theatre on first night of Palestinian festival
Rory McCarthy
Armed Israeli police last night tried to halt the opening night of a prominent Palestinian literary festival in Jerusalem when they ordered a Palestinian theatre to close. The week-long festival, supported by the British council and Unesco, has brought several high-profile international authors – among them Henning Mankell, Michael Palin and Ahdaf Soueif – on a speaking tour of Jerusalem and the West Bank. Shortly before the opening event was due to begin, a squad of around a dozen Israeli border police walked into the Palestinian National Theatre, in east Jerusalem, and ordered it to be closed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54532

Palestinian internal strife drags on
The National
“The picture in Palestine today is worthy of a surreal masterpiece: dialogue between factions in Cairo has come to nil, though it may well have been their last chance; there is an old government in Gaza, usually referred to as dissolved; then there is a new government in the West Bank, ordered by Mahmoud Abbas, which predictably piqued Hamas and spurred, for the first time ever, opposition from within Fatah itself,” wrote Mamdouh al Sheikh in an opinion piece for the Emirati daily Al Bayane. So, the formation of the new Salam Fayyad government in the West Bank comes like a euthanasia bullet in the temple of the faltering Palestinian dialogue. Palestinians are doomed to a conflict between two types of legitimacy: one of values, the other of procedure. Arguments over the legitimacy of Hamas or Fatah principles eventually morph into mutual treachery charges. “Each group accuses the other of serving foreign agendas and claims to be a better representative of the Palestinian people.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54541

Over 20 percent of Iraqis live below the poverty line
IRIN news
Some 20-25 percent of Iraq’s estimated 27 million population lives below the country’s poverty line, a government survey released on 21 May has found. Though wide disparities were found between northern and southern provinces, the government said the results were better than expected. “Poverty is concentrated in the Iraqi rural areas more than in the urban areas in all provinces,” said the survey, which was conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54533

Yet Another Bogus ‘Terror’ Plot
Robert Dreyfuss
By the now, it’s maddeningly familiar. A scary terrorist plot is announced. Then it’s revealed that the suspects are a hapless bunch of ne’er-do-wells or run-of-the-mill thugs without the slightest connection to any terrorists at all, never mind to Al Qaeda. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle: the entire plot is revealed to have been cooked up by a scummy government agent-provocateur. I’ve seen this movie before…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54534

Egyptian Authorities blocked the entry of “Hope” into Gaza
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
The Egyptian Authorities blocked on Sunday the European Hope Convoy, filled with medical aid, from crossing into the Gaza Strip despite all preparations and calls on Egypt to facilitate the entry of the convoy into the besieged and impoverished coastal region. The Egyptian authorities only allowed some members of the convoy and some said to cross into Gaza , but the European Campaign to End the Siege said that is insufficient and would not enable Gaza hospitals to treat the patients, especially those injured during the three-week Israel offensive earlier this year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54535

Tehran hosts trilateral summit
Aljazera.net
The presidents of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan have gathered in Tehran to discuss a joint strategy to tackle terrorism, militancy and narcotics in the region. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, met Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari, his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, on Sunday. Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said the summit aimed to facilitate future regular consultations between the three Islamic governments… The governments are also looking to build regional co-operation in agriculture, commerce, transit, health and energy, the statement added. “We are making history, as it is the first time that Iran is being equally integrated with the issues that Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing,” Abbasi said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54538

Mental trauma of displaced Pakistani children
By Nasir Jaffry, AFP
Nabila Bibi sits in a tent in the blistering heat thinking about the dolls she left behind at home in the Pakistani mountains where the army and Taliban rebels are killing each other. Rosy-cheeked Nabila understands nothing about Islamist insurgents and Pakistan’s latest military offensive against them, which the United Nations said has displaced around 1.5 million people this month alone. She is more concerned about her “lonely” dolls…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54539

Fatah facing deepest crisis ever
From Khalid Amayreh
Fatah leaders have accused Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his allies of seeking the “dismantling” and “disintegration” of the movement in order to facilitate “the liquidation” of the Palestinian cause. Some of these leaders have charged that the Fatah organization Abbas is trying reconstruct is “closer to Netanyahu than it is to the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom and independence.” According to Fatah sources in the West Bank , Abbas has been taking measures to consolidate supporters and allies in “sensitive positions” while “isolating opponents.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54542

A Bitter Cup of Joe: Bagman Biden’s Bully-Boy Diplomacy
Chris Floyd
Anyone who lived through the howling, roaring exhalation of meaningless noise that was the 2008 race for the Democratic nomination and still retained some fleeting, desperate, hope against hope that Barack Obama might represent at least some modicum of substantial change surely had that last, microscopic flicker extinguished for good the instant they got the news that Obama had picked Joe Biden as his running mate. Joe Biden! The eager, oily frontman for one of the fiercest weapons of mass destruction in the elite’s eternal War on the Poor and Working Folk, the back-breaking, ball-busting “Bankruptcy Bill.” Joe Biden! Who was so witless that he plagarized his own family history from a speech of a British politician. Joe Biden! Who had only months earlier showered Obama with paternalistic praise for being “clean” — unlike all those other grubby darkies out there. Joe Biden! Whose fervent dream was to shatter Iraq into partitioned pieces, and when the conquered rabble objected to this plan, exploded: “I don’t know who the hell they think they are. We have a right. We’ve expended our blood and treasure in order to back their commitment to their constitution. That’s the deal.” The deal being, obviously, that the “liberated,” “sovereign,” “democratic” nation of Iraq had to do exactly what Washington wanted — or else…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54551

Gaza death sentences cause Hamas-Fatah row
Ma’an News
A Hamas military court in Gaza sentenced three men convicted of killing two journalists to death by firing squad on Sunday, prompting protest from Hamas’ opponent, Fatah. A three judge panel handed the sentences to Shadi Khader Ahmad, 30, Shadi Abd Al-Karim Al-Madhoon and Raed Sabri Al-Maqousi, 29, for the kidnap and murder of journalists Muhammad Abdo and Suleiman Al-Ashi in May 2007. Abdo and Al-Ashi worked for Filastine (Palestine) a newspaper considered to be pro-Hamas. They were killed in a spate of Hamas-Fatah violence just one month before the civil war in which Hamas took full control of Gaza… Fatah warned Hamas, who is control the Gaza Strip, against harming three…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54537

Russia: Hamas talks needed for mideast peace
Ma’an News
Russia’s foreign minister was quoted on Sunday saying talks with Hamas are “needed” to achieve peace in the Middle East, a day after he met the group’s political leader in Damascus. “We are certain that this is needed,” Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Lavrov as saying on Sunday after meeting Khalid Mash’al, the head of Hamas’ political bureau in the Syrian capital, where he lives in exile. “It was the first very important step on the way to overcoming the present stagnation in the negotiations process,” Lavrov said about the meeting…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54529

Al-Jazeera Video: Iran-US role in Afghanistan
Aljazera.net
Seven years ago, Iran co-operated with the US in its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. That was before being labelled by the Bush administration as part of a so-called “axis of evil.” Since then, the security situation in Afghanistan has only deteriorated. Washington has signaled it will have to engage Tehran to stabilise a country that some observers say has become a battleground for the US – Iran rivalry. From Kabul, Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reports.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54528

Former Iraqi insurgent contemplates returning to war
LEILA FADEL
Abu Fatma dresses in suits now. He cuts his hair short and talks like a politician. He looked down at his tie and his clean gray suit. “Don’t be fooled by my clothes,” he said. Abu Fatma agreed to put his guns aside as part of a deal with the U.S. military last year but the former Sunni Muslim insurgent, once known as a killer with no mercy, is still a fighter. If the Americans don’t start keeping the promises they made to his group and him he’ll fight again, he said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54526

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