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URUK Net 26 May, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:02

Plain & Simple.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
… The subject of Iraqi refugees came up and naturally the subject branched out to the main source of all ills and evils – the Occupation. And naturally, Layla is not terribly diplomatic when it comes to the occupation and destruction of her country. Why should I be polite and diplomatic about it ? And what is there to be polite and diplomatic about ? […] What if I (I as in some nation), on bogus charges, brought in over 650'000 armed men, bombed the shit out of you, destroyed your homes, your infrastructures, your state, your army, your civil institutions, partitioned your country, build walls around your neighborhoods, unleashed the most deadly militias against you, used DU and Napalm, displaced thousands of you and turned them homeless, maimed thousands of you, killed thousands of you, turned thousands of your kids and women into orphans and widows, raped and tortured your women and men and sodomized your kids, destroyed your monuments, looted your history, burned your libraries, changed your school textbooks, urinated in your churches, insulted you with the most denigrating epithets, pillaged your homes and your treasury, burned your fields, arrested your families, detained thousands of you, brought in missionaries to convert you to Islam…and more…all in your own country, on your own turf --- what the fuck would you do ?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54580

The Great but Unacknowledged Wisdom of Doing Nothing
Arthur Silber
…President Barack Obama said on Monday that nuclear and missile tests conducted by North Korea were a “grave concern to all nations” and a legal violation that warranted action by the international community. […] A person who maintains only a slender but still meaningful connection to facts might well throw up his hands at this point, wondering if there is any point at all in trying to address people who have so enthusiastically retreated into the world of make-believe. Does no one recall what a “test” is? Or the meaning of “attempts”? And some of us have a rather different view of what “constitute[s] a threat to international peace and security.” How about one of the following items? A criminal war of aggression, followed by a criminal occupation of what will most probably be decades-long duration, which has led to a world-historical genocide, the destruction of an entire country — a country which had never attacked or seriously threatened the aggressor nation — and millions of refugees? … A widening war in two additional countries, neither of which represents a threat to the U.S.? In both Afghanistan and Pakistan, civilian casualties continue to rise in horrifying numbers. Except for a few voices, does anyone give a damn? Do most of the prominent voices who claimed to be “anti-war” when a Republican ordered the slaughter care now that a Democrat orders the deaths without end? No, they do not…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54589

Israeli forces attempts to legitimize pre-meditated murder and land annexation
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
“Life is hard for Palestinian farmers in the border region near Israel. The IOF shoot at us every day, any time. They shoot at the international volunteers (ISM) also.” This was Jaber Abu Rjila testifying some of what he has experienced in the last decade on his land less than 500m from the border with Israel. Yesterday, the day before Abu Rjila was interviewed, Israeli occupation forces dropped leaflets along the border area, from north to south, announcing Israel’s unilateral decision that the border area is off-limits and that, by dropping leaflets, Israeli soldiers have the right to shoot to kill anyone found within 500m of the fence…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54585

Pakistan: Trapped civilians face catastrophe: HRW
Urges Islamabad to lift curfew; UNHCR says 126,000 displaced daily by conflict
The News International
Thousands of civilians trapped in the Malakand Division face “humanitarian catastrophe” unless help reaches them soon, a rights watchdog said on Tuesday. New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said people were living with scant food and water in the war zone where security forces were bombarding the militants in a push to extinguish their two-year insurgency. “People trapped in the Swat conflict zone face a humanitarian catastrophe unless the Pakistani military immediately lifts a curfew that has been in place continuously for the last week,” said Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director. “The government cannot allow the local population to remain trapped without food, clean water and medicine as a tactic to defeat the Taliban,” he said.He urged Islamabad to lift the curfew in the under-siege Swat Valley and nearby districts…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54587

Did Hillary Clinton Threaten UK Over Binyam Mohamed Torture Disclosure?
Andy Worthington
I only ask because two weeks ago, as part of a long-running court case in which Binyam Mohamed, former Guantánamo prisoner and victim of “extraordinary rendition” and torture, is trying to persuade the British government to disclose evidence in its possession relating to his illegal imprisonment and torture, the government’s policy of resisting disclosure by whining that it would cause irreparable damage to the intelligence-sharing relationship between the US and the UK entered a critical new phase when a letter was delivered to the British government. Later revealed to Mohamed’s lawyers, it was marked as being the “Obama administration’s communication”, but had the names of the agency involved and the letter’s author blacked out…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54588

Army chief says US ready to be in Iraq 10 years
TOM CURLEY, Associated Press Writer
The Pentagon is prepared to leave fighting forces in Iraq for as long as a decade despite an agreement between the United States and Iraq that would bring all American troops home by 2012, the top U.S. Army officer said Tuesday. Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, said the world remains dangerous and unpredictable, and the Pentagon must plan for extended U.S. combat and stability operations in two wars. “Global trends are pushing in the wrong direction,” Casey said. “They fundamentally will change how the Army works.” He spoke at an invitation-only briefing to a dozen journalists and policy analysts from Washington-based think-tanks. He said his planning envisions combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade as part of a sustained U.S. commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54586

Gaza: Scientific Mission Finds Evidence of Israeli Use of Depleted Uranium and White Phosphorous
Ali Yenidunya
In April 2009 a four-person mission including Jean-François Fechino, an international specialist in the effects of banned weapons upon the environment and sustainable development, visied Gaza under the auspices of the Arab Commission for Human Rights. The samples of earth and dust that they brought back from Gaza were analyzed by a specialist laboratory. While a United Nations committee under Richard Goldstone, the former International War Crimes Prosecutor, has not been authorized by the Israeli government to investigate such incidents in Gaza, the findings of the ACHR team raises the possibility that the use of depleted uranium, in addition to white phosphorous bombs, by the Israeli military during Operation Cast Lead will be confirmed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54590

Roadside bomb kills 3 Americans in Iraq
A State Department employee, a soldier and a civilian contractor are the victims of the attack in Fallouja.
Associated Press
A roadside bomb struck a U.S. convoy in western Iraq, killing three Americans, including a senior State Department official, U.S. officials said today. The blast killed Terence Barnich, the deputy director of the State Department’s Iraq Transition Assistance Office in Baghdad, as well as a U.S. soldier and a civilian contractor as their convoy left a construction site near Fallujah on Monday, military and government officials said. Two others were wounded…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54573

Afghan bomb attack kills three US soldiers: military
AFP
A bomb attack on US troops north of the Afghan capital killed three soldiers and three Afghan civilians, military and Afghan officials told AFP. The blast was near Bagram, a town about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Kabul, where the United States has its largest military base in Afghanistan, officials said. “Three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members were killed and one injured after an improvised explosive device attack in eastern Afghanistan this morning,” ISAF said in a statement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54574

Police on the run in Malakand region
Almost 75% desert force in Buner, 40% in Swat
Javed Aziz Khan
Almost 75 per cent desertion has been reported in Buner district police force while over 40 per cent are staying off the duties in Swat after deterioration in the law and order in Malakand division, a source confided to ‘The News’. Over 30 per cent of the total strength of Malakand police has either quit jobs or cops are not reporting to their police stations concerned and offices for the past several months. Not only the constabulary but senior officers are also avoiding posting in Malakand for the past two years…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54576

Afghan was taken to Guantanamo aged 12-rights group
By Sayed Salahuddin
An Afghan who has spent over six years at the U.S. military’s Guantanamo Bay prison was only around 12-years-old when he was detained, not 16 or 17 as his official record says, an Afghan rights group said on Tuesday. Interviews with the family of Mohammed Jawad, who like many poor Afghans does not know his exact age or birthday, showed he was probably not even a teenager when he was arrested in 2002, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission said. He was picked up by Afghan police in connection with a grenade attack in Kabul in which two U.S. soldiers and their Afghan interpreter were wounded. He was transferred to U.S. custody the same day and flown to Guantanamo in early 2003…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54579

The Man Who Murdered Count Folke Bernadotte
Israel’s Terrorists
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
London’s Daily Telegraph has become a weird newspaper, owned by twin brothers who are creepy characters and whose purchase of the publication caused many a shudder. The paper has become a dismal tabloid caricature of its formerly dignified self. Its emphasis is now on parochial “celebrity” rubbish, although it must be said that its recent exposure of the greed and chicanery of grubby little British politicians has been a public service of considerable note, even if it was parochial and celeb-intensive. But there is one redeeming feature of the modern-vulgar Telegraph, and that is its Obituary page. Descriptions of the recently departed are written in a style that can be described only as sublime. The doings and undoings of countless captivating characters are retailed in amusing and often spicy detail, with élan, elegance and flair for a telling phrase…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54584

Beyond Obama’s Rhetoric
Kim Petersen
With each passing day, president Barack Obama provides more and more evidence that the line distinguishing him from his predecessor George W. Bush is one of style rather than of substance. This is revealed by Obama’s recent statement about the explosion of a nuclear device by North Korea. Obama said, “North Korea’s nuclear ballistic missile programs pose a great threat to the peace and security of the world and I strongly condemn their reckless action.” If indeed what Obama says is true, then what of the US’s nuclear ballistic missiles? They must also “pose a great threat to the peace and security of the world.” …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54582

Palestinian family in East Jerusalem under house arrest
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
The Israeli construction of the Annexation Wall on the Khatib family land has rendered 24 members of the family on the Israeli side of the Wall, where they are being kept under house arrest. No members of the family have committed any crime, but the Israeli military keeps them under house arrest because the Israeli military constructed the Wall with the family on the Israeli side. The family’s home and land have been annexed into the Pisgat Ze’ev settlement, and the family has thus been unwillingly “turned into settlers”. To visit the rest of their relatives and friends in their village of Hizma, they are forced to travel to an Israeli checkpoint border crossing. Their friends and relatives who have been rendered on the Palestinian side of the Wall have an extremely difficult time obtaining the permits and permission necessary to cross to visit the Khatib family stuck in Pisgat Ze’ev…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54581

“Peace is not Simply the Absence of Violence” A Lesson for Israel
Ban Sidhe
…Gerry Adams once said in his historical speech upon entering into the Peace Process in 1997: “Peace is not simply the absence of violence” a quote he took from Gandhi, and that is so very true. However, this is the “type” of peace Israel wants, only the absence of violence, without addressing the core issues which create that resistance and violence. Smart people know the difference between real peace and the repressive peace created by an aggressor and occupier like Israel. Nelson Mandela spoke of this when he said: ‘What challenges us, is to ensure that none should enjoy lesser rights; and none tormented because they are born different, hold contrary political views or pray to God in a different manner.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54578

Israel uproots 250 Olive trees belonging to Arabs in the Negev
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
The so-called Israel’s Land Authority uprooted on Monday nearly 250 olive trees and several fig trees and grapevines south of Shqeib Al Salaam Arab village in the Negev. The authorities then loaded the uprooted trees onto trucks and took them away. The new violation is one of numerous ongoing violations carried out by Israel against the “unrecognized” Arab villages in the Negev…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54575

Pakistan risks ‘human catastrophe’
Aljazeera.net
Thousands of civilians trapped in Pakistan’s Swat valley, where the military is battling Taliban forces, face a “humanitarian catastrophe” unless help reaches them soon, a rights group has said. Human Rights Watch says the military must lift its curfew of the area, which has been in place for a full week, and airdrop essential food, water and medicine to the 200,000 residents trapped there. Brad Adams, the Asia director of the US-based group, said on Tuesday: “People trapped in the Swat conflict zone face a humanitarian catastrophe unless the Pakistani military immediately lifts a curfew that has been in place continuously for the last week…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54572

Who will do justice to victims of U.S. invasion of Iraq?
Fatih Abdulsalam, Azzaman
Iraqis killed, maimed, turned into refugees, and made homeless as a direct or indirect result of the 2003-U.S. invasion are in millions. Who will do justice to them? The victims of the past six years, it seems, have turned into meaningless numbers about which nobody cares. They have apparently turned into erased lines in Iraq’s book of darkness, or graves with erased epitaphs in the desert of death. Iraqi lives are as valuable as those of U.S. marines whose numbers, names and graves are very well marked and commemorated. In one way or another, their families and beloved ones are being taken care of…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54570

Egyptians Too Hit by Israeli Strikes
By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa Al-Omrani
Residents along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip are still awaiting compensation for property damaged by air strikes during Israel’s recent onslaught against the Hamas-run enclave. “The Egyptian government wasn’t responsible for the damage, which came entirely as a result of Israel’s assault on Gaza,” Governor of North Sinai Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha told IPS. “The situation, therefore, is complicated.” During Israel’s three-week assault Dec. 27-Jan. 17, tens of thousands of houses in the Gaza Strip were damaged by air strikes and artillery, and more than 1,500 people were killed. Egyptian territory was not immune from the devastation: over the course of the campaign, the 14-kilometre frontier zone between Egypt and the embattled Gaza Strip also suffered hundreds of Israeli air strikes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54583

Hope Convoy gains limited access to Gaza
Ma’an News
European convoy carrying medical supplies finally entered the Gaza Strip on Monday evening through the Rafah border crossing after waiting for more than 24 hours. Egypt agreed to allow just 22 members of the hundred-person Hope for Gaza convoy to enter the Gaza Strip, according to Rami Abdo, convoy’s UK-based coordinator. “All forty medium size trucks entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing after agreement with the Egyptian authorities to allow only 22 solidarity activists out of one hundred to accompany the aid convoy,” said Abdo…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54571

“There’s No Way I’m Going to Deploy to Afghanistan”
Dahr Jamail
“It’s a matter of what I’m willing to live with,” Specialist Victor Agosto of the U.S. Army, who is refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan, explained to IPS. “I’m not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong.” Agosto, who returned from a 13-month deployment to Iraq in November 2007, is based at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. While in Iraq, Agosto never left his base, located in northern Iraq. “I never had any traumatic experiences, never fired my weapon,” Agosto told IPS in a phone interview. “I mostly worked in information technology, working on computers and keeping the network functioning well. But it was in Iraq that I turned against the occupations. Through my reading, and watching what was going on, I started to feel very guilty.” Agosto added, “What I did there, I know I contributed to death and human suffering. It’s hard to quantify how much I caused, but I know I contributed to it.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54591

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