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URUK Net 29 May, 2009

Last updated: Monday, June 1, 2009 9:47

Amnesty International Annual Report on Israel and the Occupied Territories 2009
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Israeli forces launched a military offensive on an unprecedented scale – code-named “Operation Cast Lead” – on 27 December in the Gaza Strip, killing many civilians and destroying homes and other civilian property. Earlier in the year there had been a marked upsurge in killings of civilians and others by both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) before a ceasefire was agreed in June (see Palestinian Authority entry). Some 70 children were among the 425 Palestinians killed in the first half of the year. In addition to the large-scale destruction of homes and property in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces also destroyed scores of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and in Bedouin villages in the south of Israel. Throughout the year, the Israeli army maintained stringent restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the OPT, including a blockade on the Gaza Strip, which caused an unprecedented level of humanitarian hardship and virtually imprisoned the entire population of 1.5 million. This was further exacerbated by the Israeli offensive launched on 27 December. Hundreds of patients with serious medical conditions requiring treatment not available in local hospitals were refused passage out of Gaza; several died…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54696

Iran Secretly Helped U.S. Bomb Taliban Units, Find Al Qaeda
Jeff Stein
Iran supplied U.S. diplomats with the location of Taliban military units in Afghanistan after the initial bombing campaign in the fall of 2001 failed to rout them, according to former officials in the George W. Bush administration. The Islamic regime also gave the Bush administration “really substantive cooperation” on al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, at one point providing Washington with a list of 220 suspects and their whereabouts, said one official, former White House National Security Council Iran expert Hillary Mann Leverett. Leverett said that in December 2002, after the U.S. gave Tehran the names of five al Qaeda suspects it believed were in Iran, the regime found two, which they delivered to the U.S. air base at Baghram, in Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54689

Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)
PSCABI-Gaza, Occupied Palestine
The Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI) calls upon freedom-loving students all over the world to stand in solidarity with us by boycotting Israeli academic institutions for their complicity in perpetuating Israel’s illegal military occupation and apartheid system. We note the historic action taken by thousands of courageous students of British and American universities in occupying their campuses in a show of solidarity with the brutally oppressed Palestinian people in Gaza. We also deeply appreciate the decision by Hampshire College to divest from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation. Such pressure on Israel is the most likely to contribute to ending its denial of our rights, including the right to education…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54693

Barghouthi: IOA is misleading the world on settlements
Palestinian Information Center
Palestinian legislator MP Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi has accused Thursday the Israeli occupation government of misleading the world on the construction of more Israeli settlement in the West Bank. In press release he made in Ramallah city, the Palestinian lawmaker explained that the Israeli Knesset’s (parliament) endorsement of bills confirming the Jewish identity of the Hebrew state, and of punishing anyone who denies it confirm racism and the apartheid system of the Israeli occupation authority…

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Fatah at fault
Khaled Amayreh
…Meanwhile, it is increasingly obvious the internal Fatah crisis is deepening and exacerbating over the convening of the movement’s Sixth Congress. Fatah leaders, both inside and outside the occupied territories, have been attacking Abbas and his allies, accusing them of “pushing Fatah to the abyss”. Last week, Fatah leader Qaddura Fares, an ally and confidante of imprisoned Fatah Secretary- General Marwan Barghouti, was quoted as asking, “What sort of democratic movement is that which doesn’t hold election for 20 years?” Barghouti is widely viewed as a chief rival of Abbas and some circles have suggested that the PA leader actually dreads an Israeli decision to free Barghouti, possibly in the context of a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54705

US soldier killed in northern Iraq
AFP
An American soldier was killed when a grenade exploded near his patrol in restive Nineveh province in northern Iraq on Friday, the US army said in a statement. The military did not give any further details on the incident. The death took the number of US troops killed in the conflict-torn nation in May to 22, the highest monthly toll since last September…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54703

I was right to torture terror suspects – it saved lives, claims unrepentant George Bush
David Gardner
George W. Bush has defended the use of torture on terror suspects in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The former U.S. president broke his silence over the controversial issue to insist that interrogation methods such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation helped save lives by gaining valuable intelligence…

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Flashback: Torture photos depict ‘rape and murder,’ Sen. Graham said in 2004
Stephen C. Webster
In spite of the White House and Pentagon’s synchronized rebuttal to an explosive story by the Daily Telegraph alleging the White House is suppressing images of prisoners’ sexual abuse, almost nothing about the paper’s Thursday morning report was new, least of all the charges of rape. “The American public needs to understand, we’re talking about rape and murder here,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), telling reporters in 2004 why the Abu Ghraib photos should not be released as former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld faced calls for his resignation. “We’re not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We’re talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.”…

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Ethnic discrimination?
By Babar Sattar*
A naked ugly form of ethnic prejudice is fettering the right of our wretched brothers and sisters displaced from Swat to move freely and settle anywhere across Pakistan. The invidious stance against the temporary settlement of IDPs in Sindh adopted by Sindh political parties (JSQM, and in a more equivocal yet equally unmistakable manner by the MQM) exposes the ethnic fault-lines dividing our national fabric and lack of generosity of spirit of various political actors. But more importantly the ease with which fundamental rights of a vulnerable group of citizens can be transgressed in pursuit of selfish ethnic interests raises serious constitutional questions. Article 15 of the Constitution holds that “every citizen shall have the right to remain, and subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by law in the public interest, enter and move freely throughout Pakistan and to reside and settle in any part thereof.” This right to reside and settle in any part of Pakistan is not merely an individual right. It is an imperative feature of our collective existence and recognition as a state wherein the various federating units of the country are subsumed into one coherent whole called Pakistan…

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Iraqi ministers clash over forced repatriation of refugees from European states
Talib al-Hussaini, Azzaman
Differences have erupted in government ranks over welcoming Iraqi refugees forced by their host countries to return home. Displacement and Migration Minister Abdulsamad Sultan has called on the government to rescind the agreements it signed with both Sweden and Denmark to send Iraqi refugees to the country by force. Sultan blamed Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zaibari for striking the agreements and urged him to have them revoked. Stories of Swedish authorities cramming Iraqi refugees whose asylum demands have been rejected into vans and planes have raised government concerns. Reports that Swedish police handcuffed the refugees, dragged babies even from hospitals, had all of them handcuffed and forced into a plane bound for Baghdad occupied the highlights of Baghdad press…

A Swedish report by Radio One in which it said that the Swedish police had even drugged the refugees on the plane and separate babies from their parents has angered many Iraqis.

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Aid expert says only pennies of foreign aid reaching Afghans
BILL GRAVELAND
In a country where government corruption and payoffs are pervasive, only pennies from each aid dollar being sent to Afghanistan are actually reaching the people who need help, an international aid expert said Thursday. Marco Vicenzino, the founder of the Global Strategy Project, a non-partisan, non-profit foreign policy think-tank based in Washington, D.C., said he is “appalled” by the inefficiency of humanitarian aid efforts in the war-torn country… Vicenzino, who is a strategic adviser for the Afghanistan World Foundation and a former official with the World Bank, said about 80 cents of every dollar goes back to donor countries, largely through the contractors doing the work. “You have 20 cents left for Afghanistan and those 20 cents have to go through their layers of corruption. By the time any money reaches the ordinary citizen, you’re lucky if you even have five cents …”

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The Main Result of the “War on Terror”
The Destabilization of Pakistan
GARY LEUPP
So far the principle result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the events of 9-11 has been the destabilization of Pakistan. That breakdown is peaking with the events in what AP calls the “Swat town” of Mingora---actually a city of 375,000 from which all but 20,000 have fled as government forces moved in, strafing it with gunships. We’re talking urban guerrilla warfare, house-to-house fighting, not on the Afghan border but 50 miles away in the Swat Valley. We’re talking about Pakistani troops fighting to reclaim the nearby Malam Jabba ski resort from the Tehreek-e-Taliban, who since last year have been using it as a training center and logistics base. We’re talking about two million people fleeing the fighting in the valley and 160,000 in government refugee camps. And of course, “collateral damage”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54691

Reduced to mud
While testament to famed Palestinian ingenuity, the sight of Gazans making houses out of mud is a visual condemnation of Israel’s siege on the Strip
Saleh Al-Naami
Despite the cold, the driver’s face poured sweat as he drove his truck through the mounds of mud scattered along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. His mission was to transport as many truckloads of mud as possible to Rafah City for use in the production of bricks that Palestinians are now using in the construction of mud houses. This driver, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Al-Ahram Weekly that people have discovered a new and important benefit to the border tunnels. When tunnels are dug, mounds of mud are created, and this mud is considered prime for the production of mud bricks. Under the siege, and due to Gazans’ loss of hope that reconstruction projects will rebuild the thousands of houses and institutions destroyed by the Israeli occupation, particularly during its New Year offensive, many homeowners have begun to explore the mud alternative…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54690

Put the foot down
Galal Nassar
It has been said a major use of force — or at least a threat thereof — is needed for any political breakthrough. I am beginning to think that this is the case with the Egyptian-sponsored Palestinian dialogue. Nearly two years ago, Hamas took over power in Gaza, saying that it had no other choice since Fatah was blocking it from exercising the legitimate power it had won in free elections. Since then, Egypt has been trying to make the two sides find their way back to national unity. Five rounds of talks have been held over the past three months, with little or no progress. The time spent in talks was enough for Fatah and Hamas to explore their common ground and sort out their differences. But as it turned out, time was wasted. The fourth and fifth rounds were particularly disappointing, so much so that one is tempted to say that the dialogue reached an impasse. At present, inter-Palestinian talks resemble to an alarming extent Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Much time and effort is spent and no progress is made…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54699

Obama: halt to new Israeli settlements is in America’s security interests
Chris McGreal and Rory McCarthy i
Increasingly fractious relations between the US and Israel hit a low unseen in nearly two decades yesterday after the Jewish state rejected President Obama’s demand for an end to settlement construction in the West Bank, and the president responded by suggesting that Israeli intransigence endangers America’s security. The dispute, which blew in during the open hours before Obama met the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, reflects the depth of the shift in US policy away from accommodating Israel, and towards pressuring it to end years of stalling negotiations over the creation of a Palestinian state as it continues to grab land in the occupied territories…

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Syrian leader meets US politicians
Aljaeera.net
Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has held talks with two US Democratic legislators to discuss means of improving relations between the two countries and achieve peace in the Middle East. The meeting, with Tim Waltz, a House member, and Edward Kaufman, a senator, on Thursday were reported by Sana, the Syrian state news agency. Al-Assad was said to have praised President Barack Obama’s approach to relations between the countries, but also asserted that there was still work to do to ease tensions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54702

FRANCE: ‘Defying Rules on Arms Sales to Israel’
By David Cronin
French arms sales to Israel are “in total contradiction” of European Union rules on the defence industry, the author of a new study has said. Between 2003 and 2007 France issued licences worth more than 446 million euros (623 million dollars) for arms exports to Israel. This made France by far the largest supplier of weapons to Israel in the EU. Patrice Bouveret from the French Centre for Research on Peace and Conflicts (CRDPC) in Lyon says that these sales are at variance with the Union’s decade-old code of conduct on weapons exports. Formally declared legally binding by EU governments last year, the code forbids weapons sales in cases where they may exacerbate regional tensions or where there is a strong likelihood they will be used in violation of human rights…

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US Army chief sees Iraq, Afghanistan occupations continuing for a decade
By Bill Van Auken
The chief of staff of the US Army, Gen. George Casey, said this week that the American military is preparing to continue its interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan for at least another decade. In an invitation-only interview Tuesday with selected reporters and think tank representatives, Casey said that the protracted US occupation of the two countries was necessary in order to meet a “sustained US commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East,” the Associated Press reported…

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Afghan Resistance Statement
A New American Chief Executive and the Election Drama
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

The Americans have launched a ridiculous chess game about their stooges, tapping them on the back to run for the president. Even, US president Obama invited some of them to participate in a swearing-in ceremony at the White House. By such gestures, Obama intended to show that he wanted to get a particular agent installed at the saddle of power in Afghanistan and end the Karzai corruption-ridden Administration. However, it did not transpire. After the passage of some time, the promise was just forgotten. Like his other pledges, commitments which proved to be bogus, superficial and deceiving, it also proved to be so. Soon the Afghan guests at the oath-taking ceremony fell from sight. Instead, a deal was struck with Karzai, the mayor of Kabul, who ostensibly promised to obey every order and demand of the new American president Obama…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54676

Note: literature is illegal in Palestine
Marcy Newman, body on the line
I went to the last night of the Palestine Festival of Literature expecting that it would be shut down yet again. A friend of mine in the old city had bumped into one of the actors in al Hakawati (the Palestinian national theatre) and she told him that they were already planning to move it somewhere else. But when i went there to meet him everything was getting set up so it seemed that this was just a rumor. I arrived an hour early because my friends are in a book discussion group every thursday night so i went to join them as i sometimes do. but five minutes after they got started israeli terrorist soldiers invaded al hakawati. They came in and posted a court order in Hebrew and Arabic on the door and asked everyone to leave the theatre. My friends decided they would carry on their book discussion group in the courtyard so they sat down outside on theatre grounds. then they were told they also were not allowed to be there…

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America seeks to destroy Pakistan
Atif Salahuddin
…America itself has failed to control Afghanistan; it badly needs the Pakistan army to conduct this operation to save it’s failing occupation of Afghanistan. This operation is designed by the Zardari regime to punish the people of Swat for their support to the fighters who attack the American and NATO supply convoys heading for Afghanistan and for their Pakhtoon brethren across the border who are fighting the American led occupation. By displacing up to a staggering 2.4 million people from the area, the Zardari regime, coupled with the terror of the American drone strikes in the area, has effectively cleansed the area of it’s population and thereby sought to increase the security of the American and NATO supply lines. By creating an area free from it’s population, the Zardari regime has also created a buffer zone along the Afghan border in order to stem Western losses inside Afghanistan. In the process Zardari has created the biggest humanitarian refugee crisis the world has seen since the Rwanda genocide in 1994 according to the United Nations. With no independent journalists allowed inside the theatre of operation, it is anyone’s guess as to how many men, women and children have died, how many have been injured and how many have lost their homes and had their livelihoods destroyed in the process. ..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54686

Fake Rape Photos Re-Emerge Again To Discredit Real Torture Scandal
Paul Joseph Watson
Staged photos lifted from porn websites purporting to be images of U.S. troops raping female detainees at Abu Ghraib are again circulating at the height of the torture scandal, discrediting the very real and admitted accounts of rape described in Major General Antonio Taguba’s military report into the Abu Ghraib prison. Despite the fact that these photos were vehemently discredited and proven to be taken from porn websites when they first emerged in 2004, they are again being erroneously cited as examples of photos showing rape that the Obama administration is blocking from public release – providing debunkers with ammunition to dismiss the validity of the torture scandal altogether…We see the same pattern over and over again – every time the torture scandal escalates, fake images are released to poison the well and dampen outrage about the very real torture and sexual abuse of women and children that is documented in the U.S. military’s own internal report into the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The fact that Press TV and the individual quoted in the article have fallen for this simplistic propaganda yet again is beyond belief. It’s a case of ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54672

A Two-State Scam?
By Mohannad El-Khairy
…The bottom line is this: the very intention of the state of Israel is to take over the entire country, and ethnically cleanse its native population. There was never an Israeli intent to live side by side, let alone with, the Palestinians. Since inception, Eretz Israel – or Greater Israel – was and continues to be the ultimate objective. Israel’s end game is to render the Palestinians like the Native Americans of North America; a forgotten, scattered people with no chance of regaining its homeland, let alone build on its rich heritage and culture. In fact, it already uses Palestinian traditional attire, foods, music, and dance as part of the “ethnically diverse Israeli nation” – a nation built on the stolen identity of another…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54687

‘Mucking out’ British politics
Corruption runs far deeper than fiddling MPs’ expenses…
Stuart Littlewood
UK politicians are currently reeling from a public lashing for fiddling their expenses big-time. Such is their arrogance that many, when confronted with their crimes, don’t see that they have done anything wrong. The guilty ones who step down will be further enriched with a lavish re-settlement allowance and a big pension pot. To appease voters’ anger Parliament and Government are now promising anti-sleaze reforms. They are calling on the impressive-sounding Committee on Standards in Public Life to investigate and make recommendations. Conservative leader David Cameron, who has expectations of becoming the next British prime minister, talks of purging his party of its cheats and racketeers. But swindling the taxpayer over MPs’ expenses is nothing compared to other corruption that’s rife in Westminster. It is said that becoming a Friend of Israel is a necessary stepping-stone to high office. As a result supporters of that foreign power are embedded at all levels in the fabric of British political life and at the heart of the Government…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54683

The Pathologies of Israel’s Guilty Conscience
Eitan Bronstein
Negating the truth about the Nakbah — the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs from what became Israel in 1948 — has been a staple of Jewish-nationalist propaganda as long as I can remember: As a youngster in Habonim, I was told bubbemeis tales about foolish Arabs marching off into the wilderness like zombies after being hypnotized by radio broadcasts urging them to leave; a “miracle” on a par with the parting of the Red Sea that ostensibly gave the Zionist movement the “land without a people” about which it had fantasized. It should have been painfully obvious that this was a preposterous self-serving myth (which even then didn’t account for the fact that the ethnic cleansing was sealed by Israel in one of its founding laws that denied the right of any Arab absent from their property on the day of Israel’s creation to return to that property). But to suggest anything less than a miraculous conception and bloodless birth for the state of Israel was to deny its “legitimacy”, we were told. As international pressure grows for an historic reckoning between Israelis and Palestinians, the frenzy of denial and negation has intensified. Suddenly, Netanyahu is demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state”, even though to do so requires that Palestinian refugees simply sign away their birthright, erase their history and identity. Even more bizarre, perhaps, is the effort by members of Israel’s parliament to outlaw commemoration of the Nakba…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54677

Israel Threatens to Outlaw Palestinian Memory
By Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler
Israel is set to approve a radical new bill which threatens to legalise discrimination against its sizeable Arab minority for the first time. The bill, approved this week by the ministerial committee for legislation, would make it illegal to relate to the creation of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948 as a day of mourning, thereby banning Arab Israeli citizens from marking what Palestinians call the Nakba – their “Great Catastrophe”. Although the bill has some way yet to become law, it is already arousing considerable consternation among liberal Israeli Jews and the entire Arab community, 20 percent of Israel’s population…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54678

Death and devastation in Gaza neatly filed and documented
Peter Beaumont
We have a way of codifying the consequences of conflict. We collect the dead into lists and tidy ruins into databases. We map gravesites and calculate the cost. It is a process that produces sums and totals, graphs and tables, which in the end are far less meaningful than the reality of what occurred. It numbs and dehumanises even as the gathering is done. In Gaza the shells of buildings have been labelled and collated, exhibits from a violent event already passing into history after only half a year. G1086-01 designates the parliament building, a collapsed grey ribcage of concrete. The site of the ruined ministries in the Tal al-Hawa district of Gaza City is recorded as G10177-01, green and grey towers gutted by the bombs dropped from Israeli F-16s…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54674

The Borg Welcomes Its New Members
Arthur Silber
…Yet I do not believe in holding grudges. So to many of those who voted for Obama, including all those liberals and progressives who now not only fail to oppose his policies of barbarism and death but cheer themselves hoarse with shouts of approval for ongoing murder and destruction (see the Laura Flanders article excerpted here), as well as to all those who attempt to minimize or find excuses for the many crimes of today and tomorrow, I say: Congratulations. Your assimilation has been successful. You are now part of the Hive Mind. Some of us saw all this, and we therefore declined to vote for Obama. For identical reasons, we refused to vote for McCain. “A Choice of War Criminals” is no choice at all, not if one values innocent life and the honor of being human. But many of those who insisted that all “decent” people must vote for Obama dismissed our concerns, or attempted to marginalize and minimize them. They said we weren’t “realistic.” To all such people, I say: you yourselves were certainly “realistic.” I would suggest that one other element of what now unfolds is also realistic: the blood that drips from your hands, and the nightmares that ought to sear your souls. There’s realism for you, you miserable sons of bitches…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54670

The Bogus Torture Coverup
Scott Horton
…A senior military officer familiar with the photos told me that they would likely provoke a storm of outrage if released. The well-informed source confirmed, just as reported in the Telegraph, that many of the photographs are sexually explicit, including those mentioned above. The photographs differ from those already officially released. Some show U.S. personnel engaged in sexual acts with prisoners and each other…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54680

Taguba Saw “Video of Male Soldier Sodomizing Female Detainee”
Jason Leopold
In 2007, shortly after he was forced into retirement, Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba made a startling admission. During the course of his investigation into the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Taguba said he saw “a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee.” Taguba told New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh that he saw other graphic photos and videos as well, including one depicting the “sexual humiliation of a father with his son, who were both detainees.” That video, as well as photographs Taguba saw of US soldiers raping and torturing Iraqi prisoners, remains in the possession of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Taguba said he did not discuss details of the photographs and videos in his voluminous report on abuses at Abu Ghraib because of the Army’s ongoing criminal probe and the photographs’ “extremely sensitive nature.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54684

Busted, Pentagon: Why The Photos Probably Do Show Detainees Sodomized and Raped
Naomi Wolf
… It is very likely that the Pentagon lying. This is probably exactly what the photos show, because it happened. Precisely these exact sex crimes – these exact images and these very objects — are familiar and well-documented to those of us who follow closely rights’ organizations reports of what has already been confirmed. As I wrote last year in my piece on sex crime against detainees, ‘Sex Crimes in the White House,” highly perverse, systematic sexual torture and sexual humiliation was, original documents reveal, directed from the top; Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice were present in meetings where sexual humiliation was discussed as policy; the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 was written specifically to allow certain kinds of sexual abuse, such as forced nakedness, which is completely illegal and understood by domestic and international law to be a form of sexual assault; Rumsfeld is in print and on the record consulting with subordinates about the policy and practice of sexual humiliation, in a collection of documents obtained by the ACLU by a Freedom of Information Act filing, compiled in Jameel Jaffer’s important book, The Torture Administration…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54685

Torture photos: US soldiers raped, sodomized Iraqi prisoners
By Tom Eley
…One can only react with horror. Contained in the stories and images of the torture of defenseless prisoners, some of them boys and women, is the true face of US imperialism, which finds no crime beneath its dignity in its effort to subjugate Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as the Vietnam War conjures up images of napalmed children fleeing US soldiers, and Nazi Germany invokes images of emaciated prisoners near death, the images of sexual torture will forever be associated with the American “war on terror.” In acting to suppress the images and protect the torturers, Obama has made himself an accomplice in these crimes. Moreover, in the absence of criminal investigation, there is every reason to believe that similar crimes continue in Iraq and Afghanistan today…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54668

MoD admits use of controversial ‘enhanced blast’ weapons in Afghanistan
Richard Norton-Taylor
British pilots in Afghanistan are firing an increasing number of “enhanced blast” thermobaric weapons, designed to kill everyone in buildings they strike, the Ministry of Defence has revealed. Since the start of this year more than 20 of the US-designed missiles, which have what is officially described as a “blast fragmentation warhead”, have been fired by pilots of British Apache attack helicopters. A total of 20 were also fired last year after they were bought by the MoD from the Americans last May. The missiles are a variant of the AGM-114N Hellfire missile, described by the Pentagon as “designed to produce higher sustained blast pressure in multi-room structures…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54666

Documenting the Palestinian holocaust
Rania Khallaf
The Palestinian Holocaust photography exhibition, held last week at the Al-Sawy Cultural Wheel in Cairo, is part of a set of activities initiated by the Palestinian Holocaust Memorial Museum Team, whose aim is to create a museum dedicated to Israeli crimes against the Palestinians. Immediately before the exhibition’s opening there was also a celebration of the first anniversary of the team’s formation, which included a screening of a documentary film setting out the aims of the proposed Palestinian Holocaust Memorial Museum (PHMM), as well as testimonies by photographers from Gaza and music by Ahmed El-Hagar.,,

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MK Zahalka: “New law, Racist and constitutes a thought crime”
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
As the Israeli Knesset was debating the new law, which punishes any citizen who does not recognize Israel as a Jewish Democratic State, Arab member of Knesset Jamal Zahalka, described the law as racist and a thought crime. Zahalka said that any person who demands democracy and equality would be punished and imprisoned, and that this means dozens of Jewish and Arabs university lecturers, intellectuals and politicians who propose a bi-national state or a state for all of its citizens would be punished and imprisoned. He also said that what this law means is that the state “would have to form a police unit that targets the thoughts of the residents, the intellectuals, and imprison them for having ideas and thoughts that are not coherent with the State’s policies…

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Britain: the depth of corruption
John Pilger
The theft of public money by members of parliament, including government ministers, has given Britons a rare glimpse inside the tent of power and privilege. It is rare because not one political reporter or commentator, those who fill tombstones of column inches and dominate broadcast journalism, revealed a shred of this scandal. It was left to a public relations man to sell the “leak”. Why? The answer lies in a deeper corruption, which tales of tax evasion and phantom mortgages touch upon but also conceal. Since Margaret Thatcher, British parliamentary democracy has been progressively destroyed as the two main parties have converged into a single-ideology business state, each with almost identical social, economic and foreign policies. This “project” was completed by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, inspired by the political monoculture of the United States…

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Terrorist Pianos of Doom!
Arthur Silber
Toward the end of last month, a noteworthy incident occurred in the classical music life of Los Angeles: Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman, who is widely admired for his virtuosic performances and who famously tours with his own custom-altered Steinway, created a furor at Disney Hall on Sunday night when he stopped his recital to announce that this would be his last American appearance — in protest of the nation’s military policies overseas. In a low voice that could not be heard throughout the auditorium, Zimerman, universally considered among the world’s finest pianists, made reference to Guantanamo Bay and U.S. military policies toward Poland. “Get your hands off my country,” he said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54682

Manipulation: How Financial Markets Really Work
Stephen Lendman
Wall Street’s mantra is that markets move randomly and reflect the collective wisdom of investors. The truth is quite opposite. The government’s visible hand and insiders control markets and manipulate them up or down for profit – all of them, including stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies. It’s financial fraud or what former high-level Wall Street insider and former Assistant HUD Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts calls “pump and dump,” defined as “artificially inflating the price of a stock or other security through promotion, in order to sell at the inflated price,” then profit more on the downside by short-selling. “This practice is illegal under securities law, yet it is particularly common,” and in today’s volatile markets likely ongoing daily…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54675

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