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URUK Net 3 June, 2009

Last updated: Monday, June 22, 2009 11:10

Military Admits “Errors” in Civilian Bombing in Afghanistan, But Still Defends the Attacks
Jeremy Scahill
The May 4 US bombing in Farah Province in Afghanistan was reportedly the single worst aerial attack by US forces since the 2001 invasion began. Afghan sources said as many as 130-140 civilians were killed. At the time, The New York Times reported the attack “could be the largest case of civilian casualties since an attack on the village of Azizabad in western Afghanistan last year, in which United Nations officials said there was convincing evidence that 90 civilians were killed.” Among the dead, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross were 13 members of the one family, including a worker for the Red Crescent. In the immediate aftermath, the Pentagon tried to spin a story that Taliban fighters used grenades to kill three families to “stage” a massacre and then blame it on the US. The ICRC passionately rejected this claim, saying, “We know that those killed included an Afghan Red Crescent volunteer and 13 members of his family who had been sheltering from fighting in a house that was bombed in an air strike.” Over the past month, the US military has been conducting an internal investigation. It bears remembering that the US track record of thoroughly “investigating” US massacres is pathetic…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54835

Meanwhile in the “New Iraq”…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
Some of you may have read or heard, even though I doubt it very much, because most of you out there don’t give a fuck about Iraq, that Great Iraq that you killed, raped, tortured and destroyed like the fucking animals that you are…turning it into the MOST corrupt country in the world. I repeat, the most corrupt country in the world. It actually ranked No.2. worldwide in corruption. A corruption that is only one reflection, one reflection among the many others of your own, of who you are. Because you are oh so, fucking corrupt yourselves. Right down to your bones, right deep in your “souls”… Anyways, I was saying that some of you may have heard about the Minister of Trade who goes by the name of Al-Sudani. He was asked to resign for corruption charges.
Actually the REAL reason for his forced resignation was NOT corruption charges, as the puppet government of Al-Maliki liked to pretend, but something else, that you will discover as you read along…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54831

Rather: Former detainee says torture still going on at Gitmo
By David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Dan Rather, the former CBS anchor who now hosts a news magazine on cable channel HDNet, has done a documentary on a former Guantanamo prisoner who says he was tortured for years before being released two weeks ago. Lakhdar Boumediene has charged that he was interrogated for sixteen straight nights in 2003 and that he was force-fed through a nasal tube for over two years after he went on a hunger strike. He also described to Rather’s interviewer how he was made to run with shackles on his legs until they were bloody in order to soften him up…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54838

Hawks Push “Jordanian Option” for Palestine
By Daniel Luban
As U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to deliver a major foreign policy speech in Cairo and his administration pushes aggressively for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine, neoconservatives and other foreign policy hawks back home are calling on him to scrap the two-state solution altogether and consider alternatives to Palestinian statehood. The most prominent alternative they are pushing is the so-called “three-state solution” or “Jordanian option”, in which the West Bank would be returned to Jordanian control and the Gaza Strip to Egyptian control…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54840

Cleansing Halliburton
Tom Engelhardt & Pratap Chatterjee
It might be terrible times for so many companies suffering through a global economic meltdown, but in the war zone, there seems to be no recession in sight. In fact, with “Obama’s war” in the expanding Afghanistan/Pakistan theater of operations revving up, there’s likely to be money to the horizon, bases to build, and ever more troops to supply. As it happens, the management of KBR, formerly a part of Halliburton and the main builder and supplier of American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, is feeling in the pink…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54842

Bagram: Is it Obama’s new Guantanamo?
Judge’s ruling is forcing president to confront issue of Afghan prison
Tom Curry
Should detainees the United States has shipped to the Bagram air base in Afghanistan have the same constitutional right to challenge their detention in court that prisoners at the Guantanamo prison in Cuba have been given? President Barack Obama didn’t answer that question in a May 21 speech outlining his policy for dealing with alleged terrorists. In fact, Obama didn’t mention Bagram at all. Yet human rights lawyers say Bagram will play a critical role in shaping the Obama administration’s detainee policy…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54841

US objects to UN report on military killings
FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press
The Obama administration charged Wednesday that a U.N. investigator violated his mandate by accusing the U.S. of failing to properly investigate allegations of unlawful killings by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Philip Alston, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s investigator on extrajudicial executions, claimed that while some killings are investigated and lead to prosecutions, others aren’t or result in lenient sentences…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54836

Obama offers nothing to states, cities devastated by GM plant closures
Tom Eley
Plant closings resulting from Monday’s forced bankruptcy of General Motors will cause spiraling unemployment and deep cuts in social services in many cities and states across the country. The Obama administration, whose Auto Task Force dictated the terms of the bankruptcy, has offered no serious aid to the affected workers and their communities. GM is carrying out at least 21,000 job cuts and the closure of 14 plants and warehouses in eight states. In addition, the company has announced its intention to dump franchise agreements with 2,300 dealerships by the end of next year. Many of these will be forced to close, eliminating as many as 100,000 jobs in all 50 states…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54834

Administrative detention
Marcy Newman, body on the line
Addameer is one of the essential organizations in Palestine fighting for the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. One of their many and tireless campaigns is for the rights of those Palestinian political prisoners who are in what the Zionist entity calls “administrative detention.” Here is a summary from addameer’s website on just what that entails…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54828

Palestinian leftists call for an end to Hamas-Fatah violence
Ma’an News
Left-wing Palestinian factions held a meeting in Gaza on Wednesday to discuss a response to a recent flare up in internecine violence. A member at the central committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Kayed Al-Ghoul, said that his party also met with officials from the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP) on Tuesday evening. Al-Ghoul said that the left “totally rejects” the use of violence among Palestinian factions, after a Hamas-Fatah shootout in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya left six people dead on Sunday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54837

PCHR Condemns Arrests of Hamas’ Members and Supporters in the West Bank; Director of the Office of PLC Members from the Change and Reform Bloc Continues to be Detained
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the continued detention of journalist Murad Abu al-Baha, director of the office of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from the Change and Reform Bloc. Abu Al-Baha has now been detained by the Preventive Security Service (PSS) for nearly 45 days, during which time he has been subjected to torture and denied access to legal counsel. His family has only been permitted one 10 minute visit. PCHR expresses its concern regarding Abu al-Baha’s health, which has deteriorated as a consequence of his detention. PCHR further condemns the current campaign of arrests and illegal detention waged by Palestinian security services against members and supporters of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the West Bank…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54839

In Iraq, Rape Without Recourse
Ria Misra
In Iraq’s Red Zone, there is an apartment with no listed address. The two small bedrooms house six women and their children, who comprise a temporary, but closely bound, family. Of the six women, four have been raped. The curtains are drawn tightly against the outside world, but that is not their only defense. One of the women raises her handbag to show that, in case of the worst, she carries a gun. “FRONTLINE/World” on PBS has produced a piece on the rapid rise in rapes in Iraq, which takes us inside this women’s shelter in the middle of the Red Zone. It is one of very few in existence and forced to operate covertly in the face of threats and danger. Before the war began in Iraq, rape was not a frequently reported crime and when it did occur the legal recourse was clear. Today, though the exact figures are unknown, estimates of rape are in the thousands. On the question of who takes responsibility to prevent and punish rape in Iraq, the short answer seems to be no one…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54832

Settlers Rampage in WB, Savage Palestinians
IslamOnline.net
Jewish settlers rampaged in the occupied West Bank on Monday, June 1, blocking roads, burning farming fields, cutting down olive trees and shooting Palestinian civilians. “They attacked when the minibus (carrying 17 Palestinian workers on their way to work in Israel) stopped,” Zakaria Sada, an activist with the Rabbis for Human Rights organization, told Agence France-Presse (AFP). Masked settlers blocked a road in western Nablus, hurling rocks at Palestinian drivers, who stopped their vehicles to move the obstructions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54830

Remembering Father Gerry
Stephen Lendman
The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti’s (IJDH) Brian Concannon knew him well, and posted this on IJDH’s web site on his passing: “Reverend Gerard Jean-Juste (1947 – 2009), a tireless advocate for justice for Haitians in Haiti and the US, passed away today, May 27, 2009. Fr. Gerry’s passing is a great loss to all of us at IJDH and BAI (Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Haiti).” In an on-air interview, Concannon added: “So every time there’s been a dictatorship in Haiti in the last 20 years he was one of the top people out there resisting it…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54833

Will the Senate Ask McChrystal About Torture Under His Command?
Rethink Afghanistan
On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the confirmation of Lt. General Stanley McChrystal to take over command of Afghanistan – but as Spencer has reported, the hearings are being stage managed to generate a swift confirmation by combining it with the hearings for two others. While the media focuses on McChrystal’s involvement with the Tillman case (in which he was cleared of wrongdoing), there are other questions that need to be answered. All too conveniently, the recent decision by President Obama to block the publication of the torture photos may also be a way to smooth his appointment. At the least, an uproar caused by the release of those photos would likely lead the Senators to ask some pointed questions about actions under McChrystal’s earlier command – at most, those very photos might contain direct documentation of the abuses uncovered by Human Rights Watch and others at Camp Nama, the detention center he commanded in Iraq. But even without that photographic evidence, there are serious grounds to question this appointment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54827

Oslo Redux: Fool’s Gold in Israel/Palestine
By Remi Kanazi
Who doesn’t want to blame all the problems Israel/Palestine is currently facing on newly appointed Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu? He refuses to endorse the internationally recognized two-state solution, he is far more combative on settlements than his predecessors, and he has formed a coalition with right wing racist and advocate of forced transfer, Avigdor Lieberman. Listening to the chatter in “liberal” circles, it seems that the stagnation of the peace process is reinforced, not only by Palestinian extremists in Gaza, but by Israeli extremists as well. This current stagnation plays perfectly into the argument that if so-called moderates were in power (i.e. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Kadima leader Tzipi Livni), newly elected US President Barack Obama could make the desert bloom with new handshakes and peace processes. Once Israelis and Palestinians see how serious Obama is, they will trade in their current devils for the angels of old. This supposed “liberal” framework dangerously dismisses significant realities…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54826

More reasons to boycott the zionist entity
Marcy Newman, body on the line
Last week Palestinian university students in Gaza showed extraordinary solidarity by coming together and authoring a boycott statement. If only Palestinian students in the West Bank could show the same moral courage to come together for such a document: 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. …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54823

Cheney personally oversaw ’secret’ congressional briefings on torture: report
Diana Sweet
Former Vice President Dick Cheney “personally” oversaw at least four briefings with members of Congress about the Bush administration’s interrogation program in an effort to maintain support for the torture of detainees in U.S. custody. The briefings, part of a “secret” defense of the program Cheney began in 2005, were held as congressional oversight committees were threatening to investigate, or end the use of the interrogation methods, lawmakers and officials told The Washington Post…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54822

Exclusive: Hamas invites Obama to Gaza in letter
Ma’an News
An American group returning from Gaza says it will deliver a letter from Hamas to US President Barack Obama who is to give a landmark address to the Muslim world in the Egyptian capital on Thursday. Hamas official Ahmad Yousef confirmed that he wrote the letter, which the US women’s antiwar group CODEPINK plans to deliver on Thursday. Yousef sent a copy of the letter, in Arabic, to Ma’an. The following is a translation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54821

Caterpillar under Fire for Human Rights Abuses for Sixth Year in a Row
by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
For the sixth year in a row, members of Jewish, Christian, and human rights organizations will be present at Caterpillar, Inc.’s annual shareholder meeting to demand that Caterpillar end its complicity with violations of human rights and international law in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Concerned shareholders will urge Caterpillar shareholders to vote yes on proposition #5. This shareholder resolution calls for a review of Caterpillar sales to militaries with poor human rights records, including Israel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54825

A Reponse to Open Letter from Gaza to the Government and People of Spain
Agustín Velloso
It is both with shame and much concern that we, Spanish people who stand by the Palestinians and wholeheartedly support their cause, learnt about the change in the Spanish legislation dealing with universal jurisdiction. The Spanish parliament voted on May 19 about reforming the law with a wide majority of legislators in favor (339) and a small minority (8) against it. Spain is not the first country to change –or bypass- its national legislation regarding breaches of international humanitarian law. Althoguh I admit that this is of little comfort, Palestinians have no reason to be surprised by acts contrary to their cause by goverments that have a consistent record of supporting international justice in general and the Palestinian cause in particular only in words but not in actions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54818

Your request is being processed… Blackwater Sued For War Crimes, Again
Cara Parks
The families of three men killed in Iraq sued Blackwater yesterday, alleging that company employees wrongfully killed the men and then destroyed documents to hide the evidence. The private military company, now known as Xe, faces civil action in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Virginia. The case was originally filed in a California federal court in April. The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges that on Feb. 7, 2007, heavily armed Xe-Blackwater employees shot the three men, who worked as security guards for the Iraqi Media Network. Sabah Salman Hassoon, Azhar Abdullah Ali, and Nibrass Mohammed Dawood were killed in front of approximately 20 other Xe-Blackwater employees and although company supervisors were alerted, the shootings were not reported, according to the complaint…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54824

Iraqi Resistance Constitutes Dhari as Speaker
Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI/HEYET)
The Jihad and Change Front, one of the major jihad fronts in Iraq in addition to the other factions like Asaib al Iraq al Jihadiyah, the Mujahideen Army and the army of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in a joint statement declared confidence on Secretary General of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (HEYET) Sheikh Dr. Hareth Sulaiman al Dhari and choosing him as their spokesperson and representative at international arena. The statement of the resistance factions confirmed that they empowered Sheikh Dhari to speak and negotiate on their behalf in matters related to politics and at all the forums to defend the blood of the beautiful martyrs that flowed on the soil of Iraq where the rights and honors have been violated…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54813

Governor Bush told Houston Journalist: If Elected. “I’m Going to Invade Iraq”
by Sherwood Ross
Two years before the 9/11 attacks on America, George W. Bush told a Houston journalist if elected president, “I’m going to invade Iraq.” Bush made the comments about starting an aggressive war to veteran Houston Chronicle reporter Mickey Herskowitz, then working with Bush on his book “A Charge To Keep,” later brought out by publisher William Morrow. This disclosure was uncovered by Russ Baker, an award-winning investigative reporter when he interviewed Herskowitz for his own book, “Family of Secrets” (Bloomsbury Press) about the Bush dynasty…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54808

Most Americans against closing Guantanamo: poll
AFP
Two of every three Americans are opposed to closing Guantanamo, with an even higher percentage against moving some of the detainees from the “war on terror” prison to their own US states, poll results showed Tuesday. When asked if the United States should shutter the notorious facility and move some of the accused terrorists to US prisons, 65 percent of Americans polled said no, with just 32 percent saying yes, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll published in the newspaper. The ratio jumped to three to one against when respondents were asked whether they would support moving the detainees to the respondents’ home states, the poll said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54814

Where are the Missing Settlers?
How the Media Annexed East Jerusalem
Jonathan Cook
Talks between Barack Obama and the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships over the past fortnight have unleashed a flood of media interest in the settlements Israel has been constructing on Palestinian territory for more than four decades. The US president’s message is unambiguous: the continuing growth of the settlements makes impossible the establishment of a Palestinian state, and therefore peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is one he is expected to repeat when he addresses the Muslim world from Cairo tomorrow. The implication of Mr. Obama’s policy is that, once Israel has frozen the settlements, it will have to begin dismantling a significant number of them to restore territory needed for a Palestinian state…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54819

Yemeni Prisoner Muhammad Salih Dies At Guantánamo
Andy Worthington
It has just been reported that Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih (also known as Mohammed al-Hanashi), a Yemeni prisoner at Guantánamo, has died, apparently by committing suicide. The news comes just three days after the second anniversary of another death at Guantánamo — that of Abdul Rahman al-Amri, a Saudi prisoner who died on May 30, 2007 — and just eight days before the third anniversary of the deaths of three other prisoners — Ali al-Salami, Mani al-Utaybi and Yasser al-Zahrani — who died on June 10, 2006, and it must surely hasten calls for the urgent repatriation of other prisoners before there are any more deaths at the prison…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54812

Chabad rabbi: ‘Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle)’
Ami Eden ·
The current issue of Moment magazine dedicates its “Ask the Rabbis” section to the question “How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?” Rabbis from various denominations offered responses, but it’s the final one — from a Chabad rabbi, Manis Friedman of the St. Paul-based Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies — that is likely to spark the most reaction: I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle). The first Israeli prime minister who declares that he will follow the Old Testament will finally bring peace to the Middle East…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54809

A Sample of the “Brave and Free”.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
This is the West, this is America, this is Great Britain, this is Democracy…this is really what it’s all about, in diminutive…a small sample of the kind of animals the Iraqis and Afghans are experiencing on a daily basis…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54820

Netanyahu cites secret deal with Bush to justify more settlements
Relation puts more strain on relations with US as Obama heads for Middle East
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
The Israeli government of Benjmain Netanyahu is seeking to deflect Washington’s demand for a total settlement freeze by complaining that it ignores secret agreements between his predecessors and the Bush administration that construction in existing Jewish settlements could continue. The rift between Mr Netanyahu’s government and the US appeared to deepen yesterday, with a clear declaration by President Barack Obama that a freeze – including on “natural growth” of West Bank settlements – was among Israeli “obligations”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54804

US Embassies may invite Iranians for July 4; only small talk allowed
Reza Fiyouzat, Revolutionary Flowerpot Society
This piece of news is everywhere now. This particular one (see below) is from the Boston Globe. A few years ago, while working in Beijing, an unfortunate colleague who didn’t know much about my political persuasions, included me among the recipients of a group email invitation to the July 4 celebrations held at the American embassy in Beijing. In the unkind reply I send back, it was stated that on July 4, 1776, a nation was born that was ruled by a minority of rich white male slave-owners dedicated to the complete annihilation, meaning genocide, of the entire population of the Original Peoples and Nations on the sub-continent…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54810

Palestinian Authority Going the Israeli Way
By Mel Frykberg
A surge in confidence, following unprecedented U.S. political support, led to the Palestinian Authority’s bloody crackdown on a Hamas cell in the northern West Bank on Sunday which left six Palestinians dead. However, reports of questionable Palestinian Authority (PA) tactics, including the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields, has brought the operation into question and left many Palestinians angry…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54811

H.R. groups: Ban Ki-Moon ignores Palestinian blood in Gaza
Palestinian Information Center
Five Palestinian human rights groups have accused Tuesday the secretary-general of the UN Ban Ki-Moon of violating the charter of his organization after he advanced political considerations over the lives of thousands of Palestinian civilians killed and wounded with IOF troops’ bullets during the war on Gaza last January. In an open letter they addressed to Ki-Moon, the five Palestinian organizations warned that the way the UN secretary-general deals with the UN fact-finding committee was inappropriate despite the huge destruction inflicted on the infrastructure of the tiny Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli invasion, and could undermine the legitimacy of the entire institution…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54807

Israel says does not plan to bomb Iran
Conor Sweeney, Reuters
Israel is not planning to bomb Iran, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday, addressing speculation it might launch a military operation to destroy the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, has repeatedly described Iran’s uranium enrichment as a threat to its existence and has said all options were on the table in preventing Tehran from building atomic weapons…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54806

AFTER ALMOST A YEAR, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT MAINTAINS ITS SILENCE ON THE BRUTAL BEATING OF A PALESTINIAN JOURNALIST
Desertpeace
It is almost a year since Mohammed Omer was brutally beaten, almost to death, by Israeli forces upon reentering Israel on his way back to Gaza. Mohammed was returning from a trip to Europe where he was the recipient of the Martha Gelhorn Prize for Journalism. The Israelis made it quite obvious by their actions that his honest reporting of the situation in Gaza was not appreciated by them. They did their darnedest to silence the Voice for The Voiceless in Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54805

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