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URUK Net 9 June, 2009

Last updated: Monday, June 22, 2009 11:33

R.I.P. Industrial USA. The Banksters Win, Even When They Fail
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
… Barack Obama put the finance capitalist Steve Rattner in charge of finally bankrupting the auto industry – which left economist Stanley Aronowitz has described as the largest exercise in union busting in U.S. history. President Obama’s own website brags that his White House was even “more aggressive” than the Bush Administration in wrenching concessions from the United Auto Workers union. The “New GM,” now 60 percent owned by the people of the United States, will be allowed to build small cars – in China. Obama apologists actually believed that the unused auto infrastructure might be massively converted to building public transportation, or other green industries. They failed to understand that Obama is the bankers’ president, and the bankers build nothing useful or productive. That is the crux of the current crisis of capitalism: the refusal of capital to invest in productive enterprise except under conditions of extremely low wage labor. Nothing will replace General Motors until the bankers – and the politicians who serve them – are driven out of power. ..

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Israel Cracks Down on Minority Rights
Analysis by Mel Frykberg
Three bills recently making the rounds in the Israeli parliament have caused outrage amongst Israel’s Arab minority. “They reveal an obscene and dangerous targeting of the individual and collective rights of Palestinian citizens,” the independent BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights in Israel said in a press release. One bill sought to prohibit marking the day Israel declared its independence as a day of mourning. A second prohibits negating the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The third bill would have required Israeli citizens, including Arabs of Palestinian descent, to sign oaths of loyalty to the state, its flag and national anthem, and to perform military or civil service…

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Panetta: Too Dangerous To Release Torture Tape Docs
Zachary Roth
Do we have yet another case of the Obama administration mimicking its predecessor’s notorious penchant for government secrecy? The CIA argued yesterday that Bush-era documents detailing the videotaped interrogations of detainees should not be released, citing national security concerns, reports the Washington Post. The videotapes, which depicted harsh interrogation tactics, were famously destroyed in 2005. As part of a wide-ranging lawsuit, the ACLU is seeking the release of CIA emails discussing the tapes, handwritten notes taken after reviewing the tapes, and a photograph of one high-value detainee, Abu Zubaydah, among other items relating to the tapes…

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From Guantánamo To The South Pacific: Is This A Joke?
Andy Worthington
Let’s face it, when it comes to Guantánamo, there’s little to laugh about, unless you’re an Islamophobic sadist — in which case, there’s still nothing for the rest of us to laugh about. The Associated Press reports that, in a desperate effort to rid itself of the toxic human debris of Guantánamo, the Obama administration is eyeing up the tiny Republic of Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, some 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines, to dispose of some, or all of the 17 Uighurs in Guantánamo…

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Afghan Official: US Soldier Threw Grenade Into Crowd of Civilians
Military Insists Allegations ‘Unfounded’
Jason Ditz
The head of the provincial council of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province reported today that a US soldier had thrown the hand grenade that struck a crowd of civilians in a bustling market, killing two and injuring 56 others. The crowd had gathered around a stalled American military vehicle when the grenade hit. The council chief said dozens of civilians had seen the soldier throw the grenade, calling it “a complete cruel crime against civilians.”…

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NYT Two-Faced On Journalist Detentions
Moon of Alabama
The New York Times editors opine today on North Korea’s Cruel Verdict, the sentencing in North Korea of two journalists to twelve years of hard labor for spying. The journalists were caught trespassing on North Korean ground and presented varying explanations of their intent. Still: Whatever the case, they do not deserve to be sent to a brutal labor camp where, […] With no access to lawyers or due process, the two journalists did not have anything approaching a fair chance to defend themselves. Since September 2 2008 Reuters cameraman Ibrahim Jassam is detained by the U.S. military in Iraq without presenting any evidence and despite a court order to set him free..

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Iraq: Shiite parties look to renew grand alliance
Hayder Najm
Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraqi (ISCI), has called for a revival of the grand Shiite political coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA). The Alliance, which was created in 2004, gathered together Shiite forces under one umbrella, and won control of parliament in 2005. However, it began to weaken two years later on the back of internal conflicts. Major disputes occurred between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Dawa party and the ISCI, the two key coalition parties. Additionally, Sadrists and the Fadilah party withdrew on several occasions citing policy clashes and the domination of the two main parties. However, with parliamentary elections now upcoming there is talk of reviving the alliance to secure Shiite power once more. There are fears among some Shiite figures of political loses if they do not stop their political infighting and unite…

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Hamas Endorses Obama’s Israeli Settlement Demands
SALAH NASRAWI
The top leader of the militant Hamas group said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s pressure on Israel to freeze construction in West Bank settlements was an essential step toward restarting peace efforts. The militant group _ which is eager to win international acceptance of its rule in Gaza though it is shunned by the U.S. and others as a terrorist organization _ has tried to sound more pragmatic since Israel’s punishing three-week offensive early this year. Leader Khaled Mashaal’s endorsement of Obama’s push also included an appeal for the international community to consider Hamas a “positive element” in the search for Middle East peace…

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* * * NOT SATIRE * * *
Peled proposes Israeli sanctions on US
By GIL HOFFMAN AND HILARY LEILA KRIEGER , Jerusalem Post
In a sign of growing concern in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government over US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies, Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled proposed Israeli sanctions on the US in a letter to cabinet ministers on Sunday. In the 11-page letter, obtained by The Jerusalem Post from a minister on Monday, Peled recommends steps Israel can take to compensate for the shift in American policy, which he believes has become hostile to Israel…

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The American Ship They Just Couldn’t Sink
A Photographic Essay of Israel’s Treachery The USS Liberty, June 8, 1967
INCOG MAN
…In this stark color photo, Napalm (to burn alive the bridge crew), Zuni rockets, machine gun and cannon fire damage is easily seen. The Israeli’s first attack priority was on the communications antennas and bridge — to stop any revealing maydays. Only by the crewman using a jury-rigged spare antenna, managed to save the entire crew from a watery grave — the Israelis must have intercepted their calls for help to the US Sixth fleet and, once realizing the jig was up, called off the rest of the attack…

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Video: Gaza: The destitute and the forgotten
Inigo Gilmore, Guy Grandjean, Michael Tait and Mustafa Khalili, Guardian
Nearly six months since the devastating war in Gaza, Palestinians are still living amid the rubble. Despite stirring talk of reconstruction efforts, little has changed. Inigo Gilmore visits the devastated neighbourhoods to see how families are coping. The al-Attar family, in this video, were first visited by the Guardian’s Clancy Chassay three months ago…

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12 Arabs Indicted Over Jewish Gunman’s Death
Where the Victim is the Guilty Party
Jonathan Cook
The decision to prosecute 12 Israeli Arabs over what the local media have described as the “lynching” of an Israeli soldier on a bus shortly after he shot dead the driver and three passengers has been greeted with outrage from the country’s Arab minority. The inhabitants of Shefa’amr, one of the largest Arab towns in the Galilee region and the location of the attack, are expected to stage a one-day strike today in protest against the indictments. Seven of the 12 face charges of attempted murder. Jafar Farah, the head of Mossawa, an Arab political lobbying group, said the indictments, which follow a series of about-turns by state prosecutors, reflected “the current harsher political climate” for the Arab minority, one-fifth of the country’s population…

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“In the name of God, go!”
But discredited Brown clings to power by his finger-nails
Stuart Littlewood
What does it take for Britain’s Zionist prime minister, Gordon Brown, to get the message? Having been deeply humiliated in the Euro elections and local government elections, he hangs on by his finger-nails. He simply will not do the decent thing and stand down. The verdict of the people was clear enough. They’ve had enough of Brown and his ghastly crew. Oliver Cromwell said it for us, when dismissing Parliament back in 1653, with an elegance that’s sadly lacking today: “Ye sordid prostitutes… you have sat here too long for the good you do. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” But the charmless Brown refuses the revolver on the silver tray. He will not do us the courtesy of retiring to the library and blowing his brains out. This is the same Gordon Brown who has presided over the ruination of our economy and the impoverishment of us all. The same Gordon Brown on whose watch parliamentary sleaze has blossomed into a national scandal, undermining the British political system and making us a laughing stock. This is the same Gordon Brown who voted enthusiastically for the Iraq war…

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U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.’s
By ALISSA J. RUBIN and MICHAEL R. GORDON, NYTimes
The American military has released a senior Shiite insurgent said to be backed by Iran who was accused of playing a leading role in a group that killed five American soldiers in Karbala in a sophisticated attack in 2007, according to senior American and Shiite officials. The release of the insurgent, Laith al-Khazali, a member of the militant Shiite group Asa’ib al-Haq, is part of a complex negotiation aimed at fostering political reconciliation in Iraq. It also appears to involve the release of British hostages who are being held by the organization. “As part of a reconciliation effort between the government of Iraq and Asa’ib al-Haq, the decision has been made to release Layth Khazali,” said Lt. Col. Brian Maka, a spokesman for the American military commander here, in an e-mailed response to questions from The New York Times…

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Diaspora Palestinians, Act Now Before it is Too Late!
Sami Jamil Jadallah, Palestine Documentation Center
If no actions are taken and taken soon, the Diaspora Palestinians all without exception would have forfeited their inalienable rights to qualified and professional representations in the final peace negotiations that will take place soon between the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian Authority Israel and the United States. I understand and know there are many Diaspora organizations out there working for Palestinians rights and the “Rights of Return”, such as “Alawda” and “US Committee to End the Occupation” among others, and I also understand and know there are no Diaspora Palestinian organizations working on the “legal” representations of Diaspora Palestinians outside the realm of the Palestine Liberation Organization…

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Impressions from Ze Lebanon…
Layla Anwar, Uncensored Arabwomanblues
Was watching a couple of videos from Al-Jazeera English, called the Arab Street. The 30.05.09 two parts series were devoted to Ze Lebanon. The information was a little outdated since it dealt mainly with the elections but not only… It interviewed some Beirutis in the Hamra Street area. Young and old, AUB students and more “ordinary” people… And there is something I cannot shake off every time I watch anything pertaining to Beirut – a very annoying, irritating feeling that lingers on well after the “show” is over. And the cue lies in that word “the show”. I find a big majority of the Lebanese as the most show off people I have ever encountered…It is really, really bad. A social disease which I call Ze Lebanese “show”…

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Why “Obscene”? Those Who Bury the Dead Know Why
Arthur Silber
Yesterday, I began a consideration of Obama’s Cairo speech. I characterized that address as “obscene” in its overall perspective and in many of its particulars, in addition to which, as I noted, the speech was replete with distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies. One of the major reasons for my choice of the word “obscene” might be expressed in a different way, and it concerns the vast chasm separating Obama’s words and the realities of American foreign policy on the ground. Obama has already made indisputably clear that he has no intention of altering those realities in any significant way; to the contrary, he is fully committed to expanding America’s imperial agenda…

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Of Crime and Complicity
By Mike Severson
…Barak Obama has spoken of racism in the United States. Has he spoken about the racism that is Israel? Has he spoken about the prisons that house countless Palestinians, held without habeus corpus? Has he spoken about those tortured, those assassinated? Does he even know about Rachel Corrie or others like her? Has he addressed the millions of refugees from Iraq, the ruination of that country and the lies which the United States used to wage that war, including the manipulation and prodding done by Israel and its Zionist minions, in the media, the government and their organizations which actively promoted that war?…

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Israel forces Palestinian citizen to demolish his own home in O. Jerusalem
Palestinian Information Center
The Israeli occupation authroity forced on Tuesday a Palestinian citizen called Mohamed Ghosheh to demolish his home located in Souk Khan Al-Zeit in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem. Palestinian local sources said that a large number of Israeli municipal civil servants escorted by Israeli policemen came to the area and threatened to fine Ghosheh around 25,000 dollars if he did not demolish his house himself. The IOA claimed that the house was unlicensed and built illegally in the area…

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Israeli prosecutor drops charges against settler who was filmed firing at a Palestinian family
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
The Israeli Prosecution stated Monday that it is dropping all charges against an extremist Israeli settler, who shot two Palestinians at close range during an evacuation of an illegal settlement outpost in December of 2008. The shooting was captured on tape. The extremist settler, Ze’ev Braude, 51, is from the Keryat Arba’ illegal settlement in Hebron. Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the settler turned himself in to the Israeli police last week after he knew that he was caught on film by an activist of the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B’Tselem…

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New York Times on Guantánamo: A willing conduit for the military-intelligence apparatus
By Bill Van Auken
After more than two weeks of controversy, the New York Times has been forced to publicly backpedal on its May 21 story, headlined “1 in 7 Detainees Rejoined Jihad, Pentagon Finds.” This began last Friday with a terse three-paragraph “Editor’s Note” published in the corrections column and was followed in the Sunday edition with a column by the paper’s public editor, Clark Hoyt, entitled “What Happened to Skepticism?” The original story, written by the Times Pentagon correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller, was based on a leaked (and subsequently released) Pentagon report, which claimed that 14 percent of the 534 detainees transferred out of the US prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba had, in Bumiller’s words, “returned to terrorism or militant activity.”…

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Hundreds call for Erez to open, siege to end
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
Upwards of 300 Palestinians, with a number of international supporters, rallied at the road to the Erez crossing in northern Gaza on Wednesday morning, calling for the crossing to be opened and an end to the 3 year long siege, in place since shortly after Hamas was elected in early 2006 and escalated dramatically following June 2007, when Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip. Women were a strong presence in the demonstration, as were elderly, and children. A number of ill and disabled Palestinians highlighted the importance of the crossings being opened. Nearly 340 Palestinians have died as a result of denied medical care, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Amidst the crowd of demonstrators, 5 year old Mohammed Nasser el Ghneim, a child with multiple ailments needing medical care outside. “He doesn’t see well, cannot hear, cannot speak, doesn’t walk yet, and has heart problems,” said his mother, imploring for outside help for her son…

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Bound, blindfolded and beaten – by Israeli troops
Children among Palestinian detainees abused during West Bank operation, according to soldiers’ confessions
By Ben Lynfield in Hares, West Bank
Two Israeli officers have testified that troops in the West Bank beat, bound and blindfolded Palestinian civilians as young as 14. The damaging disclosures by two sergeants of the Kfir Brigade include descriptions of abuses they say they witnessed during a search-and-detain operation involving hundreds of troops in Hares village on 26 March. The testimonies have been seen by The Independent and are expected to add fuel to the controversy over recent remarks by Colonel Itai Virob, commander of Kfir Brigade, in which he said violence against detained Palestinians was justified in order to accomplish missions…

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Hamas requests direct talks with Obama
PressTV
Hamas calls on US President Barack Obama to hold direct talks with the movement, describing respect for democracy as essential for the Middle East peace process. Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy chief of the Hamas political bureau, said on Monday that the Obama administration should respect that there will be no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without Hamas…

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ARDF Salutes IR for Choosing Sheikh Dhari
Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI/HEYET)
The Arab Revolutionary Democratic Forum issued statement saluting the Iraqi resistance for the selection of Sheikh Harith al-Dhari as their representative. The statement said: “the unity of the Iraqi resistance of which dialogue the Forum demands since the start of the resistance to the occupation and good choice of speaker and negotiator for their name, is indication of the growing awareness of the military struggle and resistance, and the confidence enjoyed by people of all sects, political affiliations and party…

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41 European parliamentarians enter Gaza to observe destruction
Ma’an News
Forty-one European Parliamentarians representing 15 countries headed by vice-president of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini arrived in the Gaza Strip Tuesday afternoon via Rafah to continue dialogue with the people of the besieged area. In April Morgantini spoke at the Bil’in Non-Violence Conference, and participated in the weekly anti-wall demonstration in the village. She has also lead efforts to bring European lawmakers together with Hamas members, and fostered dialogue between sides. A British effort saw a videoconference between MPs and Hamas leader in exile Khalid Mash’al, and several other mid-level meetings have been held…

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The Curious Case of 5 US Contractors Arrested by Iraq for “Murder”
Jeremy Scahill
Over the past few days, there has been quite a buzz on listserves frequented by private security contractors and industry representatives over the recent “arrest” of five US contractors by Iraqi forces in Baghdad. Over the past six years of occupation, contractors have become accustomed to operating in a zone of legal immunity and impunity (especially when it comes to the authority of the Iraqi judicial system). If Iraq were to really start asserting its authority over crimes committed by private forces in Baghdad, it would create a very tense situation between the Obama administration and the corporate shadow army on which his foreign policies in Iraq and Afghanistan depend. Bush had a simple way of dealing with this issue: he banned Iraqi courts from having jurisdiction (through Bremer’s Order 17) and worked with companies to facilitate the flight from justice of murder suspects wanted by the Iraqis…

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Poll Shows Ahmadinejad Leading in Iran’s Presidential Election
Meredith Buel
A new public opinion survey of Iranians shows that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the leading candidate in the country’s presidential elections scheduled for Friday. The telephone survey of about 1,000 Iranians, commissioned last month by two Washington-based public policy institutes – Terror Free Tomorrow and the New America Foundation – found that 34 percent of those surveyed plan to vote for President Ahmadinejad. His main rival, reformist former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, was favored by 14 percent of the respondents. Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed said they are undecided…

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American Detained, Tortured in UAE at U.S. Govt’s Behest, ACLU Says
Naji Hamdan Says He Was Beaten Until Losing Consciousness in Abu Dhabi Prison
By ANNA SCHECTER
An American citizen has been detained and tortured in the United Arab Emirates at the behest of the U.S. government, according to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit filed in federal court. The judge has called for a hearing today in Washington, DC, and ACLU lawyers say they hope to hear that their case on behalf of Naji Hamdan, 42, will go forward. Hamdan, who had moved to Dubai several years ago after living in the U.S. for more than 20 years, becoming an American citizen, and raising a family in California, was arrested in August 2008 by state security forces of the UAE. Several weeks before the arrest, FBI agents interrogated Hamdan at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the lawsuit said…

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Iraq snapshot – Monday, June 08, 2009
The Common Ills
Monday, June 8, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, Nora Barrows Friedman proves Pacifica can address the Iraq War, the US tax dollars are wasted on propaganda aimed at Iraqis which the Iraqis do not read, contractors increase in the war that is allegedly ending, and more…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54983

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