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URUK Net 12 June, 2009

Last updated: Monday, June 22, 2009 11:39

US opposes Iraqi popular vote on troop withdrawal
By Tom Eley
An Iraqi national referendum on last year’s security pact with the US is currently scheduled to take place on July 30. According to Iraqi law, if voters reject the pact, which calls for the US to remove all troops by December 31, 2011, Washington would have to remove its military 17 months sooner—by July 30 of 2010. Should the vote be held as scheduled, it is a virtual certainty that the Iraqi masses will repudiate the pact. Washington, of course, has no intention of obeying any popular referendum. Yet it wishes to avoid the political embarrassment of a broad repudiation of its occupation of the oil-rich country…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55086

New US commander in Afghanistan assembles team of assassins
Bill Van Auken
Confirmed Wednesday as President Barack Obama’s new commander for the widening war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, General Stanley McChrystal has been given extraordinary powers to assemble his own staff. According to press reports published Thursday, in forming a permanent war council-dubbed the Afghanistan-Pakistan Coordination Cell-McChrystal is drawing heavily from a super-secret assassination squad that he commanded under the Bush administration…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55075

British troops at mercy of Taliban surge
Average of 12 attacks a day by insurgents in Helmand, new figures show
Kim Sengupta, Indpendent
British troops fighting the Taliban are facing three times as many attacks as any other Nato force in Afghanistan amid spiralling violence across the country which has seen insurgent bombings and shootings rise by 73 per cent. Official Nato figures reveal that fatalities among the international force, including British, have risen by 78 per cent while the targeting of officials serving the beleaguered Afghan government has increased by 64 per cent…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55091

Mousavi arrested?
Clifflyon, Daily Kos
…Telephone communication between Tehran and the rest of Iran has been completely disconnected…We are unable to telephone people in Tehran we spoke to an hour ago. No error just silence.[…] Pyknet: Mousavi has been place under house arrest. He was arrested on his way to Khamenei’s house. All communication has been shut off…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55092

Why the hell should I feel sorry, says girl soldier who abused Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison
David Jones
In this deeply disturbing interview, the trailer trash torturer who appalled the world by appearing in shocking ‘souvenir’ photographs remains utterly unrepentant and says she has 800 MORE torture photos that could rock the White House…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55087

Obama Administration Seeks To Keep Torture Victims From Having Day In Court
Justice Department Asks Court For Rehearing In Extraordinary Rendition Lawsuit Against Boeing Subsidiary
ACLU
The Justice Department today argued that the victims of the “extraordinary rendition” program should not have their day in court, asking a federal appeals court to block a landmark case the court had earlier ruled could go forward. In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen DataPlan Inc., for its role in the Bush administration’s unlawful “extraordinary rendition” program could proceed, but today the government asked the appeals court’s full panel of judges to rehear that decision. “The Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration’s shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions,” said Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, who argued the case for the plaintiffs…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55080

Video: Gazans feel effects of humanitarian crisis
AljaeeraEnglish
On the second anniversary of Hamas taking control of the Palestinian Gaza Strip the territory remains the scene of a humanitarian crisis precipitated by a fall in aid and an Israeli economic blockade. Two individuals speak of the physical and psychological effects of living in the devastated region. Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports from Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55085

Poll results prompt Iran protests
Aljazeera.net
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Tehran to protest the outcome of the country’s elections, the biggest unrest since the country’s 1979 revolution. Riot police were deployed in the capital after supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated reformist candidate, took to the streets on Saturday. Up to 3,000 Mousavi supporters took part in the protests after Mousavi was defeated by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent president. Al Jazeera’s Teymoor Nabili, reporting from Tehran, said major streets in the north of the capital had come to a standstill…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55084

Pakistan ‘expands war on Taliban’
Aljaeera.net
Pakistan’s military is beginning a significant move into South Waziristan, where the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the Pakistani Taliban, is based, US officials say. The operation is said to be targeting Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, and will be carried out with greater support from the US. Witnesses and intelligence officials said Pakistani aircraft bombed a stronghold of Mehsud in South Waziristan on Saturday. “Four fighter jets bombed parts of Makeen early on Saturday but we don’t know about the extent of damage or any casualties,” Mohammad Khan, a shopkeeper in the area, said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55083

Israel Tightens Stranglehold in East Jerusalem
By Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler
“What are you doing here?” The motorist in the battered white Volvo stops to ask us alongside an overflowing rubbish cart. Residents of this poor Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem have been burning garbage in a bid to clear the uncollected mounds. “Reporting on the dire conditions here,” we tell him. “About time somebody took notice – I’ve written so many complaints to the municipality about the neglect from which we suffer. After all, don’t we pay all our taxes just like the Israelis in Jerusalem. Yet, they do nothing for us,” he says, switching his engine on again…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55089

USA Today report: Workers face worst conditions since the Great Depression
By Barry Grey
Even as US unemployment rolls soar to their highest levels in post-war history, employed workers face the worst conditions since the Great Depression, according to a front-page article in Friday’s USA Today. Based on its analysis of employment data, the newspaper reports that pay cuts, reduced hours, furloughs and involuntary part-time work have driven the working class back to conditions not seen since the 1930s…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55077

Should the U.S. also suppress evidence of civilian deaths in Afghanistan?
Glenn Greenwald
…Using the standard that is now so accepted across the political spectrum in Washington — information that will inflame anti-American sentiment should be suppressed rather than disclosed so at to not endanger our troops — isn’t it better if we just cover-up, rather than learn the truth about, the civilian deaths we caused in Afghanistan? After all, news reports of dead Afghan women and children at the hands of American bombs obviously inflame anti-American sentiment and Endanger Our Troops at least as much as the disclosure of some additional torture photos would. By the prevailing reasoning of Washington, shouldn’t we want our government to hide the truth about what we did — lest anti-American anger and the risk of attack on Our Troops increase? Isn’t that the noble anti-transparency principle we’re now endorsing?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55073

Top Iraqi Sunni Lawmaker Assassinated as He Condemns Maliki
Jason Ditz
Harith al-Obaidi, leader of the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF) in parliament, was assassinated today in a Baghdad mosque after delivering a sermon condemning the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for abuses of human rights.
Slain IAF leader Harith al-Obaidi. After the sermon at the upscale Sunni mosque, a gunmen entered and opened fire on Obaidi, then threw a grenade into a crowd of worshippers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55070

Hamas represses PFLP-led rally in Gaza
Xinhua
The police of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, opened fire in the air and beat demonstrators who rallied in Gaza city on Saturday against Palestinian schism, wounding at least two people, witnesses and officials said. Three demonstrators were also arrested, said Rabah Muhana, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which group organized the rally in Gaza City. Muhana said the police attacked the rally after participants chanted slogans calling for the unity of the Palestinians and ending a two-year-old feud between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah. The police moved after thousands of Gazans chanted behind a cheerleader: “We don’t want Abbas nor Haneya, we want a national unity…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55076

Israel obstructs UN Gaza probe
Amira Howeidy
Israel is defying the United Nations again. A UN fact-finding mission on the war on Gaza was denied access to Israel and the occupied West Bank leaving investigators with no option but to limit their work to within the coastal Strip. The mission was formed in April by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with a mandate to investigate “all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law” that might have been committed “during, before or after” Israel’s war on Gaza from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009. The 22-day war on besieged Gaza killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, destroyed much of the Strip’s infrastructure, and was marked by the use of white phosphorous in densely populated areas…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55078

“A Perfect Storm for Disaster” Brewing With Washington’s “Unprecedented” Shadow Army
Jeremy Scahill
I’ve been reading through the hot-off-the-presses, exciting 100+ page report from the Commission on Wartime Contracting: “At What Cost? Contingency Contracting In Iraq and Afghanistan.” There have been several good pieces that covered the Congressional hearings related to this report, so I thought I would just post some of the more important excerpts from the report. One general note: The Commission, which was created due to the diligent efforts of Senators Jim Webb and Claire McCaskill, has been doing some incredibly important work digging deep into the corruption, waste, abuse, fraud, etc of the US war contracting system. The statute that created the commission “requires the Commission to assess a number of factors related to wartime contracting, including the extent of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement of wartime contracts. The Commission has the authority to hold hearings and to refer to the Attorney General any violation or potential violation of law it identifies in carrying out its duties.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55081

The Latest Torture Cover-Up Scam
by James Bovard
The Obama administration appears increasingly devoted to covering up the worst crimes of the Bush era. On Monday, CIA chief Leon Panetta formally objected to federal judge Alvin Hellerstein, who was considering releasing detailed information on 92 videotaped CIA torture sessions of detainees. Panetta asserted that releasing the written information “could be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security by informing our enemies of what we knew about them, and when, and in some instances, how we obtained the intelligence we possessed.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55071

Iran Demonstrations: Violent Clashes Between Protestors And Riot Police (VIDEO)
MSNBC/Huffington Post
Security officials and riot police engaged in violent clashes with demonstrators in Tehran today in what one reporter called an “unprecedented scene” in Iran in recent years…Initially, it was a peaceful demonstration. People were forming a human chain, saying they wanted their vote back… but the more the police came, the angrier the mob got. It became sort of a mob mentality here. Now the police have swelled in huge numbers. They are being very, very violent with the crowds…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55072

Iran’s Ex-Foreign Minister Yazdi: It’s A Coup
Robert Dreyfuss
…Last night, after the polls closed, heavily armed troops from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were in evidence in the streets. In one area of north Teheran, where backers of opposition challenger and reformist ex-Prime Minister Mousavi are concentrated, I saw a convoy of at least fifteen military vehicles filled with armed guards idling along the side of the road. The street in front of the Interior Ministry, where votes are counted, is blocked and heavily guarded after rumors that Mousavi supporters might gather there to protest the election count. Mousavi himself has pledged to fight the verdict, using words like “tyranny” and adding, “I will not surrender to this dangerous charade.”

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55079

Kerry Defends Tehran on Uranium
Transcript: John Kerry interview
By Daniel Dombey
In an interview with the Financial Times, John Kerry, the top Democrat on foreign policy in the US Senate, labels the long standing demand that Iran stop enriching uranium as “ridiculous”. A series of UN Security Council resolutions has demanded that Tehran halt enrichment, which can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons grade material. But Mr Kerry, a former Democratic presidential nominee who gave Barack Obama one of his first big political breaks, argues that the world’s big powers should frame more enforceable demands based on treaty obligations Iran has not met. His comments are an indicator of how the debate on Iran’s nuclear programme may be shifting in the run up to possible negotiations with Tehran – both bilateral and multilateral…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55082

Abuse at British embassy in Iraq
epolitix.com
An investigation into abuse by private staff at the British embassy in Baghdad was “fundamentally flawed”, according to Human Rights Watch. The London director of the group, Tom Porteous, told the House of Commons foreign affairs committee that there needed to be a “proper investigation” into the allegations, and that if found guilty those responsible should face sanction…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55088

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