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URUK Net 29 June, 2009

Last updated: Sunday, July 5, 2009 8:55

June 29, 2009 Lies & Illusions: UPDATE on The Iraqi Charade.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
This is a detailed update on the Iraqi charade or you may also call it – HOW THE PROPAGANDA DISCOURSE IS CONSTRUCTED. In that other post I argued the following : – the puppet government will market 30th of June – day of “withdrawal” of American troops as a victory day for national sovereignty. When there is NO Sovereignty in Iraq. – I also said the Al-Qaeda/insurgents argument will pop up over and over again – And I asked the reader to pay notice to the usage of words in this propaganda set up. I now want to illustrate my points in bold red ink and/or in capital letters by cutting and pasting extracts from an article that just appeared and that will confirm the points I tried making…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55560

US troops will not sleep in Iraqi cities anymore.. That is the withdrawal
Roads to Iraq
Al-Akhbar called the American military withdrawal: “in name only”, which means they will not sleep in the Iraqi cities anymore, but the forces will continue to operate in and out the cities. Nikola Nasir on Al-Arab Al-Youm says: What we see right now is redeployment of the American forces in Iraq, which means the American forces will stop plying the policeman in the Iraqi streets, but the occupation still exists…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55569

Mohammed El-Gharani, Guantánamo’s youngest prisoner, speaks to al-Jazeera
Andy Worthington
Speaking for the first time since his release from Guantánamo after seven years’ imprisonment without charge or trial, following a successful habeas corpus appeal in January, Mohammed El-Gharani, now a free man in Chad, told Mohamed Vall of al-Jazeera, in an exclusive interview, how he felt about being imprisoned from the age of 14 to the age of 21. “Seven of the most beautiful years of youth were lost in prison,” he said. “I couldn’t learn or work. Seven years were just lost — for nothing.” Recounting the torture he experienced, which I reported last April in my article, “Guantánamo’s forgotten child: the sad story of Mohammed El-Gharani,” Mohammed also revealed, for the first time, that the interrogators in Guantánamo tried to force him to spy on his fellow prisoners…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55566

Iran and Leftist Confusion
Reese Erlich
When I returned from covering the Iranian elections recently, I was surprised to find my email box filled with progressive authors, academics and bloggers bending themselves into knots about the current crisis in Iran. They cite the long history of U.S. interference in Iran and conclude that the current unrest there must be sponsored or manipulated by the Empire. That comes as quite a shock to those risking their lives daily on the streets of major Iranian cities fighting for political, social and economic justice. Some of these authors have even cited my book, The Iran Agenda, as a source to prove U.S. meddling. Whoa there, pardner. Now we’re getting personal…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55563

URGENT ALERT – Israeli Navy surrounding SPIRIT and threatening to open fire
Free Gaza Team
At 1:40 am, the Israeli Navy surrounded the SPIRIT while in international waters off the coast of Israel as it is on its way to the Gaza Strip. We got a call from the boat saying that they were being threatened, told to turn back or they would be fired on. Huwaida Arraf, one of the delegation leaders, was on the phone with the Israeli gunboats, and we could hear her saying, “You Cannot Open Fire on Unarmed Civilians” several times. At this writing, they are surrounded by several ships shining bright lights into the SPIRIT…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55575

Pro-Israel Lobby Alarmed by Growth of Boycott, Divestment Movement
Art Young
The movement to call Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people is growing. It is “invading the mainstream discourse, becoming part of the constant and unrelenting drumbeat against Israel.” It could eventually threaten the existence of the Jewish state by undermining the support it receives from its strongest backer, the U. S. government. That was the message of alarm delivered by the Executive Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Howard Kohr, to the AIPAC Policy Conference on May 3…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55570

$2.775 billion in US aid supports Israeli nuclear weapons program
Grant F. Smith
President Barak Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget request for $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel is proceeding smoothly through the Congress. On June 17, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs held a “mark-up” session on the budget. The subcommittee came under pressure from an antiwar group that sought to suspend or condition foreign aid over Israel’s use of US weapons which left 3000 Palestinians dead during the Bush administration. The subcommittee held its session in a tiny Capitol room denying activists and members of the press access. The budget quickly passed and is now before the full House Appropriations Committee…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55568

Iran’s Do-It-Yourself Revolution
Stephen Zunes
…Yet scores of leftist bloggers are trying to convince people that all this was something planned and organized by Americans over the past few months. There is something profoundly ethnocentric in arguing that civil insurrections and other pro-democracy campaigns have to be launched from Washington and that Iranians (like Eastern Europeans) are incapable of organizing a popular movement on their own. This argument simply adds weight to the neocons’ insistence that democracy can only take hold in Middle Eastern countries through U.S. intervention. The future of Iran belongs in the hands of the Iranians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55571

UN rights mission hears of Gaza children’s suffering
By Sakher Abu El Oun, AFP
A UN human rights mission listened to testimony about the suffering of children in the Gaza Strip on Monday before wrapping up two days of public hearings into alleged Israeli war crimes. Around 20 percent of children in Gaza suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome brought on by witnessing violent acts, child psychologist Dr Iyad Sarraj told the panel. “The amount of killing and blood that they have seen or that their relatives have suffered from… it’s a huge amount, and this leads to negative psychological feelings, to radicalism and a cycle of violence,” he said. More than half of Gaza’s population of 1.5 million is under 18 years of age…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55567

A Few Thoughts on the Coup in Honduras
Jeremy Scahill
There is a lot of great analysis circulating on the military coup against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras. I do not see a need to re-invent the wheel. (See here here here and here). However, a few key things jump out at me. First, we know that the coup was led by Gen. Romeo Vasquez, a graduate of the US Army School of the Americas. As we know very well from history, these “graduates” maintain ties to the US military as they climb the military career ladders in their respective countries. That is a major reason why the US trains these individuals. Secondly, the US has a fairly significant military presence in Honduras. Joint Task Force-Bravo is located at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55564

U.S.-built bridge is windfall — for illegal Afghan drug trade
By Tom Lasseter | McClatchy Newspapers
In August 2007, the presidents of Afghanistan and Tajikistan walked side by side with the U.S. commerce secretary across a new $37 million concrete bridge that the Army Corps of Engineers designed to link two of Central Asia’s poorest countries. Dressed in a gray suit with an American flag pin in his lapel, then-Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said the modest two-lane span that U.S. taxpayers paid for would be “a critical transit route for trade and commerce” between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Today, the bridge across the muddy waters of the Panj River is carrying much more than vegetables and timber: It’s paved the way for drug traffickers to transport larger loads of Afghan heroin and opium to Central Asia and beyond to Russia and Western Europe..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55577

One dead and three injured as war-damaged house collapses in Gaza
Katherine Orwell
A house in Eastern Gaza, that had been damaged by shelling during Israel’s offensive in Gaza in the beginning of this year, collapsed on Monday killing one Palestinian and injuring three others. According to witnesses the house collapsed while workers were doing repairs. It has been reported that there might have been three more people missing in the house…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55562

Iran’s Guardian Council confirms vote results
PressTV
After the conclusion of the partial vote recount, Iran’s electoral watchdog, the Guardian Council has confirmed the result of the June 12 poll.After the announcement of the result of Iran’s presidential election, which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected to a second four-year term, provoked major protests in the country, the Guardian Council set up a special committee to do a partial vote recount…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55561

GI Special 7F17: The Asterisk President [ 28 June 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
A Public Appeal From Iraq Veterans Against The War: “While The Occupation In Afghanistan Is Being Escalated, The Occupation Of Iraq Is Far From Over”. “This Summer’s Convention Is Going To Be A Critical Component Of Our Re-Tooling Process, And We Can’t Do This Without Your Support”.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55574

REALITY CHECK; ILLEGAL CHECKPOINTS IN PALESTINE NOW OPERATED BY PRIVATE COMPANIES
Desertpeace
FOOD is now confiscated by those operating these sites. FOOD!!!! Anyone that has ever visited a Palestinian village or city knows that mealtime is not necessarily just a family event, it is a community event. Especially on Fridays, it is not unusual to share your meal with relatives from both sides of the family, their children, and neighbours. It is a way of life in Palestine, a way of life that the Israelis apparently have a problem with… a way of life that Israelis do not want us to know about…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55555

Red Cross: ‘1.5 Million Palestinians living in despair in Gaza’
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
The International Red Cross reported Monday that six months after Israel’s offensive in Gaza, 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are still living in poverty, despair and are unable to rebuild their lives and structures. The Red Cross added that the strict Israeli siege and restrictions on the Gaza Strip are blocking the international efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip although 4.5 million US dollars are allocated for reconstruction efforts. It also stated that the Gaza Strip lacks basic medications, its basic infrastructure is ruined, and that the water supplies are irregular, while sanitation is collapsing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55559

Following in Bush’s footsteps
Obama administration preparing order for indefinite detentions
By Tom Eley
The Obama administration is drafting an executive order that would give the US president the power to arrest without charge, and imprison indefinitely without trial, foreign nationals it accuses of being terrorists, according to several senior government officials who spoke with the Washington Post and a reporter for non-profit news source ProPublica on condition of anonymity. The order, should it be released, would likely reuse arguments made by the previous administration of George W. Bush that the laws of war allow the executive branch to disregard the established judicial system and domestic laws and rights, such as those guaranteed in the Bill of Rights…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55558

Sunday’s Protest March Broken Up; Rafsanjani Defers to Khamenei
Juan Cole
…In a bad sign for Mousavi, his ally former president Akbar Hashimi Rafsanjani appeared to desert him on Sunday…Rafsanjani has clearly decided to defer to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on handling the outcome of the elections, and has come out as critical of the crowd politics and occasional turbulence they produced. As a multi-billionaire and man of the establishment, he may well have been frightened that the massive street rallies for Mousavi a week ago signalled a danger to the status quo, which he is attempting to preserve

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55557

East Africa: Is Obama Following in the Disliked Footsteps of Bush in East Africa?
Africom to Continue Under Obama
With the Obama administration set to oversee significant increases in US security assistance programmes for African countries, Daniel Volman examines the US government’s plans for its military operations on the African continent over the coming financial year. Stressing that the US president is essentially continuing the policies outlined under his predecessor George W. Bush, the author considers the proposed funding increases for initiatives like the Foreign Military Financing programme and the International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme. Pointing out that the administration is yet to offer any public explanation of its policy, Volman concludes that it would be a mistake to assume that there will be no US military action if the situation in Somalia deteriorates…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55554

Free Gaza Boat “Spirit of Humanity” Departs Cyprus
Free Gaza Team
The Free Gaza boat the “Spirit of Humanity” departed Cyprus at 7:30am on Monday, 29 July. Twenty-one human rights and solidarity workers representing eleven different countries were aboard. The passengers include Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The ship also carries three tons of medical aid, children’s toys, and rehabilitation and reconstruction kits for twenty family homes. Over 2,400 homes were destroyed in Gaza during the Israeli massacre in December/January, 490 of them by F-16 airstrikes, as well as 30 mosques, 29 educational institutions, 29 medical centers, 10 charitable organizations, and 5 cement factories…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55556

EGYPT: Police shut down Iran solidarity march
Amro Hassan
An attempt by Egyptians to march in solidarity with Iranian protesters and to honor Neda-Agha Soltan — whose death earlier this month made her the icon of Iran’s opposition movement — was halted by security forces in Cairo over the weekend. The Cairo rally was called by democracy activist and opposition leader Ayman Nour and was scheduled to be held in Talaat Harb square in the Egyptian capital’s downtown. But dozens of security vehicles surrounded Nour and his fellow protesters upon their arrival at the square. Police arrested four protesters belonging to Nour’s party and prevented reporters from covering the event. “It is very ironic how Egyptian authorities, who earlier expressed their dismay against the Iranian regime’s oppressive means of handling protesters, are now banning us from a march that shares the same perspective,” Nour said at a news conference at his party’s headquarters…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55565

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