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URUK Net 10 July, 2009

Last updated: Sunday, July 12, 2009 7:57

Urgent call to open Rafah
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
…I’ve just got a call from Paki and Christian telling me that there’s a very sick Palestinian woman lying on the ground in front of Rahah gate. She has kidney problems and need a kidney transplant very soon, and as it can not be done in Egypt now for Palestinians , nor can Egypt allow her to travel abroad and have it somewhere else, the woman needs to return NOW to Gaza so she can be treated in Israel or travel to another country. Contact Egyptian embassies to let her go back home [NOTE: WHILE WAITING FOR THE WOMAN’S FULL NAME AND AGE, CALLS CAN STILL BE MADE IN REFERENCE TO A WOMAN WITH KIDNEY PROBLEMS WHO NEEDS TO RE-ENTER GAZA]. Spread the word to the media. If this woman dies we’ll all going to sue the Egyptian government…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55868

Eight British troops killed in Afghanistan
By Matt Falloon, Reuters
Britain said on Friday it had lost eight soldiers in Afghanistan in the space of 24 hours, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown said troops faced a “very hard summer,” suggesting it should brace itself for more losses. The deaths, announced by the Ministry of Defense, included five who were killed in two blasts while on foot patrol, the highest death toll in a single attack. Britain has now lost 184 soldiers in Afghanistan since it joined the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, more than the 179 fatalities during its campaign in Iraq that began in 2003…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55869

Afghanistan’s innocent victims
Guy Smallman
Seven-year-old Noria let another piercing scream. The pain was constant and came in waves. Every hour or so she would start crying again. The entire left hand side of her body was a patchwork of weeping bandages. There was no air conditioning in the suffocating burns unit. Her only comfort was her father who dutifully sat by her bedside constantly fanning her face and gently wiping away the tears when they came. We were in the main hospital in Herat City and Noria had been here with her two sisters for 20 days now. Her doctor had told me that when she had arrived her wounds were open and infected. Since then she had endured two skin graft operations and she was now slowly recovering…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55867

Quick paint job
Would you buy a used car from this man?
Khaled Amayreh
The Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is making concerted efforts to avoid a looming crisis with the Obama administration over the issue of Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank. United States President Barack Obama is demanding that Israel freeze all settlement expansion projects in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to enable the creation of a viable Palestinian state. However, Netanyahu has so far been defying American demands, resorting to diversionary tactics and vague statements about accepting a Palestinian entity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55864

Video: Revealed: UK’s Bloody Afghan Legacy
By Nick Paton Walsh, Channel 4
The British Army has paid out compensation for, or is in the process of investigating the deaths of, at least 104 civilians killed in clashes in Helmand in just 18 months, Channel 4 News can reveal. A freedom of information request by this programme has revealed a large number of claims by Afghan civilians against British forces in one of the most violent regions of Afghanistan, in which UK forces have been the main Nato force for five years…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55871

Video: The war in Gaza, January 2009
alboem
Photos of Gaza and its people by Stefania Mizara

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55854

A war of colonial conquest in Afghanistan
James Cogan
The largest military operation since the Obama administration took office is now underway in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Some 4,000 marines, along with hundreds of British troops, are attempting to impose control over an ethnic Pashtun population that has opposed the US-led occupation ever since the 2001 invasion overthrew the Taliban government and installed a puppet regime. At the same time, the Pakistani government, primarily because of financial and political coercion by Washington, has ordered its military into a brutal offensive against the Pashtun people of northwest Pakistan. Their crime is that they share a common history, language and culture with the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and provide support to the Taliban insurgency over the ill-defined border between the two countries…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55850

“We’ve been living under attack for over 60 years”.
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
In February, exactly one month after Israel declared (and ignored) a ‘cease-fire’ on Gaza following the massacre of nearly 1500 Palestinians, Israeli soldiers along the Green Line –and roughly 500m away away from their target –shot Mohammed al-Buraim, a 20 year old from the Khan Younis region, in the ankle while he worked on farmland. Al-Buraim comes from a family of 15 children (8 boys, 7 girls), among whom 4 are deaf, including Mohammed. By working as hired labour on farmland, Mohammed had been contributing to his family’s insufficient income. After he was shot, Mohammed stopped working, out of necessity (he was shot in the ankle) and out of fear (his cousin Anwar had been killed just weeks earlier in the same region, also shot by Israeli soldiers)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55865

Honduras Newspaper Impressed that Daughter of Pinochet Backs Coup
Al Giordano
Here in the newsroom, we wondered if the website of the daily El Heraldo in Honduras (part of the same newspaper chain as La Prensa, which now enjoys the infamy of having photoshopped the blood out of the iconic photo of assassinated teenager Isis Obed Murillo) had been hacked by creative coup opponents. But, apparently not: the newspaper (part of the Inter American Press Association) published a story yesterday titled: Pinochet’s Daughter: “Zelaya Attempted a Coup.” I don’t know what is weirder: that a pro-coup newspaper would think that quoting the daughter of the Chilean military general, Augusto Pinochet, somehow adds to its already bombastic portrayal of a military coup as a legal or “constitutional” action, or that Ms. Lucia Pinochet Hiriart (in the photo, above) has a constituency among the coup-defenders to the extent that she would be making public statements in praise of it, and those statements would somehow be newsworthy. It was her father, the disgraced General Pinochet, who fomented the bloody 1973 military coup against the elected government of President Salvador Allende in Chile, which launched a dark era of similar authoritarian coups in countries throughout Latin America…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55861

Tamil death toll ‘is 1,400 a week’ at Manik Farm camp in Sri Lanka
by Rhys Blakely in Mumbai, Times
About 1,400 people are dying every week at the giant Manik Farm internment camp set up in Sri Lanka to detain Tamil refugees from the nation’s bloody civil war, senior international aid sources have told The Times. The death toll will add to concerns that the Sri Lankan Government has failed to halt a humanitarian catastrophe after announcing victory over the Tamil Tiger terrorist organisation in May. It may also lend credence to allegations that the Government, which has termed the internment sites “welfare villages”, has actually constructed concentration camps to house 300,000 people…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55872

Sheikh Jarrah residents refuse to be displaced
Marcey Gayer writing from occupied East Jerusalem, Live from Palestine
Fawzieh al-Kurd, 57, clad in black, spends her days on a promontory overlooking Tomb of Simon the Righteous in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Enduring the cold of winter and the summer’s blazing sun, she relates her family’s tragic story to visitors from around the world with dignity and resolve. For 38 years al-Kurd, known to all as Umm Kamel, lived in a home with a tiled patio and garden directly above the tomb of Simon the Righteous. The neighborhood was constructed jointly by the Jordanian government and the United Nations in 1956 to provide temporary housing for 28 Palestinian refugee families who were forced to evacuate their homes during the 1948 war. In return for these homes, the families agreed not to claim further food benefits from the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA. After paying a symbolic rent of five piastres to the Jordanian government for three years, the houses were supposed to pass into the families’ ownership. The residents have all the documents from that time and Umm Kamel says that in this house she and her husband Muhammad raised their five children and saw the birth of their 16 grandchildren. It was her intention to pass the house on to her descendants when she died. However, on 9 November 2008 it was all overturned. Without emotion, Umm Kamel related, “My life was blackened. I lost my home, my husband, my furniture, my future.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55857

Obama claims right to imprison “combatants” acquitted at trial
By Bill Van Auken
In testimony before the US Senate Tuesday, legal representatives of the Obama administration not only defended the system of kangaroo military tribunals set up under Bush, but affirmed the government’s right to continue imprisoning detainees indefinitely, even if they are tried and acquitted on allegations of terror-related crimes. This assertion of sweeping, extra-constitutional powers is only the latest in a long series of decisions by the Democratic administration demonstrating its essential continuity with the Bush White House on questions of militarism and attacks on democratic rights…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55849

Car wreck in the making
Fatah is on a collision course with itself
Khaled Amayreh
Despite strong opposition from Fatah’s Executive Committee, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to hold the pivotal Fatah congress in the West Bank in the first week of August. The decision, taken without consultation with the senior Fatah leadership, has already generated a lot of tension and confusion within the movement, raising fears that Fatah might fall victim to possible fragmentation and disintegration. Farouk Kaddumi, ostensibly the number-2 man in Fatah, has called Abbas’s decision “grave and illegal”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55862

ACRI Report: “Life in the Garbage: A Report on Sanitation Services in East Jerusalem”
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Anyone taking a walk through the streets and neighborhoods of East Jerusalem cannot fail to notice the bleak sights: garbage strewn all over the streets and trash bins not visible through many parts of the eastern side of town. On other streets, bins are filled to overflowing, broken down, and leaking. Sanitation is so poor, it was recently given special mention in the State Comptroller Report, which noted, “Cleanliness in East Jerusalem is much worse than in the other parts of the city. Municipal attention to the cleanliness and care of East Jerusalem is deficient and reflective of ongoing neglect”. ACRI recently conducted an investigation into this subject based on fact-finding trips to several East Jerusalem neighborhoods, discussions with residents’ committees, and correspondence with the Jerusalem Municipality. The investigation revealed that the municipality is not meeting its obligations, and this failure prevents residents from living in pleasant surroundings free of health risks…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55860

Barack McNamara Obama
Why Can’t Obama See His Wars Are Unwinnable?
Ted Rall
…McNamara is dead. Barack Obama is his successor…Like McNamara, Obama doesn’t understand a basic truth: you can’t successfully manage an inherently doomed premise. Colonialism is dead. Occupiers will never enjoy peace. Neither the Afghans nor the Iraqis nor the Pakistanis will rest until we withdraw our forces. The only success we will find is in accepting defeat sooner rather than later…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55873

MRZine and Sex Change Operations in Iran
Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist
Despite aspiring to speak for the Iranian left, which in its view is reducible to Ahmadinejad and the forces that support him, MRZine has come under attack again and again by the Iranian left, both in exile and in Iran itself. The pro-Ahmadinejad tilt is mainly the contribution of the editor Yoshie Furuhashi who became converted to the Ahmadinejad cause before assuming control of the online publication at the time of its launching exactly 4 years ago. To some extent comrade Furuhashi’s attachment to Ahmadinejad transcends politics, as indicated by this comment she made on Doug Henwood’s listserv a month after MRZine debuted. Today is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s inauguration. Rostam Pourzal made a tough deadline and delivered a great article in time for it. Now, it’s featured on the homepage of, together with (what I think of as) a handsome photo of Ahmadinejad…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55866

Russia-US Summit: Quiet Diplomacy
Eric Walberg
A little over 40 per cent of Russians consider Russian-US relations strained or hostile, down slightly from 2004 when 46 per cent said they considered the US to be Russia’s adversary. United States President Barack Obama’s world PR campaign is working, despite the issues dividing the two countries, from Star Wars missiles in Poland and US plans for cyber warfare, to NATO’s love-affair with Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan to name just a few of Russia’s neighbours. So Russia’s agreement, announced at Obama’s summit in Moscow 6-8 July, to ferry primarily US troops and arms through Russian land and air space to Afghanistan to accelerate the slaughter there – without any reciprocation on other outstanding issues – comes as a bit of a surprise…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55855

Iran: their solidarity and ours
Yassamine Mather, HOPI
…The enemies of the Iranian working class – in the Moussavi camp, amongst royalists or within the confused left – will seek support from European states, the US administration, rightwing trade unions, liberal NGOs, media personalities … while the defenders of the Iranian working class will remain vigilant in choosing our allies. In Hands Off the People of Iran we have maintained our consistent, principled, anti-imperialist, anti-regime stance, and we are in an excellent position to build a much larger campaign in support of the struggles of the Iranian people. In doing so we welcome the cooperation of all Iranian and international forces that share our principles. But let me be clear – we cannot unite with supporters of Moussavi or those who seek war or sanctions instead of, or as a short cut to, revolutionary change from below. We will not suspend our criticisms of those prepared to tolerate imperialist war or economic sanctions – measures that will harm Iranian workers first and foremost…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55874

Two kidnapped and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation during the weekly Bil’in protest
Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC
Two kidnapped and dozens suffered from gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest in Bil’in village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday. International and Israeli supporters joined the villagers of Bil’in and marched from the village center after the Friday midday prayers. The protesters demanded the halt of Israeli illegal settlements and construction of the wall…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55853

US is talking to Hamas – Tamimi
Brendan Montague
The American administration under Barack Obama has begun secret talks with the Palestinian group Hamas despite its listing as a terrorist organisation. …Dr Azzam Tamimi, the director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IIPT) in London said Barack Obama has failed to offer hope of real change for Palestinians. He said European governments including Sweden and Norway had secretly taken part in discussions in Geneva under the guise of NGOs. But the message remained that Hamas recognise Israel, abide by deals signed with the Palestine Liberation Organisation and must denounce armed struggle. Dr Tamimi told a meeting in London yesterday this would place Hamas in the same position as its predecessors Fatah which many Palestinians believe went to far in placating Israel and failed to bring any improvements on the ground.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55863

‘No safety’ for Pakistan returnees
Aljaeera.net
The UN humanitarian affairs chief has warned there is no guarantee of safety for an estimated two million people who Pakistan plans to return to their homes following its military offensive in the northwest. “The security situation is not going to be 100 percent calm in these areas overnight and we must recognise that,” John Holmes said on Friday at the end of a visit to Pakistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55870

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