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URUK Net 21 August, 2009

Last updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:30

“Where does the hatred come from?”
By Eli Clifton and Daniel Luban
This fall, U.S. law enforcement personnel will have their final chance to take advantage of a rare opportunity. Participants will travel to Israel to receive “homeland security training,” but the counterterrorism briefings and martial arts practice sessions are only one part of the package. The program also includes visits to Christian religious sites in the Holy Land — an aspect likely to be especially attractive to Christian Zionists — along with other sites such as the Knesset and the Israeli “security fence”. The Israel program is run by Security Solutions International (SSI), a group that has attracted controversy due to its ties to Islamophobic propaganda groups — as well as its apparent view that indoctrinating first responders with alarmist information about Islam is an essential part of counterterrorism training…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57183

Zionism: An “Abnormal” Nationalism
By M. SHAHID ALAM
This singular fact has engendered a history of deepening conflicts between Israel – leading an alliance of Western states – and the Islamicate more generally. Jewish ‘nationalism’ was abnormal for two reasons. It was homeless: it did not possess a homeland. The Jews of Europe were not a majority in, or even exercised control over, any territory that could become the basis of a Jewish state. We do not know of another nationalist movement in recent memory that started with such a land deficit – that is, without a homeland. Arguably, Jewish nationalism was without a nation too. The Jews were a religious aggregate, consisting of communities, scattered across many regions and countries, some only tenuously connected to others, but who shared the religious traditions derived from, or an identity connected to, Judaism…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57188

CIA Accused of Third Torture Prison in Europe
By Britta Sandberg
As Americans continue to debate the torture era of the Bush administration, a new report has emerged about the alleged existence of a third secret prison used by the CIA in Europe. According to ABC News, the CIA operated a “black site” prison in Lithuania until the end of 2005. Following reports on “black site” prisons in Poland, ABC News is now reporting that a third jail existed in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. According to the report, as many as eight prisoners were held there for at least one year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57186

New US plan to “resolve conflict in Middle East” asks Palestinians to sanction occupation
PNN
A new “plan for peace” is coming out of Washington that many consider to be disturbing at best. It includes keeping major Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank. The plan keeps the Israelis as occupiers, but with a few twists like in Oslo, such as political prisoners should be released. It seems to be asking Palestinians to sanction occupation instead of dismantling the system of the occupiers. Critics note that no one should be asked to trade freedom for political prisoners in exchange for accepting control of their air space, or any other type of control…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57185

Ramadan in Gaza
by Salem El-rayyes
In the market, sellers can be heard urging buyers to purchase goods before the start of the holy month of Ramadan. Goods to be purchased would be very little, if not for those which pass through the tunnels. Those that do line the shelves and tables are outrageously expensive, with only a few being able to afford the prices. Even the start of Ramadan will not motivate Gazans to purchase goods. The cause is the rise in poverty, which is a product of the continuing siege on Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57184

The Hostage Dream
Loving Oneself at the Expense of Another
By GILAD ATZMON
…The dream, as we understand it, is in the realm of the inexpressible. It is in the dream where thoughts, desires and fears are transformed involuntarily into sensations, ideas, and emotions. It is in the dream where symbolism, signifiers and identification explode into shrapnel of doubts and anxiety.
While being awake, we happen to say very many things, occasionally enough we believe what we say, other times we just pretend or even lie. While being awake, we also claim to follow some ideas, we avow to possess a consistent moral value system, we also maintain our support of ideologies we barely understand. We assert acceptance of cultures that are rather remote to us. Many of us support the Palestinian, the Iraqi and the Afghan struggle for liberation. Some of us support Islamic resistance, others are happy to affirm the logos behind armed Jihad. However, while being asleep, our mind liberates itself; like a moth soaring to the light, it drifts towards integrity. It occasionally hints to us that there may be some truth out there which we are reluctant to admit or even face….

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57189

S. Africa: War crime suspects must think twice
Sayed Dhansay
The international condemnation over Israel’s winter invasion of Gaza and allegations of war crimes has made it increasingly uncomfortable, if not difficult, for members of the Israeli military to travel abroad. A recent incident in South Africa reveals the power and limitations of attempts to enforce international law and to hold war criminals accountable. At the beginning of August, accused international war criminal Lieutenant Colonel David Benjamin visited South Africa…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57190

Report Reveals CIA Conducted Mock Executions
By Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff | Newsweek Web Exclusive
A long-suppressed report by the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general to be released next week reveals that CIA interrogators staged mock executions as part of the agency’s post-9/11 program to detain and question terror suspects, NEWSWEEK has learned. According to two sources—one who has read a draft of the paper and one who was briefed on it—the report describes how one detainee, suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was threatened with a gun and a power drill during the course of CIA interrogation. According to the sources, who like others quoted in this article asked not to be named while discussing sensitive information, Nashiri’s interrogators brandished the gun in an effort to convince him that he was going to be shot. Interrogators also turned on a power drill and held it near him. “The purpose was to scare him into giving [information] up,” said one of the sources. A federal law banning the use of torture expressly forbids threatening a detainee with “imminent death.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57194

Iraqi government plays down the number of the victims
Roads to Iraq
This report published on AL-Hayat newspaper today: Iraqi officials didn’t release the statistics of the number of victims [from the last wave of explosions], but information obtained by Al-Hayat newspaper revealed by an Iraqi official refused to reveal his name confirms an official letter addressed by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to the Ministries of Interior, Defense, Health and the Baghdad’s military Command prevents them from giving the precise figures of the victims of the bombings and armed actions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57181

Video: Hamas faces allegations of Gaza prisoner abuse
AlJazeeraEnglish
A Palestinian human rights group has accused Hamas’ internal security forces of mistreating prisoners detained in secret locations across the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Independent Commission says the detainees have been beaten, starved and subjected to psychological abuse. But Hamas officials have denied the allegations, and on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, ordered the release of nearly 100 political and criminal prisoners in a humanitarian gesture…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57182

Settler violence on the rise as reported in human rights study
Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN
Statistics on settler crimes are disturbing as the latest study shows a remarkable increase. Israeli settlers are dotted throughout the West Bank in settlements. All of them are illegal under international law, but they exist none the less. Jewish extremists are acting in such a way that it is considered by many in the West Bank to be “foreshadowing a systematic and escalating war…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57187

Af-Pak Masquerade: The Untold Truths of War
Chris Floyd
… Of all the many reasons why Americans are killing thousands of innocent people, “trying to find Osama bin Laden” is not one of them. Does anyone believe that if Osama bin Laden was found tomorrow — dead or alive — the Terror War would suddenly stop? The Terror Warriors long ago gave up even the pretense that the war in Afghanistan is about “getting” bin Laden. We hear different justifications for the continued churning of the war machine practically every day…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57192

August 21, 2009 – Iraq snapshot
The Common Ills
Friday, August 21, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, a new round of scapegoating follows Wednesday’s Baghdad bombings, the US announces charges against 4 of their own members, the DoD announced a death yesterday, Cindy Sheehan gears up for the demonstrations on Martha’s Vineyard next week, and more…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57191

Syria offers Iran “regional alliance” with Turkey
Turkish Forum
…Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met Assad later and welcomed a proposal by the Syrian president to form an alliance between the two countries as well as neighbouring Iraq and Turkey, state television said, without giving details. “Such an alliance would be in line with the region’s benefit,” Khamenei was quoted as saying…Khamenei also branded as “very positive” Syria’s improved relations with Iraq and said that unity between Iran and its western neighbours, Iraq and Turkey, and with Syria would benefit the region…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57193

Over 100,000 people displaced by Yemen fighting: U.N.
By Patrick Worsnip Patrick Worsnip, Reuters
– More than 100,000 people in Yemen, many of them children, have fled their homes during a recent surge in fighting between the government and Shi’ite Muslim rebels, a U.N. agency said on Friday. The children’s agency UNICEF and other U.N. aid bodies expressed serious concern about what they called a deteriorating situation in the north of the country and described conditions as critical in some areas. The refugee agency UNHCR said in Geneva it was appealing for a ceasefire to allow civilians to escape the fighting and enable aid workers to resume interrupted deliveries of humanitarian goods to the conflict zone…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57195

Mass abstention and vote rigging in Afghanistan election
By Patrick O’Connor
Yesterday’s presidential election in Afghanistan featured massive abstention and blatant ballot rigging, underscoring the corrupt character of the entire exercise. Conducted under the guns of 100,000 foreign troops, the vote had nothing to do with democracy and was instead designed to provide a veneer of legitimacy for the US-led NATO forces’ increasingly bloody counter-insurgency campaign against those resisting the occupation. Preliminary results are not expected until September 3, with final results two weeks later…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57161

Gaza: Ramadan under siege
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
According to the Islamic calendar, Ramadan will likely begin tonight at sunset. With the holy month’s approach, the Palestinians of Gaza, already choking in all respects under the 3 year siege [imposed basically immediately after Hamas was elected, but heightened to a new level of inhumanity in June 2007, after the externally-influenced Fatah-Hamas fighting] will face the same despair as Gaza’s Christian Palestinians did last Christmas and Eid. There is food in the markets. But for the vast majority it is out of their reach…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57162

Can we talk? The Middle East “peace industry”
Faris Giacaman
Upon finding out that I am Palestinian, many people I meet at college in the United States are eager to inform me of various activities that they have participated in that promote “coexistence” and “dialogue” between both sides of the “conflict,” no doubt expecting me to give a nod of approval. However, these efforts are harmful and undermine the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel — the only way of pressuring Israel to cease its violations of Palestinians’ rights….

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57164

Baghdad bombings an inside job?
Zachary Fillingham
At first glance, the truck bombings on Baghdad’s finance and foreign ministries resemble sectarian or Al Qaeda operations, however circumstances surrounding the bombing suggest that this is not the case. High levels of security around the bombing sights, the lack of any claims of responsibility, and the political nature of the targets all suggest that the attacks originated from within the Iraqi political establishment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57167

America’s Death Squads Inc.
Bill Van Auken
The US Central Intelligence Agency contracted the now notorious private security firm Blackwater for a secret program of “targeted killings” against alleged Al Qaeda operatives, according to media reports Thursday. The agency essentially was attempting to subcontract state assassinations to a private company employing mercenaries. In June, current CIA Director Leon Panetta briefed leading members of congressional intelligence committees on the program and said he ordered it terminated. The existence of the assassination program had been kept secret from Congress, apparently on the orders of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Panetta said he learned of it only after six months as the agency’s chief…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57165

Afghanistan Bomb Blasts Kill Two U.K. Soldiers, One U.S.
By Caroline Alexander
Three soldiers serving in the NATO- led force in Afghanistan, one American and two Britons, were killed by separate explosions. The U.S. soldier died today from wounds caused by a homemade bomb in eastern Afghanistan, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said in an e-mailed statement. The U.K. soldiers were killed yesterday while on patrol in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence in London said in an e-mailed statement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57166

Expose the Rapes in Iran’s Prisons
Revolutionary Road… viaRevolutionary Flowerpot Society
…In the Islamic Republic regime, many women in prisons have been raped and murdered so far and those who have survived, are now buckling under severe physical and psychological damages due to rape and torture. Zahra Kazemi, Zahra Bani Yaghoub, Azar Al Cana’an, Roya Toloui are some of these people. But also young boys and adolescents in prisons have been raped by Islamic regime of Iran. Students who were arrested, accused of protesting, have been raped in prisons by a person(s) or by objects such as bottles. We want to condemn these crimes. We have to prevent these kinds of disasters by widespread protests…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57172

Afghanistan’s Election Day: Don’t Be Fooled By This Facade of Democracy
Malalai Joya, AlterNet
Like millions of Afghans, I have no hope in the results of this week’s election. In a country ruled by warlords, occupation forces, Taliban insurgency, drug money and guns, no one can expect a legitimate or fair vote. Among the people on the street, a common sentiment is, ‘Everything has already been decided by the U.S. and NATO, and the real winner has already been picked by the White House and Pentagon.’ Although there are a total of 41 candidates running for president, the vast majority of them are well known faces responsible for the current disastrous situation in Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57178

“The name’s Obama — BARACK Obama.”
Joseph Cannon, Cannonfire
Of all the outside-the mainstream notions I’ve posited on this blog, the one that annoys the most people is my suggestion that the CIA recruited young Barack Obama during his days at Occidental College. I would further suggest that the Agency link runs in the family. I believe that, at an earlier time, the Agency (or some other branch of the intelligence community) may have recruited his mother, Ann Dunham…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57169

Farwana: “All facts on the ground prove Swedish report correct”
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
Former Palestinian detainee, researcher Abdul-Nasser Farwana, stated that all facts on the ground, since decades, prove that the Israeli occupation executed Palestinian detainees after they surrendered and refused to hand their bodies to their families. Hundreds of bodies were transferred to the families days, months or even years after the fact, and when the bodies were sent back, they were missing vital internal organs…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57175

Reality Is Its Own Caricature for US in Afghanistan and Pakistan
by William Pfaff
The problem with U.S.-sponsored elections in Asia and elsewhere in the non-Western world, as in Afghanistan Aug. 20, is that they are sponsored by the United States primarily to legitimize its own presence in the country. A poll sponsored by the Qatar-based satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera recently asked respondents in Pakistan to identify what they considered the greatest threat to Pakistan today. Eleven percent said it was the Taliban militants; 18 percent said it was the traditional enemy, India; and 59 percent said that the United States was the biggest threat to Pakistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57173

Palestinian crawls through kilometre-long tunnel to marry
Anne Barker
It’s amazing what people will do for love. A Palestinian woman has braved the threat of Israeli bombs by crawling more than one kilometre through a dangerous underground tunnel between Egypt and Gaza just to marry her sweetheart. The tunnels are mostly used to smuggle rockets and other weapons to Hamas militants in Gaza or goods not allowed through the strict Israeli blockade. People regularly die either from tunnels collapsing or the occasional Israeli bomb. But for May Ahmed love conquered any fear and she was married on Tuesday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57176

Israeli-Swedish relations at odds
Saed Bannoura
After Aftonbladet Swedish paper published a report accusing the Israeli army of killing Palestinians for their organs, Israeli officials slammed Sweden for declaring that its ambassador’s condemnation of the report does not represent the official stance of the government. The Swedish Ambassador to Israel, Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, condemned the accusations made by the paper against the Israeli army…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57168

The Obstacles to Real Health Care Reform: Private Insurers and Big Pharma
by Stephen Lendman
In almost the same breath on August 17, the White House effectively dropped a real public option (that likely never existed) while Obama was telling the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) that the Pentagon will escalate the Afghanistan/Pakistan war into a long-term conflict that will assure “more difficult days ahead.” He did so in defiance of international and Constitutional law, the lives and welfare of American forces, millions in both target countries, and lied at the same time saying: “This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity” in plain contradiction of the fact that in October 2001, US forces launched a long-planned premeditated attack against a non-belligerent country posing no threat to America…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57163

Baghdad bombings cast doubt on US troop withdrawals
By James Cogan
Wednesday’s bombings against key government buildings in the centre of Baghdad have dealt a significant blow to the claims of both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the country has been pacified and secured by the US military “surge” in 2007 and 2008. The attack was one of the most ruthless, well-coordinated and lethal of the entire war. Insurgents were able to get two trucks filled with tonnes of explosives into the heavily-guarded Green Zone, where the US embassy and main Iraqi government buildings are located, without being detected by the array of troops, police and mercenary contractors who secure the area. One truck was parked on the road near the Finance Ministry and the other positioned close to the Foreign Ministry…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57160

Afghan rivals claim poll lead
Aljazeera.net
Hamid Karzai, the incumbent Afghan president, and Abdullah Abdullah, the candidate seen as his closest challenger, have been told to stop making predictions about the result of Thursday’s election. Both Karzai and Abdullah claimed on Friday that unofficial counts by their observers had indicated that they were in the lead. Zekria Barakzai, deputy head of the independent election commission, said: “We cannot confirm any claims by campaigning managers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57174

Deadly ‘US drone raid’ in Pakistan
Aljazeera.net
At least 10 people have been killed after a suspected US drone fired missiles into Pakistan’s North Waziristan region, Pakistani intelligence agency officials have said. The raid on Friday on Darpa Kheil village was the third such attack this month in Pakistan’s ethnic Pashtun tribal areas by what are believed to be CIA-operated pilotless aircraft. “The attack caused a huge explosion,” said a Reuters reporter in Miranshah, about 2km from the scene of the raid…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57171

GI Special 7H16: Baghdad Red [ 21 August 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
Reporting from Baghdad – Thunderous truck bombs targeted the heart of the Iraqi government Wednesday in a blunt challenge to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, Some 10 explosions — a combination of car bombs, explosive devices and mortars — rocked the city Wednesday, targeting government buildings. Most of the 95 dead and 536 wounded were casualties of attacks on the foreign and finance ministries. Other bombs went off near the ministries of health, trade, education and housing in the deadliest wave of attacks since US troops withdrew from the city June 30. The blasts took place on the sixth anniversary of the bombing of United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which is regarded by many as the start of the insurgency

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57155

RAMADAN KAREEM AND ELUL TOV!
Desertpeace
At sundown last night, two of the Holiest months began…. the month of Elul on the Hebrew calendar, the month of Ramadan on the Islamic one. Elul… The month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Tradition teaches that the month of Elul is a particularly propitious time for repentance. This mood of repentance builds through the month of Elul to the period of Selichot, to Rosh Hashanah, and finally to Yom Kippur.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57159

Iran allows IAEA better access at nuclear sites
By Sylvia Westall, Reuters
Iran has let U.N. inspectors access a nuclear reactor under construction after blocking visits for a year, and allowed better monitoring at another, but the moves were greeted with scepticism by the West. Ahead of an International Atomic Energy Agency report next week on its nuclear programme, Iran has allowed IAEA officials to inspect the site of the Arak heavy water reactor, diplomats accredited to the Vienna-based agency said on Friday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57179

Dozens killed in Mogadishu fighting
Aljazeera.net
At least 24 people have been killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu after Islamist rebels fought Somali government and African Union troops for a second day. Residents hid in their homes as mortar bombs fired by fighters from al-Shabab, the group battling to remove the government, hit the city on Friday. Six people died when mortars exploded as traders were setting up their stalls in a market…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57180

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