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URUK Net 6 September, 2009

Last updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 9:31

Caged by Freedom.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
September 6, 2009 – I was perusing hundred of images on the net, trying to find some pictures of Iraqi women prior to their “liberation” in 2003. Did not find much, except one old youtube video taken from the Iraqi TV, from the 80's, where 4 Iraqi women were dressed in army uniform. It’s like 30 years of our history as Iraqi women has been purposefully deleted… All the other pictures I found were post “liberation” 2003 and could be divided into two categories : The great majority of pictures depicted women clad in black, usually wailing or begging and a few others very few, depicted “modern” looking Iraqi women, working for the occupier/puppets in the Green Zone…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57661

Taliban attacks in north Afghanistan spike
Jason Motlagh
September 6, 2009 – Eight years ago, this northern flood plain was the scene of the Taliban’s last stand. Now, it’s the locus of a resurgent militancy in a region that is fast becoming a new front in the Afghan war – with troubling consequences for coalition supply lines and U.S. allies whose will to stay and fight is being tested by rising casualties. Over the past 18 months, the strength and frequency of Taliban attacks on Afghan and international forces in the north has spiked sharply, to the alarm of those who have long taken security in the northern provinces for granted…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57671

Palestinian embassy in London strangely silent as Israeli terror-strikes and land-grabs continue
Stuart Littlewood
September 6, 2009 – As if they didn’t have enough problems, tormented Palestinians suffer the added misfortune of being represented here in London – the media capital of the western world – by the most invisible and silent embassy it is possible to imagine. A year ago, campaigners urged the ambassador to get his act together or go home. He angrily retorted that he had “a plan of how to influence British Media to give us the Palestinians more exposure”. Whatever the plan was, it hasn’t worked. Press releases and briefings are non-existent. It is many months since I last heard the ambassador on radio or TV, while his Israeli opposite number pops up on the national airwaves with nauseating regularity. And the Palestinians’ precious shop window – their embassy website – never functioned properly and has now been taken down…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57669

Basra alcohol ban triggers fear among Christians
Karim Jalil, AFP
September 6, 2009 – Alcohol vendors among the shrinking Christian community of Iraq’s mostly Shiite southern oil hub of Basra fear for their future after city councillors banned the sale of alcohol. Skip related content “Lawless people will use this decision to harm us because some Christians will refuse to close their shops, which are their only livelihoods,” said Saher Yussef, a 40-year-old engineer. “The authorities did not think of the consequences of their decision,” he lamented. Saad Firas, whose grandfather set up the family business, is angry. “I have been running this shop for 20 years. My father took over the business from his father. I don’t know what else to do,” Firas said. “And my clients consider the ban unfair.” Muslim merchant Hassan Mohammad is among the angry clients. “Banning alcohol, is that democracy?” he asked as he criticised authorities for “meddling with people’s basic rights instead of worrying about the power cuts” that plague the country…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57675

Aid group says U.S. troops raid Afghan hospital
By Jonathon Burch, Reuters
September 6, 2009 – U.S. troops burst into a Swedish charity-run hospital in Afghanistan and tied up patients’ relatives and staff, the charity said on Sunday, in what it called a breach of deals between the military and aid groups. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) said soldiers had entered its hospital in Wardak, south of Kabul, on Wednesday evening without explanation and conducted a search, including of female wards and toilets. “Upon entering the hospital they tied up four employees and two family members of patients at the hospital. SCA staff as well as patients (even those in beds) were forced out of rooms/wards throughout the search,” SCA said in a statement…

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Prisoner society: kidnapping of Palestinians stepped up during August
Palestinian Information Center
September 6, 2009 – The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) reported Sunday that Israel escalated kidnapping campaigns against Palestinians in August and persisted in maltreating prisoners in its jails. The PPS said in a report that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped last month more than 417 Palestinians including 13 children from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The PPS also underlined that reports made by lawyers after their visits during the month to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails revealed that Israeli investigators practiced torture against detainees and used threats against them to dissuade them from talking about what was going on with them…

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Fayyad’s pseudo state
Saleh Al-Naam
September 6, 2009 – During his usual weekly meeting with leaders of his government, Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian caretaker government, urged his ministers to help him realise his promise to the Palestinians to build a Palestinian state within two years by building the institutions for a state. Fayyad previously announced his intention to build a nation state during a speech he gave two months ago in the University of Jerusalem, in response to a speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the University of Bar-Ilan. Statements made by Fayyad on a number of occasions indicate that his plan to build a Palestinian state will depend heavily on international donations, promising that such grants will build “real foundations and economic infrastructure”. He also promised to “build an independent economy by translating ideas for independence into policy, programmes and a concrete plan of action that will outline the work that must be done to complete the state and to remove the stigma that the occupation has left.”…

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The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: A Review
By Jim Miles
September 6, 2009 – The story of Palestine is poorly represented in western media, generally taken out of context and generally – as a strong cohort to the lack of context – with a strong bias in favour of the Israeli perspective. That perspective in short is that of Arab terrorist aggression against the ‘democratic’ Israeli state, the victim. There is an increasing library of well written material that denies that simplistic view and ties it into the longer course of Zionist history. A new addition to this library, “The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination” provides a concise, clear, and valuable summary to the context…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57670

Gazan Children Return To Schools Under Siege And In Crisis
Palestine Monitor
September 6, 2009 – As the new school year starts, children in Gaza return to school under siege for the third time. They are returning to overcrowded classrooms in damaged schools, many of which lack electricity, water, phone lines and basic school materials. Last winter Operation Cast Lead destroyed 18 schools and damaged a further 280, according to UN figures. To date, none of these have been rebuilt or repaired, as Israel does not allow the concrete, glass and steel required for reconstruction to enter Gaza. Eighty percent of Gazan schools are operating on a shift system in order to accommodate students, and in many schools tents are replacing classrooms…

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President Hamid Karzai takes 100% of votes in opposition stronghold
Jerome Starkey in Kabul and Jon Swain
September 6, 2009 – In the southern Afghan district of Shorabak, the tribesmen gathered shortly before last month’s presidential election to discuss which candidate they would back. After a debate they chose to endorse Abdullah Abdullah, President Hamid Karzai’s leading opponent. The tribal leaders prepared to deliver a landslide for Abdullah – but it never happened. They claim Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president’s brother and leader of the Kandahar provincial council, detained the local governor and closed all the district’s 46 polling sites on election day. The ballot boxes were taken back to the district headquarters where, tribal leaders allege, they were stuffed with ballots by local policemen. A total of 23,900 ballots were finally sent off to Kabul, the capital – every one of them a vote for Karzai…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57664

Palestinian woman collapses as Israeli soldiers attempted to strip-search her
Saed Bannoura
September 6, 2009 – A Palestinian woman was to the Hebron Governmental Hospital, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, on Friday after she collapsed when Israeli soldiers attempted to strip-search her. The woman was identified as Wisal Al Rajabi, 35. She was hospitalized after suffering a nervous breakdown, when the soldiers took her to a tent in order to strip search her. The incident took place at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque (The Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57663

Israel affirms plans to approve more settler homes
By Jeffrey Heller, Reuters
September 6, 2009 – Israel stood firm on Sunday on a plan to authorize hundreds of new settler homes in the occupied West Bank before a possible construction freeze, shrugging off a rebuke from Washington. “The prime minister will decide in the coming days on the building of hundreds of additional housing unitsin order to solve existing problems in various settlements,” Transport Minister Yisrael Katz told Israel Radio. Katz held fast to the plan two days after an aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed the Israeli leader’s intention to authorize the new projects before considering a moratorium on new building permits…

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Iran to ‘Islamize” Humanities
IslamOnline.net
September 6, 2009 – Iran is planning to ‘Islamise’ humanities studies following complaints that Western teachings make students question religion and promote secular ideas. “In our country a large part of the syllabus… is not in line with our Iranian-Islamic culture,” Hamid Reza Ayatollahi, the head of the Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, said Sunday, September 6, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP). “This calls for a revision.” The revision comes after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized human sciences taught in the Iranian universities…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57674

Afghanistan war escalation: The Nation seeks to “protect” the Obama administration from itself
By David Walsh
The war in Afghanistan is increasingly taking center stage in American political life. As the Obama administration, urged on by the Pentagon, prepares to deploy tens of thousands more US troops to the bloody conflict, popular opinion is turning against the involvement. A crisis of historic dimensions is shaping up. The American liberal “left,” the Nation magazine, the so-called anti-war movements, various publications and think tanks, all endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 election, claiming that his—in the words of Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel last November—would be a “Transformational Presidency.” Far from acting to “end the endless wars” and initiating “a politics of sanity and justice and peace,” as vanden Heuvel encouraged people to believe Obama would do, the new administration has continued and even deepened the carnage in Central Asia…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57576

Doctor: 90% of war casualties at Gaza hospital were civilians
By Cnaan Liphshiz, Haarez Correspondent
September 6, 2009 – Ninety percent of casualties brought to Gaza’s main hospital during Israel’s winter offensive against Hamas were civilians, according to a new book by one of Norway’s most famous and controversial physicians, Dr. Mads Gilbert. The book, scheduled to be published this month under the title “I in Gaza,” recounts Gilbert’s experiences as a volunteer at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and focuses on individual stories by patients and medical staff. The 318-page account surveys events “which in themselves call people to politically mobilize,” said Gilbert, who is also known for his vocal criticism of Israel, in a phone interview with Haaretz last week…

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Which side are you on? Left responses to the Iranian revolt
Phil Gasper
September 6, 2009 – …It is also nonsense to maintain that leftists cannot both unequivocally oppose U.S. imperialism and support the struggle for greater democracy, political freedom, women’s rights, independent unions, and other significant reforms in countries that are on Washington’s official enemies list. To maintain otherwise is by extension to believe that it would be better for movement activists in Iran simply to go home and tail behind the Ahmadinejad government because it is on the official U.S. enemies list. Those who believe that the protests in Iran are strengthening U.S. imperialism are also missing the real dynamic of what is going on. The world economic crisis has created a huge split in the Iranian ruling class over both domestic and foreign policy, which has created an opening for a movement from below to emerge. While politicians like Mousavi and former president Ali Rafsanjani are attempting to use the protest movement for their own purposes, they have been pushed to take more radical positions as a result of the street demonstrations, deepening the split and making it impossible for the movement to be completely repressed….

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57660

Palestinian political prisoner dies in Jordan of wounds sustained during Israeli interrogation
Ali Samoudi for PNN
September 6, 2009 – A former Palestinian political prisoner Tarek Qguariv is dead at 33 years old. The member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was in Jordan receiving medical treatment for illness and injury sustained while in Israeli custody. Qguariv was from the village of Awarta in the northern West Bank’s Nablus. The PFLP issued a statement today in mourning for the loss of who they described as a “solid fighter”. The leftist party said that Qguariv was more than once detained in prison and blamed his injuries on Israeli interrogation techniques…

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Barack Obama to Cindy Sheehan: Get Lost
At Obama’s Summer Place with Cindy: “Leadership” of Peace Movement, MIA
John Walsh
September 5, 2009 – I spent but a short time with Cindy Sheehan as she carried her antiwar protest from an earlier time at Crawford, TX, to Martha’s Vineyard, vacation spot for Obama and many other Democrat Party elite. As Cindy remarked, the real story was not that she was protesting Obama’s wars but that the “leadership” of the peace movement did not support her protest. When the target was Bush in Crawford, she was all the rage with antiwar celebrities, but not so now that the target is Barack Obama. While there is considerable enthusiasm for her anti-Obama protest on the part of the rank and file in the anti-war movement, a refusal of its “leaders” to notify their members far and wide, high and low, crippled the action…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57655

Video: Prosecuting Israel for war crimes
The Real News
September 5, 2009 – Deputy Prosecutor of Int’l Criminal Court discusses the Palestinian Authority appeal to join the court. Lia Tarachansky speaks to Fatou Bensouda, the Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) about the Palestinian Authority’s appeal to join the group of nations over which the court has jurisdiction. Bensouda says that before the ICC can investigate the perpetration of war crimes during Israel’s recent attack on Gaza, the court would have to rule on whether it has jurisdiction in the Palestinian Territories. For that, there would have to be clear borders identified, a task the UN would have to take on…

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“Why I resigned from the Gaza Freedom March coalition”
Norman Finkelstein
September 5, 2009 – The original consensus of the International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza was that we would limit our statement to a pair of uncontroversial, basic and complementary principles that would have the broadest possible appeal: the march to break the siege would be nonviolent and anchored in international law. I agreed with this approach and consequent statement and decided to remove myself from the steering committee in order to invest my full energies in mobilizing for the march…

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Protest over power shortages in southern Iraqi city
By Salah al-Rubaai, Azzaman
September 6, 2009 – Crowds of Iraqis demonstrated to express their indignation at power and fuel shortages in the southern city of al-Kut. Kut is the capital of Wasit Province, a center of a booming trade originating in Iran particularly of Persian carpets. Situated on the left bank of the Tigris River, Kut is 160 kilometers south of Baghdad. Its inhabitants of nearly 300,000 have often complained about power and fuel shortages…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57672

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