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URUK Net 15 September, 2009

Last updated: Monday, September 21, 2009 10:28

Obama Supports Renewal of Patriot Act Provisions
Joe Palazzolo
September 15, 2009 – The Obama administration has blessed three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act that expand the government’s reach in counter-terrorism investigations. In a Sept. 14 letter to lawmakers, Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich said the Justice Department supports the use of roving wiretaps, the authority to access business records and the ability to track so-called “lone-wolf” terrorists, or those without visible ties to a foreign terrorist organization. The provisions sunset at the end of the year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57988

Guava leaves, merrimea, F-16s: Gaza Ramadan day 25
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
September 15, 2009 – Everything is juxtaposed in Gaza. There’s no following a single train of thought, there’s no normality except in expecting anything to happen [’anything’ along the lines of Israeli attacks, power outages, further deterioration of life thanks to the Israeli-waged massacre and the Israeli-led siege on Gaza. Not ‘anything’ along the lines of open borders or hopeful news.] at any moment. Was it a drone or a generator last night? Sure it was a drone, no surprise there. They continue to survey and pollute Gaza’s skies. The other night it was a generator, someone making due during a power cut…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57985

Gays in Iraq. Asylum for the Iraqi activist Anwar Basim Saleh
EveryOne Group
September 15, 2009 – Anwar Basim Saleh, the 21-year old Iraqi gay activist from Baghdad, is at present in Holland, where he has applied for asylum. Anwar, before leaving his country of origin, was the coordinator of a “safe house” for homosexuals working alongside the Iraqi LGBT organization. He was arrested in February 2009 by members of the Iraqi Interior Ministry (Badr Corps) for his role in the association. He was badly beaten up, tortured and he suffered a serious trauma after the long period of detention and the abuse he was subjected to…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57984

Travel-lust: Gaza Ramadan day 24
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
September 15, 2009 -…Immediately after the 23 day Israeli massacre of Gaza in winter 2008/2009, after visiting this man’s family in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza, and hearing the story of his mother’s assassination (point-blank shooting, holding a white flag) and numerous of the men’s abduction and detention by Israeli occupation soldiers…he insisted on offering me an orange…from their Israeli-bulldozer-destroyed orange trees. Certainly with the UN reported 90% extreme poverty levels in Gaza, most people are worrying about meeting their daily food and children’s needs, not traveling. But for those who would travel, study, seek medical treatment, see family, or just breathe abroad, the freedom to move beyond their prison walls is a right most of us take for granted and many in Gaza have never known…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57983

Judge Goldstone and the pollution of argument
Attacks on human rights groups that probe Israel’s Gaza offensive are an insult to reasonable public debate
Antony Lerman
September 15, 2009 – The despicable attacks on human rights organisations investigating Israel’s Gaza offensive in January confirm Churchill’s observation: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” The mission led by the South African judge Richard Goldstone to investigate international human rights and international humanitarian law violations during Israel’s offensive, established by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), is the latest victim. His findings are about to be made public. The knives have been out for the mission for months. Now they are being plunged into him and his colleagues. Until the report is out Goldstone can’t defend it. So the smears and misrepresentation are left free to pollute public discourse…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57982

Israeli War Crimes in Gaza: UN
IslamOnline.net
September 15, 2009 – Israeli forces committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during their three-week war on the Gaza Strip, UN fact-finding rights mission concluded on Tuesday, September 15, hinting to a possible referral of the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC). “The mission concluded that actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly in some respects crimes against humanity, were committed by the Israel Defense Force,” Richard Goldstone, the panel head, told reporters…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57981

Iran opposition leaders to join mass rally despite warnings
By Farhad Pouladi (AFP)
September 15, 2009 — Three leading figures in Iran’s opposition including a former president say they will join a pro-Palestinian mass rally on Friday amid warnings not to turn it into a protest against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Reformist former president Mohammad Khatami, opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi who was runner-up to Ahmadinejad in June’s disputed presidential election and another defeated reformist candidate, cleric Mehdi Karroubi, have all said they will attend the annual Quds Day march…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57980

The Real Lesson of Lehman’s Fall
Lehman Died So TARP and AIG Might Live
Mike Whitney
September 16, 2009 – Stephen Foley is on to something. Lehman Bros. didn’t die of natural causes; it was drawn-and-quartered by high-ranking officials at the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Most of the rubbish presently appearing in the media, ignores this glaring fact. Lehman was a planned demolition (most likely) concocted by ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson, who wanted to create a financial 9-11 to scare Congress into complying with his demands for $700 billion in emergency funding (TARP) for underwater US banking behemoths. The whole incident reeks of conflict of interest, corruption, and blackmail…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57979

My Flower to Bush, the Occupier
The Story of My Shoe
By MUTADHAR al-ZAIDI
September 15, 2009 – …We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shiite would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ, may peace be upon him. And despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than 10 years, for more than a decade. Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. Until we were invaded by the illusion of liberation that some had. (The occupation) divided one brother from another, one neighbor from another, and the son from his uncle. It turned our homes into never-ending funeral tents. And our graveyards spread into parks and roadsides. It is a plague. It is the occupation that is killing us, that is violating the houses of worship and the sanctity of our homes and that is throwing thousands daily into makeshift prisons. I am not a hero, and I admit that. But I have a point of view and I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated. And to see my Baghdad burned…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57970

Raped by Freedom.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
September 15, 2009 – This is the story of Samir, who finally confessed what happened to him at the hands of his liberators – the English scum – in Basra, in May 2003. According to his story given to the Iraqi League in Arabic, and am translating parts of it, since the rest has been picked up by the Guardian. Samir at the age of 16, lost his father and had to work to support his mother and sibling. Work was hard to find, and he thought to himself that maybe with the “liberation” and the promises made by the occupier, Basra will turn into a paradise. He sought work as a labourer and in May 2003, was caught by mistake, during a day raid where the British soldiers were after some Iraqis stealing. Samir tried to explain to the soldiers his innocence, but they wanted none of it. They took him as well as a few others in a van. During their ride, he and his mate were repeatedly beaten up. He says that his mate was even hit in his testicle and had to be hospitalized in an emergency as he fainted on him during the van ride… Then, Samir was raped by two of his “liberators”. Two British soldiers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57976

British soldiers accused of raping Iraqi man
Vikram Dodd
The Royal Military police have launched a criminal investigation into allegations that British soldiers repeatedly raped and mutilated an Iraqi civilian, the Guardian has learned. Next week, lawyers for the man will issue legal proceedings against the government in the British civil courts. Their barrister is Sir Ken Macdonald QC, who was the top prosecutor in England and Wales until last year. The government has ordered an investigation into the claims, but is refusing to hold an independent inquiry. The man was working for the British army as a labourer at Camp Breadbasket in Basra, the scene of other abuse allegations. Samir says both soldiers then took it in turn to rape him, then slashed him with the knife, leaving him in “unbearable” agony. He says he left the room and other soldiers helped him to get medical attention for the knife wounds…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57975

Iraq: Massive Fraud and Corruption in Higher Education.
Dirk Adriaensens
September 15, 2009 – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told a group of educators in Washington on 25 July that his country plans to send over 50.000 students abroad over the next 5 years. The students will be studying in the U.S. and London, supposedly to rebuild the country’s once strong education system. Twenty two American universities and 21 British universities will participate . Maliki explained that “Instead of armies and war and killing and occupation we’re moving to something more meaningful, namely economic development, education, and exchanges of students and professors…. That’s the official story. A noble initiative at first sight, until you look further behind the official smokescreen. There are no references in Maliki’s speeches to the threats, discharges, forced migration, mass kidnappings and assassinations of Iraqi academics. Nor is the destruction of educational institutions, archaeological sites, the looting of Iraqi musea, the erasure of Iraqi, Arab and world heritage being mentioned. Further, the Iraqi government has committed to fully fund $1 billion a year to this program and will pay for tuition and fees, as well as room and board, meaning that Iraq is now sponsoring the US and UK universities….

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57966

Video: Al-Zeidi defends shoe-throwing
AljaeeraEnglish
September 15, 2009 – Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes in December last year at George Bush, then US president, has been released from jail to a hero’s welcome. As a TV journalist, al-Zeidi had reported on the suffering of the Iraqi people following the US-led invasion in 2003. He said on Tuesday that the shoe-throwing was a protest against the humiliating occupation of his homeland by US troops…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57964

Peace Group Targets Settlement’s Charitable Status
How US Tax Breaks Fund Israeli Settlers
Jonathan Cook
September 15, 2009 – Israeli peace activists are planning to ratchet up their campaign against groups in the United States that raise money for settlers by highlighting how tax exemptions are helping to fund the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Gush Shalom, a small peace group that advocates Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories, is preparing to send details to the US tax authorities questioning the charitable status of several organisations. Adam Keller, a spokesman, said these operations’ tax-exempt status meant that “settlement expansion is effectively being subsidised out of the pockets of the US taxpayer and government”. The campaign is designed to increase pressure on Barack Obama, the US president, to demand action from Israel on his repeated calls — so far largely ignored — to end settlement building. Last week, Israel announced plans to build 455 new homes in West Bank settlements and 500 apartments in East Jerusalem….

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57963

He is an Arab, therefore he is scary!
Saed Bannoura
September 15, 2009 – Unfortunately, the title of this piece is not fiction and is based on real life stories and incidents in which armed Israeli settlers shot, wounded and killed several Palestinians in the occupied territories including in occupied East Jerusalem. The reason I am writing this piece is an incident that took place Friday, September 11 2009. This incident involves an Israeli settler who shot and wounded two Palestinians in an East Jerusalem neighborhood just because he felt ‘scared’, not because they were armed, and they weren’t, but only because he felt threatened by their presence. The settler was apprehended by the Israeli police, and said that he just felt scared to see the Arabs in a parking lot in east Jerusalem. The ‘scary Arabs’ were a man and a 13-year-old child…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57967

The volatile Hebron colonization project
Zak Brophy writing from Hebron, occupied West Bank
September 15, 2009 –
According to the Abrahamic religions, that is to say Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Hebron is where human civilization started. It now appears to me to be where it is tearing itself apart. The ideological and actual struggle between the Palestinian population and the Jewish Israeli settlers is fraught with hatred and violence and while walking through the now dilapidated markets of the Old City or the deserted streets of the Israeli settlement, a sense of intransient destruction pervades. Trade and activity in the antiquated souq or market of the Old City is sluggish at best due to the strangulation by the settlement developments and the forced closure of hundreds of shops. Some resilient traders remain. “This shop has been in my family for more than 60 years and I will stay here till I die” said Jamal, a Hebron market trader…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57977

Baghdad Green Zone attacked during Biden visit
By DAVID RISING, Associated Press
September 15, 2009 – Insurgents fired four mortar shells at Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Tuesday, killing two civilians, on the same day Vice President Joe Biden arrived in the Iraqi capital on an unannounced visit to help resolve political differences among Iraqis. The shells were fired after Biden arrived in Iraq on his third trip to the country this year. It was not clear where he was at the time. The faint pops of the mortars being fired were audible on the opposite side of the Tigris River from the Green Zone, and at least one of the shells was heard exploding on impact…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57972

One year after the financial crash
Obama goes cap in hand to Wall Street
By Barry Grey
15 September 2009 – On the anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the onset of the greatest global economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Barack Obama came to Wall Street Monday to plead with the bankers not to block his proposals for marginal changes in financial regulations. The spectacle of the elected chief executive as supplicant in the citadel of finance capital, while not surprising, was nevertheless a degrading sight. What had been billed as Obama’s challenge to the financial elite only underscored the subservience of his administration and every other branch of the government to Wall Street…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57969

Rachel Corrie’s parents denied entry to Gaza for Memorial Soccer Cup
Ma’an News
September 15, 2009 – The parents of slain American activist Rachel Corrie were denied entry into the Gaza Strip Tuesday, following day-long efforts to secure their entry and cheer on teams at the Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer Tournament. The Corries and a delegation accompanying them continue to wait at the Rafah border at Egypt, but have thus far been denied entry. Egyptian crossing authorities have given various reasons for the delegation’s delay, despite the group having previously coordinated with Egyptian authorities, who said they informed crossings officials that the delegation had been cleared for passage…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57978

Gaza: week of observations
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
September 15, 2009 – Twenty-year-old Mas’oud Tanboura was injured and Sa’id Al-Hussumi (sixteen years old) was killed when Israeli soldiers along the northern Gazan border opened fire. The two young men were unarmed poor laborers who were working as farmers on another man’s land. Tanboura told me that they were near the border gathering scrap metal, to fence off farmland property. They did this all the time like many people do. Tanboura added that the Israeli soldiers are used to seeing them. His cousin, Al-Hussumi, died from chest wounds. His body was taken by Israeli soldiers, dragged across the rough landscape, and returned some hours later via the Erez crossing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57968

Al-Zaidi – video and speech
Roads to Iraq
September 15, 2009 -….I am not a hero but I have my own opinion, with throwing my shoes on the war criminal Bush I wanted to show his lies, my rejection to the occupation, my rejection to his murders. Maybe some of you ask why didn’t you asked Bush a question to embarrass him? How can I do that if we journalists received orders before the conference says that we are not allowed to ask Bush any question. I would like to say that the CIA, the American intelligence, and other suspicious apparatus will continue their efforts to chase me as a revolutionary rebel against the occupation trying to kill me. At the time and at the same moment when the Iraqi Prime Minister told the media that he couldn’t sleep before he checked that I got a bed and blanket, I was tortured, electrocuted, beatings with rubber and iron cables, all of this happened in a room behind the press conference…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57965

Analysis: Looming water crisis in Gaza
IRIN news
September 15, 2009 – Unless urgent action is taken, the supply of water fit for human use in the Gaza Strip will be depleted in 5-10 years, according to the Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) and UN agencies working there. Only 5-10 percent of groundwater – the most important supply source for human use (domestic, agricultural and industrial) in Gaza – yields potable water, according to CMWU. “By 2014, we will have reached a level in the aquifer where the water will not be suitable for human use,” warned CMWU engineer Majed Ghannam. “Every year we are extracting more than we are injecting [via rainfall and lateral/vertical groundwater flows] into the aquifer.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57962

Israeli Prime Minister refuses US-proposed settlement freeze
Saed Bannoura
September 15, 2009 – Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today rejected U.S. calls to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. His announcement comes on the eve of a crucial meeting with U-S Mideast envoy, George Mitchell. Mitchell has been trying to arrange an Israeli-Palestinian summit on the sidelines of a U.N. General Assembly session next week. Selected by President Obama due to his success in negotiating a peace agreement in Northern Ireland, George Mitchell has found the Israel-Palestine conflict a bit more difficult to resolve…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57961

Targeting Britain’s war industry
Sarah Irving
September 15, 2009 – “Warfighters around the world rely on Brimar products every day,” a small company from Manchester in northwest England boasts on its publicity material. Brimar makes screens and viewfinders which allow helicopter pilots and tank gunners to carry out their bloody jobs in Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan. But a new local campaign is looking to turn Brimar’s boast on its head, and it’s just one of a number of British campaigns confronting the companies which arm the Israeli military. “We know that Brimar supplies display components for the Apache attack helicopters which the Israeli military uses,” said Anna Freeman of the Target Brimar campaign, “because in 2006 they admitted as much themselves.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57960

Embassy Scandal: A New Abu Ghraib?
—By Daniel Schulman
September 15, 2009 – Will ArmorGroup’s embassy scandal inflame the Muslim world in the same way Abu Ghraib did? Members of the Commission on Wartime Contracting, the independent panel established to probe contracting issues in Iraq and Afghanistan, certainly see parallels between the infamous photographs of detainee abuse and those depicting Kabul Embassy guards engaging in a range of lewd conduct…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57959

Freed Iraqi shoe thrower tells of torture in jail
Martin Chulov
September 15, 2009 – The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush has marked his release from jail by angrily defending his action and claiming he was tortured after his arrest. Muntazer al-Zaidi’s supporters and family gave him a rapturous welcome, sacrificing six sheep to mark his release and hanging laurels of flowers around his neck. Wearing an Iraqi flag, Zaidi gave a detailed account of being tortured after his arrest, and vowed to reveal the names of senior officials in the Iraqi government and army who he said had been involved in his mistreatment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57957

Iraq frees shoe-throwing journalist
Aljazeera.net
September 15, 2009 – Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the television reporter jailed for throwing his shoes at George Bush, the former US president, last year has been released. He was set to be freed on Monday but red tape delayed the decision by a day. Addressing a news conference shortly after his release on Tuesday, al-Zeidi, 30, said he was tortured with beatings, whippings and electric shocks during his first few days in custody. “Today I am free again but my home is still a prison,” al-Zeidi said, in a swipe at the continued US military presence in Iraq six and half years after the invasion to oust Saddam Hussein…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57956

War without Borders: U.S., NATO Expand Military Role In Southeastern Europe
by Rick Rozoff
September 15, 2009 – On September 11 a Balkans news source cited the chairman of the South East Europe Center at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC, John Sitilides, as claiming that “Although the United States is not focused on the Balkans as it was in the 1990s, the challenges in this region are still reviewed at a very high level in Washington.” Sitilides founded and was executive director of the Western Policy Center in the U.S.’s capital in 1998 which specialized “in U.S. foreign and security policies in the eastern Mediterranean, Balkan and Black Sea regions,” before merging it with the Woodrow Wilson Center and is a “regular speaker on foreign policy at the Pentagon’s National Defense University and the National Foreign Affairs Training Center” …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57955

2 U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan bomb attack
Associated Press
September 15, 2009 – An improvised bomb attack killed two U.S. service members yesterday in southern Afghanistan where U.S. and NATO troops have stepped up their operations against insurgents in recent months, NATO said. Also in the south, a British soldier was killed in an attack on a foot patrol and another NATO service member died in a blast Sunday, NATO and British officials said yesterday. Taliban militants this year have increased their use of roadside bombs, which now account for the majority of U.S. and NATO casualties…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57958

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