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URUK Net 18 September, 2009

Last updated: Monday, September 21, 2009 10:34

For Britons, The Party Game Is Over
John Pilger
September, 18 2009 – On the day Prime Minister Gordon Brown made his “major policy speech” on Afghanistan, repeating his surreal claim that if the British army did not fight Pashtun tribesmen over there, they would be over here, the stench of burnt flesh hung over the banks of the Kunduz River. Nato fighter planes had blown the poorest of the poor to bits. They were Afghan villagers who had rushed to siphon off fuel from two stalled tankers. Many were children with water buckets and cooking pots. “At least” 90 were killed, although Nato prefers not to count its civilian enemy. “It was a scene from hell,” said Mohammed Daud, a witness. “Hands, legs and body parts were scattered everywhere.” No parade for them along a Wiltshire high street…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58081

Powerless: Gaza Ramadan day 28
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
September 18, 2009 – “It’s the worst feeling, to see my mother ill like this and knowing there is nothing we can do to help her. No one, no country will help her. Because she is Palestinian. From Gaza.” This is the story of a mother from Gaza. But it is the story of all Palestinians from Gaza who are ill and need medical treatment outside, treatment which is unavailable because of the Israeli and Egyptian siege on Gaza and the winter 2008/2009 Israeli massacre of Gaza. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reports that 356 Gaza Palestinians have died due to prohibited access to medical care. The latest deaths include a 3 year old child, Huda Qandil, who reportedly died on 14 September from cancer not treatable in Gaza. Martyred before her, a 7 year old, Dina Az-Zakzouk, who reportedly succumbed to her tumor…

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Dividing war spoils
Salman Abu Sitta
September 18, 2009 – While news headlines have been about demands for a freeze or suspension of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and jockeying at the sixth Fateh conference in Bethlehem, Israel has been putting into effect the most devastating operation since the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in the Nakba of 1948. This new operation aims to eliminate irrevocably Palestinian rights and historical roots in Palestine. Ironically, Arab and Palestinian leaderships remain oblivious to these cataclysmic developments…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58084

Palestinian-Led Movement To Boycott Israel Is Gaining Support
‘Our South Africa Moment Has Finally Arrived,’ Says One Leader
Gal Beckerman
September 18, 2009 – …The pro-Palestinian activists are affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, an international coalition with the goal of isolating and discomfiting Israel just as South Africa’s apartheid regime was targeted in the 1980s. Initiated by Palestinian groups in 2005 but strengthened by a network that takes in dozens of leftist organizations in Europe and the United States, the Global BDS Movement claims a number of recent successes. Especially in the wake of the Gaza incursion of last winter, groups associated with the boycott have now felt spurred to expand their efforts into even the sensitive realm of academic and cultural boycotts of Israel. As Omar Barghouti, one of the Palestinian leaders of the BDS movement, told the Forward, “Our South Africa moment has finally arrived.” Some major Jewish groups acknowledge BDS as a possible threat..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58086

A criminal state that must be isolated, boycotted
By Khalid Amayreh
September 18, 2009 – Israel is unusually furious over the publication this week of the Goldstone commission report which accuses the apartheid regime of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip during the bloody blitz against the coastal Palestinian territory nearly nine months ago. Israeli officials and hasbara doctors have been railing against Goldstone, who is both Jewish and Zionist, to the extent of accusing him of “anti-Semitism,” an increasingly stale and ineffective weapon which Israel resorts to when all other propaganda tools don’t work. Benyamin Netanyahu, the extremist Prime Minister of the Zionist regime has even asked US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell to assist Israel , especially at the American arena, in order to curb the fallout from the report…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58083

Do You Ever Feel Like The Walls Are Closing In?
By Jake Lynch
September 18, 2009 – So narrow has political debate become here in Australia over the Israel/Palestine conflict that attempts to remind Australians of basic facts, well accepted in the global community, are falling foul of censorship — silenced by the swish of a bureaucrat’s pen. Journalists at public broadcaster SBS have been told, in a missive from their head of news, that the station’s Ombudsman has ruled out the use of the phrase “Palestinian land” to describe the occupied territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The status of these territories “remains the subject of negotiation”, the memo says, and should be described solely with reference to their geographical location, for instance: “Israeli settlements on the West Bank”…

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Time not on NATO’s side in Afghanistan, says British general
DPA
September 18, 2009 – The British general due to take charge of British and other NATO troops in southern Afghanistan has said that the forces do not have the ‘luxury of time’ on their side. Major General Nick Carter, who will take charge of 45,000 troops in the region in six weeks’ time, said there was an opportunity to ‘make a difference’ in the next year. ‘But I absolutely acknowledge that time is not on our side, and we’ve got to show positive trends as quickly as we possibly can,’ Carter said in a BBC interview…

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Is America Hooked on War?
By Tom Engelhardt
September 18, 2009 – “War is peace” was one of the memorable slogans on the facade of the Ministry of Truth, Minitrue in “Newspeak,” the language invented by George Orwell in 1948 for his dystopian novel 1984. Some 60 years later, a quarter-century after Orwell’s imagined future bit the dust, the phrase is, in a number of ways, eerily applicable to the United States. Last week, for instance, a New York Times front-page story by Eric Schmitt and David Sanger was headlined “Obama Is Facing Doubts in Party on Afghanistan, Troop Buildup at Issue.” It offered a modern version of journalistic Newspeak…

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A Homage to the Falluja ShoeThrower.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
September 18, 2009 – Another Iraqi hero from Falluja, Ahmed, shot by the criminal U.S occupation forces for throwing a footwear at an American patrolling convoy in Falluja. This is the theater of surreal Absurdity. Imagine someone killing you for waving a pair of slipper or shoes at him. Your life gone within seconds, your family mourning you, and your 30 years wasted in a blink of a eye because you waved a slipper… Can you imagine that for a few minutes ? No you couldn’t possibly. It is beyond imagination. It is the theater of the Absurd, where Iraqi lives have become so cheap, little flies hovering and pfftt gone…like with Pif Paf, the insect repellent, spray them…spray them…with bullets…and we have been sprayed since 2003, like insects…

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Afghanistan: Where Empires Go to Die
Dahr Jamail
September 18, 2009 – On September 7 the Swedish aid agency Swedish Committee for Afghanistan reported that the previous week US soldiers raided one of its hospitals. According to the director of the aid agency, Anders Fange, troops stormed through both the men’s and women’s wards, where they frantically searched for wounded Taliban fighters. Soldiers demanded that hospital administrators inform the military of any incoming patients who might be insurgents, after which the military would then decide if said patients would be admitted or not. Fange called the incident “not only a clear violation of globally recognized humanitarian principles about the sanctity of health facilities and staff in areas of conflict, but also a clear breach of the civil-military agreement” between nongovernmental organizations and international forces…

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Doctors Aiding Torture
Stephen Lendman
…In August 2009, PHR published a new report titled, “Aiding Torture: Health Professionals’ Ethics and Human Rights Violations Revealed in the May 2004 CIA Inspector General’s Report,” including ethical misconduct not previously known. It revealed the role of health professionals involved “at every stage in the development, implementation and legitimization of this torture program.” It explained that doctors and psychologists actively participated in abusive interrogations and contributed to the physical and mental suffering of detainees. It called their actions “an unconscionable affront to the profession of medicine,” made worse by experimenting on inmates, then “aggregat(ing) data on (their) reaction to interrogation methods.” PHR’s Steven Reisner said “They were experimenting and keeping records of the results,” a war crime under Geneva and the Nuremberg Code..

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Don’t let Lieberman outflank us
Galal Nassar
September 18, 2009 – For the second week running I will focus on the implications of the Israeli foreign minister’s recent African tour. After visiting several countries in Central Asia and Latin America, Avigdor Lieberman went to Africa, where he visited five carefully selected African nations. The man who, because of his well-known racist views, has failed to persuade any Arab or Western nation to receive him found African doors open. The tour has scantly been reported in the media, apart from a few leaks. But from what we know, it is safe to assume that the Israeli government is trying to outflank us in Africa. Most African countries have been off bounds to the Israelis since 1973, when 54 African nations severed ties with Israel in solidarity with Arab countries. This gives an added significance to Lieberman’s tour, occurring at a time when the Arabs have given up their policy of boycotting Israel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58064

IRAN: Latest Reports from Today’s Demonstrations (Videos)
Raye Man Kojast?
September 18, 2009 – According to reports, anti-government demonstrations are going on in various cities across Iran. On Abresan Street in Tabriz (the capital of Eastern Azerbaijan province) people who were encircled by state security forces were chanting “People why are you sitting, Iran has turned into Palestine” and “Long live Tabriz.” In Zanbil Abad, a district of Qom, large numbers of people clashed with the State Security Forces who used tear gas and batons to suppress the people. Sounds of gun shots have been heard in the city. The streets are full of the regime’s agents and there is a kind of martial law atmosphere in the city. In the northeastern city of Mashad, many demonstrators marching from Taghi Abad towards the University were attacked by the regime’s agents and arrested, but nonetheless continued demonstrating and chanting slogans…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58069

Biden in Baghdad to uphold occupation, speed access to oil
By Bill Van Auken
September 18, 2009 – US Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Iraq this week for a series of discussions with Iraqi officials aimed at forestalling a precipitous end to the US military occupation of the country and opening up Iraq’s oil wealth to exploitation by US-based energy conglomerates. On Thursday, the third day of his trip, Biden flew to the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north for talks with Kurdish leaders. In his meetings with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, and Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Biden apparently pushed for a compromise with the Iraqi federal government in Baghdad on the issues of territorial borders and control of oil…

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Missing Link: Dissent, Delusion and Discontent
Chris Floyd
September 18, 2009 -… There are virtually no prominent voices on the national scene speaking out for social justice and against anti-militarism — that is, no voices with any credibility. Barack Obama, once seen by millions as a kind mystical embodiment of these hopes, has instead given them a master class in disillusionment. His health care “reform” — which could have improved the daily lives of tens of millions of people in the most immediate way — turns out to be nothing more than a scam to funnel public money to big insurance and drug companies. His “reform” of the Wall Street shell games that have cost millions of people their homes and livelihoods turns out to be an elaborate scam to funnel trillions of dollars in public money to the gamesters themselves — who are now playing whole new shell games with the bailout money. His “reform” of Bush’s foreign policy has turned out to be an expansion of unnecessary, unwinnable wars which drain the treasury, stain the nation’s honor, waste the lives of its soldiers, increase corruption and extremism, and destabilize the world. ..

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Military Resistance [GI Sp] 7I5: “The Officers Cannot Read”
Thomas F Barton
Afghan army recruit Shahidullah Ahmadi can’t read — and neither can nine out of 10 soldiers in the Afghan National Army. The lack of education points to a basic challenge for the United States, as it tries to expand the Afghan army in the hopes that U.S. and allied forces can one day withdraw…”Unfortunately all my friends and I cannot read,” said soldier Rosey Khan, 19. “It is very bad, particularly during the fighting. They taught me a lot of things, but I’ve forgotten most of them. … “Even the officers cannot read.”…

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Video: Israel/America: A Rambling Poem
Remi Kanazi
Every time I think of 9/11
I see burning flesh dripping off the bones of Iraqi children in Fallujah
Now Gaza
I tend to memorialize the forgotten
The collateral damage eclipsing our unpunished crimes
Maybe it’s because I’m a numbers guy
Because if I had a dollar for every time an Iraqi died since 2003
I’d be a millionaire…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58077

UN reports 1 billion of the world’s people going hungry
By Jerry White
September 18, 2009 – For the first time in history, more than one billion people, or nearly one in every 6 inhabitants of the planet, are going hungry this year, according to a new report from the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP). Chronic poverty, still high food prices and the impact of the world economic crisis have led to a sharp increase in the number of hungry people, now larger than the combined populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58063

New evidence of widespread fraud in Afghanistan election uncovered
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Gardez
September 18, 2009 – The shaky footage shows two election monitors inspecting a book of 100 ballot papers that are still stitched together, as they were intended to arrive at the polling station in rural Afghanistan. But something is wrong; instead of being pristine, ready for the voter to make his or her mark, each paper bears a large blue tick next to the name of one candidate: Hamid Karzai. As the monitors flick through the pad, the back of the ballots clearly show the authorisation stamp of election monitors, validating them as votes ready to be put in the ballot box and counted. “We found it the day after the elections,” one of the monitors in the footage told me. “…

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Canadian, American troops killed in Afghanistan
By KAY JOHNSON (AP)
September 18, 2009 — A U.S. service member and a Canadian soldier were killed in separate roadside bombings in southern Afghanistan, officials said Friday, the latest in a wave of Taliban attacks. The two international troops died Thursday, the same day a car bomber killed six Italian troops in a brazen attack in the heavily guarded capital of Kabul. The resurgent Taliban have increased attacks sharply this year in the run-up to last month’s presidential elections and with the arrival of 21,000 more American troops. The Islamist extremists, who were driven from power in the U.S.-led invasion of 2001, now control large swaths of the countryside…

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Ahmadinejad faces test of strength as fresh protests sweep Iran
Martin Fletcher
September 18, 2009 – The Islamic Republic has seldom seen such scenes. President Ahmadinejad had to cut short an interview on state-controlled television because chants of “Ahmadi! Ahmadi! Resign! Resign!” could clearly be heard in the background. After two quiescent summer months, huge new protests erupted across Iran yesterday, with popular anger at the alleged theft of June’s presidential election inflamed by the subsequent killing, torture, rape and show trials of opponents of the regime… There had been no major demonstrations since July 17 but the Government could hardly cancel al-Quds Day, an event initiated by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, and the opposition seized its chance. Its supporters turned out in huge numbers and paralysed the centre of Tehran; estimates of the turnout ranged from 100,000 to 500,000. They were young and old, male and female, rich and poor, and came with green wristbands, T-shirts, balloons and banners to show support for Mr Mousavi’s green movement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58068

Boycott Derails Jerusalem’s Transit System
Rail Firm Pays Price for Link to Settlements
Jonathan Cook
September 18, 2009 – An ill-fated light railway under construction in Jerusalem was originally heralded by Israeli officials as a way to cement the city’s “unification” four decades after the city’s Palestinian half was illegally annexed to Israel. But the only unity generated among Jewish and Palestinian residents after four years of disruptions to the city’s traffic and businesses is general agreement that the project is rapidly becoming a white elephant…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58067

UN body urges Israel to allow nuclear inspection
Reuters
September 18, 2009 – Arab states in the United Nations nuclear assembly on Friday won narrow approval of a resolution urging Israel to put all its atomic sites under the world body’s inspection and join the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel deplored the measure for singling it out while many of its neighbors remained hostile to its existence, and said it would not cooperate with it. The non-binding resolution, which passed for the first time in 18 years of attempts thanks to more developing nation votes, voiced concern about “Israeli nuclear capabilities” and urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to tackle the issue…

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Video – Praying for Al-Aqsa access
AljaeeraEnglish
September 18, 2009 – Al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem is considered the third holiest site in Islam. During the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, thousands of worshippers make their way there to pray in the space where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. But for many Palestinians living in the occupied territories, visiting the seventh century mosque is impossible due to Israeli-imposed travel restrictions. Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland reports on how others arrive at the site after taking considerable risks to make the journey – defying Israeli restrictions and sneaking under the separation barrier…

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US fails to broker deal with Israel over settlements
Rory McCarthy
September 18, 2009 – The US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, appeared today to have failed to win an agreement from Israel on a halt to settlement construction in the Palestinian territories. A deal would have laid the foundations for a meeting planned for next week at the UN in New York between President Barack Obama, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. That now seems less likely to go ahead. The New York meeting would have restarted peace talks between the two sides for the first time in nearly a year, and would have been the first such Middle East negotiations under the Obama administration…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58072

Waiting for Another Harsh Winter in Gaza
Karin Friedemann (LETTER FROM AMERICA)
September 18, 2009 – Winter is coming, and it will be bitterly cold in Gaza. Many Gazans, whose houses were destroyed by the Israeli Defence Forces, have no shelter and will suffer terribly. Families still live amid the rubble of their homes with no resources to fix the damage. With the sea blockaded illegally by the Israelis, the people of Gaza are literally imprisoned by these actions. Not only is Israel preventing building supplies from entering Gaza but also coffee, tea, paper, school books, toys for children, and thousands of other items. Palestine is not a poor country, and Palestinians are not a poor people. They are being forced into poverty…

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Palestinian girl sexually assaulted by Israeli prison guard
Palestinian Information Center
September 18, 2009 — An 18-year-old Palestinian girl, imprisoned at the Israeli occupation jail of Hasharon, was sexually assaulted by an Israeli prison guard, according to a statement by the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs. Reyad al-Ashqar, head of the information office of the ministry said on Thursday that the victim was detained six months ago and that she was being held in a solitary cell. Two weeks ago, an Israeli prison guard called the prisoner at 3:00 in the morning and asked her to get close to the door of the cell because he had an important message for her, as she stood close to the door, he put his hands through the hatch used to pass food for the prisoner and held her hands, pulled her closer to the door and tried to grope her…

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Revolving doors
Khaled Amayreh
September 18, 2009 – American Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has once again failed to convince Israeli leaders to freeze Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The freeze is viewed as an essential precondition for the resumption of the stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Mitchell held several meetings with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who was adamant in refusing to commit his right-wing coalition government to halting settlement construction, especially in occupied East Jerusalem…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58060

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 37/2009 (10 – 16 Sep. 2009)
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Summary: Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (10 – 16 September 2009):
Shooting: During the reporting period, a Palestinian civilian died of a previous wound he had sustained by IOF in Hebron. Additionally, 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by IOF and settlers in the West Bank. On 13 September 2009, medical sources at an Israeli hospital declared that ‘Obaida Maher al-Dwaik, 25, from Hebron, died of wounds inflicted by IOF. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 26 August 2009, Israeli troops positioned at al-Shuhada checkpoint near Tal Rumaida neighborhood in the center of Hebron fired at al-Dwaik from a range of less than 20 meters. He was wounded by several gunshots to the abdomen and the legs. IOF did not allow Palestinian ambulances to attend him. They evacuated him to an Israeli hospital. They claimed that he attempted to attack an Israeli soldiers using a knife…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=58066

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