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URUK Net 12 November, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, November 14, 2009 10:19

Systemic Success: Blood Money and Black Gold in Iraq
Chris Floyd
November 12, 2009 – The New York Times is shocked — shocked! — to find personal enrichment of American elites at the heart of the rape and gutting of Iraq. Who could possibly have ever foreseen such a scenario as the Times revealed on Thursday, describing how “influential American adviser” Peter Galbraith helped “ram through” highly controversial provisions in the constitution that the occupying force and its collaborators imposed – provisions that could put more than $100 million in Galbraith’s pocket. Of course, Galbraith’s war-profiteering machinations are hardly unique; the roll call of “advisers” and officials and other insiders feasting on Iraqi corpseflesh is longer than the Mississippi, and considerably more muddy. Just this week, the Financial Times noted that another gaggle of occupation geese, “including Zalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to Baghdad, and Jay Garner,” the first appointed satrap of the conquered land, are now cashing in on their blood-soaked connections in Iraq…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59982

Afghan Taliban Stays Out of Pakistan Conflict
Aamir Latif
November 12, 2009 – The resurgent and emboldened Taliban group in Afghanistan have refused to lend support to local Taliban fighters engaged in fierce fighting with security forces in neighboring Pakistan. “We are fighting the occupation forces in Afghanistan. We do not have any policy whatsoever to interfere in the matters of any other country,” Qari Yousaf Ahmedi, the Taliban spokesman for northeastern Afghanistan, told IslamOnline.net via satellite phone from an unknown location in Afghanistan. “We have nothing to do with the war between Pakistan Taliban and security forces. Our only and sole goal is to oust the occupation forces from our land.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59996

Fragmenting Palestinian land
A young student deported from the West Bank to Gaza is just the latest victim of Israeli efforts to sever ties between the territories
Ben White
November 12, 2009 – Twenty-one-year-old Palestinian student Berlanty Azzam was seized by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in the West Bank last month. Bound and blindfolded, she was forcibly deported to the Gaza Strip. Berlanty was in her final semester at Bethlehem University in the West Bank, and was returning from a job interview in Ramallah. The problem was that she had an ID card registered in Gaza, and the Israeli occupation, in the words of the human rights organisation, B’tselem, “almost completely forbids the movement of Palestinians between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59990

German defence minister defends Kunduz massacre
By Ulrich Rippert
November 12, 2009 – One week after taking the oath of office as defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (Christian Social Union—CSU) justified the Kunduz massacre in Afghanistan. He has publicly endorsed the decision taken by Colonel Georg Klein to order an air strike in Afghanistan September 4 on two fuel tankers, in the course of which well over 100 civilians died. Guttenberg defended this atrocity, the bloodiest incident in the post-World War II history of the German armed forces, without waiting for the outcome of ongoing investigations. At a press conference in the defence ministry, he declared that the bombardment of the trucks near Kunduz was “militarily appropriate.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59981

Settler defends West Bank murders
Aljazeera.net
November 12, 2009 – A Jewish-American, who settled in the occupied West Bank, has been charged with killing two Palestinians and attempting to murder more people. Jack Teitel told reporters at a Jerusalem court on Thursday that he had no regrets for shooting the pair and trying to kill the others with explosives and poison, and that God would approve of his actions. “It has been a pleasure and an honor to have served my God,” Teitel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew originally from Florida in the US, said. Teitel has a total of 14 charges against him including two for murder and three for attempted murder…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59988

Brutal assault on a journalist in Kurdistan for revealing Barzani’s salary
Reporters Without Borders
November 12, 2009 – Reporters Without Borders today called for police to do their utmost to find those responsible for a “cowardly” physical attack on leading Iraqi Kurdish investigative journalist Nabaz Goran, who has just left Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, to seek refugee in Sulaymaniyah to the east. The 32-year-old editor of the independent Kurdish-language bi-monthly Jehan (World) was set upon by unknown assailants and brutally battered about the face and head as he was leaving his office in the Iskan district of the Erbil, on 29 October…Goran said he had no doubts about the identity of his assailants or their motives. “The KDP, headed by Massud Barzani, is clearly behind this attack. The reasons are also very clear: I am an independent newspaper that criticises the parties and politicians and I do not hesitate to reveal corruption cases. And that is what they cannot stand.” …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59987

The Blackwater plot deepens
For all the scandal, the mercenary firm has escaped any severe legal sanction. That could now change
Jeremy Scahill
November 12, 2009 – The mercenary firm Blackwater has become a symbol of the utter lawlessness and criminality that permeates the privatised wing of the US war machine. The company’s operatives have shot dead scores of Iraqi and Afghan civilians, while former employees allege in sworn statements that Blackwater’s owner Erik Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe”, and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life”. Five Blackwater employees will stand trial in federal court in the US on charges that they slaughtered 14 innocent Iraqis, while a sixth Blackwater operative has already pleaded guilty. The company faces allegations of illicit weapons-smuggling and tax evasion, and is being sued for war crimes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59986

Bush torture ‘architect’ sits on court that will rule on another torture ‘architect’
Daniel Tencer
November 12, 2009 – John Yoo, the former Bush administration lawyer who gained notoriety for penning a number of the so-called “torture memos” justifying the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on terrorism suspects, has filed an appeal of a lawsuit against him with a court on whose bench sits another torture “architect” from the Bush administration. Yoo’s lawyers have filed an appeal against a lawsuit by convicted terrorist supporter Jose Padilla to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. One of the judges on that bench is Jay Bybee, who served early on in the Bush administration in the same Office of Legal Counsel where Yoo wrote the torture memos…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59985

Report: The economic toll on Gaza after Israel’s attacks
Report, The Alternative Information Center
November 12, 2009 – The Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009, was the most violent and deadly offensive by Israel since the second intifada began. According to the UN, 1,434 Palestinian residents of Gaza were killed by the Israeli forces, and over 5,000 were injured. Thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed, and the Gazan economy remains in ruins. Israel has been controlling and limiting the amounts of international aid that are allowed into the Gaza Strip, and has thus caused a mounting humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including an acute shortage in clean drinking water, food, medical supplies, power, construction and repair materials, and sanitation. The attack drew the attention of the entire world, and shocked local activists with the intensiveness of the onslaught…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59984

Video: Uproar over rabbi book
AljazeeraEnglish
November 12, 2009 – Arab members of Israel’s parliament have called for the banning of a controversial book written by a Jewish rabbi in which he appears to authorise the killing of non-Jews, including children, who pose a threat to Israel. While many rabbis dismiss Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira’s book, some prominent rabbis have recommended it to their students and followers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59983

UN investigator accuses US of shameful neglect of homeless
Chris McGreal in Los Angeles
November 12, 2009 – A United Nations special investigator who was blocked from visiting the US by the Bush administration has accused the American government of pouring billions of dollars into rescuing banks and big business while treating as “invisible” a deepening homeless crisis. Raquel Rolnik, the UN special rapporteur for the right to adequate housing, who has just completed a seven-city tour of America, said it was shameful that a country as wealthy as the US was not spending more money on lifting its citizens out of homelessness and substandard, overcrowded housing.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59991

Palestinian cave-dweller fights Israeli eviction
Reuters
November 12, 2009 – A Palestinian camping in an ancient cave near Jerusalem says he has been told by Israeli authorities to get out because the hillside is slated for a housing development and his “illegal” home will be demolished. The predicament of Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo, a 48-year-old father of 10, highlights the dispute between Israel and Palestinians living in the steep hills between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, on land the Israelis annexed in 1980…”Three days ago, Israeli building planners came. They started landscaping this entire area,” he told Reuters Television this week. “The purpose is, of course, to build an Israeli settlement, called Givat Yael, which is to become the biggest settlement in the Jerusalem area,” he said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59995

Afghanistan: US defense contractors pay insurgents millions, report says
By John Byrne
November 12, 2009 – US defense contractors are funding insurgents in Afghanistan, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, according to a report in The Nation published Thursday. The report, by veteran investigative correspondent Aram Roston, asserts that US military contractors charged with assisting US forces in Afghanistan are actually funding the groups killing American soldiers. Roston describes a protection racket similar to that of the mafia, in which contractors pay the Taliban “protection money” not to attack them…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59997

IOF troops open fire at students, Jewish settlers attack Palestinian homes
Palestinian Information Center
November 12, 2009 — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened fire at a group of Palestinian students while on their way to their secondary school in Taku village east of Bethlehem on Wednesday, local sources reported. They said that the schoolchildren responded to the IOF firing of bullets and gas canisters by throwing stones. The sources said that a number of students suffered breathing difficulty, adding that the IOF soldiers attacked the students at the pretext that settlers’ vehicles were stoned near the town…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59979

One million jobs at risk
Ten US states face budget disaster
By Patrick Martin
November 12, 2009 – Two reports made public Wednesday underscore the colossal dimensions of the social and financial crisis in the United States. One study warns that California and nine other US states face near-term budget crises that will force mass layoffs of public employees and cuts in schools and other services. The other forecasts that as many as one million jobs will be at risk when the full impact of the economic crisis hits state governments early next year. The study released by the Pew Center on the States is entitled, “Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril.” It examines nine states that face California-style budget crises, including Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59978

Settlers chop down olive trees south of Nablus
Ma’an News
November 12, 2009 – Several Israeli settlers cut down dozens of olive trees in the West Bank village of Burin village south of Nablus on Thursday morning, a local official reported. Ghassan Douglas, who holds the settlement portfolio for the northern West Bank, said that a number of settlers from the Yitzhar colony destroyed 81 olive trees on the property of Akram Amran. He said he considered the destruction “provocative and unacceptable.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59977

The Palestinian Status Quo and the Proclaimed Elections
Ayman Nijim
November 11, 2009 – The Palestinian political situation now is somehow vague and it is unclear whether there will be elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or separate elections in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Palestinians and the international community may ask on the optimal means behind reaching an acceptable government with a higher interest of the country rather than the factions’ interests. Many estranged events happened in the last three months which added confusion to the already vague situation in Palestine, a matter which enforces people concerned about the Palestinian issue to search for what is the optimal solution to these sticky situations, and to find the reasons why the Palestinians had failed to achieve their goals of reconciliation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59969

French union joins Israel boycott
Ma’an News
November 11, 2009 – A French labor union decided to join the international movement to apply Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel, a statement from the National Work Confederation (Confédération Nationale du Travail – CNT) said Wednesday. “The commitment of the CNT to support the Palestinian people over many years has led us naturally to join this vital campaign to end the exploitation and occupation by Israel,” the document said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59967

Military Resistance 7K11: Numbers
Thomas F. Barton
November 11, 2009 – Far from winding down, the numbers of wounded U.S. soldiers coming home have continued to swell. The problem is especially acute among those who fought in Afghanistan, where nearly four times as many troops were injured in October as a year ago. Amputations, burns, brain injuries and shrapnel wounds proliferate in Afghanistan, due mostly to crude, increasingly potent improvised bombs targeting U.S. forces. Others are hit by snipers’ bullets or mortar rounds. Since 2007, more than 70,000 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury — more than 20,000 of them this year, according to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. At least 1,800 troops were wounded in Afghanistan in the first 10 months of this year, about 40 percent of all the wounded U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Nearly 1,000 of those injuries occurred in the last three months. In Iraq, more than 600 troops have been wounded so far this year. Spinal injuries account for one in six of the wounds treated in the Afghanistan battle theater, Shanks said. Of those injuries, about 15 percent involved motor or sensory changes such as a broken back or spinal cord injury, Shanks said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59976

The Palestinian Status Quo and the Proclaimed Elections
Ayman Nijim
November 11, 2009 – The Palestinian political situation now is somehow vague and it is unclear whether there will be elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or separate elections in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Palestinians and the international community may ask on the optimal means behind reaching an acceptable government with a higher interest of the country rather than the factions’ interests. Many estranged events happened in the last three months which added confusion to the already vague situation in Palestine, a matter which enforces people concerned about the Palestinian issue to search for what is the optimal solution to these sticky situations, and to find the reasons why the Palestinians had failed to achieve their goals of reconciliation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59969

Palestinian poll delay recommended
Aljazeera.net
November 12, 2009 – The Palestinian Election Commission has recommended the postponement of presidential and parliamentary polls scheduled for January. Hanna Nassar, the director of the electoral body, said on Thursday that the recommendation had been communicated to Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. Abbas, under Palestinian law, is mandated to take the final decision…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59992

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