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URUK Net 3 December, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, December 5, 2009 8:19

Ban Ki-moons Concern and 62 Years of Nakba
Kawther Salam
December 3, 2009 – QUESTION Mark: Why has the UN not posted any information about the event “Annual Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” in Vienna on it’s own home page, like they did last year? Why did the UN not invite journalists to this important occasion? Why the Director General of UNIV leave the session of solidarity before hearing the various statements on the Palestinian issue? Why did the press office of the UN in Vienna not post, either fully or in part, the messages of the various speaker, among them Ban Ki-moon and the ambassadors of several countries, on their website?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60756

600 helpless as Gaza war disabled them
Pal Telegraph
December 3, 2009 – The Palestinian Medical Relief Society reported on Thursday that the recent Israeli assault on Gaza Strip caused more than six hundred Palestinian disabilities. It called for all official and private institutions to support disabled rights and enable them to exercise their role in society. It stressed in a statement on the occasion of World Disabled Day, which falls on the third of December of each year, that the number of disabled people requires increasing the responsibility toward them to find their place in society again as capable and self-reliant…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60747

Refuting pro-Israel hasbara: Official PGFTU statement in support of Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment campaign against Israel
Live From Occupied Palestine
December 3, 2009 – Dear friends, as you will be aware with the increasing success of the Palestinian initiated Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Campaign against Israel, the Israeli state, pro-Zionist media outlets and pro-Israel groups have sought to discredit the campaign. In particular, with increasing support for the campaign coming from trade unions around the world, Israel and pro-Israel groups have engaged in hasbara claiming that the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) does not support the campaign. This was despite the fact that the PGFTU, along with other Palestinian trade unions signed onto the original 2005 Palestinian Unified Call for BDS and that the PGFTU and other trade unions are members of the Palestinian BDS National Committee…

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Video: The Human Cost of Guantanamo
by Sari Gelzer and Troy Page,
December 3, 2009 – Andy Worthington has spent the past several years exposing the stories of the hundreds of men who were taken to Guantanamo prison. The British journalist, who is also a contributing reporter to Truthout, produced a groundbreaking book, “The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison,” the only book published that meticulously pieced together the stories of all the men who have been detained in the US prison. Now Worthington has released a new documentary, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo,” co-directed with filmmaker Polly Nash. The film provides intimate interviews with two former detainees, Omar Deghayes and Moazzam Begg, and their lawyers, Clive Stafford Smith and Tom Wilner…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60748

Iraq’s Sunnis feel threatened
By Zeina Khodr, Aljazeera.net
December 3, 2009 – The last time I visited Mosul was in April … it is still a dangerous city but I felt the tension has subsided. While we were driving through the city… it was something a security adviser of the Mosul governor’s office told me that made me realise how serious and dangerous the consequences of the political impasse over the election law could be. “You see all this destruction … It was all destroyed in 2005, 2006 and 2007. What you are seeing would be nothing compared to what may happen if we don’t take part in the election. I am not just talking about myself but all the people in Mosul,” Zuhair Younes said…

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Report finds new Israeli war doctrine targets civilians
Press release,The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel
December 3, 2009 – The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) released today [2 December 2009] a new report which exposes the shifts in Israel’s combat doctrine as evidenced in the prosecution of operation “Cast Lead” and from numerous public oral and written statements made by high ranking military officers and senior Israeli government officials. The report, “No Second Thoughts: Changes in the IDF’s Combat Doctrine In Light Of Operation ‘Cast Lead’,” demonstrates Israel’s application of a new combat doctrine during the hostilities in Gaza, which is based on two principles…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60750

Will Iran Help or Hinder Obama in Afghanistan?
Bobby Ghosh
December 3, 2009 – President Obama referred to Pakistan no fewer than 25 times during his West Point speech, stressing that his Afghanistan strategy cannot work without the help of its southeastern neighbor. But he made no mention of another neighbor, whose support was crucial in defeating the Taliban in 2001: Iran. Can Obama’s Afghanistan plan succeed without cooperation from Tehran? The question may seem moot, since Iran is hardly in a cooperative mood at the moment …Still, the Iranian government has in the past been able to put aside its anti-Americanism to cooperate with the U.S. on Afghanistan. After the 9/11 attacks, Washington and Tehran worked quietly together: Iran had helped train, arm and finance many of the fighters and commanders of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, which worked with the U.S. to overthrow the Taliban and drive out al-Qaeda. James Dobbins, the Bush Administration’s first envoy to Afghanistan after 9/11, worked with Iranian officials to set up the post-Taliban government…

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Public Menace-Private Profit: America’s Biowarfare Alliance
Tom Burghardt
December 3, 2009 – In September, The New York Times reported that a University of Chicago researcher, Malcolm Casadaban, died after exposure to “a weakened and ordinarily harmless strain of the bacteria that cause plague.” According to the Times, “Dr. Casadaban, an associate professor at the university, was studying the bacteria to create a better vaccine for plague … in part because of concerns about its possible use in bioterrorism.” The Times averred that “infectious disease experts said researchers rarely die from being infected with an ordinarily harmless strain of the bacteria or viruses they are studying.”…

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Turbulent Pakistan presents a conundrum for Barack Obama
Anti-US feeling running high as CIA drones take a civilian toll
December 3, 2009 – … Anti-American feeling is running at fever pitch in a country with deep-rooted hostility towards Washington and an increasingly hawkish media. Many Pakistanis see the US military presence in their region as the cause of militant extremism, not its cure. Reaction to Obama’s speech was ambivalent, with rightwing commentators insisting his true aim is to invade Pakistan and capture its nuclear weapons. “If you ask me, the surge is really meant for Pakistan,” said Hamid Gul, a former chief of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency. The hostility means that, in Pakistan, Obama relies more heavily on spies than soldiers. Obama’s favoured tactic has been the use of CIA-operated pilotless drones, which have made over 80 strikes in the tribal belt since 2006, half of them this year…

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Iraq snapshot – December 3, 2009
The Common Ills
Thursday, December 3, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, the inhumane and criminal counter-insurgency suffers a highly public rebuke, the election stalemate continues in Iraq, the Iraq Inquiry in London brings lots of chatter about Donald Rumsfeld but very little about John Howard, All Things Media Big and Small gets spanked by the Secret Service but watch everyone pretend that didn’t happen, and more…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60755

Military Resistance 7K25: WTF?
Thomas F Barton
December 3, 2009 – …Since Obama was elected, leading liberals have talked about America returning to its true status as a “nation of moral ideals” — the words of Paul Krugman in the New York Times. In the San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford wrote that “spiritually advanced people regard the new president as ‘a Lightworker’ … who can help usher in a new way of being on the planet.” Tell that to an Afghan child whose family has been blown away by Obama’s bombs, or a Pakistani child whose family are among the 700 civilians killed by Obama’s drones. Or tell it to a child in the carnage of Gaza caused by American smart weapons which, disclosed Seymour Hersh, were resupplied to Israel for use in the slaughter “only after the Obama team let it be known it would not object.” Obama’s is the myth that is America’s last taboo. His most consistent theme was never change; it was power…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60759

Iraq planning to hang up to 126 women in the next few weeks
Women Solidarity for an Independent and Unified Iraq
December 3, 2009 – Iraq has one of the highest rates of execution in the world. Amnesty International reports that at least 1000 men and women are now on death row. Many are facing the death penalty after convictions following confessions extracted by torture. Among those awaiting execution are 126 women, among whom are many whose only crime was that they served in the government of Saddam Hussein. Others, like Samar Saed Abdullah, sentenced to death in 2005 for the murder of her uncle, his wife and one of their children — crimes she says were perpetrated by her fiancé in an attempt to rob her uncle — insist that they were tortured into making a confession…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60728

Increase of fetus deformity and cancer in Gaza
Pal Telegraph
December 3, 2009 – Experts call to provide equipment to detect radiation and its degree and impact on human and environment as rates of cancer is on rise upon the last Israeli war on Gaza. In a specialized symposium, organized by Maan Center for Development- Afaq Magazine for environment and development- ,entitled “ One year after the extermination war and three on the siege: the exacerbated health effects of Gaza war and how to tackle them” experts called to carry out scientific strict researches on the war effects. Also, they call to speed up the trial of the occupation’s generals who involved with crimes against humanity and used internationally prohibited weapons…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60729

Savvy to a Fault: Coming to Terms With Imperial Power
Chris Floyd
December 3, 2009 – …In the light of these considerations, it is astonishing to see what has been the main reaction of many leading progressive writers to Barack Obama’s murderous escalation of the imperial war in Afghanistan and the dirty war in Pakistan. While voicing their “disappointment” with the decision, they have reserved most of their scorn not for the man who has ordered this new tranche of mass death and inhuman suffering, but for those who have accused Obama of “betrayal.” No, that’s not a joke. The new progressive line on the escalation seems to be this: “We knew all along he was going to do it, so what’s the big deal?” That has been the chief response from such high-profile progressives as Digby and Joan Walsh. They seem far more worked up about the fact that some people (such as Tom Hayden, Gary Wills, and others) are accusing Obama of “betrayal” than they are about the thousands of innocent people who will die from Obama’s decision, and the long-reverberating evil, at home and abroad, this escalation will engender…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60734

Palestinian Reflections on American Political Ideology
By Dr. Haidar Eid – Gaza
December 3, 3009 – This is exactly what American policy is all about – a policy of domination and interests. That is, it is a reflection of an ideology of a particular class with particular interests represented in specific perspectives, i.e. White, neo-liberal pragmatism. American “strong political discourse,” to use Bourdieu’s words, coincides with neo-liberalism. Their strength is due to the fact that they have on their side all of the forces of a world of relations of power, a world that they contribute to making what it is. The Palestinians, like native Americans, are a “surplus population,” like Black South Africans, “powerless and useless savages”. Give them a Bantustan, surrounded by walls (The Wall), where “our allies (us)” do not have to see them; a Bantustan they will be allowed to call an independent, viable state. After all, which American citizen knows the difference between Palestine and Pakistan! No need, then, to wonder why Mr. Obama, and his Secretary of State, hate us. We are no match for the macho, powerful, White Ashkenazis. During the 1967 war, Edward Said noted that Americans kept asking “how are we doing?” We, Arabs and Palestinians, are not part of that WE. We are the “THEM;” the “Other.” We occupy a part of what Fredric Jameson would call American “political unconscious.” Our death is never counted; the death of half a million Iraqi children from sanctions, like the death of 434 Palestinian children during the Gaza massacre, is “collatera! l damage ,” whereas the 9/11 victims are individuals with families, names, and “powerful narratives.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60733

Obamathink on Afghanistan: Escalate to Exit
by Stephen Lendman
December 3, 2009 – … Planned a year or more in advance, America willfully, maliciously, illegally, and preemptively attacked a non-belligerent nation (four weeks after 9/11 on October 7) in violation of international and US laws. Those responsible are war criminals. Those continuing it, including congressional members funding it, are as well. Those claiming America’s security was threatened lied. It wasn’t then. It’s not now, and international and US laws are clear. The UN Charter’s Article 51 allows the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member…until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.” In other words, justifiable self-defense is permissible. In addition, Charter Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or authorized by the Security Council…

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The Israel Lobby Celebrates Espionage in New York
Grant Smith
December 3, 2009 – The recent sting operation against former NASA scientist Stewart Nozette involved an undercover FBI employee posing as Mossad agent. Meeting in the posh Mayflower hotel in Washington, the agent set up clandestine payments in exchange for highly classified information. Nozette began delivering requested classified national defense information believing it to be destined for Israel while confidentially assuring the FBI agent that he thought he was already spying for Israel. This allegedly occurred under Nozette’s prior “consulting” contract with Israel Aerospace Industries, a major military contractor…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60744

A Strategy Revolution: A Game Theory Approach to Palestinian Resistance
By Mary Rizzo
December 3, 2009 – Anyone who has witnessed the events in Palestine/Israel has been able to notice a cycle that repeats itself continually between the two groups of people. It can be summed up in two words: action/reaction. Sometimes the action is carried out to elicit a reaction (which we can define then as a provocation). A provocation has as its goal to incite or irritate another, sometimes it can be the prelude to the “true action” and sometimes it is there just to demonstrate something. We all have in our memories the famous sparks that set off the first and second Intifada…

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The EU: Consider East Jerusalem As Capital of Palestine
Mohamed Khodr
December 3, 2009 – Friends: Many of us search for an avenue, act, effort or voice to demand that Israel stop being treated as a separate nation on this planet, a nation above all divine and human laws, a nation that can get away with ethnic cleansing, murder, wars, invasions, genocides and war crimes without any accountability to the rest of humanity including you and me. If you seek such an avenue then here’s the unique opportunity to do so. Sweden holds the current Presidency of the European Union and is deciding to introduce a resolution to be adopted by the E.U. that proposes recognizing East Jerusalem as a capital of a future Palestinian State…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60742

PLO warns of humanitarian disaster in refugee camps
Middle East Monitor
December 3, 2009 – The Department of Refugee Affairs of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) warned on Wednesday, Dec. 2 of a “humanitarian catastrophe” that could befall the Palestinian refugee camps in light of the severe financial crisis faced by the UN agency for refugees, UNRWA, “due to the shortage of financial assistance from donor countries, as well as the failure of many funding countries to meet their financial obligations needed to cover the shortfall experienced by UNRWA after the global financial crisis.”…

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Senior UK commander says roads in Afghanistan were safer under the Taliban
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (CP)
December 3, 2009 — A senior British military commander says roads in Afghanistan were safer when the Taliban ran the country. Maj. Gen. Nick Carter told the BBC on Thursday that before the 2001 invasion, women could travel alone in the southern part of Afghanistan. He says “you could put your daughter on a bus in Kabul sure in the knowledge that she would get in one piece to Kandahar.” Carter, who controls NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, says this isn’t the case now…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60737

Knesset bill would unfreeze settlement blocs
Ma’an News
December 3, 2009 – Knesset members from Israel’s Likud and Kadima parties will draft a resolution to exclude large settlement blocs from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s partial settlement freeze, the Hebrew-language daily Ma’ariv reported Thursday. According to the newspaper, MK Miri Regev (Likud) has adopted a proposal from Ron Nachman, the illegal Ariel settlement’s leader, to be excluded from the building lull, which applies to areas in what Israel calls the the West Bank…

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Israeli tanks invade southern border area of the Gaza Strip and open fire at residents’ homes
Ghassan Bannoura
December 3, 2009 – A number of Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded on Thursday morning border areas close to Rafah city, southern Gaza Strip and opened fire at residents’ homes. Witnesses said tanks advanced from the Israeli Egyptian borders to Rafah, while bulldozers destroyed farm lands nearby tanks opened fire at nearby homes. Residents told local media that their homes sustained damage but reported no injuries…

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Obama’s speech on Afghanistan: A compendium of lies
Alex Lantier
December 3, 2009 – In his December 1 speech at West Point announcing the deployment of 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama attempted to justify a major escalation of a deeply unpopular war on the basis of lies and distortions. That he had to resort to such falsifications reflects both the reactionary character of his policy and the fact that it is being imposed in violation of the popular will. To justify the escalation, Obama recycled the Bush administration’s myths about the “war on terror.” He cynically presented the US as an altruistic power, forced into a global war for democracy by the terrorist attacks of 9/11. As he sought to frame US imperialist policy within the template of the “war on terror,” however, his speech descended into utter incoherence…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60732

Blackwater founder says he aided secret programs
By Joby Warrick, Washington Post Staff Writer
December 3, 2009 – The founder of Blackwater Worldwide acknowledged in an interview published Wednesday that he had helped the CIA with secret programs targeting top al-Qaeda leaders, a role he says was intended to give the agency “unattributable capability” in sensitive missions. Erik Prince, owner of the military contractor now known as Xe Services, told Vanity Fair magazine that he performed numerous “very risky missions” for the spy agency, some of which were improperly exposed in leaks to the news media…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60745

Extremist Jewish groups call for closing Aqsa until release of Shalit
Palestinian Information Center
December 3, 2009 – Al-Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage reported Thursday that fanatic Jewish groups released a document calling for closing the Aqsa Mosque until Palestinians release Gilad Shalit. The document is aimed to collect the signatures of 10,000 Israeli settlers and demands the police to close the holy Mosque to pressure the Palestinian resistance to release Shalit. “We, the undersigned, demand the Israeli police to close the temple mount (Aqsa Mosque) in the face of Muslims until the release of Gilad Shalit without preconditions,” the document reads…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60730

Accessory vs. Perpetrator
Gilad Atzmon
December 3, 2009 – …If Germans are concerned with their history they better transform it into meaning. Rather than charging an 89 year old for being an alleged ‘accessory’ they better bring to justice some of the perpetrators of genocidal crimes that are taking place in front of our eyes. Rather than pushing old Demjanjuk into court in a wheelchair, the German ministry of Justice better pursue Tony Blair, George Bush, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, and Shimon Peres. They are all free and healthy enough to stand a trial. Unlike alleged accessory Demjanjuk they are all perpetrators of colossal crimes against humanity…

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PRC launches Internet website on the Goldstone Report
Palestinian Information Center
December 3, 2009 – The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) in London has launched a new website to disseminate the major findings of the Goldstone report and provide useful analysis, according to a press statement issued by the center. According to PRC media department, there has been a number of websites launched by pro Israeli lobbies and groups which adopt the official Israeli narration in respect of the Goldstone report. These websites include misleading and misguiding information about the siege and the War on the Gaza Strip. PRC commented on the new website launched by the center as a new dimension in its strategy in bringing the realities on the ground to the eyes of the world. It tries to highlight the Palestinian victims especially the refugees who were the majority victims in the December war of 2008…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60731

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 47/2009 (25 Nov.- 02 Dec 2009)
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
December 3, 2009 – Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (25 November – 02 December 2009): Shooting: During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. On 27 November 2009, Israeli forces fired a missile at a number of activists of the Palestinian resistance in the northern Gaza Strip. Four activists were wounded.On 02 December 2009, Israeli troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip wounded and arrested a Palestinian. In the West Bank, Israeli troops fired at a Palestinian near a fuel station in the southeast of Hebron, and an Israeli settler then ran him over using his car. Israeli troops and medical crews were present in the area and did not attempt to stop the settlers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60738

Thomas Friedman’s gallimaufry of lies
Khalid Amayreh
December 3, 2009 – In a recent article in the New York Times, the American Jewish journalist Thomas Friedman blamed the so-called Arab-Islamic “Narrative” for all the troubles surrounding US-Muslim relations-from the 9-11 terrorist events in 2001 to the recent killing of 13 American soldiers in Texas by American-born and American-bred Nidal Malik Hasan. Friedman suggested that Muslims all over the world ought to show gratitude to the US for helping them in places like Kosovo, Bosnia, Darfur, Somalia, Lebanon, Kurdistan, post-earthquake Pakistan, post-Tsunami Indonesia, Iraq and Afghanistan. True to his style, he carefully ignored the killing of hundreds of thousands of mostly innocent people in the context of American intervention in these countries…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60740

Military Resistance 7K24: Bloody Sangin
Thomas F Barton
December 3, 2009 – The shortfall in troop numbers and helicopters favoured the insurgents many times over, allowing them to control 95 per cent of Sangin and to plant minefields that blocked the soldiers into a narrow strip of territory.
After three years in Sangin, British troops still could not move more than about 500m from FOB Jackson, if that, without the likelihood of coming across an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) or running into a small arms contact.
By mid-August their battle group, a composite force from various units built around a core of several hundred riflemen and fusiliers, had the worst casualties of any British brigade sent to Helmand, with just over 100 soldiers killed or wounded: a fifth of their total patrol troops…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60758

GI Special 7K23: FTA 2009
Thomas F Barton
December 3, 2009 – … Cowards Torture Teen Boys In Obama’s Secret Bagram Prison: Child-Molesting U.S. Army Sex Freaks “Touched Me All Over My Body. They Took Pictures, And They Were Laughing And Laughing. They Were Doing Everything” “His Interrogator Forced Him To Look At Pornographic Movies And Magazines While Also Showing Him A Photograph Of His Mother” “I Was Just Crying And Crying. I Was Too Young,” Rashid Said. “It Was Better To Just Kill Me. But They Would Not Kill Me”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=60757

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