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URUK Net 21 December, 2009

Last updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 9:38

September 11, 2001: America and NATO Declare War on Afghanistan
NATO’s Doctrine of Collective Security
by Michel Chossudovsky
December 21, 2009 – Why are American and NATO troops in Afghanistan? What is the justification for waging war on a country of 28 million people? What justifies Obama’s military surge? Both the media and the US government, in chorus, continue to point to the 9/11 attacks and the role of Al Qaeda led by “terrorist mastermind” Osama bin Laden. The bombing and invasion of Afghanistan is described as a “campaign” against Islamic terrorists, rather than a war. To this date, however, there is no proof that Al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 attacks. Neither is there evidence that Afghanistan as a Nation State was behind or any way complicit in the 9/11 attacks. The Afghan government in the weeks following 9/11, offered on two occasions to deliver Osama bin Laden to US justice, if there were preliminary evidence of his involvement in the attacks. These offers were refused by Washington…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61305

British Army ‘waterboarded’ suspects in 70s
Evidence casts doubt on guilt of man sentenced to hang for killing soldier
Ian Cobain
December 21, 2009 – Evidence that the British army subjected prisoners in Northern Ireland to waterboarding during interrogations in the 1970s is emerging after one of the alleged victims launched an appeal against his conviction for murder. Liam Holden became the last person in the United Kingdom to be sentenced to hang after being convicted in 1973 of the murder of a soldier, largely on the basis of an unsigned confession. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he spent 17 years behind bars…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61306

US aid to Israel in fiscal year 2010 at $2.775b
Port2Port
December 21, 2009 – US foreign aid to Israel will rise by US$225 million in fiscal year 2010. Israel can spend up to 25% of the sum for defense purchases. US President Barack Obama signed last week the foreign aid budget law for 2010 which includes the granting of US$2.775 billion in security aid to Israel. US foreign aid to Israel will rise by US$225 million in fiscal year 2010…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61317

Afghanistan: NATO forces kill 4 civilians in Khost
The News International
December 21, 2009 – Foreign forces reportedly killed four persons and detained nine others during raids in Khost province late Sunday night, an official said. Acting governor of Khost province, Tahir Khan Sabari, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that foreign forces raided three homes at Moliyo area in Sabari district, killing four persons and detaining nine others. About the identity of the dead and arrested persons, the governor quoted the local people as saying that they were civilians, adding that the forces declared them Taliban militants. The Nato forces’ press office in Khost confirmed the operation and alleged that the dead and the detainees were having ties with Taliban…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61318

The Stories Of The Two Somalis Freed From Guantánamo
Andy Worthington
December 21, 2009 – Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald broke the news on Saturday that 12 prisoners have been released from Guantánamo, bringing the total number of prisoners held to 198. The news followed hints in the Washington Post on Friday that six Yemenis and four Afghans were set to leave, but Rosenberg — and the East African media — reported that the men had already been freed and that two Somalis were also released. I’ll be writing soon about the Afghans and the Yemenis, but for now I’d like to focus on the stories of the two Somalis: Mohammed Sulaymon Barre and Ismail Mahmoud Muhammad (identified as Ismael Arale)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61316

EGYPT Under Pressure to Stop Life – Line Convoy to Gaza !
Hiyam Noir
December 21, 2009 – There are no legitimate reasons for Egypt to block the aid convoy of drivers and emergency vehicles to enter Gaza via the Egyptian border.To even assume that the Egyptian authorities would think of such an ill deed against convoys of Human Rights activists – adding more anguish to it’s suffering Muslim brothers and sisters and their children in the Gaza community, an in-closed- open-air prison, is a pure absurdity…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61314

Gaza’s civilians still unable to rebuild one year after ‘Operation Cast Lead’
Amnesty International
December 21, 2009 – The international community has betrayed the people of Gaza by failing to back their words with effective action to secure the ending of the Israeli blockade which is preventing reconstruction and recovery, say a group of 16 leading humanitarian and human rights groups in a new report released today (22 December) ahead of the anniversary of the start of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza (27 December-18 January). The Israeli authorities have allowed only 41 truckloads of all construction materials into Gaza since the end of the offensive in mid-January, warn the groups, which include Amnesty International, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Mercy Corps and Oxfam International…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61312

Christians of Palestine Decry `Absence of All Hope`
By Nicola Nasser *
December 21, 2009 – …Palestinian Christian leaders, representing churches and church-related organizations, meeting in Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus Christ, which is under the Israeli military occupation since 1967, have launched a “landmark campaign” aimed at enlisting Christians worldwide in proactive efforts to end the occupation of Palestinian territories. The unprecedented initiative, called “Kairos Palestine-2009: A moment of truth,” appeals to churches worldwide to treat Israel in the same way they had treated the erstwhile South African apartheid regime. The authors of the 13-page document include such religious leaders as Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Lutheran Bishop of Jerusalem Munib Younan, Archbishop of Sebastia Atallah Hanna from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, as well as the heads of various other denominations…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61319

Happy holidays from America’s banks
By Michael Winship
December 21, 2009 – Never mind Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope. It’s the audacity of the banks that takes your breath away. Mean old Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life seems like Father Christmas by comparison. A recent report that Citigroup and Goldman Sachs may have received preferential treatment getting doses of the swine flu vaccine was enough to give Ebenezer Scrooge the yips. Then came news that in order for us to get back the taxpayer bailout money we loaned them, Citigroup is receiving billions of dollars in tax breaks from the IRS…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61311

Free Jamal Juma’! – Free the anti-Wall prisoners!
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
December 21, 2009 – Jamal Juma’ was arrested by Israeli authorities on December 16. This arrest follows the imprisonment of Mohammad Othman, another Stop the Wall activist, and Abdallah Abu Rahmeh, a leading figure in the Bil’in popular committee against the Wall, as well as dozens more that are currently in prison for their action and advocacy against the Wall. This latest arrest is yet another escalation of Israel’s attack on Palestinian human rights defenders, which continues to clamp down on the right to freedom of expression and the right to association. Join the campaign for Jamal Juma’s release and for the freedom of the anti-Wall prisoners! It is crucial that global civil society stands in solidarity with their Palestinian counterparts…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61310

The World’s Betrayal of Gaza
One Year on Gaza Massacre
By Khalid Amayreh
December 21, 2009 – Despite the passage of an entire one year since the cruel Israeli onslaught against the people of the Gaza Strip, the international community has done very little to remedy the effects and aftereffects of the Nazi-like Israeli campaign. Under the rubric of fighting Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim liberation movement, the Israeli army on December 27, 2008, rained bombs, missiles, white phosphorus, and other lethal weapons of death down on the civilian population of Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61308

Gaza’s Christians pray they’ll reach Bethlehem
Ma’an News
December 21, 2009 – As pilgrims from across the world descend on the West Bank city of Bethlehem for Christmas, Palestinian Christians trapped in Gaza are left to pray that they will be allowed to attend this year’s celebration. “Oh Lord of peace, grant our country peace, plant the fruit of love in our hearts and give us freedom … We want to live like everyone else. We pray in this feast that the Palestinian people would reconcile, the siege would be lifted, and we would be able to go to Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61307

Coins and bombs
Eva Barlett, In Gaza
December 21, 2009 – coins from Palestine, before the Nakba, before the occupation, before the siege, before the massacre. History and beauty remain in Palestine, despite Israel’s effort to erase the history, the memories, the life…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61304

Iraq snapshot – December 21, 2009
The Common Ills
Monday, December 21, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, the Iraqi oil contracts out of Baghdad are illegal, the US military declares pregnancy to be an ‘offense’ and one that can result in a court-martial, Tony Blair stares ever more into his looking glass, did Iran seize an oil field, March 20th is a national day of action, and more…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61313

World’s Sole Military Superpower’s 2 Million-Troop, $1 Trillion Wars
by Rick Rozoff
December 21, 2009 – With a census of slightly over 300 million in a world of almost seven billion people, the U.S. accounts for over 40 percent of officially acknowledged worldwide government military spending with a population that is only 4 percent of that of the earth’s. A 10-1 disparity. In addition to its 1,445,000 active duty service members, the Pentagon can and does call upon 1.2 million National Guard and other reserve components. As many as 30% of troops that have served in Afghanistan and Iraq are mobilized reservists. The Army National Guard has activated over 400,000 soldiers since the war in Afghanistan began and in March of 2009 approximately 125,000 National Guard and other reserve personnel were on active duty. The Defense Department also has over 800,000 civilian employees at home and deployed worldwide. The Pentagon, then, has more than 3.5 million people at its immediate disposal excluding private military contractors…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61297

Letting the Beast Out of the (Corporatist) Bottle: Obama Channels Bush on Bioweapons
Tom Burghardt
December 20, 2009 – The Obama administration’s recent declaration on bioweapons would simply be another run-of-the-mill example of our “change” president’s duplicity were it not such an unmitigated disaster. Recapitulating sinister Cold War practices that informed American ruling class consensus when it came to secretly toying with nature’s most deadly pathogens, (a) because they could, (b) because it was, and is, highly profitable and (c) because they got away with it, the profound failure by the administration to rein-in out-of-control corporate grifters, militarists and scientists thirsting after an endless flow of taxpayer dollars, have put us all on a potential glide path towards the abyss…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61282

Israeli Soldier Chased a Kindergarten Girl
Kawther Salam
December 20, 2009 – she is the vision of innocence, peering up into the dull eyes of a soldier towering over her. She can only be four or five years old. Black slacks with a green striped short skirt fanning out beneath her short black jacket indicate that she is a kindergarten student. She strains to hand the backpack, which is half her length, up to the soldier who orders her to stop. He systematically opens every zipper and plunges his hands into each pocket before handing the backpack back. It slumps to the ground…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61281

Somalia is greatest victim of President Bush’s War on Terror
Martin Fletcher
December 21, 2009 – Afghanistan and Iraq have monopolised the headlines but Somalia is arguably an even greater victim of George W. Bush’s ill-conceived and lamentably executed War on Terror. America’s interventions have proved so catastrophic that its best hope of salvaging something from the wreckage is a president it chased from power three years ago, who controls a few square miles of a country three times the size of Britain…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61295

British bill to protect Israelis from prosecution
David Sapsted
December 21, 2009 – The British government will introduce legislation early in the new year to stop Israeli ministers and officials facing arrest for war crimes every time they visit the UK. The move is intended to calm Israeli fury after Tzipi Livni, the opposition party leader and foreign minister at the time of the Gaza invasion a year ago, was forced to abandon a trip to London this month because pro-Palestinian activists obtained a warrant for her arrest…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61302

Funeral of Iranian cleric Montazeri turns into political protest
Robert Tait
December 21, 2009 – Hundreds of thousands of opposition protesters openly challenged the authority of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, today by mourning the death of a dissident cleric who had questioned Khamenei’s fitness to rule. The mass turnout in Qom for the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, who died on Sunday, aged 87, came just a day after Khamenei had dismissed him as a figure who had failed “a big test” and ordered a security clampdown to deter mourners from paying their respects. Instead, the event turned into the opposition Green Movement’s biggest show of strength in months…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61298

Iraqi exiles prepare for a sad Christmas
Suha Philip Ma’ayeh
December 21, 2009 – Inside a church in Jordan’s capital one Iraqi Christian puts the final touches on a Christmas grotto. But for the 50-year-old man who fled Iraq with his family 10 months ago, getting into the spirit of the festive season will not be easy. “Christmas is the new birth but we are not happy. We do not feel it is Christmas,” said the Iraqi, who did not want to give his name. Years of persecution at the hands of extremist groups since the US–led war erupted in 2003 have forced hundreds of thousands of Christians to flee their homes. Before the war, Iraqi clergy estimated there were one million Christians in Iraq, but now the number has dropped to 400,000…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61301

Obama Year One: Betrayal and Failure (Part I)
Stephen Lendman
December 21, 2009 – Promising change after eight George Bush and Republican dominated years, Barack Obama won the most sweeping non-incumbent victory in over 50 years along with congressional Democrats gaining large House and Senate majorities. In addition, at 56.8%, voter turnout was the highest since Richard Nixon’s “secret plan” to end the Vietnam war and his “Southern” and “law and order” strategies beat Hubert Humphrey and independent George Wallace in 1968.On election night, the mood celebrated hope for progressive change […] Little wonder that a year later hope is now disillusion, frustration, and anger over promises made, then broken with an awakening knowledge that change won’t come unless growing millions demand it…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61284

Gaza Freedom March is determined to break the siege
1,360 International Delegates appeal to Egypt to let the March proceed
GazaFreedomMarch.Org
December 21, 2009 – Citing escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed us on December 20 that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,360 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61288

Obama ordered US air strikes on Yemen
By Barry Grey
December 21, 2009 – …As with US imperialism’s interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the escalating US aggression in Yemen has nothing to do with defeating Al Qaeda or protecting the American people from terrorism. It is motivated by the drive of the American ruling elite to establish hegemony in the oil-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia and gain US control over strategically critical pipeline and maritime routes. Yemen occupies a crucial geographical position, which made it a battleground between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. As the Associated Press noted in a report on last Thursday’s air strikes, “Yemen is located on a strategic maritime crossroad at the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the access point to the Suez Canal—and across the Gulf is Somalia, an even more tumultuous nation…”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61290

Egypt’s barrier along Gaza border called ‘wall of shame’
By Jeffrey Fleishman and Amro Hassan
December 21, 2009 – An underground barrier to prevent tunneling by smugglers along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip has been dubbed a “wall of shame” by Arab writers and politicians who charge that Cairo is siding with Israel in isolating the 1.5 million Palestinians living in the seaside enclave. Construction on the 100-foot-deep steel wall began a few weeks ago, but the Egyptian government didn’t publicly acknowledge the project until the weekend…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61293

Protesters denounce Egypt’s Gaza border wall
Ma’an News
December 21, 2009 – Hamas supporters held a peaceful demonstration at Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Monday, denouncing the construction of a steel wall along the border. Egypt’s construction of the wall was exposed earlier in December. The barrier is planned to extend underground in order to cut off smuggling tunnels used to import goods made scare by an Israeli-led blockade…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61292

Maliki makes his move on Kirkuk issue
By Sami Moubayed
December 21, 2009 – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will soon visit the northern district of Kurdistan, aiming to sign a deal with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani regarding the future of the Peshmerga, the Kurdish militia. According to the deal, the Baghdad government will recognize and thereby legitimize the Kurdish militia and, in turn, the Kurdish government will release money collected from taxes and tariffs that it has so far withheld from the central government. This also means that salaries and pensions of the 90,000-man Peshmerga, previously paid for by the Kurdistan government, will become the responsibility of the Maliki government…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61289

The Palestinian Authority demands international investigation into the theft of the Palestinian organs
Middle East Monitor
December 21, 2009 – The Palestinian Authority Minister of Health said that harvesting organs – such as corneas, bones and skin – from Palestinian martyrs, without the consent of their families, is a moral crime that contradicts to all international laws. Minister Fathi Abu Mughli said, commenting on what was confirmed on Israeli television, that official Israeli bodies steal organs of Palestinian martyrs and implant them in the bodies of injured Israeli soldiers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61296

Ridiculous “Study” Supposedly Finds Widespread Anti-Semitism on Progressive Websites
Joshua Holland
December 21, 2009 – Given how ubiquitous unsubstantiated charges of anti-Semitism have become in the debate over the Middle East conflict, I’m tempted to ignore the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs’ recent “report” supposedly exposing the liberal blogosphere as a teaming hotbed of raw Jew-hatred. It’s easy to dismiss. It may dress itself as some sort of empirical research project, but the “study” transparently devoid of any informational value, intellectually bankrupt and clearly the product of working backwards from a conclusion arrived at on ideological grounds…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61303

Israeli Army Invades Northern Gaza
Saed Bannoura
December 21, 2009 – Local sources report that twenty Israeli armored military vehicles, accompanied by Apache helicopters, invaded the al-Ghoul area in northern Gaza early Monday morning. Residents also reported Israeli shelling in the town of Beit Hanoun, also in northern Gaza. No injuries have yet been reported from either incident. The invasion comes after Israeli troops allegedly exchanged fire with fighters from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, at the closed Nahal Oz border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip earlier Sunday evening. The gunfire exchange was reported by a PFLP spokesperson, but was not confirmed by the Israeli military…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61286

PFLP calls on people to pressure Hamas, Fatah to reconcile
Xinhua
December 21, 2009 — An official from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on Monday called for public activities to force feuding factions of Hamas and Fatah to reconcile. “We call for public moving and to stand in one front in the face of the two parts of the division and get out from the catastrophic situation the people live in,” said Jameel Mezher, a Gaza-based PFLP leader…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61285

Israel Admits Stealing Palestinian Organs
By Khalid Amayreh
December 21, 2009 – …Ahmed Teibi, a member of the Israeli Knesset and head of the Arab nationalist Party, insists that the new evidence incriminates the Israeli army and government. “If such is what they are willing to admit, imagine how much they are concealing,” he told IslamOnline.net. Teibi says the revelations amounted to irrefutable evidence proving that Israeli doctors at the Abu Akbar institute harvested appendages and corneas from bodies of slain Palestinians in the 1990s…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61299

Egypt Says It Will Block International Gaza Freedom Marchers
Robert Naiman
December 21, 2009 – On December 31, together with more than 1000 peace advocates from around the world, I’m planning to join tens of thousands of Palestinians in a march in Gaza to the Erez border crossing to protest the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and to demand international action to relieve Gaza’s humanitarian crisis. Unfortunately, it appears that the Egyptian government has just announced that it will not allow the internationals to enter Gaza as planned. If so, that would be a shame…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61300

Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign, in Israeli jail
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign,
December 20, 2009 – Israeli security first summoned Juma’ for interrogation at midnight of December 15. Hours later, they brought him back to his home. Juma’ was handcuffed while soldiers searched his house for two hours as his wife and three young children looked on helplessly. The parting words of the soldiers were directed at his wife: she would only see her husband again through a prisoner exchange. Since then, Juma’ has been detained, and banned from speaking to a lawyer or his family, with no explanation for his arrest…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61283

ZIONIST NGOs PRESENTING THE ‘TRUTH’ IN THE FORM OF LIES
Steve Amsel, Deserpeace
December 21, 2009 – An integral cog in the Hasbara wheel of destruction are the groups operating as NGOs (Non Governmental Organisations) .THIS is a description of one such group, one that has caused much damage and grief to many involved in Human Rights work on behalf of the Palestinian people. Yesterday I posted a piece about the Canadian government cutting off funds to a group involved in Human Rights work. This action was instigated by a group in Israel which is linked above. Monitor, since its inception, has concentrated all of its energy on the spreading of lies to discredit any and all organisations working in the field of Human Rights on behalf of Palestinians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61294

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