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URUK Net 25 December, 2009

Last updated: Sunday, December 27, 2009 10:08

Christmas in Iraq.
Layla Anwar
December 25, 2009 – The Christians of Iraq have had it REAL BAD since 2003. They have had it as bad as the Arab Sunnis, this group that has seen its population dwindle in Baghdad alone from 45% to around 15 % due to ethnic cleansing, torture, arbitrary arrests, exile and targeted killings. The number of Christians in Iraq has also dwindled to a mere 400’000 left. Many were killed, and a whole lot exiled… They have head their clergy assassinated, their churches bombed and have been excluded from important posts in the sectarian Shiite government put in place by none other than a so-called Christian superpower – the swamp of criminality and filth called America. and not so great Britain. There are virtually no Christians left in Iraq. They were the first inhabitants of this land and the first community of people to receive the message of Christ and embrace Christianity. The Chaldeans followed by the Assyrians are one of the most ancient Christians of the Middle East…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61433

Total racism, total war
Saleh Al-Naami
December 25, 2009 -Mahmoud Hussein tries to hold back his tears as he looks at his 30-year-old brother Ahmed who suffers from colon cancer. The family is impatiently waiting for the Gaza border to open so Ahmed can travel abroad for treatment, since in light of the Israeli imposed siege, medical facilities in Gaza cannot treat his condition. Ahmed, who lives in Gabalya, north of Gaza, is not the only Palestinian who developed cancer at a relatively young age. According to Palestinian medical sources, the number of patients with cancerous tumours residing in areas that the Israeli army targeted during its war on Gaza is on the rise…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61456

Saddam Hussein’s Greatest Legacy: December 2003 to December 2006
Part Three
Malcom Lagauche
December 25, 2009 – …Many Western observers are not aware that Saddam Hussein was well-regarded in much of the world. Brazilians remembered that thousands of their countrymen were recruited by Saddam to build the advanced highway and bridge systems that once crisscrossed Iraq. Egyptians did not forget that more than two million of their countrymen owned and worked land in Iraq prior to January 1991. Indians did not forget the reciprocal dealings with Iraq and how the Ba’athists gave support to Indian causes. The Lebanese remembered the dozens of Iraqi trucks that showed up daily at the Lebanese border during that country’s civil war. They were laden with food and clothing for any Lebanese person in need. The convoys’ recipients included all Lebanese, not a certain faction of those battling in the civil war. Most Palestinians display a picture of Saddam Hussein on their walls. Over the years, many nations have temporarily supported the Palestinian cause, only to withdraw aid once threatened by the U.S. Saddam Hussein, even during the embargo years, supported the Palestinians with no exception, while other Arab regimes did not want to get involved because they did not want to upset their puppeteers in Washington and Tel Aviv…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61439

Open letter to President Mubarak from the Gaza Freedom March
Various undersigned
December 25, 2009 – Dear President Mubarak; We, representing 1,362 individuals from 43 countries arriving in Cairo to participate in the Gaza Freedom March, are pleading to the Egyptians and your reputation for hospitality. We are peacemakers. We have not come to Egypt to create trouble or cause conflict. On the contrary. We have come because we believe that all people — including the Palestinians of Gaza — should have access to the resources they need to live in dignity. We have gathered in Egypt because we believed that you would welcome and support our noble goal and help us reach Gaza through your land…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61442

Old oilskins burst
Salah Hemeid
December 25, 2009 – Reports that Iranian soldiers seized an Iraqi oil field last week sparked anger by Iraqis and raised concerns about the Persian nation’s intentions in its neighbouring Arab country. On Thursday Iraqi officials said that Iranian troops “occupied” the Number 4 oil well in the Eastern Maysan oil field, believed to have an estimated 1.55 billion barrel of oil reserves. The Iraqi government publicly protested the incursion and demanded that Iranian troops withdraw from the field, located in the border district of Al-Fakah, in Maysan province in southeastern Iraq. Iran, however, did not fully deny the incident and indicated that it considers the well Iranian and not Iraqi…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61446

‘Santa’ protests Israeli wall in Bil’in
Ma’an News
December 25, 2009 – Palestinians dressed as Santa Claus marched against Israel’s separation wall on Christmas day in the West Bank village of Bil’in, west of Ramallah. Demonstrators carried a Christmas tree decorated with spent gas canisters and stun grenades fired by Israeli soldiers at previous demonstrations over the past five years. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at the Santa Clauses…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61444

Chief Rabbinate In Israel Demands Not Displaying Christian Symbols
Saed Bannoura
December 25, 2009 – As the Christian world celebrates Christmas, and as Christians in Palestine and in Israel celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, the Chief Rabbinate in Israel recommended that hotels and restaurants in the country should refrain from displaying Christian symbols. The Rabbinical “Lobby for Jewish Values” started recently a campaign targeting restaurants and hotels that decorated their buildings for Christmas, and its chairman, Ofer Cohen, said that the lobby is considering a boycott campaign against these businesses…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61437

An Open Letter From Gaza
Various undersigned
December 25, 2009 – One year after the massacre in Gaza, we the people of Gaza need your support to end the inhuman blockade. This week marks one year since Israel began its attack on the Gaza Strip: a year since phosphorus bombs, dime bombs and other weapons of death and destruction were unleashed on a defenceless civilian population. A year since the people of the world demanded that Israel end its attack on Gaza… We, the 1.5 million Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, the overwhelming majority of whom are refugees who were violently expelled from our homes by Zionist forces in 1948, were subjected to three weeks of relentless Israeli state terror, whereby Israeli warplanes systematically targeted civilian areas, reduced whole neighbourhoods and vital civilian infrastructure to rubble and partially destroyed scores of schools, including several run by the UN, where civilians were taking shelter…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61434

Taliban Release Video of Captive U.S. Soldier (Full Video)
The Chosun Ilbo
December 25, 2009 – The Taliban has released a new video that purportedly shows a U.S. soldier who was captured in Afghanistan almost six months ago. The video was sent to various media organizations on Friday, along with a demand for a prisoner exchange. In this new video, a young man who identifies himself as Private Bowe Bergdahl is seen wearing a helmet and army uniform. He stares into the camera from behind dark sunglasses. And he delivers a warning. “I’m afraid to tell you that this war has slipped from our fingers,” he said. “This is just going to be the next Vietnam unless the American people stand up and stop all this nonsense.”…The man in the video describes his treatment at the hands of the Taliban as humane, while images of prisoners being abused in U.S. custody flash across the screen. “I was continuously treated as a human being with dignity. I had nobody deprive me of my clothes and take pictures of me naked,” he said. “I had no dogs barking at me and biting me as my country has done to Muslim prisoners in the jails that I mentioned.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61450

The Palestinian farmer who grows his own resistance
Rachel Shabi
December 25, 2009 – As a means to counter the creeping expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, a permaculture farm might not seem like the obvious approach. But for Murad al Khofash, who runs Marda farm in the northern West Bank, it is the natural choice. Squashed between some of the largest and most powerful settlements, Mr al Khofash’s three-year-old eco-friendly farm is a Palestinian template of how to grow-your-own resistance, from the roots upwards. “There are many ways to resist the occupation,” explained Mr al Khofash, who has just returned from the climate change summit in Copenhagen where he demanded the international community put the Palestinian Territories on the environmental map…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61447

UN threatens sanctions on Israel
By Spero News
December 25, 2009 – Just days before the first anniversary of the Israeli Cast Lead military operation which cost the lives of 1,400 Palestinians, Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, has urged the Western powers to insist that Israel immediately end its blockade of the Gaza Strip, threatening to enforce economic sanctions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61448

A FISTFUL OF POETRY (introduction by Gilad Atzmon)
Gilad Atzmon
December 25, 2009 – Resistance is the liberation of the spirit, it is the defiance against gravity. Resistance is to fight for the sake of hope, it is the struggle for the sake of beauty. Resistance is to form landscape out of words, to clothe the scenery with sounds that resemble a familiar language. But Resistance is not just about fighting, it is also to evoke feeling, to put anger into words, to put words into anger, to put meanings into shapes and vice versa. To write a poem is to defy the symbolic order. To write a poem is to resist…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61453

U.S.-Led World Community Fails
Palestinians on the Brink of Explosion
By NICOLA NASSER
December 25, 2009 – …Obama and his administration show no regrets, but are following in the footsteps of the traditional U.S. – Israeli strategic alliance, dispelling whatever remains of Obama’s promises of “change’ to his voters.. Last week Obama signed the foreign aid budget law for 2010, raising security aid to Israel by US$225 million the next year to US$2.775 billion, an aid which under a MoU is to rise from $2.55 billion in 2009 to $3.1 billion in 2013. Arabs, including Palestinians, view this aid as fueling the Israeli intransigence in the peace process. The $500 million allocated to the Palestinian Authority (PA), including $100 million to be used by US General Keith Dayton, practically boils down to a contribution to keep the PA floating as a collateral for Israel’s security…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61451

Week in review: Christmas in the Palestinian Territories
Paul Woodward
December 25, 2009 – As Christians around the world celebrate Christmas, the town where Jesus was born has become a place of sorrow. Most visitors from overseas stay for less than two hours and most of the revenue from tourism goes to Israel. Bethlehem, home to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities is now a virtual prison within which its residents are cut off from their land and from Jerusalem by the Israeli separation wall…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61452

Still no safety in Iraq
The Common Ills
December 25, 2009 – …It’s really cute to grasp how many want to claim it is safe in Baghdad or that it’s improved — in one case a reporter’s apparently going to make that call just because she wasn’t the victim of a bombing this time. But that’s not reality. It’s a lie the same way it’s a lie that thug Nouri al-Maliki has brought security to Iraq. Lies, lies, lies and they all ought to be ashamed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61455

The Birthplace of Jesus Is ‘Under Siege’ This Christmas
Think Progress
December 25, 2009 – As millions of Americans celebrate Christmas with their loved ones today, one group of people will commemorate the holiday in a state of virtual “siege.” Palestinian Christians in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, are living under an occupation that is squeezing the city’s only hope for economic recovery — tourism. The Israeli “security fence” — a sometimes 8-meter tall barrier that contains guard towers and barbed-wire fortifications that the World Court has ruled is illegal — cuts deep into the Palestinian city, and severely restricts travel and supplies…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61449

Chilcot blasts Blair and Bush
Labour’s “investigation” into its very own war crimes is unlikely to reveal what really happened
Mohamed Khan
December 25, 2009 – The Chilcot Inquiry into United Kingdom involvement in the United States-led invasion and occupation of Iraq began its work 15 June 2009. The inquiry is headed by Sir John Chilcot, a former civil servant appointed by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. To facilitate the inquiry, a committee was set up by Brown, comprised of Sir Lawrence Freedman, a military historian in the War Department at King’s College, Sir Martin Gilbert, a historian known for supporting the invasion of Iraq, Sir Roderic Lyne, a former British ambassador to Russia and the United Nations, and Baroness Usha Prashar, member of the parliamentary Joint Committee for Human Rights…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61457

Awaiting a miracle from Washington
The Palestinian Authority may be seeking renewed talks with Israel even in the absence of an Israeli freeze on settlements,
Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank
December 25, 2009 – The Palestinian Authority (PA) is apparently seeking an opportunity to resume peace talks with Israel without losing face due to the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements and US failure to get the Jewish state to stop stealing Palestinian land. The PA is still clinging to its erstwhile position, namely that it won’t return to the negotiating table unless Israel agrees to stop all settlement expansion, including so-called natural growth, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61445

Video: Israeli policy leaves family stranded
Aljazeera.English
December 25, 2009 – For seven years, Saeed Darwish of Bethlehem has had to apply for an Israeli permit to be able to live in his own home in a part of the city that Israel says is under its jurisdiction. But a month ago, Israeli authorities decided not to renew his permit, leaving the family’s sole breadwinner stranded. Now, Darwish must decide whether to stay in his home or go to work and risk being denied permission to return…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61443

No Chance President Obama’s War In Afghanistan Will Succeed
Sherwood Ross
December 25, 2009 – …Obama’s strategy is also spreading the war ever deeper into Pakistan. As Dan Pearson and Kathy Kelly report in the December “Catholic Worker,” 3,000,000 people were uprooted by violence in the Swat Valley and neighboring districts and those who returned found “that their homes, crops and other means of survival had been damaged or destroyed.” They quote Dr. Aasim Saijad of Lahore University of Management Sciences as saying the attacks in Pakistan are only swelling the Taliban’s ranks. “The hundreds of thousands languishing in refugee camps talk of the mortar shells that have destroyed their homes and killed their relatives,” Saijad said. “They seethe with anger and warn the government that most Taliban fighters hail from the local population. The longer the war continues—-and it has only just begun in this region—-the better the chances that the Taliban will be able to recruit from the refugees,” he said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61438

Anti-siege committee calls on Egypt to allow “life line 3" convoy to reach Gaza
Palestinian Information Center
December 25, 2009 — The government committee to break the siege in Gaza called on the Egyptian government to facilitate the entry of “life line 3" convoy into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. The committee said, in a statement on Friday, that the convoy which consists of about 250 vehicles loaded with aid and 300 sympathisers lead by prominent British politician George Galloway, was supposed to reach Gaza on 27 December to coincide with the anniversary of the Israeli war on Gaza last year, but Egyptian measures are likely to delay the convoy…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61436

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