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URUK Net 26 August, 2009

Last updated: Friday, August 28, 2009 7:12

“Afghan drug trafficking brings US $50 billion a year”
RussiaToday
The US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there, says Gen. Mahmut Gareev, a former commander during the USSR’s operations in Afghanistan.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57361

No, i don’t support “academic freedom” for colonists in the Zionist entity
Marcy Newman, body on the line
The whole point of the academic boycott of “Israel” is that Palestinians have no rights to education (not to mention the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land among a whole host of other daily violations they endure every day). But critics of the academic boycott always love to shout how much more important academic freedom for Zionist terrorist colonists who teach in Zionist universities is than Palestinians having the right to not be murdered, imprisoned, tortured, thrown off their land while their land is stolen (i could go on and on)…

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Shot in the chest: Gaza Ramadan day 5
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
On the 5th day of Ramadan, I meet a young man who has been shot through the chest. His has great difficulty breathing, let alone speaking, and has a tube running from his bladder; the liquid is red. Mas’oud (20) is a farm-labourer, was working on land in the northwest of Gaza two days ago when, around 3pm, he was shot by Israeli soldiers at the Green Line border. The youth he was working with at the time, Said (16), died right away from his bullets to the chest. The two had been working on a vegetable plot….

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“Liberation’s” Legal Limbo
by Felicity Arbuthnot
Shereen Nasser is petite, pretty, charming, has a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and an MSc in Medical Microbiology. She also has a steely determination. In work she loves, in love and married for little over eighteen months, she should have the world at her feet. Instead she is fighting it, taking on the might of the US and UK governments, in the face of stunning injustice – and facing slamming doors and vanishing legal norms at every turn. In December 2007, Shereen (25) married Khadum Rida Al-Sarraj (29) in a ceremony in Dubai, due to the tortuous beaurocracy involved in obtaining Khadum a UK visa. They finally held their reception, at Shereen’s family home in Carshalton, outside London, in August 2008, relevant visa and spousal permission to reside in Britain, finally obtained. A joyous month was spent together planning their future. They bought a house – then parted for what was to be less than two months. Mr Al-Sarraj is from Baghdad – as are Shereen Nasser’s parents, the couple met through Shereen’s aunt and Khadum’s sister, who were friends – where he had lived all his life, until it became too dangerous, and he moved to the relative safety of Erbil, in northern Iraq, in October 2006, to continue his specialised profession, selling pacemakers….

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Glenn Greenwald on CIA Interrogation Probe, Obama and Why the Media Failed on Covering Torture
Democracy Now!
Attorney General Eric Holder has opened an inquiry into CIA torture. On Monday, Holder appointed veteran federal prosecutor John Durham to look into whether CIA interrogators and contractors should be charged for the torture and abuse of foreign prisoners. Holder says he ordered the probe in response to a Justice Department recommendation to reopen nearly a dozen prisoner abuse cases that the Bush administration had closed. Holder says he was further influenced by the 2004 CIA report on the prisoners’ torture and abuse, which he released on Monday. We speak with political and legal blogger for Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald…

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Iran’s Khamenei says protest leaders not foreign-backed: TV
Farhad Pouladi (AFP)
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that he has no proof the leaders of the post-election violence in June were backed by foreign states, state television reported. “I do not accuse the leaders of the recent incidents to be subordinate to the foreigners, like the United States and Britain, since this issue has not been proven for me,” Khamenei said in a statement read out by a newsreader. “This plot was defeated, since fortunately our enemies still do not understand the issue in Iran,” added the statement, which was read over pictures of Khamenei…

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Growing Poverty and Despair in America
Stephen Lendman
In 1962, Michael Harrington’s “The Other America” exposed the nation’s dark underside enough for John Kennedy to ask his Council of Economic Advisor chairman, Walter Heller, to look into the problem and for Lyndon Johnson to say (on January 8, 1964) that his administration “today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” In fact, it was little more than a skirmish that fell way short of addressing the real problem in the world’s richest nation. Today it’s even greater and increasing exponentially under a president who, unlike Johnson, declared war on the poor and disadvantaged to favor privilege over growing needs and essential social change…

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Bilin’s next generation
Jody McIntyre writing from Bilin, occupied West Bank
Every Friday, Palestinian residents of the West Bank village of Bilin march to Israel’s apartheid wall, which has stolen more than half their land. But this day was a Wednesday, and the kids’ turn to demonstrate. It was a beautiful morning, the perfect time to add a new element to the nonviolent resistance in Bilin. While the Israeli army kidnaps their fathers, their brothers and their cousins, the resistance lives on through the next generation…

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2 US troops killed in Afghanistan
AFP
The NATO-led force in Afghanistan says attacks have killed two U.S. troops, keeping August on track to be the deadliest month of the war for the U.S. military. NATO says one American died Wednesday after an improvised explosive device detonated in southern Afghanistan. A second service member was killed in an attack in the east. No other information was released. The two deaths bring to 43 the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this month. July was the deadliest month of the nearly eight-year war — 44 U.S. troops died. But with five days left in August, this month could again set a new record…

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IOA to establish special military courts for Palestinian minors
Palestinian Information Center
The Israeli judiciary is currently preparing for the establishment of a special military court for Palestinian children in the West Bank that would be the first of its kind since 1967, the Hebrew radio reported on Tuesday. The broadcast said that the step was taken following a military order signed by the commander of the central region in the Israeli occupation army Gadi Shamni. It said that the order stipulated appointing judges specialized in dealing with “crimes” of Palestinian minors…

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GI Special 7H21: Hippie Wigs On Bald Heads [ 24 August 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
Roadside bombs in Afghanistan are more likely to injure and kill U.S.-led forces than the ones planted in Iraq, even though the weapons manufactured by Afghan insurgents are more rudimentary, military figures show. The bomb force recorded 3,594 devices used in Afghanistan in 2008, more than twice the number in 2007. The United States already has poured billions of dollars into the effort in Iraq, where the number of bomb attacks against American-led forces peaked at more than 2,500 a month in the summer of 2007. Last year, there were 9,036 incidents, according to the military’s anti-bomb task force.

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All Equal Before Death…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
Sure thing, Death is the great equalizer…but some in the face of it – are more equal than others… A.Hakeem head of the despicable SIIC, head of the Badr Brigade, the Shiite Iranian militia (by the way all the Shiites militias are Iranian militias), A.Hakeem who landed in Baghdad thanks to American tanks, A.Hakeem who had close ties with the neo cons. A.Hakeem head of the thugs who raped, tortured, murdered Iraqis, including Iraqi scientists, academics, doctors, ex-army officers and exiled thousands of Arab Sunnis…A.Hakeem who was tirelessly aiming for an “independent” southern Iraq, falling smack into the Zionist plan for the partition of Iraq. A.Hakeem whose son Ammar is known for his criminality, corruption and theft…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57343

Taliban denies Kandahar bombing
Aljazeera.net
The Taliban has denied carrying out a bombing in the Afghan city of Kandahar that left at least 43 people dead. At least 65 people were also injured in the attack outside a wedding hall in the southern city shortly after people were breaking their Ramadan fast. “We are denying responsibility, and condemn this attack in which innocent civilians were killed,” Qari Yusef Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said in a message sent to The Associated Press news agency on Wednesday….

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Israel Turns up the Heat to Evict Bedouin from Desert Lands
Army’s West Bank Tactics Imported to Negev
Jonathan Cook
The inhabitants of the Bedouin village of Amra have good reason to fear that the harsh tactics used by the Israeli army against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been imported to their small corner of Israel’s Negev desert. Over the summer, the Tarabin tribe, all of them Israeli citizens, have had the sole access road to their homes sealed off, while the dirt track they must use instead is regularly blocked by temporary checkpoints at which their papers and vehicles are inspected at length…

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Gaza: Critical Healthcare Fails to Recover
By Mel Frykberg
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that unless the siege of Gaza is lifted and a political solution implemented, Gaza’s badly damaged health system will go from very bad to worse. The WHO released a report in July stating that since the end of the war in January, most of Gaza’s health services have begun to function again. But it says the health system is struggling to deliver advanced and comprehensive medical care to Gaza’s 1.5 million people. “There are a number of factors contributing to the continuing degradation of Gaza’s health system,” says Gaza and West Bank WHO head Tony Laurence.

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Afghanistan’s election debacle
Lee Sustar
AN ELECTION intended to showcase Afghanistan’s “emerging democracy” has instead exposed astonishing corruption, fraud and violence on the part of the U.S.-backed government. Incumbent President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah are each claming victory amid allegations of vote-rigging and fraud on both sides, with Abdullah’s supporters even hinting that his forces will take up arms if the election is stolen by Karzai…

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Obama, rendition, and the decay of American democracy
Tom Eley
The Obama administration’s decision to carry on the practice of rendition, by which “terror suspects” are spirited off to third-party countries to face torture, testifies to the profound decay of American democracy. Rendition under Obama will be the same as the practice as it existed during the Bush administration. An anonymous source close to the White House’s Task Force on Interrogation and Transfer Policies, who leaked the announcement to the New York Times, offered only vague assurances that prisoners would not be “rendered” to nations known to practice torture, and that diplomats would be allowed greater access…

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The CIA’s willing torturers
Peter Beaumont
There is a moment in the still heavily redacted CIA inspector general’s report into its use of harsh interrogation techniques against al-Qaida suspects that speaks volumes of how torture is allowed to become acceptable. Oddly it is not to be found in the details of the most egregious abuses: the mock executions, the simulated drownings and physical abuse, the intimidation with power drills or guns or the threat that one’s family may be killed or raped. Instead it is to be found in a discussion between a CIA interrogator and the agency’s headquarters about a technique an officer had found to be effective…

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Two Old City Jerusalem families forced to demolish own homes
Ma’an News
Two Palestinian families in Jerusalem’s Old City have been forced to demolish their own house after Israeli authorities threatened him with heavy fines if he did not. One resident, Muhammad Faysal Jabir lived with his family of five in a 28 square meter house in the Aqbat Al-Khalidiyya neighborhood of the Old City. Jabir told Ma’an that the apartment used to be just 12 square meters, and that he added an extension apparently without permission from the Jerusalem Municipality…

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US fears mount over Afghan election travesty
By Barry Grey
Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission reported Tuesday that preliminary vote tallies from 10 percent of polling stations gave incumbent President Hamid Karzai a slight lead over his main rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, in the election held August 20. The commission said Karzai had obtained 40.6 percent of the vote, compared to 38.7 percent for Abdullah. If neither candidate is credited with more than 50 percent of the total votes cast, a runoff election is slated to be held some time in October…

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Lynching of Cynthia McKinney urged by ‘journalist’ trained and paid by FBI
by David Swanson
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney sent an email around on Sunday in which she wrote: “[I]t has just now come to my attention that a ‘journalist’ who suggested that I be lynched was actually being paid by our own government to say that. Now, when I reported it to the FBI, how in the world was I to know that he was at that time on the FBI’s payroll?”..

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The CIA’s post-torture profits
Tim Shorrock
Monday’s release of the long-awaited CIA report on the agency’s role in torture and interrogation brought me back to 1967, when I was a high school student opposed to the Vietnam war. Angry that my history teacher was only presenting the official story, I persuaded her to allow my class to read Vietnam! Vietnam!, a powerful indictment of the war by the British reporter Felix Greene. It was filled with disturbing images, including a haunting photograph of a Vietnamese fighter being waterboarded while American soldiers looked on. But my teacher and fellow students dismissed the book as propaganda, preferring instead the sanitised version of the war provided by the US government….

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57331

Arabic Drama, politics and Palestine at Ramadan
Iqbal Tamimi
Ramadan in the Arab World is connected with many things in my memory, but most of all the relationship that is growing even stronger between the people and their television sets. As we used to fast when we were young, we did not think a great deal of the deep meanings of fasting, we only felt that we are getting stronger, we felt like heroes being able to defeat our own temptations and weaknesses, fighting our battles against dribbling mouths when we used to bring our noses as close as we could to a big bowl of desert in the fridge without sinking in, especially in a weather that was boiling hot, almost like being smacked by a whip of fire through a window overlooking hell…

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After Sadr–Badr Compromise in Tehran, the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) Is Declared
By Reidar Visser (www.historiae.org)
After a bit of juggling with adjectives and word order, the Iraqi National Alliance (INA, in Arabic referred to as al-Ittilaf al-Watani al-Iraqi) was launched in Baghdad today, thereby becoming the first publicly confirmed major electoral alliance for next year’s parliamentary elections in Iraq. Essentially, the new coalition consists of the two largest blocs of the previous Shiite alliance (the United Iraqi Alliance or UIA) – the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) and the Sadrists – plus elements from the wing of the most pro-Iranian of the two Daawa factions, known as the Tanzim al-Iraq branch, as well as Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s breakaway faction. The only significant components from outside the old UIA are the Anbar Salvation Council headed by Hamid al-Hayis (a breakaway group of the Anbar awakening which received only a modest share of the votes in the last local elections) and Khalid Abd al-Wahhab al-Mulla, the president of a Sunni group of Islamic scholars from Zubayr outside Basra. Additionally, the party of the Shiite Bahr al-Ulum family, which was sometimes separate from the old UIA, has been reintegrated…

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OCHA: “Gaza on the verge of humanitarian crisis”
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
A report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) revealed that the Gaza Strip is on the verge of a devastating humanitarian crisis due to the ongoing Israeli siege on the coastal region since more than three years. The UN stated that some 120.000 employees have lost their jobs, while %75 of the residents does not even have sufficient access food, proper education and health services…

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Reporters Without Borders slams Israel’s attack, closure, of Bethlehem 2000 Radio
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News
Reporters Without Borders published a press release slamming the Israeli Army for attacking the Radio Bethlehem 2000 station, in Bethlehem, shutting it down and seizing its equipment. The agency added that the attack is arbitrary, and violates the Freedom of Press. Reporters Without Borders added that the Israeli army did not provide any explanation for shutting the station down, and urged the army to return the confiscated equipment and to let the station resume its broadcasting without delays…

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IOF troops raid Radio Bethlehem 2000 and shut it down
Palestinian Information Center
IOF troops raided on Tuesday evening Radio Bethlehem 2000 in the southern West Bank town of Beit Jala, ordered staff to stop broadcasting, confiscated broadcasting equipment and warned of serious consequences if the station returned to broadcast again. A statement issued by Radio Bethlehem 2000 said that this assault on the radio station was part of the occupation’s fight against freedom of speech and its policy of muzzling free voices which was always met with determination on the part of Palestinian media…

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Israeli Escalates Violence: At Least 4 Palestinians Killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns attacks perpetrated by Israeli forces in the evening of 24 August, and the morning of 25 August 2009. Three Palestinians were killed while a fourth is missing consequent to Israeli gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip and aerial bombardment along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 15:15 on Monday, 24 August 2009, Israeli troops positioned to the northwest of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip (along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel) fired at two Palestinian civilians from Beit Lahia who got close to the border…

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Deaths, Missing Detainees Still Blacked Out in New CIA Report
By MATTHEW COLE and BRIAN ROSS
The CIA and the Obama Administration continue to keep secret some of the most shocking allegations involving the spy agency’s interrogation program: three deaths and several other detainees whose whereabouts could not be determined, according to a former senior intelligence official who has read the full, unredacted version. Of the 109 pages in the 2004 report, 36 were completely blacked out in the version made public Monday, and another 30 were substantially redacted for “national security” reasons…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57335

Love letter to Palestine
Jude Flynn
…I think I may well have fallen in love with you. I write this in a country which is not too far from you, and all I can do is compare you jealously. One thing, perhaps, which made me fall in love with you was the seemingly bottomless kindness and selflessness of your people. Of all the countries I have visited, I have never met people as warm or as generous, as willing to help me. I lost count of the number of times people escorted me to bus stops, cafes, landmarks, or the number of times people gave me lifts in their cars, paid my bus fare, invited me to have coffee and knafeh with them, gave me iced lemon on sweltering days. I am unsure as to where to this benevolence stems from- indeed, in other places which have seen as much misfortune as you, this misfortune is used as an excuse for the coldness and indifference of their people…

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Netanyahu: Israel will not accept limits on sovereignty over Jerusalem
Ma’an News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Tuesday that he would not halt the construction of illegal settlements in East Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Netanyahu told reporters at a London news conference, “Is not a settlement. It is the sovereign capital of the State of Israel. We have been building in Jerusalem for 3,000 years.” “Israel will not accept limits on its sovereignty,” in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, speaking alongside British counterpart Gordon Brown after a meeting at 10 Downing Street. Israel annexed East Jerusalem after occupying it along with the rest of the West Bank in June 1967. The annexation has never been recognized as legitimate by the international community. Britain, along with the US and most other countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57332

Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim dies in Iran
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer
Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the scion of a revered clerical family who channeled rising Shiite Muslim power after the fall of Saddam Hussein to become one of Iraq’s most influential politicians, died Wednesday in Iran, the country that was long his key ally. He was 59. The calm, soft-spoken al-Hakim, who died of lung cancer, was a kingmaker in Iraq’s politics, working behind the scenes as the head of the country’s biggest Shiite political party…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57341

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