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TALES OF IRAQ WAR by LATUFF: Holocaust Remembrance Day Israel Israeli Jewish Palestine Palestinian Latuff cartoon Nazi massacre Gaza Yom Hashoah blog blogging

Wanted: Ehud Barak

Wanted: Ehud Barak: "Ehud Barak

In June 2007, the suspect imposed a siege on 1.5 million residents of Gaza. The siege, which is ongoing in 2009, is collective punishment according to International Law. The year and a half long siege caused severe food and fuel shortages, intermittent drinking water and electricity supply, disruption to sewage treatment plants and shortages of medicine and essential medical equipment, affecting the lives of 1.5 million people - a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute."

Islamist leader wins Somali presidency | International | Reuters

Islamist leader wins Somali presidency | International | Reuters: "Moderate Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed won the Somali presidency on Saturday in a parliamentary vote in Djibouti under a U.N.-brokered plan to broker a unity government for the conflict-torn nation.

Applause broke out among legislators when Ahmed passed the majority of votes needed, 213, just before 4 a.m. local time (0100) during a run-off vote in an all-night parliament session.

The Islamist, who headed the sharia courts movement that ruled Mogadishu and most of south Somalia in 2006 before an Ethiopian military intervention, defeated Maslah Mohamed Siad, son of ex-dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, in the second round of voting."

AFP: Soldier suicides hit record in 2008: US Army

AFP: Soldier suicides hit record in 2008: US Army: "WASHINGTON (AFP) — Suicides among active duty soldiers hit a record high last year for the second year in a row, the US Army reported Thursday, acknowledging that stress on the war-time force was a major factor.

The number of soldiers who took their lives in 2008 rose to as many as 143 from 115 the previous year, the army said."

For first time, U.S. professors call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel - Haaretz - Israel News

For first time, U.S. professors call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel - Haaretz - Israel News: "'As educators of conscience, we have been unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel's indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions,' the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel stated in its inaugural press release last Thursday. Speaking in its mission statement of the 'censorship and silencing of the Palestine question in U.S. universities, as well as U.S. society at large,' the group follows the usual pattern of such boycotts, calling for 'non-violent punitive measures' against Israel, such as the implementation of divestment initiatives, 'similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.'"

US lawmakers urge Clinton to aid Gaza - Yahoo! News

US lawmakers urge Clinton to aid Gaza - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (AFP) – Sixty US lawmakers have urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to give emergency funds to the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees to help rebuild the Gaza Strip after its war with Israel.

In a letter dated Tuesday, the House Democrats also said Israel should allow critically ill patients to be transported out of Gaza and into Israel, the West Bank and Jordan for treatment.

'We therefore urge you to express this concern directly to Israeli government officials,' they said in the letter, which was obtained by AFP.

The representatives focused in their letter on worries about the flow of food and humanitarian goods into Gaza as well as medical services and reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by Israeli strikes."

Livni, Netanyahu Both Declare Olmert’s Positions Meaningless | News From Antiwar.com

Livni, Netanyahu Both Declare Olmert’s Positions Meaningless | News From Antiwar.com
In a speech at Tel Aviv-Jaffa College, Livni condemned reports of concessions she and Olmert allegedly jointly made during the peace process. “The headline does not represent me or what I am advancing,” Livni insisted, saying that her agenda was to maximize the number of Jewish residents in the West Bank and “not allowing the return of a single refugee.” Livni has also reportedly accused Prime Minister Olmert of deliberately undermining her campaign by trying to link her to the peace process.

allAfrica.com: Djibouti: Somaliland Rejects Djibouti Peace Process (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Djibouti: Somaliland Rejects Djibouti Peace Process (Page 1 of 1): "Authorities in Somalia's breakaway republic of Somaliland say they are not involved in the ongoing Djibouti peace process, where the next Somali president is expected to be elected, Radio Garowe reports.

Abdullahi Mohamed Du'ale, Somaliland's foreign minister, told a Tuesday press conference in the regional capital Hargeisa that the Somaliland government has no delegates at the Djibouti conference."

BBC NEWS | Europe | Eight held over Chechen killing

BBC NEWS | Europe | Eight held over Chechen killing: "Police in Austria have arrested eight Chechens in connection with the murder of a ninth man, who was a critic of Chechnya's Moscow-backed leadership.

Elite commandos seized seven men in raids across the country on Wednesday. The eighth was detained just after Umar Israilov was shot two weeks ago."

What Happened to Hassan - by Ran HaCohen

What Happened to Hassan - by Ran HaCohen
Hassan, an 8-year-old Gazan boy, could consider himself lucky. Last year, thanks to his serious illness, Israel let him in to be treated in a Tel Aviv hospital. Israel boasts of its generosity: after four decades of occupation, which has left Gaza's hospitals on a Third World level, followed by years of siege, which has exhausted the little equipment and medicine arsenal those wretched hospitals had acquired, Israel grants treatment to a small number of mostly terminal Palestinian patients, provided the full cost is paid by the Palestinian National Authority. How very generous indeed.Since every Arab is a terrorist until the opposite is proven, Israel lets at best just one adult, usually a woman, accompany a sick child into Israel. Hassan's mother could go with him. But no Palestinian vehicles are allowed in. Having crossed the checkpoint into Israel, how would the ill child and his mother make the 45 mil…

NATO Dramatically Underreports How Many Civilians It Has Killed | News From Antiwar.com

NATO Dramatically Underreports How Many Civilians It Has Killed | News From Antiwar.com
NATO spokesman James Appathurai told reporters today that the international forces were responsible for killing 97 Afghan civilians in 2008 based on what he referred to as their “new tracking system.”The number is just the latest in an ongoing trend of dramatic underreporting of civilian killings by international forces during the war on terror, yet stands along among such incidents for being so transparently obvious an undercount.One needs only to recall two incidents: The August US air strike in Herat which killed 90 civilians and the November killings of 37 civilians when the United States attacked a wedding party in Kandahar, before it becomes readily apparent that NATO is missing a few people. Indeed, reports from human rights groups suggest they are missing over a thousand.Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been complaining about the civilian killings for years, and his government has issued an…

‘Hamas would recognise Israel within 1967 borders’

‘Hamas would recognise Israel within 1967 borders’: "Hamas would recognise Israel if it withdraws to its pre-1967 borders, a French Jewish writer said this week after meeting the exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Khaled Meshaal.

“He told me that Hamas was prepared to recognise Israel on the lines of June 4, 1967. He told me so several times,” Marek Halter told AFP on Monday.

The date refers to Palestinian demands for an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, captured in the 1967 war."

At least five killed in Somali fighting - Yahoo! News

At least five killed in Somali fighting - Yahoo! News
MOGADISHU (AFP) – At least five people were killed and 15 wounded Thursday in fighting between rival Somali militia groups over a town near the border with Ethiopia, local elders and witnesses told AFP. The fighting erupted when militiamen loyal to the Sufi religious group Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa launched an attack to wrest control of the town of Dhusamareb back from the hardline Islamist group Al-Shebab. "We saw five people killed in the clashes and 15 others who were wounded. It seems most of the victims are combatants," local elder Abdullahi Adan Hussein said by phone from the town.

Gaza donations double after DEC aid appeal screened - Times Online

Gaza donations double after DEC aid appeal screened - Times Online: "Donations to an emergency fund for Gaza doubled overnight after three TV channels broadcast an appeal that the BBC and Sky News have refused to show.

Members of the public have now pledged over £1 million to help tackle the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said today.

Terrestrial broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Five showed the DEC’s televised appeal for donations last night.

More than 100 MPs from all parties have signed an early day motion criticising the decision taken by BBC and Sky News not to air the three-minute film."

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Reporter's diary: Gaza's tunnels

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Reporter's diary: Gaza's tunnels
While Israel waged their bloodiest assault on Gaza in decades, their warplanes targeted tunnels on Gaza's border with Egypt in an effort to halt alleged arms shipments. Now, Palestinians are busy restoring the bomb-damaged tunnels, and consumer goods are starting to flow into Gaza again. Al Jazeera's Jeremy Young describes the process of filming inside them.

globeandmail.com: Anti-Arab sentiment swells among youth in aftermath of Gaza war

globeandmail.com: Anti-Arab sentiment swells among youth in aftermath of Gaza war: "'Yisrael Beitenu's rise, with its racist agenda, is a very dangerous trend in Israeli society,' said Mohammad Darawshe, an Arab from the Israeli town of Nazereth who is co-director of the Abraham Fund, an organization that promotes co-operation among Israeli Arabs and Jews.

The anti-Arab trend is particularly strong among the young generation, Mr. Darawshe said. 'In a poll conducted in May, more than 60 per cent of Jewish high-school kids say they want to control the political participation of Arabs in Israel; they're not ready to live in the same apartment building as Arab citizens; they don't like to hear the sound of Arabic language; and so on,' he said. This racism 'has to be taken seriously and dealt with seriously,' Mr. Darawshe said, 'as must separatism in the Arab community.' A growing number of Israeli Arabs want to opt out of Israeli society, in…

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel launches attacks in Gaza

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel launches attacks in Gaza
Israel has carried out an air attack in Gaza and sent tanks into the Strip, after Palestinian militants killed an Israeli soldier.Palestinian sources said there had been fighting near Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Israeli troops pulled back across the border several hours later. It was the worst violence in Gaza since Israel's offensive against Hamas ended with both sides declaring ceasefires. Israel is also preventing aid convoys from entering the Gaza Strip.

ei: "Let me tell you about Palestine, the way it used to be"

ei: "Let me tell you about Palestine, the way it used to be": "I have never seen my grandmother without a large medallion hanging from her neck. As a child, I stared at the pendant's engraving of a gold-domed structure, watched the turquoise walls glimmer as they caught light from the piercing Iraqi sun. When I asked Tata what the pendant depicted, she replied, 'The place where I'm from.' I thought of it as a palace towering in a far, mythic land, like the great emerald castle of Oz.

I later understood that it was the Dome of the Rock, located at the heart of Jerusalem's Old City. The city, a religious and at times economic and cultural hub of a predominately Arab Palestine for nearly 1,200 years, has been in modern times, hotly contested with the establishment of the State of Israel on Palestinian soil in 1948. With the birth of the Zionist state, came the destruction of Palestinian society, and Tata was forced to flee her home along with more than 7…

ei: A decisive loss for Israel

ei: A decisive loss for Israel: "Israel's objectives from the war on Gaza were set long before its launch: to remove the Hamas movement and government, achieve the reinstallation of the Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in Gaza, and end the armed resistance. Two other objectives were not announced. First, restore the Israeli public's wavering confidence in its armed forces after its defeat by Hizballah in 2006. Second, boost the coalition government in the coming elections.

Accordingly, we declare that Israel lost, and lost decisively. What did it achieve? The killing of large numbers of civilians, children and women, and the destruction of homes, ministry buildings and other infrastructure with the most advanced United States weapons and other internationally banned chemical and phosphorous elements. Almost 2,000 children were killed and injured in desperate pursuit of political goals. Many international organizations called these attacks war crimes, yet barely a word of denun…

ei: Israeli forces arrest seven children in West Bank

ei: Israeli forces arrest seven children in West Bank
Seven children from Toura al-Gharbeiah village (near the West Bank city of Jenin) were arrested on Tuesday by the Israeli authorities; they are currently detained in Salim detention and interrogation center, in the northern West Bank. Two of the children are only 12 years old; two are 13; another two are aged 15; and the seventh is 17.

Tomgram: Tony Karon, Obama's Gaza Opportunity

Tomgram: Tony Karon, Obama's Gaza Opportunity
Yes, we now know the ever grimmer statistics: more than 1,400 dead Gazans (and rising as bodies are dug out of the rubble); 5,500 wounded; hundreds of children killed; 4,000 to 5,000 homes destroyed and 20,000 damaged -- 14% of all buildings in Gaza; 50,000 or more homeless; 400,000 without water; 50 U.N. facilities, 21 medical facilities, 1,500 factories and workshops, and 20 mosques reportedly damaged or destroyed; the smashed schools and university structures; the obliterated government buildings; the estimated almost two billion dollars in damage; all taking place on a blockaded strip of land 25 miles long and 4 to 7.5 miles wide that is home to a staggering 1.4 million people.

Al Jazeera English - War on Gaza - Gazans pledge to rebuild

Al Jazeera English - War on Gaza - Gazans pledge to rebuild: "The survivors of the Israeli offensive in Gaza have slowly begun to restore a semblance of normalcy to their daily lives.

Public facilities are operating once again, the streets are being cleared, tractors are at work removing piles of rubble, power lines are being fixed and electricity and water services are being restored to homes in Gaza.

Government employees went back to work on January 21 and arrangements are being made for those whose offices have been destroyed.

Palestinian ministries are recommencing their work despite the destruction of some of their facilities.

Schools reopened on January 24 but many classes were overcrowded as they attempted to accommodate students from buildings which had been destroyed by Israeli air raids.

Meanwhile, the police have pledged to return to the streets in full uniform in a matter of days."

Terrorists Kill Innocent People in Mogdishu.

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Deadly 'suicide' blast in Mogadishu: "A suspected suicide car bomb has killed at least 22 civilians in the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses say.

The attack on Saturday was apparently aimed at a group of African Union peacekeepers but missed its target, they said.

'That opposition group has massacred only innocent Somali people,' Major Barigye Ba-hoku, spokesman for the AU force, said."

US, Afghan villagers differ over 15 killed in raid | Antiwar Newswire

US, Afghan villagers differ over 15 killed in raid | Antiwar Newswire
The U.S. coalition in Afghanistan opened an investigation into an overnight raid early Saturday that American commanders say killed 15 armed militants but that two Afghan officials say killed 11 civilians.
A detailed U.S. statement said multiple teams of militants fired on the coalition forces during a raid against a Taliban commander early Saturday in the eastern province of Laghman. The U.S. said a woman carrying a rocket-propelled grenade was among the 15 killed.

Israelis admit missile use may have been illegal - Middle East - Independent.ie

Israelis admit missile use may have been illegal - Middle East - Independent.ie


By James Hider in Jerusalem and Sheera Frenkel in Gaza City

Saturday January 24 2009

AFTER weeks of strenuous denial that it had used white phosphorous in the heavily populated Gaza Strip, Israel finally admitted yesterday that the controversial weapon had been deployed in its offensive.

The army's use of white phosphorous -- with its distinctive shell burst of dozens of separate smoke trails -- was revealed on January 5, and denied by the army. Now, in the face of mounting evidence, Israel has been forced to backtrack.

   Obama's Orders Leave Framework of Torture, Indefinite Detention Intact    : Information Clearing House - ICH

   Obama's Orders Leave Framework of Torture, Indefinite Detention Intact    : Information Clearing House - ICH: "While the media is portraying these orders as a repudiation of the detention and interrogation policies of the Bush administration, they actually change little. They essentially represent a public relations effort to refurbish the image of the United States abroad after years of torture and extralegal detentions and shield high-ranking American officials from potential criminal prosecution.

In cowardly fashion, Obama staged his signing of the orders in a manner aimed at placating the political right and defenders of Guantánamo and torture and underscoring his intention to continue the Bush administration’s “war on terror.” He was flanked by 16 retired generals and admirals who have pushed for the closure of the prison camp in Cuba on the grounds that it impedes the prosecution of the global “war” and reiterated in his own remarks his determination to continue the b…

 Gaza: 'I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls'      : Information Clearing House - ICH

 Gaza: 'I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls'      : Information Clearing House - ICH: "A Palestinian father has claimed that he saw two of his young daughters shot dead and another critically injured by an Israeli soldier who emerged from a stationary tank and opened fire as the family obeyed an order from the Israeli forces to leave their home.

Khaled Abed Rabbo said Amal, aged two and Suad, seven, were killed by fire from the soldier's semi-automatic rifle. His third daughter, Samer, four, has been evacuated to intensive care in a Belgian hospital after suffering critical spinal injuries which he said were inflicted in the attack early in Israel's ground offensive.

Mr Abed Rabbo stood near the wreckage off his subsequently destroyed home on the eastern edge of the northern Gaza town of Jabalya yesterday and described how a tank had parked outside the building at 12.50pm on 7 January and ordered the family in Arabic through a megaphone to le…

Democracy Now! | Part II: Palestinian US College Grad Loses 2 Brothers in Israeli Shooting; Father Watched Son Bleed to Death After Israeli Troops Blocked Ambulances

Democracy Now! | Part II: Palestinian US College Grad Loses 2 Brothers in Israeli Shooting; Father Watched Son Bleed to Death After Israeli Troops Blocked Ambulances: "We return to the heart-wrenching tale of Amer Shurrab, who lost two of his brothers on the same day in an Israeli attack in Gaza. Amer is a Palestinian from Khan Yunis living in the United States. He recently graduated from Middlebury College. On Friday, his father and two brothers were fleeing their village when their vehicle came under Israeli fire. Twenty-eight-year-old Kassab died in a hail of bullets trying to flee the vehicle. Eighteen-year-old Ibrahim survived the initial attack, but Israeli troops refused to allow an ambulance to reach them until twenty hours later."

At Least 67 Civilians Killed in Shelling of Sri Lanka’s “Safe Zone” | News From Antiwar.com

At Least 67 Civilians Killed in Shelling of Sri Lanka’s “Safe Zone” | News From Antiwar.com: "The Sri Lankan military continues to press its advantage in the long-standing conflict against the separatist north, and while they seem to be gaining considerable momentum, an increasingly bloody military victory seems likely to complicate attempts to quiet the separatist sentiment.

The latest complain today came from Sri Lankan health officials, who say that the military has been shelling a makeshift hospital inside a government-declared “safe zone” for civilians for the past three days, and has killed at least 67 civilians in the attacks."

US forces in Iraq kill three brothers in a house raid

US forces in Iraq kill three brothers in a house raid: "Baghdad - US forces killed on Thursday three brothers in a house raid in northern Iraq, police sources said.

US forces stormed the house in the village of Youssifia, south of the northern city of Mosul, a police source told the Voices of Iraq news agency (VOI) without giving further details."

Al Jazeera English - Africa - DR Congo rebel Nkunda arrested

Al Jazeera English - Africa - DR Congo rebel Nkunda arrested
The leader of a Tutsi rebel group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been arrested in neighbouring Rwanda, the command of a Rwandan-Congolese joint force says.Laurent Nkunda, who is head of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), was captured after he tried to resist an operation by Congolese-Rwandan forces.

Press TV - Israeli gunboat targets Gaza civilians

Press TV - Israeli gunboat targets Gaza civilians: "A Palestinian medical official says an Israeli gunboat off the shores of Gaza City has opened fire on Gaza, wounding at least five people.

Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said Thursday that a shell fired by the gunboat hit a house in a beachside refugee camp. He said the wounded were passersby in the street, AP reported.

Gunboats off Gaza have been firing for several days despite a cease-fire, which ended a three-week Israeli offensive, being in place."

    So Far, Obama's Missed The Point on Gaza...   : Information Clearing House - ICH

So Far, Obama's Missed The Point on Gaza... : Information Clearing House - ICH: "It would have helped if Obama had the courage to talk about what everyone in the Middle East was talking about. No, it wasn't the US withdrawal from Iraq. They knew about that. They expected the beginning of the end of Guantanamo and the probable appointment of George Mitchell as a Middle East envoy was the least that was expected. Of course, Obama did refer to 'slaughtered innocents', but these were not quite the 'slaughtered innocents' the Arabs had in mind.

There was the phone call yesterday to Mahmoud Abbas. Maybe Obama thinks he's the leader of the Palestinians, but as every Arab knows, except perhaps Mr Abbas, he is the leader of a ghost government, a near-corpse only kept alive with the blood transfusion of international support and the 'full partnership' Obama has apparently offered him, whatever 'full' means. And it was no surprise to anyone t…

Israel accused of executing parents in front of children in Gaza - Telegraph

Israel accused of executing parents in front of children in Gaza - Telegraph: "One nine-year-old boy said his father had been shot dead in front of him despite surrendering to Israeli soldiers with his hands in the air.

Another youngster described witnessing the deaths of his mother, three brothers and uncle after the house they were in was shelled.

He said his mother and one of his siblings had been killed instantly, while the others bled to death over a period of days.

A psychiatrist treating children in the village of Zeitoun on the outskirts of Gaza City, where the alleged incidents took place, described the deaths as a 'massacre'.

Rawya Borno, a Jordanian doctor, said civilians, including children, were rounded up and killed by Israeli troops."

American killing of civilians every time “was not deliberate”

American killing of civilians every time “was not deliberate” and there can’t be anything done about it is simply unacceptable. For so long millions of people from as long as one can remember, civilians were targets. Regardless of intent to kill civilian population, targeting fighters or suspected fighters around civilian quarters is a war crime indeed. The funny thing is, America always claim “the incident is under investigation” or “the terrorists are responsible” or “our troops are operating under difficult circumstances” so and so forth. At the end American bullies never take responsibilities or throw a couple of thousands of dollars for their victims (it is rare Americans pay for their victims) and everything is dandy. Americans also claim they investigate themselves. Would anyone believe a killer investigate himself and come to a conclusion of guilt?

Ben White: Targeting civilians was a deliberate part of Operation Cast Lead | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Ben White: Targeting civilians was a deliberate part of Operation Cast Lead | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk: There is, however, no shortage of evidence available that points to rather different Israeli aims. Estimates for the proportion of civilian deaths among the 1,360 Palestinians killed range from more than half to two-thirds. Politicians, diplomats and journalists are by and large shying away from the obvious, namely that Israel has been deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians and the very infrastructure of normal life, in order to – in the best colonial style – teach the natives a lesson.

Given the enormous scale of what Palestinians have described as a "war of extermination" – it appears that some 15% of all buildings in the Gaza Strip were completely destroyed or collapsed and there is an estimated $1.4bn worth of destruction to vital civil infrastructure – it is impossible to list every atrocity. Israel has repeatedly hit ambulances, medics, clinics, and hosp…

Obama and the Muslims: An Inauguration of a New Era? - by Wajahat Ali - Antiwar.com

How to Inflame the Entire Muslim World - by Gabriel Kolko

How to Inflame the Entire Muslim World - by Gabriel Kolko: "How will history describe the Israeli war against the Palestinians in Gaza? Another Holocaust, this time perpetrated by the descendants of the victims? An election ploy by ambitious Israeli politicians to win votes in the February 10 elections? A test range for new American weapons? An effort to lock the new Obama Administration into an anti-Iranian position? An attempt to establish its military 'credibility' after its disastrous defeat in the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006? Perhaps all of these…and more."

Respite in Gaza - by Kathy Kelly

Respite in Gaza - by Kathy Kelly
Sitting around an ashcan fire, people who had maintained the tunnels tell us that they dream of freedom: freedom of movement and basic human rights. Every person can dream, but human beings in Palestine can't dream of anything else but freedom, to sleep without bombing and to live without suffering from extreme stress. Fida, who translates for us, tells me she has a terrible headache every day, from the stress. She feels worse at night. Her little sister is so terrified that she can't walk a step without help from her mother and sister. She says that if Israel opens the border there won't be any need to open the tunnels. If borders don't open, people will rebuild the tunnels.

blackagendareport.com - Barack Obama and the African American as World Citizen

blackagendareport.com - Barack Obama and the African American as World Citizen
As one of many who worked day and night for three years in the early 1980s to elect Chicago's first black mayor, I can understand the undefineable tears shed by many last November, and the shiver some felt when Barack Obama laid his hand on Abe Lincoln's bible. We danced and wept and prayed and rejoiced in Chicago a generation ago, and in other places too. But eventually the party was over, and this one will soon be too, for most of us. For many of us, it's already time to take stock. Were the hopes and dreams and prayers and effort put behind the Obama campaign a wise investment? And what does the election of Barack Obama mean for the position of African Americans as global citizens?Until now, black Americans have always enjoyed, on the world stage, a presumption that we as a people and as individuals were not responsible for the lawless and criminal acts of the US government around the wor…

Free Iraq: "If one leader dies, a 1000 leaders are ready to take his position"

Free Iraq: "If one leader dies, a 1000 leaders are ready to take his position"
"Prominent Hamas figure Salah al-Bardaweel accuses Mahmoud Abbas of direct involvement in the Gaza war through his spies in the region.

Bardaweel said Monday that Abbas, the acting Palestinian Authority Chief, played key role in the war and in assassinating Hamas' senior political leaders, through his spies in the costal strip.

The Hamas figure alleged that the spies passed strategic intelligence to Israeli soldiers attacking Gaza, The News reported.

"We had arrested a number of them (Abbas' spies) prior to the Israeli assault, and we found with them plans showing homes of Hamas' leaders, and places where Hamas stores it weapons. They (the spies) have admitted their guilt and told us names of their masters, who would, in turn, inform the Israeli intelligence apparatuses of that information in order to facilitate the Israeli mission," Bardaweel added.

Canadian sent to Syria after tip-Guantanamo hearing | Antiwar Newswire

Canadian sent to Syria after tip-Guantanamo hearing | Antiwar Newswire: "GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - U.S. authorities apparently were acting on a tip from a 15-year-old captive when they sent a Canadian software engineer to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured as a suspected terrorist, according to testimony at the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal Tuesday.
Canadian captive Omar Khadr identified a drivers license photograph of Canadian software engineer Maher Arar as someone he thought he had seen at an al Qaeda safe house run by a Syrian man in Afghanistan in late September or early October 2001, FBI special agent Robert Fuller testified."

Former Somali president seeks asylum in Yemen | Antiwar Newswire

Former Somali president seeks asylum in Yemen | Antiwar Newswire: "Somalia's former president, an ex-warlord who was forced from government, sought political asylum in Yemen, arriving Tuesday in a private jet from his impoverished homeland, an aide and a Yemeni security official said."
One of the former president's aides confirmed that Abdullahi Yusuf was offered a permanent home in Yemen, which lies across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia

Gaza: 'I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls' - Middle East, World - The Independent

Gaza: 'I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls' - Middle East, World - The Independent: "A Palestinian father has claimed that he saw two of his young daughters shot dead and another critically injured by an Israeli soldier who emerged from a stationary tank and opened fire as the family obeyed an order from the Israeli forces to leave their home."

US Military Analysts Chide Israel For ‘Restraint’ Shown in Gaza | News From Antiwar.com

US Military Analysts Chide Israel For ‘Restraint’ Shown in Gaza | News From Antiwar.com: "Just one day into their three day fact-finding mission to Israel, some high profile US military analysts have taken Israel to task for its behavior in its war on the Gaza Strip. Not for all those people they killed, but rather for all those people they left alive.

“I think you were too restrained and could have gone deeper into Gaza,” retired Lt-Gen Thomas McInerney, a military analyst for Fox News noted, saying the Israeli public’s universal approval for the onslaught could have muted global opinion, and that it would have made it “more difficult for Europeans, the Left or the Arab media to counter that.” McInerney also chided Israel’s leadership, saying they are “too sensitive about world opinion.”

In 22 days, the Israeli military killed over 1,300 people, the vast majority of them civilians. Human rights groups have noted that they deliberately fired white phosphorus into densely populated …

Al Jazeera English - War on Gaza - Palestinian factions united by war

Al Jazeera English - War on Gaza - Palestinian factions united by war: "The al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, an armed wing of Fatah, once threatened to kill Khalid Meshaal, the leader of Hamas.

However, from the beginning of the war on Gaza up to the ceasefire called by Palestinian factions on Sunday, it was fighting shoulder to shoulder with its former rival, lobbing rockets into Israel from the beleaguered coastal strip, Fatah representatives in Damascus say.

Israel says it has dealt Hamas a crippling blow, but its 22-day onslaught that killed around 1,300 civilians and injured at least 6,000 more has brought together a slew of Palestinian factions, many of them previously sworn enemies of Hamas.

Many observers are left wondering if the Hamas-allied coalition will be a new front against Israel and whether Hamas will be able to prevent other factions from launching attacks from Gaza, breaking the fragile calm.

'Israel's aggression on Gaza has unified the Palestinian groups in …

Israel's military power hasn't improved its strategic position and friends of the Jewish state must point out its mistakes--beginning with Gaza - By Stephen M. Walt | Stephen M. Walt

Israel's military power hasn't improved its strategic position and friends of the Jewish state must point out its mistakes--beginning with Gaza - By Stephen M. Walt | Stephen M. Walt: "The moral of this story is that there is no reason to think that Israel always has well-conceived strategies for dealing with the problems that it faces. In fact, Israel's strategic judgment seems to have declined steadily since the 1970s -- beginning with the 1982 invasion of Lebanon -- perhaps because unconditional U.S. support has helped insulate Israel from some of the costs of its actions and made it easier for Israel to indulge strategic illusions and ideological pipe-dreams. Given this reality, there is no reason for Israel's friends -- both Jewish and gentile -- to remain silent when it decides to pursue a foolish policy. And given that our 'special relationship' with Israel means that the United States is invariably associated with Jerusalem's actions, American…

ei: Israel's right to defend itself

ei: Israel's right to defend itself
Common Western political wisdom has it that when Western countries support Israeli military action against Arab countries or the Palestinian people, they do so because they support Israel's right to defend itself against its enemies.

This has always been established wisdom in Israel itself, even before the colonial settlement was established, wherein its predatory army is ironically named the Israel Defense Forces, not unlike the South African apartheid army, which was also known as the South African Defense Forces. This defensive nomenclature is hardly exclusive to Israel and South Africa, as many countries rushed after World War II to rename their Ministries of "War" as Ministries of "Defense." Still, Israel's allegedly defensive actions define every single war the colonial settlement has ever engaged in, even and especially when it starts these wars, which it has done in all cases except in 1973.

German, Polish ambassadors blast comparisons of Gaza campaign to Holocaust | Jewish News | Jerusalem Post

German, Polish ambassadors blast comparisons of Gaza campaign to Holocaust | Jewish News | Jerusalem Post
For the past 2000 years or so Jews were blamed and massacred by Germans and white Christians. The last one was an estimated 5 million or so Jews killed by Germans and other white Christians in “Second World War”
Now Germans and other white Christians are giving their former victims a green light to slaughter Palestinians who have had no animosity with the Jews people whatever. The article on this paper states how Palestinians Holocaust running for the last sixty years by the Zionists is not enough to be compared to that of Jews killed by their ancestors).
The Jews blood for the past 2000 years also discounted as Palestinians has been discounted for the past 60 years. Surely yesterdays victim became today’s persecutor.

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Fighting Erupts in Mogadishu, 2 Killed (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Fighting Erupts in Mogadishu, 2 Killed (Page 1 of 1)

Fighting erupted Monday in Somalia's capital Mogadishu between government security forces and Islamist insurgents, Radio Garowe reports.

Islamist guerrilla group Jabhatul Islamiya (Islamic Front) attacked a police checkpoint in Dharkinley district, sparking a battle that killed at least two people, witnesses said."

The Associated Press: Anti-war protesters throw shoes at White House

The Associated Press: Anti-war protesters throw shoes at White House: "WASHINGTON (AP) — Anti-war protesters were throwing shoes outside the gates of the White House on President George W. Bush's last day in office.

About 500 people marched to the White House and threw about 40 pairs of shoes at the gate while tourists looked on and took photos.

Supporters say they acted in solidarity with Muntadhar Al-Zeidi (MOON'-tuh-dahr ahl-zay-EE'-dee), the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at Bush during a news conference in Baghdad in December.

The event was sponsored by several peace groups. Organizer Jamilla El-Shafei of Kennebunk, Maine, says the event allowed protesters to express their anger over Bush. She says he is 'leaving with no accountability for eviscerating our Constitution.'"

Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus in Civilian Areas ‘Clear and Undeniable’ | News From Antiwar.com

Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus in Civilian Areas ‘Clear and Undeniable’ | News From Antiwar.com
The repeated accusations during the course of Israel’s three week war on the Gaza Strip regarding their use of white phosphorus against civilians gained yet more momentum today, when Amnesty International’s fact-finding team determined that there was indisputable evidence that the military had been firing white phosphorus into densely populated civilian residential areas around Gaza City.

The Peaceful Transfer of Violent Power

The Peaceful Transfer of Violent Power
At the risk of raining on the parade, I suggest that the inaugural festivities are not what they appear. Barack Obama says the pomp and circumstance are not about him but are a celebration of democracy. “For the forty-third time, we will execute the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next,” he said. He’s right, but not quite as he meant it. The peaceful transition from the Bush to the Obama regime is indeed the occasion, but let’s focus on exactly what is being transferred. Despite the oratory about hope, change, and renewal, government — as someone, perhaps George Washington, said — “is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force.” If that is right — and I contend it is — then in the inauguration we have the irony of a peaceful transfer of something that is anything but peaceful: the legal power to use physical force.

Gazans Do Not Blame Hamas - by Mel Frykberg

Gazans Do Not Blame Hamas - by Mel Frykberg: "Gazans are not blaming Hamas, contrary to Israel's wishes. 'People laugh at Israel's claims that this was a war against the Islamic resistance organization and not one aimed at civilians.'

'They see this as a war against all Palestinians. The number of civilians killed and maimed and the destruction wrought was way too extreme,' said Qleibo.

'The scale of death and destruction is most definitely counterproductive. Throughout this conflict so many experts and global leaders have highlighted there is no military solution to this conflict – an effective political solution is needed,' John Ging, the head of Gaza's (UNRWA), told Maan News Agency.

UNRWA's main compound in Gaza city, which feeds 750,000 Gazan refugees, half of the total population, was destroyed in an Israeli attack Jan. 15."

    The Beginning of the End for Israel          : Information Clearing House - ICH

The Beginning of the End for Israel : Information Clearing House - ICH: "It is a far cry from the week before, when Olmert regaled a cheering crowd in Ashkelon about how he telephoned George W Bush and interrupted him in the middle of a speech he was making in Philadelphia and told him to instruct Condaleezza Rice not to vote for a UN resolution Condi herself had written. Bush did as he was told, said Olmert to roars of approval.

I hope Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton take note.

And I hope they realise now that the democratically elected Hamas are the only party in town to sit down and negotiate with. Failed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas should now viewed as collateral damage. His credibility has gone and any deal he made with Israel over this shameful period will soon be revealed. By the way, I understand his luxury villa in Gaza is about the only building that is free of shrapnel, shells or bullet marks. It certainly survived the bombing in a district which was a…

In Case You Missed It. From 2002 Pre War on Iraq.

Foreign Policy In Focus: Opinion Piece: "The successful realization of bin Laden's secret strategy will happen not with a bang but with a whimper. Having failed to use the unipolar moment for the world's advantage, the United States runs the risk of following the examples of Russia and England and Turkey, all faded empires whose ambitions overreached themselves. In the worst case scenario, the U.S. will become the sick man of North America, a victim of military hypertrophy, extremes of wealth and poverty, decay of civil infrastructure, and loss of competitive economic advantage."

How Bin Laden Bankrupted America - by Jon Basil Utley

How Bin Laden Bankrupted America - by Jon Basil Utley
For a man who spent years living in caves, Osama bin Laden sure knows his Sun Tzu and the basics of jujitsu. Sun Tzu's famous dictum was "know yourself" and "know your enemy." Jujitsu is based upon using your enemy's strength against him, e.g., like Jack in "Jack and the Beanstalk," who used the giant's own size and anger to get him to crash from his own weight. Bin Laden understood that the way to beat America was to turn its power back upon itself. His early stated aim was to bankrupt America. He knew his own weaknesses, and he profoundly understood America's, how its pride and fears could trigger irrational, self-destructive reactions.The genius of bin Laden's pinprick attacks, costing a few hundred thousand dollars, has left America reeling with two unending multi-trillion-dollar wars it doesn't know how to get out of. He knew that his own streng…

ei: Bodies unearthed from rubble as Israel violates ceasefire

ei: Bodies unearthed from rubble as Israel violates ceasefire
Israel has announced to unilaterally cease fire in the Gaza Strip while leaving its troops in positions they had seized during the so-called Operation Cast Lead. Al Mezan Center's staff visited some of the areas the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) left last night and this morning. It found out that a disaster had struck these areas, which had not been accessible for weeks. The findings provide evidence about the likelihood that the IOF had perpetrated war crimes in these areas. In particular, dozens of civilians' corpses have been found in a bad condition under the rubble of destroyed houses. Moreover, the scene of destruction of neighborhoods suggests that wide-scaled home demolitions were systematically conducted by the IOF.

Al Mezan Center's field workers reported that entire urban blocks have disappeared in the areas of Ezbet Abed-Rabu, al-Salatin, al-Atatra, al-Israa in North Gaza District, and al-Kashif and …

TALES OF IRAQ WAR by LATUFF

"As if putting 1.5 million people at risk of starvation was not enough, Israel weighed a brutal attack on Gaza today, killing more than 1000 people, including women and children, with the complicity of Arab regimes. Once again I beg you reader, my brothers and sisters-in-arts, to spread these cartoons. Reproduce them in posters, newspapers, magazines, zines, blogs, everywhere. Let's make the voice of the Gaza people to be heard all around the world. Thank you, in the name of the Palestinians of Gaza."

Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME)

Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME)
In mid-October 2006 a team of investigative journalists at RAI Italian television reported that Israel had been using a new weapon in the Gaza Strip, similar to DIME – dense inert metal explosive. The report was produced by the same journalists who claimed without foundation that the US used White Phosphorus (WP) against civilians during attacks on Fallujah. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the weapon was launched from drones in the summer of 2006, most of them in July, and led to "abnormally serious" physical injuries. Physicians in the Gaza Strip noted the pattern of wounds they were treating were unusual, with severed legs that showed signs of severe heat at the point of amputation but no metal shrapnel. The American version is still in a testing stage and had not been used on the battlefield at that time. It has not been "declared an illegal weapon", though the weapon was claimed [without described basis] to be "hig…

Somali Islamists attack African peacekeepers - Yahoo! News

Somali Islamists attack African peacekeepers - Yahoo! News: "MOGADISHU (AFP) – Somalia's hardline Shebab insurgents on Saturday attacked African Union peacekeepers for the first time since Ethiopian troops pulled out from Mogadishu earlier this week, officials said.

The Islamist militia, which had vowed to target the AU following Ethiopia's withdrawal, 'opened gun and mortar fire on the Burundian contingent's camp' at the former military academy, resident Abdullahi Moalim Ashkir told AFP.

'They attacked our second battalion in the Kuliyadda area late this afternoon but there were no casualties,' said a Burundian army official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media."

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Hamas and allies declare ceasefire

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Hamas and allies declare ceasefire
'Symbolic victory'However, Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza City, said some in the Gaza Strip are claiming a victory for Hamas and other Palestinian factions on an operational and symbolic level."On an operational level on the last day of the war and even after the war Palestinian factions are still capable of firing rockets, no doubt about that."In fact, more than a dozen or so have been fired today according to the factions here on the ground."On a symbolic level, at the end of the day the Palestinian people remain here on the ground, having paid a very heavy price though."Their position was one of steadfast defiance. The fact that they can stay and essentially ... claim that they have been able to stave off this aggression, in terms of the leadership and the command and control structure of Hamas and the government here, is certainly a sign for many here that they…

The American Conservative -- Another War, Another Defeat

The American Conservative -- Another War, Another Defeat
Israelis and their American supporters claim that Israel learned its lessons well from the disastrous 2006 Lebanon war and has devised a winning strategy for the present war against Hamas. Of course, when a ceasefire comes, Israel will declare victory. Don’t believe it. Israel has foolishly started another war it cannot win. The campaign in Gaza is said to have two objectives: 1) to put an end to the rockets and mortars that Palestinians have been firing into southern Israel since it withdrew from Gaza in August 2005; 2) to restore Israel’s deterrent, which was said to be diminished by the Lebanon fiasco, by Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, and by its inability to halt Iran’s nuclear program. But these are not the real goals of Operation Cast Lead. The actual purpose is connected to Israel’s long-term vision of how it intends to live with millions of Palestinians in its midst. It is part of a broader strategic goal: the creation of…

Two children killed in Gaza as Israeli tank strikes United Nations school before ceasefire - Telegraph

Two children killed in Gaza as Israeli tank strikes United Nations school before ceasefire - Telegraph
The two brothers, aged five and seven, were killed at a school sheltering up to 1,800 local residents in Biet Lahiya, in northern Gaza. The mother of the children lost both her legs in the incident and another 13 people were injured.Christopher Gunness, a United Nations official, called on Israel to investigate the incident, which he said could constitute a "war crime."

Democracy Now! | Palestinian Astrophysicist in US Recounts How His 11-Year-Old Son Died When Israeli Warplanes Bombed His Family's House

Democracy Now! | Palestinian Astrophysicist in US Recounts How His 11-Year-Old Son Died When Israeli Warplanes Bombed His Family's House:
Palestinian Astrophysicist in US Recounts How His 11-Year-Old Son Died When Israeli Warplanes Bombed His Family’s House
"As the Palestinian death toll in Israel’s assault on Gaza climbs above 1,100, we take a look behind the statistics. Suleiman Baraka is a Palestinian astrophysicist working at Virgnia Tech with NASA. His eleven-year-old son Ibrahim was killed in an Israeli air strike on his house. His wife and three other children are now homeless in Gaza, along with seventeen members of his family. In his first broadcast interview in the US, Suleiman Baraka tells his story. We also speak with Suleiman’s brother, Sayed, who arrived at the house seconds after it was bombed."

Palestinian killed, IDF soldier hurt in West Bank protest against Gaza operation

Israel Defense Forces troops on Friday shot and killed a Palestinian who participated in a violent West Bank protest against Israel's offensive in Gaza.

An IDF soldier sustained light wounds when Palestinian demonstrators hurled rocks at troops who stopped them from marching into Hebron to protest the Israeli operation in the coastal strip.

IDF soldiers then fired tear gas rubber-coated bullets at the group of protesters, killing one.

Palestinian witnesses named the dead man as Musab Daana, 20.

A Palestinian medic said that Daana was killed by a live round to the head.

Fifteen other Palestinians were injured in the incident.

Israel's offensive in Gaza entered its 21 day Friday, as the Israel Air Force attacked close to 40 targets in the coastal strip, while rockets fired from Gaza pounded southern Israel.

Informed Comment: Israel Should Stop the War and Let US Enjoy the Inauguration;
Cease fire Mooted;
55 Palestinians Killed Friday, including Little Girls

Informed Comment: Israel Should Stop the War and Let US Enjoy the Inauguration; <br> Cease fire Mooted; <br> 55 Palestinians Killed Friday, including Little Girls

The father of the dead little girls, Dr. Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish, appears to have been a sort of an Arab "Dr. Sanjay Gupta" who came on Israeli television frequently. He was about to do an interview on Israeli television when the word reached him of the atrocity against his family. His wife had earlier died of cancer, so his children were all he had left. He commuted to Tel Aviv from Gaza and told the girls to sleep near the stone walls to stay safe in his absence.

The Israeli anchors put his anguished lamentations on the air for over 3 minutes, which I take to be their own little protest against Olmert's Butcher Shop. The physician is heard repeatedly crying out, "Ya Rabb, ya Allah" (O Lord, O God!) as the image of the mangles small bodies invades his mind.

ei: Israeli assault injures 1.5 million Gazans

ei: Israeli assault injures 1.5 million Gazans: "This week the death toll in Gaza passed the 1,000 mark, after three weeks of Israeli air and ground attacks. But surprisingly, no one has reported an even more appalling statistic: that there are some 1.5 million injured Palestinians in Gaza. How is is possible that such an astounding figure could have passed the world's media by?

The reason apparently is that they have been relying on the highly unreliable statistics provided by official Palestinian sources. It appears that the Palestinian health ministry only records as wounded those Gazans who need to stay in hospital because of the severity of their injuries.

That means they only count the more than 4,500 Gazans who have suffered injuries such as severe burns from exploding Israeli phosphorus shells; shrapnel wounds from artillery rounds; broken or lost limbs from aerial bombardment; bullet wounds; physical trauma from falling building debris; and so on.

But in fact there is a…

blackagendareport.com - Black Caucus Abandons King Legacy and Black Opinion, Votes For War on Gaza

blackagendareport.com - Black Caucus Abandons King Legacy and Black Opinion, Votes For War on Gaza: "by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It's hard to believe that a generation ago, the Congressional Black Caucus was known as 'the conscience of the congress, a political and moral high ground long deserted by the current CBC, which has utterly collapsed under Israel-lobby pressure for the second time in three years.

All but two Black lawmakers voted either 'Yes' or 'Present' on a Resolution that absolved Israel for its crimes against humanity in Gaza - placing all blame on Hamas. In 2006, only two Black Caucus members opposed a Resolution supporting Israel's savage destruction if Lebanon's infrastructure and the killing of 1,000 people. Hypocritically turning their backs both on Black public opinion and on the work of Dr. King, whose name they invoke at every public opportunity, the CBC has put itself 'out of the anti-war business,' and well ou…

Palestinians at hospital in Cairo support Hamas - The Boston Globe

Palestinians at hospital in Cairo support Hamas - The Boston Globe: "CAIRO - At Nasser hospital in the Egyptian capital, the sound of Palestinian Arabic spills out from rooms and floats through the corridors of the fourth floor. 'God is great, God is great,' Ahmed Hussein, 25, said to a weeping Egyptian woman, one of a stream of visitors coming to pay their respects to those injured by Israeli air strikes.
"May God make you be victorious," she said. "I cannot stand what is happening to your people."

Neither, apparently, can Hussein, a Palestinian policeman whose right arm was broken when Israeli missiles hit his police academy Dec. 27. Hussein voted for Hamas in the last election but had never joined their militia. That's about to change.

"I want to go back and fight with Hamas," he said."

(eca149): Rights group: 40 medics in burning Gaza hospital (Extra)

(eca149): Rights group: 40 medics in burning Gaza hospital (Extra)
Tel Aviv - Some 40 medical personnel were 'trapped' inside a hospital in the Gaza Strip, after it was apparently hit by shells and set ablaze on Thursday, an Israeli medical group said.

The staff were at the al-Quds hospital in the Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City, where one wing was still on fire. Fire trucks were at the scene trying to extinguish the flames.

The Israeli Physicians for Human Rights, which spoke with the head of the hospital, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that efforts were also being made to 'evacuate the sick and wounded.'

The hospital also housed the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Patients Scramble to Flee Gaza City Hospital Set Ablaze by Israeli Attack | News From Antiwar.com

There was utter panic in one Gaza City neighborhood this evening after an Israeli tank shell hit the crowded al-Quds hospital, setting it ablaze. The area was shelled for most of the day, and desperate patients wounded in the war struggled to get out of their beds and flee the latest Israeli attack.The fire trapped roughly 40 medical personnel in the hospital, according to Israeli Physicians for Human Rights, and fire trucks at the scene struggled to contain the blaze. The fire in the medical area was reportedly brought under control, but the ability to put the fire out in the administration section was hampered by what officials at the scene described as a fire caused by a white phosphorus shell.French doctor Regis Garrigue spoke at the Red Crescent operated hospital. “The Israelis are bombing and attacking all around the hospital. We can’t get out. There’s fire, and we’re trapped inside. The water has been cut off.”There have been persistent reports since the invasion began of Israe…

BBC NEWS | Africa | Thousands cheer Ethiopia pull-out

BBC NEWS | Africa | Thousands cheer Ethiopia pull-out
Thousands of Somalis have gathered at the football stadium in Mogadishu to celebrate the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from the city.

The stadium was a former Ethiopian base and Islamist and clan elders called for Somalis to solve their own problems and not resort to more violence.

There has been no fighting in the city since the Ethiopians left this week.

Reports: Israeli airstrike kills Palestinian interior minister - On Deadline - USATODAY.com

Reports: Israeli airstrike kills Palestinian interior minister - On Deadline - USATODAY.com: "Hamas says Interior Minister Said Siam was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters and the Associated Press.

The 50-year-old was a top member of the Hamas-led government. The Jerusalem Post says he was in charge of 'various security apparatuses' in the territory.

'Siam's brother Ayad and the head of Hamas' security organization in Gaza, Salah Abu Sharah, were also killed in the strike. Palestinian sources reported that 20 other people were injured in the attack,' Ynetnews reports on its website."

    Obama Nation Upholds US Terror          : Information Clearing House - ICH

     The sources of Arabs’ Shame         : Information Clearing House - ICH

     The sources of Arabs’ Shame         : Information Clearing House - ICH: "The often asked question, when it comes to the Palestinians, is about the role of Arab countries in the Palestinian struggle for freedom. The people not familiar with the political landscape of the area often see the Middle East as two camps, Arab countries on one side and Israel on the other. The reality is totally different. Israel has seldom been alone. Beside its usual American, French, British and other staunch allies, she has had the hidden backing of several Arab countries.

For close to 30 years now, many Arab countries have been collaborating with Israel; some like Egypt (gained independence: 1922) and Jordan (gained independence: 1946) openly while others like Saudi Arabia (founded: 1932), UAE (founded: 1972) and Kuwait (founded: 1961) from behind the scenes.

The reasons for this collaboration vary from country to country but they all have one thing in common: the rulers of these countries are al…

       Ismail Haniyeh: My message to the West –        : Information Clearing House - ICH

       Ismail Haniyeh: My message to the West –        : Information Clearing House - ICH: "Palestinians are appalled that the members of the European Union do not view this obscene siege as a form of aggression. Despite the overwhelming evidence, they shamelessly assert that Hamas brought this catastrophe upon the Palestinian people because it did not renew the truce. Yet we ask, did Israel honour the terms of the ceasefire mediated by Egypt in June? It did not. The agreement stipulated a lifting of the siege and an end to attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Despite our full compliance, the Israelis persisted in murdering Palestinians in Gaza as well as the West Bank during what became known as the year of the Annapolis peace.

None of the atrocities committed against our schools, universities, mosques, ministries and civil infra-structure would deter us in the pursuit of our national rights. Undoubtedly, Israel could demolish every building in the Gaza Strip but it would…

   Gaza Witness Reports           : Information Clearing House - ICH

    Israelis shell hospitals and UN HQ           : Information Clearing House - ICH

Israelis shell hospitals and UN HQ: Information Clearing House - ICH
January 15, 2009 "Al Jazeera" -- -Three hospitals and a UN compound have been bombed by Israel as troops continue to advance into the densely-populated Gaza City.

Around 500 people were sheltering in the Al-Quds hospital in the city's southwestern Tal Al-Hawa district when it was bombed by Israeli jets and set ablaze on Thursday morning.

Hospital officials said the fire was sparked by a "phosphorus shell".

"We have been able to control the fire in the hospital but not in the administrative building," one hospital official said.

"We hope that the flames don't spread again to the wings of the hospital."

Two hospitals east of Gaza City were also hit by Israeli shells as Gazans fled tanks advancing into the city.

It was no immediately clear if any casualties following the raids.

UN fire 'still raging'

The Israelis also bombed a UN compound in Gaza City, setting fire to wareh…

        What You Need To Know About Israel's "Colonies"       : Information Clearing House - ICH

        What You Need To Know About Israel's "Colonies"       : Information Clearing House - ICH: "What You Need To Know About Israel's 'Colonies'

Video

Anna Baltzer, a young Jewish American, went to the West Bank to discover the realities of daily life for Palestinians under the occupation. What she found would change her outlook on the conflict forever. She wrote this book to give voice to the stories of the people who welcomed her with open arms as their lives crumbled around them. For five months, Baltzer lived and worked with farmers, Palestinian and Israeli activists, and the families of political prisoners, traveling with them across endless checkpoints and roadblocks to reach hospitals, universities, and olive groves.

Baltzer witnessed firsthand the environmental devastation brought on by expanding settlements and outposts and the destruction wrought by Israels Security Fence, which separates many families from each other, their communities, their l…

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 01/13/2009 | Poll: American public backs Israel firmly in war with Hamas

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 01/13/2009 | Poll: American public backs Israel firmly in war with Hamas: "WASHINGTON — As Palestinian casualties mount in the Gaza Strip, the American people are squarely behind Israel and overwhelmingly think that using force against Hamas is appropriate, according to a new McClatchy/Ipsos poll.

Forty-four percent of Americans support Israel's use of force, while only 18 percent considered Hamas' use of force appropriate. Fifty-seven percent think that Hamas is using excessive force, while only 36 percent said Israel was.

Nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in the violence — soldiers and civilians — and at least nine Israeli soldiers and four civilians have died.

When it comes to who's to blame for the latest Middle East crisis, Americans blame Hamas hands down: Forty-four percent said Hamas, 14 percent said Israel and 29 percent said they weren't sure. Nine percent said both, and 4 percent said neither."

Palestinian official: 800,000 Gazans without water_English_Xinhua

Palestinian official: 800,000 Gazans without water_English_Xinhua: "GAZA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian official said on Wednesday that 800,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip lack water due to the Israeli air and ground offensive on the enclave.

Monzer Shublaq, chief of the Gaza Strip water authorities, told reporters that 800,000 Palestinians out of the total Gaza Strip population, which stands at about 1.5 million, 'are without water now.'

'There are two reasons that led to the water crisis. One is that the Israeli army tanks destroyed the major water pipes that supply large areas in the Gaza Strip,' said Shublaq.

The other reason is that Israel has been closing down all its border crossings with the Gaza Strip and it has not allowed fuels into the enclave for about three weeks, leaving the strip no fuel to operate most of its water pumps, he added."