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Showing posts from February, 2009

Exclusive: Lawyer says Guantanamo abuse worse since Obama | Reuters

Exclusive: Lawyer says Guantanamo abuse worse since Obama | Reuters: "By Luke Baker

LONDON (Reuters) - Abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has worsened sharply since President Barack Obama took office as prison guards 'get their kicks in' before the camp is closed, according to a lawyer who represents detainees.

Abuses began to pick up in December after Obama was elected, human rights lawyer Ahmed Ghappour told Reuters. He cited beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-forcefeeding detainees who are on hunger strike.

The Pentagon said on Monday that it had received renewed reports of prisoner abuse during a recent review of conditions at Guantanamo, but had concluded that all prisoners were being kept in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

'According to my clients, there has been a ramping up in abuse since President Obama was inaugurated,' said Ghappour, a British-American lawy…

The Raw Story | Senate to announce investigation of torture under Bush, senators say

The Raw Story | Senate to announce investigation of torture under Bush, senators say: "The Senate is quietly preparing plans to investigate allegations of torture under President George W. Bush, according to comments published Wednesday by Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

The Senate Judiciary Committee could announce a hearing to consider various plans to probe allegations of torture as early as today, according to Salon's Mark Benjamin, citing Committee Chairman Pat Leahy and members of his staff.

Leahy's office told Raw Story Wednesday morning that a press release would be sent out shortly.

Sen. Whitehouse said he’s “convinced” the investigation will move forward.

“Stay on this,” he told Benjamin. “This is going to be big.”"

Daily Star: Simply The Best 7 Days A Week :: News :: 4,000 Muslim Brits join Taliban

Daily Star: Simply The Best 7 Days A Week :: News :: 4,000 Muslim Brits join Taliban: "THOUSANDS of British-born Muslims have joined the Taliban in Afghanistan.

UK troops say they are facing a mini civil war as more Brits head out to fight for the enemy.

Senior officers said British-born Muslims from the West Midlands and Yorkshire have travelled to Helmand province and other parts of southern Afghanistan.

Interception of Taliban communications has revealed the sound of jihadists speaking with West Midlands accents."

       "As the Arabs see the Jews"                             

"As the Arabs see the Jews" "As The Arabs See The Jews"

His Majesty King Abdullah

The American Magazine November, 1947


February 26, 2009 "
Information Clearing House" - - This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish im… Somalia: 21 Killed in 'Worst Battle' Since Ethiopia Pullout (Page 1 of 1) Somalia: 21 Killed in 'Worst Battle' Since Ethiopia Pullout (Page 1 of 1)
Fighters loyal to two insurgent groups - Al Shabaab and Party of Islam - took to the streets and sparked "the worst battle since Ethiopian troops left," according to Radio Garowe's correspondent in Mogadishu.Medina Hospital officials said more than 50 wounded people were admitted for treatment, adding that the fighting was still ongoing and more wounded people were expected.One hospital official told the BBC Somali Service that six victims died at the hospital, bringing the total number of deaths to 21, mostly civilians.

Who Is Binyam Mohamed? - by Andy Worthington

Who Is Binyam Mohamed? - by Andy Worthington: "Who Is Binyam Mohamed?

by Andy Worthington

As British resident Binyam Mohamed stepped off a plane at RAF Northolt on Monday Feb. 23, six years and 10 months since he was first abducted by the Pakistani authorities at Karachi airport, it was impossible not to sympathize with the words written in a statement by the tall, thin, slightly stooped 30-year-old and delivered by his lawyers at a press conference.

'I hope you will understand that after everything I have been through I am neither physically nor mentally capable of facing the media on the moment of my arrival back to Britain,' the statement read. 'Please forgive me if I make a simple statement through my lawyer. I hope to be able to do better in days to come, when I am on the road to recovery.'

For the last three and a half years, since Binyam Mohamed's lawyers at Reprieve, the legal action charity, first released his harrowing account of his torture in Morocco a…

Guantanamo Bay: British Resident Binyam Mohamed Returns To Britain | UK News | Sky News

Guantanamo Bay: British Resident Binyam Mohamed Returns To Britain | UK News | Sky News: "Ethiopian-born Mr Mohamed, 30, had been held at Guantanamo Bay since September 2004.

He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 after the US launched its war on terror.

Mr Mohamed claims he was secretly flown to Morocco and tortured before being moved to Afghanistan and then Cuba.

He also alleges he was tortured into falsely confessing to terrorist activities and claims MI5 officers were complicit in his abuse."

Wis. reservist refuses to return to Iraq - Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times

Wis. reservist refuses to return to Iraq - Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times
Wis. reservist refuses to return to Iraq
By James A. Carlson - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Feb 23, 2009 20:54:32 EST MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin Army Reservist refused to leave Friday to return to his unit in Iraq, saying he’s become disillusioned with the U.S. role there.Spc. Kristoffer Walker of Green Bay said he sent an e-mail to his squad leader, platoon sergeant and company first sergeant in Iraq, stating he won’t return from his two-week leave.The 28-year-old Walker has served with the 353rd Transportation Company out of Buffalo, Minn., which deployed to Iraq in October. He said he was a truck driver for the first two months, and since then he’s worked in the headquarters office.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Call to relax Guantanamo regime

BBC NEWS | Americas | Call to relax Guantanamo regime: "A US defence department review of conditions at Guantanamo Bay detention camp has called for an easing of the isolation of prisoners there.

The Pentagon report says inmates should be allowed more social interaction and opportunities for recreation.

It comes as new US Attorney General Eric Holder pays his first visit to the controversial facility in Cuba.

Last month, President Barack Obama ordered the Guantanamo Bay camp to be closed within one year.

About 250 prisoners are still held there, nearly all without charge.

Among them was a UK inmate, who returned from the camp to Britain earlier on Monday.

Ethiopian-born Binyam Mohamed, 30, was held in Guantanamo for more than four years and says he was tortured.

He became the first Guantanamo prisoner released since Barack Obama took office."

Israeli spying a major setback for Hizbollah - The National Newspaper

Israeli spying a major setback for Hizbollah - The National Newspaper: "BEIRUT // The revelation last week that Israeli intelligence had penetrated the highest levels of Hizbollah left the normally secretive militant group scrambling to contain the damage.

The initial reports, detailed in the Lebanese media last week, revealed that Marwan Faqih, a long-time associate of the group’s tight-knit leadership, has been accused by an internal Hizbollah investigation of spying for Israel since at least the mid-1990s. Hizbollah is thought to have arrested Mr Faqih last month before recently turning him over to the Lebanese authorities for prosecution.

A well-known businessman in the southern city of Nabatiyeh, Mr Faqih ran several automobile-related businesses, including dealerships and mechanic shops. Official leaks from Lebanese security forces accused Mr Faqih of using access to Hizbollah vehicles to install tracking and listening devices on behalf of Israeli intelligence services to tra…

11 killed in attack on peacekeepers in Somalia | Antiwar Newswire

11 killed in attack on peacekeepers in Somalia | Antiwar Newswire: "An attack on an African Union peacekeeping base in the Somali capital Sunday killed 11 people and injured 15, the AU said, but it denied insurgent claims of a suicide attack.

El Ghassim Wane, a spokesman for the AU in Addis Ababa, said the insurgents had fired mortars onto the base in Mogadishu. He gave no further details."

Israel orders Palestinian homes razed | Herald Sun

Israel orders Palestinian homes razed | Herald Sun: "ISRAEL has ordered hundreds of Palestinians to leave their homes in annexed east Jerusalem, warning their houses are illegal, officials and residents said today.

'The owners of 80 houses in the al-Bustan neighbourhood have received eviction notices saying that the structures will be destroyed because they are illegal,' said Hatem Abdel Kader, an official responsible for Jerusalem affairs in the Palestinian government.

He said 1500 people were living in the threatened houses in the neighbourhood abutting the Old City.

He said several of the houses served with demolition orders were built before 1967, when Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six Day War but numerous extensions have been built since.

'The (Jerusalem) municipality used this as a pretext to issue the demolition orders despite appeals by the residents,' he said."

IAEA: Iran Not Capable of Making Nuclear Weapons | News From

IAEA: Iran Not Capable of Making Nuclear Weapons | News From
Despite the attention being paid to claims that Iran has enough uranium to hypothetically build a nuclear weapon, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran is “not there yet” as far as the capability of making weapons is concerned.Iran has enriched 1,010 kilograms of uranium hexaflouride to the low levels needed for the Bushehr nuclear power plant which is approaching operation. Some say this would be sufficient to make a weapon, however the IAEA has continued to verify that none of it has been diverted to any other use.The White House has presented the Iranian nuclear program as an “urgent problem that has to be addressed,” in spite of the fact that the IAEA has insisted that has been cooperating on recent issues.

The Rise of Avigdor Lieberman- by Justin Raimondo

The Rise of Avigdor Lieberman- by Justin Raimondo
Lieberman and his party are quite a different breed. Like the German National Socialists, they are avowed enemies of religion and tradition, revolutionaries impatient to sweep away the failed remnants of the old order and root out an internal "fifth column" they claim represents a threat to the nation. As I put it some months ago, what we have in Lieberman is the final proof that we are, indeed, living in Bizarro World, and reality has been turned on its head. Because what we are seeing in Israel today is the rise to power of a Jewish Hitler.American policymakers, consumed as they are by the possibility that some homicidal maniac will acquire access to nuclear weapons – Saddam Hussein, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Osama bin Laden – should ask themselves what will happen if Lieberman gets his hands on them. After all, here is a man who called for bombing Tehran – and the Aswan…

The Hindu : International : Iran not producing weapon-grade uranium: IAEA

The Hindu : International : Iran not producing weapon-grade uranium: IAEA: "DUBAI: Iran has not converted the low-grade uranium that it has produced into weapon-grade uranium, inspectors belonging to the International Atomic Energy Agency have said.

The Austrian Press Agency quoted an IAEA expert as saying that the uranium substances that Iran has produced at its Natanz enrichment facility have been carefully recorded and remote cameras have been installed to supervise part of the stockpile.

“If the Iranians intend to transport these uranium substances to a secret location for further processing, agency’s inspectors will find out,” he said.

The expert added that “so far, Iran has carried out good cooperation with us in relevant verifications”."

Eritrean leader rejects mediation on border dispute with Ethiopia

Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper - Europe/World
Eritrean leader rejects mediation on border dispute with EthiopiaNAIROBI: Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki has rejected any effort to mediate a border dispute with arch-foe Ethiopia, calling it a “wicked ploy”, state media said yesterday.
The once-close Horn of Africa neighbours have been locked in a bitter row over their 1,000km frontier since a 1998-2000 war that killed 70,000 people.
Last week, Ethiopia said it supported efforts by Libyan leader and new African Union chairman Muammar Gaddafi to arbitrate between Addis Ababa and Asmara, but doubted the manoeuvre would be successful.


: "Voniati: On the other hand, Hamas has been accused of using human shields to hide and protect itself. Israel insists that the war was a matter of defense. Is Hamas a terrorist organization, as it is accused to be? Is Israel a terrorist state?

Chomsky: Well, Hamas is accused of using human shields, rightly or wrongly. But we know that Israel does it all the time. Is Israel a terrorist state? Well yes according to official definitions. I mean, one of the main things holding up cease fire right now is that Israel insists that it will not allow a cease fire until Hamas returns a captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit - he’s very famous in the West everybody knows he was captured. Well, one day before Gilad Shalit was captured, Israeli forces went into Gaza City and kidnapped two Palestinian civilians (the Muamar Brothers) and brought them across the border to Israel in violation of international law and hid them somewhere in the huge Israeli prisons. Nobody knows what happened to th…

    Cambodia's Missing Criminals          : Information Clearing House - ICH

Cambodia's Missing Criminals : Information Clearing House - ICH
February 21, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- At my hotel in Phnom Penh, the women and children sat on one side of the room, palais-style, the men on the other. It was a disco night and a lot of fun; then suddenly people walked to the windows and wept. The DJ had played a song by the much-loved Khmer singer, Sin Sisamouth, who had been forced to dig his own grave and to sing the Khmer Rouge anthem before he was beaten to death. I experienced many such reminders in the years following Pol Pot’s fall.

There was another kind of reminder. In the village of Neak Long, a Mekong River town, I walked with a distraught man through a necklace of bomb craters. His entire family of 13 had been blown to pieces by an American B-52. That had happened almost two years before Pol Pot came to power in 1975. It is estimated more than 600,000 Cambodians were slaughtered that way.

The problem with the United Nation…

Anti-US Iraqi cleric facing leadership challenge | Antiwar Newswire

Anti-US Iraqi cleric facing leadership challenge | Antiwar Newswire: "The firebrand anti-American cleric whose militia battled U.S. troops for years is facing a strong challenge for leadership of Iraq's poor, urban Shiites from a small, well-organized faction with loose links to Iran, senior figures within his movement say.

The split within Muqtada al-Sadr's organization has widened as Shiite groups weigh the outcome of last month's provincial elections and prepare for a national ballot this year that will determine the leadership in Baghdad.

The dissident faction is expected to mount a campaign to become a rival force appealing to al-Sadr's base among poor Shiites, senior officials close to the cleric said in interviews this week. This would offer greater openings for Tehran's influence in Iraq and give political cover to the so-called 'special groups' of Sadrists that have continued attacks on U.S.-led forces."

Suicide Bombing Kills At Least 30 at Pakistani Shi’ite Funeral | News From

Suicide Bombing Kills At Least 30 at Pakistani Shi’ite Funeral | News From
The already simmering tensions in Pakistan’s tribal areas took another hit today, when a suicide bomber attacked the funeral procession of an assassinated Shi’ite leader in Dera Ismail Khan, killing at least 30 and injuring an additional 65.The Pakistani army has been called in in the wake of the attack, a curfew imposed on the city and a “shoot on sight” order issued. Residents are urged to remain indoors and no timetable has yet been given for when the curfew will be lifted.Police say a motorcyclist dropped off the bomber, who ran into the crowd of people before detonating his explosives. It is the second time in three month that a prominent Shi’ite was assassinated in the city and his funeral bombed.

Democracy Now! | Penn. Judges Get Kickbacks for Placing Youths in Privately Owned Jails

Democracy Now! | Penn. Judges Get Kickbacks for Placing Youths in Privately Owned Jails: "An unprecedented case of judicial corruption is unfolding in Pennsylvania. Several hundred families have filed a class-action lawsuit against two former judges who have pleaded guilty to taking bribes in return for placing youths in privately owned jails. Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan are said to have received $2.6 million for ensuring juvenile suspects were jailed in prisons operated by the companies PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care. Some of the youths were jailed over the objections of their probation officers. An estimated 5,000 juveniles have been sentenced by Ciavarella since the scheme started in 2002. We speak to two youths sentenced by Ciavarella and to Bob Schwartz of the Juvenile Law Center. [includes rush transcript]"

   Jailing Kids for Cash           : Information Clearing House - ICH

Jailing Kids for Cash : Information Clearing House - ICH: "As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United States.

Take the story of Jamie Quinn. When she was 14 years old, she was imprisoned for almost a year. Jamie, now 18, described the incident that led to her incarceration:"

SudanTribune article : The difference between being an Ethiopian and being Habesha.

SudanTribune article : The difference between being an Ethiopian and being Habesha.By Magn NyangFebruary 17, 2009 — Recently, a 22-year old young girl from Anyuak of Gambella won the beauty contest of Ms. Ethiopia. Lots of responses went out on media from Ethiopians all over the world about her win. Even though, most respondents seemed very knowledgeable about the differences between being an Ethiopian and being Habesha, few seemed confused about the differences. In their writings, the confused ones, wrote as if they own Ethiopia and as if being an Ethiopian means being Habesha. This article seeks to show the differences between being an Ethiopian and being Habesha.The Habesha are those people who are from the North part of Ethiopia, specifically, the Tigre, the Agew, the Beta Israel and the Amhara. The Anyuaks of Gambella are from Southwest of Ethiopia. These two groups led their lives and their history seperately. The Anyuaks had their own history in the Southwest dating back to 2,0…

ei: Did Egypt sabotage deal over Gaza, Shalit?

ei: Did Egypt sabotage deal over Gaza, Shalit?: "The complicity of the Egyptian regime extends to the negotiations mediated by Cairo. In fact, that regime is not a mediator between two sides or an honest deal maker; its interests meet those of Israel to the extent that it is functioning as a broker on behalf of Israel. The war on Gaza left us with one eye set on the scenes of carnage in Gaza itself and another on Cairo, where the Egyptian negotiating team was trying to pressure the Palestinians (through Hamas) into surrender, something that Israel was not able to achieve by sheer military force. The international outcry, Hamas' ability to absorb the Israeli attacks and the resolve of Palestinians in Gaza provided the Hamas delegation in Cairo with a political leverage that allowed it to resist Egyptian pressure and intimidation. And as has been revealed through some recent leaks to the press, the Egyptians have utilized various intimidating techniques in order to force Hamas …

Iran and the West: A History of Violence by Eric Margolis

Iran and the West: A History of Violence by Eric Margolis: "The Allies deposed Iran’s ruler, Reza Shah, and installed his weak, pliant son, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, on the throne as the latest puppet ruler in the British Empire.

But in 1951, a highly popular Iranian democratic leader, Mohammed Mossadegh, became prime minister and promptly nationalized Iran’s British-owned oil industry, ordering its profits be used to lift Iran from poverty rather than enriching Britain. The Shah and his entourage of western advisors fled.

Two years later, US and British intelligence mounted a coup that overthrew Mossadegh, ending Iran’s first democratic government. The Shah was restored to the Peacock Throne. Iran’s oil wealth returned to British and, now, US control. Washington and London proclaimed they had won an important victory against 'Communism.'"

Do we still pretend that we abide by treaties? - Glenn Greenwald -

Do we still pretend that we abide by treaties? - Glenn Greenwald - "The U.S. really has bound itself to a treaty called the Convention Against Torture, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1988 and ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1994. When there are credible allegations that government officials have participated or been complicit in torture, that Convention really does compel all signatories -- in language as clear as can be devised -- to 'submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution' (Art. 7(1)). And the treaty explicitly bars the standard excuses that America's political class is currently offering for refusing to investigate and prosecute: 'No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture' and 'an order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justif…

Truthdig - Reports - America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Truthdig - Reports - America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia: "Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or take permanent control of Afghanistan (or Pakistan) and establish permanent NATO bases there (as some Afghans are convinced); or are we searching for Osama bin Laden and his principal collaborators, in order to bring them to justice for the 2001 attacks carried out against the New York World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon?

It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

It is essential that the new Obama administration give us an answer. Clearly we want Osama bin Laden, but it is equally clear (on the basis of present experience there, as in Iraq) that adding another 40,000 troops to the 40,000 already there, plus the NATO forces present, offers absolutely no assurance of success in capturing the head of al-Qaida.

Is it that …

Afghanistan: Slipping out of control - Asia, World - The Independent

Afghanistan: Slipping out of control - Asia, World - The Independent: "A grim picture of spiralling violence and a disintegrating society has emerged in Afghanistan in a confidential Nato report, just as Barack Obama vowed to send 17,000 extra American troops to the country in an attempt to stem a tide of insurgency.

Direct attacks on the increasingly precarious Afghan government more than doubled last year, while there was a 50 per cent increase in kidnappings and assassinations. Fatalities among Western forces, including British, went up by 35 per cent while the civilian death toll climbed by 46 per cent, more than the UN had estimated. Violent attacks were up by a third and roadside bombings, the most lethal source of Western casualties, by a quarter. There was also a 67 per cent rise in attacks on aircraft from the ground, a source of concern to Nato which depends hugely on air power in the conflict."

Afghan Civilian Casualties May Surge as Well - by Ali Gharib

Afghan Civilian Casualties May Surge as Well - by Ali Gharib: "In a report released Tuesday, CIVIC said that despite efforts already underway, the international community must do more to ensure that compensation reaches civilian victims of the conflict.

The recommendation is particularly acute as last year's death toll for the conflict shows a staggering increase in civilian casualties. The U.N. reported Tuesday that such deaths were up nearly 40 percent in 2008, to a total of 2,118 civilians killed. As a result, the popularity of the seven-year-old campaign is plummeting among Afghans.

A poll of Afghan public opinion released last week by ABC News, the BBC, and ARD said that a slight majority of Afghans view the U.S. unfavorably. In 2005, by comparison, the U.S. garnered an 83 percent favorable rating."

Terrorist threat 'exploited to curb civil liberties' - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

Terrorist threat 'exploited to curb civil liberties' - UK Politics, UK - The Independent: "Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has accused the Government of exploiting public fear of terrorism to restrict civil liberties.

Her comments came on the same day as a report published by international jurists suggested that Britain and America have led other countries in 'actively undermining' the rule of law and 'threatening civil liberties' in the guise of fighting terrorism.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, Dame Stella said that a series of increasingly draconian policies have led British citizens to 'live in fear and under a police state'"

MNF refuse to comment on statement regarding killing 303 Iraqis in 2008 : Aswat Al Iraq

MNF refuse to comment on statement regarding killing 303 Iraqis in 2008 : Aswat Al Iraq: "BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: The Multi-National Forces on Monday refused to comment on the statement published on the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) Web site regarding the killing of 303 Iraqis by U.S. forces in 2008."

Bush III: Obama on Torture & Wiretapping

Bush III: Obama on Torture & Wiretapping
“They have drawn a line in the sand between the executive and the judiciary, saying, 'You do not control these documents, we do,’ " said Jon Eisenberg, the attorney for the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, which filed the suit against warrantless wiretapping. The Obama administration’s assertion of the phony “state secrets” privilege strikes at the heart of the Constitution and justice system. Eisenberg is right in that if courts cannot get at the facts, they cannot decide justly. And if the executive branch can cover up crimes against the Constitution (as warrantless wiretaps are) by keeping all of the facts secret, then the court system itself becomes corrupted and irrelevant.

The Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation charged in the lawsuit that the U.S. government unconstitutionally wiretapped them. The irony of the “state secrets” argument in this case is that the federal government accidentally faxed a document to the foundation in 2005…

       : Information Clearing House - ICH

: Information Clearing House - ICH: "Listen and listen well
O! One who could have been our brother
It is not whether we live or die that is important
It is how we live and how we die
Ask yourself: How would you like to be remembered?
Without respect, despised and accursed through the centuries,
Or blessed, honored, your passing mourned.
Allah is our witness: We lived with honor; begging for no favors
And He is our witness: That today we die with honor, on our feet
Fighting until the last breath leaves our body, even if all we have in our hands are stones
He is the witness over us both
As you kill us and as we die
And to Him is our return"

      The PLO: Why an Alternative and Why the Panic?          : Information Clearing House - ICH Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Withdraw From Border Town (Page 1 of 1) Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Withdraw From Border Town (Page 1 of 1): "Beledweyn — More Ethiopian troops have withdrawn from Kalaber Village about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Beledweyn, the regional capital of Hiiran region in central Somalia, eyewitnesses told Shabelle radio on Friday.

The Ethiopian troops have been in the region for the last three weeks and the residents have expressed concern about the presence of the Ethiopian troops in the region.

Locals say the Ethiopian troops with more military trucks left from the region heading to the border between the two countries.

The Ethiopian soldiers hijacked more Somali, civilian trucks and killed civilians during their presence in the region.

Ethiopia pulled out its troops from Somalia last month as a part of an agreement between the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia and the transitional government. But residents and clan elders said that the Ethiopian troops have re-entered Somalia, which Ethiopia denied …

Does Zionism legitimize every act of violence? - Haaretz - Israel News

Does Zionism legitimize every act of violence? - Haaretz - Israel News
The Israeli left died in 2000. Since then its corpse has been lying around unburied until finally its death certificate was issued, signed, sealed and delivered on Tuesday. The hangman of 2000 was also the gravedigger of 2009: Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The man who succeeded in spreading the lie about there being no partner has reaped the fruit of his deeds in this election. The funeral was held two days ago.

The Israeli left is dead. For the past nine years it took the name of the peace camp in vain. The Labor Party, Meretz and Kadima had pretensions of speaking in its name, but that was trickery and deceit. Labor and Kadima made two wars and continued to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank; Meretz supported both wars. Peace has been left an orphan. The Israeli voters, who have been misled into thinking that there is no one to talk to and that the only answer to this is force - wars, targeted killings and se…

Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, Iraq from the Inside of an Armored BMW

Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, Iraq from the Inside of an Armored BMW
Fallujah, Iraq -- Driving through Fallujah, once the most rebellious Sunni city in this country, I saw little evidence of any kind of reconstruction underway. At least 70% of that city's structures were destroyed during massive U.S. military assaults in April, and again in November 2004, and more than four years later, in the "new Iraq," the city continues to languish. The shells of buildings pulverized by U.S. bombs, artillery, or mortar fire back then still line Fallujah's main street, or rather, what's left of it. As one of the few visible signs of reconstruction in the city, that street -- largely destroyed during the November 2004 siege -- is slowly being torn up in order to be repaved. Unemployment is rampant here, the infrastructure remains largely in ruins, and tens of thousands of residents who fled in 2004 are still refugees. How could it be otherwise, given the amount of effort that went in…

Food writer's online guide to building an H-bomb...the 'evidence' that put this man in Guantanamo | Mail Online

Food writer's online guide to building an H-bomb...the 'evidence' that put this man in Guantanamo | Mail Online: "A British ‘resident’ held at Guantanamo Bay was identified as a terrorist after confessing he had visited a ‘joke’ website on how to build a nuclear weapon, it was revealed last night.

Binyam Mohamed, a former UK asylum seeker, admitted to having read the ‘instructions’ after allegedly being beaten, hung up by his wrists for a week and having a gun held to his head in a Pakistani jail.

It was this confession that apparently convinced the CIA that they were holding a top
Al Qaeda terrorist."

Press TV - Egypt hinders investigations into Gaza war

Press TV - Egypt hinders investigations into Gaza war: "Egypt has refused entry into the Gaza Strip to members of an international committee in charge of investigating Israeli war crimes.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) set up the committee.

Four French and Norwegian lawyers comprise the committee. The ICC had earlier started preliminary analysis into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza war."

   Americans are Funding and Supporting Genocide           : Information Clearing House - ICH

Americans are Funding and Supporting Genocide : Information Clearing House - ICH: "The War against the Palestinian people by the Israeli Self Defense force (IDF) has been nothing short of genocide against a people that can’t defend themselves. The American media has consistently portrayed the Israeli nation as the injured party, when in reality; it has provoked Hamas by using siege warfare against the Gaza Strip since September of 2008. Hamas had nothing to lose by shooting their inefficient missiles at Israel. To understand exactly how lethal these missiles are, more Israeli’s have died in automobile accidents than in terrorist attacks. To further complicate a situation that has no immediate answers, Palestinian and Jewish DNA are remarkably similar, suggesting that they originated from the same ancestors."

Gaza children traumatized after Israeli offensive - Yahoo! News

Gaza children traumatized after Israeli offensive - Yahoo! News: "JABALYA CAMP, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – Five-year-old Mohammed al-Najjar lets his mind wander as he puts crayon to paper in an effort to depict an Israeli air strike inside a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

'This is the plane and those are two missiles it fired. They hit a house and the house was damaged but was fine. The fridge caught fire,' he says in matter-of-fact detail, sitting at a table with other children in Gaza's Jabalya camp.

He draws a girl who has survived the attack and places her outside the house, but there is also a boy.

'Khaled was killed,' he says.

The scene, which Mohammed drew at the urging of his teacher and a mental health counselor who visited his classroom, is imaginary. His home in Jabalya was not damaged, but others nearby were."

Hamas: Fatah strongman Dahlan collaborated with Israel ahead of Gaza op - Haaretz - Israel News

Hamas: Fatah strongman Dahlan collaborated with Israel ahead of Gaza op - Haaretz - Israel News: "A senior Hamas official has accused Fatah strongman Mahmoud Dahlan of collaborating with Israel to carry out Operation Cast Lead, the 22-day offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The official, identified only as a Hamas leader, told Time magazine that Dahlan - Abbas' former national security adviser - helped Israel ahead of the operation in order to weaken the resistance of the Islamist movement, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

According to the report, Dahlan went to the Egyptian town of El Arish before the operation actually began and dispatched Fatah members into Gaza to help the Israel Defense Forces hunt down Hamas fighters.
The Hamas officials reportedly accuse a number of other Fatah activists, aside from Dahlan, for collaborating with the intention of killing off Muslims and bringing their own movement back to power in the Gaza Strip"

Let Netanyahu win - Haaretz - Israel News

Let Netanyahu win - Haaretz - Israel News: "Lifting the veil will lead to a crisis situation, which unfortunately is the only one that can bring about change. We must hope that both Kadima and Labor do not join a Netanyahu government (regrettably, another futile hope), as Israel's exposure will then be that much starker. A government composed of Netanyahu, Shas and Avigdor Lieberman will not, of course, have to deal with an opposition of Netanyahu, Shas and Avigdor Lieberman, and may therefore behave differently once in power than one might expect. Have we mentioned Menachem Begin?"

Rebel leader Nkunda will return to Congo: Rwanda - Yahoo! News

Rebel leader Nkunda will return to Congo: Rwanda - Yahoo! News: "KIGALI (AFP) – Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda, currently under house arrest in Rwanda, will eventually be sent back to his country, Rwandan Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali said Saturday.

'General Nkunda is Congolese and will eventually have to return to his country Congo,' she told AFP.

Museminali said the date and the conditions of Nkunda's return to the Democratic Republic of Congo were being discussed 'by a team comprising representatives from both parties.'

Congolese President Joseph Kabila announced a week earlier that the process to extradite the leader of the National Congress for the Defence of the People was under way.

Nkunda was captured last month, two days into an unprecedented joint Rwandan-Congolese military operation in the eastern DRC officially targeted at Rwandan Hutu rebels.

On Friday, Museminali and her Congolese counterpart Tambwe Mwamba concluded a four-day meeting in…

Ethiopian woman confronts "Red Terror" ghosts - Yahoo! News

Ethiopian woman confronts "Red Terror" ghosts - Yahoo! News
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Although 13 years had passed, Hirut Abebe-Jiri instantly recognized the man who tortured her during Ethiopia's brutal "Red Terror" purges. It was a dark era little known to the outside world, but that glimpse of Kelbessa Negewo across an Atlanta hotel lobby in 1990 set in motion a chain of events that ended last month when he lost his appeal against a life sentence for genocide. The former local government official who once sowed such fear in her neighborhood of the Ethiopian capital had been carting around luggage and opening doors. "I was amazed," Hirut told Reuters on Sunday. "It was him. This powerful man was carrying people's bags."

Christian Support for Killing Iraqis

Christian Support for Killing Iraqis: "Among the things about the Iraq War that I have never been able to understand is how American Christians have been able, in good conscience, to support this war. After all, no one can deny that neither Iraq nor the Iraqi people ever attacked the United States. That makes the United States the aggressor — the attacker — in this particular conflict. How could American Christians support the killing of Iraqis in such a war of aggression? How could they reconcile this with God’s sacred commandment, Thou shalt not murder.

One possibility is that Americans initially viewed the Iraq War as one of self-defense. Placing their trust in their president and vice-president, they came to the conclusion that Iraq was about to unleash WMDs on American cities. Therefore, they concluded, America had the right to defend itself from this imminent attack, much as an individual has the moral right to use deadly force to defend his life from someone who is trying t…

Official: NATO Kills Seven Civilians in Afghanistan | News From

Official: NATO Kills Seven Civilians in Afghanistan | News From "The civilian death toll in Afghanistan continued to rise today as US forces launched an overnight operation killing six men in Zabul. The military insists that those killed were militants, but a member of Zabul’s provincial council insisted that the six killed were all civilians. Several other locals likewise insisted they were civilians. The US insists that it will look into the matter.

NATO forces also killed a civilian in Helmand Province, shooting him when he refused to stop for a passing NATO patrol. They assumed he was a suicide bomber, according to officials, though they later confirmed that he was not."

Robert Naiman: Would It Kill Us to Apologize to Iran for the Coup?

Robert Naiman: Would It Kill Us to Apologize to Iran for the Coup?
When President Obama told al-Arabiya, "if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us," the most widely reported Iranian response was President Ahmedinijad's suggestion that if the U.S. truly wants good relations with Iran, it should begin by apologizing for U.S. "crimes" against Iran, including U.S. support for the coup that overthrew Iranian democracy in 1953.

Pure Terrorism!

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Many killed in Pakistan bombing: "More than 30 people have been killed and dozens injured in a bomb attack on a religious procession in Pakistan's Punjab province, officials say.

The attack targeted Shia worshippers in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan.

They were leaving a mosque when the bomb went off. It is not clear who carried out the attack or whether it was the work of a suicide bomber.

Sectarian tensions in southern Punjab have in recent years been aggravated by the growing strength of Sunni Taleban."

ei: In Gaza, a "ranch" turned to rubble

ei: In Gaza, a "ranch" turned to rubble: "'There is nothing left for us to live for -- the house was lost and the furniture destroyed,' lamented Suad Muhammad Abed Rabu, a 53-year-old mother sitting in front of a fire stove in a still intact room of her badly damaged home. 'We prefer to die in our demolished house rather than live life as outcasts,' she said. 'Since we were born we have been suffering. Since 1948 we have moved from one refuge to another and from one war to another. All, including Arabs and Europeans, are conspiring against us, they don't want us to live.'"

ei: Palestinian boycott committee salutes S. African dock workers

ei: Palestinian boycott committee salutes S. African dock workers: "The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, BNC, warmly salutes the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), a member of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), for its decision today not to offload an Israeli ship that is due to arrive in Durban, South Africa, on 8 February. Coming weeks after the massive Israeli massacre in Gaza, this distinguished expression by SATAWU of effective solidarity with the Palestinian people in general, and with Gaza in particular, sets a historic precedent that reminds us of the first such action during the apartheid era taken by Danish dock workers in 1963, when they decided not to offload ships carrying South African products, triggering a similar boycott in Sweden, England and elsewhere."

Afghanistan says foreign fighters coming from Iraq | World | Reuters

Afghanistan says foreign fighters coming from Iraq | World | Reuters
KABUL (Reuters) - With the reduction of violence in Iraq, foreign militants were now flooding into Afghanistan to join Taliban insurgents battling Afghan and international troops, the Afghan defence minister said on Wednesday.There was a 33 percent rise in insurgent attacks in Afghanistan in 2008, according to NATO-led forces.Violence is expected to rise further in 2009 as Washington prepares to send up to 25,000 more troops into new areas of the southern Pashtun heartlands.Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said there were about 15,000 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan but their numbers were being swelled by foreign insurgents moving in from Iraq, where violence has fallen after a U.S. troop "surge" and other measures. - linking the world to Zimbabwe - linking the world to Zimbabwe
For 17 years Mengistu Haile Mariam, the former Ethiopian dictator who slaughtered opponents on an industrial scale in the “Red Terror”, has lived in Zimbabwe as the honoured guest of Robert Mugabe, dividing his time between a heavily guarded villa in Harare, a farm near the capital and a retreat on glorious Lake Kariba. Last year an Ethiopian court sentenced the “Butcher of Addis” to death after convicting him of genocide in absentia but Mr Mugabe flatly refused to extradite the man who helped to arm Zanu PF’s guerrillas during Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation war. Suddenly, however, the future of one of Africa’s worst tyrants looks less assured. Next week the Zimbabwe opposition Movement for Democratic Change will enter a unity government with Zanu PF and Nelson Chamisa, its chief spokesman, told The Times yesterday that Mengistu’s extradition to Ethiopia would be “high on the agenda” of that new administration. “Zimbabwe should not be a safe have…

The Daily Star - Politics - Hamas reiterates end of Gaza siege as price of truce

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Seized Pakistani policemen freed

BELLACIAO - U.S. Sold Phosphorus Shells Used in Gaza to Israel - LITTLE ROCK

BELLACIAO - U.S. Sold Phosphorus Shells Used in Gaza to Israel - LITTLE ROCK: "LITTLE ROCK The United States sold phosphorus artillery shells made at the Pine Bluff Arsenal to Israel — the same kind of rounds allegedly used against civilians during the recent fighting in Gaza.

A State Department official told The Associated Press that the rounds — typically used to light up darkened battlefields or provide smoke cover for combat troops — were most recently shipped to Israel in 2007. International human rights groups accuse the Israeli military of firing the chemical rounds into civilian homes, causing severe burns to those inside and killing at least one woman.

International law allows for the use of the phosphorus shells, but not in areas where civilians could be harmed by the burning rounds.

The Pine Bluff Arsenal, a 13,000-acre base near Little Rock that once housed some of the Army’s deadliest chemical and biological weapons, advertises itself as the only plant in North America …

   The US Is No Longer a Global Hegemon    : Information Clearing House - ICH

The US Is No Longer a Global Hegemon : Information Clearing House - ICH: "February 03, 2009 'Daily Star' --- Changes in the status and power of nations, just like changes in economic conditions, are not always immediately apparent. There is, in the jargon of economics, a recognition lag between the time when an economic shock, such as a sudden boom or bust, occurs and the time when it is recognized by economists, central bankers and the government.

Recognition lag explains why, for example, economists have only recently acknowledged the current economic recession - several months after it began. And recognition lag might well be why officials and pundits are now failing to recognize the detrimental impact of the combination of the Iraq war and the financial crisis on America's standing in the international system.

Some attribute Washington's current difficulties in dictating global developments to the Bush administration's mismanagement of US diplomacy and…

RIGHTS: Call to Try Bush

RIGHTS: Call to Try Bush: "BERLIN, Feb 2 (IPS) - Now that former U.S. president George W. Bush is an ordinary citizen again, many legal and human rights activists in Europe are demanding that he and high-ranking members of his government be brought before justice for crimes against humanity committed in the so-called war on terror.

'Judicial clarification of the crimes against international law the former U.S. government committed is one of the most delicate issues that the new U.S. president Barack Obama will have to deal with,' Wolfgang Kaleck, general secretary of the European Centre for Human and Constitutional Rights told IPS.

U.S. justice will have to 'deal with the turpitudes committed by the Bush government,' says Kaleck, who has already tried unsuccessfully to sue the former U.S. authorities in European courts. 'And, furthermore, the U.S. government will have to pay compensation to the innocent people who were victims of these crimes.'"

Gaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farmland | World news | The Observer

Gaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farmland | World news | The Observer: "Gaza's 1.5 million people are facing a food crisis as a result of the destruction of great areas of farmland during the Israeli invasion.

According to the World Food Programme, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and Palestinian officials, between 35% and 60% of the agriculture industry has been wrecked by the three-week Israeli attack, which followed two years of economic siege.

Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, the World Food Programme's country director, said: 'We are hearing that 60% of the land in the north - where the farming was most intensive - may not be exploitable again. It looks to me like a disaster. It is not just farmland, but poultry as well."

Gaza and the Crimes of Mubarak     : Information Clearing House - ICH

Gaza and the Crimes of Mubarak : Information Clearing House - ICH: "The reasons for Mubarak’s animus toward Hamas, and by extension, for his reprehensible decision to keep the vital Rafah border crossing with Gaza closed to humanitarian supplies was explained earlier.

Apologists for the dictator will say the 2005 agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the European Union (EU) that regulates movement across the border prohibits it from being opened in the absence of PA and EU observers.

It makes no mention, however, of barring critical humanitarian goods from reaching the territory, where conditions were becoming ever more desperate. Additionally, Egypt was a non-signatory to the treaty, which had already expired after one year and was never renewed.

If keeping the Rafah crossing—the only gateway to non-Israeli territory from Gaza—closed before and during the war was not a criminal act, doing so in its aftermath must surely be."

  Iraq's Shocking Human Toll:      : Information Clearing House - ICH

Iraq's Shocking Human Toll: : Information Clearing House - ICH
The mortality caused by the war is also high. Several household surveys were conducted between 2004 and 2007. While there are differences among them, the range suggests a congruence of estimates. But none have been conducted for eighteen months, and the two most reliable surveys were completed in mid-2006. The higher of those found 650,000 "excess deaths" (mortality attributable to war); the other yielded 400,000. The war remained ferocious for twelve to fifteen months after those surveys were finished and then began to subside. Iraq Body Count, a London NGO that uses English-language press reports from Iraq to count civilian deaths, provides a means to update the 2006 estimates. While it is known to be an undercount, because press reports are incomplete and Baghdad-centric, IBC nonetheless provides useful trends, which are striking. Its estimates are nearing 100,000, more than double its June 2006 figu…

Al Jazeera English - Africa - 'AU firing' kills dozens of Somalis

Al Jazeera English - Africa - 'AU firing' kills dozens of Somalis: "Somali officials say at least 18 people died after African Union troops opened fire in response to a roadside bomb targeting their convoy in southern Mogadishu.

However, the peacekeeping force's spokesman denied the charge.

The officials and a witness said the soldiers opened fire on buses after an AU vehicle hit a landmine on Monday.

Yusuf Dhumal, a police commander, said the troops killed the civilians when they opened fired in response to the blast.

'I counted 18 dead civilians who were killed by them after spraying fire on the buses,' he told the AFP news agency.

Abdifatah Shaweye, deputy mayor of Mogadishu, said more than 20 civilians were killed in the shooting.

'The African Union forces committed mass killings today after an explosion hit their convoy. The number of innocent civilians they killed after the explosion exceeded 20,' he said."

US turned blind eye to Somalia abuses-rights group | Antiwar Newswire

US turned blind eye to Somalia abuses-rights group | Antiwar Newswire: "ADDIS ABABA, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The United States has turned a blind eye to abuses by its allies in Somalia and worsened the situation there by reducing a complex conflict to a front in its 'war on terror', a leading human rights group said.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said in a letter to African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping that the policies of many governments had been destructive in Somalia.

'U.S. policy on Somalia has been particularly unhelpful, treating Somalia's complex realities as a theatre in the 'war on terror' while turning a blind eye to rampant abuses by the Ethiopian and transitional government forces,' HRW said in the letter that was handed to reporters at an AU summit on Sunday."

The Black Flag Is Waving - by Uri Avnery

The Black Flag Is Waving - by Uri Avnery: "by Uri Avnery

A Spanish judge has instituted a judicial inquiry against seven Israeli political and military personalities on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The case: the 2002 dropping of a one-ton bomb on the home of Hamas leader Salah Shehade. Apart from the intended victim, 14 people, most of them children, were killed.

For those who have forgotten: the then commander of the Israeli air force, Dan Halutz, was asked at the time what he feels when he drops a bomb on a residential building. His unforgettable answer: 'A slight bump to the wing.' When we in Gush Shalom accused him of a war crime, he demanded that we be put on trial for high treason. He was joined by the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who accused us of wanting to 'turn over Israeli army officers to the enemy.' The attorney general notified us officially that he did not intend to open an investigation against those responsible for the bombi…

Renditions May Expand Under Obama’s Watch | News From

Renditions May Expand Under Obama’s Watch | News From
While President Barack Obama reversed a number of the Bush Administration’s anti-terror excesses, the controversial tactic known as extraordinary rendition, the extralegal kidnapping and transportation of detainees, remains conspicuously legal. Only a cursory effort “to study and evaluate the practices of transferring individuals to other nations” with a task force was offered for what has internationally been among America’s most infamous policies. In the end though, the new president has kept the practice legal.According to the Los Angeles Times, unnamed officials of the administration are defending the decision, with one quoted as saying that “if done within certain parameters, it is an acceptable practice.” With those other avenues of torture now closed to them, some have speculated that the Obama Administration may rely even more on rendition than the Bush Administration has.The move has the potential to strain rela…

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Carter says Hamas must be included

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Carter says Hamas must be included: "Jimmy Carter, the former US president, has said any future permanent Israeli-Palestinian agreement has to include Hamas, the Palestinian movement that controls the Gaza Strip.

Carter also told Al Jazeera's Riz Khan on Wednesday that US presidents were unable or unwilling to take on Israel's supporters in the US, but said he had high hopes for George Mitchell, the new US Middle East envoy."

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Afghans die in Nato shootings

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Afghans die in Nato shootings
At least three civilians, including two children, have been killed in two separate incidents involving international troops in Afghanistan, according to the Nato force.The two children died after troops from Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) clashed with Taliban fighters in Helmand province, it said in a statement on Sunday.