Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2009

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Police raid sparks West Bank clash

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Police raid sparks West Bank clash


Three Palestinian police officers, two Hamas fighters and a bystander have been killed in a clash in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian security officials have said.

Sunday's confrontation is among the deadliest factional fighting since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Police from the Palestinian Authority carried out a dawn raid on a house in the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya in order to arrest Hamas members, sparking a gun battle in the streets, police said.

The two dead Hamas members were named as Mohammad Samman, a local leader of Hamas's military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and Mohammad Yasin, a brigade member.

In Pakistan, an exodus that is beyond biblical - Asia, World - The Independent

In Pakistan, an exodus that is beyond biblical - Asia, World - The Independent: "The language was already biblical; now the scale of what is happening matches it. The exodus of people forced from their homes in Pakistan's Swat Valley and elsewhere in the country's north-west may be as high as 2.4 million, aid officials say. Around the world, only a handful of war-spoiled countries – Sudan, Iraq, Colombia – have larger numbers of internal refugees. The speed of the displacement at its height – up to 85,000 people a day – was matched only during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. This is now one of the biggest sudden refugee crises the world has ever seen."

Afghan was taken to Guantanamo aged 12: rights group | Special Coverage | Reuters

Afghan was taken to Guantanamo aged 12: rights group | Special Coverage | Reuters: "ABUL (Reuters) - An Afghan who has spent over six years at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay prison was only around 12 years old when he was detained, not 16 or 17 as his official record says, an Afghan rights group said on Tuesday.

Interviews with the family of Mohammed Jawad, who like many poor Afghans does not know his exact age or birthday, showed he was probably not even a teenager when he was arrested in 2002, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission said."

Iran mosque blast bears 'US, Israel thumbprints'

Iran mosque blast bears 'US, Israel thumbprints': "A senior Iranian official says Israel and the US have had a hand in the mosque bombing that shook the southeastern city of Zahedan to its core.

“The bomb tragedy that occurred yesterday in the city of Zahedan is awash with Israeli and US fingerprints,” said Tehran's Interim Friday Prayers Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami.

“Without a doubt, it was a scheme to drive a wedge between the Shia population and the Sunni minority in Iran,” he added.

Ayatollah Khatami said that the perpetrators of the bomb attack have been identified and will be brought to justice.

At least 25 people were killed and 125 others were injured on Thursday after bombers targeted a religious ceremony in the Shia Amir al-Momenin mosque.

The mosque was partially destroyed by the blast.

Jalal Sayah, deputy provincial governor of the Sistan-Baluchistan province that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, said Friday that at least three people have been arrested wit…

     The Pakistan Quagmire                : Information Clearing House - ICH

     The Pakistan Quagmire                : Information Clearing House - ICH: "The Pakistan Quagmire

A tangled web of regional challenges

By Moammar Gadhafi

May 29, 2009 'Washington Times' -- The West, particularly America, and Israel never wished for Pakistan to possess a nuclear bomb. But on May 28, 1998, they woke up to the fact that Pakistan had become a nuclear state and blamed their intelligence services for failure to anticipate the nuclear tests. Countless books, articles and speeches called Pakistan's nuclear bomb the 'Islamic bomb,' as loaded a term as any, as many considered it a doomsday weapon directed against their interests.

Every effort was made to dissuade Pakistan from owning the bomb. American Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger frankly told then Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, 'If you make the bomb, we'll make an example out of you.'

Mr. Bhutto, the founder of Pakistan's nuclear program, was, of course, hanged. Ge…

       The Main Result of the "War on Terror"              : Information Clearing House - ICH

       The Main Result of the "War on Terror"              : Information Clearing House - ICH: "The Main Result of the 'War on Terror'
The Destabilization of Pakistan

By Gary Leupp

May 29, 2009 'Counterpunch' -- So far the principle result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the events of 9-11 has been the destabilization of Pakistan. That breakdown is peaking with the events in what AP calls the “Swat town” of Mingora---actually a city of 375,000 from which all but 20,000 have fled as government forces moved in, strafing it with gunships. We’re talking urban guerrilla warfare, house-to-house fighting, not on the Afghan border but 50 miles away in the Swat Valley. We’re talking about Pakistani troops fighting to reclaim the nearby Malam Jabba ski resort from the Tehreek-e-Taliban, who since last year have been using it as a training center and logistics base. We’re talking about two million people fleeing the fighting in the valley and 160,000 in …

VOA News - Ethiopia Conspiracy Suspects Again Denied Bail

VOA News - Ethiopia Conspiracy Suspects Again Denied Bail: "An Ethiopian judge has again denied bail for 40 suspects jailed last month in connection with an alleged plot to destabilize the country. The suspects were ordered held for another two weeks while prosecutors decide what to charge them with.

Weeping relatives stood outside an Addis Ababa courthouse Monday hoping for a glimpse of loved ones arrested April 24 in what officials originally called a roundup of suspected coup plotters."

AFP: Somali leader accuses Eritrea of arming insurgents

AFP: Somali leader accuses Eritrea of arming insurgents
Somali leader accuses Eritrea of arming insurgents

6 hours ago

MOGADISHU (AFP) — Somalia's beleaguered President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Wednesday accused Eritrea of arming Islamic insurgents trying to topple his transitional government.

"We know for sure that the majority of the weapons in the hands of the insurgents are coming from Eritrea," he told foreign correspondents in Mogadishu.

"Eritrea is very much involved here," he said in response to a question from an AFP reporter, adding "we know that Eritrean officers come here and bring money in cash".

Air strike on Sudan convoy killed 119: state media - Yahoo! News

Air strike on Sudan convoy killed 119: state media - Yahoo! News
Sudanese officials told Reuters at the time they suspected Israel, which was at the time engaged in an offensive in the Gaza Strip, with the declared aim of halting rocket attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants.

The United States denied any involvement while Israeli officials refused to confirm or deny their planes or unmanned drones took part.

At the time, estimates of the death toll from the attack ranged from 30 to 40.

According to Suna, Hussein's report said the attack was on a convoy that was made up of 1,000 civilians involved in "a smuggling process at the border with Egypt."

"(The minister) disclosed that 119 people were killed; among them were 56 smugglers and 63 smuggled persons from Ethiopian, Somali and other nationalities," read the report.

'JIHAD' GIRLFRIENDS: FBI SNITCH USED GIFTS TO TRICK OUR MEN - New York Post

'JIHAD' GIRLFRIENDS: FBI SNITCH USED GIFTS TO TRICK OUR MEN - New York Post: "A slick FBI informant roped four Muslim converts into a horrific terror plot to blow up synagogues and military jets by handing them piles of cash and gifts and even bags of weed, relatives of the suspects said today.

'Brother whatever you need, I will get it for you,' said the man who the four petty thieves knew as Maqsood, according to Kathleen Baynes, whose long-time boyfriend, James Cromitie is alleged to be the ringleader of the plot.

She said Cromitie, 45, met Maqsood at the Masjid al-Ikhlas mosque about a year ago and promised to teach him the truth about Islam."

'Israel won't yield to U.S. demands, won't halt settlement construction' - Haaretz - Israel News

'Israel won't yield to U.S. demands, won't halt settlement construction' - Haaretz - Israel News: "Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke to Channel 2 on Saturday about the meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, held earlier this week, saying that Israel's government will not allow the U.S. to dictate its policy, and that 'settlement construction will not be halted.'"

                             : Information Clearing House - ICH

                             : Information Clearing House - ICH: "By Robert Dreyfuss

May 22, 2009 'The Nation' -- By the now, it's maddeningly familiar. A scary terrorist plot is announced. Then it's revealed that the suspects are a hapless bunch of ne'er-do-wells or run-of-the-mill thugs without the slightest connection to any terrorists at all, never mind to Al Qaeda. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle: the entire plot is revealed to have been cooked up by a scummy government agent-provocateur.

I've seen this movie before.

In this case, the alleged perps -- Onta Williams, James Cromitie, David Williams, and Laguerre Payen -- were losers, ex-cons, drug addicts. Al Qaeda they're not. Without the assistance of the agent who entrapped them, they would never have dreamed of committing political violence, nor would they have had the slightest idea about where to acquire plastic explosives or a Stinger missile. That didn't stop prosecutors from acting a…

American troops or Alqaida

If we sided with one group or another such as supporting American troops or Alqaida; unless we are neutral, or stop them from terrorizing humanities, we are participating in total destruction of the world. Terrorism continued under Obama as was the case regime before him. Pakistan has been hit again and again by America and some other forces whose identities can’t for certain be determine. It is wrong and mass murder people like me can’t possibly accept.

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Deaths in Peshawar car bomb blast

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Deaths in Peshawar car bomb blast
At least 10 people have been killed in a car-bomb blast in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, just 70km from where the military is battling Taliban forces in the Swat valley.At least 30 people were injured in Friday's explosion, which took place outside a cinema on a busy road in the city, police said.The cinema building was badly damaged and up to 10 nearby shops were destroyed in the blast, one witness said."The target was the cinema as the car was parked in front of its main gate," Safwat Ghayur, the Peshawar police chief, said.

Watching Obama Morph Into Dick Cheney

Watching Obama Morph Into Dick Cheney: "A despairing country elected a president who promised change. Americans arrived from every state to witness in bitter cold Obama’s swearing-in ceremony. The mall was packed in a way that it has never been for any other president.

The people’s good will toward Obama and the expectations they had for him were sufficient for Obama to end the gratuitous wars and enact major reforms. But Obama has deserted the people for the interests. He is relying on his non-threatening demeanor and rhetoric to convince the people that change is underway.

The change that we are witnessing is in Obama, not in policies. Obama is morphing into Dick Cheney.

Obama has not been in office four months and already a book could be written about his broken promises.

Obama said he would close the torture prison, Guantanamo, and abolish the kangaroo courts known as military tribunals. But now he says he is going to reform the tribunals and continue the process, but without con…

Antidote to Drug War Madness -- In These Times

Antidote to Drug War Madness -- In These Times
So I was making dinner, and on NPR I hear, to my amazement, a report by Robert Siegel and Michele Norris marking April 20 as Marijuana Observance Day. “We’re hearing more talk about legalizing marijuana,” noted Norris, “and not just from those who are lighting up.”I, myself, lit up —metaphorically—over this. Aside from the fact that this is a policy change that’s at least 30 years overdue, the story aired at the same time we were cringing over the long-suspected yet nonetheless horrific accounts of torture under the Bush regime. Once again, the right wing of the Republican Party comes off as addicted to all forms of cruelty, just as it did when it sanctioned “extreme rendition.” But maybe if right-wing Republicans all smoked a little pot—the gateway drug to mellowness—the world would be a better place. Just a thought.As many critics and commentators—and not just on the left—have noted, repeatedly, the so-called “War on Drugs” is one of the…

UPDATE: Ethiopia Denies Troops Crossed Into Somalia - Min

UPDATE: Ethiopia Denies Troops Crossed Into Somalia - Min
UPDATE: Ethiopia Denies Troops Crossed Into Somalia - Min

(Adds quotes and details) ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP)--Ethiopia Tuesday denied its troops had crossed into neighboring Somalia, where Islamist rebels have launched an offensive against the government. "No Ethiopian troops have entered Somalia. There is no change in the situation," state minister for communications Ermias Legesse told AFP. Witnesses said they saw Ethiopian soldiers in dozens of armored vehicles in Kalabeyrka village, near Beledweyne, a town 300 kilometers north of the capital Mogadishu.

Islamist offensive leaves West's Somalia strategy in tatters | McClatchy

Islamist offensive leaves West's Somalia strategy in tatters | McClatchy: "NAIROBI, Kenya — A major offensive by Islamic rebels has brought Somalia's internationally backed government close to collapse and renewed the possibility that a militant Islamist regime that allegedly has ties to al Qaida could seize control of the East African nation.

That would be a devastating blow to U.S. counter-terrorism and anti-piracy efforts in East Africa, where al Qaida operatives bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. American intelligence officials accuse the rebels' spiritual leader, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, of helping to shelter suspects in those attacks, and since 2007 U.S. forces have launched airstrikes at terrorist targets in Somalia."

US Drone Strike in North Waziristan Kills 40 -- News from Antiwar.com

US Drone Strike in North Waziristan Kills 40 -- News from Antiwar.com
A US drone fired two missiles at a religious school (madrassa) in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency today, killing at least 40 and wounding an as yet undetermined number of others. Villagers are reportedly still recovering people from the debris of the destroyed school, and several of the wounded are in critical condition, so the final death toll may yet rise.

     Palestinians and Israeli Jews to reach equal number by 2016, data shows                  : Information Clearing House - ICH

Palestinians and Israeli Jews to reach equal number by 2016, data shows : Information Clearing House - ICH: "By Haaretz Service

May 13, 2009 'Haaretz' -- The Jewish and Arab populations in Israel and the Palestinian territories will reach an equal number by 2016, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

The data, which was published as part of a special study to mark 61 years since Israel's independence ? or Naqba, as referred to by Palestinians ? cites a growth of more than nine million self-identified Palestinians since 1948.

There were 1.4 million Palestinians recorded in the area in 1948, whereas by 2008 the number of self-identified Palestinians worldwide hit a census of 10.6 million.

According to the Bureau, 5.1 million of those who call themselves Palestinians reside in Israel or the Palestinian territories. Currently, there are 5.6 million Jews living in Israel.

Palestinian refugees worldwide …

From Phnom Penh to Islamabad by William Pfaff -- Antiwar.com

From Phnom Penh to Islamabad by William Pfaff -- Antiwar.com: "Last September, during the American presidential campaign, I wrote a column declaring that the United States had again invaded Cambodia, only this time 'Cambodia' was Pakistan. President George W. Bush had ordered U.S. ground attacks on the Taliban inside Pakistan’s Tribal Territories, without Pakistan’s authorization.

That was also when Barack Obama’s foreign policy campaign platform was promising withdrawal from Iraq and military emphasis on Afghanistan and Pakistan, location of the 'real' problem in the great war on terror.

A younger generation than mine, including senior military officers (not to speak of Barack Obama), may not know exactly why the United States and the South Vietnamese army invaded Cambodia in 1970, and what the result was. The invasion was a failure, and the result a humanitarian catastrophe."

American Justice!

Most Americans oppose probe of Bush officials on torture: poll

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Most Americans do not believe Congress should investigate officials in the previous administration for authorizing the use of harsh interrogation procedures, including waterboarding, a poll released Wednesday found. The poll by CNN television and the Opinion Research Corporation found that 60 percent of those surveyed believed the procedures constituted torture, but were sharply divided over whether they approved of their use.

Raw Story » 400,000 still on terror watchlist, including author of book on Rove

Raw Story » 400,000 still on terror watchlist, including author of book on Rove
Over 1 million records on government’s combined watch listThe US government’s consolidated terrorist watch list has exceeded an estimated 400,000 “unique” records of “known or suspected terrorist identities,” according to a Justice Department report released today.The controversial list, according to the report issued by the Office of the Inspector General Audit Division, is a combined database of various federal law enforcement agencies, administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) via its Terrorist Screening Center (TSC).As of 31 December 2008, 1.1 million records exist on the government’s combined watch list, according to the Inspector General’s report. That number, however, includes duplicate files and aliases and does not reflect the actual number of people on the terrorist watch list.The TSC estimated, as of 9 September 2008, that the total number of “unique” individuals on the watch list…

United Nations Inquiry Finds Israel Purposely Fired on U.N.-Run School in Gaza Strip

United Nations Inquiry Finds Israel Purposely Fired on U.N.-Run School in Gaza Strip
UNITED NATIONS, May 5 -- A United Nations inquiry into the Gaza conflict earlier this year concluded that Israel intentionally struck a U.N.-run elementary school, killing three young men seeking shelter from the fighting, according to a summary released Tuesday. The incident was one of eight in which the Israel Defense Forces fired on U.N. personnel or facilities that drew scrutiny from a three-member U.N. board of inquiry. The board found that Israel had repeatedly breached the inviolability of U.N. premises and that, in attacking another elementary school, it exhibited "reckless disregard for the lives and safety" of civilians. Two children were killed and 13 others injured in that attack.

US Strikes in Afghanistan Kill 100, Mostly Civilians -- News from Antiwar.com

US Strikes in Afghanistan Kill 100, Mostly Civilians -- News from Antiwar.com
Afghan police are saying today that over 100 people were killed in this week’s US air strike in Farah Province. 25 to 30 are suspected Taliban, while the vast majority were civilians. A Red Cross investigative team confirmed the findings, saying they had seen “dozens” of bodies in two separate locations and that civilians were still digging through the rubble of their mud-brick homes looking for others.

Justice for Yassin Aref

Justice for Yassin Aref
Yassin Aref is a Kurd from Iraq. He was a resident of Albany, New York. He was unfairly accused of supporting terrorists and sent to a special prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. The purpose of this site is to tell you who Yassin Aref really is and his interesting story; his struggle as a Kurd in Iraq, how he survived the Anfal genocide, his struggle for freedom, his journey to America with his family; and above all, how he ended up in prison. To learn of his story and about the Kurdish struggle for rights and liberty, Yassin wrote for you his life's story, Son of Mountains.

17 percent of US children under 5 may face hunger - Yahoo! News

17 percent of US children under 5 may face hunger - Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON – An estimated 3.5 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of hunger in the United States, according to a look at government numbers by an anti-hunger group.

That's more than 17 percent of children who could suffer cognitive and developmental damage if they are not properly fed.

The not-for-profit advocacy group Feeding America based its findings on 2005-2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Agriculture Department. The study, released Thursday, is the first to look at these numbers for children under the age of 5, according to the group.

The study also shows that in 11 states, more than 20 percent of children under 5 are at risk of going hungry. Louisiana has the highest rate, with just under a quarter of children at risk, followed by North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho and Arkansas.

   U.S. Has a 45-year History of Torture                    : Information Clearing House - ICH

   U.S. Has a 45-year History of Torture                    : Information Clearing House - ICH: "U.S. Has a 45-year History of Torture

The difference between American involvement in South American atrocities in 1964 and 'enhanced interrogation' now is that some modern-day officials appear proud of themselves."

GIs Told to Bring Afghans to Jesus

GIs Told to Bring Afghans to Jesus
DOHA, Qatar -- U.S. Soldiers have been encouraged to spread the message of their Christian faith among Afghanistan's predominantly Muslim population, video footage obtained by Al Jazeera appears to show.

Military chaplains stationed in the U.S. air base at Bagram were also filmed with Bibles printed in the country's main Pashto and Dari languages.

In one recorded sermon, Lt. Col. Gary Hensley, the chief of the U.S. military chaplains in Afghanistan, is seen telling Soldiers that as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility "to be witnesses for him".

"The special forces guys -- they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down," he says.

"Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business."

More than 200,000 sign petition for reporter jailed in Eritrea - Monsters and Critics

More than 200,000 sign petition for reporter jailed in Eritrea - Monsters and Critics: "Stockholm - Five Swedish editors-in-chief on Monday presented the Eritrean embassy a petition signed by over 200,000 people calling for the release of a jailed Swedish-Eritrean journalist held for almost eight years in Eritrea.

Dawit Isaak has as of Monday been jailed for 2,780 days.

The petition calling for his release was launched March 27, and may be the largest of its kind. It was signed by almost 210,000 people in Sweden, which has a population of around 9 million.

'We were allowed to present our views,' Thomas Mattsson, editor in chief of the Expressen daily, told reporters, adding that they were also 'allowed to ask questions about Dawit Isaak and Eritrea.'

Eritrea's charge d'affaires Yonas Manna Bairu said he would convey the petition to the Eritrean government.

The petition noted that Isaak has been held without charge or sentence.

The editors of the dailies Aftonbla…

US Strike Kills Dozens of Afghan Civilians -- News from Antiwar.com

US Strike Kills Dozens of Afghan Civilians -- News from Antiwar.com
Following clashes in the Bala Baluk district of the Farah Province, US aircraft bombed the area. Afghan officials are now confirming that the attack hit civilian homes, killing women and children, and some officials say the final toll could easily rise into the dozens.
Provincial council member Abdul Basir Khan confirms that villagers brought the mutilated bodies of roughly 30 people killed in the air strike, and that many of them were women and children. It was not immediately clear if all the bodies were civilians or if militants were also killed in the attacks. One former district official who also confirms seeing dozens of bodies said it was too early to tell how many civilians were killed, but predicted that there were “more than 100 civilians dead” in the attacks, and many other civilians badly burned.
It seems likely now that the final civilian toll will at least be the highest so far in 2009, though it remains to…

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Two die in air raid on Gaza tunnels

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Two die in air raid on Gaza tunnels: "The bodies of two Palestinians have been recovered from a tunnel in Gaza bombed by Israeli aircraft, medical workers say.

The air raids, which targeted several tunnels each running between Gaza and Egypt, took place on Saturday near the near the border town of Rafah, the Israeli military said.

The bombing came shortly after three mortar rounds were launched into Israeli territory from the northern Gaza Strip, causing no casualties.

The Palestinian Resistance Committees, an armed group in Gaza, said that it had fired the mortars."

Norman G. Finkelstein » Former Ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Martin Indyk versus Finkelstein

Norman G. Finkelstein » Former Ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Martin Indyk versus Finkelstein: "The Israeli assault on Gaza is entering its thirteenth day. Some 700 Palestinians have been killed, with many thousands more wounded, and a humanitarian crisis is mounting. Ten Israelis have died, four by “friendly fire.” A ceasefire has not been reached, and the offensive continues. We host a debate between Martin Indyk, the former US ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Clinton administration, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and author of, Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East, and Norman Finkelstein, author of several books, including The Holocaust Industry, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict and Beyond Chutzpah. [includes rush transcript]"

Jamal Dajani: The New Terror in the Middle East: Swine

Jamal Dajani: The New Terror in the Middle East: Swine
A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt calls swine flu "more serious than a hydrogen bomb" during a symposium on the health scare. Egypt's parliament votes to "cull pigs immediately and one parliamentarian proposes criminalizing hog farming.

The United Arab Emirates bans the import of pork products as a precautionary measure and several supermarkets in the sheikhdom yank them off the shelves. Meanwhile, an Israeli health official calls for world health officials to change the name of the"Swine Flu" to "Mexican Flu," since Mexico is where the new flu allegedly originated and pigs are offensive to both Jews and Muslims. That, however, did not sit well with Mexico's ambassador to Israel.

There is hysteria about swine flu in the Middle East, yet only two confirmed cases were found in the entire region: in Israel.

For the past three days, swine flu has become the lead story on many Ara…