12/21Iraqi Woman's Xmas Greetings .Liberation Surge for Iraqi Women Holocaust in Gaza Lakota Independence Bl

Iraq Does Exist
By Ghali Hassan
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18909.htm
12/16/07 "ICH" -- -- The history of trying to obfuscate the truth and distort the image of Iraq has always been the aim of the U.S. aggression against the people of Iraq. There is the added factor now of new breed of ‘journalists’ and ‘bloggers’ ever on the lookout for a story that will tell Westerners all they need to know about Iraq, its problems, dangers, and prospects. Despite all of this, Iraq remains a nation of proud people struggling to liberate themselves from a murderous colonial Occupation.
In a recent interview ("Iraq Doesn't Exist Anymore") with the self-described ‘leftists’ blogger Mick Whitney, Nir Rosen made untruthful and unsubstantiated statements regarding the situation on the ground in Iraq and the Occupation of that country by U.S. forces and their collaborators.
Let’s start with the fact Nir Rosen is an Israeli-American (‘dual loyalty’) citizen of Iranian descent. Before he was recruited for the war on Iraq, Rosen once wrote; “I had dreamed of joining Israel's elite special forces” to murder defenceless Palestinians and Arabs. Like many of the new breed of journalists who have been drafted into service, Rosen was an embedded ‘reporter’ with U.S. Armoured Cavalry Regiment in western Iraq. Embedded journalism is the antithesis of independent journalism. In embedded journalism, journalists have to serve power and cover-up war crimes. With his "Middle Eastern appearance", Rosen is the perfect face of U.S. imperialism. Rosen publishes in many of the U.S. mainstream media outlets, such as the New York Times, Times Magazine and the Boston Review. However, if Rosen articles about the Middle East, Iraq in particular, had any shred of truth in them, they wouldn’t appear in the New York times, Times Magazine or the Boston Review. Because if Rosen deviates from what Noam Chomsky calls the ‘doctrinal framework’ or the line of serving power, he wouldn’t get his rubbish published there.

In the interview Rosen told Whitney: “The main reason that things have gone so horribly wrong in Iraq is there was no plan for anything; good or bad. The looting was not ‘deliberate’ American policy. It was simply incompetence. The destruction of Iraq's cultural icons was incompetence, also - as well as stupidity, ignorance and criminal neglect. I don't believe that there was really any deliberate malice in the American policy; regardless of the malice with which it may have been implemented by the troops on the ground. The destruction of much of Iraq was the result of Islamic and sectarian militias-both Sunni and Shiite-seeking to wipe out hated symbols. The Americans didn't know enough about Iraq to intentionally execute such a plan even if it did exist. And, I don't think it did”. So Rosen and Whitney want us to believe that, the illegal invasion of Iraq was not planned and the decision to disband the Iraqi Army and Police in order to create chaos and insecurity was not deliberate. The mass murder of innocent Iraqi civilians and the destruction of Iraq, including Iraq's cultural heritage was simply “incompetence”, according to Nir Rosen....

The interview was simply a rehashing of Rosen’s crude simplification that fills a need felt by many pro-Occupation fascists to have it confirmed for them that what happen in Iraq was “unintentional”. Our mission was to “spread democracy” and “freedom” because we jus have too much o them in the West. It is just something gone wrong in Iraq and we had no control over it. Once again we are misled by a typical example of the Western man led by moral principles to promote ‘good’. Repeating the same rubbish he has been perfecting, Rosen told Whitney: "The violence in Iraq was not senseless or crazy, it was logical and teleological. Shiite militias were trying to remove Sunnis from Baghdad and other parts of the country, while Sunni militias were trying to remove Shiites, Kurds and Christians from their areas. This has been a great success. So you have millions of refugees and millions more internally displaced, not to mention hundreds of thousands dead. There are just less people to kill". Of course, Whitney did not challenge Rosen during the interview, and the interview is posted on all Zionist and pro-Occupation websites.

Whitney and Rosen know very well that before the U.S. illegal aggression against Iraq, Iraqis were living in harmony regardless of religious or ethnic backgrounds. No racist journalist should deny the fact that before the aggression, Iraq was a safe country for every one, including Westerners like Whitney, Rosen and their ilk. Baghdad is a city of one million Kurds. The “great success” of terrorising Iraqis is happening under the radar screen of the Occupation. Indeed, sectarianism is brought by the invasion and subsequent Occupation, like the Cholera epidemic. It is encouraged and nurtured because it is a vital instrument of the Occupation. *** Different militia and extremist groups are working as paid death squads for the Occupation. Iraqis have publicly denounced the violence as without distinction (between ‘Sunnis’ and ‘Shiites’) carried out by criminal gang and death squads on the U.S. pay roll. To increase the violence and justify the ongoing Occupation, the U.S. began inciting one faction against the other. Of course, every thing is ‘masterminded’ by the phantom of “al-Qaeda”. [1]

The current division and political violence is an imperialist-Zionist ploy designed to destroy Iraq as a nation. The destruction of Iraq (physically, culturally and militarily) has been the ideological dream of the Israeli leaders and their Zionist supporters in the U.S., the pro-Israel Jewish Lobby. The recent U.S. Senate vote to partition Iraq along ethnic/religious lines is the beginning of an old scheme for the Middle East. This imperialist-Zionist scheme is rejected by the overwhelming majority of Iraqis who are loudly demanding the end to the murderous Occupation.... Iraqis fought an eight-year war against Iran, defended their country with pride regardless of religious affiliation. Iraqis do not see themselves in terms of ‘Shiites’ or ‘Sunnis’. Iraqis identify themselves as Muslim-Arab and see themselves as Iraqis first. They showed this loyalty during the Iran-Iraq war. According to U.S. military findings, when the Iraqi government “initiated a total call-up of available manpower in 1986, the response was good. No draft riots occurred; young men-even college students—reported without incident. The fact that the public answered the call tells us that Iraqis support their government ... Eighty-five percent of the army belongs to the sect of Shiism”. [2]

The needless killing of more than 1.3 million innocent Iraqis, mostly women and children, appeared to have escaped Rosen’s reporting. In fact since 1990, the U.S. and Britain declared outright intent to use disproportionate force, mortally targeting Iraqis as a national group. Some 1.5 million Iraqis died, including 500,000 infants, as a result of the 13-years U.S.-UK enforced UN sanctions. Countless U.S. soldiers are publicly condemning their criminal actions in Iraq. Writing in the Vermont’s Rutland Herald, Matt Howard, a U.S. Marine, reflects on his participation in the deliberate and unprovoked war of aggression against the Iraqi people: “We did not go to war with the country of Iraq; we went to war with the people of Iraq. During the initial invasion we killed women. We killed children. We senselessly killed farm animals. We were the United States Marine Corps, not the Peace Corps, and we left a swath of death and destruction in our wake all the way to Baghdad.” In Rosen’s view, the total destruction of urban centres such as Fallujah, Tel Afar, Samarra, Al-Qaim, Haditha, Tikrit, and Ramadi, among other cities and towns by indiscriminate bombing is not considered war crimes perpetuated with intent to terrorise and pacify the entire Iraqi population.

It is important to remember that from the outset of the Occupation, the U.S. Administration embarked on dividing Iraqis into religious and ethnic groups and hence planted the first seed for disunity and violence. The U.S.-imposed “Iraqi Governing Council” was the best example of a colonial-imposed puppet government formed along ethnic and sectarian lines. The puppet government is simply an extension of the Occupation. It is voids of anything resembling a democracy. It has no political control whatsoever beyond the ‘Green Zone’ where it is protected by the Occupation. Its main function is to provide a façade and legitimise the Occupation. The recent “agreement” to extend the Occupation in flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty is a case in point.

Back in August 2007, Nir Rosen told Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow news: “It’s too late for anything good to happen in Iraq, unfortunately. If the Americans stay, we’ll see a continuation of this civil war, of ethnic cleansing, until all of Iraq is sort of ethnically—or sectarian, homogenous zones, which is basically what’s already happened. If the Americans leave, then you’ll see greater intervention of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, supporting their own militias in Iraq and being drawn into battle. But no matter what, Iraq doesn’t exist anymore”. Not as simple as that, Mr. Rosen. And what proof is offered for this U.S.-Zionist propaganda? None. In fact all the evidence pointed to a premeditated and deliberate U.S.-Zionist plan to destroy Iraq as a nation and replace it with a collection of dependent fiefdoms. It is true, if the Americans stay, we’ll see a continuation of a U.S.-perpetuated violence and ethnic cleansing. But this is not what Rosen meant. Rosen failed to acknowledge that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is supported by the overwhelming majority of Iraqis and will remove the primary cause of the violence. Where all these militias and criminals came from? Who trained them, armed them and finance them? Whitney didn’t ask. Nowhere in the interviews and scattered articles does Rosen tell us that the militias were the creation of the Occupation and that the violence is the only pretext left to justify the ongoing Occupation. Why Iraqis didn’t “hate each other” before the illegal invasion of their country is totally ignored by Western media and remains a mystery to most Westerners.

Furthermore, Whitney did not challenge Rosen how the Americans managed to protect the Iraqi Oil Ministry while at the same time turn blind eye to the looting and burning of Iraq’s most important buildings and Iraq’s cultural heritage. If the looting was not "deliberate" American policy, there must be a selective “incompetence”. Reports after reports showed clearly that the looting was pre-organised policy to strip Iraq of its Muslim-Arab identity and history. It is important to remember that at the time of looting and destruction, the British journalist Robert Fisk was in Baghdad and witnessed a systematic and deliberate attempt to destroy Iraq as a nation.

Again, Whitney failed to ask Rosen how the Americans were able to build the largest C.I.A. station (“U.S. Embassy”) in the world, “the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defence force, self-contained power and water, and a precarious perch at the heart of Iraq's turbulent future”, while most Iraqis left without food, drinking water and electricity. Why Iraq’s healthcare services, including major hospitals and medical centres, and Iraq’s education system including, schools and university remained destroyed and dysfunctional, while Americans are busy building military bases, described by many as “bustling American towns, replete with Burger King, Pizza Hut, shops, traffic regulations and young bikers clogging the roads”? In fact, like most people, many Americans now openly admit that there is a plan to occupy Iraq permanently and loot Iraq of its natural resources.

Finally, Like in Vietnam, the Americans offer the Iraqi people a choice: either you submit to a murderous colonial Occupation or we break you. The Iraqi people refused to submit and the Americans failed to break them.

U.S. policy in Iraq is not “incompetence”; it is “an essential component of U.S. policy [since 1990], constituting premeditated genocide against the people of Iraq”, writes Ian Douglas, a professor of Political Sciences and a member of the organising committee of the Brussels Tribunal. Furthermore, the U.S. failed in its imperialist strategy in Iraq not because of “incompetence”, but because “the Iraqi Resistance prevents Iraqi oil from reinforcing the occupation or paying for America’s global war of aggression”, added Douglas. [3].

One question that Mike Whitney didn't ask Rosen which may clarify Rosen's perspective is, why thousands of Iraqi scientists, professors, intellectuals and other professionals have been murdered in cold blood? Why at least 40 per cent of the educated and experienced Iraqi professionals have been threatened and forced to leave the country? The aim is to destroy Iraq’s independence by liquidating Iraq’s human resources. There is no doubt that the premeditated aggression and murderous Occupation of Iraq by U.S. forces and their collaborators have succeeded in destroying the physical state of Iraq and terrorising the Iraqi population. “But, of course, the spirit of the Iraqi people is indestructible. They cannot be broken. They will resist, drive out all intruders, and they will recover. The people of Iraq will overcome the catastrophes of recent years”, writes Denis Halliday, former UN assistant secretary-general and one of the very few honourable voices in the West to publicly condemn the deliberate genocide in Iraq.

Iraq does exist. We should never forget the fact that there is an Iraqi nation and nationalism represented by legitimate National Iraqi Resistance. The U.S. government and its collaborators may have succeeded in killing many innocent Iraqis and removed a sovereign government but the U.S. failed and will not success in its attempt to destroy the Iraqi nation and the Iraq people’s will to resist the Occupation.

Today more than ever there is a need for honest and independent journalists who can stand up and against the active complicity of the mainstream media and in support of the people of Iraq struggle for freedom and independence. Nir Rosen is just another propaganda agent who has shown to be part of a murderous colonial Occupation....

Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.

Endnotes:
[1] Hassan, Ghali, Iraq: Occupation and Sectarianism; Varea, Carlos, Iraq: Sectarian Violence in Iraq and the New War in the Middle East; Wolf, Max, For Iraq, the ‘Salvador Option’ becomes Reality.
[2] Marine Corps Historical Publication - FMFRP 3-203, Lessons Learned: Iran-Iraq War, December 10, 1990 Chemical Weapons.
[3] Douglas, Ian, Notes on genocide in Iraq. [PDF]. This document should be read by any concerned citizen.

*** As reported in countless postings in URUKNET, underscored by the excerpt below from editor Paola Pisi's message to the digest re: Hassan's articles, beside the militias it created operated by Iraqi traitors, the U.S. uses Iran in executing its genocidal made-in-usa strategy called 'sectarian civil war':
" ...[Hassan's] thesis is that all the death squads created, trained and paid by the the US are Iraqi whilst actually the US created and used the Iran-backed sectarian death squads to create a 'civil war' and to ethnic cleanse Iraq. Every analysis of Iraq situation that hides Iranian role is misleading: the first militia to came to Iraq was the Badr brigades. And it came from Iran ... with the US tanks. It is enough to read wikipedia to discover it! And the Badr brigades were trained by the Iranian Pasdaran. ..."

Xmas Greetings...
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
While you are doing your Xmas decoration and writing good wishes cards...While you are on your usual bulimia of shopping and stuffing your friges and cupboards with more... While you are arranging your, oh so sweet green Xmas tree and arranging for your Santa to stuff socks for your kids with all kind of goodies... How nice, how generous! Stuff the socks and stuff the turkey, eat, drink and be merry... Why not indeed. You deserve it. You are such a good people, with such a great conscience. Who could say otherwise? Well got news for you fellow "humans", I can say otherwise... The latest figures from UNICEF on the children of Iraq reads as follows: - 2 Million Iraqi kids this month are DIRECTLY threatened by disease, illiteracy, violence and famine. - 25'000 kids are displaced each month and are susceptible to getting killed . and do not forget the Bingo, Jackpot, Lucky charm number for your holiday seasons, -5 Million Iraqi kids are orphaned . ORPHANED. That means, they lost BOTH parents. So when you are busy stuffing yourselves with more and more, remember those figures, for they are of YOUR doing.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39440

onward christian-fascist soldiers...
Military Evangelism Deeper, Wider Than Thought:
For US Army soldiers entering basic training at Fort Jackson Army base in Columbia, South Carolina, accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior appears to be as much a part of the nine-week regimen as the vigorous physical and mental exercises the troops must endure.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122107J.shtml

U.S. USES MILITIAS & IRAN TO BLOCK IRAQI NATIONAL UNITY & PROTECT U.S. INTERESTS IN ITS FAILED 'SECTARIAN WAR'/GENOCIDE STRATEGY
IRAQ: "Bad" Women Raped and Killed
Ali al-Fadhily
...The militias dominated by the Shia Badr Organisation and the Mehdi Army are leading imposition of strict Islamic rules. The Shia-dominated Iraqi government is seen as providing tacit and sometimes direct support to militias. The Badr Organisation answers to the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), the Shia bloc in the Iraqi government. The Mehdi army is the militia of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Women who do not wear the hijab are becoming prime targets of militias, residents say. Many women say they are threatened with death if they do not obey. "Militiamen approached us to tell us we must wear the hijab and stop wearing make-up," college student Zahra Alwan who fled Basra for Baghdad recently told IPS. "They are imitating the Iranian Revolution Guards, and we believe they receive orders from the Islamic Republic (of Iran) to do so." Graffiti in red on walls across Basra warns women against wearing make-up and stepping out without covering their bodies from head to toe, Alwan said. "The situation in Baghdad is not very different," Mazin Abdul Jabbar, social researcher at Baghdad University told IPS. "All universities are controlled by Islamic militiamen who harass female students all the time with religious restrictions."
Jabbar said this is one reason that "many families have stopped sending their daughters to high schools and colleges. Earlier this year Iraq's Ministry of Education found that more than 70 percent of girls and young women no longer attend school or college.Several women victims were accused of being "bad" before they were abducted, residents say. Most abducted women are later found dead. The bodies of several were found in garbage dumps, showing signs of rape and torture. Several bodies had a note attached saying the woman was "bad", according to several residents who did not give their name. "The Americans promised they would make Iraq a symbol of liberty and prosperity. Now it has neither."
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=40510

Over 250 Iraqi Torture Victims Come Forward to Sue CACI for Participating in Conspiracy to Torture: Legal Team
PR Newswire
Hundreds of innocent torture victims came forward and filed a complaint late Monday in Washington federal court against CACI, the private military contractor involved in torturing and abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq. The complaint in "Saleh et al. v. CACI et al" alleges that these victims were repeatedly sodomized, threatened with rape and harm to their family members, stripped naked, kept naked in their cells, chained and handcuffed to the bars of their cells, forced to wear women's panties on their heads and bodies, subjected to electric shock, subjected to extreme heat and cold, attacked by unmuzzled dogs, subjected to serious pain inflicted on sensitive body parts, and kicked, beaten and struck.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39343

Cantonization: A key concept
Arablinks
Harith al-Dhari repeated in an AlJazeera interview on Sunday his warning to the Iraqi tribes about the implications of the so-called awakening movement, summarized as follows at Islamtoday.net and picked up by other Islamist sites: "[T]he war being waged by the American occupation forces and the forces that are called 'awakening against AlQaeda' is tantamount to a war against the Iraqi resistance as a whole". After repeating other points earlier included in al-Dhari's open letter to the tribes of Iraq, including the point AQI membership being overwhelmingly Iraqi and not foreign, this summary adds: He invited the tribes of Iraq to not become part of the American plans, which aim at weakening and dismantling Iraq and turning it into Cantons and armed regions...
: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39340

Iran, US may meet on Iraq security in 'few days': Shiite leader
AFP
The fourth round of US-Iranian talks on curbing violence in Iraq may take place in the next few days, powerful Iraqi Shiite leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim said Tuesday at the end of a US visit. Hakim, who met with US President George W. Bush last week, said the newly released US intelligence report saying Iran halted its nuclear bomb program in 2003 would help the dialogue between the two foes. "I suppose that Iraq should host in the coming few days this fourth round of the dialogue. We are seeking to see a constructive dialogue," Hakim said at a news conference (...) The US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, are likely to represent their respective governments at the coming talks, Haitham Al-Husseini, a member of Hakim's delegation, told AFP. "I think the ambassadors, of course, are going to participate," he said....: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38914

Iraq Ambassador: Iran Aided the Surge
Newsmax
Iraq's United Nations Ambassador Hamid al-Bayati admits that help from Iran played a key role in calming insurgent activity in and around Baghdad. "Yes, they have been helpful. It has been a combination of the American surge and Iranian cooperation that has led to a decrease in attacks," explained al-Bayati in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38977

Surge of U.S. and puppet govt. liberation for women
Freedom lost
Mark Lattimer, The Guardian
In March 2004 George Bush said that "the advance of freedom in the Middle East has given new rights and new hopes to women ... the systematic use of rape by Saddam's former regime to dishonour families has ended". This may have given some people the impression that the American and British invasion of Iraq had helped to improve the lives of its women. But this is far from the case....under Saddam, women in Iraq - including in semi-autonomous Kurdistan - were widely recognised as among the most liberated in the Middle East. They held important positions in business, education and the public sector, and their rights were protected by a statutory family law that was the envy of women's activists in neighbouring countries. But since the 2003 invasion, advances that took 50 years to establish are crumbling away. In much of the country, women can only now move around with a male escort. Rape is committed habitually by armed groups, including those linked to the government... under the new system of government developing in Iraq, family disputes are increasingly settled not in state courts but by local tribal or religious authorities..."The politicians say the situation of women is all right with the new constitution in Iraq and new laws in Kurdistan," says Khanim, "but it is deteriorating." Women are being murdered throughout Iraq in unprecedented numbers.... a representative from the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq has told the BBC. Another women's activist tells me why she refuses all media interviews: "The work has to be secret. In Kurdistan it is possible, but in Baghdad we couldn't open a shelter for women, we would just be attacked."... says a Baghdad economics professor "No. It is not in the interest of the different groups that make up the government for the security situation to get better. The domination of the religious parties, which is a negative for women, is helped by the insecurity. The ground is emptied for them." ... an Arab Sunni MP in a white headscarf disagreed pointedly over article 41. "We want the old law back, we and the Kurds, but the Shia prevent it. You want to know what the situation of women is? How many widows are there now?" But her bitterest comments were reserved for Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki. Earlier that week three members of the interior ministry's public order forces had been accused of raping a Sunni woman, who was admitted to a hospital in the government's fortified green zone compound. Two days later, Al-Maliki publicly rejected the woman's account and instructed that the policemen should be honoured. "They may have done it, or they may not, but how could he just say she was lying before any proper investigation had been done? He has turned them into heroes."...
Claims of rape being used as a weapon of war to humiliate and terrify communities are now frequently made against all the main parties in the conflict not just Iraqi forces. Since 2003 US forces have denied numerous allegations that soldiers raped and abused female detainees or held them as bargaining chips in the hunt for family members wanted as insurgents. But the Pentagon's Taguba report into abuse at Abu Ghraib prison confirmed that US military police had photographed and videotaped naked women prisoners and referred to a guard "having sex with a female detainee"... four US soldiers were found guilty of the rape and murder of 14-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza and three members of her family in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, in an attack the US military first blamed on Sunni insurgents. Abeer's body had been set on fire, her killers believing that their guilt could be burned away... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39147
GI Special 5L9: Iraq Gang-Rape by Halliburton/KBR Co-workers Cover-Up by U.S.
Thomas F. Barton http://www.militaryproject.org
"The Company Put Her Under Guard In A Shipping Container With A Bed And Warned Her That If She Left Iraq For Medical Treatment, She’d Be Out Of A Job" "The Rape Kit Disappeared After It Was Handed Over To KBR Security Officers...Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave.
Dec. 10, 2007 By BRIAN ROSS, MADDY SAUER & JUSTIN ROOD; ABC News [Excerpts]
A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident. Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.
"Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston," Jones says she was told.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave...Finally, Jones says, she convinced a sympathetic guard to loan her a cell phone so she could call her father in Texas.... Her father called their congressman Poe says his office contacted the State Department, which quickly dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Jones’ camp, where they rescued her from the container.
Jones told ABCNews.com that an examination by Army doctors showed she had been raped "both vaginally and anally," but that the rape kit disappeared after it was handed over to KBR security officers.
Over two years later, the Justice Department has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not confirm any federal agency was investigating the case. Legal experts say Jones’ alleged assailants will likely never face a judge and jury, due to an enormous loophole that has effectively left contractors in Iraq beyond the reach of United States law....Since no criminal charges have been filed, the only other option, according to Hutson, is the civil system, which is the approach that Jones is trying now.But Jones’ former employer doesn’t want this case to see the inside of a civil courtroom. KBR has moved for Jones’ claim to be heard in private arbitration, instead of a public courtroom. It says her employment contract requires it. In arbitration, there is no public record nor transcript of the proceedings, meaning that Jones’ claims would not be heard before a judge and jury. Rather, a private arbitrator would decide Jones’ case. In recent testimony before Congress, employment lawyer Cathy Ventrell-Monsees said that Halliburton won more than 80 percent of arbitration proceedings brought against it...
In her lawsuit, Jones’ lawyer, Todd Kelly, says KBR and Halliburton created a "boys will be boys" atmosphere at the company barracks which put her and other female employees at great risk. "I think that the men who are there believe they live without laws," said Kelly.... Since the attacks, Jones has started a nonprofit foundation called the Jamie Leigh Foundation, which is dedicated to helping victims who were raped or sexually assaulted overseas while working for government contractors or other corporations. "I want other women to know that it’s not their fault," said Jones. "They can go against corporations that have treated them this way." Jones said that any proceeds from the civil suit will go to her foundation. "There needs to be a voice out there that really pushed for change," she said. "I’d like to be that voice." http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39154

Fear grips Basra and Najaf in wake of murder of 40 women
Kareem Abedzair, Azzaman
More than 40 women have been brutally murdered and their bodies dumped in the streets of the southern cities of Basra and Najaf, police and eyewitnesses say. The killings come as religious sectarian factions wield immense power in southern cities apply strict Islamic jurisdiction by force. Female students are now barred from entering university campuses in Basra if not covered from head to toe. Lt. Gen. Abduljaleel Khalaf, head of Basra police, confirmed the deaths and said women in the city were "under an unprecedented reign of terror."...."When found by police, the women were in horrific conditions," ... The government has not publicly criticized these actions, leaving many to believe that it condones violence against women. Witnesses say abuse of women is not confined to Basra and Najaf but has become a common practice almost everywhere in Iraq. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39026

I felt a new terror on Basra's streets
Marie Colvin
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article3056726.ece
There are two photographs in every police file. One is a long shot of a woman’s discarded body, the other a close-up of her last expression. All the women fell foul of the unwritten rules of the new Basra – they dressed wrongly, they left the home to work, or perhaps they were merely rumoured to have a boyfriend.Forty-eight manila files have been opened in the past six months. Not one case has been solved. The bare number cannot begin to conjure the horror of these deaths at the hands of Islamic extremists who have the port city in a tightening grip of fear. Residents say police have not been investigating. “Everyone knows the militias are doing this, but the police live in fear of them. We all do”... One graffito on a wall bordering the main Al-Dijari road reads: “We warn all women of Basra, especially those not wearing abbaya [a long, loose black cloak worn over everyday clothes], we will kill you.” It is signed in the name of an offshoot of the Mahdi Army, the strongest militia in Basra. It is not just women who live in fear. Professionals such as engineers, doctors and scientists have been dragged from their homes and murdered....

Yet last week prime minister Gordon Brown responded angrily in the House of Commons when challenged over the security situation in Basra. “Iraq is now a democracy ...Millions of people have voted... This is Iraqis taking control over their own security.”...

The stakes are high. Basra, through Umm Qasr just to the east, is the country’s only port and the outlet for most of Iraq’s oil, of which the province has the country’s greatest reserves. Most of the nation’s imports come across its docks too.... Khalaf, mayor of the province, said “The militias control the ports, which earns them huge sums of money....“Second, borders... There is a 280km border between us [and Iran]. Smugglers cross the borders with guns and weapons and these go to the militias....The militias are exporting oil products and animals, too"... Khalaf’s personal stock-taking revealed huge quantities of police communications equipment had been delivered directly from police warehouses to the militias, and 1,000 cars had disappeared. “They were cars with police insignia painted on the side!”...Khalaf also found he was paying 3,500 members of the force, at the cost of millions to the Iraqi national treasury, who were actually serving with the militias. “They have RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades], many rifles, bombs, mortars. Their weapons are stronger than ours.” .... The free zone is said to be controlled by the Badr organisation, the Islamic party controlled by Abdul Aziz Hakim, the second most powerful Islamic party in Basra....
The Mahdi Army is in theory observing a six-month cease-fire, which it announced in late August. Huge murals of Moqtada and his father Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr line the main roads, rather as larger-than-life portraits of Saddam Hussein did when he was president. The Sadr office in Basra is a rival centre of power to the official government. Pickup trucks, new Toyotas, even two police cars are parked outside the gates of the compound. Inside the activities are not just military. There are departments for welfare and even a tribunal run on sharia principles.I met Sheikh Ali As-Sayeedi, one of the Mahdi Army leaders, in his office, furnished with faux-Louis XIV furniture, korans and kitsch plastic ivy. Many leaders used to declaim openly that their ambition was to take power in the city. But now that the British troops are leaving and Iraqis are taking over, they are more cautious in their language. Sayeedi, however, insisted that the Mahdi Army had driven British forces from Basra and that they would not give up fighting until the American-led coalition left Iraq. “It is a good next step for Iraqis to take back their sovereignty in Basra,” said Sayeedi. “We believe all forces should leave the country. We don’t respect any agreement with these forces. Our people are freedom fighters not militias.“Our programme is to help the Iraqi people and make everyone happy in Basra.”Why then, I asked him, is everyone in Basra blaming the Mahdi Army for the violence in the streets? “People here support us,” he insisted, leaning forward and visibly angering. “Criminals do crime and then say that they are the Mahdi Army to appear stronger.”...
The British insist the handover is no defeat but the next step in the nationwide transition to Iraqi control. "The formal handover allows them to deliver Iraqi solutions in an Iraqi way," said Major-General Graham Binns, the commanding officer for British forces in Basra province. "The way forward is to have the Iraqis take the next step." He insisted the British were not cutting and running. They will remain at the airport, reducing to 2,500 by next spring. The Basra government can call on them for support that ranges from surveillance to reentry....

Iran will play a key role in the future of Basra. Tehran has more influence here than anywhere else in Iraq. The mullahs fund all the Shi’ite groups rather like a wealthy donor hedging his political bets.[...]

the formerly 'anti-american' cleric helpd u.s.- sponsored sectarian division
Iraq's Mahdi Army Militiamen Build Power Through Fear
Schoolgirls Told to Wear Scarves, Under Threat of Death
Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post Foreign Service
On the first day of class, two male teenagers entered a girls' high school in the Tobji neighborhood, clutching AK-47 assault rifles. The young Shiite fighters handed the principal a handwritten note and ordered her to assemble the students in the courtyard, witnesses said. "All girls must wear hijab," she read aloud, her voice trembling. "If the girls don't wear hijab, we will close the school or kill the girls." Sara Mustafa, 14, a secular Sunni Arab, also trembled. The next morning she covered up with an Islamic head scarf for the first time. The young fighters now controlled her life. "We could not do anything," Sara recalled. The Mahdi Army of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is using a new generation of youths, some as young as 15, to expand and tighten its grip across Baghdad, but the ruthlessness of these young fighters is alienating Sunnis and Shiites alike.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39175

"radical anti-ameri8can cleric" is a collaborator...as long reported in the digest and elsewhere
Petraeus Says Moqtada al-Sadr Helped Curb Violence
Defense Secretary Sees Extended 15-Month Iraq Tours Continuing Until Next Fall
Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post Staff Writer
Gen. David H. Petraeus, top American commander in Iraq, said he applauds Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr for helping, through a cease-fire, to reduce violent attacks in Iraq by 60 percent since June...unusual praise by a U.S. official for a relentless critic of the American role here.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39023

'unaccounted for'... U.S. death squads, 'awakening council' mercenaries, etc.
$1B In Military Equipment Missing In Iraq: Exclusive:
Report Shows Vehicles, Machine Guns And More Meant For Iraqi Forces Unaccounted For.http://snipurl.com/1uvmc

a U.S. clerical Chalabi?
Iraq's Maverick Cleric Hits the Books
HAMZA HENDAWI and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
The leader of Iraq's biggest Shiite militia movement has resumed seminary studies toward attaining the title of ayatollah — a goal that could make cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army an even more formidable power broker in Iraq. Al-Sadr's objectives — described to The Associated Press by close aides — are part of increasingly bitter Shiite-on-Shiite battles for control of Iraq's southern oil fields, the nation's strategic Persian Gulf outlet and the lucrative pilgrim trade to Shiite holy cities.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39183

THIS IS WHAT THE SURGE'S SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE.
Matthew Duss
This article in yesterday's Washington Post on Iraqi refugees returning to Baghdad was accompanied by this graphic of the new sectarian make-up of the city. Comparing Baghdad's sectarian distribution in April 2006 to November 2007, we see a city completely transformed, with a majority of the formerly mixed neighborhoods now taken over by Shi'is, most of them supported by the guns of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. What the graphic does not show, and the article does not mention, are the concrete walls which have been erected between new Sunni and Shia neighborhoods throughout Baghdad....: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=3929

Basra in the grip of militias
Roads to Iraq
Although the major parties in Basra signed a truce document as Al-Hayat reported today, but one Iraqi news site spotted intensive presence of Mahdi Army militias in key, strategic neighborhoods of the city which was also expected by the previous report of Al-Hayat saying: The three Shiite Parties will try to exert or share control on Basra, Al-Fadhila Party [Basra’s governor is a member] to control "South Oil Company", the Supreme Council imposes control the security forces in parallel with the presence of Mahdi Army. Iraqi writer and philosopher Muhanad Al-Semawi agrees with Al-Hayat, but he argues that the power share is more complicated than this, in his article "The Shiite Political Movements in Iraq"....http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39254

Mirage of Improvement in Iraq
Yet Another Facelift for the Failed Occupation
Islam Online
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=11967861265...
By Dahr Jamail, Independent US Reporter

The New York Times Nov 19 announces, "Baghdad’s Weary Start to Exhale as Security Improves."
The Washington Post Nov. 23 reports, "Returnees Find a Capital Transformed."
People in the US are willing to believe the establishment media telling them that refugees are returning to their homes in Baghdad in an environment of improved security and new hope....there have been fewer American soldiers killed in Baghdad and the number of Iraqis fleeing to Syria has declined. However, this relatively quieter security situation needs to be placed in its proper context, something the Western media steadfastly refuses to do.

We are proudly informed that buying off Sunni militias and resistance fighters at $300 per month is among the latest U.S. military tactics, but conscientiously kept uninformed about the implications of such a move. Nor is there any mention of the growing antagonism it has generated in the US-backed Iraqi Government under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. By its own admission, the U.S. military has paid over $17 million, so far, to recruit 77,000 Sunni fighters, many of whom were launching attacks against the Americans a few weeks ago (International Herald Tribune ). Post purchase, the US military has rechristened them "Concerned Local Citizens," or "Awakening Forces." The target is to procure another 10,000. The current recruitment has indeed contributed to a de-escalation of violence in the capital city, and across much of al-Anbar province, which comprises one third of the geographic area of Iraq....

Political Capital
Both the Maliki government and the Bush administration are using the return of refugees as political capital. This projection bears little relation to the ground reality. To place an inconsequential fact on record, since the beginning of the US "surge" earlier this year, the number of people displaced from their homes in Iraq has quadrupled, and the number of detentions carried out by both Iraqi and U.S. security forces has escalated astronomically. On November 13, the International Committee for the Red Cross estimated there are around 60,000 people detained in U.S. and Iraqi prisons around Iraq. Refugees returning to Baghdad have been projected in the West as evidence of the "surge" having brought security to Baghdad....
A recent UN survey, revealing the modest number of families returning to Baghdad, shows "46 percent leaving [Syria] because they could not afford to stay; 25 percent fell victim to a stricter Syrian visa policy; and only 14 percent because they heard about improved security"
( ).
It crucial to consider, but evidently not by the western media, that as of October 1st the Syrian government has imposed new visa restrictions whereby Iraqis who can prove they need medical treatment or intend to conduct business alone are permitted entry into Syria.Iraqis who are barred entrance have the option of staying in a refugee camp on the border in the middle of the desert, or returning home.

Not More is Not Less
As Ali Khamees, a former major of the Iraqi army, recently told my Iraqi colleague in Ramadi, Ali al-Fadhily, "it is true that hundreds of fighters were killed or detained by the so-called Awakening Forces, but there are thousands who will never quit fighting until this occupation is ended. I believe it is a new strategy employed by the resistance to reduce the suffering of people in al-Anbar and move somewhere else to fight." Attacks against U.S. forces have increased notably in other Iraqi provinces like Diyala, Saladin and Mosul.... Speaking on condition of anonymity, a 32 year old Ramadi resident cautioned my Iraqi colleague, al-Fadhily, "those Americans thought they would decrease the resistance attacks by separating the people of Iraq into sects and tribes. They are going deeper into the shifting sand. The collaborators are fooling the Americans right now, and will in the end use this strategy against them." ...

Crafting Political Chaos
The U.S. policy of propping up the Sunni militias whilst backing the Shia government has heightened the volatility of an already precarious political situation.... one fall out of this classic divide and rule tactic....The cabinet and parliament in Baghdad remain paralyzed thereby effectively derailing US efforts to push legislation for privatization of Iraq’s oil... The cabinet is presently composed primarily of Shia and Kurds which only underscores the sectarian and ethnic battle lines the U.S. policies have drawn in Iraq.

Before swallowing the Bush administration rhetoric of things getting better in Iraq today, we would do well to cast a glance at the real picture of the calamitous occupation. The Just Foreign Policy group in the US places over 1.1 million Iraqis dead as a direct result of the US led invasion and occupation. A conservative estimate of the wounded would be 3 million.
The UNHCR enlists an approximate 2.2 million Iraqis that have fled the country altogether, and another 2.4 million that have been internally displaced. An Oxfam International report released in July found another 4 million Iraqis who were in need of emergency assistance.
Iraq’s population at the time of the US invasion in March 2003 was roughly 27 million, and today it is approximately 23 million. Elementary arithmetic indicates that currently over half the population of Iraq are either refugees, in need of emergency aid, wounded, or dead....While the US establishment media proffers us the assurance of "Baghdad’s Weary Start to Exhale as Security Improves" ...
Dahr Jamail is an American journalist of Lebanese descent. Having reported from inside Iraq, he is currently a US-based specialist writer on iraq. He is also the author of the book: Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq .

Blackwater in Baghdad: "It was a horror movie"
New testimony from witnesses and victims provides most in-depth, harrowing account of U.S. security firm's rampage in Iraq.
Jennifer Daskal, Salon
For Khalaf, a 38-year-old Iraqi, Sept. 16 started like many other sunny summer workdays. He donned his police uniform -- a white shirt, navy trousers and hat -- and headed to Baghdad's busy Nissour Square. By 7 a.m. he was out in the street, directing the flow of traffic coming from the multi-laned Yarmouk access road into the square. When he spotted four large all-terrain vehicles with guns mounted on top, he did what he always did. He stopped traffic and cleared the area for what he knew, from the tell-tale sign of the two accompanying helicopters, to be a security firm's convoy. At first, this seemed completely normal for the totally abnormal world of Baghdad in September 2007. "Convoys are common," explained Khalaf. But this convoy made an unexpected U-turn, drove the wrong way around the one-way square, stopped in the middle of it and started shooting. Fifteen minutes later, 17 Iraqi civilians were dead, dozens more wounded, and a white sedan that had been engulfed in flames contained two bodies charred beyond recognition. "It was a horror movie," said Khalaf, describing the aftermath of the now notorious Blackwater shootings.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39274

WHO 'suppressed' scientific study of depleted uranium cancer risks to Iraqis :
A report warning how long-term health of Iraq's population would be endangered by British and US depleted uranium (DU) weapons has been kept secret.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5749.htm

already operating in a country and city near you?
Mobile Labs to Target Iraqis for Death
Robert Parry, http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/121307.html
U.S. forces in Iraq soon will be equipped with high-tech equipment that will let them process an Iraqi’s biometric data in minutes and help American soldiers decide whether they should execute the person or not, according to its inventor "A war fighter needs to know one of three things: Do I let him go? Keep him? Or shoot him on the spot?"... the Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facilities project, known as a "lab in a box" for analyzing biometric data, such as iris scans and fingerprints, have been collected on more than one million Iraqis.... In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. military units already are operating under loose rules of engagement that allow them to kill individuals who are identified as suspected terrorists or who show the slightest evidence of being insurgents. American forces also have rounded up tens of thousands of Iraqi military-age males, or MAMs, for detention.
During a summer 2007 trip to Iraq, Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was briefed on U.S. plans to expand the number of Iraqis in American detention by the end of 2008. "The detainees have risen to over 18,000 and are projected to hit 30,000 (by the U.S. command) by the end of the year and 50,000 by the end of 2008," Cordesman wrote in his trip report. The sweeps have enabled the U.S. military to collect biometric data for future use if and when the Iraqis are released back into the general population.... transforming Iraq into a test tube for modern techniques of repression, which already include use of night-vision optics on drone aircraft, heat resonance imaging, and firepower that is both deadly and precise.
The new techniques represent a modernization of tactics used in other counterinsurgencies, such as in Vietnam in the 1960s and in Central America in the 1980s. In Vietnam, U.S. forces planted sensors along infiltration routes for targeting bombing runs against North Vietnamese troops. In Guatemala, security forces were equipped with early laptop computers for use in identifying suspected subversives who would be dragged off buses and summarily executed. Now, modern technologies are updating these strategies for the 21st century’s "war on terror."

The U.S. news media mostly has reacted to these developments with gee-whiz enthusiasm...Similarly, U.S. newspapers have consigned stories about U.S. troops engaging in extrajudicial killings of suspects mostly to pages deep inside the newspapers or have covered the news sympathetically. While some harsh criticism has fallen on trigger-happy Blackwater "security contractors," U.S. troops have been given largely a free pass. For instance, no furor arose this fall when the U.S. military, in effect, endorsed claims by members of elite Army sniper units that they have been granted broad discretion in killing any Iraqi who crosses the path of their rifle scopes. On Nov. 8, a U.S. military jury at Camp Liberty in Iraq acquitted the leader of an Army sniper team in the killings of three Iraqi men south of Baghdad during the early days of the troop "surge" this year. Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley was found not guilty of murder, though he was convicted of lesser charges that he had planted an AK-47 rifle on one of the dead men and had shown disrespect to a superior officer. In an e-mail interview with the New York Times, Hensley complained that he should not have even faced a court martial because he was following guidance from two superior officers who wanted him to boost the unit’s kill count. "Every last man we killed was a confirmed terrorist," Hensley wrote. "We were praised when bad guys died. We were upbraided when bad guys did not die." [NYT, Nov. 9, 2007]

Asymmetric Warfare
The case of Army sniper Jorge G. Sandoval Jr., who served under Hensley, also revealed a classified program in which the Pentagon’s Asymmetric Warfare Group encouraged U.S. military snipers in Iraq to drop "bait" – such as electrical cords and ammunition – and then shoot Iraqis who pick up the items, according to evidence in the Sandoval case. [Washington Post, Sept. 24, 2007] (Like Hensley, Sandoval was acquitted of murder but convicted of a lesser charge, the planting of copper wire on one of the slain Iraqis to make it look as if the dead man were involved in making explosive devices.) Another case of a targeted killing of a suspected insurgent surfaced at a military court hearing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in mid-September. Two U.S. Special Forces soldiers took part in the execution of an Afghani who was suspected of heading an insurgent group. As described at the hearing, Staffel and Anderson were leading a team of Afghan soldiers when an informant told them where a suspected insurgent leader was hiding. The U.S.-led contingent found a man believed to be Nawab Buntangyar walking outside his compound near the village of Hasan Kheyl. While the Americans kept their distance out of fear the suspect might be wearing a suicide vest, the man was questioned about his name and the Americans checked his description against a list from the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan, known as "the kill-or-capture list." Concluding that the man was insurgent leader Nawab Buntangyar, Staffel gave the order to shoot, and Anderson – from a distance of about 100 yards away – fired a bullet through the man’s head, killing him instantly.

The soldiers viewed the killing as "a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement," the International Herald Tribune reported. "The men said such rules allowed them to kill Buntangyar, whom the American military had designated a terrorist cell leader, once they positively identified him." [IHT, Sept. 17, 2007] According to evidence at the Fort Bragg proceedings, an earlier Army investigation cleared the two soldiers because they had been operating under "rules of engagement" that empowered them to kill individuals designated "enemy combatants," even if the targets were unarmed and presented no visible threat. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39178

Green zone green light
Salah Hemeid
... Reliable Iraqi sources say that US military bases already constructed, or under construction, are large enough to accommodate some 100,000 American soldiers if the US command decides to keep them in Iraq. Sources say that the bases, mostly expansions of bases of the former Iraqi army, are buffered by broad swathes of land, fortified with heavy weaponry and remote-controlled electronic devices. The primary function of these bases will be to suppress internal opposition to the Iraqi government, but US air strength and special forces in these bases will also have rapid deployment capabilities for reaching points outside Iraq at need... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38986

So it goes
Arablinks
arablinks.blogspot.com/2007/12/so-it-goes.html
Al-Hayat ties current wave of suicide bombings throughout Iraq to the campaign announced by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi in his recent speech, writing: The steep growth in suicide operations targeting tribal leaders and the awakening councils indicates that "AlQaeda in Iraq" is continuing to carry out the warnings of its leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi who announced a few days ago the formation of the "Al-Sadiq Brigades" to take revenge on the Sunni "rebels" who formed, with the assistance of the Americans and the government, armed militias and rebelled against AQI expelling them from most of their areas."
(Baghdadi speech outlined here). The two incidents in Diyala province in Friday at awakening-council locations killed 26 people in all. And there was another pair of suicide bombings in Baiji on Saturday that reportedly killed 17 people in all, these targeting not the awakening councils but Iraqi police.
The current suicide-bombing campaign is clearly the work of Baghdadi's group, as the Al-Hayat reporter says. As he explained in his speech, the point is to kill apostates in the interest of promoting the one true state. This is the mirror opposite of the ideology of the national-resistance groups, whose theme is not true-religion/apostates, but rather Iraqi/occupation, and for that they need to bring anti-occupation groups together, not have them killing each other.
The American information-operations people are intent, as always, on blurring this distinction, grouping takfiiris and nationalists together under the heading of "the Sunni Arab guerilla movement", as if this opposition between takfiiris and nationalists didn't exist.
The writers' strike continues in Hollywood, but this hasn't affected Washington or Baghdad. Remember Baath resistance leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri (or al-Duri)? He was killed in fall 2004, then he was arrested in fall 2005, and in December 2006 he ordered his followers to lay down their arms following the execution of Saddam. That was according to the NYT, AP, and the rest. In real life none of that happened. He wasn't killed, or arrested, nor did he order anyone to lay down their arms. Obviously the arrest/killing story was getting a little stale, but al-Douri is still in play as far as the writers are concerned, precisely because he hasn't ordered his followers to lay down their arms. How to go about this? To make a long story short (NYT version here), what happened last week was that they discovered, not the man himself, but a cache of documents which amazingly enough showed that he is linked to AlQaeda! No actual documents have been, or will be, produced, but it is enough of a leg-up for Juan Cole and the others to resume their descriptions of the takfiiri depredations as part of "the Sunni Arab guerilla movement".
Plus ca change... Article nr. 39049 sent on 10-dec-2007 03:07 EC www.uruknet.info?p=3904

Two reports today about Saddam’s memorial
www.roadstoiraq.com/2007/12/19/saddams-memorial/
According alarabiy :Dozens of tribes representatives visit Saddam’s tomb
Dozens of tribal representatives visited the tomb of President Saddam Hussein since today morning, and placed wreaths of flowers and read the Qoranic verses, most of tribes representatives came from Salahuddin province, Nineveh and Diyala (north Baghdad), Anbar (west of Baghdad), Basra and Amarah (south Iraq).
The other report was on alquds newspaper, an editorial written by Abd Al-Bari Attwan, the editorial is the most discussed article on the Arabic websites today.
Saddam’s memorial
Abd Al-Bari Attwan
I confess that I did not meet President Saddam Hussein ever, despite of that he invited me personally many times, and the last one was few months before the American invasion of Iraq. I did not accept these invitations for several reasons, foremost is the accusations that newspaper receiving financial support from the Iraqi president, because this newspaper was one of few other newspapers which knew that there was an American conspiracy against Iraq and the Arab nation, since they used Kuwait as a trap……
Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was not democratic, without doubt, but is it a democratic Iraq today? One million and half Iraqis died since the liberation of Iraq, five million displaced, three million of them inside Iraq because of the massacres of the death squads, and ethnic cleansing, which continues to this day, unfortunately no one is talking about, especially those who demonized the former regime implementing the American agenda.
Fifty women have been executed in Basra, some of them with their children, because they did not wear the head cover, or from different sect or religion, and the stories of forced-divorce between spouses due to differences in believes in (the new Iraq) defies statistics....
In their literature the Islamists say that Saddam Hussein was an American agent and he came to power through a coup supported by the CIA. I wonder how Mr. Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, Jaafari, Chalabi and al-Maliki arrived? on the back of an Islamic tank?
President Saddam Hussein did not leave secret bank accounts in Switzerland, no palaces in Europe, and no luxurious yachts in southern France. His family members are living on charity in Yemen, Qatar, Jordan and Libya. while the new the rulers of the new Iraq playing with billions of dollars from corruption, smuggled oil, suspicious transactions, and funds from the CIA.
President Saddam Hussein, in this day, did not only go to the gallows courageously: he went to the pages of history books as an Arab leader who refused to bow to the enemies, defending the people and their dignity, singing hymns of pan-Arabism and Palestine.

Eid-Al-Adha under the Israeli siege on Gaza Strip
FREE FREE PALESTINE
...Since I was born on this occupied land, I have heard people around me saying, "We hope that the next Eid-Al-Adha will be come and to celebrate at same time that Palestine will be liberated from the Israeli occupation, establishing our independent state and Jerusalem as a capital of it and refugees return to their native homes." In fact, the situation here has deteriorated. Israeli occupation has continued it's policy against Palestinian civilians, killing Palestinian civilians, imposing siege, poverty and unemployment range is increasing, destroying Palestinian houses and also increasing of prisoners and settlements numbers... Every Palestinian family celebrates Eid with big pain because all of them have had the sad experience of losing someone, have been injured or prisoners or they have are homeless... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39395

Wishful thinking
Khaled Amayreh, Al-Ahram Weekly
While the Palestinian Authority is euphoric about the more than $7 billion pledged by the Paris Donor Conference to help rebuild the ravaged Palestinian economy, many Palestinians remain sceptical about whether such a goal is possible under military occupation. Monday's one-day donor conference was attended by representatives of more than 90 countries. Islamic and leftist camps within Palestine, though, view the Paris pledges as little more than an attempt to buy political concessions from a Palestinian government almost entirely dependent on international aid. Their scepticism will only have been reinforced by the continued killing of Palestinians by the Israeli army -- 10 Palestinians were murdered on Monday alone -- and by relentless settlement expansion in the West Bank, especially in and around East Jerusalem... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39388

Nabil Abu Rdainah & Khaled Mash'al Ahead of Negotiations with the Israelis.
Meanwhile the Israeli 's Incursions & Abductions & Assassinations Continues on Palestine Lands
Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice
Eight Palestinian resistance fighters from Al Quds Brigade,the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, and the An-Nasser Brigades was assassinated during separate Israeli incursions in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.AlQuds Brigade announced that three members of the organisation were killed and sustained serious injuries when Israelis State terrorists fired missiles at a house in Rafah in the southern parts of Gaza Strip.The four were killed when confronting the invading Israelis.Two of the dead are identified as Muhammad Abu Hamra 23 and Jihad Al-Aswad 26- a third body was discovered but could not be identified...

fascism is capitalism:-in-crisis: capitalist imperialism and zionism are inseparable
Outgoing senior Israeli FM official calls for military pact with Washington :
Recommending several moves to upgrade Israel's defense relations with Washington, his report says both Congress and Senate support Israel "wall-to-wall." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/936914.html

Microsoft: "From the depth of our heart -- thanks to The Israeli Defense Forces"
Microsoft and the National Security Agency
http://killinghope.org/aer44.htm

U.S. Congress approves $155 million weapons package for Israel
Saed Bannoura - IMEMC
The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to approve $155 million worth of weapons for Israel, in an addendum to a $460 billion military spending bill that was approved on October 1st in the U.S. Congress. The gift of more weapons to the U.S. ally comes at a moment when tensions are high and diplomacy is delicate between Israel and the Palestinians, and analysts point out that the gift of additional weapons to Israel at this particular moment could have an effect on the Summit planned for the end of November between Israel and the Palestinian Authority...http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38041

U.S. Joint Chiefs head to visit Israel
http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/105734.html
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff will visit Israel next week to discuss Iran.Adm. Michael Mullen will make a 24-hour visit to Israel early next week as a guest of his Israeli counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Yediot Achronot reported Thursday.Mullen will be briefed about Israel's intelligence estimates regarding the Iranian nuclear program, a response to a U.S. report that this week said Iran shelved its quest for an atomic bomb in 2003.
Israel is keen to preserve Western pressure on Tehran in the wake of the National Intelligence Estimate report. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni plans to discuss the matter with the foreign ministers of NATO countries when they convene Friday at the alliance's Brussels headquarters.
Mullen's visit to Israel will be the first by a Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman in nearly a decade.

Another major military attack on Gaza imminent - IOF chief :
Israel's Occupation Forces (IOF) chief of staff has said that a major military ayttack against Palestinian resistance members in the Gaza Strip is becoming more likely, the daily Haaretz reported on Wednesday. http://en.rian.ru/world/20071212/92138812.html

Palestinians In "Israel "Speak Out
By Nadim Rouhana
The Annapolis peace talks regard me as an interloper in my own land. Israel's deputy prime minister, Avigdor Lieberman, argues that I should "take [my] bundles and get lost." Henry Kissinger thinks I ought to be summarily swapped from inside Israel to the would-be Palestinian state.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18889.htm

US wants [SORT OF] nuclear-free Middle East:
Washington's main ally in the region, is believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East with an estimated 200 nuclear warheads. It has, however, never formally acknowledged having an atomic arsenal. http://snipurl.com/1vauq
http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/administration/afp-news.html?i...

"No State Has the Right to Exist as a Racist State"
Omar Barghouti (excerpt)
...Their [U.S.] grand ideological design - that was supposed to start with Iraq and then roll like a domino throughout the oil-rich Arab region, all the way to controlling the world - is being shattered. Their vision has been exposed as fundamentally racist, dogmatic, and profoundly flawed. Thanks to the resistance in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, this neocon vision of empire is on its way to ultimate defeat.... This religious facade of the perceived “clash” remains on the surface only. Deep inside, the conflict has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. It is all about racism, economic exploitation and hegemony. Of course, convincing Europeans of that will take a long time, because September 11th was a very traumatizing shock to them. Whoever did September 11th knew exactly what they were doing. It was almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, creating the infrastructure for this «clash of civilizations» theory in a dramatic and criminal manner....
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18853.htm

Israel no nuclear threat to neighbors, says Gates:
The statement was greeted by laughter from a room filled with government officials from Middle Eastern countries.
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSL0866169420071208

Israeli military attacks close media centers in Nabulus
Ameen Abu Wardeh - IMEMC
Israeli military forces invaded the Northern West Bank city of Nablus early on Wednesday and shut down several media offices and agencies in what is considered the most violent direct action against Palestinian media since the beginning of the al Aqsa intifada Local sources reported that military forces invaded the city at around 1.00 am and forcibly entered the offices of several organizations, confiscating property. Issa Abu Al Ez, director of Afaq TV station in Nablus, reported that the invading troops assaulted an employee of the station who was on duty at the time of the raid, before confiscating broadcasting equipment and computers.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39134

capitalist zionism no exception...
Privatising Zionism
Increasingly, Israel is handing over its ‘Judaisation’ project to private firms
by Neve Gordon and Erez Tzfadia
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/12/14/5827/
For less than four dollars an hour, the Jewish teenagers removed furniture, clothes, kitchenware and toys from the homes and loaded them on to trucks. As they worked diligently alongside the many policemen who had come to secure the destruction of 30 houses in two unrecognised Bedouin villages, Bedouin teenagers stood by watching their homes being emptied. When all the belongings had been removed, the bulldozers rapidly destroyed the homes. All those present, Jews and Bedouins, were Israeli citizens; together they learned an important lesson in the discrimination characterising civic life in the Jewish state. The current demolitions are part of a strategy that began with the foundation of the state of Israel. Its ultimate objective is the Judaisation of space. In this case, the demolitions were carried out in order to establish two new Jewish villages. Their establishment, though, is part of a much larger plan that includes the construction of about 30 new Jewish settlements in the Israeli Negev, the seizure of Bedouin land for military needs, and the creation of dozens of single-family farms on land that has been inhabited by Bedouins since they were relocated to the region by the state in the early 1950s.... a Bedouin activist asked one of the Jewish teenagers why he had agreed to participate in the eviction. Without hesitating, the teenager replied: “I am a Zionist and what we are doing here today is Zionism.”...

HOW ISRAEL-U.S. END GAZA OCCUPATION: INTENSIFYING THE GENOCIDE
Palestine: 3 minute video: Israeli occupation forces man handle Palestinian women
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toxHmsWO4to

APPEAL FROM MINISTRY OF HEALTH - GAZA.
Felicity Arbuthnot
The residents of Gaza are being collectively punished for supporting a democratically elected government (a process so beloved by the freedom-and-democrocy-spreaders-by-slaughter in Washington and Whitehall, but clearly the wrong kind of democracy.They did not elect a corrupt quisling puppet.) The greedy and corrupt have been exiling and silently crucifying the Palestinian people for sixty years, in defiance of over forty UN resolutions. Aided, abetted, armed with allegedly illegal weapons and weapons of mass destruction, by the bigest bully on the global block: the 'land of the free'. Whilst people are jailed for holocaust denial, as the West witch hunts the very old under the banner of hunting Nazi war criminals, this silent sixty year holocaust, displacement, ghettoisation, home demolishing, infanticide, child killing, arrest without trial, disappearances, the dying of the sick at road blocks, the theft and erosion of ancient lands, olives and citrus groves, the destruction of education, civil society continues unabated as the world watches... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38893

The Israelis Cut of Fuel & Electricity To Gaza Strip Will Also Collapse the Systems of Drinking Water & Sanitation
Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice
The Israelis continues its strangulation of the Gaza Strip and its 1.5 million inhabitants. The Palestinian General Petroleum Corporation reported that the Israelis have cut the delivery of fuel to a half of its normal supply to the Gaza Strip on Monday.The fuel companies in Gaza Strip imported up to 350,000 liters of diesel and the same amount of gasoline and 300 tons of gas used for cooking on an average. On Tuesday most gas stations have closed and there are not many cars on the roads.Medical services in some health centres were disrupted as petrol stations closed down after Israel cut back fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip. Gaza Strip is completely dependent of fuel import.The normal and average transport of fuel to the people on Gaza Strip tangents over 100 thousands of liters/day... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38943

Popular committee warns: Eight water wells stopped operating in Gaza
Palestinian Information Center
The popular anti-sanctions committee warned that eight water wells stopped pumping in different districts of the Gaza Strip as a result of reducing the amount of fuel supplied by Israel. It appealed to the concerned international organizations and friends of the Palestinian people to intervene to save the Strip from a looming disaster. In a press release received by the PIC on Monday, the committee stated that the stop of these wells heralds environmental and human disaster in the Gaza Strip, noting that one of those pumps was used in dispensing sewage.. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38964

Gaza Strip hospitals face "humanitarian disaster"
Maan News
Hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been forced to shut down their emergency power generators, resulting in a looming "humanitarian disaster" due to Israel’s severe reductions in fuel supplies, said Muawiya Hassanein, the director of ambulance and emergency services in the Palestinian Health Ministry. "At nine in the morning, the major generator which supplies all the health facilities, medical storehouses, pharmacies and refrigerators for keeping vaccines stopped," Hassanein explained. The power cut will result in the destruction of millions of dollars of crucial vaccines and food supplies....

Palestinians stuck within wall, Green Line
MEL FRYKBERG (Middle East Times)
The lives of 10,000 Palestinians trapped within West Bank enclaves - cut off from Israel to the west by the Green Line and separated from the West Bank proper to the east by the barrier - have been ruined socially and economically, with their education disrupted and their livelihoods destroyed or seriously damaged. Some have died or been close to it while waiting for medical treatment while ambulances are turned back at Israeli checkpoints or delayed for hours while medical personnel raced to fulfill increasingly strict criteria for permits to cross the barrier into Israel or to a hospital elsewhere in the West Bank... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39024

FLASHBACK: Torture, Israeli style
'Now you are paralyzed, as we promised'
Gideon Levy, Haaretz
"We have to make you do a little sports," the Shin Bet interrogator said, launching four successive days of questioning accompanied by brutal physical torture. The result: Luwaii Ashqar can no longer stand on his feet. He sits in his wheelchair, dressed in a fashionable quasi-military suit, super-elegant, new Caterpillar-brand shoes on his paralyzed feet. "I love this color," he says about his uniform. "It's the color of the soldiers who came to arrest me for the interrogation that did all this to me." His smile is captivating, his Hebrew rich and incisive. He is a young man whose world fell apart. He entered prison sound of body and mind and emerged a broken man. For four days and four nights nonstop, he says, he was interrogated and subjected to torture of the most brutal kind. The result is the person we see before us in the wheelchair, in the elegant home high in the village of Saida, north of Tul Karm, which was placed at his disposal by a friend after he was released from Israeli prison a month ago.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=39207

Torture and Torment in 2007 AD
The "only democracy in the Middle East" has imprisoned at least 600,000 Palestinians since the ethnic cleansing of those native people started in 1948 en masse. Remember that the population was hardly a million to start with. Many are arrested at dead of night in a manner similar to that taught by Ord Wingate to the Zionist terrorist squads in the 1930s - the Special Night Squads. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18877.htm

Hollywood Conscience
http://fanonite.org/category/zionism/
So much for Hollywood conscience. Last year when Lebanese children were being blown up wholesale by Israeli bombs, most of Hollywood’s top names took out a full page ad in support of Israeli aggression. When a few days back protesters picketed the opening of a diamond store belonging to Soviet-born arch-Zionist Les Leviev who funds the theft of Palestinian land and the construction of illegal settlements, there to shake his hands was none other than ‘lefty radical’ Susan Sarandon. Philip Weiss writes: “The NY Post covered the anti-settlement protests at the diamond store opening the other night as celeb gossip, noting that Susan Sarandon crossed the picket line (so much for the left’s braintrust…) to go inside. Observers have commented on the protesters’ great slogans, including the above…”

HER BEST FRIENDS
http://www.nypost.com/seven/11172007/gossip/pagesix/her_best_friends_643...
Page SixPhoto
SUSAN Sarandon will cross a picket line - if there are diamonds on the other side. The actress waded through a throng of picketers to get to a cocktail party for the Leviev jewelry store launch on Madison Avenue this week. A group carrying Palestinian flags was on the sidewalk protesting the Finesse Diamond Corp., which provides gems to Leviev, and Leviev's construction of "illegal West Bank settlements." They were shouting, "You're glitz, you're glam, you're building on Palestinian land" and "Occupation is a drag, just say no to your gift bag." Our source reports that Sarandon went in and "tried not to notice the yells outside."

Internet Yellow Pages Collects Your Money for Zionist Occupation
Sabbah's blog
...YELLOWPAGES.travel Donates to Multiple Jewish Charities
YELLOWPAGES.travel, a tool that enables users to search the top 12 travel websites with one click, has launched a charity program where it will donate 15% of its net profits to multiple charitable organizations including the Israeli Defense Fund (IDF), Simon Weisenthal Center, and the Jewish Federation.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ — Yellow Pages Corporation, operator of popular online YellowPages sites and telephone books including travel website aggregator YELLOWPAGES.travel, today announced it will be donating to multiple Jewish charities such as the Israeli Defense Fund (IDF), Simon Weisenthal Center, and the Jewish Federation.
YellowPages Corporation, an entity that has been providing business directories for nearly 100 years has now stepped into the travel market with YELLOWPAGES.travel. The site is a tool that enables users to search the top 12 travel websites such as Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Kayak, HotWire, SideStep, Travelzoo and other major travel websites side by side on one screen without having to search each website individually.
Today, the company has announced that it will donate 15% of the net proceeds of YELLOWPAGES.travel to multiple charities. Several of these charities are Jewish organizations which will directly benefit from the growth of the site. The Israeli Defense Fund, Simon Weisenthal Center and the Jewish Federation will all benefit from increased usage of the site. To view more information about the new YellowPages charity program please visit http://www.YELLOWPAGES.travel/charity.
Also, users of Google and Yahoo! can save time by using SearchBoth.com, a site that places both Google and Yahoo! side by side, on one split screen. 15% of all revenue generated by SearchBoth.com will also be donated to multiple Jewish charities. Users of travel sites, Google, and Yahoo! are urged to use YELLOWPAGES.travel and SearchBoth.com instead.
About YELLOWPAGES.travel [...]
http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=39119&s2=12

CUI BONO?
Pakistan: 55 reported dead in mosque suicide bomb attack:
A suicide attacker detonated a bomb early today at a mosque outside the home of Pakistan’s former interior minister as he received visitors on an Islamic holiday, killing a reported 55 people and wounding dozens more, authorities said.
http://www.eecho.ie/news/story/?trs=mheykfeyojgb

U.S. role behind the terror is between the lines in u.s. media
Picture of secret jailing emerging in Pakistan
Nearly 100 freed, told to keep quiet, but stories coming out
Carlotta Gall, New York Times
Thursday, December 20, 2007
http://snipurl.com/1vocd
Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies, apparently trying to avoid acknowledging an elaborate secret detention system, have quietly set free nearly 100 men suspected of links to terrorism, few of whom were charged, human rights groups and lawyers say. Those released, they say, are some of the nearly 500 Pakistanis presumed to have disappeared into the hands of the Pakistani intelligence agencies cooperating with the United States' fight against terrorism since 2001... the government had set up a nearly invisible detention system. "There are safe houses in Islamabad where people are kept," he said, citing accounts from the police and those who have been freed. "Police have admitted this, flats are taken on rent, property is seized, people are tortured there."
In at least two instances detainees were handed over to the United States without any legal extradition proceedings, Pakistani lawyers and human rights groups say. U.S. officials here and in Washington refused to comment on the cases.
"They are releasing them because these cases are being made public," said Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, a lawyer working at the Supreme Court who has taken up many of the cases of the missing. "They want to avoid the publicity."
In addition, human rights groups and lawyers contend, the government has swept up at least 4,000 other Pakistanis, most Baluchi and Sindhi nationalists campaigning for ethnic or regional autonomy who have nothing to do with the U.S. campaign against terrorism.
In some cases, detainees recounted that they had been interrogated in the presence of English-speaking foreigners, who human rights officials and lawyers suspect are Americans.
A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman said she could not comment on the allegations and referred all questions to Washington. A spokesman for the CIA, Mark Mansfield, declined to comment ...

GEOSTRATEGICALLY KEY: BALUCHISTAN
Because Britain and the US want Pakistan as an ally in the so-called war on terror, they have armed Pakistan and acquiesced with its suppression of the Baluch people. for six decades, Baluchistan has been subjected to Pakistani military occupation, political domination, economic exploitation and cultural hegemony. Pakistan is an oppressed nation turned oppressor nation. It now adopts the imperialist tactics of its former colonial overlords to subjugate and exploit the Baluch. Baluchistan makes up the whole south-west of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran in the west and the Arabian Sea in the south. It accounts for nearly half of Pakistan's land mass and is immensely rich in natural resources, including oil, gas, coal, copper and gold. Despite this huge mineral wealth, Baluchistan is one of the poorest regions of Pakistan. Much of the population is malnourished, illiterate, semi-destitute, living in squalid housing with no electricity or clean drinking water.
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2007/08/pakistan_cele...

Pakistan's secret war in Baluchistan
Pakistan launched a renewed military offensive against the people of Baluchistan on December 6, with the aim of crushing the nationalist movement and suppressing protests against Islamabad's recent murder of the Baluch national leader, Mir Balach Marri....
Pakistan is determined to kill the Baluch people and has deployed its entire state machinery to crush and eliminate the Baluch nation. This is state terrorism and is in contravention of international human rights laws.... Last weekend saw protests in London by Baluch refugees against the military assault on their country. They feel a sense of immense frustration, demoralisation and anger at Britain's failure to press the Pakistani regime to halt its abuses in Baluchistan. The foreign secretary, David Miliband, appears to take the view that we need Pakistan as an ally in the so-called "war of terror" and therefore we should look the other way when confronted with evidence of Islamabad's human rights violations and neo-colonial despotism. This sleazy realpolitik, whereby Britain colludes with dictators, needs to change.
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2007/12/pakistans_sec...

Russian & Chinese capitalism: intolerable threats to U.S. supremacy
Putin Secures New Gas Pipeline, Undermining U.S. Plan:
Russian President Vladimir Putin secured a deal to start building a natural-gas pipeline to Central Asia, undermining a U.S.-backed plan to give the region an alternative route bypassing Russia.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aZAoqlSorbFA&refer=h...

US hits at Chinese oil deal with Iran:
The US has complained to Beijing about a new deal between Sinopec, the Chinese state-owned energy company, and Iran, in a sign of the rift between the world’s big powers about Tehran’s nuclear programme.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9b1abb3e-af22-11dc-880f-0000779fd2ac.html

Condoleezza Stokes Flames of US Wars in Africa
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&...
The U.S. military offensive in the Horn of Africa is poised to escalate, as Condoleezza Rice assures her African proxies of deepening collaboration in the “war on terror.” With at least half a million Somalis facing death by starvation and disease – and thousands more killed in resistance to the U.S.-backed Ethiopian occupation – Washington has set its sights on neighboring Eritrea as a rogue state that is guilty of “interference in the affairs of its neighbors” and “dangerous adventurism in the Horn.” The cookie-cutter U.S. propaganda/attack formula previously applied in the Persian Gulf has been imposed on Africa, and will surely reap the same catastrophic results. Yet African American “leadership” remains mute and impotent while Washington sets the continent ablaze.

"The Somali occupation is to be transformed into a wider war."
Vowing to wipe out "terrorists" in Somalia, Condoleezza Rice last week surrounded herself with key African proxies in an effort to shore up the American-instigated Ethiopian occupation of Somalia, and to further U.S. military dominance of the Horn of Africa. The Ethiopian invasion, backed by U.S. air power, intelligence assets and close collaboration with ground forces, one year ago, faces increasing resistance by Somali nationalists from a range of political and religious persuasions. The resulting military "quagmire" has left at least 6,000 civilians dead in the capital city, Mogadishu, and displaced over a million more, half of whom face imminent death in what the United Nations calls the "worst humanitarian crisis in Africa."

But civilian suffering wasn't high on Secretary of State Rice's agenda when she met last week in Addis Abba with Ethiopia's foreign minister and Nur Hassen Hussein, prime minister of the puppet Somali "government" installed by the Ethiopian occupiers - a gaggle of warlords and supplicants that virtually all observers are convinced would "not last a day" on its own. "Counter terrorism requires good intelligence sharing and good training of forces that can deal with bad elements," Rice told her junior partners in the bogus "war on terror" that threatens to set East Africa - and beyond - aflame. "It would have been extremely difficult to make any progress in terms of fighting extremism in Somalia without your support," replied Seyoum Mesfin, ministerial mouthpiece for Ethiopian dictator Mele Zenawi, whose forces are also waging scorched earth warfare against the ethnic Somali majority in Ethiopia's Ogaden region, and priming for renewed conflict with Eritrea, its northern neighbor.

"Washington has designated The Horn a strategically vital military and natural resource prize."
The "bad elements," "terrorists" and "extremists" whose existence serves as the cover for massive American military penetration of the Horn of Africa, are the Islamic Courts that for a brief time brought relative peace and rule of law to Somalia - stability that threatened a more than four decades-long U.S. policy of fomenting chaos in all regions of the continent in which trusted strongmen could not be imposed. Since 9/11, Washington has designated The Horn a strategically vital military and natural resource prize - a largely Muslim region easily accessible to the U.S. armadas, air fleets and armies massed in the Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf region to the east.
Through encircling alliances forged by bribery, coercion, subversion, exploitation of regional rivalries, and mutual greed, the U.S. has made proxies of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti. Sudan faces what it fears is imminent U.S.-led intervention in its western province, Darfur. The invasion of Somalia signaled that the U.S. felt confident it could mobilize surrogates and deploy its own awesome assets to "secure" an entire corner of Africa, and thereafter expand the "American sphere" to the south and west. But first, it must complete the subjugation of Somalia, where "insurgents" and "terrorists" - the identical terms used to describe resisters in Iraq - are on the offensive. And any setbacks suffered by the Ethiopian occupiers and their Somali dependents must be blamed on the sole remaining, indispensable "rogue state" in the immediate area: Eritrea.
The U.S. Juggernaut is In motion [...]

we can't hear from Algerian anti-imperialists what it means -- they like all resistance now is "al qaeda"...
What Dec. 11 means in Algeria
Truck bombs that targeted U.N. and government buildings in Algeria came on Dec. 11, a date with heavy significance in the North African nation.
Dec. 11, 1960, was a turning point in the war for independence from Algeria's former colonial ruler, France. Huge pro-independence protests broke out that day during a visit by France's then-president, Gen. Charles de Gaulle. Algerians mark the anniversary every year, recalling brutality by French forces...The government building struck Tuesday is on a street named for the date: December 11, 1960, Boulevard.
Analysts say Islamic militants likely were signaling their anger at the Algerian government's cooperation with France and Europe. French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Algeria just last week. Louis Caprioli, a former assistant director of France's DST counterintelligence agency who now works for the risk-management company Geos, said references to pro-independence demonstrations were "a way of saying to those who are in power today, 'you are betraying the glorious combatants of our revolution.'" http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1105ap_algeria_why_dec_11.html

The US and Her Fundamentalist Stooges are the Main Human Rights Violators In Afghanistan
by RAWA
The US and her allies tried to legitimize their military occupation of Afghanistan under the banner of "bringing freedom and democracy for Afghan people". But as we have experienced in the past three decades, in regard to the fate of our people, the US government first of all considers her own political and economic interests and has empowered and equipped the most traitorous, anti-democratic, misogynist and corrupt fundamentalist gangs in Afghanistan. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18873.htm

OPERATION CONDOR: U.S. SPONSORED TERROR BY LATIN AMERICAN MILITARY REGIMES
RENDITION IN THE SOUTHERN CONE: Operation Condor Documents Revealed from the Paraguayan 'ARCHIVE OF TERROR'
Washington D.C., December 21, 2007 - On the fifteenth anniversary of the discovery of the Archive of Terror in Paraguay, the National Security Archive posted Spanish-language documents that reveal new details of how the Southern Cone military regimes collaborated in hunting down, interrogating, and disappearing hundreds of Latin Americans during the 1970s and 1980s.
The collaboration, which became officially known as "Operation Condor," drew on cross-border kidnapping, secret detention centers, torture, and disappearance of prisoners˜rendition, interrogation and detention techniques that some human rights advocates are comparing to those used today in the Bush administration's counterterrorism campaign.
"These documents provide a historic passkey into the horror chambers of the Southern Cone military regimes," said Carlos Osorio, who directs the Southern Cone Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. "The atrocities they record from the past remain relevant to the debate over the conduct of counterterrorism operations today, and in the future."
The National Security Archive also posted a series of other records from the Paraguayan archive to inaugurate a new website of 60,000 records of repression [ http://test.aladin.wrlc.org/gsdl/collect/terror/terror_e.shtml]. The website, created in collaboration with the Paraguayan Supreme Court, and the George Washington University, is believed to be the largest internet site of spanish-language military and secret police records relating to abuses that took place during the military regime in Paraguay and elsewhere in the Southern Cone. It is designed to facilitate research and international legal efforts to prosecute human rights violators.
http://www.nsarchive.org

New Orleans a stark picture of continuing genocide against the Black nation...
US police attack New Orleans protesters
Police in New Orleans used chemical spray and taser stun devices on people protesting against government plans to destroy public housing when the number of homeless people in the area has doubled to about 12,000 since hurricane Katrina. At the peak of the confrontation, some 70 protesters were facing about a dozen mounted police and 40 other officers on foot. Despite the protests, the New Orleans City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to demolish 4,500 subsidised housing units. Thursday's vote was required before demolition work could begin, but several legal challenges to the plan have not been resolved. Endesha Juakali, a protest leader arrested on a charge of disturbing the peace, said Thursday's confrontation with the council was not the last breath from protesters. "For everything they do, we have to make them pay a political consequence," Juakali said. He vowed that when the bulldozers try to demolish the St Bernard complex "it's going to be an all out effort".
http://snipurl.com/1vod7

Racist Genocide in New Orleans Continues: "Like 911 But Add Water"
by liz burbank
[edited version of article originally published 9/3/05 as "A Catastrophic Success": A Holocaust Shaped by Race]
Katrina was no accident, no surprise, no act of 'mother nature', the 'gods' , nor the result of 'incompetence' and 'poor communication'. The human and environmental and impact on New Orleans of a hurricane of this magnitude had been scientifically calculated. Rescue and recovery were deliberately withheld, working class Black people militarily imprisoned, forcibly dispersed and murdered by the armed state.
full article at http://lizburbankdigest.blogspot.com/2006/03/racist-genocide-in-new-orle...
also at http://www.burbankdigest.com/

The Racist Roots of the Anti-Immigration Movement
by Lee Cokorinos
BlackAgendaReport
"Two broad strains of anti-immigrant racial supremacism, one based on culture and the other on heredity and genetics, seem to be converging."
It is true that growing immigrant populations are transforming the United States, but one ancient aspect of Americana remains intact: racial supremacist dreams of a "white" nation. The notion that the United States was and should forever be a White Man's Country - once the accepted creed and rationale of the Republic - resurfaces in hysterical form and very prominent places in the national discourse. In academia, electoral politics, mass media, and revived racist movements on the ground, corporate-funded anti-immigrant forces combine with age-old anti-Black formations to rally against diversity as "a dire threat to ‘the core culture.'" White "nativist movements" are once again called forth to confront the "mortal danger" posed by The Other. Read more...

Slave Labour Shames US
Three Florida fruit-pickers, held captive and brutalised by their employer for more than a year, finally broke free of their bonds by punching their way through the ventilator hatch of the van in which they were imprisoned. Once outside, they dashed for freedom.When they found sanctuary one recent Sunday morning, all bore the marks of heavy beatings to the head and body. One of the pickers had a nasty, untreated knife wound on his arm. Police would learn later that another man had his hands chained behind his back every night to prevent him escaping, leaving his wrists swollen. The migrants were not only forced to work in sub-human conditions but mistreated and forced into debt. They were locked up at night and had to pay for sub-standard food. If they took a shower with a garden hose or bucket, it cost them $5. Their story of slavery and abuse in the fruit fields of sub-tropical Florida threatens to lift the lid on some appalling human rights abuses in America today.Between December and May, Florida produces virtually the entire US crop of field-grown fresh tomatoes. Fruit picked here in the winter months ends up on the shelves of supermarkets and is also served in the country's top restaurants and in tens of thousands of fast-food outlets.
But conditions in the state's fruit-picking industry range from straightforward exploitation to forced labour. Tens of thousands of men, women and children – excluded from the protection of America's employment laws and banned from unionising – work their fingers to the bone for rates of pay which have hardly budged in 30 years. Florida has a long history of exploiting migrant workers. Farm labourers have no protection under US law and can be fired at will. Conditions have barely changed since 1960 when the journalist Edward R Murrow shocked Americans with Harvest Of Shame, a television broadcast about the bleak and underpaid lives of the workers who put food on their tables. "We used to own our slaves but now we just rent them," Murrow said, in a phrase that still resonates in Immokalee today.For several years, a campaign has been under way to improve the workers' conditions. After years of talks, a scheme to pay the tomato pickers a penny extra per pound has been signed off by McDonald's, the world's biggest restaurant chain, and by Yum!, which owns 35,000 restaurants including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. But Burger King, which also buys its tomatoes in Immokalee, has so far refused to participate, threatening the entire scheme.... Burger King will not pay the extra penny a pound that the tomato-pickers are demanding he said. "If we agreed to the penny per pound, Burger King would pay about $250,000 annually, or $100 per worker. How does that solve exploitation and poverty?" he asked. Burger King is not the only buyer digging in its heels. Whole Foods Market, which recently expanded into Britain with a store in London's upmarket suburb of Kensington, has been discovered stocking tomatoes from one of the most notorious Florida sweatshop producers. Whole Foods ignored an appeal by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to pay an extra penny a pound for its tomatoes.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18924.htm

Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iVC1KMTOgwiSoMQyT2LwZc9HyAgA
Dec.20,2007
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday. "We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference. A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old. They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.

The treaties signed with the United States are merely "worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom activists say on their website.
The treaties have been "repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life," the reborn freedom movement says. Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said. "This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution," which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said. "It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent," said Means. The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence -- an overt play on the title of the United States' Declaration of Independence from EnglandThirty-three years have elapsed since then because "it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row," Means said. One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples -- despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.

"We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children," Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.
The US "annexation" of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere "facsimiles of white people," said Means. Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies -- less than 44 years -- in the world. Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the norm for the United States; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement's website.
"Our people want to live, not just survive or crawl and be mascots," said Young.

Lakota group pushes for new nation
By Faith Bremner
Argus Leader Washington Burea
December 20, 2007
WASHINGTON - A group of "freedom-loving" Lakota activists announced a plan Wednesday for their people to withdraw from treaties their forefathers signed with the U.S. government. Headed by leaders of the American Indian Movement, including activist, actor and Porcupine resident Russell Means, the group dropped in on the State Department and the embassies of Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile and South Africa this week seeking recognition for their effort to form a free and independent Lakota nation. The group plans to visit more embassies in the coming months.
The new nation is needed because Indians have been "dismissed" by the United States and are tired of living under a colonial apartheid system, Means said during a news conference held at Plymouth Congregational Church in northeast Washington. He was accompanied by a bodyguard and three other Lakota activists - Gary Rowland, Duane Martin and Phyllis Young, all of South Dakota. "I want to emphasize, we do not represent the collaborators, the Vichy Indians and those tribal governments set up by the United States of America to ensure our poverty, to ensure the theft of our land and resources," Means said, comparing elected tribal governments to Nazi collaborators in France during World War II.
Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzman, who attended the press conference out of solidarity, said he takes the Lakotas' declaration of independence seriously. "We are here because the demands of indigenous people of America are our demands," Guzman said. "We have sent all the documents they presented to the embassy to our ministry of foreign affairs in Bolivia and they'll analyze everything."
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SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE...AND CARRY FORWARD INTO 2008!
The Great Xmas Eve Black-Seminole Victory
by William Loren Katz

In the long history of U.S. wars of annihilation and racial subjugation, the Black and Seminole resistance shines as a glorious example of solidarity between courageous peoples. The Seminole, largely comprised of Native Americans previously displaced by savage ethnic cleansing in the southern states, and escaped slaves found common cause in Spanish Florida, where they created a multi-cultural community and armed force against the encroaching "Americans." In three separate wars between 1816 and 1858, combined Black-Seminole forces caused the deaths of thousands of white troops. The greatest victory occurred the day before Christmas, 1837, at Lake Okeechobee, where "every [U.S.] officer, with one exception" was brought down.
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