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Mission imprecision: the unexploded ordnance war (Belen Fernandez) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - In September of 2006, Haaretz quoted the head of an Israeli Army rocket unit on his military’s performance during the recent 34-day war on Lebanon: "What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs."As the article explains, the United Nations estimated at the time that approximately 40 percent of cluster rounds fired by Israel had failed to explode. This is why, despite intensive and ongoing cleanup efforts by Lebanese and international organisations, we still continue to see headlines like: "18-year-old Lebanese killed by Israeli cluster bomb."...Israel’s latest genocidal pursuits in Gaza - euphemised as "self-defense" - have enabled the Israeli military to apply another coat of paint to Arab territory which we shall call the snazzy shade: "unexploded ordnance," or UXO for short....


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The truth about operation Iraqi liberation (take II) (Dahlia Wasfi) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - ...The sovereign state of Iraq was destroyed through the March 2003 US/UK-led military invasion. Subsequently, by way of "de-Ba’athification" and a brutal military occupation, US administrators immediately employed a "divide-and-conquer" strategy to rule Iraq. The so-called transitional government of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) appointed an Iraqi Governing Council: a 25- member advisory panel hand-picked by the occupiers along sectarian and ethnic lines. The CPA also created the organisational apparatus and rules for Iraq’s first "democratic" elections. In January 2005, these CPA-orchestrated elections brought conservative Shiite parties to power. Ibrahim al-Jafaari - one of the Shiite members of the US-chosen Iraqi Governing Council - was named Iraq’s new prime minister. And during his one-year term, Shiite death squads began operating in Iraq as part of government militias, the Iraqi Army, and the Iraqi police. These Shiite armed forces - many of them originating from militias of conservative parties based in Iran - conducted operations in Iraq with assistance from US occupiers. Sunni Iraqis were the primary victims of these Shiite units, whose grip on Iraq strengthened following the naming of Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister in 2006...

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'Moral blackmail' still stifles debate on Israel (Abukar Arman) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - Israel's latest attempt to subdue the Palestinian resistance by putting its systematic genocide on high gear has yielded in some unintended consequences: international media interest in Gaza; challenge to the blind toeing of the extreme right party line; and growing global consensus to end this oppression. However, we still have a long way to go in creating a safe space for honest discourse on this highly emotive topic.Frustrated by the choreographed intimidatory campaigns often waged against any critic of Israel who might possess a certain level of influence, Jewish Professor Avi Shlaim once wrote, "The blind supporters of Israel…use the charge of anti-Semitism to try and silence legitimate criticism of Israeli practices. I regard this as moral blackmail."...

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Doctors tackle damaged minds amid Gaza's post-war destruction (By Nidal al-Mughrabi) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - In a ward at Shifa, Gaza's largest hospital, child therapist Rabeea Hamouda is trying to elicit a response from two small brothers, Omar and Mohammed, aged three and 18 months, hoping for some words or perhaps a smile.
For seven straight minutes the children, peppered with burns and shrapnel wounds sustained in Israeli shelling that hit their home in north Gaza, stare at him blankly, emotionless. Eventually, as Hamouda gently teases them, pretending to mix up their names and holding out a present while another counsellor sings quietly, a smile creeps across Mohammed's face and the older one, Omar, cries out his name....


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Listen: “Love in the Time of Genocide” performed by Haidar Eid (Ali Abunimah) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - In this video, the Palestinian intellectual and activist Haidar Eid, in Gaza, performs "Love in the Time of Genocide," adapted from a poem by the late Egyptian poet Abdul Rahim Mansour. The words are unadorned, but Eid’s performance is haunting, set against images from Israel’s most recent massacre in Gaza....At the end of the video are these words from Eid himself: The Palestinian people, and Gazans in particular, have been living an unending massacre since 1948. We can no longer negotiate about improving the conditions of oppression; it is either the full menu of rights, or nothing. And that means the end of occupation, apartheid and colonialism...


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How Israel uses Caterpillar machinery to carry out extrajudicial executions (Adri Nieuwhof) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - On Monday 11 August, the Israeli army used a militarized Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in an attempt to arrest 24-year-old Zakaria al-Aqra at his home in the village of Qabalan near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.The Times of Israel reported that Israeli forces carried out the so-called "pressure cooker" procedure in an attempt to force al-Aqra to come outside. Soldiers fired on the walls of his house and used the Caterpillar to damage the building. Al-Aqra was killed, six relatives were wounded and parts of his house were destroyed during the eight-hour assault.A new report by Who Profits Research Center documents Israel’s use of heavy construction machinery in home demolitions as well as the construction of settlements, the West Bank wall, checkpoints, roadblocks and for crowd control...

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"Are there warplanes overhead, dad?" (Rami Almeghari) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - "Get up shahida, get up," my son Muhammad said to his sister Nadine early on Friday as he tried to wake her up. He used the Arabic word usually translated to English as "martyr" after he playfully put the mattress over her. It’s a word children in Gaza have heard too often.For more than a month now, Muhammad and hundreds of thousands of other children here have been locked in their homes, watching scenes of Palestinian men, women and children torn to pieces on their TV screens — that is if they were lucky enough to be spared witnessing such scenes with their own eyes, or like 448 other children, end up dead....

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Israel in the docks at the ICC- a not so distant possibility? (Jessica Purkiss) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - Israel's military offensive on Gaza has devastated the small coastal enclave. During the lull of hostilities, part of a recently extended ceasefire, the damage is being assessed and calls for justice are growing stronger. Last week, Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki visited The Hague, the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Malki, told reporters that the visit was made in-order to discuss the implications of signing the Rome Statute. Signing the Rome Statute would make Palestine a member of the ICC with the authority to call for an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel...

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Syria News - August 15, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - By the end of today Friday, LCC has documented the fall of 68 martyrs including 10 children, 7 women and 5 martyrs under torture. 25 martyrs were reported in Daraa, 20 in Aleppo, 10 in Damascus and its suburbs, 5 in Idlib, 4 in Homs, 2 in Deir Ezzor and 2 martyrs in Hama....

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Why US Airstrikes Will Only Strengthen ISIS
Bombing the Caliphate
(by JOHN FEFFER) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - ....Now, if the United States doesn’t do something stupid—like bombing this newly declared caliphate and its army—IS will likely be consumed by the fires of its own extremism. All manner of groups fought alongside IS in order to defeat their common enemy—the woefully corrupt and dangerously sectarian leader of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki. But IS signaled its inability to maintain a popular front of Maliki haters by recently rounding up former Baathists that had been fighting on their side and forcing them to swear allegiance to the new entity or risk execution.....

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Homeless Gazans struggle to find shelter (Mohammed Othman) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - Manal Abu Assar, 39, took a few moments to wash her children's clothes in the park next to al-Shifa Hospital, where her family has set up a tent. She took advantage of the absence of men, who left the hospital park in the morning. Abu Assar and her 13-member family fled the neighborhood of Shajaiya in eastern Gaza following a major attack by Israeli forces on July 19. "The situation is increasingly worsening in the hospital park, where thousands of displaced people have taken refuge," Abu Assar told Al-Monitor. A small tent, with an area of no more than nine meters, has become Abu Assar's new home, as is the case for many other families whose houses were destroyed by Israeli occupation forces on the eastern border of Gaza City....

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Civilians Killed in US and Iraqi Raids in Northern Iraq (Video) (AlJazeera) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - Today (Friday) more than 20 people were killed, more than half of which were children in both US and Iraqi raids in northern Iraq in two regions , Kerkuk and Nineveh to the north of Iraq, at a time when US president Barack Obama said that raids on the ISIS strongholds will keep on happening. Sources in the Huweija Hospital which is situated south West of Kerkuk (almost 150 kilometers to the north of Baghdad), that 11 children were killed and another 30 were injured among which were women and children as well in a raid completed by Iraqi fighter jets....

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Iraq snapshot - August 15, 2014. (The Common Ills) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - So few want to admit that. In part because they whored for Nouri al-Maliki and in part because they lack the ability to they were wrong to cheer Nouri on. The man was a tyrant and a despot. He had Iraqis rounded up -- usually Sunnis -- mass 'arrests' that lacked arrest warrants. The people were then lost in the 'legal' system -- often never tried, not on trial once, but kept in prisons. Some people were arrested with arrest warrants -- for other people!They have an arrest warrent for Ali al-Mutlaq. They go to his family's home. Ali is not present so they arrest Ali's wife, sister, child or parent. That's not justice. It is why so many innocents rot in prison -- accused of no crime but held regardless. Many of the females in Nouri's prison arrived there as a result of being a relative of someone. Once in prison, many girls and women were assaulted or raped....There was his targeting of Iraq's LGBTQ community. There was his attack on protesters -- most infamously the April 23rd massacre of a sit-in in Hawija resulted fvia Nouri's federal forces storming in. ...

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Chronicles of a Death Foretold: The Kerry Negotiations (by Samia al-Botmeh, Diana Buttu, Raja Khalidi, Rashid Khalidi, and Mouin Rabbani) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - Farsighted observers saw it coming. For them, the apparent breakdown in April 2014 of the initiative launched by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry amid much fanfare nine months earlier, in August 2013, came as no great surprise. Would U.S. diplomacy have the courage to do something it had failed to do for over thirty-five years, and put forward an initiative on Palestine that diverged markedly from the Israeli government’s colonialist, annexationist agenda? Would Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the heir to a tradition going back to Zeev Jabotinsky (the founder of the maximalist strand of Zionism that has dominated Israeli politics since 1977) have a Nixon-going-to-China moment in response to Kerry’s effort? And would Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas accept whatever formula emerged from Kerry’s efforts? ...

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Ray Odierno: Living in the Third Person about Iraq (By: Peter Van Buren) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - .... The very factors Odierno speaks today of almost as if he was an independent third party dispassionately looking back are the same ones he was responsible for resolving over his many years of command in Iraq. Odierno watched as the United States poured $25 billion into training the gleefully third world standard Iraqi Army he now says was not properly trained. He was handmaiden to the 2010 elections that saw the Iranians broker a Maliki victory and the installation of a Shia-based non-representative government. He oversaw the military reconstruction efforts over years of the Occupation that failed (alongside the State Department’s efforts) to create the very institutions whose absence he now decries. Despite all this, the best Odierno can come up with as an explanation for why everything is a mess in 2014 is the Iraqi’s messed up his good work.But if Maliki is anything more than a talisman for the whole mess of post-2003 Iraq, he was certainly America’s choice (twice) for the role ...

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Gitmo Detainee's Lawyers Can't Describe Video (By ADAM KLASFELD) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - - Lawyers for a hunger-striking detainee must abide by restrictions barring the "distribution of, or discussion of" videos of their client's forcible cell extractions taking him to his force-feedings, a federal judge ruled. Syrian-born detainee Mohammed Abu Wa'el Dhiab, also known as Jihad Dhiab, has been detained at the U.S. military prison in Cuba for 12 years, and his continued detention is indefinite even though he was cleared for release in 2009. Dhiab has been one of the most visible of Guantanamo's hunger-strikers for his brief success challenging his prison's force-feeding protocols in federal court...

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Israel's Incessant Death-State Concept
The “Defense” Addiction
(by ANDREW SMOLSKI) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - Only a cold diagnosis would be proper for such a horror as has been inflicted upon the Palestinians during the gruesome Operation Protective Edge and seven decades of occupation. The Israeli State has become pathological (or was it always so?), a State motivated to commit a psychopathic onslaught continuously and indefinitely. Israel is ripe to be diagnosed as a "Death-State", a concept constructed by Eugene W. Holland’s as the linking up of a militarized, bureaucratic state with a capitalist political economy and a social psychological desire pushing nihilistic destruction. What desiring-machines, as Deleuze and Guattari liked to call them, are making these terrorizing libidinal flows within the Israeli State?...

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Syria : At least 8 Palestinians tortured to death in the last week (-Talal Alyan) - 02-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - There are 2,433 documented Palestinian casualties of the Syrian war so far, the overwhelming majority at the hands of Assad forces and proxies. At least 230 of these martyrs have been met by a particularly gruesome end; death by torture. In the past week alone, 8 Palestinians have been tortured to death in Assad prisons. The emphasis on the fact that these casualties are Palestinian is not to imply that Palestinian life is more precious than Syrian life. Let it instead stand as testament to the dishonesty of those who continue to regard what is happening in Syria as irrelevant to Palestine.Here are the names of the Palestinians tortured to death in the past week. Count your dead, Palestine, regardless of where or by whom they were slaughtered. ...

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Under Occupation
The Shortest Distance Between Palestine and Ferguson
(by JAIME OMAR YASSIN) - 01-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 -The superficially coincidental images coming from both Gaza and Ferguson this month have created some surprising and sudden currents of solidarity. Many have looked on with amazement, for example, as Gazans offer tips via twitter to those who have been involved in the uprising and faced the absurd and excessively militarized response to it by Ferguson police. And participants in "peaceful" vigils and more militant confrontations in Ferguson have invoked Gaza by now a dozens times.Few have looked at images coming out of Ferguson and not been tempted to draw the same allusions between the 2/3 Black suburb policed by a nearly all-white police force, and Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. It would be difficult not to draw that comparison at the moment given the spectacle of the massive armory gifted to the FPD by the federal government in the name of stopping "terror"–which has so often been given a Palestinian face in the US–and the revelation that the former police chief of Ferguson studied "counter-terror" measures in Israel in 2011....

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Nobody's Expendable
The Fallacious Human Shield and Collateral Damage Arguments
(by ROBERT J. GOULD) - 01-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 -The human shield argument, in the news today from Israel and the war with Gaza and in the ongoing debates about drones, is similar to the collateral damage argument. Let’s take the collateral damage argument first. (Of course, this argument is given from the perspective of those asserting the argument, not the victims of the argument.)The collateral damage argument goes like this: First, the enemy intentionally places itself close to civilian populations, so that any attack on the enemy will necessitate civilian deaths. Second, since it is the enemy’s intent to put those civilians at risk, civilian deaths are the enemy’s responsibility, not ours. Therefore, the argument’s proponents are, however regrettably, free to kill civilians because the enemy put them in harm’s way, and cynically uses these deaths for propaganda advantage. Following along the lines of this collateral damage argument, the human shield argument goes like this: First, the enemy hides amongst civilians, notably in hospitals and schools, so that any attack on the enemy will necessitate civilian deaths, especially children and the sick....

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Gaza: a testing ground for Israeli military technology - (Shir Hever) - 01-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - Israel may be a relatively small state, but it is the largest per-capita weapons exporter in the world. The Israeli arms companies have the advantage in marketing their products around the world, because they can claim that their products have been tested in actual combat. Senior officers of the Israeli army often pursue a second career in the arms industry after retiring from service, and as soldiers they already have the opportunity to perform valuable services to their future employers, by testing weapon systems developed by the arms companies, by convincing the Israeli government and public of the necessity of such technologies for military victory, and by offering praise to the companies producing these weapons....


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Living under occupation in Ferguson (Nicole Colson) - 01-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - SINCE 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by an unidentified police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on August 9, the majority Black city just outside of St. Louis has been rocked by protests against the racism of a system that sees the lives of young Black men as disposable. The response of authorities has been to flood the town with hundreds of police from dozens of neighboring cities and towns, decked out in riot gear, and armed with assault weapons, attack dogs and militarized vehicles for "crowd control." Protesters say "keeping the peace" is the last thing on these cops' minds--the invaders are acting in a deliberately provocative and aggressive manner, leading to an escalation of violence over several more nights of protest...

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New found interest in Iraqi women? (The Common Ills) - 01-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - Religious minority women have been targeted since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. You're only just now noticing? Are you five-years-old or six?....It looks less like you care about Iraqi women -- you clearly don't care enough to even do the basic work required to grasp this isn't a Sunni issue -- and more like you're pimping war and are convinced you've found your issue.When you can write about it in a manner that doesn't suggest this ongoing, over a decade long problem didn't just start yesterday, people might care about the issue.Right now, it just looks like you're attempting to inflame tensions further in order to give the world more war.P.S. Where was your tired ass when Sunni women and girls were being tortured and raped in Nouri's jails and prisons?...

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10 things that have changed forever on Gaza (Ramzy Baroud) - 01-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - After every bloody episode of violence perpetrated by Israel, media spin doctors are deployed with one grand mission: Absolve Israel of any responsibility in its acts of carnage. These apologists not only demonise Palestinians, but also anyone who dares to take a stand on their behalf. The main staple of this Israeli strategy is blaming the victim. There is nothing new in this tactic - this is how the so-called "Arab-Israeli conflict" has been presented in Western media. The narrative is always much closer to that of Israeli official and media discourses than that of Palestinians' - despite the decades-long military occupation, successive wars, and countless massacres...


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Canada and Israel: An anti-Arab stance? (Ahmad Moussa) - 01-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - The Harper Government is shaming and embarrassing Canadian citizens and Canada's international image, demonstrated through them losing a seat at the United Nations Security Council due to their foreign policy stances, one being in relation to Israel; reinforced recently with their support for the latest incursion on the Gaza Strip.The Harper Government has criticised United Nations statements including the Human Rights Council for authorizing an international investigation into war crimes during Operation Protective Edge. These developments on the international level arose as a result of the understandably grave concerns over the disproportionate death toll; the majority of casualties being innocent Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children....


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Palestinians express "solidarity with the people of Ferguson" in Mike Brown statement (Rana Baker) - 01-sep-2014

August 15, 2014 - Palestinian groups and individuals inside and outside of historic Palestine have signed the following statement in solidarity with their brethren in Ferguson, Missouri. Unsurprisingly, many of the police deployed to crush unarmed protesters demanding justice for the brutal murder of eighteen-year-old black American Mike Brown are Israel-trained. Despotic tactics Palestinians largely associate with Israel’s colonial military, such as teargassing protesters and harassing journalists, have all been implemented in Ferguson. Although Ferguson and Palestine are two different contexts, both places and their people are fighting against white supremacist regimes of oppression which continue to view them as "disposable others" and act accordingly...

continua / continued










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