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War without end? (Bill Law) - 21-oct-2014

September 17, 2014 -As any five star general worth his salt will tell you, a war without an exit strategy is a war that is likely to be lost. And yet as the United States embarks on its third war in Iraq in a little more than twenty years, it is doing so, eyes wide open it seems, to the glaring reality it has no exit strategy.The American people have been warned that this will be a long engagement. Indeed Mr Obama (who made a campaign promise in his first run for president to get the US military out of Iraq) has suggested that his successor will be left to cope with what he has now begun. Tellingly, the president in his 10 September address to the nation was at pains not to call this latest war a war. Rather it is "a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy."...

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Aggression on Gaza and the reconciliation agreement (Nadia Saad Al-Din) - 21-oct-2014

September 17, 2014 - No sooner was the Israeli occupation's battle against the Gaza Strip over in a disappointing result for the Israeli "goal bank"- despite the crimes it committed against the Palestinian people - did the division between Fatah and Hamas arise once again, violating the agreement recently signed, conjuring scenes of dispute and conflict that reflect the weakness of the foundation of the reconciliation agreement in establishing national unity and building a base against the occupation's attempts to seize both the Palestinian land and history....


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Manufactured Drought: Yarmouk without water for 10 days (Talal Alyan) - 21-oct-2014

September 17, 2014 - Water has been cut off entirely in Yarmouk refugee camp for 10 days. As I’ve already written about, the Syrian regime has engineered a drought since June that has compounded the anguish of the those still trapped inside the camp. Limited water services were turned on for only a couple hours every few days. However, water services have been shut off completely for the last 10 days. "There is no water in the camp," explains one resident, "we’ve been in this condition for awhile. It’s either (a crisis of) food or water or something else. We can no longer endure this"...

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'Two-tiered' laws mean systematic discrimination for Palestinian citizens of Israel - report (Middle East Monitor) - 21-oct-2014

September 17, 2014 -A new report details the systematic discrimination faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel, after a summer of heightened tension and racist incitement against the state's non-Jewish population. Discriminatory legislation is the focus of the new report by the Mossawa Centre, a Palestinian NGO based in Haifa, who say that the research "paints the picture of a worsening situation for the Arab community in Israel" . According to Mossawa, Palestinians in Israel "are discriminated against in almost all aspects of life from education and employment to land allocation", with key factors being "the lack of a constitution as well as the paradoxical definition of Israel as both a Jewish and Democratic state"...

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Iraq: Armed militias attack and displace tribes in Babil (Middle East Monitor) - 21-oct-2014

September 17, 2014 -Armed militias loyal to Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki raped women in the town of Jurf Al-Sakhr, in the north of the Babil governorate, the Baghdad Centre for Human Rights said yesterday.The organisation said in a statement that last Wednesday, militias stormed a house and raped a 20-year-old woman after they arrested 18 men from the area.The statement said the centre received documents confirming the incident involving the woman who is also a mother of two. They also published a video that includes testimonies of two women describing the militia's attack on women and men in the region...

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Syria News - September 16, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 20-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - By the end of Tuesday, LCC were able to document 83 martyrs including 9 women, 7 children and 2 martyrs under torture: 29 martyrs were reported in Homs; 19 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 12 in Aleppo; 11 in Idlib; 8 in Raqqa; 2 in Hasakeh; 1 in Hama and 1 in Daraa....

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Hamas debates direct talks with Israel (Adnan Abu Amer) - 20-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - Hamas has weathered a great political storm in the past few days, following a Sept. 11 announcement by the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, that the movement might undertake direct negotiations with Israel, since such negotiations have become a popular demand in Gaza but remain forbidden by law. In the same interview, Abu Marzouk said, "Just as Hamas has negotiated with Israel using weapons, so is it possible to negotiate with words. If the situation in Gaza remains as it is now, Hamas could find itself forced to negotiate with Israel, and many of the things currently forbidden to the movement will be on the table."...

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How a 24hr truce to pick up bodies became a non-aggression pact between ISIS & Syrian rebels (Clay Claiborne) - 20-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - ...By most reliable accounts, one group, Sons of Golan, associated with the Free Syrian Army, that had been waging a heroic and hard fought campaign to rid an area near Damascus of ISIS agreed to a 24 hour truce so that both sides could remove their dead from the battlefield and bury them, after which the battle between the two forces resumed. This led to widespread reports in the western anti-war movement that the Free Syrian Army generally had concluded, in words design to invoke memories of the opportunistic agreement made between Hitler and Stalin, a "non-aggression pact" with the extreme jihadist group ISIS in Syria. Based on a single unverified source, this story is being spread like wildfire by groups that hitherto have shown little concern for the 200,000 Syrians that have died in the last three years as a result of dictator Bashar al-Assad's vicious attempts to cling to power ...

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US and Canada strengthen economic relationship with Israel following attack on Gaza (Allison Deger) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - Since Operation Protective Edge began in Gaza in early July, Israel has strengthened economic relationships with its closest allies. Within days of the air campaign starting, the U.S. and Israel penned a mutual recognition customs agreement which will lift screening barriers and tariffs. Then on Monday Israel cinched a similar Declaration of Intent from Canada, while focusing on the threat of ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah. "We share the same moral values and unfortunately now we can all see that we share the same threat," said Finance Minister Yair Lapid to his Canadian counterpart Steven Blaney in a Tel Aviv meeting on the Authorized Economic Operator Program, "Israel is faced with Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north and now ISIS advancing from the east," he continued...

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Iraq: How Many Turning Points and Milestones Until We Win? (By: Peter Van Buren) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 -Secretary of State John Kerry said on September 8 that the formation of a new Iraqi government was "a major milestone" for the country.Kerry told reporters at the State Department that the government formed on Monday in Baghdad had "the potential to unite all of Iraq’s diverse communities for a strong Iraq, a united Iraq and give those communities a chance to build a future that all Iraqis desire." Kerry did not mention that divisive former Prime Minister Maliki, who was Washington’s man in Baghdad since 2006 tasked with uniting Iraq, stays on in the new government as Vice President. Kerry also did not mention that the job of uniting Iraq has been on various U.S.-supported Prime Ministers’ and other Iraqi officials’ to-do lists since 2003...

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Sabra and Shatilla then, Yarmouk today (Mariam) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - As we commemorate 32 years since the slaughter of Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla, Yarmouk must be addressed once again. There is a certain binary between what happened in 1982, and what is occurring today in Yarmouk refugee camp. Whilst we fixate our anger towards a commemoration and yet continue to remain piercingly silent about the atrocities in Syria and more specifically Yarmouk, we are tainting and insulting all the lives lost in 1982. We are trapped in waves of anger that appear only in moments of commemoration, yet that wrath subsides when we address the issues at hand. We have betrayed our brothers and sisters in Yarmouk camp, whilst we ululate the names of the 1982 massacre...

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ISIS and the 'clash of the civilisations' (Lamis Andoni) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - If we listen carefully to what the Islamic State (ISIS) and its supporters are saying, we see a vision of the world in a state of ongoing war between the West and Islam. The essence of this war is religion, not colonial policies, as if colonialism has never targeted any other non-Muslim nations and Christians as well. We find a distorted promotion of the saying "clash of the civilisations", although it ultimately serves military intervention in the region. The beheadings, especially of Western hostages, are proof of the false "civilisations war", as the images of ugly beheadings are free publicity for America's goals, which have mainly adopted Islamophobia to terrorise the Westerners and push them to support the wars covered by the slogan "humanitarian-civilisational intervention", an intervention that is neither civil nor humane...

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Pentagon Admits: US Advisers May Fight Alongside Iraqi Troops (by Jason Ditz) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey conceded that the promises of no combat troops in Iraq are only tentative, and that the reality is they’ve only been ruled out "for now." Gen. Dempsey says that in the future he may recommend that the ground troops in Iraq, presently labeled "advisers," will fight alongside the Iraqi military in offensives against ISIS. Dempsey insisted the current plan is to just provide them with advice, and airstrikes, but if that fails, and pretty much everyone expects that to be the case, the advisers will start accompanying the Iraqi forces on combat missions....

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Shameful: US Judge Increases Prison Sentence of Tortured US Enemy Combatant Jose Padilla (Andy Worthington) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 Of the tens of thousands of victims of the Bush administration’s novel approach to detention in the "war on terror" — which involved shredding the Geneva Conventions, the use of torture and indefinite detention without charge or trial, and, in some cases, extraordinary rendition – few of the victims were American citizens, but three particular individuals need to be remembered, because they were not only tortured and held without charge or trial for years, but their torture and lawless detention took place on US soil. The three men are Jose Padilla, Yaser Hamdi and Ali al-Marri (the latter a legal US resident rather than a citizen), and Padilla — a former Chicago gang member who converted to Islam, and was held as an "enemy combatant" on US soil from May 2002, when he was seized after returning him from Pakistan, until November 2005 — was back in the news last week when a judge extended to 21 years the sentence of 17 years and four months he received in January 2008, when he was convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people abroad, and providing material support for terrorism....

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Navy Continues to Persecute Nurse Who Refused to Force-feed Guantanamo Hunger Strikers (By: Jeff Kaye) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - Carol Rosenberg reported today that a Navy commander had decided not to court-martial a Guantanamo nurse for refusing to participate in the forced-feeding of hunger strikers at the U.S. military prison. Announcement of the "pending court-martial" was made in late August. While on Twitter it appeared that many were relieved the nurse would not be going to jail for taking a principled stand against the medically unethical practice of forced "enteral" feeding — and that must be some relief, after all — the fact is the Navy announced that after some months of investigation, the nurse is now subject to an administrative review, or "Board of Inquiry," that may continue on for up to nine more months, according to Rosenberg...

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Complaints submitted to the United Nations concerning the Israeli detention of two female Palestinian human rights defenders: Ms Shireen Issawi and Ms Bushra al-Taweel (Addameer) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer) have submitted two joint complaints to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders (UNSR) concerning the arrest and continued pre-trial Israeli detention of two female Palestinian human rights defenders: Ms Shireen Issawi and Ms Bushra al-Taweel. Ms Shireen Issawi and Ms Bushra al-Taweel are both devoted to promoting and protecting the human rights of Palestinian prisoners. Both their cases raise serious concerns that Palestinian human rights defenders are being targeted by Israeli authorities for arbitrary arrest and detention due to peacefully and legitimately exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression on the significant human rights issue of Palestinian prisoner conditions and rights...

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Killing Joke: The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program (Chris Floyd) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - "And I was like, I killed 500,000 Iraqi children with my sanctions! And George here, yuk yuk, he was like — " "And I was like, 500,000? Hellfire boy, I can do better than that! We bagged us more than a million of them 'Rackies, har har har!" "Yeah — haw haw haw — you bigged it up, Texas style! And now Obama’s gonna get him some of his own!" "Well, there’s plenty to go around, hee hee hoo! Them folks breed like jackrabbits! Hey, Bill, you were a bit of a jackrabbit yourself in your day, weren’t you, ha ha ha? "Now don’t start with that stuff, George, hee-haw, har-har! Hillary might be in the audience, yuckity yuk yuk!" "Reckon how many 'Rackies she’ll rack up when she’s Prez, Bill? — Did you see what I did there? 'Rackies, rack up? Ho ho ho!"...

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Chelsea Manning’s Column on Responding to ISIS Counterbalances Hysteria Among Pundits and Politicians (By: Kevin Gosztola) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - Chelsea Manning wrote a column for The Guardian on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and President Barack Obama’s strategy for dealing with the group. The level-headedness of the column sharply contrasted with the statements of several pundits and politicians, who have been whipping up hysteria among Americans. For those unfamiliar, Manning is a soldier who provided WikiLeaks with around a half million classified documents which exposed details of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including war crimes like torture and summary executions. She is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth after being convicted of Espionage Act violations and other offenses on July 30, 2013...

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Palestinian Reconciliation at the Crossroads (by NICOLA NASSER) - 19-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement, which he commands, have unleashed a media campaign against Hamas and the resistance. If pressure from the Palestinian public fails to stop the campaign, Abbas may achieve politically what Israel failed to achieve militarily: forcing the Palestinian presidency to choose "peace with Israel" over national reconciliation.
It appears that President Abbas has, indeed, prioritised "peace with Israel." He has devised plans for resuming negotiations, and is still banking on American support for such talks. This is the only explanation for the current anti-Hamas media campaign....

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Campaign gives new choices to Druze youth facing Israeli conscription (Patrick O. Strickland) - 18-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 - "From the earliest days of mandatory conscription for Druze, there has been opposition," says anti-militarization activist Maisan Hamdan. That opposition has become more public and gained more visibility in recent years. Eighteen-year-old Anan Shaheen, from the Druze religious community in Shefa Amr, a Palestinian city in the Galilee region of present-day Israel, recently declared his refusal to serve in Israel’s military. Yet when he arrived at the local military registration offices in Haifa, he was surprised by the news that he was being given an exemption from military service. Shaheen is part of a growing movement of Druze Palestinians who refuse to serve in Israel’s army, which for decades has occupied Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese lands in violation of international law...

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The media's failure in Palestine (Alastair Sloan) - 17-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 -It is the whistle-blower's dilemma: follow the official internal complaints' procedure and risk the truth being buried, or take it straight to the press, and risk improvised prosecution by a bitter government resentful that you did right and exposed its dirty tricks. The forty-three Israeli whistle-blowers of Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim, Israel's equivalent of GCHQ or the NSA, opted for the latter. These bold citizens have been rewarded by the Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon denouncing them as criminals; an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) spokesperson claiming that their allegations have been fabricated; and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing, "I know that these accusations are baseless, and will not harm the important work done by others for the security of Israel." The lady doth protest too much, methinks, not least because, in the same breath, Netanyahu declared the IDF to be "the most ethical army in the world"...

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Khamenei: We rejected a US request to cooperate against ISIS (Middle East Monitor) - 17-oct-2014

September 16, 2014 -The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that he "rejected an offer from the United States to cooperate against the organisation of the Islamic State (ISIS)". In remarks made after he was discharged from hospital following prostate surgery, Khamenei said he rejected an offer that was made ​​by the American embassy in Iraq to the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, to hold a joint meeting to discuss ways to combat ISIS, saying he refuses to cooperate with the United States because its hands are stained and its intention is not pure. Khamenei also said that US Secretary of State John Kerry also made an offer to the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for mutual cooperation to combat ISIS, but Zarif rejected the offer...

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Syria News - September 15 , 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 17-oct-2014

September 15, 2014 - By the end of Monday, LCC were able to docement 104 martyrs including 5 women, 7 children and 6 martyrs under torture: 35 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 16 in Damascus and its suburbs; 16 in Homs; 11 in Qunaitra; 9 in Hama; 7 in Hasakeh; 4 in Idlib 3 in Daraa and 3 in Latakia...

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Jewish extremists try to change status quo at Al-Aqsa (Daoud Kuttab) - 17-oct-2014

September 15, 2014 - When Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset, set foot in Al-Aqsa Mosque around 10 a.m. Sept. 14, he was on more than a tourist visit. His venture to the mosque and short prayer in the area was seen as an attempt to declare Jewish sovereignty over the Islamic holy place. It violated agreements not to change the status quo and cast doubt on an assertion by the Israeli prime minister's office that the status quo at Al-Aqsa would not change.The rebellious parliamentarian walked barefoot in the courtyard of the Haram al-Sharif, an act meant to pay reverence to the area that what Jews believe was once the site of the Jewish temple. In 2013, an Israeli court barred Feiglin from ascending to the mosque area for fear that his uncoordinated visit might spark protests...


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Gaza ceasefire proving once again to be part of the ‘occupation game’ (Pam Bailey) - 17-oct-2014

September 15, 2015 - A sober reality has dawned on the people of Gaza in the days following the 50-day conflict with Israel, which killed 2,147, injured and maimed another 10,870 and destroyed or severely damaged tens of thousands of homes, hospitals, mosques and other infrastructure. Initially, there was euphoria because the war had ended, but only after forcing Israel to the negotiating table. They say, and history supports them, that the only time the world pays serious attention to Gaza, and thus insists that Israel makes some concessions, is when they fight back and enough people are killed to shame the collective conscience...

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Life after a massacre: The story of Ahmed and Mahmoud (Sarah Salibi) - 17-oct-2014

September 15, 2014 - "That day is carved in my memory; I relive the scene every day. Me lying on the street unable to move, smeared with blood, conquered with shock and fear, surrounded by wires and dead and dying bodies, I could only hear screams and the thunderous sound of bombs." Ahmed said with a choked voice while sitting in a wheelchair in AlQuds hospital in Gaza. Ahmed abu Shanab, 17 years old, and Mahmoud Naser, 18, recalled the day they were injured. After few days of the Shijaia massacre, the Israeli warplanes and the artillery tanks shelled Al-Shijaia market with several missiles during a ceasefire. The bombing left 17 deaths and 200 injuries. Ahmed and Mahmoud, who after the strike became close friends, were among the injured and are now at Al-Quds hospital receiving treatment...


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continua / continued










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