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Syria News - August 16, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 03-sep-2014

August 16, 2014- With the end of Saturday, Coordination Committees in Syria have been able to document 39 martyrs, including 1 woman, 6 children and 5 martyrs under torture: 17 martyrs in Aleppo, 5 martyrs in in Damascus and its suburbs, 4 martyrs in Idlib, 4 martyrs in Homs, 3 martyrs in Deir ez-Zor, 3 martyrs in Hama and 3 martyrs in Daraa ...

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U.S. Still Killing Afghans 'Like We Were Insects' (Afghanistan Times) - 03-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - Amnesty International released a candid and honest report on the Obama’s administration led Pentagon that covered up war crimes in Afghanistan. This human rights watchdog says the US military systematically ignored evidence of torture and unlawful killings in Afghanistan as recently as last year. This international right group has taken the lid off this issue, however, the US military has not been involved in this heinous practice as recently as last year, but they have been at it during the past decade....

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Syria welcomes UNSC resolution condemning ISIL (KUNA) - 03-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari late Friday welcomed the UN Security Council resolution 2170, which condemned ISIL and Al Nusrah Front (ANF) for their terrorist acts in Iraq and Syria... He expressed satisfaction that western countries have now realized that "we were right from the beginning." However, he added, his Government looks forward for the "serious implementation" of resolution 2170's provisions in order not to get the fate of other Council relevant resolutions which remained ink on paper. Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Ali Al-Hakim also welcomed resolution 2170, describing it as a "good indication of the serious commitment by member states" to combat terrorism...

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VIDEO: Hezbollah militias torture, execute Sunni civilians in Iraq (Iraqi News) - 03-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - Various social networking sites published the graphic video below which shows Hezbollah militia torturing and executing Sunni Iraqi civilians in the areas of Jurf al Sakhr on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.The video was recovered from a mobile device found with one of the Hezbollah militiamen who was ambushed by terrorists from the organization of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant near the village were the executions occurred, Jurf al Sakhr, which is located North of Babil. Most members of this Hezbollah unit were killed or captured by ISIL. IraqiNews.com has reported extensively about Hezbollah activities in Iraq since evidence of thier presence first emerged...

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I don’t want condemnations, I want my friend back (Mohammed Matar) - 03-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - Wait! The UN is calling for a conference. Hello? Hello.
"How are you, my friend?" I asked. "I’m alright. How about you?" Khaled replied.
"Good, we’ve evacuated our house, you know how dangerous the situation is there. Yesterday, they showered us with their US missiles. I couldn’t sleep because of the explosions," I said. "May God help you and your family, my friend," Khaled said. "Say, Khaled, what do you think of what happened to the Shujaiya neighborhood?" I asked. That’s genocide....

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I Hate The War (The Common Ills) - 03-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - First thing on Iraq was Danny Schechter. A sad little piece that only demonstrated (a) how tight the circle jerk remains and (b) how sad Danny's become. I'm going to stand with the Arab world and reject Patrick Cockburn. Other lefties can do as they see fit. But I don't embrace racism, sexism, xenophobia or homophobia. Cockburn hates Sunnis.Danny's so eager to be in the circle jerk, he quotes Cockburn's xenophobia without even realizing it.
The main victor in the new war in Iraq is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) which wants to kill Shia rather than negotiate with them. Is that right, Patrick? This group of Sunnis (a group you tend to lump all Sunni resistance into) is doing something novel, are they? You really never did call out the Shia, did you, Patrick? In fact, long before Moqtada al-Sadr found leadership skills and maturity, when he was a bit of a thug and headed a violent militia, Patrick wrote a book glorifying him. No real concern over Shi'ites targeting Sunnis. No real concern over a group that 'wants to kill Sunni rather than negotiate with them.' Nouri al-Maliki, Patrick's personal cum rag, targeted Sunnis repeatedly and Patrick didn't decry it. Nor did Danny Schechter...

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UK ambassador 'lobbied senators to hide Diego Garcia role in rendition' (Jamie Doward) - 03-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - Logs released under the Freedom of Information Act have reinforced claims that the UK lobbied to keep its role in the CIA's torture and interrogation programme out of what is expected to be a damning Senate report. They show that the UK ambassador to the US met members of the Senate select committee on intelligence 11 times between 2012 and 2014 – as they were investigating the CIA's rendition programme. This included two meetings with the committee's chair, Diane Feinstein, which took place as crucial decisions were being made regarding how much of its report into the programme should be made public....

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Itemizing Atrocity (By Tamara K. Nopper and Mariame Kaba) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 -... Amid this, we are left with the difficulty to name both the spectacle and the quotidian violence blacks in the United States experience day after day, from the police and the racially deputized. What do we call this incessant violence? How do we describe it beyond the "spectacular event"? Occupation? War? Genocide? Life? Death? We conclude with more questions: How do we rightfully account for the increased militarization of the police as a problem without forgetting what Joy James reminds us: "the dreams and desires of a society and state will be centered on the control of the black body" — or as Jared Sexton emphasizes: blacks serve as "the prototypical targets of the panoply of police practices and the juridical infrastructure built up around them?"...

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Court: Poland culpable for CIA secret prisons (Natalia Ojewska) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014 - On July 24, seven judges on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against Poland in a landmark case, making it the first European Union country to be held accountable for its involvement in the United States' systematic, extrajudicial detention of suspects, known as the "extraordinary rendition" programme. Established by the George W Bush administration in the aftermath of September 11 attacks, the programme was run by the CIA, and designed to detain suspects deemed to be of "high value"....

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When children pay the price (Ahmad Al-Sayyed) - 02-sep-2014

August 16, 2014- Since the war on Gaza started, hardly a day goes by without news of children killed in an air raid, rocket shelling, or gunboat fire. The youngest so far was Mayada Mohamed Aslan, a six-week-old infant who died when shells hit her home. In less than six years, the children of Gaza bore witness to three wars on their cities and villages. Experts say that the traumatic effect on children is no less severe than the damage to their homes and neighbourhoods. Rami Abdou, chief of the Geneva-based EuroMed Observatory for Human Rights (EMOHR), believes that the Israelis target children as a means of collective punishment.....

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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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