Archive for August, 2010

Slaughter of Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir continues

August 31, 2010

10 killed in Indian-held Kashmir

Daily Times, Aug 31, 2010

SRINAGAR: A nine-year-old Kashmiri boy was killed and several protesters were wounded by police fire in Indian-held Kashmir, while troops killed nine suspected militants trying to cross the Line of Control (LoC) on Monday.

A nine-year-old boy was killed when police opened fire to disperse stone-throwing protesters during an anti-India demonstration in Anantnag district on Monday evening, police said. Security forces fired tear gas and gunshots as hundreds of residents held protests and clashed with police, a police officer said on condition of anonymity. The boy was killed and 15 people were injured in the shooting, the officer said. Thousands of people came out to protest the killing, the officer said.

Injured: Hundreds of people defied a curfew in Srinagar to demonstrate against Monday’s shooting, chanting “Go India! Go back” and “We want freedom”. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. Six people were injured by police fire. Police said the incident occurred when a group of protesters hurled stones at its personnel and shouted slogans. Residents denied there were protests when the shots were fired. Doctors said one of the injured was in serious condition. Two of the wounded were relatives of senior pro-freedom leader Yasin Malik.

Militants: Meanwhile, the army claimed it had killed nine militants who were trying to cross the LoC. “The army has foiled a major infiltration attempt by killing nine militants who were trying to infiltrate into (Indian-held) Kashmir from across the LoC,” said army spokesman JS Brar. Agencies

Afghanistan bomb attacks kill twenty-one US soldiers in 48 hours

August 31, 2010

Twenty-one American troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Friday in one of the bloodiest periods of the summer.

By Ben Farmer, in Kabul, Telegraph co.uk, August 31, 2010

Afghanistan bomb attacks kill twenty-one US soldiers in 48 hours

A U.S. army medic runs to the scene of a road side bomb explosion in Kandahar province Photo: REUTERS

A series of bomb attacks have badly hit US troops in eastern and southern Afghanistan in the past 48 hours.

The death toll among in the Nato-led coalition has reached 484 this year and is predicted to far surpass 2009’s total of 521.

Deaths have risen consistently each year since 2001. Afghan police and civilians have suffered far higher casualties.

The coalition blames the rise in troop deaths partly on the influx of reinforcements, which is allowing commanders to target previously untouched insurgent safe havens where rebels are mounting stiff resistance.

Gen David Petraeus, senior US and Nato commander in the country, warned last week fighting would “get harder before it gets easier”.

Continues >>

Mahmoud Abbas: Double Agent

August 31, 2010

By Jeffrey Blankfort, Counterpunch, Aug 31, 2010

This coming week we will witness the latest challenge for the man who is arguably the most extraordinary double agent in the Middle East. What is unusual about Mahmoud Abbas, or Abu Mazen, as he was known when his fellow Palestinians had yet to take his measure, is that most of what he does for his Israeli and US masters he does in plain sight.

To which of the two he is most beholden will be determined during his upcoming visit to Washington for the latest chapter in what has euphemistically been referred to as the “peace process” since it was launched in the aftermath of the Oslo Agreement.  The odds are it will be Israel. In Oslo, it should be recalled, Abbas, as the chief Palestinian negotiator, played Neville Chamberlain for Tel Aviv, agreeing to surrender occupied Palestinian land with a view toward putting a permanent end to Palestinian resistance and, immediately, to the first Intifada.

If any reader still harbors the illusion that Oslo was anything but a sell-out by the Palestinian leadership, Abba’s negotiating counterpart, former Israeli military intelligence chief, Shlomo Gazit, put that notion to rest on the evening of November 17,1993.  When challenged during a speaking engagement at Congregation Beth Shalom in San Francisco  by an angry questioner who compared the agreement to that signed with Nazi Germany in Munich in 1938, Gazit calmly replied that while he was reluctant to make such comparisons, “if it’s another Munich, we’re the Germans and the Palestinians are the Czechs.”.

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How Active Is Blackwater in Pakistan?

August 30, 2010
This notorious private contractor is spreading its tentacles in Pakistan for undercover activities on behalf of the US agencies

Shahid R. Siddiqi, Foreign Policy Journal, Aug 30, 2010

[Editor’s Note: As noted below, Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services last year, but is commonly still referred to by its former name.]

Not too long ago, a wave of concern had swept through Pakistan when the local media began screaming about Blackwater’s growing infiltration in the country and its dubious activities. The mounting pressure to expel this infamous US defense contractor put the Zardari government in a corner. It could neither ignore public pressure nor displease its benefactors in Washington. In the end, it chose to vehemently deny these stories. Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, said publicly he would resign if Blackwater is found operating anywhere in Pakistan, as if his resignation would be a great loss for the people.

Blackwater founder Eric Prince giving testimony during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in October 2007.Blackwater founder Eric Prince giving testimony during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in October 2007.

These stories were also denounced as false propaganda by US officials. Responding to accusations that the US Embassy was sponsoring Blackwater, the US Ambassador, Anne Patterson, insisted that “Blackwater is not operating in Pakistan.” She claimed that Pakistani journalists were “wildly incorrect,” and blamed them for compromising the security of US personnel in Pakistan. Secretary Clinton, during her visit shortly thereafter, also dodged questions on the subject.

The information that has now emerged proves the fear of the Pakistanis to be correct. Not only has Blackwater been working in Pakistan, but it grows stronger by the day.

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India’s brutality has turned Kashmir into a living hell

August 30, 2010

But you’re a Westener. You see how things are here. We have been living like this for twenty years. When you go back to your country you tell them. You ask them why they aren’t helping us.”

By Giogiana Violante, The Comment Factory, August 29, 2010
Police brutality in Kashmir

This is the first time in weeks I have had access to the internet. I have not been allowed to receive or send text messages for three months. Just like all Kashmiris my telephone has been barred from such contact. The local news channels have been banned. India controls everything here. And then kills it. The situation is horrific. Over these months of food rationing and persistent curfew whereby all is closed and the streets totally deserted in utter silence, suddenly a protest arises and then spreads throughout the whole city in a surge of frustrated and famished rioters shouting ‘AZADI AZADI AZADI’ (freedom) until it dissipates suddenly into a cacophony of gunshots and clouds of teargas.

I observe all this going on at a  safe remove of only one metre by a big thick brick wall interrupted by the Mevlana Rumi gate to Kashmir University, where I am residing. I see through the iron bars hordes upon hordes of protesters being shot at randomly, and I stand there repellently incapable of doing anything. An endless cycle of silence and violence. The Indian army own total control and freedom to shoot at will, to shoot to kill, anyone whom they choose to.

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 INDIA: Random firing upon civilians in Kashmir

August 30, 2010

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

August 30, 2010

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from credible sources in Jammu and Kashmir concerning the arbitrary shooting of civilians by the security forces stationed in that state. It is reported that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) stationed in the state often fires small projectiles at civilians while engaging in patrol duty so as to force the civilians stay indoors. In one such incident reported from Tarzoo Sopur at least 26 civilians have been injured including a 15-year-old boy, Danish who is feared to permanently loose his sight in his left eye after being hit by a projectile.

CASE DETAILS:

The AHRC has received information from credible sources from Srinagar, that on August 19, the CRPF while on patrol duty at Tarzoo Sopur in Baramulla district started firing randomly at civilians in an attempt to force the civilians remain indoors. The officers fired at random into alleyways and on the main street, using rifles loaded with cartridges that could fire several small, but high velocity projectiles, like those fired from a 12 gauge shotgun. It is reported that at least 26 persons were injured in the firing, of which one is 15-year-old Danish Ahmad Shiekh who was hit when he was returning from the local mosque after offering prayers.

It is reported that four small projectiles hit Danish; one his forehead, two on his back and one in his left eye. Danish was taken to Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in Srinagar, where he is currently undergoing treatment. The doctors treating him has reported that it is unlikely for Danish to regain sight in his left eye, which was hit and injured badly by a small projectile. Danish is a student at the Government School Takiabal, in Sopur.

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Glenn Beck in Washington: Preaching the gospel of Mammon and militarism

August 30, 2010

By Bill Van Auken, wsws.org, Aug 30, 2010

The Washington rally organized by right-wing Fox News TV personality Glenn Beck on Saturday offered a twisted mix of religion, potted history and the glorification of the military under the banner of “restoring honor” to the USA.

Crowd estimates for the rally varied wildly. Beck and his supporters claimed over half a million. Most media outlets put the figure at “tens of thousands” or approximately 100,000. CBS News provided a more precise figure, relying on a company that performed analysis of aerial photographs to produce a figure of 87,000.

Whatever the real number, this amorphous event received immense promotion and coverage, not only by Beck’s own employer, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, but by every section of the media. This treatment stood in stark contrast to the media’s virtual blackout of far larger demonstrations held in recent years against the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beck, who has described himself as a “rodeo clown” and entertainer, while using his television and radio programs to promote right-wing conspiracy theories, reinvented himself for Saturday’s appearance at the Lincoln Memorial. He came before the crowd as the nation’s preacher-in-chief, promoting a gospel of Mammon, Americanism and militarism that reflects the very direct interests of the powerful financial figures who have turned the former drug addict into a multi-millionaire.

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Kenya refuses to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir

August 30, 2010

African states renewed an African Union decision to not arrest President al-Bashir

African states renewed an African Union decision to not arrest President al-Bashir

© APGraphicsBank

Amnesty International, 27 August 2010

Amnesty International has criticized the Kenyan government for its failure to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to the country to join celebrations ushering in Kenya’s new constitution, viewing the refusal to arrest President al-Bashir as an obstruction of justice for victims in Darfur.

The President of Sudan is the subject of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

“Kenya has regrettably followed the example of Chad, which violated its obligations under international law by providing safe haven to President Bashir during his visit to the country last month,” said Michelle Kagari, Deputy Director in Amnesty’s Africa programme.

As Kenya has ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the national authorities are obliged to cooperate with the Court, including arresting persons it has charged.
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Saudi readies charges against prominent activist

August 30, 2010
Middle East Online, Aug 30. 2010


Reshoudi will be finally tried


Reshoudi’s lawyers have filed lawsuit against Saudi authorities, demanding they formally charge him or release him.

By Habib Trabelsi – PARIS

The General Investigation Directorate (GDI, or “Al-Mabahith al-‘Amma”) succeeded in “pulling the rug from under the feet” of the Grievances Court (or “Diwan Al-Mazalem”), which was preparing charges against a prominent Saudi activist and Al-Reshoudi.

Former judge Sheikh Suliman Ibrahim Al-Reshoudi has been jailed without trial since 2007 after he and other activists were arrested after drafting a petition demanding political reforms.

Reshoudi’s lawyers have filed a lawsuit against the authorities, demanding they formally charge him or release him and other activists.

The GDI transferred Reshoudi to another “competent tribunal” in Jeddah, prompting the Grievances Court to “dismiss the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction” in its eighth court session on Saturday in Riyadh.

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Shas spiritual leader: Abbas and Palestinians should perish

August 29, 2010

Army Radio reports Rabbi Ovadia Yosef denounces Palestinians as bitter enemies of Israel ahead of upcoming direct peace talks.

By Haaretz Service/Israel, August 29, 2010

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef denounced upcoming peace talks with the Palestinians, which are set to start September 2 in Washington, and called for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “perish from this world,” Army Radio reported overnight Saturday.

Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef
Photo by: Daniel Bar-On

“Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world,” Rabbi Ovadia was quoted as saying during his weekly sermon at a synagogue near his Jerusalem home. “God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

The Shas spiritual leader also called the Palestinians “evil, bitter enemies of Israel” during his speech, which is not the rabbi’s first sermon to spark controversy.

In 2001, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox faction gave a speech in which he also called for Arabs’ annihilation.

“It is forbidden to be merciful to them,” he was quoted as saying. “You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.”

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