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THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
Clearing the Jordan Valley of Palestinians

Down the Explusion Highway

by AMIRA HASS

Down the Expulsion Highway

Robert Bryce
The United States of Enron

February 14, 2006

John Sugg
Those Cartoons and the Neo Con: Daniel Pipes and the Danish Editor

Don Santina
DiFi and the Royal Democrats: the Curious Withdrawal of Cindy Sheehan

William A. Cook
Shaming Sharon

Ray McGovern
Who Will Blow the Whistle About Iran?

John Ross
Bush’s Mexican Poodle

Website of the Day
Willie Nelson Records CPer Ned Sublette’s "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly"


February 13, 2006

Lila Rajiva
Axis of Child Abusers: UK Troops Beat Up Barefoot Iraqi Teens

Christopher Brauchli
Whistleblowers and Witch Hunters: the Bush Inquisition

Dave Lindorff
Deadeye Dick: If Stupidity Were Impeachable, Cheney Would Be History

Ron Jacobs
Black Liberation

Mike Whitney
Riding High with Hugo Chavez

Michael Neumann
Respectful Cultures and Disrespectful Cartoons

Website of the Day
Virtual Resistance

 

February 11 / 12, 2006

Alexander Cockburn
How Not to Spot a Terrorist

Ralph Nader
Bringing Democracy to the Federal Reserve

Paul Craig Roberts
Nuking the Economy

Pat Williams
John Boehner’s Dirty Little Secret: Flying Lobbyist Air at $4,000 a Junket

Fred Gardner
Dr. Mikuriya’s Appeal: a Last Minute Twist

Saul Landau
From Munich to Hamas

John Chuckman
Cartoons and Bombs: Was Rice Right for Once?

Roger Burbach
Evo Morales: the Early Days

Seth Sandronsky
Economy on Ice

Website of the Weekend
Just Say Know

 

February 10, 2006

Carl G. Estabrook
A US War Plan for Khuzestan?

Sen. Russell Feingold
A Raw Deal on the Patriot Act

Roxanne Dunbar—-Ortiz
How Did Evo Morales Come to Power?

Saree Makdisi
The Tempest Over the Hamas Charter

Website of the Day
The New York Art Scene: 1974—-1984

 

February 9, 2006

Dave Lindorff
Bush and Yamashita: War Crimes and Commanders—-in—-Chief

Mike Marqusee
The Human Majority was Right About Iraq

Paul Craig Roberts
How Conservatives Went Crazy: the Rightwing Press

Peter Phillips
Inside the Global Dominance Group: 200 Insiders Against the World

William S. Lind
Rumsfeld the Maximalist: the Long War

Christine Tomlinson Innocent Targets in the "Long War": False Positives and Bush’s Eavesdropping Program

Will Youmans
Church of England Votes to Divest from Israel

Robert Robideau
An American Indian’s View of the Cartoons

Richard Neville
The Cartoons That Shook the World: All This from the Danes, the Least Funny People on Earth

Peter Rost
The New Robber Barons

Website of the Day
Eyes Wide Open

 

February 8, 2006

Ron Jacobs
The Once and Future Sly Stone: Soundtrack to a Riot

Stan Cox
Making and Unmaking History with General Myers

Sen. Russ Feingold
Why Bush’s Wiretapping Program is Illegal and Unconstitutional

Robert Jensen
Horowitz’s Academic Hit List: Take a Class from One of the CounterPunch 16

Rep. Cynthia McKinney
Bush Should Have Wiretapped FEMA and Chertoff

Niranjan Ramakrishnan
Alberto Gonzales Channels Mark Twain

Don Monkerud
Covenant Marriage on the Rocks

David Swanson
Inequality and War

C.L. Cook
Nuking Ontario

Christopher Fons
Chill Out Jihadis: They’re Just Cartoons!

Jeffrey Ballinger
The Other Side of Nike and Social Responsibility

Website of the Day
Encyclopedia of Terrorism in the Americas

 

February 7, 2006

Edward Lucie—-Smith
An Urgent Plea to Save a Small Estonian Museum from Neo—-Nazis

Robert Fisk
The Fury: Now Lebanon is Burning

Paul Craig Roberts
Colin Powell’s Career as a "Yes Man"

Neve Gordon
Why Hamas Won

Joshua Frank
The Hillary and George Show: Partners in War

Peter Montague
The Problem with Mercury: a History of Regulatory Capitulation

Jackie Corr
The Last Best Choice: Public Power and Montana

Jeffrey St. Clair
Rumsfeld’s Enforcer: the Secret World of Stephen Cambone

Website of the Day
Negroes with Guns

 

February 6, 2006

Christopher Brauchli
Spilling Blood: Two Sentences

Robert Fisk
Don’t Be Fooled: This Isn’t About Islam vs. Secularism

John Chuckman
What Did Stephen Harper Actually Win?

Jenna Orkin
Judge Slams EPA for Lying About 9/11’s Toxic Air

Paul Craig Roberts
Who Will Save America: My Epiphany

 

February 4 / 5, 2006

Alexander Cockburn
"Lights Out in Tehran": McCain Starts Bombing Run

Mike Ferner
Pentagon Database Leaves No Kid Alone

James Petras
Evo Morales’s Cabinet: a Bizarre Beginning in Bolivia

Alan Maass
Scare of the Union: Dems Collaborate with Bush on Surveillance

Fred Gardner
Annals of Law Enforcement: a Look Inside the San Francisco DA’s Office

Ralph Nader
Bush’s Energy Escapades

Bill Glahn
RIAA Watch: Speaking in Tongues

Saul Landau
Freedom 2006: Buying Sex on the Net or Those Older Freedoms?

Laura Carlsen
Bad Blood on the Border: Killing Guillermo Martinez

James Brooks
Our Little Shop of Diplomatic Horrors

Mike Roselle
Hippies and Revolutionaries in Carcacas

John Holt
Black Gold, Black Death: Canada’s Oil Sands Frenzy

Sarah Ferguson
Cops Suing Cops … for Spying on Cops

William S. Lind
Beware the Ides of March

Niranjan Ramakrishnan
The Price of Globalization: Free Trade or Free Speech?

Seth Sandronsky
The Color of Job Cuts in the Auto Industry

Derrick O’Keefe
Rumsfeld’s Hitler Analogy

Michael Donnelly
Hop on the Bus

Ron Jacobs
Religion and Political Power

Elisa Salasin
RSVP to Bush

St. Clair / Vest
Playlists: What We’re Listening to This Week

Stew Albert
God’s Curse: Selected Poems

Poets’ Basement
Guthrie, LaMorticella and Engel

Website of the Weekend
Killer Tells All!

 

February 3, 2006

Toufic Haddad
A Parliament of Prisoners

Heather Gray
Working with Coretta Scott King

Tim Wise
Racism, Neo—-Confederacy and the Raising of Historical Illiterates

Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Proliferation: the Gathering Storm

Eva Golinger
Rumsfeld and Negroponte Amp Up Hositility Toward Venezuela

Daniel Ellsberg
The World Can’t Wait: Invitation to a Demonstration

Dave Zirin
Detroit: Super Bowl City on the Brink

Robert Bryce
The Problem with Cutting US Oil Imports from the Middle East

Website of the Day
The Chavez Code

 

February 2, 2006

Winslow T. Wheeler
Pentagon Pork: How to Eliminate It

Stan Cox
Outsourcing the Golden Years

Rachard Itani
Danes (Finally) Apologize to Muslims (For the Wrong Reasons)

Mike Whitney
Afghanistan Five Years Later: Buildings Down, Heroin Up

AMIRA HASS
In the Footsteps of Arafat: an Interview with Hamas’ Ismail Haniya

Norman Solomon
When Praise is Desecration: Smothering King’s Legacy with Kind Words

Michael Simmons
Stew Lives!

Christopher Reed
Japan’s Dirty Secret: One Million Korean Slaves

Website of the Day
State of Nature

 

February 1, 2006

Sharon Smith
The Bluff and Bluster Dems: Alito and the Faux Filibuster

Jason Leopold
Enron and the Bush Administration

Cindy Sheehan
Getting Busted at the State of the Union: What Really Happened

Joseph Grosso
Oprah and Elie Wiesel: a Match Made in "Neutrality"

Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Coretta Scott King was More Than Just Dr. King’s Wife

Steven Higgs
Life After Roe. v. Wade

Robert Robideau
"God Given Rights": Palestine and Native America

R. Siddharth
Tales of Power: When Gandhi Rejected a Faustian Bargain with Henry Ford

Jim Retherford
Remembering Stew Albert: the Quiet Genius

Rep. Cynthia McKinney
The Legacy of Coretta Scott King

Paul Craig Roberts
The True State of the Union

Website of the Day
Candide’s Notebooks

February 15, 2006 Clearing the Jordan Valley of Palestinians Down the Explusion Highway

By AMIRA HASS

Someone who apparently had an especially sarcastic sense of humor decided to officially name the Jordan Valley Road, Route 90, the "Gandhi Road." The reference is not to Mahatma Gandhi, but to Rehavam Ze’evi, who advocated "transfer"–the expulsion of the Palestinians from their land. Perhaps he understood that this was indeed the appropriate name for the eastern road. For not only on this road, but throughout the enormous and beautiful expanse of the Jordan Valley and the eastern slopes of the hills, there is an oppressive sense of absence, loss, and emptiness.

The Palestinians have disappeared from the valley, aside from a few thousand who live there plus some to whom Israel agrees to give daily entrance permits for various reasons. It is not even possible to include the approximately 35,000 residents of Jericho among those remaining, because the Israel Defense Forces forbids them to travel northward of Area A, where they live.

Thousands of residents of the neighboring towns and villages in the northern West Bank, which are sometimes only a few kilometers away, are absent from the valley, even though they have relatives and friends, privately owned land, houses, commercial ties and jobs there. Also missing are the Palestinian cars that in the not so distant past used to transport these absentees. Missing as well are the thousands of potential travelers to Jordan, the vacationing families and school students. These potential customers are absent from the colorful stalls at the crossroads.

Israeli soldiers control this absence via four principal checkpoints that divide the valley from the rest of the West Bank. They obey the orders of their commanders: It is forbidden for any Palestinian–in other words, some two million people (the 1.4 million residents of Gaza are already forbidden to come to the West Ba nk in any case)–to enter the valley, except for those whose official address, in their ID, is the Jordan Valley.

Some will say that these are security measures, whether legitimate or excessive, citing the attacks on settlers in the region over the last five years. But primarily, this is a direct continuation of a long-standing Israeli policy that intensified during the Oslo period. This policy has turned the Palestinian Jordan Valley, about one-third of the West Bank, into a story of lost opportunities from the point of view of its Palestinian potential: a potential for agricultural development and tourism, for improving and expanding existing communities or building new ones, for enabling a variety of lifestyles–urban, rural and semi-nomadic, modern and ancient, almost biblical.

The Israeli Oslo architects were careful to ensure that the Palestinian Authority would not be able to develop the valley during those fateful years when many believed that rehabilitating the economy was the proper basis both for a peaceful solution and for increasing support for such a solution.

The Oslo architects designated most of the eastern West Bank as Area C (full Israeli control), which is off-limits to Palestinian development. Only the settlements were allowed to develop, thanks primarily to the theft and exploitation of Palestinian water sources. A military training zone, where the IDF has conducted exercises ever since it conquered the West Bank, occupies 475 square kilometers of the valley and impairs the traditional lifestyle of thousands of semi-nomadic or Bedouin shepherds in the area. These shepherds are frequently turned out of their tents or forbidden to graze their sheep on these expanses or to raise a little wheat and produce for food.

At one time the explanation was that this is a firing range; once it was an issue of illegal construction. Just last Thursday, civil administration personnel demolished the tents, tin huts and sheepfolds of some 20 agricultural families in five different places in the valley. It is clear what scares the Israeli planners: A significant portion of the Palestinian communities in the valley turned from seasonal extensions of villages in the northern West Bank into permanent communities in the middle of the last century. Jews are encouraged to settle in the valley, but every conceivable method is used to deter Palestinians from doing so.

Preventing development and halting a long-standing natural process of construction and population expansion is a form of emptying out. But over the last few months, this effort expanded to include active measures: From time to time, soldiers come during the night and remove to the other side of the checkpoint those who live or work in the valley but whose official address is elsewhere. In the morning, these people return via the hills, evading the soldiers, taking the risk of stepping on a dud artillery shell.

And in October, people were given another reason to become fed up with life in the valley: Palestinian farmers were prevented from selling their produce to Israeli farmers at the nearest border crossing between the valley and Israel.

Instead of traveling five kilometers, they were forced to travel 50, to a distant cargo terminal (Jalameh), and to wait endlessly at the internal checkpoints, knowing that a large portion of their vegetables would be spoiled by the sun and the bumping around. Knowing that there would be no reward for their labor.

The army swears that these prohibitions bear no relation to the politicians’ declarations that the valley will remain in Israel’s hands forever. But in practice, they are helping to empty it of Palestinians, in preparation for its official annexation to Israel.

AMIRA HASS is the author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza.

This article originally appeared in Ha’aretz.

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