From Zionism to Communism

Israel is seemingly happy to sell weapons to anybody in the world and also train repressive regimes: Israel Police held secret training for Chinese police officers ahead of the recent Olympic Games, Haaretz has learned. The approximately six-week course was held in Israel for about 20 selected officers of the People’s Armed Police Force, to…

A different kind of cultured

Following the Sydney launch of my book, The Blogging Revolution, last week, Sydney-based Iranian-blogger Nazanin comments on the ways in which Iranian society is fundamentally misunderstood in the West: Of other points he discussed in this meeting was the clash he has observed between Iranian public and private. He brought examples of Iranians behaviour outdoor,…

Defending the rights of “terrorists”

Al-Manar is the satellite television channel of Hezbollah (which much of the West regards as a terrorist organisation, a view I do not share.) The channel is currently available in many Australian homes. The Lebanese community is massive here and many people regard the group as a liberation movement. Others see it as an aggressive…

The clueless Mahmoud

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Democracy Now!, expresses his bigoted view of homosexuals: In Iran, it’s considered as a very unlikable and abhorrent act. People simply don’t like it. Our religious decrees tell us that it’s against our values, and all divine laws, actually, believe in the same. Who has given them permission to engage…

The web won’t set us free

My following article was published by the Washington Post online on September 26: During China’s milk powder crisis, with tens of thousands of babies affected by the contaminated goods, the country’s blogosphere railed against corrupt officials. One outraged blogger wrote: “What are the people in the Government doing? They just want mistresses, they want cash,…

Staying online past 2010

Web-heads, get cracking to avert a disaster: The world is about to run out of the internet addresses that allow computers to identify each other and communicate, the man who invented the system has told The Times. Vint Cerf, the “father of the internet” and one of the world’s leading computer scientists, said that businesses…

New ways to make news matter

My following article is published today by the Melbourne Age: During the bruising Democratic Party tussle with Hillary Clinton in April, a citizen journalist recorded Obama saying that he understood why working-class voters in decrepit industrial towns were “bitter” and clung to “guns or religion”. Despite being a paid-up Obama supporter, writer Mayhill Fowler worked…

How to avoid realities

John Pilger, New Statesman, September 24: Britain’s political conference season of 2008 will be remembered as The Great Silence. Politicians have come and gone and their mouths have moved in front of large images of themselves, and they often wave at someone. There has been lots of news about each other. Adam Boulton, the political…