Human rights at stake, says Amnesty, and Wikileaks helped

Hard to disagree: The world faces a watershed moment in human rights with tyrants and despots coming under increasing pressure from the internet, social networking sites and the activities of WikiLeaks, Amnesty International says in its annual roundup. The rights group singles out WikiLeaks and the newspapers that pored over its previously confidential government files,…

Washington; enough of this Arab democracy talk

Evidence one: As more than 100,000 protesters descended into the streets on Friday, women uniformly dressed in black flowing robes carried signs saying, “Revolution: The only solution.” Three weeks of pro-democracy protests in this island nation have followed the pattern of those in Egypt and Tunisia, with cellphones and Facebook posts propelling the movement and…

What on earth will lobbyists do who love Arab dictators?

Rest assured, dictators will always need Western whores to soften their brutality in political, media and corporate circles: For years, they have been one of the most formidable lobbying forces in town: the elite band of former members of Congress, former diplomats and power brokers who have helped Middle Eastern nations navigate diplomatic waters here…

What the West fears is true independence in the Arab world

The following article by Kate Ausburn appears in Green Left Weekly: Popular uprisings in the Arab world have challenged a political landscape dominated by undemocratic regimes and fronted by dictators, a panel of academics and journalists said at a Sydney University forum on February 15. Speakers discussed the regional and international ramifications of the uprisings…

Guess who is showing the world what real democracy is like?

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri on challenging racist stereotypes of what popular revolt can achieve. No wonder so many “experts” are confused; “stability” in the Middle East has helped their careers: One challenge facing observers of the uprisings spreading across north Africa and the Middle East is to read them as not so many repetitions…

Not a Twitter revolution but social tools surely helped

Another fascinating Al-Jazeera feature on Empire about the role of the internet in the Arab uprisings: Carl Bernstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist; Amy Goodman, the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!; Professor Emily Bell, the director of digital journalism at Columbia University; Evgeny Morozov, the author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side…

Washington loathes Wikileaks; Arabs love it

Hard to determine the real accuracy of such a poll but fascinating nonetheless: Six out of ten Arabs believe that the world is better off with Wikileaks and nearly three quarters would like to see the whistle-blowing website publish more on the Arab world. Support for Wikileaks and a demand for greater transparency emerged from…