Posts tagged ‘Al Jazeera’

May 19, 2012

Frost Over the World – The changing face of world politics

Well worth a viewing if you wonder about the state of the world.

Advertisements
March 3, 2011

Al Jazeera English: A historic moment in the Arab world

In TED’s first talk of 2011, Al Jazeera’s director-general shares his view on the uprisings sweeping the region.




March 1, 2011

Al Jazeera English – Are sanctions enough?

Al Jazeera English  featured an excellent in-depth look at how the wider world is approaching the human rights dilemma in Libya.

“On Saturday, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to impose financial sanctions on the Gaddafi regime and to refer Libya to the International Criminal Court. But with Muammar Gaddafi threatening to cleanse the country house by house, are words enough to protect unarmed Libyan civilians?”

February 22, 2011

Analogy of the day – Libya

The bloodthirsty Gaddafi just made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t plan to go anywhere and will kill as many as it takes to stay in power. In a protracted rant the despot, likened the protesters to rats on hallucinogenic drugs.  As the BBC reports:

“The protesters had been given drink and drugs, he said, frequently shouting and banging his fist on the table as the address continued.

He called on “those who love Muammar Gaddafi” to come on to the streets in support of him, telling them not to be afraid of the “gangs”

Read article here.

Yet another tyrant realizes that the people will not be silent even if they must die to achieve change .

So, here we have King Lear with his fool futilely raging against the storm.

William Dyce, King Lear and the Fool in the Storm (c. 1851)

And here we have just a fool railing against his own people.

Courtesy Al Jazeera.

The end result will be the same – just saying.

February 16, 2011

The Birth of a New Egypt

Via Ayman Mohyeldin

February 11, 2011

Hosni Mubarak – deaf to the voice of his people

Today the people of Egypt and the rest of the world were subjected to the greatest letdown in recent history as Hosni Mubarak defiantly ignored the voices of his people in Tahrir Square and refused to step down. What did he do? He handed over some of his powers to VP Sulieman – a man described as his vice-torturer by an interview subject on TV today.

How a leader can be so disconnected from the voice of his people when he can see millions of them protesting on TV ( admittedly not on state TV – but I am sure even Mubarak has access to Al Jazeera or CNN) and then give them the finger is beyond me. How he can have his state information agencies say that eleven people have died when he must know that it is over three hundred – because his secret police killed them – is equally beyond me.

What Mubarak doesn’t understand is that ordinary Egyptians are calling for him to leave. That ordinary Egyptians are leaving their families ( or even taking them with them), the comfort of their homes,  their jobs and their safety to lie in the cold in Tahrir Square. The world can learn a lesson from the people of Egypt – that the best interest of your fellow citizens and your country is more important than yourself. The same can be seen for other groups fighting for rights.

When Mubarak refers in his speech to those trying to create a bad image of Egypt and suggesting that foreign satellite stations are doing it, he is being a fool. All the world sees is the people of Egypt demanding their rights and for him to get the hell out of their country.

A  guest on BBC World Service radio today said that Mubarak is “old, senile and stupid”. I honestly can’t disagree.

And while I was serial tweeting the happenings in Egypt today I noted that some were suggesting  that people should be concentrating on things in their own homelands if they were not Egyptian.. I think not. We are all part of humanity, and thanks to social networking we can be part of events around the world.  There is something called solidarity and it means a lot to the people who are struggling – whether to reclaim their country or to be given basic human rights like the LGBT community or the elderly or the dispossessed. We are all part of humanity and thus, thanks to the internet, part of a human struggle for rights. If my library card price goes up it isn’t more  important than people sleeping in the streets of Cairo or Alexandria to be given a real representative government.

And on a side note, on Facebook a friend with Egyptian connections asked me what I thought about the events today. I am not saying I am politically correct or diplomatic but I answered “As a journalist, I would say he is a desperate Despot. As a person I would say he is a fucktard.”

Right now  we are all Egyptian.

February 7, 2011

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin speaks about his detention

Ayman Mohyeldin was held by the Egyptian authorities for several hours on Sunday – one of many journalists who has been the victim of the government’s  crackdown on the media.

Via Al Jazeera

February 5, 2011

Al Jazeera’s commentary on US media coverage of Egypt

Via @GeorgiaP

February 4, 2011

Shooting the messenger

Today was not a good day in Egypt for either the current regime and its credibility or for journalists who seek to tell the story of what is happening.

Based on coverage online and traditional media such as Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC, ABC, And CNN-IBN it is fairly safe to say that the regime has decided that attacking journalists and  trying to cut off media coverage of what has been happening is the best way to achieve their objectives.  Journalists, like me, are being detained, beaten up and generally stopped from doing our job. The police are searching for us and attempting to intimidate us into being silent. Just to make sure it works they are also  closing down bureaus and confiscating cameras and equipment as they did with the BBC today. Al Arabiya had its staff brutalized and bloodied.  Anderson Cooper had his head punched yesterday and today (according to his Twitter feed) had his car windows smashed in. This evening he had to do his program from a sealed off hotel room.

Al Jazeera, the hero of this revolution,which  has been banned from Egypt, and  told its bureau had to  close down,  had four of its journalists held today. If this is what Mubarak wants to show the world –  then he has achieved  a  perfect picture of what life under Mubarak means. In their usual ‘screw you’ manner Al Jazeera has continued their coverage and will, no doubt, be back live in Cairo tomorrow.

There is no more live footage of what is happening in central Cairo because Mubarak and his goons have made it so. Remember  Tiananmen Square where the man stood in front of the tank and  stopped – the next step was to remove the media and then exact carnage on protesters.  Even when when we are disliked  the media keeps governments honest. That is what we do at best. In most democracies we don’t have to fear for our lives but Egypt, just in case anyone didn’t know it, is NOT a democracy.

Perhaps the most telling thing today was  that Nile TV reporter, Shahira Amin, who has been with the station since 1989  decided that enough was enough and chucked her job and joined her people in the square. I hope she is safe.

Those of us who demand human rights in other areas are familiar with the fact that we have to deal with being targeted by governments. Mubarak may well end up destroying protests but he will be be doomed regardless. The world has seen his evil and brutality.  The world and the people of Egypt have seen his methods and have seen how desperate he is not to see those methods exposed to the light of day.

When you target journalists and shut down the internet you show only that you operate best in darkness.  Most things don’t survive in darkness- and they shouldn’t.

To my colleagues in the mainstream media forced to risk their lives to cover the story – I salute you – I only wish I were there to tell the story with you.

( Thanks to Eric in NC for checking my post written in a state of extreme anger)

February 2, 2011

They’re at the gate and you can’t ignore them.

The events in Cairo have been unsettling today to put it mildly. Anyone who has the slightest belief that all people have a right to be heard by their government  and to have their fundamental rights protected cannot fail to be horrified. After over a week of relatively peaceful protest so-called pro-Mubarak rental mobs have suddenly appeared on the scene inciting violence. A situation that an Al Jazeera anchor has described as the Egyptian Government  exploring the Nero option.

I don’t have many connections with Egypt, but like many around the world who believe in human rights and the rights of people to have decent governments I am gripped by developments.  To see a leader so enamored with power after thirty years that he will cut off  the internet and set the police on his own people  speaks volumes about the depth of his own evil.

To me it is analogous  to numerous other  struggles going on within countries by groups of people who demand the right to be heard.  In the US and worldwide LGBT people are engaged in a battle for their own rights – often in countries where doing so puts their own lives in peril.  Just as  the poor and dispossessed around the world are also demanding that their governments provide a path to economic and social improvement. There is something about the human spirit that forces us to eventually reach the end of our leash and demand our rights. The threshold may take years to reach or sometimes it only comes when some other factor like technology allows for empowerment and organization.

Facebook and Twitter may have been accelerants for the  initial protests in Egypt and Tunisia but they just made things more convenient for activists. History will tell us that Russia, the USA and France didn’t need  modern social networking to have real change and neither do Tunisia or Egypt.  Successful activists of all sorts will make use of any tools available. In this case they were also able to use emergency tools provided by tech giants like Google and ISPs in other countries that reached out to countermand Mubarak’s censorship of  free communication.

Mubarak must come to terms that the Barbarians may well be at the gate – but he’s in their house.