Beyond bin Laden

Tariq Ali, Fazwaz Gerges and Vali Nasr discuss Usama bin Laden’s assassination on Al Jazeera’s Empire with Marwan Bishara.

Osama bin Laden is dead. The world’s most wanted man has finally been killed after a hunt that lasted more than a decade, triggered global wars, and cost the lives of tens of thousands of people. What does it mean for US wars in the Muslim world? And will the US actions unleash a new wave of attacks around the world?

Information Wars

Part I of this episode of Al Jazeera’s Empire is available here.

Information is power and in the age of the information revolution, cyber and satellite communication is transforming our lives, reinventing the relationship between people and power. How will governments deal with the information revolution?

The Brotherhood

Al Jazeera’s Empire on the history and politics of the Muslim Brotherhood.

After decades in the political wilderness, the Muslim Brotherhood became an integral part of the popular upheavals that swept through the Arab world – and while they may not have initiated the recent revolution in Egypt, the overthrow of Mubarak’s regime leaves a power vacuum that the Brotherhood are now well-positioned to fill. How will the Muslim Brotherhood reconcile their ideology with democracy?

Gaddafi bears responsibility

French-Lebanese scholar Gilbert Achcar on the no-fly zone in Libya:

Over at Al Jazeera, Marwan Bishara asks:

So who bears the responsibility for turning Libya into a war zone and an object of an international military intervention?

Could it be those who confronted a peaceful civil uprising for freedom with lethal force, and when it escalated into a full-fledged revolt, used aerial bombardments, heavy artillery to quell it?

Libya could have and should have gone Tunisia or Egypt’s path of change. But while their militaries conceded the need for regime change, in Libya the family-led powerful militias, financed and groomed to defend the regime’s “country estate”, sided with their pay masters.

While the Gaddafis continue to show images of pro-Gaddafi demonstrators in Tripoli to offset the images of widespread anti-Gaddafi/pro-change, in reality, Libya is not divided between two visions for their country.

Rather between a majority that seeks free and prosperous Libya, and a mostly small heavily-armed minority that runs or benefits from a corrupt rule.

Continue reading “Gaddafi bears responsibility”

Information Wars

Information is power and in the age of the information revolution, cyber and satellite communication is transforming our lives, reinventing the relationship between people and power. New media, from WikiLeaks to Facebook, Twitter to YouTube, is persistently challenging the traditional flow of information, and cyber disobedience is exposing powerful governments. Websites are now being treated like hostile territories; whistleblowers and leakers as terrorists, and hackers as insurgents. Governments are scrambling to salvage their influence and take advantage of the new cyber and satellite media. From China to the Sudan, Egypt to Iran, despots and armies are tracking web activity and setting up Facebook accounts to spy on their citizens. So is this the century of free information and expression as the cyber utopians predicted, or new methods of electronic oppression as the cyber sceptics warned?

Social networks, social revolution

Al Jazeera Empire: Youtube, Facebook and Twitter have become the new weapons of mass mobilisation. Are social networks triggering social revolution? And where will the next domino fall?