Beyondborders's blog

Egyptian uprising: A friend's story by Nazeeruddin Ikram/Feb 4, 2011

This is a first hand eyewitness account from a friend of mine who is in Egypt right now.

25 Jan 11 – The Beginning

I had made up my mind not to go to Tahrir; I had hoped for the best for the protesters. Though the protest was legal, I had a great deal of trepidation about how events could unfold. Hosni Mubarak is well reputed to wield a heavy hand over his people. However a friend wanted to go. Out of concern for him I went. I thought I knew the streets downtown better and could navigate us out more easily. I was wrong.

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In Case You Missed It: Jan 24-31 [Revolution Edition] by Jordan Lane Peacock/Jan 30, 2011

Completely unintentionally, revolution has been the theme of this week. I read Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy Of The Oppressed and saw the musical Fela! courtesy of the National Theatre broadcast. The South Africa retelling of the story of Christ (Son of Man) mirrored Fela! remarkably – for good and ill. The documentary on Antonio Negri (A Revolt That Never Ends) explored the workers movements in Italy in the 70′s, and his academic work on the Multitude since his time in prison.

Tunisia on Fire: Self-Immolation to World Revolution

Recently a Facebook friend featured an unfamiliar flag as his profile picture; a red crescent held in a vivid red background. Then, alternative news headlines emerged about major turmoil in the country of Tunisia. Next thing I knew, my friend was participating in the civil unrest that broke out there. Through the window opened by social media, I began to feel the outrage and intensity experienced by many people on the other side of the world. A quote from the film V for Vendetta came to me; “Remember, remember the fifth of November; the gunpowder, treason, and plot!” The surreal reports and rapidly changing scenery reported by my friend somewhat blurred the line between reality and fiction.

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Looking Backwards Through the Gun-sight

Cross hairs and gun-sights are all the rage in the media these days after the killings in Tucson, with Sarah Palin getting flack for her mindless cross hairs map, to the inflamed calls for illegal assassination of Julian Assange. Could this be a time for a more self-conscious look at the violent undercurrents of our ‘civilized’ American society? Perhaps each one of us has at some point put someone in our own gun sights after reducing them into the role of an enemy. What responsibility does each of us share for this violent rhetoric and behavior?

Anonymous, WikiLeaks and The Matrix Generation

The Wachowski brothers’ 1999-2003 film series, The Matrix gained worldwide popularity and since its release has been very influential. It is not simply a film, but has become a cultural phenomenon. In past ages, it was philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Immanuel Kant that engaged youth with deep questions and the search for meaning in their lives. Yet Neo’s conundrum “What is real?” has become the question of our age.

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Anonymous Infowar: Battle for a New Intelligence

The rise of WikiLeaks and the heat of the response from the US political leadership brought worldwide attention to a little known underground population that calls themselves Anonymous. Some think of it as an organization with certain identifiable members but as Sam, a member of the #WikiLeaks Forums pointed out, this is misunderstanding the nature of this open source action group. In anticipation of the Bank of America DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack that was planned by a section of Anonymous, some pundits were assuming that this was the same organization as Operation Payback, the Pay Pal/Amazon DDoS group.

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Bradley Manning in Quantico: A Call with Public Affairs Officer Villiard by Dennis Leahy

I spoke for about 20 minutes with Lt. Brian Villiard, from the Public Affairs Office at Quantico Prison. He had returned my call from the voice mail message I had left regarding Bradley Manning’s ‘detainment’ conditions, and Lt. Villiard was also contacted by Quantico Base Commander Colonel Daniel Choike’ s office where I had left a voicemail message.

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WikiLeaks and the CIA: Beyond the Paradigm of Power

According to a Los Angeles Times article on Dec 22, the CIA launched the new task force to study the WikiLeaks revelations, called WTF or the WikiLeaks Task Force. This comes at a time when rumors have begun recirculating in some circles speculating that WikiLeaks is a CIA front or at least an unwitting tool of US interests.

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WikiLeaks and OpenLeaks

Since the rise of WikiLeaks to global prominence a number of like-minded sites around the world styled after WikiLeaks have emerged. The imminent arrival of one organization called OpenLeaks is the only one thus far to be designed and operated by former high profile WikiLeaks dissenters, the most notable being former German spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. A CNN Dec 12 article headline read, "WikiLeaks rival plans Monday launch after internal split, founders say".

WikiLeaks: Infowar Has Begun

We are now approaching the state of Orwell’s dictum that he “who controls the present controls the past.” He who controls internet servers controls the intellectual record of mankind, and by controlling that controls our perceptions of who we are, and by controlling that controls what laws and regulations that we make in society. - Julian Assange, 2010

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Amnesia As A Way Of Life: WikiLeaks Amid The “Careless People” By Phil Rockstroh

As many wags have noted, the disclosures of Wikileaks have subjected the US Empire and its operatives to a full-body scan. Turnaround is fair play, because, until now, in the US, the powerless masses are subject to arbitrary pat downs and body scans, while the powerful and connected are massaged by privilege and ensconced in immunity.

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WikiLeaks Revelation: Prophetic Diplomacy for the Global Age

Last week, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks began releasing secret diplomat cables sent by US embassies. It is too early to know the long-term impact of all the released material. Right after the leak, on November 29 US secretary of States Hilary Clinton gave a speech stating that the leaks are damaging to international security and undermining the diplomacy among nations that has been built over the years (New York Post, Dec 1, 2010).

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WikiLeaks 2.0: New Frequency for the Era of Everyday People

“When I grow up, I want to be a...” I wonder how many people remember their childhood dreams for the future and their youthful idealism. I remember how many adults tried to persuade me to give up my dreams, saying how I need to abandon them and get real. Teachers, counselors and professionals tended to ridicule my aspirations, telling me to grow up.

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