band annie's Weblog

I have a parallel blog in French at



Russia and Syria vow to ‘wipe out terrorists’ in Idlib


Humanitarian fears grow as Russian and Syrian FMs signal all-out attack on last rebel-held stronghold is imminent.
The Syrian government and its major ally Russia have signalled that an all-out offensive to retake the last rebel-held province in Syria is only a matter of time, raising fears of a major humanitarian crisis.
Speaking at a press conference in Moscow with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem following a closed-door meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the majority of Syria had been “freed of terrorists”, save for Idlib, a northeastern province bordering Turkey.
“What we need to do now is to wipe out those terrorist groups which persist, particularly within the de-escalation area of Idlib,” he said.
“It is unacceptable that those terrorists particularly al-Nusra Front are using the de-escalation area of Idlib to attack the Syrian army and to also attack through drones the Russian military bases in the area,” he added referring to Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is dominated by a rebel faction previously known as al-Nusra Front before renouncing its ties to al-Qaeda.
For his part, al-Muallem said the Syrian forces will “go all the way” in Idlib but added that the army will do everything possible to avoid civilian deaths.
Humanitarian concerns
Idlib is home to nearly three million people, up to half of whom are rebels and civilians transferred en masse from other areas such as Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta and Deraa after they fell to Syrian pro-government forces following heavy fighting.
The situation on the ground is further complicated by the direct presence of Turkey, which backs certain rebel groups in the area and operates as a guarantor power to ensure a “de-escalation zone” agreed upon with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s allies Russia and Iran at a meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.
In recent weeks, Turkish-backed opposition groups in Idlib have attempted to unify into a new coalition, with some 70,000 fighters pledging to fight against forces loyal to Assad. But HTS, the most dominant rebel force in Idlib and in control of about 60 percent of the province, has not joined the coalition.

A major military operation in Idlib would pose a particularly threatening humanitarian situation because there is no opposition territory left in Syria where people could be evacuated to. Observers have previously warned as many as 2.5 million Syrians could try to flee to the closed Turkish border, creating a new refugee crisis.
“The question is how costly the assault on Idlib is going to be,” said Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow.
“It’s not a question of if it will happen, it is a question of when and the severity of it,” he added, noting that the Russian and Syrian governments believe that the seven-year war will largely be over if they capture Idlib.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria’s war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
Warnings and reconstruction
Speaking at the press conference, Lavrov called on the international community to join in the reconstruction process of Syria and “actively get down to work on modernising the infrastructure which has been devastated”.
“We can see that there is a very swift mobilisation of the international community taking place particularly with regards to the return of the refugees and the revival of socioeconomic assets and facilities to make sure the country gets back to working order,” he said.
“The Russians know that as the pre-eminent military force in Syria, some of the responsibility of rebuilding Syria falls on them,” Challands said, “but they don’t want to shoulder all the bill, so they’re encouraging as many foreign powers as they can to chip in essentially and get the country back on its feet.”

Syrian oppositions prepare defence line due to Assad government’s potential military offensive against Idlib [Anadolu Agency]

Al-Muallem said Russia and Syria are united in their views regarding the next stage of rebuilding Syria.
“It’s natural to think about Syria to find a reconstruction programme and to find a role for our partners in Russia to play a key role and priority in this,” he said, adding that both countries are very near to “putting an end to terrorism” in the country.
Both ministers warned against any “act of aggression” from Western countries, particularly from the United States, citing staged chemical attacks by “provocateurs” such as the Syrian civil defence group the White Helmets being used as a pretext for such assaults.
“This kind of provocation is being staged as to complicate the whole issue of combatting the terrorists in Idlib,” Lavrov said. “We have warned our Western partners clearly that they should not engage in this kind of activity.
Al-Muallem accused the US and its allies of preparing for “another aggression to save al-Nusra Front” and protract the Syrian conflict.
“We will practise our legitimate right in defending ourselves, but the consequences of the aggression will hit the political process definitely and everyone will be [affected],” he said.

Nature of offensive unknown
Turkey, which hosts some three million Syrian refugees, has already stated that it will not open its borders to accept further refugees in the event an assault takes place.
The Syrian government said that it will open “humanitarian corridors” for civilians to evacuate, but according to Al Jazeera’s correspondent Zeina Khodr, many of the residents do not trust the government and remain fearful of their fate.
“Many of these people are considered terrorists or are wanted by the state simply because they engaged in opposition activities,” Khodr said, reporting from Lebanon’s capital, Beirut. “Being a medic according to the Syrian government is terrorism.”

Earlier on Thursday, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura warned that a potential “perfect storm” is looming over Syria’s Idlib province, and expressed his willingness to “personally and physically” involve himself to ensure a corridor to evacuate civilians would be feasible.
While it is not yet clear what kind of offensive the Syrian government will engage in Idlib, Khodr said that there are still “behind the scenes negotiations between the Russians and the Turks” on this matter.
“What we understand from some sources is that Turkey is trying through its contacts in Idlib to convince Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham to disband itself to prevent this all-out offensive,” she said.
“We even heard Lavrov tell the Syrian government ‘we are talking about the need to reconcile with some groups’ telling them in one way or another that there will not be a wide-scale attack.”
Russia pushing forward
According to Alexey Khlebnikov, an expert with the Russian International Affairs Council, creating another refugee crisis will be contrary to Russia’s main priorities and interests.
“This is why Russia is now trying to negotiate with Turkey to reach a compromise on the deal to minimise damage inflicted on the population in Idlib,” he told Al Jazeera.
“Now, Russia’s message to the West is to get on board and join in the reconstruction process and humanitarian aid [which] basically goes in line with that message of retaking Idlib and not creating another refugee flow.”
But Khodr said that Western countries are not prepared to join in the reconstruction, insisting first on a “meaningful, credible, political transition” to Syria.
“[The Russians] have sidelined the political transition which will involve the Syrian government sharing power with the opposition,” she said, noting that Russia is trying to cement Assad’s hold onto power.
The narrative for Russia and Syria is that they have won the war and now want to talk about rebuilding the country and returning the refugees, she said.
“They’ve appealed to the international community, particularly to the West, to give them money to rebuild the towns so that refugees will return and leave Europe but it seems they do not have the support as of yet,” Khodr said.

to be continued here

Empire : the Reckoning, from Obama to Trump




Marwan Bishara examines President Obama’s legacy following Donald Trump’s victory and what this means for America.

19 Jan 2017 15:32 GMT 

The reckoning.

Donald Trump ran on a promise to tear down everything and anything Barack Obama had done.
Now it’s time for the reckoning.
Will Obama’s legacy, in fact, all be wrecked?
Will some of it stand, no matter what?
Will some of it be knocked to the ground now, with resurrection sure to come in the near future?

Marwan Bishara embarks on a journey of discovery.
Into the immediate past, the eight years of Obama.
Coming into office when America – indeed the whole world –
was on the verge of another Great Depression.
Bringing the crash to a soft landing
guiding it into a recovery.
Trying to end the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
but ending with even more chaos.

Into the shouting and confusion of today.
And a look into the future.

What will Obama’s legacy really be?
For America.
For the rest of the world.

Source: Al Jazeera News

Hollywood shoots Arabs: The movie



‘American Sniper’ replays the age-old racist roles.


Khaled A Beydoun

Khaled A Beydoun is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Barry University Dwayne O Andreas School of Law. He is a native of Detroit.



Abed Ayoub

Abed Ayoub is the legal director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington, DC, and is a native of Detroit.

Art and propaganda share an intimate relationship. Particularly today in the US, where the wartime film stands as a sacred genre – intimately depicting everyday Joes plucked from mundane middle America, then planted within the perils of a foreign battleground where they become larger-than-life heroes.

The newest edition of this genre, “American Sniper”, centres on Iraq. The Clint Eastwood-directed picture contains every essential hallmark of the wartime film genre; the lionised soldier protagonist, the good versus evil paradigm, and the accompanying illustration of the latter as unyieldingly wretched, menacing, and bent on the destruction of everything pure and civilised.

“American Sniper” does not disappoint, and delivers these damaging binaries bolstered with the banal tropes of Iraqis and Muslims that attracted viewers in droves. So much that the film set a box office record its opening weekend, which is set to continue as the movie stretches into its second week.

Debating art

Film is art – and creative expression should not be legally restricted. However, art has the potential to incite, particularly when the villains in a box-office hit are flatly constructed, maliciously misrepresented, and positioned as the irredeemable opponents of America and its gun-toting hero.


In “American Sniper”, Iraqis are nothing more than fodder and foes, whom Chris Kyle is hell bent on gunning down to carry forward a parasitic patriotism that a robust segment of the US is not only drawn to, but also committed to perpetuating.

Every single Iraqi in the film is presumed guilty. And thus, deserving of the twisted justice Kyle is more than willing to dish out, over and again.

While the familiar misrepresentations on the screen are damaging, the racist backlash inspired by “American Sniper” evidences that the film is equipping hatemongers with even more ammunition.

And the targets are Arabs and Muslims, “ragheads” and anybody resembling the Iraqi caricatures in “American Sniper”.

“American Sniper” is far more than merely a character study. The main protagonist, Chris Kyle, is an American everyman, who thoroughly embodies the utter disdain for Muslims which is endemic – and intensifying – in the US today. Further, Kyle views his tour in Iraq as an opportunity to avenge the 9/11 terrorist attacks, reducing patriotism into a blood vendetta against a populace utterly disconnected and disassociated from that attack.

Caricature study?

These ideas, and the worldview from which they emanate, are not Kyle’s view alone. Rather, through the film positioning of Kyle as an archetype, Kyle represents a grand perspective held by a substantial segment of the US. Moreover, these views are not being relayed through a tragic figure or a nihilist.

But a hero, donned in military fatigues, a baseball cap, and played by Hollywood A-lister and heartthrob Bradley Cooper – who views his indiscriminate mowing down of 255 “despicably evil savages” as both a political and spiritual crusade.

Through Kyle’s distorted gaze, the viewer similarly sees Iraqis as targets. Whether a veiled mother, young boy, or the fictitious rival Mustafa – the black-clad, brooding embodiment of evil that is committed to the demise of Kyle, and everything he represents.

Through Kyle’s distorted gaze, the viewer similarly sees Iraqis as targets. Whether a veiled mother, young boy, or the fictitious rival Mustafa – the black-clad, brooding embodiment of evil that is committed to the demise of Kyle, and everything he represents.

Both art and propaganda, “American Sniper” carries forward the tradition of the wartime film genre. But, within the context of considerable anti-Arab and Muslim bigotry in the US, the film is reminiscent of another critically heralded yet racist wartime epic, DW Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, which, paralleling the binary in “American Sniper”, lionised Klansmen by way of deplorable depictions of black Americans. Subsequently, it calls its viewers to take arms against the villains.

Like scores of films before it, “American Sniper” conflates Iraqis with Arabs and Muslims, “al-Qaeda” and “jihadists”.

For Kyle, and Eastwood, the distinctions are irrelevant. Redeploying age-old Orientalist images, the film’s Iraqis are thinly constructed foes of the democratic and divine – who must be methodically gunned down for both God and country. A belief, in the US today, that is far more fact than fiction.

Following the release of the film the, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) issued a community advisory and warned of a “significant rise in violent hate rhetoric targeting the Arab and Muslim-American communities”.

The advisory was issued in response to the significant number of violent messages targeting Arab and Muslim Americans following the release of the film “American Sniper”. Many of the threats were made over social media.

Box-office backlash

The threats advocate for the murder of Arab and Muslim Americans, one going as far as posting: “Great f**king movie and now I really want to kill some f**king ragheads.” In another threat, since deleted, Twitter user Dex Harmon wrote: “American Sniper makes me wanna go shoot some f**kin Arabs,” which was followed by emojis of three handguns.

Hate speech and threats such as these should not be ignored. Instead, they must serve as a warning sign. Hate speech and rhetoric will only continue to add to the culture of violence, which will lead to more incidents and more attacks. Particularly within an already rife context of anti-Arab hatred and Islamophobia.

Statistics gathered by ADC, as well as by the Southern Poverty Law Center, show that there was a 50 percent increase in the number of reported hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims and those perceived to be Arab or Muslim in the US. The increase is correlated with the start of the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, which is surely to intensify with the domestic and global backlash against Arabs and Muslims following the Charlie Hebdo attack.

For as long as the negative imagery and permissible hatred against Arabs and Muslims exists, members of the respective communities will continue to live in a state of constant fear that they may be the next victim of a hate crime. The precedent is there, and history has shown us that as the rhetoric worsens, the culture of collateral indictment and the prospect of violence increase.

“American Sniper” is art. But it is also ammunition. The right of creative expression should be tempered by responsibility. Otherwise, “American Sniper” is only performing what propelled its central figure into the limelight – indiscriminately targeting Arabs and Muslims for simply being.

Which, we hope, isn’t the film’s aim.


Source: Al Jazeera


Dozens of reserve soldiers from Israeli intelligence unit publicly declare their refusal to operate in Palestine.

Israeli reservists refuse to serve

The letter was delivered weeks after Operation Protective Edge killed more than 2,200 people [Reuters]

Dozens reservists and former members of an elite Israeli army intelligence unit have condemned alleged “abuses” of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

The forty-three reserve soldiers expressed their condemnation in an open letter addressed to Israel’s prime minister, armed forces chief, head of military intelligence and distributed to media on Thursday.

“We veterans of Unit 8200, reservists past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in activity against Palestinians and refuse to be tools to deepen the military control in the occupied territories,” the soldiers wrote.

“There’s no distinction between Palestinians who are, and are not, involved in violence, we cannot continue to serve this system in good conscience, denying the rights of millions of people” they wrote.

The soldiers went on to express their concern towards human rights abuses and the disruption of Palestinians everyday lives.

They clarified that they will no longer take part in any act that harms innocent people and called upon all soldiers to join their cause and speak out.

“We call for all soldiers serving in the Intelligence Corps, present and future, along with all the citizens of Israel, to speak out against these injustices and to take action to bring them to an end.”

One soldier also told Channel 10 TV he feels most of the work was motivated by “political reasons”  to cement Israel’s control over the West Bank and not security concerns.

The letter was published less than three weeks after the military’s fierce offensive against Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip killed more than 2,200 people, many of them civilians.

The 8200 army unit is one of Israel’s best and brightest unit , taking care of surveillance and communications monitoring in addition to sharing information with Israel’s civilian intelligence agencies.

A former commander of the unit, reserve Brigadier General Hanan Gefen, accused the letter’s authors of a grave breach of trust.

“If this is true and if I were the current unit commander, I would put them all on trial and would demand prison sentences for them, and I would remove them from the unit,” General Hanan Gefen said on Friday.





A unique insight into the world of Israeli arms dealers selling weapons and experience around the world.

Israel has been one of the world’s largest arms exporters and has spent millions of dollars on developing state-of-the-art weapons.Armies and police around the world are interested in the latest Israeli weapons and their military tactics, which have been refined by fighting in the occupied territories.

With unique access, Witness follows private Israeli arms dealers in their day-to-day work; making deals, attending arms fairs, shipping weapons, and inspecting armed forces overseas.

This film reveals how the Israeli arms industry is making vast profits worldwide, and partly thanks to their activities in the occupied territories.
By Yotam Feldman

“The Lab” is a cinematic investigation into the lure of Israeli weapons in the international arms trade. Why are countries all over the world lining up to buy Israeli arms? And how did such a small country become one of the biggest military exporters in the world? Israeli salesmen and executives in huge arms corporations seem eager to promote their products and pride themselves on their booming business. Profits have never been better — sales are doubling every year, and the potential seems unlimited.

But the product they are selling is unique. Rather than rifles, rockets or bombs, the Israeli companies sell their experience. The long-running conflict with the Palestinians has created a unique and unrivalled laboratory for testing technologies and ideas relating to “asymmetric warfare” — a conflict between a state and civil or irregular resistance. In this manner the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians may be seen as a national asset — rather than a burden. 

Following the 9/11 attacks, the Afghanistan war and the second Iraq war, countries all over the world have become increasingly interested in the way the Israeli army controls civilian populations, how it fights in urban areas, and how it deals with terror and guerrilla tactics.

Moreover, Israel had become a leading exporter of theory for this “asymmetric warfare”. Israel has created a science out of targeted killings and of close combat fighting. In fact, Israel’s produced some of the world’s leading advisors and lecturers specialising in armed combat. 

Despite the general openness of salesmen and executives within the arms corporations, an unknown truth seems to underlie the public facade. Certain questions are treated with discretion and suspicion, and instances where cameras dive too far provoke immediate actions, limiting the filmmakers’ access. But what is the big secret?

Two private businessmen, Amos Golan and Leo Glaser, allowed us to accompany them in their dealings. The first is a producer of a gun model specialised for urban fighting, widely sold to European and Latin American countries. The second is an advisor and training expert, specialised in asymmetric fighting against drug traffickers in Brazilian favelas.

As we accompanied them in their day-to-day work, less obvious truths were exposed. 

While making the film, I witnessed the relationship between a network of military generals, politicians and private business; the use of current military operations as a promotional device for private business; the brutal employment of the Israeli experience, and the blurred lines between what is legitimate and forbidden in this line of business.

The agents I spoke to were honest about their dealings, their personal understandings of what’s good versus bad, and why they take pride in the business of global weapons proliferation. 

The effects of Israeli theory and technology on other countries can hardly be overestimated.

Forces choosing to employ Israeli-cultivated military techniques ultimately begin to alter their political and social circumstances. Therefore, countries all over the world are increasingly “Palestinizing” (or “Israelizing”) their conditions. Both sides — seller and buyer — become partners in the development of a form of future war between the state and civil resistance groups.

see video here


The Lab can be seen from Wednesday, May 7 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2000; Thursday: 1200; Friday: 0100; Saturday: 0600.

Click here  for more  Witness  films.

UK worker abuse red-flagged

New report highlights plight of domestic helpers in the United Kingdom, with critics comparing it to kefala system.Simon Hooper Last updated: 14 Apr 2014 13:06
London, United Kingdom – British politicians have backed calls for the government to reverse controversial changes to visa rules for thousands of migrant workers, which anti-slavery campaigners say have made the UK a “significant facilitator of forced labour”.In a report published earlier this month, members of a parliamentary committee examining government proposals to tackle what it has called “the scourge of modern slavery” warned that changes to the visa regime had “strengthened the hand of the slave master” and said: “The moral case for revisiting this issue is urgent and overwhelming.”Frank Field, the opposition Labour MP who chaired the committee, said that the government’s modern slavery bill needed to be redrafted to provide better protection for victims of trafficking and slavery.

“For parts of this bill, amendments will not be sufficient to make good, workable, effective legislation. Some parts need a rewrite,” he said. “This is ground-breaking legislation that will influence law and the fight against modern slavery around the globe. The world is watching: We have to get this right.”

The plight of domestic workers in the UK was highlighted earlier this month in a report by Human Rights Watch which included testimonies from dozens of women who said they were mistreated while working as servants in wealthy households.

About 15,000 domestic workers travel to the UK with their employers each year, with many accompanying Gulf Arab families. Some complained of having had their passports confiscated, of working long hours without breaks or days off for little or no pay, of being locked up and subjected to physical abuse and verbal threats.

One woman from the Philippines said: “I had a room with a bed. But at 5am I woke up and made tea for my madam. She told me not to go to my room again until midnight… I sat with them in restaurants, looking at them eating.”

Campaigners told Al Jazeera that tougher visa rules introduced in 2012 had left domestic workers with no escape route and tied the hands of those trying to help them.

‘Massive backward step’

Izza Leghtas, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the new “tied visa” rules, which prevent domestic workers from leaving their employer while in the UK, meant they remained trapped by the kefala sponsorship system common in the Gulf, which has been widely condemned as exploitative byhuman rights groups and labour organisations.

“This sends a message to employers who are used to the kefala system, that it is acceptable to treat their workers in the same way,” Leghtas told Al Jazeera. “I have spoken to many domestic workers who worked in the Gulf who would come to the UK with their employers and they would continue to treat them in the same way – and sometimes even worse.”

The UK’s right-wing government justified changes to the domestic worker visa system in 2012 as a means of curbing the number of unskilled migrants entering the country. But it is now steering legislation through parliament to impose tougher sentences on traffickers and create the post of an anti-slavery commissioner.

Kate Roberts, community advocate for Kalayaan, a charity campaigning on behalf of migrant domestic workers, said the revised visa system represented a “massive backward step” for those attempting to reach abused employees.

Under the old system, Kalayaan had been approached by about 300 people a year. But she said just 120 people who had entered the country under the tied visa scheme had come forward to report abuse in the past two years.

They had typically described worse working conditions than those employed under the previous visa scheme, with most saying they were paid less than £50 ($83) a week and were not allowed out unsupervised.

‘Hands are tied’

Roberts said the numbers reflect concerns that those who come forward, severing ties with their employer, would be treated as undocumented migrants and face deportation.

“It affects the support we can give them because we have to inform them that they’ve breached immigration laws,” Roberts told Al Jazeera. “Usually they have paid quite a lot of money to an agent or indebted themselves to get the first job and they can’t go home.

“They are not going to come to us to be referred as victims of trafficking and left in legal limbo for years. They will just disappear, presumably to be abused further. They have pulled everything out from under the feet of domestic workers, and in terms of supporting them our hands are tied now.”

Some campaigners are concerned that the government may not accept the committee’s recommendations, because of continuing fears about immigration.

“I’m hopeful that the government will take some recommendations on board, but I think that the recommendation on the domestic worker visa is unlikely to get government support in the current climate,” Claire Falconer, legal director of the campaign group Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX), told Al Jazeera. “The government is protecting the lifestyles of people who want to have domestic workers in their home and not protecting the workers themselves. It says it is trying to eradicate modern slavery but at the same time they are creating conditions that create vulnerability to slavery.”

Falconer said necessary steps include reversing changes to the visa system, implementing a monitoring system and ensuring employment rights are respected regardless of immigration status.

“Immigration law currently trumps employment law and human rights law. It is extremely difficult for workers to enforce their rights even if they are a victim of trafficking or forced labour because employers know workers will just be deported if they complain.”

‘Same side as Sudan’

Aidan McQuade, director of the charity Anti-Slavery International, urged government to focus on the welfare of victims. “We have always argued that a comprehensive victim protection system needs to be at the heart of the bill if it is to be effective in tackling slavery,” he said.

McQuade also called on the UK to address the issue of forced labour at a global level by adopting development policies in countries where poverty and a lack of opportunities force people abroad in search of work.

He pointed out that remittances sent home significantly outweigh the economic contribution of Western aid programmes.

“There is a disjoint between broad development and anti-poverty policy and safe migration and anti-slavery policy,” McQuade told Al Jazeera. “Those elements need to be harmonised in a way that increases the capacity of poor vulnerable workers to access safe decent work and contribute back to their home countries.”

The Home Office, the UK’s interior ministry, told Al Jazeera a range of options are available to domestic workers in need of protection after arriving in the UK. It said rules requiring applicants to have been employed for 12 months prior to being issued a visa and to have appropriate employment contracts act as further safeguards.

“Abuse of overseas domestic workers is unacceptable and we believe the best way to prevent it is by testing the validity of the working relationship before a visa is issued,” a spokesperson said anonymously, as is government policy in the UK.

But McQuade said the UK’s refusal – along with eight other countries including Sudan – to support an International Labour Organisationconvention pressing for better rights for domestic workers in 2011 had undermined its credibility in the fight against slavery, and thrown into question its commitment to tackling forced labour within its own borders.

“Whenever you are on the same side as Sudan on a human rights issue, you are probably on the wrong side,” said McQuade. “They have been deaf to this and I would be interested to see whether now, seeing the suffering of human beings being reported in the media, they will be deaf to that as well, and try and ignore the troubling fact that a significant facilitator of forced labour within the UK is British government policy.”

Follow Simon Hooper on Twitter: @simonbhooper



AJE : Remembering Nelson Mandela

6th December Edition

Revisiting Nelson Mandela’s time in prison

Branded as a “terrorist”, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years of his life in prison but continued to work for peace. Read More
Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
World leaders react to the passing of Mandela

Global leaders sent through their condolences after the passing of South Africa’s first black president. Read More
Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
Mandela the radical

The South African leader was a more politically complex figure than is commonly thought. Read More
Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
Mandela’s art of ‘understanding the enemy’

Mark Hanna reflects on decades of covering the savvy political operator who became an icon. Read More

Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
Q&A: Nelson Mandela’s lawyer
George Bizos, attorney and friend of Mandela, used the courtroom as a battlefield during anti-apartheid struggle. Read More

Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
Mandela: the father of the rainbow nation
Al Jazeera asked South Africans what Madiba meant to them. Read More

Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
Life and times of Nelson Mandela
Al Jazeera traces the life of the former South African president. Read More

FACEBOOK:LIKE: That is not a valid URL share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
I knew Mandela
Who was the man behind the legend? Al Jazeera obtains insight of the leader by the people who knew him. Watch Here

Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
7up South Africa
In 1992 Al Jazeera met 20 lively 7-year-olds, who we followed every seven years in times of change. Watch Here

Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
Chikane: ‘One day we will lose him’
Concerned about corruption and greed, Frank Chikane warns of a “revolution” in South Africa after Mandela Watch Here

Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
The Mandela legacy
The South African leader found himself compelled to live up to the image that had been built around him in prison. Read More

Like on Facebook share on Twitter Google Plus One Button
Copyright © 2013 Al Jazeera English, All rights reserved.

Al Jazeera’s The Listening Post on Ed Snowden and intelligence leaking


The importance of leaking to ensure transparency in a democracy is something we should never forget.

The great Al Jazeera media program The Listening Post this week tackles Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Wikileaks. They asked me to comment on the ways in which the Snowden story unfolded in the press. My clip is at 10:28. Previous contributions here:

Blog at

Up ↑