All posts tagged: Foreign Policy

China Blocking Gmail; Reprint of Foreign Policy Article on Google in China “Raging Against the Machine”

China is blocking Gmail in China right now in an effort to stymie internet activism against the regime (given that it is an information war, seems most appropriate to link to the Voice of America story). Last year for Foreign Policy I wrote about the experiences Xu Zhiyong, a public interest lawyer and member of the Beijing City Council representing the Haidan district, a voice of dissent who has sought to work within the system to advance the causes of human rights and civil liberties. He was arrested in August of 2009 and held incommunicado for nearly a month in Beijing. A day following the arrival of former American Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Xu Zhiyong and two other activists were released. Below is my article for Foreign Policy published under the title “Raging Against the Machine” on January 19, 2010 (free subscription required for access on Foreign Policy’s website): Xu Zhiyong was watching the 2004 Democratic convention in a shared common area at a Columbia University dormitory when we first met. After just a few words, …

To Borrow a Title, Revolution: A User’s Manual

In 2006, I attended an event at the New York Public Library, “Revolution: A User’s Manual,” with Adam Michnik, Baltasar Garzon, Giaconda Belli and G.M. Tamas and moderated by Christopher Hitchens. It was my first encounter with Michnik; we would meet again a year and a half later one October day in his Warsaw office to discuss German MP Erika Steinbach’s efforts to build a Center Against Expulsions in Berlin and the prickly question of monuments and historical memory. A partial reading, watching and listening list relevant to the craft of revolution since the manuals are being rewritten yet again. Links to source material from this and past revolutions is provided when available free and online: 60 Minutes/CBS News, “Wael Ghonim and Egypt’s New Age Revolution.” Airdate: February 13, 2011. Al Jazeera English, “Egyptian Actor Supports the Protesters.” Airdate: February 1, 2011. “They think they can hijack 85 million voices saying ‘enough.’” – Khalid Abo Al-Naga The Atlantic Tumblr, “The Most Subversive Protest of All: An Egyptian Protestor [sic] Kisses a Riot Police Officer.” January …

From the Archive: A Security Fantasia

This week saw the Obama administration distance itself from a U.S. partner of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, as street demonstrations transformed into street clashes between anti-government protesters and pro-government supporters in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. The consequence of nearly 30 years of ruling Egypt with an iron fist and over $1 billion in security assistance a year from the U.S., the revolution on the streets of Egypt appears to have taken Washington by surprise. Just last week, Vice-President Joe Biden stated that Mubarak was not a dictator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Sunday morning shows that the longstanding relationship was something the Americans were balancing closely with contemporary events. By mid-week White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs bolstered Obama’s demand that “change must begin now,” more of a faint echo to Obama’s own presidential campaign of 2008 than it was reminiscent of the last time an American president issued an ultimatum to a dictator, by suggesting that “now means yesterday.” In between last week and this week, Foreign Policy ran …

The Year in Pictures 2010: United States, Cuba, Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Hungary

The Year in Pictures 2010 by Amanda Rivkin available on PhotoShelter Archive. Images from the year include: Gitmo USA – the prison site designated for Guantanamo Bay detainees after the prison’s closure in rural Illinois that never quite opened because the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has not yet closed. Portrait of William Fiedler, Owner of the Gallery Bookstore, Chicago – My former boss at one of the North Side’s finest used book stores. Injured Veteran – Portrait of Michael Jernigan, injured in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004; photographed at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Baltasar Garzon – Former examining magistrate of Spain’s Criminal Court, extraordinarily controversial for execution of the practice of universal justice and far-reaching indictments of foreign leaders and terrorist organizations; photographed at the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago. Afghan Bowling Tournament (3 images) – Afghan-American bowling tournament in Annandale, Virginia. Cuba (8 images) – The Second Age of Castro, published on ForeignPolicy.com and The New York Times “Week in Review”. Spectacular Slovakia (13 images) – Weddings, floods, world cup, trains, planes, castles, …

Today on Verve Photo: Amanda Rivkin in Azerbaijan

Amanda Rivkin Verve Photo: The New Breed of Documentary Photographers December 13, 2010 Amanda Rivkin (b.1984, USA) is currently based in Brooklyn while completing a master’s degree in security studies: terrorism and sub-state violence at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. Previously based in her hometown, Chicago, where she travels frequently, her work has appeared on the front pages of Le Monde, The New York Times, and The Washington Post and Courrier Japan, The Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and The London Sunday Times Magazine. She received a Young Explorers Grant from the Expeditions Council of the National Geographic Society to travel to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and eastern Turkey for a project, “Exploring the Evolving Oil Economy: the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline,” in 2010. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Sarah Lawrence College. About the Photograph: “This photo was taken on a beach in the Bibi Heybat section of southern Baku, Azerbaijan on the 4th of July, 2010, the same day Hillary Clinton visited the oil …

New America Foundation Wednesday December 8, 2010: International Broadcasting and Public Media, Mission and Innovation in the Digital Environment

International Broadcasting and Public Media Mission and Innovation in the Digital Environment Wednesday, December 8, 2010 1:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. The New America Foundation 1899 L St. NW, Suite 400 Washington, D.C. 20036 RSVP In an increasingly digital media landscape, people across the globe are relating to their news outlets in new ways. The missions of media producers are changing, as technological innovations reshape news networks into communities. The assumption is that U.S. public media institutions and international broadcasters are also transforming themselves to serve the emerging public interests in media. How should these institutions be changing to meet the needs of audiences that expect to engage in news and information, not just passively receive it? And even amid the current explosion of information, it is clear that there are information gaps. Is foreign coverage one of them? The event will begin with a conversation between Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University and Susan Glasser, Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Policy. Please join us as we explore these issues with an eye to the future of …

Cablegate: The Leak Goes On, Unplugged

Today in WikiLeaks some newspapers are having a bit of fun with news of Assange’s doomsday cache of encrypted files he has promised to release if anything happens to him or his organization. As far as threat assessments go, it is hard to know what to make of this when sanitized and scrubbed of sensationalism and held up against the success and stumbles of the revolution, or lack thereof, Mr. Assange has started so far. Nothing he has done has proven an existential threat to the U.S. government but then again the U.S. government has failed to escalate retaliation beyond Interpol’s fugitive list and public, widely reported pressure on the Swiss government not to accept and provide shelter for Mr. Assange. Another day, another day the world turns… 3:25PM EST“Assange to Meet with British Police, Lawyer Says,” The New York Times No way to just call up Julian’s daddy now and get him to apologize: “Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear,” The New York Times “Cyber Guerrillas Can Help U.S.” New America Foundation Evgeny Morozov …

Cablegate: “We cannot predict the future, but the past is changing before our very eyes.”

If you are searching for meaning in the evolving cablegate scandal, I am not sure there is one. Misha Glenny reminds us that sometimes it is enough to be reminded of old jokes from communist times: “We cannot predict the future, but the past is changing before our very eyes.” Speaking of which – U.S.-Russia in the immediate post-Cold War: “The cables: what really counts,” Foreign Policy WikiLeaked Blog By David Hoffman, author of The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia, an excellent book I was up many cold, late nights in Poland several years ago reading, and former Washington Post Moscow bureau chief in the 1990s on concerns expressed in cables about Russia’s nuclear security in the aftermath of the break-up of the Soviet Union. What a time it was. Today, we learn the U.S. State Department was concerned by Lula and Sarkozy’s relationship, fretting it might cost Boeing a significant contract: “Lula es el “formidable obstáculo” para que la estadounidense Boeing renueve la Fuerza Aérea de Brasil,” El Pais [in Spanish] …

The Day in Cablegate: As The World Turns…

The cache of news and events surrounding the WikiLeaks Cablegate affair for December 3, 2010: WikiLeaks loses American domain server, wikileaks.org, moves to Swiss, wikileaks.ch, which also appears to be down at present: “WikiLeaks Dropped by Domain Name Provider,” The Associated Press “WikiLeaks Vanishes From Web As U.S. Company Removes DNS Support,” The Guardian Update from Amazon in The Wall Street Journal on the fairly obvious reason why WikiLeaks got booted off its servers (violation of its Terms of Service): “Amazon Says WikiLeaks Violated Terms of Service,” Wall Street Journal 8:37AM EST – The Guardian is holding a live webchat with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as soon as it can: “WikiLeaks cables: Live Q&A with Julian Assange,” The Guardian 9:32AM EST – Crippling attacks continue, take down Guardian website during online Q&A with Assange: “WikiLeaks fights to stay online amid attacks,” The Associated Press “WikiLeaks’ Assange to Fight Any Extradition: Lawyer,” Reuters “WikiLeaks Struggles to Stay Online After Cyberattacks,” The New York Times “Julian Assange Answers Your Questions,” The Guardian Afghanistan: “Foreign Contractors Hired Afghan …

The Best in WikiLeaks Cablegate Coverage from News Sites Around the World

December 2, 2010: “El ‘antiamericano’ Garzón tuvo especial seguimiento,” El Pais [in Spanish] Published under a headline on the homepage of the website, “El ‘antiamericano’ Baltasar Garzon” – photographs of Baltasar Garzon on Amanda Rivkin PhotoShelter archive. “Mafia Analogy for Aliyev Dynasty: Ilham Aliyev and Corleone Brothers (Wikileaks),” AzeriReport ” In US diplomatic cables newly released by Wikileaks, Aliyev clan’s rule over Azerbaijan is compared to mafia, specifically to the Corleones family in the famous ‘Godfather’ movie series. Ilham Aliyev himself ‘described alternately as a mix of “Michael” and “Sonny.”‘ Maintaining ‘a clever, realistic foreign policy’ that he inherited from his father, he reminds of the cold-calculated alliance builder Michael Corleone. But his domestic policies, with crude retaliation against even minor challenges to his authority and criticism, resemble the ‘brash, impulsive’ Sonny Corleone.” related posts: “Mafia Analogies for the Aliyev Family in WikiLeaks/U.S. State Department Cablegate: Is He Michael or Sonny?” Includes links to relevant background articles and blog posts to understanding the Aliyev/Corleone cable: “Donkey Video,” Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade/OL! “Shown Trial,” Fortnight …