16 thoughts on “The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens?”

  1. This speaker never once mentions the word “republic” nor “republican principles.” This speaker mentions “democracy” and “democratic principles” several times.

    In a republic, the individual is sovereign and the government protects the rights of the individual to the exclusion of the desires of the group or any collective.

    In a democracy, the group or collective is sovereign and the government performs the wishes of the collective to the exclusion of and to the oppression of the individual and his rights.

    It is sad that this speaker doesn’t know the difference between two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner versus two wolves and a sheep being prevented from eating each other for dinner.

    Democracy is the slavery of the twenty-first century. This is why the New World Order and all its mouthpieces speak of democracy and yet they NEVER speak of republics.

    It’s all moot though as many lands elevate a ruling class above the populace, like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and England, and then relegate whatever government may be established to the rest of the population beneath these exalted families. This is neither democratic nor republican.

    Nice cartoon work.

    1. Hi Dan,
      though I like the wolf-sheep bit of your comment, I find your musing on republic versus democracy most confusing.
      Let me put it that way: Basically, “republic” just means the opposite of monarchy. Or as Wikipedia puts it: “a government having a head of state who is not a monarch”.
      This does not necessarily include any notion about the degree of liberty people enjoy in one or the other system. There are (constitutional) monarchies which allow a great degree of liberty and republics where there is none. It depends on how it is done: civil rights being guaranteed by the constitution, independence of justice, rule of law, public control of the executive powers (like police), transparency, and such.
      Who is sovereign – this is basically the question: Who has the last word. This can be an individual (monarch or dictator), a group of individuals (for example aristocrats or clerics) or the people. The tricky thing about “people” is, that this notion is so often abused as a cover up for the power play of the few.
      If you want the individual to be the sovereign (not one dictator, but everybody), you have to discuss how to empower the people without suppressing minorities and individuals. That is, you have to discuss ways of compromise, and one such way is democracy. Again: how much liberties it provides depends on how it is done. But I don’t know any better concept.

  2. Its human nature, some one has to be in charge and control freaks do a better job.

  3. As a non-Bahraini, I say this with the utmost respect, not wishing to offend but just state the obvious. In this imperfect world, we should always seek the lesser of the evil, if good cannot be attained. The terrible abuse of human rights and oppression witnessed in Bahrain now will be mild compared to the unimaginable, horrific scenario that will await the minority in Bahrain should the Shi’ites take power. If you want proof, just look across the water to Iran and investigate its treatment of the massive Baluchi minority. Three years I studied under a “scholar” from Qom, who did not mince his words. Please do not surrender Bahrain to the Shi’ites…

    1. Wait, what? First of all, the extremists who want a similar regime to Iran in Bahrain are a minority even amongst the protesters. Secondly, it’s been publicly announced that the protesters do not want a “Shia-Only” Bahrain.

      You know there _are_ Sunnis in the protesters, and it was never about Shia vs. Sunna. Jesus, do some research before stating such radical opinions and paint us all with the same broad sectarian brush.

      1. Will the majority of protesters let them self to be leaded by the extremist minority , the minority were aiming to remove the régime not by negotiation but by destroying the economy of Bahrain and start from zero, it’s like dragging Bahrain back by 40 years.

        I hate to say this, but it’s the truth … the protester were 95%+ Shia , the “opposition” played the game as if they are the sole citizen of Bahrain , dissing Sunni and the Fateh gathering.

        Also the Iranian threat is real as it can get. (read Wikileaks Manama cables)

        Demanding reforms is one thing, playing for régime change using plots&deception is totally different game level and a very dangerous game to be played.

        The idea of Bahrain ruled by religious extremist (both sides) is a very scary one, Al-khalifa for now is the lesser of the evil.

  4. The protests were maligned as an attempt by the Shia majority to take over the island and hand it over to Iran by proxy. This successful pulling the wool over the eyes has been bought by many in the media, in this part of the world and otherwise.

    To recover from such a setback, the Bahrainis must seize upon the notion and publicly re-prononounce their struggle and that it was never about Shia versus Sunni, but about ‘Bahraini.’

    Unfortunately, in today’s climate of government crackdowns, marshall law, and the like, the chances of ever recovering become mooter, and the drums for a confrontation with Iran ring louder.

    The strategy of divide and rule has worked pretty much perfectly in this case.

  5. Hi Anne,

    You have no idea what you are talking about. You are either a mind controlled brainwashed idiot or you are an agitator and a shill for the New World Order.

    It’s that simple.

    1. Thank you for your courtesy.

      It’s always nice to read an intelligent commentary.

  6. I do offer my apology for being discourteous and NOT explaining myself.

    As I am an American, I know that the Constitution for the United States made the United States a nation of sovereigns without subjects. I often forget that the entire planet does not know this.

    Even though everyone pretended that all Americans were sovereign, Native Americans, who became the victims of genocide, and black slaves were ignored.

    It matters NOT what is written down or agreed to if everyone doesn’t go by the written agreement or act on the principles that such agreements espouse.

    Then there are those whose minds are so out of focus that they haven’t a clue as to what principles and reality even are.

    Bahrain is an example of this in that Bahrain has one family which Bahrain exalts above all other Bahrainis and yet Bahrain calls this freedom.

  7. Bahrain police detain, beat rights activist
    Apr 09, 2011 at 16:15 Views (2152) | | | 19 | |

    By BARBARA SURK, AP
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Authorities in Bahrain on Saturday detained and beat a prominent human rights activist in part of widespread crackdown on the opposition in this tiny Gulf nation, a Bahraini human rights group and his relatives said.

    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights said Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who formerly worked for international human rights organizations, was detained on Saturday in a pre-dawn raid. Al-Khawaja’s daughter, Zainab, confirmed the arrest and said her father was taken from her house in a Shiite village outside the capital, Manama.

    She told The Associated Press that armed and masked men, some wearing black police uniforms and carrying riot gear, stormed her house around 2 a.m. They beat her father unconscious before taking him into custody along with her husband and her brother-in-law, she added.

    “They were not just slapping him around, they were beating him badly like they wanted to hurt him,” Zainab al-Khawaja said on the phone. She said one agent was holding her father by the neck and at least four were beating him severely and kicking him as they were dragging him down a flight of stairs.

    “They kept saying to him ‘We will kill you’ and I begged them to not beat him because he is willing to go with them peacefully,” the activist’s daughter said. “I heard my father gasping for air, saying he cannot breathe, but they just kept hitting him until he passed out.”

    Al-Khawaja, 50, is a former Middle East and North Africa director of Frontline Defenders rights organization. He also documented human rights abuses in Bahrain for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. His daughter said he stopped working for international organizations last year because of harassment by the authorities.

    Al-Khawaja’s son-in-law, Mohammed al-Maskati, who also is an activist, was in the house during Saturday’s raid. He said armed men in black uniforms bound him with plastic handcuffs and forced him to lie on the ground face-down while agents beat him. One man kept a foot on his neck, he said.

    “They kept saying, ‘What’s your name, donkey?’ and hit me in the head,” al-Maskati told the AP. “They cuffed me so tightly that they could not untie me and left deep wounds in hands,” he said, adding that he was too afraid to seek medical treatment for his injuries.

    “The hospitals are under control of the military,” said al-Maskati, who heads the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights organization.

    On Thursday, Doctors Without Borders said Bahraini authorities turned hospitals into “places to be feared” during a deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters demanding greater political freedoms and equal rights for Shiites.

    The medical charity condemned the arrest of injured opposition supporters being treated at medical facilities and said Bahrain’s security forces used hospitals and health centers as “bait to identify and arrest those (protesters) who dare seek treatment.”

    The state-run Salmaniya medical complex was at the center of the country’s turmoil, treating hundreds of injured demonstrators. The military took control of the facility, and doctors and patients there said soldiers and policemen interrogated and detained them.

    Bahrain declared emergency rule last month and cracked down on protests by the country’s Shiite majority against a Sunni monarchy, detaining hundreds of activists and anti-government protesters. At least 27 people have been killed since Feb. 14 when protests began in the strategically important Gulf kingdom, the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

    According to the Human Right Watch, more than 400 people are being held by the Bahraini authorities since the unrest began last month.

    Relatives and friends of those missing since the March 16 army raid on the protesters’ encampment in Manama’s Pearl Square have reported 430 names to the country’s main opposition party Al-Wefaq, the statement said.

    None of the detained activists and opposition leaders have been publicly charged with a crime or brought to trial. The authorities banned “all media from publishing data and news” legal proceedings against anybody being tried by the security courts, Bahrain’s official news agency said in a brief report Friday.

  8. Any chance of a discussion on the animation n itself which I , at least, found very thought provoking. I don’t think Democracy is necessarily the only beneficiary.

  9. The issue in Bahrain started years before the existence of an islamic government in Iran. So why do people just want to clear their own responsibilities and hang it over on to Iran???

    Those people who just want to blame iran for everything, even when they’re getting hemorrhoids, just shows how naieve and irresponsible they are, that they do not acknowledge that they have a problem.

    And the problem in Bahrain is not because of people looking for housing or jobs, or BD 1000, but people wanting to participate in the development of their country and an equal share of its resources, and thats why selling the BFH for 1 BD is a problem.

    And it is obvious and clear for those who do not suffer from “iranophobia” or “shiaphobia” that the entrance of the Saudi Army was to make things more complicated, and to deviate the focus of the world, from people demanding their rights in Bahrain, to a regional problem trying to tangle in Iran, Lebanon and may be Syria into the problem.

    Analysts say that this green light from the US to the Saudis just shows that it is an attempt to weaken the axis of Iran, Syria and Hezbullah against its allies that are the GCC, israel and al Hariri camp.

    1. I don’t think this analysis is correct. The presence of Saudi troops was not at the invitation of Bahrain and there was no green light from the U.S. It was simply an exercise in Saudi protecting their vital national interests. You are a better man than me if you are able to divine exactly what those interests are in Bahrain but I can assure you in no uncertain terms that their interests are not alligned with the aspirations of a significant proportion of the Bahraini population.

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