Ahmed Benchemsi on Al Jazeera: “Pro-democracy supporters will boycott the poll”

In this short interview with Al Jazeera, Moroccan journalist Ahmed Benchemsi reacts to Moroccan king’s speech. Benchemsi considers that the outlines of the new Constitution as announced by the king tonight, show little progress in the way of insuring a real separation of powers. He also says the pro-democracy camp will probably boycott the poll, praising the role played by Moroccan activists on the Internet, especially a group called Mamfakinch (We Won’t Give up!) which has called for an equal share of airtime on public TV and radio during the referendum campaign between those who agree and those who disagree with the process.

A Must Watch: Absolute Power

This is a fascinating, at times chilling documentary from Aljazeera by one of its senior journalists, at least one of my favorite, since his days in the BBC, Rageh Omar, revealing “the tricks of the trade” of Arab dictatorship.

War Porn

I love watching war movies but sometimes it is important to take a step back and think about who’s pulling the strings behind the screen, what’s behind the marriage of convenience between Hollywood and the Pentagon, and why should anyone care. No one sums it up better than Chris Hedges, who appeared on an interesting (see video) program on Aljazeera this week: “Empire – Hollywood and the war machine.” I quote:

The difference with a dream, as articulated by Martin Luther King, is that you strive towards it. You live within an illusion. And that illusion of who we are, where we’re going and what we can become is… there’s a wider and wider gap between that and the reality. And the problem with living within illusions is that it allows you to perpetuate a kind of eternal infantilism… childishness, where reality is never an impediment to what I want. But as the walls break down, when it’s your house that is foreclosed, when your job and your neighbor’s job are not coming back, when you go bankrupt for your medical bills, then you react as a child. Which is to call for a savior, a demagogue, someone who promises moral renewal, vengeance and new glory. And we are already seeing these proto-fascist movements leaping up around the fringes of American society. And this is because our empire is imploding. It, itself, is an illusion,. If we don’t face that illusion, we’re finished.