Friday, September 02, 2011

Cablegate Analysis: COMBATING EXTREMISM IN GREECE -- Anarchists, Neo-Nazi's, Protests & Civil Liberties

As the floodgates of diplomatic cables has recently been unleashed via Wikileaks, I was inspired to do some fresh perusing of the newly available files. Originally looking for what the cables had to say about anarchists, I stumbled upon the following lines in a document classified as "SECRET" under the subject heading "COMBATING EXTREMISM IN GREECE":
Greek society also views enhanced police capabilities with a jaundiced eye. Greeks are hypersensitive to any perceived limits on personal freedoms; as an example, security cameras around town have been vandalized. Members of Parliament have also inveighed against their use; attempts to pass off the cameras as trafficams have been only partly successful.
While I knew the Greeks were less tolerant than Americans of police abuses (since police collaboration with the Nazi's in WWII), I found the phrasing of these lines to be somewhat interesting. The Greeks aren't described as vigilant about preserving their rights, they are rather described as "hypersensitive." And the author seems to lament that "attempts to pass off the cameras as trafficams have been only partly successful." While this phrasing in itself should be something of an embarrassment, it's somewhat telling in how issues are presented and phrased. And, presumably, Americans have fallen for the tactic of trying to pass off surveillance cameras as trafficams.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Dispatches from the Apocalypse

An excellent, moving article from the Utne Reader written by Junot Díaz, from Boston Review

"Isn’t that after all the logical conclusion of what we are wreaking? The transformation of our planet into a Haiti? Haiti, you see, is not only the most visible victim of our civilization—Haiti is also a sign of what is to come."