Reporters without borders is a sham

There is something peculiar about the way colonialism works today. The most sophisticated colonial projects use the rhetoric of human rights, democracy, and even anti-racism in their favour. This has a profoundly immobilizing effect on those who are actually trying to support struggles for self-determination. All the ‘democracy promotion’ that’s been going on at the hands of the US in recent years is a case in point. A very important example is ‘Reporters Without Borders’. Take a look at Salim Lamrani’s article on that institution, and you will see what I mean. Serious anti-imperialists are going to have to do some serious thinking about how to deal with all this stuff. It is very important in demobilizing our potential constituency.

Thanks Kole for holding it down over the past few days.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.

6 thoughts on “Reporters without borders is a sham”

  1. Hey Justin, very true. I’d
    Hey Justin, very true. I’d suggest people have a look at Aisha’s blog once again (, as she has an update on the situation – with an analysis of how the US occupation is working to weaken the resistance in Afghanistan. For those interested in the actual objectives of US ‘democracy’ and ‘civil society’ promotion, I’d suggest William Robinson’s very incisive book entitled ‘Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention and Hegemony’ (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

  2. Excellent work by Lamrani –
    Excellent work by Lamrani – very eye opening. I looked up the link that he provided showing RSF to be supportive of the unelected regime in Haiti. Unfortunately, the article was in French. I wasn’t confident in my ability to read the article. However, I was able to find one in Spanish that makes RSF’s position on Haiti clear.

    There must be stuff in english but this is more than enought to convince me.

    I always struggled with french, but spoke a lot of spanish at home. I always cringed when people said “spanish is close to french”.

  3. An interesting and
    An interesting and well-researched article – hampered significantly by tiresome apologist rhetoric around the Cuban government. What year is this, 1986? Opposing the American government does not mean we have to support the Cuban government. Imprisoning journalists for being journalists is not OK. Period.

  4. Justin, I should clarify:It
    Justin, I should clarify:It was never close enough for me. My high school teachers could vouch for that.

    There a difference between being an apologist for Castro and putting his crimes and achievements in perspective. For the most of the essay I believe Lamrani is on very solid ground about Cuba. There is no way RSF can justify devoting more attention to Cuba than many US backed governmnets – or even the US itself.

  5. Hi Justin,
    Me too, I worry

    Hi Justin,
    Me too, I worry about how conservative (for lack of a better word) jingo undermines real issues. It’s not just a question of the use of catch words like “freedom” and “liberty”. It has to do with whole causes, as you say, such as taking up the issue of the Free Press and taking advantage of the names of the highly respectable “…Without Borders” NGO’s. There’s not much to do about it, except urge people to read critically. Probably the Left should also revise its more stereotyped vocabulary and be careful about writing mostly for already convinced audiences.
    In a related issue both the New York Times and the Washington post have not given sufficient space to the memo published by the Times of London before the British elections. It proved how both the American and British publics were manipulated on the subject of the Iraq war. This is an official document that at least coincides with former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and Richard Clarke’s accounts that Bush had planned to attack Iraq from the beginning.

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