Author Topic: Opinion: Marzouki to collaborate with Google Ideas?  (Read 1189 times)

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Offline kimono

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Opinion: Marzouki to collaborate with Google Ideas?
« on: September 27, 2013, 15:20:07 PM »
Posted on  Sep 26 2013 - 10:15pm  by Mariem Fersi
On Monday, September 23rd, Tunisia’s interim president, Moncef Marzouki, gave a conference in New York about the Tunisian constitution. He was invited by Google Ideas, a subsidiary of Google, in order to discuss Tunisia’s experience with democracy.

With regard to the conference, the official press communique of the presidency of the republic classified Google Ideas as a “foundation.” Yet it would be misleading to say that Google Ideas is only a foundation or a company. It is also a think tank created by and affiliated with Google, which serves as a venue for political reflection or more clearly, a lobby through which Google wants to influence international politics.

The manager of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, elected by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential personalities of the world, is a former adviserof former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.  According to Wikileaks, it is suspected that Google Ideas has, in collaboration with the White House, attempted to manipulate certain uprisings and depose regimes opposed to the United States.

Officially, Google Ideas is going to create a new gate that lists the constitutions of the whole world in order to allow comparisons to be drawn between them, with the aim of helping particular countries in their political transition toward democracy. According to a Figaro article, “present beside the representatives of Google, the Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki said himself ‘fascinated’ by the initiative, which will be ‘extremely useful’ for countries such as his, which have difficulty in being equipped with a constitution or with an electoral law.”

However, this blissful “fascination” should be more qualified.

First of all, the political crisis in Tunisia, which resulted in the blocking of the writing of the constitution, was caused by the actions of the Troika and its refusal to assist the experts in constitutional law. Moreover, the experts of the committee of Venice had indicated all the faults and the incoherence of the project of drafting a constitution by members of parliament, a majority of whom are from the Troika. The Troika, of which President Marzouki’s party is a part, was always against expert “intervention” in the writing of the constitution.

Second, this initiative seems to be a pseudo-democratic facade of this so-called pro-American think tank, Google Ideas.   In a New York Times op-ed, very critical of the book “The New Digital Age”, co-written by Jarred Cohen and the executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange asserted that “the advance of information technology epitomized by Google heralds the death of privacy for most people and shifts the world toward authoritarianism.”

However, the questions we ought to ask ourselves about are: did Moncef Marzouki read the article in Julian Assange’s question before declaring its fascination? Does he know that this later is an anti-imperialist, that proofs as those of Edward Snowden accuse Google of having collaborated to a gigantic company of espionage taken up by the United States? Especially given that Marzouki had been interviewed by Assange in 2012. On this occasion, our president, undoubtedly riding the wave of fame of the founder of Wikileaks, declared that he “admired his work, ” and that he “invited him in to settle in Tunisia in case of problem.”

Maybe Marzouki knows all this, but he tends to simply concretize his personal project of an international constitutional court. Only a president of a republic has the right to go alongside and to collaborate with the managers of a large private company for noble purposes?

In any event, through the“foundation” of Google Ideas, Marzouki, a defender of human rights and personal freedoms, contradicts himself at both the political and ideological level. This contradiction exhibits his naivety toward the high risk that some enterprises can pose, and toward the potentially hazardous implications that dealing with such enterprises may have on things such as the most recent meeting with American president, Barack Obama.
"Les hommes qui ont vécu dans les laboratoires n'imaginent guère que les partis extrêmes" -
"Men who lived in the laboratories can hardly imagine anything else than extreme parties" (Louis Aragon, 1897-1982)