Never thought I would become anti AVAAZ. The concept seemed so great. To enable the voices of thousands, millions of people around the world to be heard. Sometimes by the right people, but sometimes simply by others.
A recent article in the Guardian (see here) questioning the wisdom of AVAAZ in calling for a No Fly Zone, generated a response by many (for and against) but also Ben Wikler, the AVAAZ Campaign director.
His comments can be found in the comments section, but basically his comment (through my interpretation) goes like this…
1. AVAAZ has decided on regime change, and has agents working on the ground with the rebels.
2. AVAAZ now requires NATO/US/UN to engage militarily to support our program of regime change.
3. AVAAZ uses crowd sourcing to solicit large numbers to back it, and funds for its programs.
As already said, (apart from 3.) this is exactly the methods used/promoted by the CIA and the NeoCons over the last few decades.
If the CIA were doing this, would huge numbers support it. Of course not. But AVAAZ gets support through deceit. I also was seduced by it early on.
The deceit is that people believe it is a civilian action group, like protesters. But this is a direct campaigning for military attacks on a foreign government. Yes. The government in Libya may be distasteful, and may have lost all legitimacy, but that was not any different from 3 weeks ago (as of 10/Mar/2011).
I have already spoken of the difficulty I have with this organisation. Currently they have over 7 million people from all over the world who have registered themselves, email, name, location and their political beliefs with the US government. I can’t understand that being the smartest thing in the world (I have, because I was one of those on a previous campaign. Can’t delete now).
AVAAZ is acting as a organisation for the promotion of US Hegemony through covert Soft Power manipulation. Strong statement, but difficult to dismiss.
UPDATE: 29/05/2012 – It seems as though Jillian Cork from the EFF also has her doubts on the organisation and how they run politically (and incorrectly and damagingly)