Rough Music: Blair, Bombs, Baghdad, London,Terror

Published by Verso, 2006

July 7th, the murderous mayhem that Blair’s war has sown in Iraq came home to London in a devastating series of suicide bombings. Two weeks later, with apparent impunity, security forces shot dead a young Brazilian electrician on his way to work.

Rough Music is Tariq Ali’s white-hot response to these events. He lays bare the vengeful platitudes of Blair’s war on civil liberties, mounts a scorching attack on the cosy falsehoods of the government’s ‘consensus’ on what the threat amounts to and how to respond, and denounces the corruption of the political-media bubble which allows it to go unchallenged. Finally, invoking the perseverance and integrity of the great dissenters of the past, he calls for political resistance, within parliament and without.

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Reviews: New Left Review, International Viewpoint

From the archive

  • Motorway Accident in Wales

    August 15, 2014

    On Wednesday I received four calls from the BBC’s Good Morning Wales.

    First morning call: was I available to be interviewed about Gaza tomorrow morning? I said yes.

    First afternoon call: could I tell them what I would say? I said (a) Israel was a rogue state, pampered and cosseted by the US and its vassals. (b) Targeting and killing Palestinian children (especially boys) and blaming the victims was an old Israeli custom. (c) The BBC coverage of Palestine was appalling and if they didn’t cut me off I would explain how and why.

    Second afternoon call: was I prepared to debate a pro-Israeli? I said yes.

    Afternoon message left on my phone: terribly sorry. There’s been a motorway crash in Wales, so we’ve decided to drop your item.

    Click here to view the LRB website. 

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • ‘Scenes From a Marriage’

    July 15, 2011

    ‘Scenes From a Marriage’ by Tariq Ali for Counterpunch, July 14, 2011

    Ever since the US occupation of Afghanistan almost ten years ago, two illusory fictions, common in many nuclear families, have dominated the discussion on AmPak relations. The first is that neither side is fully aware of what the other is doing; the second that a total breakdown of the relationship is imminent.

    As long as the Pentagon bankrolls the Pakistan Army to fight its wars and NATO troops remain in Afghanistan there will be quarrels, charges of infidelity, tantrums, a reduction in the household allowance, taking away of toys like night-vision goggles, perhaps even a short separation, but a divorce? Never.  The cash/arms nexus is crucial to this most recent phase of the AmPak relationship. In return for it, as Wikileaks revealed, Washington defines, interprets and implements  …

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • ‘The Terror Trail’

    May 20, 2004

    ‘The Terror Trail’ by Tariq Ali for The London Review of Books, May 20, 2004

    Most of those killed during the first two years of the ‘war on terror’ have already been forgotten. An exception is Daniel Pearl, the South Asia bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, who, early in 2002, was lured to a fashionable restaurant in Karachi, kidnapped and then executed by his captors. A video showing Pearl’s throat being slit was distributed to the Western media and a gruesome clip was shown on CBS news.

    Invited to the White House to receive condolences from the president-at-war, his secretary of state and his national security adviser, Mariane Pearl told them in some detail how the United States was seen abroad and then, ‘just for the hell of it’, added that ‘my mother was born in  …