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

  • ‘This is an Arab 1848. But US hegemony is only dented’

    February 23, 2011

    ‘This is an Arab 1848. But US hegemony is only dented’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, February 22 2011

    The refusal of the people to kiss or ignore the rod that has chastised them for so many decades has opened a new chapter in the history of the Arab nation. The absurd, if much vaunted, neocon notion that Arabs or Muslims were hostile to democracy has disappeared like parchment in fire.

    Those who promoted such ideas appear to the most unhappy: Israel and its lobbyists in Euro-America; the arms industry, hurriedly trying to sell as much while it can (the British prime minister acting as a merchant of death at the Abu Dhabi arms fair); and the beleaguered rulers of Saudi Arabia, wondering whether the disease will spread to their tyrannical kingdom. Until now they have provided refuge to  …

  • ‘America’s selective vigilantism will make as many enemies as friends’

    September 6, 2011

    ‘America’s selective vigilantism will make as many enemies as friends’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, September 6 2011

    “Sovereign is he who decides on the exception,” Carl Schmitt wrote in different times almost a century ago, when European empires and armies dominated most continents and the United States was basking beneath an isolationist sun. What the conservative theorist meant by “exception” was a state of emergency, necessitated by serious economic or political cataclysms, that required a suspension of the constitution, internal repression and war abroad.

    A decade after the attentats of 9/11, the US and its European allies are trapped in a quagmire. The events of that year were simply used as a pretext to remake the world and to punish those states that did not comply. And today while the  …

  • ‘The logic of colonial rule’

    September 23, 2005

    ‘The logic of colonial rule’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, September 23, 2005

    There is now near-universal agreement that the western occupation of Iraq has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster; first for the people of Iraq, second for the soldiers sent by scoundrel politicians to die in a foreign land. The grammar of deceit utilised by Bush, Blair and sundry neocon/neolib apologists to justify the war has lost all credibility. Despite the embedded journalists and non-stop propaganda, the bloody images refuse to go away: the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops is the only meaningful solution. Real history moves deep within the memory of a people, but is always an obstacle to imperial fantasists: the sight of John Reid and the Iraqi prime minister brought back memories of Anthony Eden and Nuri Said in Downing  …