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

  • ‘What needs to be said isn’t being said’ – Tariq Ali interviewed for the Karachi Herald

    July 6, 2010

    Tariq Ali interviewed by Razeshta Sethna for the Herald (Karachi), July 6, 2010

    Tariq Ali has taken many chances in his work and life as a writer-activist. His teens in Lahore were full of unrelenting opposition to Pakistan’s first military dictator and he was involved in political demonstrations and anti-war protests of the sixties. Even as the years go by, he does not sit still. His calling as a writer and his passion for activism keep him close to the centre of political and literary activities.

    Ali has travelled all over the globe, from Cordoba to Istanbul, from Cuba to Vietnam and lately to Yemen to check out al-Qaeda’s presence there. He knew Che Guevara as well as he does Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez and he has exchanged notes with academic heavyweights such as the late Edward Said and  …

  • 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.

  • ‘Venezuela: Changing the World by Taking Power’

    July 15, 2004

    ‘Venezuela: Changing the World by Taking Power’, and interview with Tariq Ali by Claudia Jardim and Jonah Gindin for Venezuela Analysis, July 22, 2004

    How do you explain the explosion in social movements against neoliberalism in Latin America?

    I think the reason for this is that Latin America was used as a laboratory by the United States for a long, long time. Everything the US wanted was experimented in Latin America first. When they wanted military—on the political level—when they wanted to crush popular movements by unleashing military dictatorships they did it in Latin America first: Brazil, Argentina, Chile; three of the most brutal dictatorships we have seen. Then, after the collapse of the communist enemy, they relaxed on the political front but they got Latin America in a grip economically, and they said ‘this is the only way  …

  • 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.

  • An Interview with Amerasia Journal

    August 1, 2007

    This interview was conducted via e-mail during the summer of 2007 by Russell Leong for Amerasia Journal, with assistance from Stephanie Santos (Amerasia Journal 33: 3; 2007)

    Amerasia (AJ:): You have written much about institutions that act as enablers or pillars of empire. How do you see the role of minority immigrants and refugees, who are intimate subjects of the empire? For example, South Asians and Muslims in England, Turks in Germany, Africans and southeast Asians in Italy, and ethnic minorities in the United States. They are first-, second-, or third-generation citizens, who are both part of but also apart from empire. What potential roles can they play in forming alternative cultural and political voices within empire?

    Ali (TA:): The narratives in this regard are multiple. No universalist response is possible. Immigrants and the countries to which they migrate are so  …