Bush in Babylon: The Recolinisation of Iraq

Published by Verso, 2003

The bestselling history of the resistance in Iraq that vitalized the antiwar movement

The assault and capture of Iraq—and the resistance it has provoked—will shape the politics of the twenty-first century. In Bush in Babylon, Tariq Ali provides a history of Iraqi resistance against empires old and new, and argues against the view that sees imperialist occupation as the only viable solution to bring about regime-change in corrupt and dictatorial states. Like the author’s previous work, The Clash of Fundamentalisms, this book presents a magnificent cultural history.

Detailing the longstanding imperial ambitions of key figures in the Bush administration and how war profiteers close to Bush are cashing in, Bush in Babylon is unique in moving beyond the corporate looting by the US military government to offer the reader an expert and in-depth analysis of the extent of resistance to the US occupation in Iraq.

On 15 February 2003, eight million people marched on the streets of five continents against a war that had not yet begun. A historically unprecedented number of people rejected official justifications for war that the secular Ba’ath Party of Iraq was connected to al-Qaeda or that “weapons of mass destruction” existed in the region, outside of Israel.

Examining how countries from Japan to France eventually rushed to support US aims, as well as the futile UN resistance, Tariq Ali proposes a re-founding of Mark Twain’s mammoth American Anti-Imperialist League (which included William James, W.E.B. DuBois, William Dean Howells, and John Dewey) to carry forward the antiwar movement.

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Reviews: New York Times Book Review

From the archive

  • Tariq Ali on Scottish Independence

    March 11, 2014

    Tariq Ali’s upcoming series of talks in Scotland on the campaign for a Yes vote in the upcoming Scottish Independence Referendum are being covered across the Scottish media.

    Speaking to the Herald, Ali said “”England has been politically petrified since the Thatcher era.” Although the Tories were soundly beaten by New Labour in 1997, Blair was the heir to Thatcher, he says. “An independent Scotland could also lead to something quite new in England; but not something nutty like UKIP.””

    Read the interview in full on the Herald website.

    Speaking to the Daily Record, he said “My hope is that independence will create spaces of critical thought in England as well as in Scotland because people down here are very depressed and demoralised too.”

    Read his interview with the Daily Record in full on their website.

  • Tariq Ali: Anti-Imperialist Struggles After 9/11

    September 17, 2012

    On October 27-28, the conference on Anti-Imperialist Struggles After 9/11 takes place in Copenhagen.

    Tariq Ali will be speaking about anti-imperialist stuggles and counter attacks at 10.30-11.30 on October 27th. Other speakers include Omar Shehada and Cesar Taguba. At 16.15 on Saturday there will be a roundtable debate attended by all the speakers of the day.

    For more information, visit the Internationalt Forum.

    The full timetable is as follows:

    Saturday:

    10.00 – 10.30 Welcome

    10.30 – 11.30 Tariq Ali: Antiimperialist struggles and imperialisms counterattacks worldwide after 9/11

    11.30 – 11.45 Break

    11.45 – 12.45 Colombia: Dolly. Antiimperialist struggle in Colombia and the region after 9/11

    12.45 – 13.45 Lunch

    13.45 – 14.45 Palestine: Omar Shehada: The Palestinian Liberation Struggle in the light of the War on Terror and the Arab Revolt

    14.45 – 15.00 Break

    15.00 – 16.00 Philippines:  …