Tariq Ali talks to Russia Today about a prospective Saudi Arabian-Bahrain union

Following speculation in the Middle-East concerning discussions of a potential political union between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Tariq Ali spoke to Russia Today about the proposals, suggesting that Iranian concerns were not unfounded.

“What Iranians say is not paranoid or far-fetched at all. Bahrain itself is a US naval base. They could easily, if they so desired, have a democratic regime there. But the problem with allowing democracy is that a democratic government could then tell the US to get out. So it suits the United States to have this tiny little despotism and a larger despotism in Saudi Arabia.”

Visit Russia Today to read the article in full.

From the archive

  • ‘Casualties of another war’

    September 23, 2008

    ‘Casualties of another war’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, September 23, 2008

    The Marriott bombing is terrible revenge for the Afghan campaign that has gone so badly wrong

    The deadly blast in Islamabad was a revenge attack for what has been going on over the past few weeks in the badlands of the North-West Frontier. It highlighted the crisis confronting the new government in the wake of intensified US strikes in the tribal areas on the Afghan border.

    Hellfire missiles, drones, special operation raids inside Pakistan and the resulting deaths of innocents have fuelled Pashtun nationalism. It is this spillage from the war in Afghanistan that is now destabilising Pakistan.

    The de facto prime minister of the country, an unelected crony of President Zardari and now his chief adviser, Rehman Malik, said, “our enemies don’t want to  …

  • ‘The Spirit of Cricket’

    July 11, 2011

    ‘The Spirit of Cricket’ by Tariq Ali for the London Review of Books blog, July 7, 2011

    ‘What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?’ The Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara, giving the Spirit of Cricket lecture at Lords a few days ago, answered this question – first posed by C.L.R. James in Beyond a Boundary half a century ago – at length and in some detail. It was a virtuoso performance that linked cricket to the history and politics of the island. It was witty, intelligent and, above all, courageous. Sangakkara’s assault on the cricketing establishment (the Ministry of Sport) of his own country is a model for others to follow. Listening to the speech I wondered whether there was any other practising cricketer in the world today who could have made it. Not a single  …

  • ‘It’s no secret what Pakistan’s been doing with the Taliban’

    July 30, 2010

    Tariq Ali on Pakistan’s role in the war in Afghanistan for the Guardian, July 30, 2010

    All sides know what’s been going on since Afghanistan was first occupied. It’s also clear that this war can’t be won …

    David Cameron’s post-WikiLeaks remarks on Pakistan helping the enemy in the Hindu Kush shouldn’t be taken too seriously. The carefully orchestrated “outburst” in India was designed to please his hosts and seal a few business deals (Cameron and Cable are fagging for the British arms industry). It’s all part of the schmoozing.

    Pakistan’s official response was equally disingenuous. Since it’s impossible for Islamabad to attack the organ grinder, it went for the monkey.

    Meanwhile all sides know full well what the Pakistan army has been doing with various Taliban factions since Afghanistan was occupied nearly nine years ago. Three years  …