Tariq Ali on Russia Today: ‘Syrian rebels create mayhem to blame it on Assad regime’

Moscow says those behind the latest massacre in Syria want to unleash sectarian violence and ignite full civil war. Over two hundred people are believed to have been killed in the central province of Hama. Both government and rebel forces blame each other for the slaughter – while the UN remains paralysed on whether to extend its observer mission, or impose sanctions. Russia Today talks to author and Middle East expert Tariq Ali from London.

From the archive

  • Tariq Ali on Imperialism, the Arab Spring, and the crisis

    March 23, 2012

    David Barsamian interviewed Tariq Ali in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 26, 2011 for the International Socialist Review.

    The Revolts in the Arab Middle East, beginning in Tunisia in December of 2010, seemingly took the world by surprise. But before we talk about what’s happened in the last year, set the historical context of the post-colonial Arab states.

    Essentially what happened in the Arab world after the Second World War was that the weakening of the British and French empires made it very difficult for them to exercise any real control. So it was only a question of time. Saudi Arabia had already been sorted out during the Second World War itself, when Roosevelt and the American government took charge of the kingdom without a word of thank you to the British. Saudi Arabia was then safe with  …

  • ‘Why can’t we protest against cuts like the French?’

    October 19, 2010

    ‘Why can’t we protest against cuts like the French?’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, October 19, 2010

    Many thousands have protested in France against cuts; we have a proud history of dissent in Britain, so why aren’t we on the streets?

    A few years ago, the French president Nicolas Sarkozy told an interviewer that he knew the French better than most. Today they were admiring the good looks of his wife; tomorrow they would cut his throat. It hasn’t quite come to that just yet, but the French—students and workers, men and women, citizens all—are out on the streets again. A rise in the pension age? Impossible. The barricades are up, oil supplies running out, trains and planes on a skeleton schedule and the protests are still escalating. More than three million people a week ago. Hundreds  …

  • ‘Resistance is the first step towards Iraqi independence’

    November 3, 2003

    ‘Resistance is the first step towards Iraqi independence’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, November 3, 2003

    This is the classic initial stage of guerrilla warfare against a colonial occupation

    Some weeks ago, Pentagon inmates were invited to a special in-house showing of an old movie. It was the Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo’s anti-colonial classic, initially banned in France. One assumes the purpose of the screening was purely educative. The French won that battle, but lost the war.

    At least the Pentagon understands that the resistance in Iraq is following a familiar anti-colonial pattern. In the movie, they would have seen acts carried out by the Algerian maquis almost half a century ago, which could have been filmed in Fallujah or Baghdad last week. Then, as now, the occupying power described all such activities as “terrorist”. Then,  …