The Nato assault on a Pakistani checkpoint close to the Afghan border which killed 24 soldiers on Saturday must have been deliberate. Nato commanders have long been supplied with maps marking these checkpoints by the Pakistani military. They knew that the target was a military outpost. The explanation that they were fired on first rings false and has been ferociously denied by Islamabad. Previous such attacks were pronounced ‘accidental’ and apologies were given and accepted. This time it seems more serious. It has come too soon after other ‘breaches of sovereignty’, in the words of the local press, but Pakistani sovereignty is a fiction. The military high command and the country’s political leaders willingly surrendered their sovereignty many decades …
‘The war is already lost’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, December 20, 2006
Ideological zealotry has helped destroy Iraq, revive the Taliban and increase the terror threat
Once a war goes badly wrong and its justifications are shown to be lies, to insist that a “democratic” Iraq is visible on the horizon and that “we must stay the course” becomes a total fantasy. What is to be done?
In the US a group of Foggy Bottom elders was wheeled in to prepare a report. This admitted what the whole world (Downing Street excepted) already knew: the occupation is a disaster and the situation gets more hellish every day. After US citizens voted accordingly in the mid-term elections, the White House sacrificed the Pentagon warlord, Donald Rumsfeld.
The warlord of Downing Street, however, is still at large, zombie-like …
The form of capitalism we are living under today is defective and it’s wrecking everything generations have achieved. If it goes on for three more decades we will be unrecognisable. Something must happen, but what?”
So said Tariq Ali on Saturday at Conway Hall as it hosted the Hazlitt Society’s annual memorial lecture.
Ali was this year’s speaker – at 67 one of England’s grandest and yet most public-friendly intellectuals, he is usually to be found debating in town halls or bookshops, on Newsnight or Al Jazeera.
He used the occasion to ask the question now on many people’s minds: as bankers and politicians frogmarch us into financial catastrophe, and armed police are turned on angry, rioting citizens: “Is Capitalism …