‘Reimagining Pakistan’ – University of Copenhagen

Tariq Ali speaks about Pakistan and Afghanistan at the University of Copenhagen’s Asian Dynamics Initiative, December 2, 2009

From the archive

  • ‘Tortured Civilizations: Islam and the West’

    September 1, 2004

    ‘Tortured Civilizations: Islam and the West’ by Tariq Ali for The Walrus, September 2004

    In the brutal aftermath of the war on Iraq, a genuine clash of civilizations has emerged. Could it have been avoided?

    During the first half of the 20th century, when the British still occupied India and a nationalist movement had erupted against the British Empire, sundry U.S. journalists were dispatched to observe the scene and interview Mahatma Gandhi. “What,” one of them asked the Indian leader, “do you think of Western civilization?” The old fox smiled. “It would be a good idea,” he replied. Seventy-five years later, Iraqis suffering the abuses of an oppressive first year under the U.S. occupation would probably endorse Gandhi’s sentiment.

    To sell the Iraq instalment of the war against terrorism, the U.S. had justified the war as necessary to  …

  • ‘For one day only, I’m a Lib Dem’

    March 26, 2005

    ‘For one day only, I’m a Lib Dem’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, March 26, 2005

    We must take the politics of the anti-war front into the electoral arena

    The crucial events that led to the occupation of Iraq by the US and Britain are now classified, proven and documented. Tony Blair and his New Labour cohorts, backed by their Conservative allies, lied without shame to drag a reluctant country to war. A dung-heap of “facts” was manufactured by Alastair Campbell and hurled at television and the print media. Those who questioned them were traduced and harassed. The million and a half who marched to try to prevent the war were ignored. Iraq was occupied. Despite the rushed and half-baked elections, a savage chaos still grips the country. The Archbishop of Canterbury remains silent. After the 2001  …

  • Preface – Protocols of the Elders of Sodom

    August 7, 2009

    Preface to The Protocols of the Elders of Sodom

    What these essays share in common is a refusal to downgrade politics and history in favour of academic ‘discourse’, the general trend of which has, over the last three decades, been mind-numbing. Aijaz Ahmed, in particular, has written sharply on the impact of postmodernism on discussions of literature and culture as a whole. The same three decades also produced a single and dominant narrative in the form of global capitalism, policed by the economic, political and ideological instruments of the Washington Consensus. This ensemble of relations, in which campus postmodernism played a significant part by encouraging blindness, was severely disrupted by the Wall Street crash of 2008. The events of 9/11 and the subsequent occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq had already made it difficult to completely ignore history. The  …