Tariq Ali on Obama: ‘Imperialism with a human face’

‘Imperialism with a human face’, an interview with Tariq Ali by Derrick O’Keefe for rabble.ca November 30, 2009

With President Obama set to visit Ottawa this Thursday, Feb. 19, renowned writer and anti-war campaigner Tariq Ali shares his thoughts on the new administration’s foreign policy. In his recently published book, The Duel, Ali argues that expanding the war in Afghanistan will only sow more destruction in that long suffering Central Asian country, and aggravate the already volatile situation in Pakistan.

In this interview with rabble.ca editor Derrick O’Keefe, Ali discusses the war, prospects for Palestine under Obama’s watch, the rising left-wing tide in Uncle Sam’s backyard and his thoughts on long-time UK resident Michael Ignatieff.

Derrick O’Keefe: This week, President Obama makes his first official foreign visit – to Canada, where he will be welcomed in Ottawa by Stephen Harper. For activists in the U.S., you suggested Obama’s inauguration be met with slogans that recognized the historic moment, but nevertheless pressed demands, “Congrats Barack. Now out of Kabul, out of Iraq.” How should progressives in Canada greet Obama?

Tariq Ali: They should drop the ‘congrats,’ which already feels politically stale, replace it with ‘hello’ and everything else stays the same. It’s interesting to observe that a number of columnists who are staunch Democrats are becoming increasingly critical of the ‘business as usual’ approach typified by the Obama-Biden team. read more