Interview: ‘The Time is Right for a Palace Revolution’

‘The Time is Right for a Palace Revolution’, an interview with Tariq Ali by Malcolm Azania for Vue Weekly, November 30, 2009

Tariq Ali spoke with Vue Weekly by telephone from his home in England a week before the recent American election. Here is some of what he had to say on Afghanistan, US hypocrisy and what the Obama presidency might mean.

Vue Weekly: Some say recent US airstrikes in Pakistan will quicken the rise of Pakistan’s Taliban to state power. Will they?

Tariq Ali: [The imminent fall of Pakistan] has been the standard view of many mainstream western journalists for five or six years now. And it’s completely misguided. I think the big problem in Pakistan is not the danger of Talibanization. These people who are pro-Taliban are a tiny minority. The real problem is the social break-up of the country as a result of incredibly difficult living conditions for the people. The notion that a group of Taliban or pro-Taliban or jihadi terrorists … have the capacity to take Pakistan’s nuclear facilities in a country where the military is half-a-million strong is mind-boggling. It can’t happen.

VW: What effects are these attacks by the US having in Pakistan?

TA: [These attacks] are increasing Pashtun nationalism because [the strike zones] are the areas inhabited by Pashtuns. read more