‘Obama hope was all hype’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, October 28 2010
As the midterms approach, 15 million Americans are out of work and Obama’s ratings hover at about 40% to 45%. There is no doubt Democrat majorities in house and Senate may disappear. Democrats in marginal seats keep the president at arm’s length, aware that the mood of the electorate reflects the desperate straits in which the country finds itself.
Obama’s electoral triumph of 2008 coincided with the most colossal economic crisis since the Great Depression (and far more global in scope); to add to his troubles, two wars were under way on difficult terrain in far away Islamic lands. The first few months of 2009 became the most abbreviated honeymoon period granted a new president in recent memory.
In times of crisis, the incumbent suffers. And the …
‘A Tale of Two Tragedies’ by Tariq Ali for The Nation, October 26, 2005
The government figures provided the third week after Pakistan’s earthquake are probably a serious underestimate, but they indicate the scale of the catastrophe: 50,000 dead, 74,000 injured and at least 3.3 million—far more than after the tsunami—left homeless, virtually all of them in the mountains, where snow begins to fall in November. The poverty of the overwhelming majority of the victims is only too apparent. Bagh, a town north of Muzaffarabad, has virtually ceased to exist. In Islamabad a relief worker told me that “there is a stench of rotting corpses everywhere. In their midst survivors are searching for food. Local people say that 50,000 have died in this town alone. And more will follow if medicines and food are not equitably distributed.”