Blinded by Israel, Visionless in Gaza

The US Senate votes unanimously to defend Israel including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. I don’t think he did it for the money. He is a paid-up member of POEEI (‘Progressive on Everything Except Israel’ and pronounced pooee) the liberal segment of US society, which is not progressive on many things, including Israel.

Take, as one example, the case of  ‘Colonel’ Sanders. I thought my late friend Alexander Cockburn was sometimes too harsh on Sanders, but I was wrong. Sanders has been arselickin bad for a long time now as Thomas Naylor informed us while exploding the myths surrounding the Senator in a CounterPunch piece in September 2011:

“Although Sanders may have once been a socialist back in the 80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, today, a socialist he is not.  Rather he behaves more like a technofascist disguised  …

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Tariq Ali interviews John Lennon on revolution and politics

In this fascinating interview conducted for Red Mole, Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn interview John Lennon at his home, discussing Lennon’s political beliefs and ideological attitude. Tariq Ali remembered their meeting for the Guardian, 30 years after Lennon’s assassination, this week in 1980.

The day after the interview he rang me and said he had enjoyed it so much that he’d written a song for the movement, which he then proceeded to sing down the line: Power to the People. The events in Derry on Bloody Sunday angered him greatly and he subsequently suggested that he wished to march on the next Troops Out demonstration on Ireland, and did so, together with Yoko Ono, wearing Red Mole T-shirts and holding the paper high. Its headline was: “For the IRA, Against British Imperialism”.’

The full transcript of the interview can be  …

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L’Affair Milliband

The only function of the assault on the reputation of Ralph Miliband was to punish and discredit his son. This operation, masterminded theDaily Mail and its editor—a reptile courted assiduously in the past by Blair and Brown—has backfired sensationally. It was designed to discredit the son by hurling the ‘sins of the father’ on the head of his younger son. Instead, Edward Miliband’s spirited response united a majority of the country behind him and against the tabloid. Ralph, had he been alive, would have found the ensuing consensus extremely diverting.

The Tories and Lib-Dems made their distaste for the Mail clear, Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight held up old copies of the Mail with its pro-fascist headlines (‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’ the best remembered), two former members of Thatcher’s cabinet defended Miliband pere with Michael Heseltine reminding citizens that it was  …

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A Question for Egypt

A Question for Egypt

Millions gathered in squares and streets

They wanted the end of the system

They wanted to topple Mubarik and his regime.

When the military men understood the resolve of the crowd

They took Mubarik away.

That was the first phase.

Then came the Brotherhood

Elected by many not of its number

They wanted to end the old regime for ever.

But the Brotherhood broke its promises,

Clung to the old system

Sent sewage down the tunnels of Gaza

Praised the man in the White House.

Did nothing at home

except torment Copt and women and Shia. Read more

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Decay and Ruin in Mrs. Thatcher’s England

This interview with Tariq Ali was conducted by Die Presse in Vienna and appears in German in the paper’s Sunday edition.

What is Mrs Thatcher’s legacy?

Her legacy is clearly visible in the state of Britain today. It is essentially a story of decay and ruin: A small, post-imperial vassal state dependent on nostalgia and, more importantly, the United States to keep itself afloat. On the economy the Thatcherite model (astonishingly, still being praised by blind politicians in denial) was effectively the deindustrialization of the country, the purchase of working-class votes by squandering the monies that accrued from North sea oil and laying the foundations for a financialised economic model that exploded with the Wall Street crash of 2008. We live in a world where it is convenient to personalize politics. Thatcher obviously pushed through the measures required by  …

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From the archive

  • ‘You say you want a revolution’

    April 1, 2011

    Tariq Ali interviewed by Toby Manhire for the New Zealand Listener, March 19 2011

    My last encounter with Tariq Ali did not go so well. I was comment editor at the Guardian newspaper, and had invited him to write on events in Pakistan. An email flew back. No. He certainly would not. The recent appearance in the paper of a piece by Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, had been a “disgrace”, and he “would feel out of place on your pages these days”. My effort at an explanatory, conciliatory response went unans–wered.

    Nearly a year later, waiting on the line in New Zealand as his phone rings in north London, I’m a bit nervous. One of the most respected figures on the British left, he has since written a number of times for the paper, so that’s repaired, but  …

  • ‘Ahmed Rashid’s War’

    October 9, 2009

    ‘Ahmed Rashid’s War’ by Tariq Ali for Counterpunch, October 9, 2009

    After breakfast, I read Gideon Rachman’s often revealing blog on the Financial Times website. Today there was some very good news. Ahmed Rashid, a leading adviser to the US hawks on Afghanistan, is depressed. Deconstructing Rachman on this occasion might be useful for CounterPunch readers:

    “…Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, allowed me to gatecrash a breakfast he was having with Ahmed Rashid. In theory, Ahmed is just a journalist like us. But his views on Afghanistan and Pakistan are now so widely sought that he has really become a player. He seems to be consulted by everybody – and I mean, everybody.”

    This last is a slight exaggeration. The main people who consult Rashid, apart from Robert Silvers at the New York Review of Books, are  …