‘Operation Enduring Disaster’

‘Operation Enduring Disaster’ by Tariq Ali for TomDispatch, November 16, 2008

Afghanistan has been almost continuously at war for 30 years, longer than both World Wars and the American war in Vietnam combined. Each occupation of the country has mimicked its predecessor. A tiny interval between wars saw the imposition of a malignant social order, the Taliban, with the help of the Pakistani military and the late Benazir Bhutto, the prime minister who approved the Taliban takeover in Kabul.

Over the last two years, the U.S./NATO occupation of that country has run into serious military problems. Given a severe global economic crisis and the election of a new American president—a man separated in style, intellect, and temperament from his predecessor–the possibility of a serious discussion about an exit strategy from the Afghan disaster hovers on the horizon. The  …

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‘The American War Moves to Pakistan’

‘The American War Move to Pakistan’ by Tariq Ali for TomDispatch, September 16, 2008

The decision to make public a presidential order of last July authorizing American strikes inside Pakistan without seeking the approval of the Pakistani government ends a long debate within, and on the periphery of, the Bush administration. Senator Barack Obama, aware of this ongoing debate during his own long battle with Hillary Clinton, tried to outflank her by supporting a policy of U.S. strikes into Pakistan. Senator John McCain and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin have now echoed this view and so it has become, by consensus, official U.S. policy.

Its effects on Pakistan could be catastrophic, creating a severe crisis within the army and in the country at large. The overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are opposed to the U.S. presence in the region,  …

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From the archive

  • Tariq Ali on Making Movies with Oliver Stone

    July 23, 2010

    Tariq Ali interviewed by Kaleem Aftab for The List, July 23, 2010

    The appearance of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez alongside Oliver Stone at the Venice Film Festival for the premiere of documentary South of the Border was one of the most surreal moments on any red carpet in recent memory. In the background making much less of a fanfare was Tariq Ali, the Lahore-born British commentator who was a prominent figure of the New Left in the 70s and 80s. Ali has published numerous books on history and politics, one of which caught Stone’s eye when he decided that he wanted to make a documentary on Chávez.

    ‘I got a call from Stone when I was in Paraguay,’ recounts Ali when we meet in Doha. ‘He’d read my book Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis  …

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • A Question for Egypt

    July 16, 2013

    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

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • ‘Short Cuts’

    November 19, 2009

    ‘Short Cuts’ by Tariq Ali for The London Review of Books, November 19, 2009

    It’s been a bad autumn for Nato in Afghanistan, with twin disasters on the political and military fronts. First, Kai Eide, the UN headman in Kabul, a well-meaning, but not very bright Norwegian, fell out with his deputy, Peter Galbraith, who as the de facto representative of the US State Department had decreed that President Karzai’s election was rigged and went public about it. His superior continued to defend Hamid Karzai’s legitimacy. Astonishingly, the UN then fired Galbraith. This caused Hillary Clinton to move into top gear and the UN-supported electoral watchdog now ruled that the elections had indeed been fraudulent and ordered a run-off. Karzai refused to replace the electoral officials who had done such a good job for him the first time and  …