Tag Archives: Il Papa

‘A Bavarian Provocation’

‘A Bavarian Provocation’ by Tariq Ali for Counterpunch, September 16, 2006

Was Benedict’s most recent provocation accidental or deliberate? The Bavarian is a razor-sharp reactionary cleric. A man who organises his own succession to the Papacy with a ruthless purge of potential dissidents and supervises the selection of Cardinals with great care leaves little to chance.

I think he knew what he was saying and why.

Choosing a quote from Manuel II Paleologos, not the most intelligent of the Byzantine rulers, was somewhat disingenuous, especially on the eve of a visit to Turkey. He could have found more effective quotes and closer to home. Perhaps it was his unique tribute to Oriana Fallaci.


The Muslim world with two of its countries—Iraq and Afghanistan—directly occupied by Western troops does not need to be reminded of the language of the Crusades. In a neo-liberal world suffering from environmental degradation, poverty, hunger, repression, a ‘planet of slums’ (in the graphic phrase of Mike Davis), the Pope chooses to insult the founder of a rival faith. read more

From the archive

  • ‘An Arab 1848: Despots Totter and Fall’

    February 2, 2011

    ‘An Arab 1848: Despots Totter and Fall’ by Tariq Ali for Counterpunch, February 2 2011

    He can’t stay any longer because the military has declared that they will not shoot their own people. This excludes a Tiananmen Square option. Were the Generals (who have so far sustained this regime) to go back on their word it would divide the army, opening up a vista of civil war. Nobody wants that at the moment, not even the Israelis who would like their American friends to keep their point man in Cairo for as long as possible. But this, too, is impossible.

    So, will Mubarak go this weekend or the next? Washington wants an ‘orderly transition’, but the hands of Suleiman the Spook (or Sheikh Al-Torture as some of his victims refer to him), the Vice-President they have forced Mubarak  …

  • ‘Australia should leave Afghan war’ – Tariq Ali on Radio Australia

    October 5, 2010

    Tariq Ali speaks to Linda LoPresti on Radio Australia about The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad, October 4, 2010

    ALI: The Dutch have already done it, the Spanish have been considering it, most of the European countries are extremely nervous and even in Britain there is now a huge debate on how long they can keep their troops in there. So, it can be done quite easily if politicians have the will to do so, but most politicians in the western world allied to the United States find it difficult to disagree with them. In fact, there is a big debate going on within the American military and political establishment as well. General Eikenberry, the US ambassador in Kabul, was opposed to sending more troops and escalating the war, but he lost the fight and Obama  …

  • ‘Pakistan Needs a Triple Bypass’

    July 23, 2009

    ‘Pakistan Needs a Triple Bypass’ by Tariq Ali for The London Review of Books (Diary), July 23, 2009

    June is never a good month on the plains. It was 46ºC in Fortress Islamabad a fortnight ago. The hundreds of security guards manning roadblocks and barriers were wilting, sweat pouring down their faces as they waved cars and motorbikes through. The evening breeze brought no respite. It, too, was unpleasantly warm, and it was difficult not to sympathise with those who, defying the law, jumped into the Rawal Lake, the city’s main reservoir, in an attempt to cool down. Further south in Lahore it was even hotter, and there were demonstrations when the generator at Mangla that sporadically supplies the city with electricity collapsed completely.

    As far as the political temperature goes there is never a good month in  …