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.

Perhaps.

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

  • ‘Lynched by the mob’

    December 30, 2006

    ‘Lynched by the mob’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, December 30, 2006

    You couldn’t call Saddam’s death even crude victor’s justice. It was an old-fashioned colonial hanging, as brutal as it was cynical

    It was symbolic that 2006 ended with a colonial hanging – most of it (bar the last moments) shown on state television in occupied Iraq. It has been that sort of year in the Arab world. After a trial so blatantly rigged that even Human Rights Watch—the largest single unit of the US human rights industry—had to condemn it as a total travesty. Judges were changed on Washington’s orders; defence lawyers were killed and the whole procedure resembled a well-orchestrated lynch mob.

    Where Nuremberg was a more dignified application of victor’s justice, Saddam’s trial has, till now, been the crudest and most grotesque. The  …

  • Tariq Ali on history and fiction

    November 28, 2013

    James Saville writes for the Dhaka Tribune:

    On Sunday evening Tariq, who came here to attend the Hay Festival Dhaka 2013, captivated an audience of students and professors at ULAB with a talk entitled ‘History and Fiction’

    Always eloquent, and by turns sombre and witty, Tariq Ali, the renowned British Pakistani writer and journalist, beguiled his audience with a potted history of capitalism since the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Tariq, who came here to attend the Hay Festival Dhaka 2013, captivated an audience of students and professors at ULAB with a talk entitled ‘History and Fiction.’

    He told of the astonishing success of China’s particular brand of capitalism, and how he believes this has turned it into such an unequal society.

    “More so than the United States of America, or any western European capitalist country, the gap between rich and poor  …

  • ‘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  …