Tag Archives: US Politics

Revolution in the Air: The Arab Spring and a World in Motion- Tariq Ali in conversation with Oliver Stone

Thursday, Oct. 27th

Doors 7:00 pm \\ Talk 7:30 pm \\ Free

Haymarket Books is pleased to present world-renowned political thinker and activist  Tariq Ali in conversation with director Oliver Stone, coauthor of Haymarket Books’ On History: Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone in Conversation and frequent contributor to The Guardian, London Review of Books, and the New Left Review.

From the revolts that have shaken the Middle East, to the Occupy Wall Street sentiment sweeping the U.S., mass movements have been born across the globe. Join us as we discuss this new resistance to the status quo, it’s challenge to empire and the dictates of capital, and radical notions of democracy and liberation born anew.

Seating: first come, first served

Victory Gardens Biograph Theater

2433 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/pIpUFH

Talk \\ Q & A \\ Booksigning \\ Bar

Made possible with generous support from the Lannan Foundation 

For more information:

www.haymarketbooks.org

www.lannanfoundation.org

On History: Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone in Coversation

on-history_website_bookpage

Published by Haymarket Books, 2011

In working together on two challenging new documentaries—South of the Border and the forthcoming 13-part, 13-hour Untold History of the United States series for Showtime—filmmaker Oliver Stone engaged with author and filmmaker Tariq Ali in a probing, hard-hitting conversation on the politics of history. Their dialogue brings to light a number of forgotten—or deliberately buried—episodes of American history, from the U.S. intervention against the Russian Revolution, to the dynamic radicalism of the Wobblies, how Henry Wallace’s nomination for the vice-presidency was deliberately thwarted by Democratic Party machine insiders, to the ongoing close connections between various U.S. presidents and the Saudi royal family. For Stone and Ali—two of our most insightful observers on history and popular culture—no topic is sacred, no orthodoxy goes unchallenged.

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“Barbed and Brilliant”—Tariq Ali’s The Obama Syndrome

Two book reviews in Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion contrast the style and substance of Tariq Ali’s The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad to veteran US journalist Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars. While Woodward “mumbles, in cotton mouthed grammar” about imperial ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ali

pronounces the US-and-European-installed puppet government in Afghanistan a “bogus construct [that] never had the slightest legitimacy in the country, lacking even a modicum of the narrow but dedicated base the Taliban had enjoyed.”

Woodward focuses on the struggles between those walking the corridors of power, while Ali places Obama within the historical trajectory of the imperial presidency, suggesting that “Obama has acted as just another steward of the American empire.”

Visit Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion to read more.

GRITtv: Tariq Ali, Sonali Kolhatkar, and Voices from Ground Zero

“If the aim was to show us that state terror was more powerful than individual terrorists, we already knew that,” says Tariq Ali of the US special forces action that reportedly killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. As Americans celebrated outside of the White House and gathered at Ground Zero to remember those lost, Tariq reminds us that bin Laden’s death will not make the US safer. read more

“Who told them where he was?”

In a post for the London Review of Books blog today, Tariq Ali wonders whether the war “that has already led to civilian casualties that are, at the very least, four times higher than the casualties of Twin Towers,” will be brought to an end following Osama bin Laden’s death … “Like hell [it] will.”

A US Special Forces operation in Pakistan has taken out Osama bin Laden and a few others. He was in a safe house close to Kakul Military Academy (Pakistan’s Sandhurst). The only interesting question is who betrayed his whereabouts and why. The leak could only have come from the ISI and, if this is the case, which I’m convinced it is, then General Kayani, the military boss of the country, must have green-lighted the decision. What pressure was put on him will come out sooner or later.The event took me back to a conversation I had a few years ago.

In 2006 on my way back from Lahore I encountered an acquaintance from my youth. Shamefacedly he confessed that he was a senior intelligence officer on his way to a European conference to discuss better ways of combating terrorism. The following conversation (a lengthier version can be found in The Duel: Pakistan on the Flightpath of American Power) ensued:

“Is OBL still alive?”

He didn’t reply.

“When you don’t reply,” I said, “I’ll assume the answer is yes.”

I repeated the question. He didn’t reply.

“Do you know where he is?”

He burst out laughing.

“I don’t, and even if I did, do you think I’d tell you?”

“No, but I thought I’d ask anyway. Does anyone else know where he is?”

He shrugged his shoulders.

I insisted: “Nothing in our wonderful country is ever a secret. Someone must know.”

“Three people know. Possibly four. You can guess who they are.”

I could. “And Washington?”

“They don’t want him alive.”

“And your boys can’t kill him?”

“Listen friend, why should we kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?”

Now the Americans have killed the goose themselves. What was the bounty promised and to whom? Would that they also now brought to an end the war and occupation that was supposedly fought to take out Osama and that has already led to civilian casualties that are, at the very least, four times higher than the casualties of Twin Towers. Will they? Like hell they will. read more

From the archive

  • ‘Famed as a favourite attack dog in the imperial kennel’

    May 11, 2007

    ‘Famed as favourite attack dog in the imperial kennel’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, May 11, 2007

    Blair’s first loyalty was to the White House. The result has been a legacy of hatred that ultimately ended his premiership

    The departure, too, was spun in classic New Labour, Dear Leader fashion. A carefully selected audience, a self-serving speech, the quivering lip and soon the dramaturgy was over. He had arrived at No 10 with a carefully orchestrated display of union flags. Patriotic fervour was also on show yesterday, with references to “this blessed country … the greatest country in the world” – no mention of the McDonald’s, Starbucks, Benetton that adorn every high street – nor of how Britain under his watch came to be seen in the rest of the world: a favourite attack dog in the  …

  • ‘Blitz Spirit’

    August 16, 2011

    ‘Blitz Spirit’ by Tariq Ali for the London Review of Books blog, August 13, 2011

    The general impression of the Blitz, fostered by war movies and many books, is of a period when intense national solidarity reigned supreme and class was transcended as everybody sang songs and went about their work. But Alexander Cockburn in Counterpunch draws attention to a piece by Gavin Mortimer (author of The Blitz) in the First Post on looting during ‘our finest hour’:

    It didn’t take long for a hardcore of opportunists to realise there were rich pickings available in the immediate aftermath of a raid – and the looting wasn’t limited to civilians.

    In October 1940 Winston Churchill ordered the arrest and conviction of six London firemen caught looting from a burned-out shop to be hushed up…

    In April 1941 Lambeth juvenile court dealt  …

  • ‘Unhappy Yemen’ in The London Review of Books

    March 23, 2010

    ‘Unhappy Yemen’ by Tariq Ali for The London Review of Books, March 25, 2010

    I left for Yemen as Obama was insisting that ‘large chunks’ of the country were ‘not fully under government control’, after Senator Joseph Lieberman had cheerfully announced that it was a suitable target for war and occupation. The sad underwear bomber who tried to blow up the Amsterdam flight on Christmas Day had triggered a new interest in the country, and in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), by claiming that while he was converted to hardcore Islamism in Britain, his crash course in suicide terrorism, mercifully inadequate, had been provided by AQAP somewhere in Yemen.

    Yemen is a proper country, unlike the imperial petrol stations dotted across other parts of the Arabian Peninsula, where the ruling elites live in hurriedly constructed skyscrapers designed  …