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
Talk \\ Q & A \\ Booksigning \\ Bar
Made possible with generous support from the Lannan Foundation
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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.
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.
“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
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