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Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics—including Pirates of the Caribbean, Bush in Babylon, The Clash of Fundamentalisms and The Obama Syndrome—as well as five novels in his Islam Quintet series and scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London.


  • #ParisAttacks: A reading list

    On Friday 13th November, 129 people lost their lives in a series of attacks in Paris reportedly carried out by Islamic State. They join the dead of Beirut, Suruç, Syria, Iraq and countless other war-torn regions as innocent victims of a conflict that knows no civilians.  

    The urgency with which we have to pull ourselves back from the brink is signalled not only by the brutality of the reactions, but by the fact that they are by now entirely predictable: airstrikes abroad, destructive of life but strategically pointless; attacks on muslim populations in the west, dubbed 'revenge' by a racist media.

    All is fuel on the fire. More than ever, we need to understand the situation in all its complexities.

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  • 'Isis in Paris'—By Tariq Ali

    So ISIS has claimed the attacks as a response to France bombing the 'caliphate' in the Middle East. That Hollande/Valls are warmongers is beyond dispute . Ironically they were preparing to topple the Assad regime (till Washington insisted on a delay) which would have made them ISIS allies in the region. In fact the bulk of the opposition in Syria regard Assad as the primary contradiction and were also hoping the West would deliver another regime change. Had they done so a new civil war would have erupted between rival jihadi groups and who knows which of them the US/EU would have supported. 

    ISIS has hit the French capital and killed over a hundred citizens with double that number injured. I know the West does the same and, in fact, kills tens of thousands, but this clash of fundamentalisms leads nowhere. The West is NOT morally superior to the jihadis. Why is a public execution with a sword worse than an indiscriminate drone attack? Neither can nor should be supported. 

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  • Seumas Milne and Labour: an essential reading list

    Since storming to victory on September 14th with 59.5% of the vote in Labour's leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn has continued to ruffle right-wing feathers: not singing the national anthem; cancelling an appointment with Her Majesty; and, most recently, appointing Seumus Milne as his Director of Strategy. 

    "Real Labour voters read tabloids, love the Queen and join the Army. They don't relate to Guardianista apologias for terrorism", insisted the Telegraph. Of course, others may have been pleased that Corbyn chose to appoint an award-winning journalist known for his criticisms of Western imperialism, commitment to uncovering the corruption of the British State, and left-wing principles.

    From his devestating expose of the Thatcher government in The Enemy Within to his analysis of the United States' stumbling empire in The Revenge of History, Milne has long been one of the most distinctive and critical voices in the British media.  

    Read more on Milne, the Labour Party, and British and international politics below.

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