9781844675128-frontcover-max_221

Bush in Babylon: The Recolonisation of Iraq

The bestselling history of the resistance in Iraq that vitalized the antiwar movement, fully updated.
The assault and capture of Iraq — and the resistance it has provoked — will shape the politics of the twenty-first century. In this passionate and provocative book, Tariq Ali provides a history of Iraqi resistance against empires old and new, and argues against the view that sees imperialist occupation as the only viable solution to bring about regime-change in corrupt and dictatorial states. Like the author’s previous work, The Clash of Fundamentalisms, this book presents a magnificent cultural history.

Detailing the longstanding imperial ambitions of key figures in the Bush administration and how war profiteers close to Bush are cashing in, Bush in Babylon is unique in moving beyond the corporate looting by the US military government to offer the reader an expert and in-depth analysis of the extent of resistance to the US occupation in Iraq.

On 15 February 2003, eight million people marched on the streets of five continents against a war that had not yet begun. A historically unprecedented number of people rejected official justifications for war that the secular Ba'ath Party of Iraq was connected to al-Qaeda or that “weapons of mass destruction” existed in the region, outside of Israel.

More people than ever are convinced that the greatest threat to peace comes from the center of the American empire and its satrapies, with Blair and Sharon as lieutenants to the Commander-in-Chief. Examining how countries from Japan to France eventually rushed to support US aims, as well as the futile UN resistance, Tariq Ali proposes a re-founding of Mark Twain's mammoth American Anti-Imperialist League (which included William James, W.E.B. DuBois, William Dean Howells, and John Dewey) to carry forward the antiwar movement. Meanwhile, as Iraqis show unexpected hostility and independence, rather than gratitude, for “liberation,” Ali is unique is uncovering the depth of the resistance now occurring inside occupied Iraq.

Reviews

  • “The charm of stylish dissent: less Chomsky, more poetry. Empires may come and go but Tariq Ali, the rebel who has lost the streets but gained the ghettos, is here to stay, to fight on ... Buy his spirit.”
  • “Caustic warnings run through Bush in Babylon: The Recolonisation of Iraq by Tariq Ali ... who criticises pro-American academic and media apologists for stressing that Bush's policies are 'the only way to stabilise the world' ... undeniably passionate.”
  • “A precious jewel of a book.”
  • “Hard facts, sharp political analysis and literary insertions that evoke the richness of Arab culture ... unlikely to soothe the middle-class nerves of our harmony-seeking 'Gutmenschen.'”
  • “Tari Ali … has poured all his caustic verve and literary talent into this essay on the modern history of Iraq. Drawing on the work of great Arab historians, but also on personal testimony and the works of different Iraqi poets, he reconstitutes the principal moments of a tragic history — a pitiless dissection of the lies used by the Anglo-American leaders to legitimate their recent imperial expedition in Iraq.”
  • “A strikingly erudite tour of Iraqi and Middle Eastern history and, at points, a survey of the work of secular-nationalist Arabic poets such as the Syrian Nizar Qabbani and the Iraqi exile Mudhaffar al-Nawab.”
  • “An often compelling insider’s perspective — with some valuable insights into the sensitivities that explain why the occupying coalition in Iraq is not being treated as a savior.”

Blog

  • Crisis and Conflict in the Middle East: A Reading List

    Syrian revolutionaries, in the wake of Geneva’s partial “cessation of hostilities", have begun to peacefully protest in the streets of Aleppo, Damascus, Dera'a, and Homs. Chanting “the Syrian people are one!,” they rally to demand freedom, democracy, and an end to the deadly civil war. Despite the death toll reaching nearly half a million, the Syrian population has shown that it will not defer to the murderous campaigns of Bashar Al-Assad, the terrorism of jihadist groups such as Jabhat Al-Nusra and ISIL, nor the imperial strategies of divide-and-rule by foreign superpowers such as the US and Russia. This sudden wave of people power harks back to the broad regime-defying spirit that animated the Arab Uprisings in 2011. Tragically, autocratic forces continue to hold political and economic power, not only in Syria but also in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and the monarchy of Saudi Arabia (which, with US support, has spearheaded a deadly assault on the population Yemen). As events unfold, we present a reading list of key titles that – through investigative journalism, graphic storytelling, and critical analysis – shed light on what’s at stake for in the conflicts that plague the Middle East. 



    (A Syrian Kurdish boy sits atop a destroyed tank in Kobane three months after ISIS fighters were driven out by Kurdish forces. Photo: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images)

    Continue Reading

  • Tariq Ali Against Trident—CND Rally, 27th February 2016

    Tariq Ali spoke at Britain's biggest anti-nuclear march in a generation yesterday alongside Jeremy Corbyn, Giles Fraser and party leaders at a rally organised by the CND. Thousands of protesters gathered in London, some travelling from as afar as Australia to protest against the renewal of Trident.

    "There is no practical, utilitarian or financial justification for Trident but we need it because it upgrades Britain's position in the world. I think it downgrades Britain's position in the world [...] If it really wants to upgrade its moral position in the world it needs to get rid of Trident," he said. 


    Continue Reading

  • Patrick Cockburn: 'Britain is on the verge of entering into a long war in Syria based on wishful thinking and poor information'

    Jeremy Corbyn invited Patrick Cockburn to brief MPs on the facts about today’s Common’s vote on air strikes in Syria. He wrote a briefing for the public in the Independent.

    Britain is on the verge of entering a conflict in Syria in which its political and military strategy is based on wishful thinking and poor information. British air strikes in Syria will be too few to make much difference to Isis, but are important because they signal Britain’s entry into what may be a long war.

    In one crucial respect, David Cameron’s approach is similar to that which saw Britain fight two small but unsuccessful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, in both cases without an effective local partner on the ground. Similarly in Syria, Britain will be at the mercy of events which are being shaped by the numerous other players in the conflict, all of whom have their own highly contradictory agendas. 


    Continue Reading

Other books by Tariq Ali