Shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan, Tariq Ali exchanged a series of letters with Mike O'Brien, the UK Minister of Trade. The correspondence is a fascinating window into the imperial fantasies of the New Labour government in the early days of that doomed adventure.
Ayça Çubukçu outlines the logic of humanitarian intervention that has dominated the US approach to international affairs for the last thirty years and asks whether the US withdrawal from Afghanistan marks the end of this paradigm.
"In her incisive and accessible study of Islamic jihad, Suzy shows how jihad is the ur-form of contemporary politics, no departure from western capitalism but rather an acceleration and crystallization of it."
This open letter, signed among others by Virginie Despentes, Adèle Haenel, Annie Ernaux, Jean-François Bayart and Alexis Jenni, deplores the fact that the link between Western military interventions and terrorist attacks is never questioned.
The results of the Pakistani election offer some cause for hope, but no leader will be able to fundamentally reshape the country as long as the economy is choked by structural limitations and the military is able to exploit the War on Terror.