Tariq Ali 3-pack
Nineteen sixty-eight is often described as historic, a tumultuous year that changed the U.S. and the world. Recall the assassinations of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy, resistance to the wars in Indochina, the student strikes, the Tet offensive, the ghetto uprisings and the election of Richard Nixon. In France, the rebellion against the status quo was marked by the famous slogan: "Be Realistic. Demand the Impossible!" That was then. Today, the power structure pursues its agenda as it always has: enhancing its global hegemony and wealth accumulation. The whole history of the last five decades demonstrates that no section of the ruling class is opposed to the imposition of U.S. global domination. There are merely tactical differences. Things are changing. China is on the rise. The U.S. remains preeminent militarily but its economic position is in decline.
From Cairo to Oslo to his Aug. 31, 2010 Oval Office address, Obama has delivered one uplifting homily after another. Each speech is replete with euphemisms generated by White House staff writers to describe America's glowing mission in the world: "Our country has borne a special burden in global affairs," "Our cause is just, our resolve unwavering." The model for this variant of imperial presidency is Woodrow Wilson. His gospel was peace, democracy and self-determination, while his armies invaded Mexico, occupied Haiti and attacked Russia. But feel good rhetoric still goes a long way to satisfy those who yearn for it.
Pakistan has long been a close ally of the United States. Forging strong ties with Pakistani military and intelligence services, Washington embraced a series of dictators. It was during the draconian 11-year rule of General Zia ul-Haq that defined the strategic relationship between Washington and Islamabad. Zia heavily Islamicized Pakistan and vastly increased the number of religious schools. Later, the U.S. supported Pervez Musharraf, another military dictator, to the end of his disastrous rule in August 2008. Today, Pakistan is on the edge of bankruptcy. There is massive unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, shortages of food and extensive power cuts. Conditions are ripe for upheaval in Uncle Sam's Pakistan. And Washington's response? It pours fuel on the fire by bombing and attacking Pakistan in pursuit of its so-called war on terror. A war, which many Pakistanis are opposed to.
Tariq Ali, an internationally renowned writer and activist, was born in Lahore, Pakistan. For many years he has been based in London where he is an editor of New Left Review. A charismatic speaker, he is in great demand as a lecturer. He is a filmmaker, playwright and novelist. He is the author of many books including The Clash of Fundamentalisms, Pirates of the Caribbean, Speaking of Empire & Resistance with David Barsamian, The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power, The Obama Syndrome, On History and The Extreme Centre.