I always like to post Tariq Ali. Here he is in a 54 minutes lecture recorded recently at the Perth Writers’ festival. As usual: powerful, punchy and sardonic. Sadly, the cynicism that is associated with his sardonic accent becomes painful as you hear how deeply disaffected the US population has become.
Notionally this speech refers to Obama – it is titled: The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad. Really Tariq Ali displays how the presidency of the United States is barely even a figurehead. Governments of different hues come and go. It is business as usual for business. It is imperialism as usual for the State Department or, not unsurprisingly, for the Pentagon.
Questions and mentions to be looked out for?
The ironies of turning to the market to fund education.
The hollowing out of democracy.
The one state solution for Palestine.
How is it that al Jazeera cannot be watched in the US?
How to perpetuate the tremors?
He mentions Palestine so have a quick look at this watchdog site. The maps will show you how a two state solution is a non-starter – Israel has expanded, like a cancer, into the West Bank. Where it hasn’t set up its own road networks, separate from the existing system, it has built exclusion walls and checkpoints that dismember the physical entity, crush the spirit and imprison the people. This is on our watch. It is very roughly akin to the closing down and boarding up Jewish businesses, and the disenfranchising of Jews as part of a process of tragic and, ultimately, terminal alienation in Germany under the Third Reich. And no, I am not anti-semitic.
This is one extreme of the hollowing out of democracy. The other extreme is in the western democracies, as we have seen through the writings of Gareth Peirce (see the earlier Peirce post) and others, there has been a constant erosion of civil liberties. Who will say anything?