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2003-03-14

Acclaimed Writer Tariq Ali Calls On Kofi Annan to Go to Baghdad As a Human Shield: A Discussion with Ali and Gilbert Achcar

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"A Naked Display of Military Power." That was the headline of a recent piece on Iraq that appeared in Newsweek International written by Tariq Ali.

The article concludes, "The real prize is oil, and influence over big producers. U.S. hawks aim to privatize Iraq’s oil industry, once Saddam is ousted-which would thoroughly destabilize OPEC. They also want to reimpose the dollar as Iraq’s reserve currency. In 2000, Saddam began demanding that all oil exports be paid for in euros; if other countries, such as Venezuela and Iran, were to make the same switch, the effects on an already weak U.S. economy would be difficult to conceal. That surely has not escaped the thinking of President Bush, whose strategic philosophy can be simply stated: when the Empire needs a fillip, send in the Marines."

Today we are joined by Tariq Ali in our firehouse studio.

Tariq Ali is an author, journalist and filmmaker. His latest book is The Clash of Fundamentalism: Crusades, Jihad and Modernity. It traces the emergence of Christian and Muslim fundamentalism in contemporary politics.

Tariq Ali was born in British-controlled India in 1943 and permanently exiled from Pakistan for his vocal opposition to the country’s military dictatorship during the 1960s.

Since then, he has made his home in Britain. He is the author of more than a dozen books on politics, history and culture, a regular broadcaster on BBC, and a contributor to the Guardian.

And we are also with Gilbert Achcare. He is a professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Paris. He moved from Lebanon to France in 1983.

He is also the author of several books including The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder. And he is a frequent contributor to the French newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique.

They are both here in New York City for the Socialist Scholars conference which begins tonight.

  • Tariq Ali, Author, Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihad and Modernity.
  • Gilbert Achcar, author, The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder.

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