by Tariq Ali
The occupation of Afghanistan is over, and a balance sheet can be drawn. These essays on war and peace in the region reveal Tariq Ali at his sharpest and most prescient.
Rarely has there been such an enthusiastic display of international unity as that which greeted the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Compared to Iraq, Afghanistan became the "good war." But a stalemate ensued, and the Taliban waited out the NATO contingents. Today, with the collapse of the puppet regime in Kabul, what does the future hold for a traumatized Afghan people? Will China become the dominant influence in the country?
Tariq Ali has been following the wars in Afghanistan for forty years. He opposed Soviet military intervention in 1979, predicting disaster. He was also a fierce critic of its NATO sequel, Operation Enduring Freedom. In a series of trenchant commentaries, he has described the tragedies inflicted on Afghanistan, as well as the semi-Talibanisation and militarization of neighboring Pakistan. Most of his predictions have proved accurate. The Forty-Year War in Afghanistan: A Chronicle Foretold brings together the best of his writings and includes a new introduction.
"The typical Financial Times reader might find his bias so irksome they cannot continue. This would be a pity." -- Financial Times
"Evergreen ... Ali has argued against each occupation from its beginning; the result is an embittered, haunting refrain." -- Eileen Gonzalez, Foreword Reviews
"No one, Left or Right, has followed the misadventure of US policy in Afghanistan with such dogged attention and keen insight." -- Paul Buhle, Counterpunch
"Unlike pro-interventionist liberal and even conservative interpretations of Afghanistan's recent history, Ali's anti-imperialist understanding provides the glue that binds the bloody tale together." -- Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch
About the Author:
Tariq Ali has written more than two-dozen books on world history and politics -- the most recent of which are The Clash of Fundamentalisms, The Obama Syndrome and The Extreme Centre -- as well as the novels of his Islam Quintet and scripts for the stage and screen. He is a long-standing member of the editorial committee of New Left Review and lives in London.