IMPERIAL BLUES: Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. A Public Lecture by TARIQ ALI.

Tariq Ali spoke in Toronto on October 15th on the topic of “Imperial Blues” Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine”, and on the subject of his new book: “Pirates of the Carribean – an Axis of Hope”.

The event was organized by CUPE 3903 … and recorded for by Kim Elliott.

TARIQ ALI was born in Lahore (then British India) in 1943. He was educated in Pakistan and later at Oxford. His opposition to the military dictatorship in Pakistan prevented his return to his native country and forced him to become an unwilling exile in Britain. A leading figure of the European left during the 60’s and 70’s, Ali debated Henry Kissinger and others in one of the first TV debates organized by CBS. He edited two seminal radical magazines of the periodThe Black Dwarf and The Red Mole, which combined politics and culture and whose contributors included John Lennon and Mick Jagger.

Tariq Ali has written over a dozen books on history and politics, including Can Pakistan Survive?, The Nehrus and the Ghandhis: An Indian Dynasty, and Streetfighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties.

His non-fiction work Clash of Fundamentalisms, critical of Bush and Bin Laden and hailed by Howard Zinn as “lucid, eloquent, literary and painfully honest”, was published by Verso in 2002 and has been translated into over a dozen languages. This was followed by Bush in Babylon and Rough Music. He is a longstanding editor of New Left Review and writes regularly for The Guardian and the London Review of Books.

His Latest book is PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AXIS OF HOPE. Since 1998, the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela has brought Hugo Chavez to world attention as the foremost challenger of the neoliberal agenda and American foreign policy. While Chavez’s radical social-democratic reforms have brought him worldwide acclaim among the poor, he has attracted intense hostility from traditional Venezuelan elites and mainstream Western governments and media, who regard him as a barbarian interloper, disrupting the smooth progress of the Washington consensus and daring to show Latin America that one can change the world by taking power.

Drawing on a wealth of first-hand experience of Venezuela and several meetings with Chavez himself, the book traces the history of the revolutionary process. He shows how Chavez’s views have polarized Latin America and put the continent on the map again, examining the hostility directed against his administration, and tracing the rise of Telesur, Venezuela’span-Latin American counterweight to the pervasive influence of media conglomerates. Ali discusses the enormous influence of Fidel Castro on both Chavez and Evo Morales, the newly-elected President of Bolivia. He explores the differences between the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutionary processes, and outlines the options available to Latin America at this critical time in its history.

Interweaving personal experience and sharp political analysis Tariq Ali details the populist, revolutionary stirrings in Latin America.

Read more about Tariq Ali at

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