A Brief Conversation with Tariq Ali

A blogger attends an evening with Tariq Ali, where the anti-war speaker says there is no risk of a return to Ba’athist control in Iraq if, as he and the Stoppers demand, foreign troops withdraw.

I responded by seeking out Ali myself, who I found at a table in the corner rigorously signing books. Rather spontaneously I purchased his book and got in line, hoping to ask him a question in return for my monetary gift.

As he signed my book I let loose, “Have you written on the topic of the impossibility of a Baathist revival?” “No… there is nothing to write, it’s obvious” he tiredly responded. “How is it obvious?” I inquired with stunned disbelief. “The resistance is too big, it’s just obvious, even the US administration knows it’s obvious.”

With that short exchange my socialist aspirations were thankfully wrenched from my soul: Mr. Ali had absolutely no substantiation for his claim. It is not by any means obvious. When the active resistance represents primarily Baathist fascists and diseased followers of bin Laden, the ideological makeup of their passive supporters does not matter one iota.

Either Mr. Ali, who was keenly aware of my disappointment upon hearing his response, takes it upon himself to elaborate on that theory, or the entire logic of his child the New Left collapses into another vapid anti-American rant.