I have not seen any comment from comrade Tariq Ali for a while, but there is a hashtag on Twitter called #HowNotToEliminateTaliban and @hussainjahanzeb tweeted about that:
#HowNotToEliminateTaliban By reading Tariq Ali and thinking they are just anti-imperialist freedom fighters.
That tweet reminded me of a press release I composed in honor of Tariq bhai. With minimal editing, I reproduce it here for those who may be missing the wisdom of the great man:
“A pre-revolutionary situation appears to be developing in Pakistan. The proletariat, long suffering under the yoke of neo-colonial exploitation, has begun to stir. Identifying the US as the head of international capital, the working class is ready for a complete overthrow of the oppressive system. In Peshawar, samizdat texts smuggled across the border under the noses of CIA-trained security forces are already circulating in the barrios. Relatively sophisticated elements of the ruling classes, fearful of losing their grip, but unable to rely on American tanks and drones in the dense urban landscape of Peshawar, are trying to pre-empt the revolution by installing a Kerensky-like figure in Islamabad. Others anticipate a turn towards terror even as they prepare Thermidor while checking the balance in their Swiss accounts. American “advisers in the fortress-like American embassy still believe that the jackbooted thugs of the puppet Sharif regime will be able to hold off the revolutionary surge.
Meanwhile the young men (and women; contrary to Western stereotypes, women are an important behind-the-scenes component of the Islamist militias now being organized in working class neighborhoods) are moving on from the sometimes simplistic anti-imperialism of the Taliban; Islamic socialists will soon insert class and gender issues into the emerging debate. With the capitalist media increasingly discredited by their association with the White Russian forces in Afghanistan, these new voices may suddenly emerge on Friday to announce to the world a new dawn of hope. Aging revolutionaries across the globe may yet see that light burst forth from a region presented by FOX news and the New York Times as the heart of darkness. But the revolution will need our support as the forces of reaction in London and Washington attempt to land troops on the borders of Islamic soviets under the guise of protecting human rights and bourgeois democracy. Massive civil disobedience in Western capitals will be the only way these interventions can be thwarted. Let us not be found wanting.”