Here’s a transcript of an interview with Tariq Ali on recent events in North Africa and the Middle East. For the post-literate, you can see video of the exchange at this link:
[Additional remarks (about 10 minutes) made in an interview with a New Zealand radio program can be found here: http://www.95bfm.co.nz/assets/sm/199018/3/TariqAliMarch21.mp3]
Transcript of Paul Holmes Q + A interview with Tariq Ali, March 20, 2011.
PAUL …. Tariq Ali, welcome to the programme.
Good to be with you.
PAUL Leave aside Libya just for the moment – we’ll get to Libya, of course – but what is happening in the Middle East? What is it about?
TARIQ It’s about two things. It’s firstly about people in the entire Arab world feeling that they don’t need the despots who have been ruling over them for 20, 30, 40 years and wanting to get rid of them and not being able to get rid of them through democratic elections, deciding to take history by the scruff of its neck, marching out into the streets. And so we’ve had a process of what I would call national democratic revolution or upheavals still going in the Arab world, demanding change, demanding freedom and saying to the West, which has propped up these despots and dictators for most of the time, ‘Enough. No more.’