Tuesday 9 November
Tariq Ali spoke to an audience at the Frontline Club on Tuesday night to plug his new book The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad. He also gave his opinions about how the midterm “shellacking” occurred, how U.S. military empire is not decreasing and how the American left doesn’t exist.
Ali credited the severe change from a democratic to republican public opinion in just two years to disappointment of broken promises Obama made during his 2008 campaign. Ali failed Obama on the economy, civil liberties, foreign policy and “shoddy healthcare.” According to Ali the rich got richer in 2009. He highlighted Obama’s Chicago background saying “he was created by the Chicago machine. He’s clean. He wasn’t going to offend banks or Wallstreet.”
Meanwhile middle class Americans became more impatient as Obama continued to bend to moderate right pressures rather than fight for the policy that brought him to the oval office. Ali predicted that Obama will only continue to cave to Republican demands as he finishes the last two years of his term. “There is no big difference between Obama and a moderate Republican,” professed Ali.
Ali went on to accuse Obama of strengthening America’s military empire behind the American public’s back. One promise Obama did uphold, according to Ali, was when it came to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ali asserts that Obama increased the troops as he promised and has approved more drone attacks than all of Bush’s eight years in office.
However, when pressed to name one good thing Obama has done Ali replied “I honestly can’t think of anything concretely that could be a step forward.” When challenged that at least Obama is better than Bush Ali simply responded “He’s definitely more intelligent and better looking. Out of the two I’d rather have dinner with Obama.”
Ali concluded that the American left virtually does not exist. Rather, what exists is the poor. He vehmenently argued that a politician is not be judged by his promises but by his actions.