Tariq Ali interviewed by
Compiled by Byron Tau
The McGill Tribune
"As a vocal critic of U.S. policy in general, do you think that the United States too often compromises with authoritarian regimes at the expense of supporting democratic movements?
The United States basically doesn't think like that. It thinks in terms of who serves its interests the best. If it's a democratic regime, they'll work with that; if it's a military regime, they'll work with that; if it's a monarchy isolated from its people, they'll work with that. There are all sorts of regimes they'll work with. They have one determinant: Is this helpful to us or not? I believe in increasing and enhancing democracy and democratic accountability on every level, but that is not the way of the world at the moment.....
One of your books is subtitled "The recolonization of Iraq." Can you explain this recolonization dynamic that you see in the current war in Iraq?
If you decide to occupy a country, change its government and put your own regime in power, that is essentially a process of colonization. Why I said "recolonization" is because Iraq was created as a British colony under a U.N. mandate, and I was explaining in the book that the Iraqis have a historical memory. They'd resisted the British and fought them off, and they would do the same to the United States, which is exactly what happened at a time when your so-called 'liberal interventionists' were insisting [the Americans] would be welcomed with sweets and flowers. That is why I used the recolonization formula-if you try to recolonize a country, you create a resistance, and that's exactly what's happening in Iraq. "