[lbo-talk] Platypus: what we are, what we do, and why

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Fri Apr 9 08:37:56 PDT 2010

On Apr 9, 2010, at 9:38 AM, Christopher Cutrone wrote:

> I publicly interviewed Tariq Ali during the worst period of the Iraq
> occupation, and he lied through his teeth, saying that the sectarian-
> communalist violence in Iraq, i.e., of the mosque and marketplace
> bombings, was not being perpetrated by the Iraqis but by "British
> special forces!" Ali had written in the New Left Review that the
> Sadrists were somehow progressive by virtue of the fact that their
> Baghdad neighborhood strongholds were the same locations that more
> than 50 years ago were centers of Iraqi Communist Party activity --
> but Ali completely dismissed the actual ICP today for
> "collaborating" with the occupation! This is just as bad as Hitchens
> and Makiya, in some ways worse, because the latter at least make
> their devil's bargain openly, whereas Ali, et al. still pretend to
> Leftist bona fides.

I'm listening to this passage now, which begins around 56 minutes in. (And why couldn't you edit this thing? There's 6.5 minutes of room noise before you say, let's get started, and some more housekeeping after that.) He criticizes the ICP for collaborating with the occupation, and even supplying members to the occupation government - a "disgraceful" act of collaboration which left an opening for the Sadrists - something of which he clearly doesn't approve.

He also challenges your claim that most of the attacks were directed against other Iraqis - the bulk of the attacks were directed against U.S. troops. (This passage begins around an hour in.) As I recall, even U.S. official stats confirm this. He also said that many attacks attributed to AQ could be black ops - not a fictitious position at all. He blames the broader fracturing of Iraqi society on the invasion - also not a controversial position really. You seem so intent on proving the left to be fucked that you give a very tendentious summary of something that one of the smartest and most articulate public figures we have. That's not really fair controversializing.

The interview is at http://www.archive.org/details/TariqAliInterviewedByChrisCutronePlatypusChicago .


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