For the London Review of Books, Tariq Ali reflects on the modern Republic of Yemen:
I left for Yemen as Obama was insisting that ‘large chunks’ of the country were ‘not fully under government control’, after Senator Joseph Lieberman had cheerfully announced that it was a suitable target for war and occupation. The sad underwear bomber who tried to blow up the Amsterdam flight on Christmas Day had triggered a new interest in the country, and in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), by claiming that while he was converted to hardcore Islamism in Britain, his crash course in suicide terrorism, mercifully inadequate, had been provided by AQAP somewhere in Yemen.
Yemen is a proper country, unlike the imperial petrol stations dotted across other parts of the Arabian Peninsula, where the ruling elites live in hurriedly constructed skyscrapers designed by celebrity architects, flanked by shopping malls displaying every Western brand, and serviced by wage-slaves from South Asia and the Philippines…
Read the full article here.
London events for Night of the Golden Butterfly:
- May 10, 18.45 at the British Library / Tariq Ali reads from Night of the Golden Butterfly. Details to be announced here.
- May 11, 18.30 at the LSE / LSE Arts public lecture: Islam Quintet: Night of the Golden Butterfly. For booking and further details, see here.
- May 12, 19.30 at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, in association with Bookmarks / For booking and further details, see here.