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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 08:46 AM
Original message
An Interview With Noam Chomsky
While Chomsky discusses quite a few things in this interview, he also addresses the charges that he's 'anti-Israel' and a 'self-hating Jew', which is why I'm posting it in this forum.

By Hawzheen O. Kareem and Noam Chomsky
Komal Newspaper
03 January, 2004



<snippedy snip>

Some critisize you as the most militant American among those who are opponent to Israel, some say that you, as a jew, hate yourself. How does it come about that you criticize Israel in such manner?

The charges are interesting. Those who know the Bible know their origins. The charges trace back to King Ahab, who was the epitome of evil in the Bible. King Ahab condemned the Prophet Elijah as a hater of Israel. The flatterers at King Ahab's court agreed. Elijah was a "self-hating Jew," to borrow the terminology of the contemporary flatterers at the court, because he was criticizing the policies of the King and calling for justice and respect for human rights. Similar charges were familiar in the old Soviet Union: dissidents were condemned for hating Russia. And there are other examples in military dictatorships and totalitarian states. Such criticisms reflect deeply held totalitarian values.

For a dedicated totalitarian, ruling powers are to be identified with the people, the culture, and the society. Israel is King Ahab Russia is the Kremlin. For totalitarians, criticism of state policy is criticism of the country and its people. For those who have any concern for democracy and freedom, such charges are merely farcical.

If an Italian critic of Berlusconi were condemned as "anti-Italian," or as a "self-hating Italian," it would elicit ridicule in Rome or Milan, though it was possible in the days of Mussolini's Fascism. It is particularly interesting when such attitudes are expressed in free societies, as in the case of those you are quoting.

In fact, I do not particularly criticize Israel, but I do strongly criticize the crucial role of the US -- my country, after all -- in supporting barbaric crimes of its client state, and barring a peaceful political settlement along the lines that have been supported by virtually the entire world since the 1970s. For the totalitarian mentality, this is "hating Israel," or "hating the United States." King Ahab and the flatterers at his court, the Kremlin and its commissars, and others who call for abject submission to power will doubtless agree. Those who treasure freedom, justice, and human rights will follow a different path, as throughout history.

http://www.countercurrents.org/chomsky030104.htm








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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. I like Noam Chomsky - but disagree as to the solution to the problem
We agree on Sharon setting his personal goal for his level of respect for Palestinian human rights much too low -

but Norm sees a solution in actions that I think will not work.

But I do like the "self-hating Jew," - that was a line sold in the US since at least the 1920's by folks that did not want to discuss a contrary viewpoint - and thought the knew that they had God telling them the truth.

And he is correct that Bush - who is on a mission from God to save the US - is now using techniques that say disagreement with Bush makes you an America hating American - Fox news now sells this daily - and the danger here is the rest of the US media is afraid of Bush and of calling Fox and Bush on this outrage.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Papau
I hope there were more folks like you on the pro I team...
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I like to think Papau's the norm rather than the exception...
Not in this forum, of course, because here he is a rarity, and a very overlooked gem who I have a lot of respect for, even when I disagree with some of what he says. But out in the real world, I think there must be a lot of folk like him around...

Violet...
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dudeness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. thanks for posting violet..
chomsky is an invaluable resource to us all..
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
5. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. So you support
invading, occupying Iraq and killing 1000's of Iraqis for the neocon goals?
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GabysPoppy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Maybe you can highlight where that was said
n/t
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. The removal of Saddam
The removal of an evil dictator was necessary. I don't support the killing of innocent Iraqis or innocent people anywhere. However, Saddam was a murder of innocent people, and he had an enormous amount of power and wealth at his disposal. I'm glad he's been captured.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I thought so
SO basically you have no problems with an illegal war based on lies (non existent WMD) that killed several thousand innocent Iraqis and several hundred US soldiers. This is interesting indeed...
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yes, I have a problem
with war. But that should mean all wars, even those imitated by Saddam, who terrorized Israel and Kuwait for six weeks in 1991.

You seem to think Saddam turned benign. I doubt it. He had plenty of time to destroy evidence of WMD. He had the scuds, the capability of manufacturing them and using biological and chemical warfare. Nothing was changed until the invasion of 2003.

He had megalomaniac's dreams, and the path to the sea was Kuwait and Israel.
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Illegal
People keep saying that, but I don't see it. I opposed the war in Iraq because it was stupid, unnecessary and bad policy. But I doubt it was illegal. It had congressional OK and Saddam gave the U.S. endless reasons to attack by continuing to breach the accords reached after the last war.
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sushi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-04 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. There you go again.
The war in Iraq was illegal. It broke international law. Is the US above all other nations? It can just ignore everybody and everything and do what it wants?
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #15
22. How?
Again, adding the preface that I have opposed it from the very start to prevent stupid flaming, how did it violate anything? The U.S. does NOT need UN permission for war when its military units are repeatedly attacked as they were in Iraq.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. How were US unit attacked when they themselves started the attacks?
It's not like Iraq is US soil. Seems to me that some justify Bush's illegal and criminal wars :crazy:
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. The results of the previous war
Iraq agreed to a peace deal with all sorts of stipulations.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. That still doesn't give the US right to attack Iraq
nor did it get any UN approval. Unless you agree with the PNAC, neocon excuses and lies...
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #25
40. A military attack
Is a cause for war. It has always been such.
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. When was this military attack?
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. If he answers 9-11
I'm gonna puke!
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. You must be kidding
However, Iraq has attacked American planes more times than I care to count since the cessation of the first Gulf War. They have violated the terms of the peace treaty with the U.S. and, typically, when you violate a peace treaty, you get war.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #44
45. Hey,there was no telling what your answer would be
:shrug:
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. Yes there is
I was speaking, as I have done on several occasions, pointing out that Iraq had indeed attacked U.S. military units.

Does that make it smart to attack them? Not at all. It was stupid. But it was legal.
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #44
55. The US has bombed Iraq many times since the first Gulf War, too.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Yeah yeah yeah, but when we do it, it's righteous.
We are the good guys, everybody knows that.
:-)
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. And it has had a right to do so
Continuing to enforce the agreed-to peace treaty.

Again, Iraq was stupid, but it was still legal.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. See?
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. I must say I would never imagine anyone here saying the war was legal
Ah well...
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #59
71. How was it illegal?
I think one of our rare moments of agreement would be that it was stupid, but I think Saddam gave the U.S. endless reasons to attack him.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #71
73. No he didn't
It was pure neocon warmongering madness. Sad to see some even support it...
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #73
74. It is sad
I don't support it either. I just don't see how it's illegal and I see no response on that point.
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. So...
the US has the right to bomb Iraq, but Iraq doesn't have the right to attack US planes in their territory?
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #60
72. Peace treaties
When you sign a peace treaty, you are obligated to it. Any breach is an excuse for further combat.
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 05:10 AM
Response to Reply #22
49. This is correct
You right, Muddleoftheroad, US planes were shot at many times over the Iraqi no-fly zone. They were on patrol in accordance with UN resolutions concerning the sanctions that resulted from the first Gulf War.
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number6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #15
38. I vote illegal..
.. eom
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #15
63. How can war not break international law?
International law is there to promote peace. It never accepts war. Therefore, it is a contradiction to expect anything else.

Giving Saddam another chance was tried for about 15 years. It would have gone on forever.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #63
64. No WMD was found
that's all that matters... The war was illegal, based on lies and manipulation. Even the CIA (Tenet warned them), folks like UN inspector for Iraq Ritter acknowledged it...
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #64
66. Thankfully
The time to get Saddam out was when he had no WMD and couldn't use them. It was the time to strike at Saddam. His ability to make chemical and biological warheads is without dispute.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #66
67. So you supported this war against Iraq
Gimel?
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #67
69. what do you mean by "support"?
Although I am a US citizen, I am not living in the US and have no choice in the matter. I didn't send contributions. But like I said, I don't support violent demonstrations.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #69
70. Support as if agreeing
So you have no problems with a war killing several 1000 Iraqi civilians just because of one man (Saddam) yet you have a problem with "violent" demonstrations? :eyes:
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #70
77. Could you please
Make that death toll a little more accurate. Not that one innocent death should not be avoided if at all possible, but many US soldiers risked their lives as well in that conflict.

However, as that is off the topic of I/P, unless you can make that more relevant, and not focused on me, I think this conversation should be considered of no value to this discussion.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 02:51 AM
Response to Reply #12
87. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Kuwait's freedom WAS only an excuse...
since the last time I checked, the Kuwaitis still aren't free from their oppressive monarchy. The purpose of the war was to oust a former American puppet (Saddam) from an American puppet-state (Kuwait).

Israel is a client state for US interests in the Middle East.

The Jews don't control the world. Bush doesn't control the Jews. No such accusations have been made by Chomsky.

The goal of the Iraq war was the undermining of European oil interests in the region, hence the restrictions on contracts from those who opposed the war.

Iraq's industries are being "repaired" by American firms. They aren't going to leave. Iraq is going to be a colonial "democracy" with its industries dominated by American firms, forcing it to comply with them, and therefore American wishes, at every turn.
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-04 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Of course
Edited on Sun Jan-04-04 02:10 PM by Gimel
Chomsky wouldn't come right out and say such a thing. It is only the understatement of the millennium.
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Resistance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-04 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
14. Chomsky is brilliant
The world is simply a better place because of this man.
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 03:44 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Just doin' what he can, huh? Riiiight.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Yep
you got THAT one right...
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 04:50 AM
Response to Original message
18. Chomskey RAWKS dude!
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 04:58 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Word!
...
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. No way!
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Wrong dude!
He rawks! Pass it on...
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. Sorry, no can do.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #29
43. C'mon dude
you know it's true.

PASS IT ON!
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 03:18 AM
Response to Reply #43
47. Chomsky blows chunks...
tiny, self-hating chunks at that.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 03:50 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. He's just doin' the best he can dude!
makin the world a safer place.You know,just how you feel Sharon is doing.
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #48
61. I don't know what it is, but I'm just not down wit da Noamiez.
:shrug:
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #61
68. lol
bonus points for Noamies :D
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #68
81. Too bad it's not this easy in real life.
:-(
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #81
83. What do you mean?
:shrug:
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cantwealljustgetalong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
26. Noam...
...

Chomsky is the master of looking-glass politics. His writing exemplifies the ability of the Western Left to criticise everything from the West - except itself. He is immensely popular; but his popularity is mystifying on the first reading. His work is dense and filled with non sequiturs (here he seeks to use the Cuban missile crisis to explain the Iraq war, which is a little like using the first Moon landing to explain the dotcom boom). He claims to confront the comfortable with uncomfortable facts they don't want to face. Yet his audience is primarily a comfortable Western audience.

...

He wasn't always so coy. In his younger and better days he condemned the dishonesty of intellectuals who went along with America's crimes in Indochina and South America. It would be heartening if he could apply the same standards to himself. Just before the war, Jose Ramos-Horta, one of the leaders of the struggle for independence of East Timor, looked on the anti-war protesters and asked: 'Why did I not see one single banner or hear one speech calling for the end of human rights abuses in Iraq, the removal of the dictator and freedom for the Iraqis and the Kurdish people?'

Perhaps Professor Chomsky would like to carry on his campaign against hypocrisy by answering him.

http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/politicsphilosophyandsociety/0,6121,1106445,00.html
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Moral ambiguity is so tricky to deal with.
Edited on Tue Jan-06-04 11:13 AM by bemildred
One is not in fact required to address all wrongs at the
same time in order to escape the charge of hypocrisy. The
choice between removing Saddam and leaving Saddam in place
is a choice between two evils, and the means one employs if
one chooses the former has a good deal to do with the how one
must assess the result.

This fellow is an idiot. He makes two out of two false statements
in the first paragraph. The "left" thought the world of Hitler
during the Hitler-Stalin pact during WWII, for instance, and the
"left" was absolutely adoring of Stalin, who has as good a genocidal
record as anyone in History.

Chomsky has his flaws, but this fellow fails to find them.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Chomsky is a moral and intellectual giant compared to
ANY of his critics. I rest my point.
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. I wouldn't say so...
Edited on Tue Jan-06-04 05:19 PM by Darranar
there are certainly legitimate criticisms of Chomsky.

He is not imperfect.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Maybe
Could you elaborate on that Darranar?
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. He doesn't always support his conclusions adequately...
and he often fails to address other conclusions that also fit the facts.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Some examples?
And is this a criticism that would apply to others who write on US foreign policy?


Violet...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. I don't know if you've read Gore Vidal?
Mr. Chomsky, while he often correctly points out the flaws in
US foreign policy, tends to Darth-Vaderize the whole thing. He
often overestimates US power and control in the international
arena, for one thing, hence at times tends to assume malice and
cunning where stupidity will do the job.

Whereas Mr. Vidal, being a card-carrying member of the US
ruling class, has no illusions, and will correctly point what
a bunch of decadent and incompetent twits are running the place.
Lewis Lapham is very illuminating on that subject too.
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Resistance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. comment
Edited on Tue Jan-06-04 07:09 PM by Resistance
When the U.S. makes a conscious decision to support, say, Turkish ethnic cleansing of it's Kurdish population, I don't see how one can not Darth-Vaderize the whole thing.

We know where our money is going. And we know exactly the kind of things we are paying for.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. You misunderstand.
I'm not defending their motives.
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Resistance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. I'm sorry
I didn't mean to suggest that you were.

What I disagree with is your characterization of Chomsky's analyses. The picture he presents is indeed a grim one, and I don't particularly find much fault in his doing so.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-04 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. An easy enough mistake, the way I said it.
I think he is sometimes too facile, lacks nuance, and is too
moralistic. It's not that I'm opposed to morals, but it tends
to muddy things up in international affairs, one needs to be
very cold-blooded to make the right decisions when whatever you
do, a lot of people are going to get screwed, it's easy to just
pick a good side and screw everybody else, and that will bite
you in the ass in the end.

But then, he is really a genius at linguistics, this other stuff
is a sideline that got out of hand.

He does actually document his positions fairly well, and I do find
his analyses very illuminating at times.

My point was this: Hitler, for example, was a competent
evil dictator. He understood what he was about. He exerted
all his efforts on building up his industrial base and
war-making capacity and uniting the human base that runs it all.
The Amerikan ruling class has been eviscerating out industrial
base, education system, and war-making capacity for the last
thirty-five years. Hitler understood the basics of power
politics, you divide, weaken and distract you true opponents
and suck up to and court the more distant or smaller players
that you do not fear. The Amerikan ruling class for the last
fifty years or so has been bullying smaller players all over
the world, and is now in the process of unifying and strengthening
the larger players that will soon bring it down.

They want to be a world empire, buy they do not know what they are
about. We are ruled by an ignorant, incompetent, decadent, and
foolish plutocracy that has been riding the great success that we
had in WWII. After WWII we really did bestride the world like a
colossus, and the only thing they could think of to do with that
was to get their snouts in the trough of consumption as deeply as
they could for as long as they could. And now they are trying to
hold onto the last bit of that for as long as they can by pretending
that nothing has changed in the last 50 years. I think the fact the
we have someone of the caliber of Mr. Bush as our President speaks
for itself as to where we are geo-politically.
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Resistance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #39
50. just a few thoughts...
Certainly we aren't lacking in incompetents and nitwits, particularly with this Bush administration. But when it comes to setting up a world-capitalist system that works in the interests of the huge corporations, I think U.S. planners have done a tremendous job of it. And we're still going: just look at what we've accomplished in Iraq, with careful orchestration.

For one, you can see where certain planners have been working on plans to get rid of Saddam for a number of years now. What has been needed is the right political situation to do it, and as soon as that situation arose, we had U.S. troops bombing neighborhoods on a march towards Baghdad, with the ultimate goal, of course, to install an Iraqi regime that will be friendly with oil companies. How could we have possibly invaded another country and overthrown their gov't without any justification whatsoever, if the country was run by incompetents and fools? There's no WMDs, there was no Hussein involvement in 9/11, there was no threat to the United States, and Iraq's neighbors weren't even worried about Saddam at the time.

These kinds of things couldn't happen with incompetent planning; there's alot of money at stake, and for the people who hope to enrich themselves by using the U.S. military to bully the rest of the world into capitalist submission, I think there is actually little room for ignorance or folly.

And to get back to Chomsky, you know, I saw him on CSpan about 6 or 7 months ago, and I remember his being asked by a caller if he thought the Bush admin knew that the Sept. 11 attacks were coming, yet stood by and did nothing. Now here, N.C. could have gone in the direction you describe, bemildred, as 'Darth-Vaderizing' and saying yes the Bush admin had to have known, and then maybe he could describe why they let the attacks happen, or how they could have worked with Osama Bin Laden behind the scenes, and then he could've gone on to talk about all these theories. But he didn't; he said no he doesn't think there is credible evidence that anyone in the Bush admin knew about 9/11 beforehand. What I am saying here is (and I know this is just one small example), I haven't seen where Chomsky makes things look worse than they really are, and I haven't seen where he "tends to assume malice and cunning where stupidity will do the job".

Anyway, that's just the judgement I've made. Perhaps in time it will change.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. I think I see the point where we disagree.
I think that going into Iraq was incompetent and foolish,
and that it was incompetently planned and carried out. We
reason from different assumptions, a thing one ofter sees
here. As for Mr. Chomsky, he writes in the attempt to make
people aware of what is done in their name and to attempt to
change the course of things, therefore he MUST take these
people seriously. I do not have that constraint. Must go,
more later.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #50
52. A good deal depends on one's point of view.
Edited on Wed Jan-07-04 10:45 AM by bemildred
One may judge, say, the Iraq fandango with various questions:
a.) Is it going according to plan (more or less)? No.
b.) Is it likely to achieve its local political goals? No.
(Maybe a partial yes if you think removing Saddam was of other
than public relations value.)
c.) It is having the desired geo-political effect? Rather the
opposite, actually.

If one applies this sort of interrogation to the record of the US
government since WWII, one sees what a bunch or provincial twits
they are. The sort of economic, military, and political power
we had post-WWII, not the mention the credibility, should have
been good for a lot more than a 60 year binge. The wastage has
been absolutely horrendous, and you now have soi disant
geniuses like Kissinger that stand deer-in-the-headlights
before the onrushing train of history.

All this is not to deny that a lot of damage has been done and
that a great opportunity has been lost. But the US populace is
more likely to remove these people if they see the threat to
themselves then because of the effect of their policies on people
elsewhere in the World. We are still a very provincial and self-
centered country.

It is interesting to consider Mr. Sharon in the light of those
three questions.
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bluesoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #52
53. Bemildred I really do hope
those changes do come in 2004! I cannot imagine what it would be to put up with more neocon war mongering madness and Bush idiocy for the next 4 years. Even as a European I keep my fingers crossed! ;)
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-04 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. It's hard to say.
Things happen over years and decades.

You can look at long term trends and events like VietNam
or Afghanistan (for the USSR) and say that things are not
going in the right direction, that blood and treasure are
being thrown down a rathole, but you can't say when or how
change will occur.

Who could predict TienAnMien square, the Velvet Revolution,
the accomodation in S. Africa, the fall of the Berlin Wall,
the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet empire?

It seems perfectly clear to me that US hegemony is coming to
an end, and that the fool in the White House and his minions
are accellerating the process. I have held the former view
since the 70s, based on VietNam and readings of Ms Tuchman and
other historians of political folly. It has been interesting of
late to see some political thinkers of a more professional
quality than I coming to the same view.

With the fall of US hegemony come other consequences of a
pleasant nature, the entire WTO-IMF-Globaloney structure comes
down, the US has been it's primary instigator and enforcer.
What it will be replaced with? Who can say? It is probably
wise not to get too dewy-eyed.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #54
62. Addendum.
The end of US hegemony will have profound effects on the
Middle Eastern situation too, the US will lose interest
and Europe and Russia will assert themselves. The movements
we are seeing now, with Syria and Turkey talking, Iran and
Egypt talking, Pakistan and India talking are part of that
realignment. They see the writing on the wall as far as US
ability to enforce order in the region and have begun to work
out their own arrangements according to what they see as their
interests. Some of that, of course, is related to anxiety
about the looming chaos in Iraq.
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #62
65. US hegemony
"They see the writing on the wall as far as US
ability to enforce order in the region"

If this is a motivation behind the peace gestures that you've mentioned, how does this reduce the US influence? It is because of awareness of US ability to get out of the mud of indecision, so to speak, and to act, that has brought about increased activity on the part of nations that were previously interested in opposition to one another.

In fact, is not the US influence, if not hegemony, actually increasing in the region of the Middle East?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #65
75. "how does this reduce the US influence?"
It does not directly, it is an effect of reduced
US influence. Consider that Turkey, our good friend, refused
to support the war with landing rights. Consider that Saudi
Arabia is booting our occupation forces out and talking things
over with Russia. Consider that Egypt, an ally, is normalizing
relations with Iran, a member of the Axis of Evil. Just a few
examples, I can go on for quite a while.

For the rest, let's just say we disagree. The US is broke at
home and has grabbed the tar-baby in Iraq. Let's just watch the
show and see what happens.
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #75
78. An interesting assessment
While I don't see that the increased diplomatic activity and overtures among the nations is necessarily against US interests, unless the US is only interested in being in authority and the Empire of all empires. I hope that the over-riding interest is in world peace and cooperation. Turkey seems to be interested in facilitating peace negotiations between Syria and Israel. This is all in the interest of world peace if former foes can begin meeting and shaking hands.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #78
80. Very astute.
I do not think that the US Gov't is interested in
"world peace and cooperation". A world at peace and working
in cooperation does not need the US Gov't or it's military
to enforce order, and cannot be expected to continue to prop up
the US economy and its parasite financial centers.

I worked in the US defense industry for almost twenty years.
I remember when the USSR peacefully self-disassembled. The
sense of loss in the US defense industry was palpable, their
reason for existence was gone. They have been searching for
a new one ever since, but I think their time is almost up.

Do you not find it telling that we are bogged down in a piss-ant
country like Iraq? (Militarily speaking, no offense intended to
Iraq itself, which is an ancient civilization).

The true interests of the US polity is another thing from all this,
but we (the American people) have been being screwed by our government
for decades.

Turkey, of course, is interested in peace, in getting the mess
cleaned up, so it can get on with it's own business of modernization,
instead of worrying about war next door, and the Turks are quite
annoyed about the US poking another stick into the Kurdish problem.

Syria would be more than happy to make peace if it gets the Golan
back and a secure border. I doubt that you will get them to shutup
about the Palestinians until some sort of justice is done there,
however.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #78
82. What is interesting about Syria and Turkey is that,
while they have their own long-standing territorial and
other disputes, they have chosen now to put them aside,
even though one is a US ally and another a member of the
axis-of-evil.

Ask yourself why? Because there is a more important and
dangerous issue at hand: the Iraq mess and the chaos that
will be left in the vacuum behind the US when it leaves.
They both also have issues with Kurd autonomy, which is part
of that.
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. Settling regional disputes
This will be an objective for decades to come. The Kurdish population in the 3-4 state areas is one that will have to be resolved, and require them to negotiate.

one is a US ally and another a member of the
axis-of-evil.


Actually, I think Syria was let off the hook as far as the Axis-of-evil nomination goes. Syria was considered by Bush as worth negotiating with and bringing around. Syria has the rotating membership in the UN security council and is like being courted for membership in a western poser clique (he has a stunning wife also, I've noticed).
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #84
85. The Kurdish issue is very difficult.
I prefer not to get into it here, other than that I doubt
it will be resolved soon, unless someone undertakes to arm
and support the Kurds in a liberation struggle that results
in an independent state, an unlikely series of events. As
long as the Kurds are fragmented among three other states,
it will remain a problem.

Syria is in the Axis-of-Evil. What I see in the news is the
usual Good-Cop, Bad-Cop back and forth, mostly designed to
get Syria to give something for nothing.

I had a low and/or skeptical opinion of little Assad, but am
starting to think he is a better player than expected.

Shrub and his minions do seem more interested in Iran, but
peace is threatening to break out there too. If the Iranians
manage to put the Ayatollahs back in their place, things will
start to change fast there.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #65
76. The point WRT Iraq is that the US has been unable to
enforce order there. The neighboring states cannot overlook
that, and they will attempt steps of their own to try to
contain the disorder and if possible restore order again. The
US at this point is an impediment to that, a big, obnoxious
impediment. They have previously defined their relations based
on their situation vis-a-vis the USA and its policies. They
will now realign on the basis of local self-interest and
affinities.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #65
86. Here, same effect:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 The United States, which has often viewed most nations of Latin America as reliable and docile
allies, is increasingly facing resentment over security and trade policies that some of them view as inimical to their interests.

When President Bush travels to Mexico next week to confer with leaders from throughout the hemisphere, he will meet a
more assertive Latin America. It is a region that spurned Washington on the war in Iraq, is demanding better treatment for
immigrant workers and continues to block a hemispheric trade agreement that some nations, led by Brazil, view as unfair.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=102&topic_id=305338
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #50
79. Protect his reputation
"maybe he could describe why they let the attacks happen, or how they could have worked with Osama Bin Laden behind the scenes"

The reason he didn't say something like that, is because CSpan has millions of viewers with average American mentality. He didn't want to ruin his career and look like a total nut. That isn't too hard to figure out.

The "assumption of malice and cunning" would have done him great harm in such a situation. But to cast another nation in the role of malice is not too dangerous for his reputation with American viewers.
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