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Chomsky on Iraq

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 Chomsky on Iraq2003-12-27 17:18
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Via SynEarth, an article by Noam Chomsky. "IRAQ: Why are we really there?".
"All people who have any concern for human rights, justice and integrity should be overjoyed by the capture of Saddam Hussein, and should be awaiting a fair trial for him by an international tribunal. An indictment of Saddam's atrocities would include not only his slaughter and gassing of Kurds in 1988 but also, rather crucially, his massacre of the Shiite rebels who might have overthrown him in 1991. At the time, Washington and its allies held the "strikingly unanimous view (that) whatever the sins of the Iraqi leader, he offered the West and the region a better hope for his country's stability than did those who have suffered his repression," reported Alan Cowell in the New York Times. Last December, Jack Straw, Britain's foreign secretary, released a dossier of Saddam's crimes drawn almost entirely from the period of firm U.S.-British support of Saddam. With the usual display of moral integrity, Straw's report and Washington's reaction overlooked that support. Such practices reflect a trap deeply rooted in the intellectual culture generally - a trap sometimes called the doctrine of change of course, invoked in the United States every two or three years. The content of the doctrine is: "Yes, in the past we did some wrong things because of innocence or inadvertence. But now that's all over, so let's not waste any more time on this boring, stale stuff." The doctrine is dishonest and cowardly, but it does have advantages: It protects us from the danger of understanding what is happening before our eyes."
That's always convenient, of course.

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27 Dec 2003 @ 22:23 by ds @ : ...it gets better
indeed. the point is nailed home even more clearly in the next paragraph of the article:

For example, the Bush administration's original reason for going to war in Iraq was to save the world from a tyrant developing weapons of mass destruction and cultivating links to terror. Nobody believes that now, not even Bush's speechwriters.

The new reason is that we invaded Iraq to establish a democracy there and, in fact, to democratize the whole Middle East.

Does anyone else remember this at all? It's really weird. Are humans really so feeble minded? Are we controlled so easily?

I suspect certain groups of people are smart enough to see what is happening. But, unless it is a direct affront against 'you' personally, then the matter is really not so important. As individuals, we're better off to tend to our own personal lives and personal conflicts, than we are to second guess our governments foreign policy.  

2 Jan 2004 @ 14:01 by Bruce Kodish @ : Chomsky 's Hypocrisy
A bigger hypocrite I do not know than Noxious Noam, "the Ayatollah of Anti-Americanism."
Read {Link:http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7630|The Hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky} for more on his apologetics fro Pol Pot and other tyrants.
Chomsky does not have the integrity to admit his mistakes, he lies and makes excuses. Anyone who takes his adumbrations seriously is deluding himself.  

2 Jan 2004 @ 17:06 by ming : Chomsky
I don't agree with that at all. But I can't be very surprised that he would be a general target of "right-wing" republicans trying to protect the status quo, and that the best one can come up with is to call him some names. He knows his facts well, so that's often a bit hard to argue with on equal terms. I read that article there, and it is quite informative on various points, but doesn't make its point very well, even though it pretends to. It tries to boil it down to black and white thinking, like that Chomsky had some redeeming things to say about some communist revolutions that later were found to have been extremely oppressive, and he failed to loudly reverse his stand later on. So obviously he's just an apologist for communist tyrants. And that it of course obviously is wrong that U.S. media are controlled, as journalists are free to write what they want. And the presentation of the Sudan bombing is very misleading there. Chomsky was talking about the effects of destroying the factory that produced most of Africa's medicine, not about the direct casualties of the bombing.

And there's the general problem of trying to over-simplify things into the stupid left-right political spectrum. Like, how the article notes how Chomsky said a very similar thing as Friedrich von Hayek "from the other end of the political spectrum". These are people who are proponents of the freedom of people to work things out themselves, as opposed to central agencies controlling things. Personally, I'm on the side of both of them, and oppose self-serving centralized control, whether it is called communism or neo-conservatism.  

4 Jan 2004 @ 21:13 by Rafael Alvarado @ : A couple of corrections
First of all, there is no contradiction in fighting a war both to eliminate a tyrant who the world agreed had WMDs *and* fighting it to bring democracy (and, yes, capitalism). The one follows from the other. The thing is that since the WMDs have not been found, great emphasis is placed on the latter. It is odd that so great an intellect as Chomsky falls into the trap of popular political discourse, which is to force false contradictions on an opponent. But of course Chomsky is no disinterested thinker as he likes to present himself.

Second, it is not true that no one in the administration or the right or wat have you believes that the "original reason for going to war in Iraq was to save the world from a tyrant developing weapons of mass destruction and cultivating links to terror." This is, again, to fall into the simplistic thinking of TV politics where if there is no "smoking gun" -- picture Bill O'Reilly or Chris Matthews -- there is no evidence. We do no that SH did cultivate terrorist links and was becoming involved in more. And as for WMD, the big question -- which everyone in the press would be asking if the president were a Democrat -- is this: what the hell happened to them? We -- the world -- knew they were there, Blix's ex post facto comments notwithstanding -- so where are they? The fact that Turkey did not allow deployment of troops holds one possible answer -- the absence of Coalition forces in the north of Iraq during the initial phases of the war left SH enough time and freedom to move things to Jordon or Syria. I am not saying this is the case necessarily, but it certainly would be the angle pursued by a less hostile press.  

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