By Noam Chomsky, written following his trip to the Gaza Strip on October 25-30, 2012.
(Ashraf Amra / APA Images)
Posted Monday, January 30, 2006
Brief excerpt from a Q/A session, Intellectual Property: A Further Restriction on Personal Freedom, reprinted in Socialist Standard (January 6, 2005). There is also a comment by Tristan Miller.
If you use Firefox, you may want to install this chomsky.info plugin, which allows you to search the website directly from your browser. Kudos to Ashoka Raza for developing this useful tool!
RTE News video interview, On the Iraq War and Rendition Flights, with Mark Little (January 19, 2006).
University College Dublin video talk, Stark, Dreadful, Inescapable: The Question of Survival (January 19, 2006).
University College Dublin video talk, Democracy Promotion: Reflections on Intellectuals and the State (January 17, 2006).
Amnesty International Annual Lecture, The War on Terror (January 18, 2006). An excerpt:
"Terror" is a term that rightly arouses strong emotions and deep concerns. The primary concern should, naturally, be to take measures to alleviate the threat, which has been severe in the past, and will be even more so in the future. To proceed in a serious way, we have to establish some guidelines. Here are a few simple ones: (1) Facts matter, even if we do not like them. (2) Elementary moral principles matter, even if they have consequences that we would prefer not to face. (3) Relative clarity matters. It is pointless to seek a truly precise definition of "terror," or of any other concept outside of the hard sciences and mathematics, often even there. But we should seek enough clarity at least to distinguish terror from two notions that lie uneasily at its borders: aggression and legitimate resistance.
American Empire, interview with Matthew Kennard conducted on November 21, 2004, and published in Global Empire: Interviste su globalizzazione, dominio petrolifero, liberta (Roma: Datanews, 2005). An excerpt:
[E]verything changed [with the] Second World War[.] [I]t was clear in the early stages of the war that the US was going to emerge as the world dominant power and there were high level planning meetings intensively going on from 1939 to 1945, right through the war years. These happen to be publicly available. Its State department and Council on Foreign Relations, which is the main so-called private in put to the planning system - they're very closely integrated. They had meetings through the Second World War planning for the post-war world and it was very explicit. In the early part of the war they expected that Germany would survive and it would be a German controlled world which would be part of Eurasia and the rest they wanted to be US controlled. They even had a name for it. They called it the Grand Area. It was defined as the area necessary for the US economy - which means US industry, agriculture, corporate structure - to enable it to flourish and have the resources it needs and the markets it wants and so on. And the Grand Area was defined as the entire Western Hemisphere, the Far East and the former British Empire which the US would take over. That is the minimum and from then on to the whole. Well by about 1943 it was reasonably clear that Germany was unlikely to survive so the Grand Area extended to include as much of Eurasia as possible and there were explicit and rational plans as to what to do with every area. If you go into the early pos-war period - and now we have to go to de-classified secret documents- then secret now mostly de-classified, there is extensive planning. I mean every part of the globe was assigned what was called its "function".
WorkingForChange.com interview, 'There Is No War on Terror', with Geov Parrish (December 23, 2005). An excerpt:
[Y]ou can measure the number of terrorist attacks. Well, that's gone up sharply under the Bush administration, very sharply after the Iraq war. As expected -- it was anticipated by intelligence agencies that the Iraq war would increase the likelihood of terror. And the post-invasion estimates by the CIA, National Intelligence Council, and other intelligence agencies are exactly that. Yes, it increased terror. In fact, it even created something which never existed -- a new training ground for terrorists, much more sophisticated than Afghanistan, where they were training professional terrorists to go out to their own countries. So, yeah, that's a way to deal with the War on Terror, namely, increase terror.
Mail & Guardian short article, Chomsky Opposes Desai's Ban, by David Macfarlane (January 13, 2006). An excerpt:
A national and international brouhaha has rapidly developed following the University of KwaZulu-Natal's (UKZN) decision to bar renowned academic and activist Dr Ashwin Desai from seeking a position at the university. The decision has elicited letters of strong protest to UKZN vice-chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba from Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein --among other well known figures from abroad-- and several South African academics.
Australia's The Age has just published a brief review of Imperial Ambitions. An excerpt:
Chomsky's genius, apart from his prodigious grasp of information, lies in his ability to place contemporary issues in a larger context. Thus, these conversations are superb analyses of the evolution of propaganda, the use of regime change as an imperial tool, the idea of the US as a "rogue state", the nature of war crimes, state-approved terrorism, the legal illogicality of the American attitude towards weapons of mass destruction and dozens of other controversial issues.
Axis of Justice, an activist website created by musicians Tom Morello and Serj Tankian, will launch the 2006 season of its radio program with an interview to Chomsky. The interview will be aired January 13, 2006 at 7pm, and can be heard on KPFK in Los Angeles (90.7 FM) and in Santa Barbara (98.7 FM) at 7:00PM, online at www.kpfk.org, and on XM Satellite Radio on XM channel 53.
Khaleej Times article, Beyond the Ballot (January 6, 2006). An excerpt:
There's a good reason why the United States cannot tolerate a sovereign, more or less democratic Iraq. The issue can scarcely be raised because it conflicts with firmly established doctrine: We're supposed to believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq if it was an island in the Indian Ocean and its main export was pickles, not petroleum.
BBC audio interview, The Biggest Challenge Facing Mankind in 2006, with George Arney (January 2, 2006).
University of Florida talk, Where's the Security in Bush's National Security Strategy? (October 21, 2003). An excerpt:
A year ago, September 2002, three events took place of quite unusual significance. They are likely to cast a long shadow over your lives and world affairs in general in the future. The first, September 17th, was the declaration by the Bush administration of its national security strategy, which was pretty clear and straightforward, worth reading. It stated, in effect, that the United States (the administration at least) plans to dominate the world permanently, through the use of force if necessary-that's the one dimension in which the United States reigns supreme. And that they are committed to eliminating any potential challenge to their rule that they might detect. It's not an entirely novel program, either in US history or... there are some precedents that aren't nice to think about. But this was unusually brazen and it aroused a lot of concern. The second event that took place just about the same time had to do with Iraq. The war drums began to beat about Iraq. The planned invasion, which was essentially announced then, was understood to be what's sometimes called an exemplary action. That is, an action taken to demonstrate dramatically that the security doctrine is intended very seriously and that it would be implemented at will without any credible pretext or without any international authorization. The third event, also in September, the campaign for the midterm congressional elections opened, and that's closely related. Karl Rove, maybe the most important man in Washington, the Republican campaign manager, had already the summer before emphasized to party activists that they have to steer away from social and political issues for the campaign (because administration policies are highly unpopular) and they have to emphasize the national security issues.
Newsweek interview, A Tale of Two Quagmires, with Michael Hastings (January 9, 2006). An excerpt:
[Bush]'s more or less a symbol, but I think the people around him are the most dangerous administration in American history. I think they're driving the world to destruction. There are two major threats that face the world, threats of the destruction of the species, and they're not a joke. One of them is nuclear war, and the other is environmental catastrophe, and they are driving toward destruction in both domains. They're compelling competitors to escalate their own offensive military capacity--Russia, China, now Iran. That means putting their offensive nuclear missiles on hair-trigger alert. The Bush administration has succeeded in making the United States one of the most feared and hated countries in the world. The talent of these guys is unbelievable. They have even succeeded at alienating Canada. I mean, that takes genius, literally.