By Noam Chomsky, written following his trip to the Gaza Strip on October 25-30, 2012.
(Ashraf Amra / APA Images)
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I am away, and hence unable to update the website with the usual frequency. (This explains the lack of posts during the last couple of weeks.) Regular activities will be resumed on June 15. Apologies for the inconvenience.
On Just War Theory and the Invasion of Iraq, video recording of a talk delivered at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, C-SPAN2 (April 20, 2006). A brief description of the event:
From the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Noam Chomsky talks to West Point cadets about just war theory and the invasion of Iraq. During the talk, Professor Chomsky criticizes the work of Michael Walzer, an influential proponent of just war theory and the author of the popular "Just and Unjust Wars." Following his remarks, Professor Chomsky takes questions from the cadets about international law and the Bush administration's foreign policy.UPDATE:
Readers' Editor Right to Publish Apology, External Review Finds, The Guardian (May 25, 2006). An excerpt:
The Guardian readers' editor, Ian Mayes, was right to publish an apology and correction relating to a G2 interview with Professor Noam Chomsky, according to an independent outside review. The Guardian's external ombudsman, John Willis, looked into the handling of the Chomsky controversy after complaints that the correction had been unfounded. After talking to all sides, Mr Willis concluded that Mayes had behaved independently and correctly in publishing the correction. "This was a serious matter," Mr Willis said.The full text of the external ombudsman report can be found here.
Hundreds Turn Out for Chomsky Lecture, by Jean Christou, Cyprus Mail (May 18, 2006). An excerpt:
Renowned author and professor Noam Chomsky last night warned that nuclear war could be just around the corner but said it could be avoided if the West stopped threatening Iran. Chomsky gave a lecture to a packed house at the University of Cyprus last night on 'Imminent Crises', which was attended by at least 500 people inside and outside, where a projector had been set up, you could have heard a pin drop as the audience clung to his every word.
Superpower and Failed States, Khaleej Times (April 5, 2006). An excerpt:
The selection of issues that should rank high on the agenda of concern for human welfare and rights is, naturally, a subjective matter. But there are a few choices that seem unavoidable, because they bear so directly on the prospects for decent survival. Among them are at least these three: nuclear war, environmental disaster and the fact that the government of the world's leading power is acting in ways that increase the likelihood of these catastrophes.
A Just War? Hardly, Khaleej Times (May 9, 2006). An excerpt:
Spurred by these times of invasions and evasions, discussion of "just war" has had a renaissance among scholars and even among policy-makers. Concepts aside, actions in the real world all too often reinforce the maxim of Thucydides that "The strong do as they can, while the weak suffer what they must"--which is not only indisputably unjust, but at the present stage of human civilisation, a literal threat to the survival of the species. In his highly praised reflections on just war, Michael Walzer describes the invasion of Afghanistan as "a triumph of just war theory," standing alongside Kosovo as a "just war." Unfortunately, in these two cases, as throughout, his arguments rely crucially on premises like "seems to me entirely justified," or "I believe" or "no doubt."
On the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia, interview with Danilo Mandic, RTS Online (April 25, 2006). An excerpt:
[W]e have for the first time a very authoratative comment on that from the highest level of Clinton administration, which is something that one could have surmised before, but now it is asserted. This is from Strobe Talbott who was in charge of the... he ran the Pentagon/State Department intelligence Joint Committee on the diplomacy during the whole affair including the bombing, so that's very top of Clinton administration; he just wrote the forward to a book by his Director of Communications, John Norris, and in the forward he says if you really want to understand what the thinking was of the top of Clinton administration this is the book you should read and take a look on John Norris's book and what he says is that the real purpose of the war had nothing to do with concern for Kosovar Albanians. It was because Serbia was not carrying out the required social and economic reforms, meaning it was the last corner of Europe which had not subordinated itself to the US-run neoliberal programs, so therefore it had to be eliminated. That's from the highest level.
Subordinate and Non-Subordinate States, interview with Khatchig Mouadian, ZNet (May 8, 2006). An excerpt:
The only thing being discussed is that there was an assassination and Syria was involved in it. How come Syria is in Lebanon in the first place? Why did the US welcome Syria in Lebanon in 1976? Why did George Bush I support Syrian presence and domination and influence in Lebanon in 1991 as part of his campaign against Iraq? Why did the US support the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982? Why did the US support Israel's 22 year occupation of parts of Lebanon, an occupation in violation of Security Council resolutions? All these topics, and many others, are missing from the discussion.
The Israel Lobby and Chomsky's Reply, by Gabriel Ash, Dissident Voice (April 20, 2006). An excerpt:
Noam Chomsky responded to the paper by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (M&W), judging their thesis "not very convincing." I agree with Chomsky, but for different reasons. Chomsky disputes the inference from the evidence (of the Israel Lobby's influence) to the conclusion (that the Lobby has the power to move U.S. foreign policy away from the U.S. national interest.) I contest the analytical framework of M&W, which includes the concept of "national interest," and the separation between domestic politics and foreign policy. Chomsky's critique, however, shows that he concedes too much of the conceptual framework of M&W. As a result, he is forced to reject too much of their specific claims. Paradoxically, getting rid of M&W's conceptual baggage makes their actual claims more relevant.
Comments on Failed States, by Stephen Lendman, Mathaba News (April 30, 2006). An exerpt:
Noam Chomsky hardly needs an introduction. Throughout his lifetime as an internationally esteemed academic, scholar and activist he's the rarest of individuals I know. He's world renown twice over - in his chosen field of linguistics where he's considered the father of modern linguistics and as a leading voice for equity, justice and peace for over four decades. Although the dominant US corporate media religiously ignore him (especially on air), the New York Times Review of Books said of him a generation ago that "judged in terms of the power, range, novelty and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive today." He still is, and someone should inform the Times he's also still alive, but you'd never know it from the silence today from "the newspaper of record" and the rest of the corporate media as well.