By Noam Chomsky, written following his trip to the Gaza Strip on October 25-30, 2012.
(Ashraf Amra / APA Images)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Perilous Power by Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar The volatile Middle East is the site of vast resources, profound passions, frequent crises, and long-standing conflicts, as well as a major source of international tensions and a key site of direct U.S. intervention. Two of the most astute analysts of this part of the world are Noam Chomsky, the preeminent critic of U.S, foreign policy, and Gilbert Achcar, a leading specialist of the Middle East who lived in that region for many years. In their new book, Chomsky and Achcar bring a keen understanding of the internal dynamics of the Middle East and of the role of the United States, taking up all the key questions of interest to concerned citizens, including such topics as terrorism, fundamentalism, conspiracies, oil, democracy, self determination, anti-Semitism, and anti-Arab racism, as well as the war in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the sources of U.S. foreign policy. This book provides the best readable introduction for all who wish to understand the complex issues related to the Middle East from a perspective dedicated to peace and justice.
Varkala Vijayan's disappearance Chomsky for probe, newindpress.com (November 24, 2006). An exerpt:
Noted thinker, linguist and anti-war activist Noam Chomsky has signed the petition seeking a fresh inquiry into the disappearance of Varkala Vijayan, a CPI (ML) activist during the emergency.
The Current Crisis in the Middle East, video talk, MIT World (November 22, 2006). An excerpt:
The title that was announced was 'The Current Crisis in the Middle East', singular, which is a mistake. The title should have been 'crises', plural, because there are quite a few of them. There are at least four major ones. The first is Palestine, which has been systematically destroyed, both of its parts, Gaza and the West Bank. The second is Lebanon, which has been largely destroyed once again: that's the fifth Israeli invasion in 30 years, all backed by the United States (which is the part that is going to concern us). The third is Iraq, which is a hideous catastrophe, and getting worse. The fourth is Iran, which is an impending catastrophe that could blow up the whole region.(Chomsky's talk begins at 1:16.)
War, Geopolitics, and History, video talk, MIT Technology and Culture Forum (April 9, 2006). An excerpt:
A couple of weeks ago I had one of many interviews, and this one happened to be on New Zealand radio. It was about the hottest topic of the day, namely the Middle East, and the interviewer mentioned that he just ran a marvellous, highly informative interview with Robert Fisk. He asked where Robert Fisk's regular columns were published in the United States, and I had to say, regretfully, that I didn't know of a single one within the mainstream. Quite properly, he didn't believe me. So I suggested that he did an Internet search. You might try it: it will be highly instructive.(Chomsky's talk begins at 2:22; Robert Fisk's begins at 19:10.)
A Cacophony of Fundamentalism, interview with Stephen Shalom, Mail & Guardian Online (November 3, 2006). An excerpt:
In the United States, what we call fundamentalism has very deep roots, from the early colonists. There's always been an extreme, ultrareligious element, more or less fundamentalist, with several revivals. In the past 25 years, fundamentalism has been turned for the first time into a major political force. It's a conscious effort, I think, to try to undermine progressive social policies. Not radical policies but rather the mild social democratic policies of the preceding period are under serious attack.