By Noam Chomsky, written following his trip to the Gaza Strip on October 25-30, 2012.
(Ashraf Amra / APA Images)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007
On Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein, video interview with Amy Goodman Democracy Now (April 17, 2007). An excerpt:
The whole thing is outrageous. I mean, he's an outstanding scholar. He has produced book after book. He's got recommendations from some of the leading scholars in the many areas in which he has worked. The faculty -- the departmental committee unanimously recommended him for tenure. It's amazing that he hasn't had full professorship a long time ago. And, as you were saying, there was a huge campaign led by a Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, to try in a desperate effort to defame him and vilify him, so as to prevent him from getting tenure. The details of it are utterly shocking, and, as you said, it got to the point where the DePaul administration called on Harvard to put an end to this.
On Iraq, Vietnam, Activism and History, video interview with Amy Goodman and Howard Zinn, Democracy Now (April 16, 2007). An excerpt:
It's worth stressing that aggressors do not have any rights. This is a clear-cut case of aggression and violation of the U.N. Charter, a supreme international crime and in the words of the Nuremburg Tribunal, aggressors simply have no rights to make any decisions. They have responsibilities. The responsibilities are, first of all to pay enormous reparations and that includes for the sanctions-- the effect of the sanctions, in fact it ought to include the support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980's, which was torture for Iraqis and worse for Iranians.
What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?, TomDispatch (April 5, 2007). An excerpt:
The debate over Iranian interference in Iraq proceeds without ridicule on the assumption that the United States owns the world. We did not, for example, engage in a similar debate in the 1980s about whether the U.S. was interfering in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, and I doubt that Pravda, probably recognizing the absurdity of the situation, sank to outrage about that fact (which American officials and our media, in any case, made no effort to conceal). Perhaps the official Nazi press also featured solemn debates about whether the Allies were interfering in sovereign Vichy France, though if so, sane people would then have collapsed in ridicule.
Beware of State Power, interview with George McLeod, Bangkok Post (April 1, 2007). An excerpt:
China does not pose a military threat. In fact, of all the major powers, China has probably been the most restrained in building up its military forces. China poses a very serious threat to US power because it cannot be intimidated by the US. Take for example Iran and Iraq. The US wants the world to boycott Iran in pursuit of US policies. Europe sort of shakes its fist, but then Europe pretty much backs off. So when the US warns countries not to invest in Iran, European investors --banks and so on-- tend to pull out.
On Capitalism, Europe, and the World Bank, interview with Dennis Ott, ZNet (April 2, 2007). An excerpt:
Henry Ford famously tried to pay his workers a higher wage than the going wage, because partly on this reasoning --he was not a theoretical economist, but partly on the grounds that if he doesn't pay his workers enough and other people won't pay their workers enough, there's going to be nobody around to buy his model-T Fords. Actually that issue came to court in the United States, around 1916 or so, and led to a fundamental principle of Anglo-American corporate law, which is part of the reason why the Anglo-American system is slightly different from the European social market system. There was a famous case called "Dodge v. Ford." Some of the stockholders of the Ford motor company, the Dodge brothers, brought Henry Ford to court, claiming that by paying the workers a higher wage, and by making cars better than they had to be made, he was depriving them of their profits --because it's true: dividends would be lower. They went to the courts, and they won. The courts decided that the management of the corporation has the legal responsibility to maximize the yield of the profit to its stockholders, that's its job. The corporations had already been granted the right of persons, and this basically says they have to be a certain type of pathological person, a person that does nothing except try to maximize his own gain --that's the legal requirement on a corporation, and that's a core principle of Anglo-American corporate law.