Chomsky: 'There Is No War on Terror'

For over 40 years, MIT professor Noam Chomsky has been one of the world's leading intellectual critics of U.S. foreign policy. Today, with America's latest imperial adventure in trouble both politically and militarily, Chomsky - who turned 77 last month - vows not to slow down "as long as I'm ambulatory." The professor offers instruction on the Bush regime's so-called "War on Terror" in this interview with Geov Parrish of Alternet.

Says Chomsky, "Well, the first thing that should be done in Iraq is for us to be serious about what's going on. There is almost no serious discussion, I'm sorry to say, across the spectrum, of the question of withdrawal. The reason for that is that we are under a rigid doctrine in the West, a religious fanaticism, that says we must believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq even if its main product was lettuce and pickles, and the oil resources of the world were in Central Africa. Anyone who doesn't believe that is condemned as a conspiracy theorist, a Marxist, a madman, or something. Well, you know, if you have three gray cells functioning, you know that that's perfect nonsense.

"The U.S. invaded Iraq because it has enormous oil resources, mostly untapped, and it's right in the heart of the world's energy system. Which means that if the U.S. manages to control Iraq, it extends enormously its strategic power, what Zbigniew Brzezinski calls its critical leverage over Europe and Asia. Yeah, that's a major reason for controlling the oil resources - it gives you strategic power. Even if you're on renewable energy you want to do that. So that's the reason for invading Iraq, the fundamental reason."


sixstringslinger said...

Nothing new here. He's got it all figgered out though, doesn't he?

Paul Hue said...

Noam Chomski is setting up a straw man by claiming that the Bushies claim that they would have invaded Iraq even if there were no oil; the Bushies admit that oil figures into the equaion. I'm not going to spell out that equation again, since doing so seems to never result in Nadir grasping it. I've done the best that I can, and apparently failed, to transmit this information. If Nadir wants to debate the Bush perspective, I am very eager to do so. But I can't keep debating ghost points. I would love to debate with Nadir the validity of the Bush perspective; I only agree with it about 60% or so. A decade from now we will know if Bush was correct.

OK, I'll re-make a point or two: If Iraq's former Baathist regime held zero oil reserves, but still managed somehow to hold a strong military leadership role in the region, and to fund terror against Isreal, given that it was the sole *PROVABLY* terror-supporting government in the region, and the only one with outstanding violations of UN sanctions that otherwise stipulate a cease-fire from a previous invasion opposed militarily by a UN coalition, then yes, I believe that Bush would have targetted Iraq as the nation in which to erect a democracy, ala Germany, Italy, and Japan.

I would like to debate with Nadir the merits of this policy: combatting anti-US terrorism by Islamicists by invading an Arab nation and installing a democracy, vs. the Nadir/Buchannon policy of removing all US troops from Arabia, as well as support for Isreal, and facilitating US businesses in conducting trade with all Arab governments, regardless of the conduct of those governments. I think that both policies have merit. I would have supported Gore in implimenting the Nadir/Buchannon policy, to see if it worked. I do not know for certain that either policy will work or fail. Each are bold, and I am fascinated to see either given a full chance to work.

Which would I have voted for? A very hard choice. I have seen how massive war, with its destruction to people and facilities, has led to relitively quick blossoming of freedom/prosperity in Germany, Japan, and Mississi. But I have also seen how massive war has led to massive missery with no end: Vietnam, Cuba, Liberia, Rwanda, etc. And I have seen how leaving nations alone has eventually led to interal transformation into freedom/prosperity: Poland, China, Czech Republic, etc.

Paul Hue said...

Christopher Hitchens is the intellectual antidote to his old Nation mate Chomsky, and Hitchie's post today nicely counters this Chomsky essay:


Hitchie is one of the main influences in me supporting the Bush response to 911.

republican brother said...

Chomsky is right. They're isn't no war on terrorism lol. The 19 hijackers weren't "terrorist", they were "freedom fighters". When will the insanity run its course with these losers in life. I've heard that 911 is a great conspiracy. The planes were remotely controlled. Liberals have even said that the twin towers didn't implode the right way. I have never heard a person with a liberal ideology blame terrorism for 911. Go figure.

Nadir said...

911 was terrorism. No question.

The fact that you can't fight a war against a tactic is only logical. The Bush administration's use of terrorism proves they are not fighting against this tactic. They use it when it pleases them (see Pakistan last week or "Shock & Awe").

How can you fight a war against terrorism? That's like Ben Wallace fighting a war against other muthaphukas blocking out. It doesn't make sense.

sixstringslinger said...

You're right Nadir. I've always had a problem with the term "war on terror". It's inaccurate. Terrorism is merely the method, the tool. The real war should be and is finally being framed as what it is; a war on radical, fundamentalist, suicidal, militant Islam. But until recently there's been a reluctance to call this war what it really is.

Paul Hue said...

I don't think that Bush acted as a terrorist in sending missiles at a target that he thought contained an Al-Qaeda leader. Perhaps we have different definitions of "terror". My definition is: purposefully killing civilians in attempt to achieve a political purpose. Most wars prior to and including WWII used terror. The Allies even called one of their tactics "terror bombing", which they conducted against civilian targets in Dresden and Tokyo.

Bush's "shock and awe" was not terrorism, as I understand the term. He was attempting to "shock and awe" the Iraqi military, not civilians. Deploring the recent missile strike and "shock and awe" as "terrorism" renders that term meaningless, and thus useless. Perhaps, Nadir, you can convince us that Bush targetted civilians, and attempted to maximize civilian causulties?