Noam Chomsky on the current situation…

Noam Chomsky – always a startlingly intelligent man – has said some of the most insightful and terrifying things about the current situation around the world. A recent transcript has been posted on Barbelith. A couple of excerpts from his interview follow:

“It is also widely recognized that Bin Laden and others like him are praying for ‘a great assault on Muslim states,’ which will cause ‘fanatics to flock to his cause’ (Jenkins, and many others.). That too is familiar. The escalating cycle of violence is typically welcomed by the harshest and most brutal elements on both sides, a fact evident enough from the recent history of the Balkans, to cite only one of many cases.”

“The decade-long US-British assault against the civilian population of Iraq has devastated the society and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths while strengthening Saddam Hussein – who was a favored friend and ally of the US and Britain right through his worst atrocities.”

“The U.S. and much of the West, prefers a more comforting story. To quote the lead analysis in the New York Times (Sept. 16), the perpetrators acted out of “hatred for the values cherished in the West as freedom, tolerance, prosperity, religious pluralism and universal suffrage.” U.S. actions are irrelevant, and therefore need not even be mentioned (Serge Schmemann). This is a convenient picture, and the general stance is not unfamiliar in intellectual history; in fact, it is close to the norm. It happens to be completely at variance with everything we know, but has all the merits of self-adulation and uncritical support for power.”