The beauty and the beast – Gilad Atzmon vs. Rachel Riley

January 16, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

In recent weeks Rachel Riley, a British TV celebrity, has tossed the Antisemitic slur in the direction of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach, Aaron Bastani, yours truly and others. In her first extended Ch 4 interview it became clear that Riley isn’t exactly an astute political philosopher. You can watch the entire Ch 4 interview here.

My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad

Advertisements

Chomsky’s Misinformation on Syria

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Noted academic, father of modern linguistics, political/anti-war activist Noam Chomsky disturbingly supported Hillary in 2016, saying “I don’t think there’s any other rational choice.”

At the time, I called it a disturbing statement by someone who knows better. Money-controlled duopoly power runs America, a one-party state with two extremist right wings.

They’re in lockstep on issues mattering most, including support for endless wars of aggression and corporate empowerment over the general welfare.

There’s nothing democratic about undemocratic Dems. There’s no “other rational choice” than rejecting both wings of one-party rule, tyranny masquerading as democracy they abhor, supporting revolutionary change by grassroots activism, taking to the streets, resisting tyranny – the choice between living free or exploited the way things are now.

Chomsky is wrong on Syria, claiming Putin “is trying to restore some degree of Russian power in the world, some degree of Russian authority. One extension of that and, in fact, the only one is the Russian position in Syria.”

Kremlin involvement in Syria is largely a Russian security issue, wanting the scourge of US-supported terrorism prevented from spreading to Russia’s heartland.

It’s not about propping up Assad. Putin’s responsibility is serving and protecting Russian interests, not those of Syria or any other countries.

Assad isn’t “a horrible war criminal,” as Chomsky falsely claimed. Nor are the “bulk of the atrocities (in the country) his responsibility,” adding:

“There’s no justifying Assad,” a deplorable statement about a leader, overwhelmingly supported by Syrians, involved for nearly eight years in combating US aggression and terrorists Washington created and supports. Chomsky failed to address all of the above.

Opposition forces are jihadists, cutthroat killers, imported from scores of countries – armed, funded, trained and directed by US special forces, CIA operatives, and their imperial counterparts.

They’re not moderate “rebels,” none of them, Chomsky adding “(t)he current situation is that Assad has pretty much won the war, like it or not.” 

“There was in the early stages a democratic secular, quite respectable opposition, but they were very quickly overwhelmed by the jihadi elements, supported from the outside” – the US and its imperial allies.

Democratic secular elements don’t use violence in pursuit of their aims – not in Syria or anywhere else. 

War was planned, orchestrated and launched by Washington, supported by NATO, Israel, the Saudis, UAE, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey – using jihadists to wage dirty war. 

There was no popular uprising as falsely reported. From its onset, there’s been nothing civil about what’s going on – a US regime change plot, all of the above ignored by Chomsky, what’s most important about endless war in the country.

He shamefully claimed “it makes sense for the United States to maintain a presence (in Syria) which would deter an attack on the Kurdish areas” – failing to explain the US illegally occupies northern and southern parts of the country.

Kurds are threatened by Turkey, not Assad. Allying with him is their best defense, especially with Russian support if forthcoming.

Referring to legitimate Syrian governance as “the murderous Assad regime” is a disgraceful perversion of truth.

Tim Anderson’s book, titled “The Dirty War on Syria” is the definitive account of the conflict. Separately, he explained Obama’s dirty war, now Trump’s, as follows, saying:

“Washington and its allies try another ‘regime change’ in Syria. A fake ‘revolution’ uses Islamic gangs, during an ‘Arab Spring.’ The Western media constantly lie about this covert, dirty war.”

“A political reform movement is driven off the streets by Islamic violence. (The misnamed pro-Western) ‘Free Syrian Army’ slaughters minorities and government workers.”

“Saudi and Qatari backed Islamists carry out a series of massacres, falsely blaming them on the Syrian Army and President Assad.”

“Most of Syria’s opposition backs the state and army against terrorism. Washington calls a puppet exile group ‘the Syrian opposition.’ “

“Washington (using Saudis, Qatar, Turkey and Israel) backs all the armed Islamist groups, pretending some are ‘moderate rebels.’ “

“A resistance coalition rallies to Syria. Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and Russia join the Syrian Army in destroying western backed terrorist groups.”

Anderson’s book explains all of the above and more in detail, why it’s essential reading to understand what’s going on – polar opposite media propaganda, notably Chomsky’s misinformation as well.

Syria, its people, and government are victims of US aggression. What’s most important to explain, Chomsky ignored.

Chomsky accuses israel (apartheid state) of meddling in US elections

Source

Source: Press TV

“First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support,” Chomsky said in an interview with Democracy Now! published on Tuesday.

“Israeli intervention in US elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done, I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president’s policies – what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015,” he added.

Chomsky was referring to a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March 2015, when he addressed the joint houses of Congress about the yet to be signed Iran nuclear deal. The Israeli premier delivered the speech without formally informing the White House, a move that was said to have infuriated then-president Barack Obama. More than 50 Democrats boycotted Netanyahu’s speech at that time.

In his comments during the interview, the American scholar said Russian President Vladimir Putin had never made such a speech to Congress and that no foreign leader had ever attacked the policy of the US administration so acidly.

“Did Putin come to give an address to the joint sessions of Congress trying to…calling on them to reverse US policy, without even informing the president,” Chomsky said.

“And that’s just a tiny bit of this overwhelming influence. So if you happen to be interested in influence of- foreign influence on elections, there are places to look. But even that is a joke,” he added.

US President Donald Trump’s election campaign has been under investigation after US intelligence officials said last year that Russia had helped Trump win the White House.

Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and has condemned the investigation. His Russian counterpart has also denied the allegations.

Global warming is what matters

The 89-year-old linguist also accused much of the US media of concentrating on “marginal” stories and ignoring issues such as the “existential threat” of climate change.

“Of all Trump’s policies, the one that is the most dangerous and destructive, in fact poses an existential threat, is his policies on climate change, on global warming,” Chomsky said.

“That’s really destructive. And we’re facing an imminent threat, not far removed, of enormous damage. The effects are already visible but nothing like what’s going to come,” he noted.

Chomsky further added that “these are the kinds of issues that should be under discussion. Instead…here is a focus on what I believe are marginalia.”

In 2015, countries signing the Paris Climate Accord set a goal of limiting a rise in average world surface temperatures to “well below” 2C (3.6F) and “pursuing efforts” to limit rising temperatures to 1.5C (2.7F).

Trump is pulling the US out of the accord, which would make his country the only one to do so.

The US is the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world and its withdrawal from the Paris agreement would be a blow to the accord, which was signed by nearly 200 countries in December 2015 to lower emissions.

The Empire’s “Lefty Intellectuals” Call for Regime Change. The Role of “Progressives” and the Antiwar Movement

Global Research, January 09, 2018

What is now unfolding in both North America and Western Europe is fake social activism, controlled and funded by the corporate establishment. This manipulated process precludes the formation of a real mass movement against war, racism and social injustice.  

The anti-war movement is dead. The war on Syria is tagged as “a civil war”.

The war on Yemen is also portrayed as a civil war.  While the bombing is by Saudi Arabia, the insidious role of the US is downplayed or casually ignored. “The US is not directly involved so there is no need for us to wage an anti-war campaign”. (paraphrase)

War and neoliberalism are no longer at the forefront of civil society activism. Funded by corporate charities, via a network of non-governmental organizations, social activism tends to be piecemeal. There is no integrated anti-globalization anti-war movement. The economic crisis is not seen as having a relationship to US led wars.

In turn, dissent has become compartmentalized. Separate “issue oriented” protest movements (e.g. environment, anti-globalization, peace, women’s rights, LGBT) are encouraged and generously funded as opposed to a cohesive mass movement against global capitalism.

This mosaic was already prevalent in the counter G7 summits and People’s Summits of the 1990s and also from the inception of the World Social Forum in 2000, which rarely adopted a meaningful anti-war stance.

Through staged protest events sponsored by NGOs and generously funded by corporate foundations, the unspoken objective is to create profound divisions within Western society, which serve to uphold the existing social order as well as the military agenda.

Syria

It is worth underscoring the role of so-called “progressive” intellectuals in paying lip service to the US-NATO military agenda. This is nothing new.

Segments of the anti-war movement which opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq are tacitly supportive of  Trump’s punitive airstrikes directed against Syria’s “Assad regime” allegedly involved in “killing their own people”, gassing them to death in a premeditated chemical weapons attack. According to Trump “Assad choked out the lives of helpless men women and children”.

America’s Noam Chomsky in an April 5 2017 interview with “Democracy Now” (aired two days before Trump’s April 2017 punitive airstrikes against Syria) favors “regime change”, intimating that a negotiated “removal” of Bashar al Assad could lead to a peaceful settlement.

According to Chomsky: “The Assad regime is a moral disgrace. They’re carrying out horrendous acts, the Russians with them.” (emphasis added) Strong statement with no supporting evidence and documentation provided. Apology for Trump’s war crimes? The victims of imperialism are casually blamed for the crimes of imperialism:

…You know, you can’t tell them, “We’re going to murder you. Please negotiate.”That’s not going to work. But some system in which, in the course of negotiations …[with the Russians], … he [Bashar al-Assad] would be removed, and some kind of settlement would be made. The West would not accept it, …  At the time, they believed they could overthrow Assad, so they didn’t want to do this, so the war went on. Could it have worked? You never know for sure. But it could have been pursued. Meanwhile, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are supporting jihadi groups, which are not all that different from ISIS. So you have a horror story on all sides. The Syrian people are being decimated.

(Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now, April 5, 2017, See the video of the Democracy Now interview with Chomsky here

Update, Scan of Chomsky Interview Democracy Now, April 26, 2017

Similarly in Britain, Tariq Ali,  tagged by the U.K. media as the Left’s  prime leader of Britain’s anti-war movement going back to the Vietnam war,  has also called for the removal of president Bashar al Assad. His discourse is not dissimilar from that of  the Washington war hawks:

“He [Assad] has to be pushed out,… [ for which] the Syrian people are doing their best… The fact is that the overwhelming majority of people in Syria want the Assad family out – and that is the key thing that we have to understand and he [Assad] should understand…

Syria needs a non-sectarian national government to prepare a new constitution… If the Assad clan refuses to relinquish their stronghold on the country, sooner or later something disastrous will happen…That is the future that stares them in the face, there is no other future,” ” RT 2012 interview 

Tariq Ali, who is a spokesperson for Britain’s Stop the War Coalition, fails to mention that US-NATO and their allies are actively involved in the recruitment, training and arming of a (largely foreign) terrorist mercenary army.

Under the “progressive” mantle of Britain’s anti-war movement, Ali tacitly provides legitimacy to Western military intervention on humanitarian grounds under the banner of the “War on Terrorism” and the so-called “Responsibilty to Protect”(R2P). The fact that both Al Qaeda and ISIS-Daesh are supported (covertly) by US-NATO is not mentioned.

According to British author William Bowles, Tariq Ali is one among many of the Empire’s Lefty intellectuals who has served to distort anti-war activism in both North America and Western Europe:

It exemplifies the contradiction of being an alleged socialist at home and enjoying the privilege of being part of the Empire’s intellectual elite and paid very well thank you very much, whilst dictating to Syria what it should and shouldn’t do. I fail to see the distinction between Ali’s arrogance and that of the West, that called for exactly the same thing! Assad has to go!

The Existing Anti-War movement

Global capitalism finances anti-capitalism: an absurd and contradictory relationship.

There can be no meaningful anti-war movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement. In the words of McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation (1966-1979),Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the World safe for capitalism’”. And several “Lefty intellectuals” serve the role of “making the World safe” for the warmongers.

Today’s antiwar protest does not question the legitimacy of those to whom the protest is addressed. At this juncture, “progressives” –funded by major foundations and endorsed by the mainstream media– are an obstacle to the formation of a meaningful and articulate grassroots antiwar movement acting both nationally and internationally.

A consistent antiwar movement must also confront various forms of cooption within its ranks, namely the fact that a significant sector of so-called “progressive” opinion tacitly supports US foreign policy including “humanitarian interventions” under UN/NATO auspices.

An antiwar movement funded by major corporate foundations is the cause rather than the solution. A coherent antiwar movement cannot be funded by warmongers.

The Road Ahead

What is required is the development of a broad based grassroots network which seeks to disable patterns of authority and decision making pertaining to war.

This network would be established at all levels in society, towns and villages, work places, parishes. Trade unions, farmers organizations, professional associations, business associations, student unions, veterans associations, church groups would be called upon to integrate the antiwar organizational structure. Of crucial importance, this movement should extend into the Armed Forces as a means to breaking the legitimacy of war among service men and women.

The first task would be to disable war propaganda through an effective campaign against media disinformation.

The corporate media would be directly challenged, leading to boycotts of major news outlets, which are responsible for channelling disinformation into the news chain.  This endeavor would require a parallel process at the grass roots level, of sensitizing and educating fellow citizens on the nature of  the war and the global crisis, as well as effectively “spreading the word” through advanced networking, through alternative media outlets on the internet, etc. In recent developments, the independent online media has been the target of manipulation and censorship, precisely with a view to undermining anti-war activism on the internet.

The creation of such a movement, which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of the structures of political authority, is no easy task. It would require a degree of solidarity, unity and commitment unparalleled in World history. It would require breaking down political and ideological barriers within society and acting with a single voice. It would also require eventually unseating the war criminals, and indicting them for war crimes.


Order Directly from Global Research Publishers

Michel Chossudovsky

original

America’s hegemonic project in the post 9/11 era is the “Globalization of War” whereby the U.S.-NATO military machine —coupled with covert intelligence operations, economic sanctions and the thrust of “regime change”— is deployed in all major regions of the world. The threat of pre-emptive nuclear war is also used to black-mail countries into submission.

This “Long War against Humanity” is carried out at the height of the most serious economic crisis in modern history.

It is intimately related to a process of global financial restructuring, which has resulted in the collapse of national economies and the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

The ultimate objective is World conquest under the cloak of “human rights” and “Western democracy”.

All you need to know about Israel, The Lobby, Yinon Plan & Trump (video)

January 06, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

https://youtu.be/Z9xJWBn1B9M

10 minutes interview on the most popular political show  on Turkish TV.

Turkish Tv, YAZ BOZ; ” Ergün DİLER – Bekir HAZAR”: 29 Dec 2017

Alan Dershowitz – The Key To Athens

 By Gilad Atzmon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH1vaZXgbd0

In his recent address to the ultra-Zionist and war-mongering Stand With Us, Alan Dershowitz said;

people say Jews are too powerful, too strong, too rich, we control the media, we’ve too much this, too much that and we often apologetically deny our strength and our power. Don’t do that!”

Elder Zionist Dershowitz who acquired for himself the reputation of a “remarkable liar” (Chomsky) and a “serial plagiarist”  (Finkelstein) probably decided, just before he meets his creator, to give truth one last try.

In our world, no one can deny that Jews are “too powerful,” “too rich” or that they “control the media.” Yet no one can ignore that Jews themselves are rarely apologetic about their extensive and overblown power.  In fact, as with Dershowitz, most Jews tend to boast about the various facets of Jewish domination and, while boasting, use every trick in the book to silence anyone else who points to that power. As I have been arguing for several years, Jewish power is the ability to suppress the discussion on Jewish power.

Actually, Dershowitz’ approach here is rather refreshing. He admits that Jews are overwhelmingly powerful yet insists on presenting a rationale as to why Jews should never apologize about this overbearing and abusive power.

“WE (the Jews, presumably) have earned the right to influence public debate, WE have earned the right to be heard, WE have contributed disproportionately to success of this country.”

One may wonder who is included in that‘WE’ that has contributed so much to the ‘success’ of America. Is he referring to his client and close friend Jeffrey Epstein who pimped under-aged girls for the elites? Does Dershowitz’ ‘WE’ include Alan Greenspan who led the country to class genocide? Or perhaps his ‘WE’ denotes all those Wall Street Jewish bankers, like the Goldmans, the Sachs and  the Soroses – those who, on a daily basis, gamble on the American future and the global economy. And almost certainly, Dershowitz’ ‘WE’ includes Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson who have managed to reduce American politics into merely an internal Zionist affair.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no doubt that some Jews have contributed greatly to America’s culture, science, finance and so on. Yet, the notion of the Jewish ‘WE,’ which Dershowitz is here pushing is highly problematic and must be questioned. While it is obvious that the Saban and Adelson lobbies for Israel and Jewish interests subscribe to Dershowitz’ ‘WE,’ it is far from clear whether the likes of Philip Roth have been contributing to American literature as an ordinary American or whether he also is part of the Dershowitz ‘WE.’

It didn’t take the old ethnic-cleansing enthusiast long to deliver his punch line.

“Never ever apologize for using our (Jewish) strength and influencein the interest of peace.”

Considering Dershowitz’ role as an advocate of wars and an apologist for a criminal state, I was perplexed by his pronouncement. I asked myself, “Who are those Jews who so use their strength and influence in the interest of peace?  Is it the Neocon school aka The Project for the New American Century, an immoral interventionist global-Zionist collective that managed to pull America and the entire West into a global war with no end? Or maybe it is the ‘pacifist’ Albert Einstein who practically launched the Manhattan Project and introduced our planet to the imminent danger of eradication? Or perhaps Dershowitz is referring to Sidney Blumenthal who enthusiastically lobbied Secretary of State Clinton into a Libyan imperial intervention while he himself invested in the rebuilding of that state. Or is it the Jewish lobby that pushes constantly for intervention in Syria and war with Iran?

I’d better admit that I’m not aware of many Jews who genuinely use their ‘influence in the interest of peace,’ but when such Jews do appear, Alan Dershowitz is always the first to throw mud at them – as Norman Finkelstein and Richard Falk can testify.

Like Dershowitz, I don’t think Jews should apologize for the crimes of their state – I’m not sure such an apology would mean anything at all.  I don’t know whether Jews should apologize for their power – for Greenspan, Wolfowitz, Madoff or Dershowitz – again, such an act would mean very little. But I do think thatwhenever you see or hearDershowitz spreading his lies, calling for wars or celebrating his usual legalist, non-ethical symptoms, bear in mind that he is a spokesperson for the Jewish national project. Everything that is wrong with choseness and tribal supremacy is personified in this man. As such, Alan Dershowitz is a valuable window into the heart of Jerusalem, there to remind us how painful the flight from Athens has been.

But at the same time, the rejection of Dershowitz and everything he stands for, is for the Western mind, a homecoming, a key to Athens, a return to forever.

The rejection of Dershowitz and everything he stands for, is the key to Athens...

The rejection of Dershowitz and everything he stands for, is the key to Athens…

“Most of the World is Just Collapsing in Laughter” on Claims that Russia Intervened in the US Election

By Noam Chomsky

This interview took place at the University of Arizona, before a public audience, on February 2, 2017. I thank Marvin Waterstone for arranging the event, and Professor Chomsky, who approved this transcript for publication. The interview is presented in full, with only very slight editing for style. This interview originally appeared in the journal Class, Race, and Corporate Power. – D. Gibbs

March 05, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  “DC” –  David Gibbs: The main issue on everyone’s minds is the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has emphasized the extreme danger that Trump poses, due to the augmented risk of nuclear war and uncontrolled climate change. After inauguration, the Bulletin’s metaphoric clock has been repositioned at two and a half minutes to midnight, with “midnight” signifying catastrophe. Do you agree with the Bulletin regarding the alleged dangers posed by the Trump presidency?

Noam Chomsky: One of the dangers is unquestionable. Of the two existential threats – the threats to the termination of the species basically and most other species – one of them, climate change, on that I think there’s no basis for discussion. Trump has been very inconsistent on many things; on Twitter he’s been all over the place, but some of it is very consistent. That is: Do nothing about climate change except make it worse. And he’s not just speaking for himself, but for the whole Republican Party, the whole leadership. It’s already had impact, it will have worse impact. We’ll talk about this next week, but if there are ways out of this, it’s going to be not easy.

With regard to nuclear weapons, it’s kind of hard to say. He’s said lots of things. As you mentioned, the national security experts are terrified. But they’re more terrified by his personality than by his statements. So if you read people like say Bruce Blair1 one of the leading, most sober, knowledgeable specialists, he says, look, his statements are all over the map, but his personality is frightening, he’s a complete megalomaniac. You never know how he’s going to react. When he learned for example that he’d lost the election by about three million votes, his instant reaction was insanity; you know, three to five million illegal immigrants somehow were organized in some incredible fashion to vote. On any little issue – Miss Universe, or whatever it may be – he’s completely unpredictable, he’ll go off into outer space. His guru Steve Bannon is worse, he’s much scarier. He probably knows what he’s doing.

Over the years, there’s been case after case when there were very narrow decisions that had to be made about whether to launch nuclear weapons in serious cases. What is this guy going to do if his vaunted negotiating skills fail, if somebody doesn’t do what he says? Is he going to say, “Okay we’ll nuke them? We’re done?” Remember that in any major nuclear war, the first strike destroys the country that attacks; it’s been known for years. The first strike of a major power is very likely to cause what’s called nuclear winter, leads to global famine for years and everything’s basically gone. Some survivors straggling around. Could he do it? Who knows.

Some of his comments can be interpreted as potentially reducing the threat of nuclear war. The major threat right now is right on the Russian border. Notice, not the Mexican border, the Russian border. And it’s serious. He has made various statements moving towards reducing the tensions, accommodating Russian concerns and so on. On the other hand, you have to balance that against expanding our nuclear forces, add to our so-called depleted military, which is already more powerful than the rest of the world combined; attack in Syria, send forces to Syria, start bombing. Who knows what could be next? Michael Flynn, national security advisor,2 [his reaction] to the Iranian missile test the other day was very frightening. Now the missile test is ill-advised, they shouldn’t have done it. But it’s not in violation of international law or international agreements. They shouldn’t have done it. His reaction suggested maybe we’re going to go to war in retaliation. Would they do it? If they did, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Everything could blow up.

This crazy ban on the seven states, where we can’t accept immigrants, almost every analyst points out the obvious: It just increases the threat of terror. It lays the basis for terror. It’s just like the atrocities in Abu Ghraib and Bagram and Guantanamo. They’re the most fabulous recruiting techniques for Al Qaeda and ISIS. Everyone knows it. Now, you ban not the whole Muslim world. You ban seven states, seven states that have not been responsible for a single terrorist act. Those are the seven he banned. But, you leave the ones that really are responsible, like Saudi Arabia, which is the center for propaganda and funding and so on for radical Islamic Jihadism, well you can’t touch them because of business interests, also they have oil and so on and so forth. There’s actually an article in the Washington Post, I don’t know whether it’s tongue in cheek or not, which said the criterion for being on the list of banned states is that Trump doesn’t have business interests there. Maybe. But it’s this kind of wild unpredictability, megalomania, thin-skinned craziness that really has me worried, more than his statements. Now, on the climate change there’s just nothing to say, he’s perfectly straightforward.

Gibbs: Let us turn to the role of the media in reporting alleged Russian interference in the US electoral process. Mainstream journalists have called Trump a puppet of Russia, a modern version of the Manchurian Candidate. Others have criticized the media for accepting unsubstantiated claims about Russian influence, and reporting such claims as facts. Normon Soloman and Serge Halimi, for example, stated that press reporting on this issue amounts to a mass hysteria reminiscent of the McCarthy era, while Seymour Hersh called the media reporting on Russia “outrageous.”3 What is your view of this situation? 

Chomsky: My guess is that most of the world is just collapsing in laughter. Suppose all the charges are true, I mean every single one, it is so amateurish by US standards that you can hardly even laugh. What the US does is the kind of thing I described in Italy in 1948. Case after case like that, not hacking or spreading rumors in the media; but saying look, we’re going to starve you to death or kill you or destroy you unless you vote the way we want. I mean that’s what we do.

Take the famous 9/11, let’s think about it for a minute. It was a pretty awful terrorist act. It could have been a lot worse. Now let’s suppose that instead of the plane being downed in Pennsylvania by passengers, suppose it had hit its target, which was probably the White House. Now suppose it had killed the president. Suppose that plans had been set for a military coup to take over the government. And right away, immediately 50,000 people were killed, 700,000 tortured. A bunch of economists were brought in from Afghanistan, let’s call them the “Kandahar Boys,” who very quickly destroyed the economy, and established a dictatorship which devastated the country. That would have been a lot worse than 9/11. It happened: the first 9/11, it happened on September 11, 1973, in Chile. We did it. Was that interfering or hacking a party? This record is all over the world, constantly overthrowing governments, invading, forcing people to follow what we call democracy, as in the cases I mentioned. As I say, if every charge is accurate, it’s a joke, and I’m sure half the world is collapsing in laughter about this, because people outside the United States know it. You don’t have to tell people in Chile about the first 9/11.

Gibbs: One of the surprises of the post-Cold War era is the persistence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other US-led alliances. These alliances were created during the Cold War mainly or exclusively for containing the claimed Soviet threat. In 1991, the USSR disappeared from the map, but the anti-Soviet alliance systems persisted and in fact expanded. How do we account for the persistence and expansion of NATO? What in your view is the purpose of NATO after the Cold War?

Chomsky: We have official answers to that. It’s a very interesting question, which I was planning to talk about but didn’t have time. So thanks. It’s a very interesting question. For fifty years, we heard NATO is necessary to save Western Europe from the Russian hordes, you know the slave state, stuff I was taking about. In 1990-91, no Russian hordes. Okay, what happens? Well there are actually visions of the future system that were presented. One was Gorbachev. He called for a Eurasian security system, with no military blocs. He called it a Common European Home. No military blocs, no Warsaw Pact, no NATO, with centers of power in Brussels, Moscow, Ankara, maybe Vladivostok, other places. Just an integrated security system with no conflicts.

That was one. Now the other vision was presented by George Bush, this is the “statesman,” Bush I and James Baker his secretary of state. There’s very good scholarship on this incidentally. We really know a lot about what happened, now that all the documents are out. Gorbachev said that he would agree to the unification of Germany, and even adherence of Germany to NATO, which was quite a concession, if NATO didn’t move to East Germany. And Bush and Baker promised verbally, that’s critical, verbally that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east,” which meant East Germany. Nobody was talking about anything farther at the time. They would not expand one inch to the east. Now that was a verbal promise. It was never written. NATO immediately expanded to East Germany. Gorbachev complained. He was told look, there’s nothing on paper. People didn’t actually say it but the implication was look, if you are dumb enough to take faith in a gentleman’s agreement with us, that’s your problem. NATO expanded to East Germany.

There’s very interesting work, if you want to look into it by a young scholar in Texas named Joshua Shifrinson, it appeared in International Security, which is one of the prestige journals, published by MIT.4 He goes through the documentary record very carefully and he makes a pretty convincing case that Bush and Baker were purposely deceiving Gorbachev. The scholarship has been divided on that, maybe they just weren’t clear or something. But if you read it, I think it’s quite a convincing case, that they were purposely setting it up to deceive Gorbachev.

Okay, NATO expanded to East Berlin and East Germany. Under Clinton NATO expanded further, to the former Russian satellites. In 2008 NATO formally made an offer to Ukraine to join NATO. That’s unbelievable. I mean, Ukraine is the geopolitical heartland of Russian concern, quite aside from historical connections, population and so on. Right at the beginning of all of this, serious senior statesmen, people like Kennan for example and others warned that the expansion of NATO to the east is going to cause a disaster.5 I mean, it’s like having the Warsaw Pact on the Mexican border. It’s inconceivable. And others, senior people warned about this, but policymakers didn’t care. Just go ahead.

Right now, where do we stand? Well right at the Russian border, both sides have been taking provocative actions, both sides are building up military forces. NATO forces are carrying out maneuvers hundreds of yards from the Russian border, the Russian jets are buzzing American jets. Anything could blow up in a minute. In a minute, you know. Any incident could instantly blow up. Both sides are modernizing and increasing their military systems, including nuclear systems.

So what’s the purpose of NATO? Well actually we have an official answer. It isn’t publicized much, but a couple of years ago, the secretary-general of NATO made a formal statement explaining the purpose of NATO in the post-Cold War world is to control global energy systems, pipelines, and sea lanes. That means it’s a global system and of course he didn’t say it, it’s an intervention force under US command, as we’ve seen in case after case. So that’s NATO. So what happened to the years of defending Europe from the Russian hordes? Well, you can go back to NSC-68,6 and see how serious that was. So that’s what we’re living with.

Right now the threat to our existence is Muslim terrorists from seven states, who have never had a single terrorist act. About half the population believes that. I mean you look back at American history and American culture, it’s pretty striking. I mean this has been the safest country in the world forever, and the most frightened country in the world. That’s a large part of the source of the gun culture. You have to have a gun when you go into Starbucks, because who knows what’s going to happen. It just doesn’t happen in other countries.

There’s something deeply rooted in American culture. You can pretty much identify what it was. You take a look at the history. Remember, the US is not a global power until pretty recently. It was internal conquest. You had to defend yourself against what the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, an enlightened figure, called the attacks of the “merciless Indian savages,” whose known way of warfare was torture and destruction. Jefferson wasn’t a fool. He knew that it was the merciless English savages who were carrying out these acts. That is in the Declaration of Independence, recited piously every July Ffourth, the merciless Indian savages with no reason at all were suddenly attacking us. I mean, you can imagine the reasons. That’s one. Also you had a slave population, you had to protect yourself against them. You needed guns. One consequence of that was in southern culture, possession of a gun became kind of a sign of manhood, not just because of slaves but other white men. If you had a gun, you’re not going to push me around. You know, I’m not one of those guys you can kick in the face.

There was another element, which was kind of interesting. In the mid to late nineteenth century, the gun manufacturers recognized that they had a limited market. Remember that this is a capitalist society, you’ve got to expand your market. They were selling guns to the military. That’s a pretty limited market. What about all the rest of the people? So what started was all kinds of fantastic stories about Wyatt Earp and the gunmen and the Wild West, how exciting it was to have these guys with guns defending themselves against all sorts of things.

I grew up in that, when I was a kid. My friends and I used to play cowboys and Indians. We were cowboys killing the Indians, following the Wild West stories. All of this combined into a very strange culture, which is frightened. You look at the polls today, I think half the population supports this ban on these dangerous immigrants who are going to come in and do something, who knows what. And meanwhile the countries that really have been involved in terrorism, they’re out. It’s kind of like I think it was Oklahoma banning Sharia law. Now there’s probably fifty Muslims in Oklahoma, and they have to ban Sharia law, you know. This terror which is all over the country is constantly incited. The Russians were part of NSC-68, is a dramatic case. And that case, like most propaganda wasn’t totally fabricated. The Russians were doing a lot of rotten things, you can point to them. But the idea that if you consider what Hans Morgenthau called “I called abuse ofe reality,” the picture of the world was almost the opposite of what they presented. But somehow this sells and is continually repeated, at least in this kind of situation.

Gibbs: During the Cold War, the political left generally opposed military intervention. After 1991, however, the anti-interventionist movement collapsed and in its place has emerged the idea of humanitarian interventionism, which celebrates intervention as a defense of human rights. Military actions in the Balkans, Iraq, Libya have all been presented as acts of humanitarianism, which aimed to liberate oppressed peoples, and these interventions were at least initially popular among political liberals. Proposals for augmented US intervention in Syria often invoke the humanitarian principle. What is your view of humanitarian intervention?

Chomsky: Well, I don’t quite see it like that. Now, if you look back to the anti-intervention movements, what were they? Let’s take the Vietnam War – the biggest crime since the Second World War. Those of you who are old enough will remember what happened. You couldn’t be opposed to the war for years. The mainstream liberal intellectuals were enthusiastically in support of the war. In Boston, a liberal city where I was, we literally couldn’t have a public demonstration without it being violently broken up, with the liberal press applauding, until late 1966. By that time there were hundreds of thousands of American troops rampaging in South Vietnam. South Vietnam had been practically destroyed. The leading, the most respected Vietnam historian, military historian Bernard Fall7 – he was a hawk incidentally, but he cared for the Vietnamese – he said it wasn’t clear to him whether Vietnam could survive as a historical and cultural entity under the most massive attack that any region that size had ever suffered. He was talking about South Vietnam, incidentally. By that time, we did begin to get some protests. But not from liberal intellectuals; they never opposed the war.

In fact, it’s pretty dramatic when you get to 1975, very revealing, the war ends. Everybody had to write something about the war, what it meant. And you also had polls of public opinion, and they’re dramatically different. So if you look at the writings of intellectuals, there are two kinds. One said, l“Look, if we fought harder we could have won.” You know, the stab in the back. But the others, who were way at the left, people like Anthony Lewis of the New York Times, way out in left stream, his view in 1975 was the Vietnam war began with blundering efforts to do good. But by 1969, it was clear that it was a disaster, that was too costly to us. We could not bring democracy to South Vietnam at a cost that we were willing to accept. So it was a disaster. That’ is the left extreme.

Take a look at public opinion. About 70 percent of the population, in the polls, said the war was fundamentally wrong and immoral, not a mistake. And that attitude lasted as long as polls were taken in the early ‘80s. The pollsters don’t ask reasons, they just give numbers. So why did the people think it was fundamentally wrong and immoral? The guys who ran the polls, John E. Rielly, a professor at the University of Chicago, a liberal professor, he said what that means is that people thought too many Americans had beenwere being killed. Maybe. Another possibility is they didn’t like the fact that we were carrying out the worst crime since the Second World War. But that’s so inconceivable that wasn’t even offered as a possible reason.

Now what happened in the following years? Well, I think that among the educated classes it stayed the same. You talk about humanitarian intervention, it’s like Vietnam was a humanitarian intervention. Among the public, it’s quite different. Take the Iraq War, , it’s the second worst crime after the Second World War. It’s the first time in history, in the history of imperialism, there were huge demonstrations, before the war was officially launched. Actually it was already under way. But before it was officially launched, there were huge demonstrations everywhere. I think it had an effect. The public still was split.

And [after Vietnam] the type of interventions that are carried out are designed so as not to elicit public reactions. In fact, it was stated early in the first Bush [presidency], Bush I, in one of their documents they pointed out in the future, US wars are going to be against much weaker enemies. And they have to be won quickly and decisively before a popular reaction develops. And Iif you take a look, that’s what’s done. Look at Panama, for instance, over a couple of days; and Kosovo, no American troops. You wrote a great book about it.8 But I’m not convinced that it’s different from what it was.

Gibbs: With the end of the Cold War, there has been a decline of activism in the US and elsewhere around the issue of nuclear disarmament. Once again, this state of affairs differs from the period of the Cold War, when there was a mass movement that opposed nuclear weapons – recall the Freeze movement from the 1980s — but this movement largely disappeared after 1991. The danger of nuclear war remains as high as ever, but there is little public engagement on this issue, it would seem. How would you explain the disappearance of the anti-nuclear movement?

Chomsky: Well that’s absolutely right. The peak of anti-nuclear popular activism was in the early ‘80s, when there was a huge movement. And the Reagan administration attempted decided to defuse it and partially succeeded, by presenting the illusion of Star Wars, SDI, that somehow we’re going to eliminate nuclear weapons. The Reagan administration picked up the rhetoric of the anti-nuclear movement; they said “Yyeah, you’re right.” We have to eliminate nuclear weapons. And the way we’re going to do it is by having SDI, TStar Wars, the Strategic Defense Initiative, which prevent nuclear weapons from impacting. Well, that did defuse the movement.

And whthen the Russians collapsed, and it looked like as if maybe we can reduce the nuclear tensions. And for a while they actually were reduced. There was a reduction of nuclear weaponsreally were reduced on both sides. Various steps were taken. Nowhere near enough, but some of them were taken.

On the other hand, it’s very important to understand the official position of the United States. You should read it. So in 1995, this is Clinton, a very important document came out, still classified, but large parts of it were declassified. It’s called “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence.”9 What does post-Cold War deterrence mean? Deterrence means use of nuclear weapons. This was released by the Strategic Command, which was in charge of nuclear weapons planning and running nuclear weapons. I wrote about it when it came out and have been writing about it since. . Since then, I’ve never seen a reference to it. But it is an amazing document. Here’s what it says basically: It says we have to maintain the right of first strike, the right of the first use of nuclear weapons, even against nonnuclear powers. Nuclear weapons, they point out, are really constantly used, because they cast a shadow over other military actions. In other words, when people know we are ready to use nuclear weapons, they’re going to back off if we do something aggressive. So basically, nuclear weapons are always being used.

Now that’s a point that Dan Ellsberg has made for years. He said it’s kind of like if you and I go into a grocery store to rob it, and I have a gun. The guy may give you the money in the cash register. I’m using the gun even if I don’t shoot. Well that’s nuclear weapons — essential to post-war deterrence — they cast a shadow over everything. Then, it goes on to say that we must present a national persona of being irrational and vindictive, because that’s going to terrify people. And then, they’ll back off. And this is not Trump, this is Clinton. It’s not Nixon, you know. We have to be irrational and vindictive, because that’s going to frighten people. And we have to maintain this for years. And then we’ll be able to carry out the actions that we want to carry out.

That’s our nuclear weapons strategy, as of the early post-Cold War years. And I think this is a real failure of the intellectual community, including scholarship and the media. It’s not like you had headlines all over the place. And it’s not secret, the documents are there. And I think that’s probably the right picture. You know, people talk about Nixon’s “madman theory.” We don’t really know much about that. It was in memoirs, by somebody else.10 But this is real. This is the real mad man theory. We have to be irrational and vindictive, so people don’t know what we’re up to. This is not Trump and Bannon, it’s from the Clinton era.

Gibbs: I think we have time for one more question. In popular discussion, the phrase “national security” has come to mean security against military threats almost exclusively. This narrative downgrades the significance of nonmilitary threats, such as climate change, antibiotic resistant bacteria, or viral epidemics. It would seem that there is an imbalance between perceived military threats, which receive overwhelming governmental funding and press attention on the one hand, and nonmilitary threats, which receive relatively little on the other hand. How do we account for the apparent overemphasis on military threats?

Chomsky: Well [with] military threats, you can see them actually, you can imagine it. People don’t think about it enough. But Iif you think about it for a minute, you can see that a nuclear attack could be the end of everything. These other threats are kind of slow, maybe we won’t see them next year. Maybe the science is uncertain, maybe we don’t have to worry about it. Climate change is the worst, but there’s others.

Take pandemics. There could easily be a severe pandemic. A lot of that comes from something we don’t pay much attention to: Eating meat. The meat production industry, the industrial production of meat, uses an immense amount of antibiotics. I don’t remember the exact figure, it’s probably like half the antibiotics. Well antibiotics have an effect: They lead to mutations that make them ineffective. We’re now running out of antibiotics that deal with the threat of rapidly mutating bacteria. A lot of that just comes from the meat production industry. Well, do we worry about it? Well, we ought to be. You go into a hospital now, it’s dangerous. We can get diseases that can’t be dealt with, that are moving around the hospital. A lot of that traces back to industrial meat production. These are really serious threats, all over the place.

Take something you really don’t think about: Plastics in the ocean. I mean plastics in the ocean have an enormous ecological effect. When geologists announced the beginning of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, humans destroying the environment, one of the main things they pointed to is the use of plastics in the earth. We don’t think about it, but it has a tremendous effect. But these are things you don’t see right in front of your eyes. You need to think about them a little, to see what the consequences are. It’s easy to put them aside, and the media don’t talk about them. Other things are more important. How am I going to put food on the table tomorrow? That’s what I’ve got to worry about, and so on. It’s very serious, but it’s hard to bring out the enormity of these issues, when they do not have the dramatic character of something you can show in the movies, with a nuclear weapons falling and everything disappears.

Notes

1 For the recent opinions of Princeton University nuclear weapons specialist Bruce G. Blair, see Blair, “Trump and the Nuclear Keys,” New York Times, October 12, 2016.

2 Note that Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security advisor on February 13, 2017, several days after this interview took place

3 See Solomon, “Urgent to Progressives: Stop Fueling Anti-Russia Frenzy,” Antiwar.com, December 21, 2016, http://original.antiwar.com/solomon/2016/12/20/urgent-progressives-stop-fueling-anti-russia-frenzy/; Halimi, January, 2017, ; Jeremy , “Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Reporting Russian Hacking Story,”

4?: The End of the Cold War and the US Offer to Limit NATO Expansion,” International Security 40, no. 4, 2016.

5 On George F. Kennan’s warning about the dangers of NATO expansion, see Thomas L. Friedman, “Foreign Affairs: Now a Word from X,” New York Times, May 2, 1998.

6 Here, Chomsky references the National Security Council memorandum NSC-68, one of the key documents of the Cold War. This document was the topic of Chomsky’s lecture, which preceded the interview. The document text is now fully declassified and available online. See “A Report to the National Security Council – NSC 68,” April 14, 1950, made available through the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/coldwar/documents/pdf/10-1.pdf .

7 Regarding Bernard Fall’s writings on Vietnam, see Fall, Last Reflections on a War. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967.

8 The book Chomsky references with regard to the Kosovo intervention is David N. Gibbs, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009.

9 This e full text of this declassified document is now available online. See US Department of Defense, Strategic Command, “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence,” 1995 [no exact date indicated], made available through provided by the Federation of American Scientists, Nuclear Information Project,http://www.nukestrat.com/us/stratcom/SAGessentials.PDF.

10 The idea that President Richard Nixon subscribed to a “madman” theory of international relations first appeared in the memoir by former Nixon aide H. R. Haldeman, in Haldeman and Joseph DiMona, The Ends of Power. New York: Times Books, 1978, p. 98.

Join Us On FacebookJoin Us On Twitter

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

%d bloggers like this: