USA Conscience and Intellectual Peacemaking Leader
“US Targeted Killings: What Right Do We Have?”
Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, cognitive scientist, philosopher, logician, political commentator, social justice activist, and anarcho-syndicalist advocate. Sometimes described as the "father of modern linguistics," a major figure in analytic philosophy. He has spent most of his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is currently Institute Professor Emeritus, and has authored over 100 books. He is widely considered a prominent cultural figure, and was voted the "world's top public intellectual" in a 2005 poll.
In 1967 he entered the public consciousness through his vocal opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, in part through his essay The Responsibility of Intellectuals, and came to be associated with the New Left while being arrested on multiple occasions for his anti-war activism. While expanding his work in linguistics over subsequent decades, he also developed the propaganda model of media criticism with Edward S. Herman. Following his retirement from active teaching, he has continued his vocal public activism, for instance supporting the anti-Iraq War and Occupy movements.
Today, Chomsky continues to be a well-known political activist, and a leading critic of U.S. foreign policy, neoliberal capitalism, and the mainstream news media. Ideologically, he aligns himself with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. Dissident. (In more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky)
Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.He received his Phd in linguistics in 1955 from the University of Pennsylvania.During the years 1951 to 1955, Chomsky was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows.The major theoretical viewpoints of his doctoral dissertation appeared in the monograph Syntactic Structure, 1957.This formed part of a more extensive work, The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory, circulated in mimeograph in 1955 and published in 1975.
Chomsky joined the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 and in 1961 was appointed full professor.In 1976 he was appointed Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.
Chomsky has lectured at many universities here and abroad, and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards.He has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.Among his more recent books are, The Fateful Triangle, New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind; on Nature and Language; The Essential Chomsky; Hopes and Prospects; Gaza in Crisis; How the World Works; 9-11: Was There an Alternative; Making the Future: Occupations, Interventions, Empire, and Resistance; The Science of Language; Peace with Justice:Noam Chomsky in Australia; Power Systems; On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare (with Andre Vltchek); Democracy and Power: The Delhi Lectures; Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures; on Palestine (with Ilan Pappe); Because We Say So; and What Kind of Creatures Are We?
In English: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=637
In Russian: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=660
Key anti-war works of the last years:
1.Chomsky, Noam and Andre Vltchek (2013) On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare .
2.Chomsky, Noam (2014) US and its NATO Intervention Force may Spark Nuclear War .
3.Chomsky, Noam (October 26, 2015): US Targeted Killings: What Right Do We Have? .
4. Chomsky, Noam (May 17, 2016): Russia-US atomic war threatens nuclear annihilation
Russia-US atomic war threatens nuclear annihilation
May 17, 2016
Home US Foreign Policy
Leading American political analyst and philosopher Noam Chomsky says the rising tension between Russia and the United States might lead to a nuclear war that could cause the end of mankind.
In an interview with Democracy Now! published on Monday, Chomsky warned that the recent wave of “near collisions” between Russian and US forces amid a growing Western military buildup on Russian borders may bring about nuclear annihilation.
“The nuclear threat is the threat of—on the Russian border,” he said, adding later on that “both sides are acting as if an atomic war is thinkable.
“The US has just sharply increased; it quadrupled military expenses on its side. The Russians are doing something similar. There are constant near collisions, jets coming close to colliding with one another. A Russian jet a couple months ago virtually hit a Danish commercial airliner. US troops are carrying out maneuvers virtually on the Russian border. That threat is escalating and very serious,” Chomsky added.
Russia does not look favorably upon the North Atlantic Organization Treaty (NATO)’s growing deployment of missiles and nuclear weapons near its borders.
Seemingly angered by US and NATO’s move to activate a so-called missile shield in Europe last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to neutralize any threats by the complex against his country’s security.
Tensions between Russian and American military forces surged in April, after two Russian Sukhoi Su-24 warplanes performed multiple simulated attack passes over the US Donald Cook destroyer off Russia’s coast in the Baltic Sea.
A few days later a Russian supersonic Mig-31 aircraft intercepted a US Navy P-8 spy aircraft over Russia’s Far East, flying within several feet of it.
Chomsky said tensions between Moscow and Washington have put the world on the verge of “termination for the species.”
He said the symbolic Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which represents a countdown to possible global catastrophe, is moving closer to Midnight, the threat of a nuclear war.
Established in 1947, the founders of the clock, who are advised by 18 Nobel Laureates, said that the clock stood at three minutes to midnight, due to “[un]checked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals.”
That setting was maintained in January 2016.
According to the Federation of American Scientists, an organization that assesses nuclear weapon stockpiles, in 2013, Russia had around 8,500 total nuclear warheads, 1,800 of them strategically operational, compared to America’s estimated total 7,700 nuclear warheads of which 1,950 were deemed operational.
Chomsky said aside from nuclear proliferation, climate change also posed a grave threat to humanity. “The threat of global warming is very serious. Every time one reads a science journal, there’s an even more alarming discovery,” he warned.
US presidential elections, another threat
Chomsky also weighed in on the ongoing race for the 2016 presidential election in the US, saying that the threat of nuclear proliferation and climate change are directly affected by the outcome of the November vote and yet are ignored in debates.
“To make it worse, of these two huge threats, we have an electoral—the quadrennial electoral extravaganza is going on right now, of course. And it’s pretty remarkable to see how the worst threats that the human species has ever faced, the most important decisions it must make—and soon—are virtually absent from the discussions and debates,” he explained.
Chomsky has made it known that he supports Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders but is willing to support possible Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. In March, Chomsky warned that Trump poses a threat to humanity if he “means what he is saying.”
US Targeted Killings: What Right Do We Have?
26 October 15
TeleSUR’s The Global Empire with Abby Martin talks to renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky about U.S. elections, wars, and power.
“What right do we have to kill somebody in some other country who we don't like?”
This idea, that the United States has the right to invade, bomb, and kill, is a myth that renowned author and intellectual Noam Chomsky debunked during a 25-minute interview with Abby Martin for teleSUR's The Empire Files.
Even if the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which the United States bombedin October, had been only full of Taliban, Chomsky asks, why does the United States feel it has the right to kill people there?
“The idea that we have the right to use force and violence at will is accepted pretty much across the spectrum,” Chomsky said of politicians and the media in the United States. “The very idea of invading is criminal, but try to find someone who describes it as a crime. Obama is praised because he describes (the Iraq War) as a mistake.”
Obama is considered an anti-war candidate (but) Obama is running a global terror program of a kind that has never been seen before Calling the invasion of Iraq “the worst crime of this century,” Chomsky said, “Suppose it had worked ... it's still a major crime, why do we have the right to invade another country?”
He points out that in the current landscape of U.S. presidential contenders there is not one true anti-war candidate. “For example, Obama is considered an anti-war candidate (but) Obama is running a global terror program of a kind that has never been seen before, the drone program,” he said.
He says this pro-war, right-wing shift has been a result of the implementation of neoliberal policies, which shifted both parties to the right, pushing the Republicans “off the spectrum.”
“They became so dedicated to the interests of the extreme wealth and powerful that they couldn't get votes,” Chomsky said. “So they had to turn to other constituencies that were there, but were never politically mobilized, like Christian evangelicals (and) people who are so terrified that they have to carry a gun into a coffee shop.”
In doing so, the Republican Party “abandoned any pretense of being a normal political party” to become “a radical insurgency which has abandoned parliamentary politics.”
“The only thing that's ever going to bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements, which don't pay any attention to the election cycle.”
Chomsky said the result is that today's Democrats have shifted to the right as well.
“Today's mainstream Democrats are pretty much what used to be called moderate Republicans,” he said. “Someone like Eisenhower, for example, would be considered way out on the Left.”
He calls today's Republican “libertarian” principles “anarcho-capitalism,” saying that if the U.S. were to implement policy based on those theories, “the whole society would collapse ... it would be tyranny.” Traditional libertarianism was a left-wing ideology, Chomsky explains, opposed to master-servant relations, “but not in this version.”
Chomsky talks about Bernie Sanders, who is considered the most left-wing and progressive of the presidential candidates, calling him important and impressive, saying he is “doing good and courageous things.” However, he says, Sanders' campaign “ought to be directed to sustaining a popular movement which will use the election as an incentive, but then go on, but unfortunately it's not.”
“When the election's over, the movement's going to die,” Chomsky observes. “The only thing that's ever going to bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements, which don't pay any attention to the election cycle.”
1.Chomsky, Noam and Andre Vltchek (2013). On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare: http://blog.predicsasa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ChomskyOnWesternTerrorism.pdf
2.Chomsky, Noam (2014) US and its NATO Intervention Force may Spark Nuclear War: http://www.rt.com/news/203055-us-russia-war-chomsky
3.Chomsky, Noam (October 26, 2015): US Targeted Killings: What Right Do We Have? http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/33161-noam-chomsky-us-targeted-killings-what-right-do-we-have
Letters in support of Noam Chomsky in
GHA Highest Honorary Title:
WORLD HARMONY CREATOR
We are very grateful to you for this very valuable information about the interview Prof. Noam Chomsky with brilliant definition: " US Targeted Killings: What Right Do We Have?" I have included a link to this publication in our Global Peace Science, Chapter 9 in the section on relationship of US militarism and terrorism, with the following comment: “Militarism and terrorism are the brothers of one parent, birds of a feather, one kind and origin. The renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky debunked the US imperial right to invade, bomb and kill in other countries, like the terrorists, in his interview: "US Targeted Killings: What Right Do We Have?".
Of the dozens of his books (and hundreds of his articles) with the harsh criticism of the aggressive militaristic US foreign policy in particular the most important are the following:
(2014) US and its NATO Intervention Force may Spark Nuclear War.
(2013) on Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare.
(2013) Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire.
(2012) Making the Future: Occupations, Interventions, Empire and Resistance.
(2011) How the World Works. The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many; Secrets, Lies and Democracy;
(2011) Power and Terror: Conflict, Hegemony, and the Rule of Force.
(2010) Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians
(2006) Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.
(2003) Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance.
(His detailed biography please look on Wikipedia.)
In connection with the huge peacemaking contribution Prof. Chomsky in his numerous publications and presentations, which make his in the USA intellectual peacemaking leader, I suggest starting in the GHA a procedure of recognition of Noam Chomsky in the GHA High Honorary Title "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR" (http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=513) for his unique contribution to peacemaking, expressed in his steady and deep criticism of the USA militaristic and aggressive policy and in a courageous public opposition to it. I invite members of the GHA to express your opinion on the candidacy of Prof. Chomsky to the GHA highest honorary title in 2015 by your YES or NO during 6 days until November 10 inclusively. Is my choice right? You could call the alternative candidates for discussion. Your silence will be consent with my suggestion. Thank you. Best wishes for peace from harmony through science,
Dr. Leo Semashko, GHA President, Russia,
Mr Leo Semashko,
"opinion on the candidacy of Prof. Chomsky on the GHA highest honorary title in 2015". on challenges from - birth principle that you really know the person who indicates - so nothing to oppose, and would not have why. I congratulate Prof. Chomsky. Regards,
Delasnieve Daspet, Brazil,
I whole-heartedly endorse the candidacy of Prof. Chomsky on the GHA highest honorary title in 2015. Dr. Ashok Сhakravarthy Tholana Poet, India
Yes. Guy CREQUIE, France
When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, Noam Chomsky is the best known truth-teller in the United States. And he has been telling the truth about illegal & immoral U.S. wars for longer than anyone I can think of. He deserves to be honored by the GHA. He endorses the book I publish titled: “ADDICTED To WAR: Why The U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism” by Dr. Joel Andreas. You can read the 2004 edition of ATW at: www.addictedtowar.com/bookpreview.html . He was the first person I heard on KPFK 90.7 FM Radio in Los Angeles, over 30 years ago, who got me started as an anti-war/peace activist. He still draws the biggest crowds whenever he speaks. He is 87 years old. You can read more about him at: http://chomsky.info or: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky. You can find many of his talks on YouTube. “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky & The Media” is a great film. It was produced & directed by Mark Achbar in 1993 – You can watch it at:www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JEvxOdMWOU or: www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_DGdQa_H_M or: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbbfr9OJTfY . This film showcases Noam Chomsky, one of America's leading linguists & political dissidents. It also illustrates his message of how government and big media businesses cooperate to produce an effective propaganda machine in order to manipulate the opinions of the United States populous.His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank Dorrel, USA
Publisher, Addicted To War
P.O. Box 3261
Culver City, CA 90231-3261
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.addictedtowar.com
Большое спасибо за вашу детальную рекомендацию Проф. Хомского на Высший Почетный Титул ГСГ «ТВОРЕЦ МИРОВОЙ ГАРМОНИИ» (http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=513) с вашими обширными информационными источниками, раскрывающими неутомимую деятельность этого выдающегося миротворца и антивоенного активиста против, как вы пишите справедливо: “незаконных и аморальных войн США“. Как наиболее известный в Америке выразитель истины о милитаристской и агрессивной политике правительства США, ставший политическим диссидентом Америки, Хомский заслужил широкое мировое признание и многочисленные награды различных ассоциаций из разных стран, включая ГСГ и Россию.
Критические работы Проф. Хомского составляют большой вклад в подготовку Науки Глобального Мира (НГМ) в аспекте разоблачения главного препятствия, угрозы и врага глобального мира – милитаризма США/НАТО, что нашло отражение в Главе 9 книги НГМ (http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=607). В связи с этим, ГСГ пригласил Проф. Хомского написать небольшое предисловие к этой беспрецедентной книге. Это письмо смотреть в прикреплении.
ГСГ искренне благодарит миротворцев разных стран, которые выразили сильную поддержку Проф. Хомскому как«ТВОРЦУ МИРОВОЙ ГАРМОНИИ», из которой приходит глобальный мир через науку:
Delasnieve Daspet, Brazil,
Dr. Ashok Сhakravarthy, India,
Guy CREQUIE, France,
Frank Dorrel, USA,
Yuri Tsimbalist, Russia, Ю.И. Цымбалист, Россия
Dr. Charles Mercieca, USA,
Dr. Robert Burrowes & AMcKone, Australia,
Prof. Dr. Gopala and Prof. Dr. Sabrina, Malaysia идругие.
В течение ближайшего месяца я открою на нашем сайте, число посещений которого перевалило рубеж 7 миллионов (http://peacefromharmony.org), персональную страницу на двух языках: русском и английском примерно с таким названием: “Ноам Хомский: только истина об агрессивной гегемонистской политике США” (что вы думаете об этом?) с публикацией его наиболее ярких статей (вы могли бы прислать их мне), его фото и ваших откликов. Буду благодарен за любую помощь в этом деле.
Лучшие пожелания мира из гармонии через науку,
Лев Семашко, Президент ГСГ,
Thank you very much for your detailed recommendation to Prof. Chomsky on the GHA Highest Honorary Title "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR" (http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=513) with your vast information sources that reveal the tireless efforts of this outstanding peacemaker and anti-war activist against, as you write truly: "illegal & immoral US wars". As the most famous American spokesman of the truth about the militaristic and aggressive policy of the US government, who became a political dissident America, Chomsky has earned the widespread international recognition and numerous awards of various associations from different countries, including Russia and GHA.
Prof. Chomsky’s critical works make a big contribution to the Global Peace Science (GPS) in aspect of disclosure of the USA/NATO militarism as main obstacle, threat and an enemy of global peace that reflected in Chapter 9 of the GPS book (http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=607). In this connection, the GHA has invited Prof. Chomsky write a short preface to this unprecedented book. This letter, please, see in the attachment.
GHA is sincerely grateful to the peacemakers from different countries, who expressed strong support for the Prof. Chomsky as "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR", from which comes global peace through science:
Delasnieve Daspet, Brazil,
Dr. Ashok Shakravarthy, India,
Guy CREQUIE, France,
Frank Dorrel, USA,
Yuri Tsimbalist, Russia,
Dr. Charles Mercieca, USA,
Dr. Robert Burrowes & AMcKone, Australia,
Prof. Dr. Gopala and Prof. Dr. Sabrina, Malaysia and others.
During the next month I will open on our website, number of visits which exceeded 7 million (http://peacefromharmony.org), a personal page in two languages: Russian and English of Prof. Chomsky around since the title: “Noam Chomsky: only truth about the US aggressive hegemonistic policy” (what do you think about this?) with the publication of his most striking articles/interview (you could send them to me), your comments and his photos. I would be grateful for any help in this matter. Thanks.
Best wishes for peace from harmony through science,
Dr. Leo Semashko, GHA President, Россия
Для получения подробных сведений о жизни, научной, общественной деятельности и взглядах Н. Хомски (Чомски) предлагаю Вам (чисто в просветительских целях) ознакомиться с относительно недавним его интервью корреспонденту "Euronews" (прикрепляю к письму), а также с этими материалами: http://antiglobalist.moy.su/publ/liki_antiglobalizma/noam_khomskij/noam_khomskij/83-1-0-99 , http://scientificrussia.ru/info/homsky (изложение беседы с Хомски ведущей канала "Россия 24" Эвелиной Закамской),
http://zxcv.ejwiki.org/wiki/Хомский,_Ноам (здесь интересны его взгляды на Израиль, критику науки, а также изложение его политических взглядов),
http://scepsis.net/authors/id_23.html (о Хомски с публикацией ряда его статей - научно-просветительский журнал "Скепсис", избравший для себя девиз "Свобода начинается с сомнения"),
http://baguzin.ru/wp/?p=10660 (Ноам Хомский, "Как устроен мир"),
http://trueinform.ru/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=27357 (Ноам Хомский: паника американских лидеров в связи с крымскими событиями).
Думаю, некоторых из Вас заинтересуют и вот эти публикации:
http://allforgoal.ru/article/nlp/210-nlphistory.html ("НЛП - история становления") и
http://soft.tr200.biz/?id=743142 (Ноам Хомский, "Государство будущего"),
http://www.archipelag.ru/geoeconomics/global/fight/situation/ ("Ноам Хомский и ситуация наших дней").
Как мне кажется, ознакомление с этими русскоязычными материалами поможет большинству из нас выразить объективное мнение по части признания американского учёного в Высшем почётном звании ГСГ... Уверен, что при вынесении решения по данному вопросу нельзя проходить мимо публикации http://bolshoyforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=36691.0 ("Прогноз Н. Хомски о разделе Израиля") и не учитывать вот эти, хорошо известные во всём мире события: http://old.newsru.co.il/mideast/17may2010/chomsky465.html ("Инцидент на границе: Хомский сравнивает Израиль с ЮАР и сталинским режимом"),
http://www.isra.com/news/124244 ("Хомскому не позволили выступить в университете Рамаллы") и
http://trueinform.ru/modules.php?name=News&sid=14035 ("Ноам Хомский присоединился к Стивену Хокингу в бойкоте Израиля").
С уважением, Ю.И. Цымбалист, поэт, Россия
I fully agree with Frank Dorrel that Dr. Noam Chomsky should be awarded the highest honorary title from GHA. He wrote constantly about the realities of war, especially as they stem from the USA, whose purpose is simply and purely to make a lot of money through the ruthless exploitation and murder of innocent people.
The statement you made recently is absolutely perfect because it brings the truth as God sees it into the open very clearly. I like your comment very much: “Militarism and terrorism are the brothers of one parent, birds of a feather, one kind and origin. The renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky debunked the US imperial right to invade, bomb and kill in other countries, like the terrorists, in his interview: "US Targeted Killings: What Right Do We Have?"
Your proposed title: "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR" sounds very good. The list of books you put in your message are highly pertinent and I am glad you do keep a good record of such literature. Keep up the good work. Thank you.
Dr. Charles Mercieca, IAEWP President, USA,
Hi Leo and other GHA friends
I wholeheartedly endorse Leo's nomination of Prof Noam Chomsky for 'the
GHA High Honorary Title "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR" for his unique
contribution to peacemaking, expressed in his steady and deep criticism
of the USA militaristic and aggressive policy and in a courageous public
opposition to it'. He is without peer in this regard. Peace from harmony;
Dr. Robert Burrowes & AMcKone, Australia
We in Malaysia support the candidacy of Prof Chomsky. Best regards,
Prof Dr. Gopala and Prof Dr. Sabrina, Malaysia
Dear Dr. Leo & all GHA Members, Greetings from India!
I fully agree with your proposal that that Dr. Noam Chomsky should be awarded the highest honorary title from GHA. His contribution towards Global Peace & Harmony is quite appreciable .
I am very much impressed by his work “The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World” was launched simultaneously on 11 November 2011 at several locations around the world
Your proposed title: "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR" sounds very excellent. I wholeheartedly endorse your’snomination of Prof Noam Chomsky for 'the GHA High Honorary Title "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR" for his unique contribution to peace building through Peace from harmony and also through the “The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World”.
Greetings of Peace & Harmony to all.
Prof. (Dr.) Subhash Chandra,
GHA Secretary General, Global Harmony Association (GHA), India
Associate Professor (Hon.), Intercultural Open University (IOU), Nederland,
Dear Leo and GHA friends,
I endorse the nomination of Prof Noam Chomsky for 'the GHA Highest Honorary Title "World Harmony Creator" for his unique contribution to peacemaking. In peace,
Ayo Amale, GHA-Africa President, Ghana,
Dear GHA friends!
I also support Leo's nomination of world's veteran Prof.Noam Chomsky. Thanks,
Dr. Bishnu Pathak, Director, Peace and Conflict Studies Center (PCS Center), Kathmandu, Nepal
Dear Leo and GHA peacemakers,
We both fully agree with your proposal that Dr. Noam Chomsky should be awarded the highest honorary title from GHA, as a real peacemaker via actions. With peaceful wishes and love,
Dr Takis Ioannides, GHA Vice-President
Dr Dr Apostolos John Paschos, GHA member, Greece,
Thank you for your message. All terrorism of individual, groups and state should stop and turn to Peace. Prof. Noam Chomsky is the conscience of US. If you know the great author in Russia, and other states...like him, please tell me. Love,
Kae Morii, Poet, Japan,
Dear Leo and GHA members,
I heartily approve of Professor Noam Chomsky's candidacy.He is remarkable for his determined pursuit of the facts and the truth, and his willingness to speak out honestly and candidly.
Professor Chomsky is truly a person of courage and integrity -- an inspiration for all of us.
Roger Kotila, Ph.D., Editor, Earth Federation News & Views, USA,
Dear Dr. Leo,
YES! I agree & fully support his candidacy in the World Harmony Creators. His candidacy in the World Harmony Creators will not only promote the vision of GHA & Mission of GPS: Victory of Peace over War: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=585, but also provides the inspiration to all the people to follow the path of Peace from Harmony.
Global Peace Science (GPS): The Universality of humanity -Subject’s Area Matrix
for Humanity, Sustainability & Spirituality. Global peace is defined by the formula: One Earth ~ one Humanity ~ one Harmony ~ one Peace = one Global Peace Science (GPS):
Greetings of Peace from Harmony
Dr. Subhash Chandra,
GHA Secretary General- Global Harmony Association (GHA), India,
GHA Ambassador of Peace and Disarmament from Harmony in India,
Global Harmony Association (GHA)
Peace comes from harmony through science
TO: Professor Noam Chomsky, the USA intellectual peacemaking leader
Your Preface in a few lines to the first ever "Global Peace Science" (GPS) by more than 130 coauthors from 34 countries, which was published in Russian in January 2015 and now will be publish in English in India and the US in January 2016 as a peaceful step of the BRICS on way of science, mind and culture. Its first ten chapters from twelve are published in English on the GHA website here: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=585
Dear Professor Chomsky,
The GHA cannot ask the USA President Obama about this Preface as he is pursuing the USA global policy of militarism and aggression. You are the USA intellectual peacemaking leader today therefore we address to you. We admire a depth of your peacemaking thoughts and your courage in opposition to the militarist Washington. GHA will be happy to recognize you in the Highest Honorary Title "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR", which (harmony) is a source of global peace: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=513.
The GHA is finalizing the GPS book its English edition. Among its coauthors are the former Indian President Abdul Kalam, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, pioneer of peace studies Prof. Johan Galtung and many other distinguished scholars and peacemakers.
Peacefulness of the BRICS countries with their "priority of international peace and security" makes its center and source of global peace now. Your great peacemaking and peacebuilding books and ideas found the wide reflection and lighting in our GPS book especially in Chapter 9 devoted to criticism of the USA, which “targeted killings” similar terrorist, as you said recently brilliantly, but not targeted for peace, to which the BRICS and GPS are targeted.
Creating in the GHA since 2005 the GPS as a new fundamental science provides the revival of social science to overcome the lag of nearly two centuries from military science and a new impetus to develop global peacebuilding on a new scientific platform. For its development, we call on the BRICS leaders to establish an International Academy for Global Peace (see attachment). We also invite the BRICS and other leaders to write a few lines to the book Preface.
So we'll be glad to get your Preface for the GPS book before 01/12/15 in 3-5 lines about peace science and its need for peace as a common platform for dialogue in the peaceful settlement of any armed conflict. It has great importance for the BRICS peace policy, for its scientific basis and integrating world peacebuilding experience.
We sent similar invitation to the BRICS leaders and other great peacemakers, the Prefaces of which will be published together with you.
GHA members and GPS coauthors,
Dr. Leo Semashko, GHA President, GPS Editor in Chief, Russia
Dr. Subhash Chandra, GHA Secretary General, India
Kanakmal Dugar, GHA Vice-President, Chancellor, IASE Deemed University, President, Gandhi Vidya Mandir, India
Dr. Surendra Pathak, GHA-India President
Ayo Ayoola-Amale,GHA-Africa President, Ghana
Prof. Jiang Yimin, Educator, China
Delasnieve Daspet, Peacemaker and Poet, Brazil
Noam Chomsky was recognized WORLD HARMONY CREATOR
Dear GHA members, friends!
I am happy to report that the great American critic, dissident and the USA conscience Prof. Noam Chomsky was approved in the GHA Highest Honorary Title “WORLD HARMONY CREATOR” on November 22, 2015! Of the GHA more than 600 individual members from more than 65 countries was no one vote ‘NO’ since the discussion beginning his candidacy Nov. 3.
The GHA is happy to congratulate the honest and courageous critic of the US/NATO militarism as the main obstacle and enemy of global peace and as the main source of global terrorism with his unanimous recognition in the Highest Honorary Title: WORLD HARMONY CREATOR and wish him good health and energy in the continuation of his criticism, clearing the way for universal peace from harmony!
Prof. Noam Chomsky was included in the Gallery of “WORLD HARMONY CREATORS”:
The numerous positive responses from many countries, together with a list of his major works were published on his personal page: "Noam Chomsky: USA Conscience and Intellectual Peacemaking Leader" (not Obama, who is militaristic and Western terrorist leader) here: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=637
The sources of his key anti-war works of the last 3 years:
1. Chomsky, Noam and Andre Vltchek (2013) On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare .
2. Chomsky, Noam (2014) US and its NATO Intervention Force may Spark Nuclear War .
3. Chomsky, Noam (October 26, 2015): US Targeted Killings: What Right Do We Have?  are also published here.
Prof. Chomsky and his works are included in the GHA Home page of "Peace from Harmony": http://peacefromharmony.org/. Every day it is visited by about 5,000 people.
These and other works of Prof. Chomsky are published or widely cited in Global Peace Science (GPS: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=607), the co-author of which he is. His works make a significant contribution to this unprecedented science that allows us to recognize Prof. Chomsky also as one among the founders of this science together with Immanuel Kant, Mahatma Gandhi, Nicholas Roerich, Martin Luther King, Johan Galtung and other prominent peaceful thinkers of humanity in its history.
Best wishes for peace from harmony through science and education,
Dr. Leo Semashko,
Editor’s Note: Noam Chomsky is one of the great contemporary analysts of the global impact of American power. I first met Chomsky when we both were involved in challenging America’s disastrous war in Vietnam–never yet adequately mourned by the U.S. government and its architects like Henry Kissinger never punished for the war crimes for which we were responsible. Chomsky has been a voice of sanity and a scholar whose broad vision of the role of America in the world puts to shame the shallow interpretations of American politics that still mesmerize the media and mislead the American people. Instead, the media and much of academia dismisses Chomsky as a leftist extremist rather than addressing the reasoned and documented analyses he has developed in his many books. Please read this article and his new book Who Rules the World
–Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun magazine www.tikkun.org RabbiLerner.Tikkun@gmail.com
American Power Under Challenge
Masters of Mankind (Part 1)
[This piece, the first of two parts, is excerpted from Noam Chomsky’s new book, Who Rules the World?(Metropolitan Books). It is reprinted by Tikkun with permission from our ally TomDispatch.com.
When we ask “Who rules the world?” we commonly adopt the standard convention that the actors in world affairs are states, primarily the great powers, and we consider their decisions and the relations among them. That is not wrong. But we would do well to keep in mind that this level of abstraction can also be highly misleading.
States of course have complex internal structures, and the choices and decisions of the political leadership are heavily influenced by internal concentrations of power, while the general population is often marginalized. That is true even for the more democratic societies, and obviously for others. We cannot gain a realistic understanding of who rules the world while ignoring the “masters of mankind,” as Adam Smith called them: in his day, the merchants and manufacturers of England; in ours, multinational conglomerates, huge financial institutions, retail empires, and the like. Still following Smith, it is also wise to attend to the “vile maxim” to which the “masters of mankind” are dedicated: “All for ourselves and nothing for other people” -- a doctrine known otherwise as bitter and incessant class war, often one-sided, much to the detriment of the people of the home country and the world.
The Second Superpower
The neoliberal programs of the past generation have concentrated wealth and power in far fewer hands while undermining functioning democracy, but they have aroused opposition as well, most prominently in Latin America but also in the centers of global power. The European Union (EU), one of the more promising developments of the post-World War II period, has been tottering because of the harsh effect of the policies of austerity during recession, condemned even by the economists of the International Monetary Fund (if not the IMF’s political actors). Democracy has been undermined as decision making shifted to the Brussels bureaucracy, with the northern banks casting their shadow over their proceedings.
Mainstream parties have been rapidly losing members to left and to right. The executive director of the Paris-based research group EuropaNova attributes the general disenchantment to “a mood of angry impotence as the real power to shape events largely shifted from national political leaders [who, in principle at least, are subject to democratic politics] to the market, the institutions of the European Union and corporations,” quite in accord with neoliberal doctrine. Very similar processes are under way in the United States, for somewhat similar reasons, a matter of significance and concern not just for the country but, because of U.S. power, for the world.
The rising opposition to the neoliberal assault highlights another crucial aspect of the standard convention: it sets aside the public, which often fails to accept the approved role of “spectators” (rather than “participants”) assigned to it in liberal democratic theory. Such disobedience has always been of concern to the dominant classes. Just keeping to American history, George Washington regarded the common people who formed the militias that he was to command as “an exceedingly dirty and nasty people [evincing] an unaccountable kind of stupidity in the lower class of these people.”
In Violent Politics, his masterful review of insurgencies from “the American insurgency” to contemporary Afghanistan and Iraq, William Polk concludes that General Washington “was so anxious to sideline [the fighters he despised] that he came close to losing the Revolution.” Indeed, he “might have actually done so” had France not massively intervened and “saved the Revolution,” which until then had been won by guerrillas -- whom we would now call “terrorists” -- while Washington’s British-style army “was defeated time after time and almost lost the war.”
A common feature of successful insurgencies, Polk records, is that once popular support dissolves after victory, the leadership suppresses the “dirty and nasty people” who actually won the war with guerrilla tactics and terror, for fear that they might challenge class privilege. The elites’ contempt for “the lower class of these people” has taken various forms throughout the years. In recent times one expression of this contempt is the call for passivity and obedience (“moderation in democracy”) by liberal internationalists reacting to the dangerous democratizing effects of the popular movements of the 1960s.
Sometimes states do choose to follow public opinion, eliciting much fury in centers of power. one dramatic case was in 2003, when the Bush administration called on Turkey to join its invasion of Iraq. Ninety-five percent of Turks opposed that course of action and, to the amazement and horror of Washington, the Turkish government adhered to their views. Turkey was bitterly condemned for this departure from responsible behavior. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, designated by the press as the “idealist-in-chief” of the administration, berated the Turkish military for permitting the malfeasance of the government and demanded an apology. Unperturbed by these and innumerable other illustrations of our fabled “yearning for democracy,” respectable commentary continued to laud President George W. Bush for his dedication to “democracy promotion,” or sometimes criticized him for his naïveté in thinking that an outside power could impose its democratic yearnings on others.
The Turkish public was not alone. Global opposition to U.S.-UK aggression was overwhelming. Support for Washington’s war plans scarcely reached 10% almost anywhere, according to international polls. Opposition sparked huge worldwide protests, in the United States as well, probably the first time in history that imperial aggression was strongly protested even before it was officially launched. on the front page of the New York Times, journalist Patrick Tyler reported that “there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.”
Unprecedented protest in the United States was a manifestation of the opposition to aggression that began decades earlier in the condemnation of the U.S. wars in Indochina, reaching a scale that was substantial and influential, even if far too late. By 1967, when the antiwar movement was becoming a significant force, military historian and Vietnam specialist Bernard Fall warned that “Vietnam as a cultural and historic entity... is threatened with extinction... [as] the countryside literally dies under the blows of the largest military machine ever unleashed on an area of this size.”
But the antiwar movement did become a force that could not be ignored. Nor could it be ignored when Ronald Reagan came into office determined to launch an assault on Central America. His administration mimicked closely the steps John F. Kennedy had taken 20 years earlier in launching the war against South Vietnam, but had to back off because of the kind of vigorous public protest that had been lacking in the early 1960s. The assault was awful enough. The victims have yet to recover. But what happened to South Vietnam and later all of Indochina, where “the second superpower” imposed its impediments only much later in the conflict, was incomparably worse.
It is often argued that the enormous public opposition to the invasion of Iraq had no effect. That seems incorrect to me. Again, the invasion was horrifying enough, and its aftermath is utterly grotesque. Nevertheless, it could have been far worse. Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest of Bush’s top officials could never even contemplate the sort of measures that President Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson adopted 40 years earlier largely without protest.
Western Power Under Pressure
There is far more to say, of course, about the factors in determining state policy that are put to the side when we adopt the standard convention that states are the actors in international affairs. But with such nontrivial caveats as these, let us nevertheless adopt the convention, at least as a first approximation to reality. Then the question of who rules the world leads at once to such concerns as China’s rise to power and its challenge to the United States and “world order,” the new cold war simmering in eastern Europe, the Global War on Terror, American hegemony and American decline, and a range of similar considerations.
The challenges faced by Western power at the outset of 2016 are usefully summarized within the conventional framework by Gideon Rachman, chief foreign-affairs columnist for the London Financial Times. He begins by reviewing the Western picture of world order: “Ever since the end of the Cold War, the overwhelming power of the U.S. military has been the central fact of international politics.” This is particularly crucial in three regions: East Asia, where “the U.S. Navy has become used to treating the Pacific as an ‘American lake’”; Europe, where NATO -- meaning the United States, which “accounts for a staggering three-quarters of NATO’s military spending” -- “guarantees the territorial integrity of its member states”; and the Middle East, where giant U.S. naval and air bases “exist to reassure friends and to intimidate rivals.”
The problem of world order today, Rachman continues, is that “these security orders are now under challenge in all three regions” because of Russian intervention in Ukraine and Syria, and because of China turning its nearby seas from an American lake to “clearly contested water.” The fundamental question of international relations, then, is whether the United States should “accept that other major powers should have some kind of zone of influence in their neighborhoods.” Rachman thinks it should, for reasons of “diffusion of economic power around the world -- combined with simple common sense.”
There are, to be sure, ways of looking at the world from different standpoints. But let us keep to these three regions, surely critically important ones.
The Challenges Today: East Asia
Beginning with the “American lake,” some eyebrows might be raised over the report in mid-December 2015 that “an American B-52 bomber on a routine mission over the South China Sea unintentionally flew within two nautical miles of an artificial island built by China, senior defense officials said, exacerbating a hotly divisive issue for Washington and Beijing.” Those familiar with the grim record of the 70 years of the nuclear weapons era will be all too aware that this is the kind of incident that has often come perilously close to igniting terminal nuclear war. one need not be a supporter of China’s provocative and aggressive actions in the South China Sea to notice that the incident did not involve a Chinese nuclear-capable bomber in the Caribbean, or off the coast of California, where China has no pretensions of establishing a “Chinese lake.” Luckily for the world.
Chinese leaders understand very well that their country’s maritime trade routes are ringed with hostile powers from Japan through the Malacca Straits and beyond, backed by overwhelming U.S. military force. Accordingly, China is proceeding to expand westward with extensive investments and careful moves toward integration. In part, these developments are within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes the Central Asian states and Russia, and soon India and Pakistan with Iran as one of the observers -- a status that was denied to the United States, which was also called on to close all military bases in the region. China is constructing a modernized version of the old silk roads, with the intent not only of integrating the region under Chinese influence, but also of reaching Europe and the Middle Eastern oil-producing regions. It is pouring huge sums into creating an integrated Asian energy and commercial system, with extensive high-speed rail lines and pipelines.
One element of the program is a highway through some of the world’s tallest mountains to the new Chinese-developed port of Gwadar in Pakistan, which will protect oil shipments from potential U.S. interference. The program may also, China and Pakistan hope, spur industrial development in Pakistan, which the United States has not undertaken despite massive military aid, and might also provide an incentive for Pakistan to clamp down on domestic terrorism, a serious issue for China in western Xinjiang Province. Gwadar will be part of China’s “string of pearls,” bases being constructed in the Indian Ocean for commercial purposes but potentially also for military use, with the expectation that China might someday be able to project power as far as the Persian Gulf for the first time in the modern era.
All of these moves remain immune to Washington’s overwhelming military power, short of annihilation by nuclear war, which would destroy the United States as well.
In 2015, China also established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), with itself as the main shareholder. Fifty-six nations participated in the opening in Beijing in June, including U.S. allies Australia, Britain, and others which joined in defiance of Washington’s wishes. The United States and Japan were absent. Some analysts believe that the new bank might turn out to be a competitor to the Bretton Woods institutions (the IMF and the World Bank), in which the United States holds veto power. There are also some expectations that the SCO might eventually become a counterpart to NATO.
The Challenges Today: Eastern Europe
Turning to the second region, Eastern Europe, there is a crisis brewing at the NATO-Russian border. It is no small matter. In his illuminating and judicious scholarly study of the region, Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands, Richard Sakwa writes -- all too plausibly -- that the “Russo-Georgian war of August 2008 was in effect the first of the ‘wars to stop NATO enlargement’; the Ukraine crisis of 2014 is the second. It is not clear whether humanity would survive a third.”
The West sees NATO enlargement as benign. Not surprisingly, Russia, along with much of the Global South, has a different opinion, as do some prominent Western voices. George Kennan warned early on that NATO enlargement is a “tragic mistake,” and he was joined by senior American statesmen in an open letter to the White House describing it as a “policy error of historic proportions.”
The present crisis has its origins in 1991, with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. There were then two contrasting visions of a new security system and political economy in Eurasia. In Sakwa’s words, one vision was of a “‘Wider Europe,’ with the EU at its heart but increasingly coterminous with the Euro-Atlantic security and political community; and on the other side there [was] the idea of ‘Greater Europe,’ a vision of a continental Europe, stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok, that has multiple centers, including Brussels, Moscow and Ankara, but with a common purpose in overcoming the divisions that have traditionally plagued the continent.”
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was the major proponent of Greater Europe, a concept that also had European roots in Gaullism and other initiatives. However, as Russia collapsed under the devastating market reforms of the 1990s, the vision faded, only to be renewed as Russia began to recover and seek a place on the world stage under Vladimir Putin who, along with his associate Dmitry Medvedev, has repeatedly “called for the geopolitical unification of all of ‘Greater Europe’ from Lisbon to Vladivostok, to create a genuine ‘strategic partnership.’”
These initiatives were “greeted with polite contempt,” Sakwa writes, regarded as “little more than a cover for the establishment of a ‘Greater Russia’ by stealth” and an effort to “drive a wedge” between North America and Western Europe. Such concerns trace back to earlier Cold War fears that Europe might become a “third force” independent of both the great and minor superpowers and moving toward closer links to the latter (as can be seen in Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik and other initiatives).
The Western response to Russia’s collapse was triumphalist. It was hailed as signaling “the end of history,” the final victory of Western capitalist democracy, almost as if Russia were being instructed to revert to its pre-World War I status as a virtual economic colony of the West. NATO enlargement began at once, in violation of verbal assurances to Gorbachev that NATO forces would not move “one inch to the east” after he agreed that a unified Germany could become a NATO member -- a remarkable concession, in the light of history. That discussion kept to East Germany. The possibility that NATO might expand beyond Germany was not discussed with Gorbachev, even if privatelyconsidered.
Soon, NATO did begin to move beyond, right to the borders of Russia. The general mission of NATO was officially changed to a mandate to protect “crucial infrastructure” of the global energy system, sea lanes and pipelines, giving it a global area of operations. Furthermore, under a crucial Western revision of the now widely heralded doctrine of “responsibility to protect,” sharply different from the official U.N. version, NATO may now also serve as an intervention force under U.S. command.
Of particular concern to Russia are plans to expand NATO to Ukraine. These plans were articulated explicitly at the Bucharest NATO summit of April 2008, when Georgia and Ukraine were promised eventual membership in NATO. The wording was unambiguous: “NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.” With the “Orange Revolution” victory of pro-Western candidates in Ukraine in 2004, State Department representative Daniel Fried rushed there and “emphasized U.S. support for Ukraine’s NATO and Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” as a WikiLeaks report revealed.
Russia’s concerns are easily understandable. They are outlined by international relations scholar John Mearsheimer in the leading U.S. establishment journal, Foreign Affairs. He writes that “the taproot of the current crisis [over Ukraine] is NATO expansion and Washington’s commitment to move Ukraine out of Moscow’s orbit and integrate it into the West,” which Putin viewed as “a direct threat to Russia’s core interests.”
“Who can blame him?” Mearsheimer asks, pointing out that “Washington may not like Moscow’s position, but it should understand the logic behind it.” That should not be too difficult. After all, as everyone knows, “The United States does not tolerate distant great powers deploying military forces anywhere in the Western hemisphere, much less on its borders.”
In fact, the U.S. stand is far stronger. It does not tolerate what is officially called “successful defiance” of the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, which declared (but could not yet implement) U.S. control of the hemisphere. And a small country that carries out such successful defiance may be subjected to “the terrors of the earth” and a crushing embargo -- as happened to Cuba. We need not ask how the United States would have reacted had the countries of Latin America joined the Warsaw Pact, with plans for Mexico and Canada to join as well. The merest hint of the first tentative steps in that direction would have been “terminated with extreme prejudice,” to adopt CIA lingo.
As in the case of China, one does not have to regard Putin’s moves and motives favorably to understand the logic behind them, nor to grasp the importance of understanding that logic instead of issuing imprecations against it. As in the case of China, a great deal is at stake, reaching as far -- literally -- as questions of survival.
The Challenges Today: The Islamic World
Let us turn to the third region of major concern, the (largely) Islamic world, also the scene of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) that George W. Bush declared in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attack. To be more accurate, re-declared. The GWOT was declared by the Reagan administration when it took office, with fevered rhetoric about a “plague spread by depraved opponents of civilization itself” (as Reagan put it) and a “return to barbarism in the modern age” (the words of George Shultz, his secretary of state). The original GWOT has been quietly removed from history. It very quickly turned into a murderous and destructive terrorist war afflicting Central America, southern Africa, and the Middle East, with grim repercussions to the present, even leading to condemnation of the United States by the World Court (which Washington dismissed). In any event, it is not the right story for history, so it is gone.
The success of the Bush-Obama version of GWOT can readily be evaluated on direct inspection. When the war was declared, the terrorist targets were confined to a small corner of tribal Afghanistan. They were protected by Afghans, who mostly disliked or despised them, under the tribal code of hospitality -- which baffled Americans when poor peasants refused “to turn over Osama bin Laden for the, to them, astronomical sum of $25 million.”
There are good reasons to believe that a well-constructed police action, or even serious diplomatic negotiations with the Taliban, might have placed those suspected of the 9/11 crimes in American hands for trial and sentencing. But such options were off the table. Instead, the reflexive choice was large-scale violence -- not with the goal of overthrowing the Taliban (that came later) but to make clear U.S. contempt for tentative Taliban offers of the possible extradition of bin Laden. How serious these offers were we do not know, since the possibility of exploring them was never entertained. Or perhaps the United States was just intent on “trying to show its muscle, score a victory and scare everyone in the world. They don’t care about the suffering of the Afghans or how many people we will lose.”
That was the judgment of the highly respected anti-Taliban leader Abdul Haq, one of the many oppositionists who condemned the American bombing campaign launched in October 2001 as "a big setback" for their efforts to overthrow the Taliban from within, a goal they considered within their reach. His judgment is confirmed by Richard A. Clarke, who was chairman of the Counterterrorism Security Group at the White House under President George W. Bush when the plans to attack Afghanistan were made. As Clarke describes the meeting, when informed that the attack would violate international law, "the President yelled in the narrow conference room, ‘I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.'" The attack was also bitterly opposed by the major aid organizations working in Afghanistan, who warned that millions were on the verge of starvation and that the consequences might be horrendous.
The consequences for poor Afghanistan years later need hardly be reviewed.
The next target of the sledgehammer was Iraq. The U.S.-UK invasion, utterly without credible pretext, is the major crime of the twenty-first century. The invasion led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people in a country where the civilian society had already been devastated by American and British sanctions that were regarded as “genocidal” by the two distinguished international diplomats who administered them, and resigned in protest for this reason. The invasion also generated millions of refugees, largely destroyed the country, and instigated a sectarian conflict that is now tearing apart Iraq and the entire region. It is an astonishing fact about our intellectual and moral culture that in informed and enlightened circles it can be called, blandly, “the liberation of Iraq.”
Pentagon and British Ministry of Defense polls found that only 3% of Iraqis regarded the U.S. security role in their neighborhood as legitimate, less than 1% believed that “coalition” (U.S.-UK) forces were good for their security, 80% opposed the presence of coalition forces in the country, and a majority supported attacks on coalition troops. Afghanistan has been destroyed beyond the possibility of reliable polling, but there are indications that something similar may be true there as well. Particularly in Iraq the United States suffered a severe defeat, abandoning its official war aims, and leaving the country under the influence of the sole victor, Iran.
The sledgehammer was also wielded elsewhere, notably in Libya, where the three traditional imperial powers (Britain, France, and the United States) procured Security Council resolution 1973 and instantly violated it, becoming the air force of the rebels. The effect was to undercut the possibility of a peaceful, negotiated settlement; sharply increase casualties (by at least a factor of 10, according to political scientist Alan Kuperman); leave Libya in ruins, in the hands of warring militias; and, more recently, to provide the Islamic State with a base that it can use to spread terror beyond. Quite sensible diplomatic proposals by the African Union, accepted in principle by Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, were ignored by the imperial triumvirate, as Africa specialist Alex de Waal reviews. A huge flow of weapons and jihadis has spread terror and violence from West Africa (now the champion for terrorist murders) to the Levant, while the NATO attack also sent a flood of refugees from Africa to Europe.
Yet another triumph of “humanitarian intervention,” and, as the long and often ghastly record reveals, not an unusual one, going back to its modern origins four centuries ago.
The Costs of ViolenceMasters of Mankind (Part 2)By Noam Chomsky
In brief, the Global War on Terror sledgehammer strategy has spread jihadi terror from a tiny corner of Afghanistan to much of the world, from Africa through the Levant and South Asia to Southeast Asia. It has also incited attacks in Europe and the United States. The invasion of Iraq made a substantial contribution to this process, much as intelligence agencies had predicted. Terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank estimate that the Iraq War “generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third.” Other exercises have been similarly productive.
A group of major human rights organizations -- Physicians for Social Responsibility (U.S.), Physicians for Global Survival (Canada), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Germany) -- conducted a study that sought "to provide as realistic an estimate as possible of the total body count in the three main war zones [Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan] during 12 years of ‘war on terrorism,'" including an extensive review “of the major studies and data published on the numbers of victims in these countries,” along with additional information on military actions. Their "conservative estimate" is that these wars killed about 1.3 million people, a toll that "could also be in excess of 2 million." A database search by independent researcher David Peterson in the days following the publication of the report found virtually no mention of it. Who cares?
More generally, studies carried out by the Oslo Peace Research Institute show that two-thirds of the region’s conflict fatalities were produced in originally internal disputes where outsiders imposed their solutions. In such conflicts, 98% of fatalities were produced only after outsiders had entered the domestic dispute with their military might. In Syria, the number of direct conflict fatalities more than tripled after the West initiated air strikes against the self-declared Islamic State and the CIA started its indirect military interference in the war -- interference which appears to have drawn the Russians in as advanced US antitank missiles were decimating the forces of their ally Bashar al-Assad. Early indications are that Russian bombing is having the usual consequences.
The evidence reviewed by political scientist Timo Kivimäki indicates that the “protection wars [fought by ‘coalitions of the willing’] have become the main source of violence in the world, occasionally contributing over 50% of total conflict fatalities.” Furthermore, in many of these cases, including Syria, as he reviews, there were opportunities for diplomatic settlement that were ignored. That has also been true in other horrific situations, including the Balkans in the early 1990s, the first Gulf War, and of course the Indochina wars, the worst crime since World War II. In the case of Iraq the question does not even arise. There surely are some lessons here.
Playing by the Al-Qaeda Game Plan
Obama’s global drone assassination campaign, a remarkable innovation in global terrorism, exhibits the same patterns. By most accounts, it is generating terrorists more rapidly than it is murdering those suspected of someday intending to harm us -- an impressive contribution by a constitutional lawyer on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, which established the basis for the principle of presumption of innocence that is the foundation of civilized law.
Another characteristic feature of such interventions is the belief that the insurgency will be overcome by eliminating its leaders. But when such an effort succeeds, the reviled leader is regularly replaced by someone younger, more determined, more brutal, and more effective. Polk gives many examples. Military historian Andrew Cockburn has reviewed American campaigns to kill drug and then terror “kingpins” over a long period in his important study Kill Chain and found the same results. And one can expect with fair confidence that the pattern will continue.
No doubt right now U.S. strategists are seeking ways to murder the “Caliph of the Islamic State” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is a bitter rival of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The likely result of this achievement is forecast by the prominent terrorism scholar Bruce Hoffman, senior fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. He predicts that “al-Baghdadi’s death would likely pave the way for a rapprochement [with al-Qaeda] producing a combined terrorist force unprecedented in scope, size, ambition and resources.”
Polk cites a treatise on warfare by Henry Jomini, influenced by Napoleon’s defeat at the hands of Spanish guerrillas, that became a textbook for generations of cadets at the West Point military academy. Jomini observed that such interventions by major powers typically result in “wars of opinion,” and nearly always “national wars,” if not at first then becoming so in the course of the struggle, by the dynamics that Polk describes. Jomini concludes that “commanders of regular armies are ill-advised to engage in such wars because they will lose them,” and even apparent successes will prove short-lived.
Careful studies of al-Qaeda and ISIS have shown that the United States and its allies are following their game plan with some precision. Their goal is to “draw the West as deeply and actively as possible into the quagmire” and “to perpetually engage and enervate the United States and the West in a series of prolonged overseas ventures” in which they will undermine their own societies, expend their resources, and increase the level of violence, setting off the dynamic that Polk reviews.
Scott Atran, one of the most insightful researchers on jihadi movements, calculates that “the 9/11 attacks cost between $400,000 and $500,000 to execute, whereas the military and security response by the U.S. and its allies is in the order of 10 million times that figure. on a strictly cost-benefit basis, this violent movement has been wildly successful, beyond even Bin Laden’s original imagination, and is increasingly so. Herein lies the full measure of jujitsu-style asymmetric warfare. After all, who could claim that we are better off than before, or that the overall danger is declining?”
And if we continue to wield the sledgehammer, tacitly following the jihadi script, the likely effect is even more violent jihadism with broader appeal. The record, Atran advises, “should inspire a radical change in our counter-strategies.”
Al-Qaeda/ISIS are assisted by Americans who follow their directives: for example, Ted “carpet-bomb ’em” Cruz, a top Republican presidential candidate. Or, at the other end of the mainstream spectrum, the leading Middle East and international affairs columnist of the New YorkTimes, Thomas Friedman, who in 2003 offered Washington advice onhow to fight in Iraq on the Charlie Rose show: “There was what I would call the terrorism bubble... And what we needed to do was to go over to that part of the world and burst that bubble. We needed to go over there basically, and, uh, take out a very big stick, right in the heart of that world, and burst that bubble. And there was only one way to do it... What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house from Basra to Baghdad, and basically saying, which part of this sentence don’t you understand? You don’t think we care about our open society, you think this bubble fantasy we’re going to just let it go? Well, suck on this. Ok. That, Charlie, was what this war was about.”
That’ll show the ragheads.
Atran and other close observers generally agree on the prescriptions. We should begin by recognizing what careful research has convincingly shown: those drawn to jihad “are longing for something in their history, in their traditions, with their heroes and their morals; and the Islamic State, however brutal and repugnant to us and even to most in the Arab-Muslim world, is speaking directly to that... What inspires the most lethal assailants today is not so much the Quran but a thrilling cause and a call to action that promises glory and esteem in the eyes of friends.” In fact, few of the jihadis have much of a background in Islamic texts or theology, if any.
The best strategy, Polk advises, would be “a multinational, welfare-oriented and psychologically satisfying program... that would make the hatred ISIS relies upon less virulent. The elements have been identified for us: communal needs, compensation for previous transgressions, and calls for a new beginning.” He adds, “A carefully phrased apology for past transgressions would cost little and do much.” Such a project could be carried out in refugee camps or in the “hovels and grim housing projects of the Paris banlieues,” where, Atran writes, his research team “found fairly wide tolerance or support for ISIS’s values.” And even more could be done by true dedication to diplomacy and negotiations instead of reflexive resort to violence.
Not least in significance would be an honorable response to the “refugee crisis” that was a long time in coming but surged to prominence in Europe in 2015. That would mean, at the very least, sharply increasing humanitarian relief to the camps in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey where miserable refugees from Syria barely survive. But the issues go well beyond, and provide a picture of the self-described “enlightened states” that is far from attractive and should be an incentive to action.
There are countries that generate refugees through massive violence, like the United States, secondarily Britain and France. Then there are countries that admit huge numbers of refugees, including those fleeing from Western violence, like Lebanon (easily the champion, per capita), Jordan, and Syria before it imploded, among others in the region. And partially overlapping, there are countries that both generate refugees and refuse to take them in, not only from the Middle East but also from the U.S. “backyard” south of the border. A strange picture, painful to contemplate.
An honest picture would trace the generation of refugees much further back into history. Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk reports that one of the first videos produced by ISIS “showed a bulldozer pushing down a rampart of sand that had marked the border between Iraq and Syria. As the machine destroyed the dirt revetment, the camera panned down to a handwritten poster lying in the sand. ‘End of Sykes-Picot,’ it said.”
For the people of the region, the Sykes-Picot agreement is the very symbol of the cynicism and brutality of Western imperialism. Conspiring in secret during World War I, Britain’s Mark Sykes and France’s François Georges-Picot carved up the region into artificial states to satisfy their own imperial goals, with utter disdain for the interests of the people living there and in violation of the wartime promises issued to induce Arabs to join the Allied war effort. The agreement mirrored the practices of the European states that devastated Africa in a similar manner. It “transformed what had been relatively quiet provinces of the Ottoman Empire into some of the least stable and most internationally explosive states in the world.”
Repeated Western interventions since then in the Middle East and Africa have exacerbated the tensions, conflicts, and disruptions that have shattered the societies. The end result is a “refugee crisis” that the innocent West can scarcely endure. Germany has emerged as the conscience of Europe, at first (but no longer) admitting almost one million refugees -- in one of the richest countries in the world with a population of 80 million. In contrast, the poor country of Lebanon has absorbed an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, now a quarter of its population, on top of half a million Palestinian refugees registered with the U.N. refugee agency UNRWA, mostly victims of Israeli policies.
Europe is also groaning under the burden of refugees from the countries it has devastated in Africa -- not without U.S. aid, as Congolese and Angolans, among others, can testify. Europe is now seeking to bribe Turkey (with over two million Syrian refugees) to distance those fleeing the horrors of Syria from Europe’s borders, just as Obama is pressuring Mexico to keep U.S. borders free from miserable people seeking to escape the aftermath of Reagan’s GWOT along with those seeking to escape more recent disasters, including a military coup in Honduras that Obama almost alone legitimized, which created one of the worst horror chambers in the region.
Words can hardly capture the U.S. response to the Syrian refugee crisis, at least any words I can think of.
Returning to the opening question “Who rules the world?” we might also want to pose another question: “What principles and values rule the world?” That question should be foremost in the minds of the citizens of the rich and powerful states, who enjoy an unusual legacy of freedom, privilege, and opportunity thanks to the struggles of those who came before them, and who now face fateful choices as to how to respond to challenges of great human import.
Copyright 2016 Valeria Galvao Wasserman-Chomsky
If you wish to be involved in supporting a movement to change the way the U.S. relates to the world both domestically and internationally, please read Tikkun's proposed Global Marshall Plan (downlaod the full 32 page brochure at www.tikkun.org/gmp), then read the world view behind it at www.spiritualprogressives.org/covenant and JOIN the Network of Spiritual Progressives www.spiritualprogressives.org/join
Copyright 2015 Tikkun Magazine. Tikkun is a registered trademark.
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Noam Chomsky on organizing for a next system
NOAM CHOMSKY | MARCH 24, 2016
Philosopher, linguist, and social critic Noam Chomsky recently spoke about his experiences in campus activism and his vision of a just society to help inaugurate the Next System Project’s ambitious new teach-ins initiative taking place across the country. An initial signatory to the Next System statement, Chomsky explores the connections between culture, mass movements, and economic experiments—which in “mutually reinforcing” interaction, may build toward a next system more quickly than you may think.
Next System Project: As the Next System Project engages in dozens of university campus-based teach-ins across the country, what do you think of such approaches to engaging campus communities in deep, critical inquiry—can they help transform our society?
Noam Chomsky: Maybe I can just give a taste of my own personal experience. I’ve been at MIT, where I still am, for 65 years. When I got here it was a very quiet, passive campus: all white males, well-dressed and deferential, doing their homework, and so on. It remained that way right through most of the 1960s, through all the campus turmoil. There were some people involved, but not much. There was faculty peace and justice activity but not much on the part of students.
In fact, the campus was so passive that in 1968 when the Lyndon Johnson administration was beginning to try to slowly pull out of the Vietnam War, they had an idea that they would make peace with the students. They decided to send around the worst possible choice—the former Harvard dean, McGeorge Bundy—who they thought would know how to talk to students. He would come to campuses and we’d all make friends. They started off by picking very safe campuses. MIT was the second on the list, but they made a mistake. It turned out that there’d been a couple of students who had been actively organizing on campus. When Bundy showed up, he was surrounded by angry masses of students demanding that he explain and justify the terrible things he’d been involved in, and that essentially ended that effort.
By that time, really a handful of students had succeeded in substantially organizing the campus on a whole variety of issues that were very much alive. The Vietnam War, racism, the beginnings of the women’s movement were just starting and taking off then. In fact, within a couple of years, MIT became probably the most active and radical campus in the country. Mike Albert, who was one of the leaders of this group, was elected student body president with a set of positions so radical you could hardly believe them. Without going into the details, it had a major change, a major impact on the culture, the community.
If you look over the developments in recent years, there’s been severe retrogression on economic and political issues, but considerable progress on cultural and social issues.
For the first time, there began to be serious discussion of the questions of the ethical elements in technological development. That all goes right to the present. In fact, just a few minutes ago, I was on a Reddit-style interchange with students on a whole variety of questions. They were bringing up all kinds of issues. This would’ve been utterly unthinkable back in the early 1960s. And similar things have been happening on all campuses. That’s had a big effect. It’s changed the culture, it’s changed the society. If you look over the developments in recent years, there’s been severe retrogression on economic and political issues, but considerable progress on cultural and social issues. The class nature of the society and its basic institutions have not only not changed, they’ve gotten worse. In other respects, there’s been major changes and it matters: attitudes towards women’s rights and civil rights, opposition to aggression, concern over the environment, these are all major things that have changed. Student activism has been critical all the way through and continues to be.
There’s a reason for that. Not just here, historically. Students typically are at a period of their lives when they’re more free than at any other time. They’re out of parental control. They’re not yet burdened by the needs of trying to put food on the table in a pretty repressive environment, often, and they’re free to explore, to create, to invent, to act, and to organize. Over and over through the years, student activism has been extremely significant in initiating and galvanizing major changes. I don’t see any reason for that to change.
Next System Project: Why do you think that right now, a deeper conversation on the retrogression in the political and the economic structures of our society is something that’s worth doing, and where do you think that might lead?
Noam Chomsky: Let’s take a look at a longer stretch. The Great Depression in the 1930s, if you compare it with today, was quite different in important ways. I’m old enough to remember. It was objectively much worse than today, much more severe. Subjectively, it was much better. It was a period of hopefulness of my own extended family, mostly unemployed working class, very little education—not even high school, often. They were active, organized, hopeful. There was militant labor action—the CIO at the early years was smashed by force, but by the mid-1930s it was becoming very significant. The CIO was organized. The sit-down strikes were really threatening capitalist control of the productive institutions, and they understood it. There was a relatively sympathetic administration, and though there were political parties that were functioning in a variety of ways, the unions offered not only activism, but solidarity, mutual support, cultural interchange. It was a way of life that gave people hope that we’re gonna get out of this soon though, no matter how bad it is.
There were significant gains. The New Deal gains were not trivial—there were a lot of problems with them, but major gains. By the late 1930s, there was already a backlash beginning from the business classes that were used to running the show. It was kind of held off during the war, but launched strongly with real dedication after the war. There were major campaigns to roll back the kind of radical democracy that had developed during the Great Depression and the war not just in the United States, but throughout the world. That continues right up to the present.
There were major campaigns to roll back the kind of radical democracy that had developed during the Great Depression and the war not just in the United States, but throughout the world.
There was plenty of activism in the ‘60s, which led to concern and backlash, which took off in the ‘70s and especially under Reagan and since with the neoliberal programs, which have been pretty much a disaster wherever they’ve been applied, all over the world, in different forms. In the United States typically what they’ve done is undermine the welfare and opportunities for the majority of the population and also undermined functioning democracy. That’s consistent everywhere. If you look at, let’s say, real male wages, they’re about what they were in the 1960s. There’s been growth—not as strong as in earlier years, but substantial—but going into very few pockets.
For example, since the last great crash, 2008, probably 90% of growth has gone to maybe 1% of the population. The political system was never really responsive to the mass of the population, but it’s now changed to the point where it’s a virtual plutocracy. If you look at academic, political science, it shows that maybe 70% of the population is just underrepresented. Their representatives pay no attention to their attitudes.
The political system was never really responsive to the mass of the population, but it’s now changed to the point where it’s a virtual plutocracy.
Years ago, it was pointed out that if you look at the socioeconomic profile of abstention in the United States—non-voting—it’s pretty much the same bloc of people as those in comparable societies, like, say, in Europe, where these blocs vote for labor-oriented or social democratic parties, which don’t exist here. We have geographic parties, which actually come straight out of the Civil War—just business-run parties, no class-based parties. And all of this has gotten much worse. It’s led to a very dangerous potential of people who are angry, isolated. It’s very different from the ‘30s in that the hopefulness is gone. The hopefulness and the solidarity has been replaced by isolation, anger, fear, hatred, easy target for demagogues as we see right in front of us constantly. It’s a dangerous situation that can be countered and students are in a really good position to counter it—and to address the fundamental institutions, economic and political institutions of this society, which are closely related.
There are major threats that are related to this that just can’t be discounted. The human species is now at a point where it has to make choices that are going to determine whether decent survival is even possible. Environmental catastrophe, including war, maybe pandemics, these are very serious issues and they can’t be addressed within the current structure of institutions. That’s almost given. There have to be real significant changes, and only really effective popular mass-based movements can introduce and carry forward such initiatives, as indeed did happen during the 1930s.
The human species is now at a point where it has to make choices that are going to determine whether decent survival is even possible.
Next System Project: A recent poll of 18-to-26-year-olds found that they believe by 58% that socialism “is the most compassionate political system” with an extra 6% saying “communism.” There seems to be a groundswell within this younger generation for an interest in socialism, but it seems at this point very inchoate. Is this a moment to delve into questions of ownership, control, and the design principles that would produce institutions that generate community, sustainability, and peace? Or is it too academic a pursuit given how distant a powerful, mass-based political project is at the moment?
The other choice was to hand the system over to the workforce, have it democratically controlled and managed, and have the production oriented toward what the community needs.
Noam Chomsky: I’m not sure how far away we are, frankly. Just take the last crash. one of the consequences was the government basically took over the auto industry. They had some choices. one choice was the one that was taken: tax payroll, bailout the owners and managers, and then restore the system to what it was. Maybe new names, but essentially the same structure, and have them continue to do the same thing: produce automobiles. That was one choice. That was what was taken. There was another choice. The other choice was to hand the system over to the workforce, have it democratically controlled and managed, and have the production oriented toward what the community needs. We don’t need more cars. We need effective mass transportation for lots of reasons. You can take high speed trains from Beijing to Kazakhstan, but not from Boston to New York. Infrastructure’s collapsing, it has a horrible effect on the environment. It means that spending half your life in traffic jams. This is implicit in market systems. A market gives you choice among consumer goods, say a Ford and a Toyota. It doesn’t give you a choice between an automobile and a decent mass transportation system.
Those are choices that involve communities, solidarity, popular democracy, popular organizations and so on. That was a choice just a couple of years ago with a different constellation of popular forces. I think the choice could have been an alternative one. That’s happened right near where I live in a suburb of Boston. There was a pretty successful manufacturing plant producing parts for aircraft and so on. The multinational that owned it decided they weren’t making enough profit, so they decided to put them out of business. The progressive union offered to buy it from them, which would have been profitable for the multinational, but I think mainly for class interests they refused. If there had been popular support for that right here, I think the workers could have taken it over and they would have a successful worker-owned and -managed enterprise. Those things can proliferate.
My feeling is it’s not really remote. I think most of these things are right below the surface in people’s consciousness. It has to be brought forward. This is true of many issues incidentally. It’s very important to recognize how unresponsive the political economic system is to people’s attitudes. You see this all the time. Take, say, Bernie Sanders. His positions are regarded as radical and extremist. In fact if you look at them, they’re very much in accord with the popular will over long periods. Take, say, national healthcare. Right now about 60% of the population are in favor of it, which is pretty remarkable since nobody speaks for it and it’s constantly demonized. If you look back, that’s consistent. In the late Reagan years about 70% of the population thought it should be in the Constitution, such a natural right, and in fact about 40% of the population thought it already was in the Constitution.
Right now about 60% of the population are in favor of [national healthcare], which is pretty remarkable since nobody speaks for it and it’s constantly demonized.
That’s consistent right through. It’s called politically impossible, meaning the financial institutions and the pharmaceutical corporations won’t accept it. But that tells you something about the society, not the popular will. Same is true for other things: free tuition, higher taxes on the rich, all consistent over long periods, but the policy goes in the opposite direction. If popular opinion can be organized, mobilized, with institutions of interaction and solidarity, like unions, then I think what’s right below the surface can become quite active and implemented as policy.
Next System Project: What’s your approach in terms of the principles or the models by which we can really engage the questions of ownership and democracy in the economy? Is it a worker-centered vision? A community vision? Would the economy function on principles of subsidiarity? And what do you do about large industry? Do you mix and match some of the principles, competing interests, and goals that are inherent to different institutions to create a national-level strategy?
Noam Chomsky: My feeling is that all of those initiatives should be pursued, not just in parallel, but in interaction, because they’re mutually reinforcing. If you have, say, worker-owned and -managed production facilities in communities which have popular budgeting and true democratic functioning, those support each other, and they can spread. In fact they might spread very fast. The example that I just mentioned of the Boston suburb for example, can be duplicated all over the place. People like David Ellerman were working on efforts like this for years. Over and over, you get situations where some multinational will decide to put out of business a profit-making subsidiary, which isn’t profitable enough for their bottom line, but works fine for the workers. Frequently, the workforce has tried to take it from them and take it over. Often they refuse even though they would make more profit than just giving it up—I think for good reason: they comprehend that this can proliferate. If some things work, others will follow.
If you have, say, worker-owned
and -managed production facilities in communities which have popular budgeting and true democratic functioning, those support each other, and they can spread.
There are some, in fact, pretty substantial ones in the world like Mondragon—not perfect by any means, but a model that can be developed and extended here. I think it does appeal to people. We might just consider the matter of wage labor. It’s pretty hard to remember maybe, but if you go back to the early industrial revolutions, the late 19th century, wage labor was considered essentially the same as slavery. The only difference was that it was supposed to be temporary. That was a slogan of the Republican party: opposition to wage slavery. Why should some people give orders and others take them? That’s essentially the relation of a master and a slave, even if it could be temporary.
If you look back at the labor movement in the late 19th century, you see it had a rich array of worker-owned, worker-directed media: worker-written newspapers all over the place, and many of them by women—the so-called “factory girls” in textile plants. Attack on wage labor was constant. The slogan was, “Those who work in the mills should own them.” They opposed the degradation and undermining of culture that was part of the forced industrialization of the society. They began to link up with the radical agrarian movement. It was mostly still an agrarian society, the farmers groups that wanted to get rid of the northeastern bankers and merchants and run their own affairs. It was a really radical democratic moment. There were worker-run cities, like Homestead, Pennsylvania, a main industrial center. A lot of that was destroyed by force, but I again think it’s just below the surface, can rise easily again.
Next System Project: One of your overriding concerns has been imperialism. What do you see as the design principles that should be animating the internal features of a society that is no longer oriented towards militarism and imperialism? What might be some institutional characteristics for our communities, our economy and our national politics?
Noam Chomsky: Fundamentally, I think it again reduces to solidarity. In this case, international solidarity. Take something concrete: what’s called the immigrant crisis. People in Central America and Mexico, people are fleeing to the United States. Why? Because we destroyed their societies. They don’t want to live in the United States. They want to live at home. We should be acting in solidarity with them, first of all to certainly permit them to be here if that’s the way they can save themselves from the conditions that we’ve imposed, but also to help them reconstruct their own societies. Same is true in Europe. People are flooding Europe from Africa. Why? There’s a couple of centuries of history that explain that. It’s a European responsibility, both to absorb and integrate them, and to contribute to rebuilding the societies that Europe destroyed and that its wealth depends on.
People in Central America and Mexico, people are fleeing to the United States. Why? Because we destroyed their societies.
That’s true domestically as well. Take our own wealth and privilege: to a very large extent it derives from slavery—the most intensive, brutal slavery in history. Cotton was the oil of the 19th century. It’s what fueled the early industrial revolution—and the wealth and privilege of the United States, England, and others, depended very extensively on the horrifying slave labor camps in the United States that were imposing brutal torture to increase productivity of the commodity which enriched manufacturers. The main manufacturing plants were textiles plants originally. Textile merchants and commerce helped develop the financial system. The residue of it has never disappeared. Those are internal questions, which have the same character as imperial conquest and destruction.
Take, say, Africa. Parts of West Africa in the late 19th century were about in the same state as Japan. There was one difference. Japan wasn’t colonized, so it could follow the model of the industrial societies and become a major industrial society itself. That was blocked in the case of West Africa by imperial conquest. It may seem strange to think about it, but if you go back to say, 1820, Egypt and the United States were in pretty similar conditions. They were both rich agricultural societies. They had plenty of cotton, the crucial resource of that period. Egypt had a developmentally oriented government, pretty similar to the Hamiltonian system here, the developmental state. The difference was that the United States had liberated itself from imperial control. Egypt hadn’t. The British made it very clear that they were never going to permit an independent competitor in the eastern Mediterranean. Over time, Egypt became Egypt. The United States became the United States. That’s a lot of modern history; not all of it, quite a lot.
Those are things we should really think about.
The reaction to imperialist crimes should be recognition of them and compensation for them and solidarity with the victims.
The reaction to imperialist crimes should be recognition of them and compensation for them and solidarity with the victims. And this is not ancient history either. Take a look at the refugee crisis in Europe. Afghans and Iraqis are under horrible duress in Greek concentration camps. Why Afghans and Iraqis? Did something happen in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, logician, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes described as "the father of modern linguistics," Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy, and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He has spent more than half a century at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is Institute Professor Emeritus, and is the author of over 100 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media.
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Ноам Хомский и ситуация наших дней
Ноам Хомский стал известен в России — не как выдающийся лингвист, а как значительный политический мыслитель — только в 2001 г., когда сразу после событий 11 сентября за рекордно короткий срок был переведен на русский язык и выпущен в свет небольшой сборник его интервью под названием "9/11" (что означает не только 11 сентября по принятому в США обозначению, когда месяц выносится впереди дня, но и телефон немедленного вызова полиции). Отечественный читатель тогда впервые получил возможность познакомиться с крупнейшим американским диссидентом, суровым критиком корпоративной глобализации и внешней политики Соединенных Штатов Америки. За этой маленькой книжкой, выпущенной сотрудниками издательства "Логос", быстро последовали два перевода "Праксиса" — "Прибыль на людях" и "Новый военный гуманизм". Издательством "Праксис" сейчас готовится к выходу очередное сочинение мыслителя — "Классовая война". Аргументы Хомского все чаще используют представители левого движения в нашей стране, и это естественно — Хомский постепенно становится символическим центром всех тех сил в мире, кто не желает принимать глобальную гегемонию Соединенных Штатов.
При этом было бы опрометчиво по примеру некоторых западных публицистов типа Пола Холландера считать Хомского "антиамериканистом" — осуждая агрессивные действия США и элитистское мировоззрение истеблишмента страны, он неизменно подчеркивает, что Соединенные Штаты смогли создать самое свободное общество, которое когда-либо существовало на земле. Более того, он ни в коей мере не отрицает право США на активную пропаганду в мире ценностей свободы и демократии, полагая в отличие от Самуэля Хантингтона, что ценности эти имеют не локальный, "цивилизационный", но универсальный характер. Однако он вместе с другими представителями левого течения в Америке сомневается, что американское правительство руководствуется именно этими, и в самом деле глобальными, ценностями, а не собственной выгодой и узко-корыстными интересами.
Вообще, прямолинейный идеализм и морализм Хомского, с одной стороны, удивительно подкупает и вызывает симпатию, а с другой — удивляет и обескураживает. Иногда кажется, что он требует от государства невозможного, чтобы оно действовало себе во вред, например, он, как следует из публикуемого интервью, хочет, чтобы американцы, освободив Ирак, установили в этой стране демократию, при этом сознавая, что тем самым они передадут власть в стране в руки шиитов-фундаменталистов или иных радикальных антиамериканских сил. Я думаю, ни один государственный человек ни в одной стране мира никогда не согласится с такого рода требованиями бескорыстия и поэтому мне кажутся более весомыми не моралистические, а реалистические возражения против политики Буша, в частности те, что приводит Брент Скоукрофт (на которые Хомский ссылается в публикуемом ниже интервью). Реалисты скептически относятся к идее насильственного внедрения демократии в других странах мира в том числе и потому, что, демократизируя страны, где никто никогда не слышал о демократии, можно выпустить какого-нибудь нехорошего джина из бутылки. И мне кажется, что в этом реалисты правы. Демократию нужно культивировать и совершенствовать у себя дома, а не на стороне.
Тем не менее, моральная стойкость, интеллектуальная честность Хомского и его значительная популярность среди американцев (я лично мог убедиться в том, что книги этого мыслителя имеются во всех книжных магазинах Америки, даже в тех из них, где преобладают сочинения консервативных авторов) сами по себе вселяли и вселяют надежду на то, что демократическим силам в США, для которых мыслитель представляет собой безусловный нравственный авторитет, удастся остановить неумолимое движение этой страны в сторону глобального гегемонизма, угрожающего свободе людей во всем мире. Война в Ираке вызвала, беспрецедентный, по словам Хомского, подъем протестных движения в Соединенных Штатах и во всем мире. Акция 15 февраля, когда на улицы Нью-Йорка, Лондона, Рима, Мадрида вышли миллионы людей, скандировавших "Нет войне!", казалась событием, которое просто не могло не повлечь за собой далеко идущие последствия в мировой политике. Лидеры протестного движения находились весь февраль и март в состоянии эйфории по поводу неожиданного для них самих успеха акций протеста, превзошедших по своему размаху выступления 1960-х годов. Однако гора родила мышь: антивоенное движение не смогло привести к отставке ни одно правительство в Европе, поддержавшее военные действия вопреки мнению большинства своих сограждан. Вопреки ожиданиям в своем кресле усидел даже премьер-министр Испании — страны, представлявшей, пожалуй, "самое слабое звено в системе империализма".
Хомский объясняет неудачу антивоенного движения тем, что организовать долгосрочную программу сопротивления гегемонизму сложнее, чем выступление против той или иной военной акции. Это несомненно так, но остается вопрос, а почему руководители протестных движений оказались не способны родить никакой долгосрочной программы действий. Возможно, одна из причин заключается в специфике каналов коммуникации левых протестных движений и государственного истеблишмента: сложно сомневаться в том, что такие каналы имеются — тех же антиглобалистов кто-то, очевидно, финансирует, — но они довольно ущербны. Скажем, и среди американских либералов-центристов, и среди консерваторов были и есть противники войны, оппоненты этой действительно кошмарной "стратегии национальной безопасности" (о которой справедливо говорит Хомский) и вообще всего замысла превращения США в "мировую империю". Казалось бы, учитывая совокупное влияние всех этих сил, требовалось только объединить усилия, основательно подготовившись к очередным президентским выборам. Ничего этого сделано не было — уличные протестанты лишь попугали обывателя, добавив еще несколько процентов к рейтингу президента Буша. Никакого вероятного кандидата от антивоенной оппозиции как в республиканской партии, так и в демократическойза год до выборов не просматривается. Это означает со стопроцентной вероятностью, что его и не будет.
В России же, насколько я могу судить, немногочисленные сторонники европейского антиглобализма (подписывающие вместе с Ноамом Хомским разные петиции) побоялись отождествить себя с антисемитами-коммунистами, которые организовывали разные акции вокруг посольства США в Москве, и, может быть, еще в большей степени, пролить воду на мельницу Путина, неожиданно для них присоединившегося к антивоенной фрондеФранции-Германии. Поэтому консенсуса демократического движения и представителей государственного истеблишмента не сложилось ни в России, ни в Америке, ни в "новой Европе" и тем самым был поставлен крест на возможностях мирного сопротивленияполитике Буша.
Что касается призывов к "прямому действию", исходящего от некоторых радикальных антиглобалистских группировок, то в ситуации усиливающегося полицейского режима в Европе и особенно США разрозненные действия маргиналов будут наверняка быстро пресечены, хотя, конечно, в будущем от них можно ожидать некоторых неприятностей.
Имеется ли в провале антивоенного движения доля ответственности Ноама Хомского? В некоторой, конечно, очень незначительной степени. На риторическом уровне союз демократии с государственным истеблишментом — это всегда союз логики "принципов" с логикой "интереса". Кстати, именно такой союз осуществили либеральные центристы типа Картера или интегрировавшиеся в истеблишмент бывшие участники движения за мир типа Клинтона, когда заявили, что распространение демократии во всем мире соответствуетамериканским интересам. Помните, как любил говорить Клинтон, американские ценности и американские интересы совпадают? Можно сколько угодно сомневаться в этой констатации, но ясно, что если бы Клинтон противопоставил бы эти основания друг другу, выбрав что-то одно, он был бы плохим политиком.
В стабильной демократической системе, которой извне и изнутри не угрожают никакие серьезные вызовы, и которая к тому же находится на пике своего могущества, реализовать собственные политические целисможет сила, способная примирить "принципы" и "интересы". Конечно, если эта сила желает революционным путем взорвать государственный строй и само государство, тогда ее представителям подобно большевикам следует говорить, что интересы государства противоположны интересам народа, и надо желать поражения своему правительству и прочее. Но если ставка делается на мирный путь, примирение морализма и реализма необходимо. Для Хомского такой поворот в сторону реализма не то чтобы невозможен, но как-то неорганичен. Это ни в коей мере не мешает нам относиться к нему и к его словам с великим уважением, но в то же время заставляет критически отнестись к тактическим и стратегическим подходам движения, с которым он связал свое имя и свою политическую судьбу.
Размышляя об уроках этого движения, нам нужно учиться действовать самостоятельно, не повторяя чужих ошибок. (Подчеркивания наши – Л.С.)
[Постоянный адрес статьи в интернете — http://www.archipelag.ru/geoeconomics/global/fight/situation/]