Autor Subiect: Noam Chomsky  (Citit de 7735 ori)

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Noam Chomsky
« : 07 Septembrie 2007, 07:48:25 »
Considerat una din cele mai luminate minti ale sec.20-21, un om fascinant care "taie maiestuos prin vrajeala si chiar are ceva de spus". O confirmare pentru cei familiarizati cu el si un punct de interes, sper, pentru cei care nu-l stiau.(          sau      video pe google sau youtube)

Iata ca exemplu, un articol de-al sau :

"Superpower and Failed States
Noam Chomsky
Khaleej Times, April 5, 2006

The selection of issues that should rank high on the agenda of concern for human welfare and rights is, naturally, a subjective matter. But there are a few choices that seem unavoidable, because they bear so directly on the prospects for decent survival. Among them are at least these three: nuclear war, environmental disaster and the fact that the government of the world’s leading power is acting in ways that increase the likelihood of these catastrophes.

It is important to stress the "government," because the population, not surprisingly, does not agree. That brings up a fourth issue that should deeply concern Americans, and the world: the sharp divide between public opinion and public policy, one of the reasons for the fear, which cannot casually be put aside, that "the American ‘system’ as a whole is in real trouble — that it is heading in a direction that spells the end of its historic values (of) equality, liberty and meaningful democracy," as Gar Alperovitz observes in America Beyond Capitalism.

The "system" is coming to have some of the features of failed states, to adopt a currently fashionable notion that is conventionally applied to states regarded as potential threats to our security (like Iraq) or as needing our intervention to rescue the population from severe internal threats (like Haiti).

The definition of "failed states" is hardly scientific. But they share some primary characteristics. They are unable or unwilling to protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction. They regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, hence free to carry out aggression and violence. And if they have democratic forms, they suffer from a serious "democratic deficit" that deprives their formal democratic institutions of real substance. One of the hardest tasks that anyone can undertake, and among the most important, is to look honestly in the mirror. If we allow ourselves to do so, we should have little difficulty in finding the characteristics of "failed states" right at home.

That recognition of reality should be deeply troubling to those who care about their countries and future generations — "countries," plural, first because of the enormous reach of U.S. power, but also because the problems are not localised in space or time, though there are important variations, of particular significance for US citizens.

The "democratic deficit" was illustrated clearly by the 2004 elections. The results led to exultation in some quarters, despair in others and much concern about a "divided nation." Colin Powell informed the Press that "President George W. Bush has won a mandate from the American people to continue pursuing his ‘aggressive’ foreign policy.’ That is far from true. It is also very far from what the population believes. After the elections, Gallup asked whether Bush "should emphasise programmes that both parties support," or whether he "has a mandate to advance the Republican Party’s agenda," as Powell and others claimed — and 63 per cent chose the former option; 29 per cent the latter.

The elections conferred no mandate for anything, in fact, they barely took place, in any serious sense of the term "election." History provides ample evidence of Washington’s disregard for international laws and norms, reaching new heights today. Granted, there have always been pretexts, but that is true of every state that resorts to force at will.

Throughout the Cold War years, the framework of "defence against Communist aggression" was available to mobilise domestic support for countless interventions abroad. Then at last the communist-menace device began to wear thin. By 1979, "the Soviets were influencing only 6 per cent of the world population and 5 per cent of the world GNP" outside its borders, according to the Centre for Defense Information. The basic picture was becoming harder to evade.

The government also faced domestic problems, notably the civilizing effects of the activism of the 1960s, which had many consequences, among them less willingness to tolerate the resort to violence.

Under President Reagan, the administration sought to deal with the problems by fevered pronouncements about the "evil empire" and its tentacles everywhere about to strangle us. But new devices were needed. The Reaganites declared their worldwide campaign to destroy "the evil scourge of terrorism," particularly state-backed international terrorism — which Reagan secretary of state George Shultz called a "plague spread by depraved opponents of civilization itself (in a) return to barbarism in the modern age."

The official list of states sponsoring terrorism, initiated in Congress in 1977, was elevated to a prominent place in policy and propaganda.

In 1994, President Clinton expanded the category of "terrorist states" to include "rogue states." A few years later another concept was added to the repertoire: "failed states," from which we must protect ourselves, and which we must help — sometimes by devastating them. Later came President Bush’s "axis of evil" that we must destroy in self-defence, following the will of the Lord as transmitted to his humble servant — meanwhile escalating the threat of terror and nuclear proliferation.

The rhetoric has always raised difficulties, however. The basic problem has been that under any reasonable interpretation of the terms — even official definitions — the categories are unacceptably broad. It takes discipline not to recognise the elements of truth in historian Arno Mayer’s immediate post-9/11 observation that since 1947, "America has been the chief perpetrator of ‘pre-emptive’ state terror" and innumerable other ‘rogue’ actions," causing immense harm, "always in the name of democracy, liberty and justice."

After Bush took over, mainstream scholarship no longer just reported world opinion, but began to assert as fact that the US "has assumed many of the very features of the ‘rogue nations’ against which it has ... done battle" (David C. Hendrickson and Robert W. Tucker, Foreign Affairs, 2004).

The category of "failed state" was invoked repeatedly by the self-designated "enlightened states" in the 1990s, entitling them to resort to force with the alleged goal of protecting the populations of failed, rogue and terrorist states in a manner that may be "illegal but legitimate" — the phrase used by the Independent Kosovo Commission. As the leading themes of political discourse shifted from "humanitarian intervention" to the re-declared "war on terror" after 9/11, the concept "failed state" was given a broader scope to include states like Iraq that threaten the US with weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism.

Under this broader usage, "failed states" need not be weak — which makes good sense. Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia were hardly weak, but by reasonable standards they merit the designation "failed state" as fully as any in history.

The concept gains many dimensions, including failure to provide security for the population, to guarantee rights at home or abroad, or to maintain functioning (not merely formal) democratic institutions. The concept must surely cover "outlaw states" that dismiss with contempt the rules of international order and its institutions, carefully constructed over many years, initially at U.S. initiative.

The government is choosing policies that typify outlaw states, which severely endangers the population at home and abroad and undermines substantive democracy.

In crucial respects, Washington’s adoption of the characteristics of failed and outlaw states is proudly proclaimed. There is scarcely any effort to conceal "the tension between a world that still wants a fair and sustainable international legal system, and a single superpower that hardly seems to care (that it) ranks with Burma, China, Iraq and North Korea in terms of its adherence to a 17th century, absolutist conception of sovereignty" for itself, while dismissing as old-fashioned tommyrot the sovereignty of others, Michael Byers observes in War Law: Understanding International Law and Armed Conflict.

The US is very much like other powerful states. It pursues the strategic and economic interests of dominant sectors of the domestic population, to the accompaniment of impressive rhetorical flourishes about its exceptional dedication to the highest values. That is practically a historical universal, and the reason why sensible people pay scant attention to declarations of noble intent by leaders, or accolades by their followers.

One commonly hears that carping critics complain about what is wrong, but do not present solutions. There is an accurate translation for that charge: "They present solutions, but I don’t like them."

Here are a few simple suggestions for the US:

1. Accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court;

2. Sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols;

3. Let the UN take the lead in international crises;

4. Rely on diplomatic and economic measures rather than military ones in confronting the grave threats of terror;

5. Keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN Charter: The use of force is legitimate only when ordered by the Security Council or when the country is under imminent threat of attack, in accord with Article 51;

6. Give up the Security Council veto, and have "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind," as the Declaration of Independence advises, even if power centres disagree;

7. Cut back sharply on military spending and sharply increase social spending: health, education, renewable energy and so on.

For people who believe in democracy, these are very conservative suggestions: They appear to be the opinions of the majority of the US population, in most cases the overwhelming majority. They are in radical opposition to public policy; in most cases, to a bipartisan consensus.

Another conservative and useful suggestion is that facts, logic and elementary moral principles should matter. Those who take the trouble to adhere to that suggestion will soon be led to abandon a good part of familiar doctrine, though it is surely much easier to repeat self-serving mantras.

And there are other simple truths. They do not answer every problem by any means. But they do carry us some distance toward developing more specific and detailed answers, as is constantly done. More important, they open the way to implement them, opportunities that are readily within our grasp if we can free ourselves from the shackles of doctrine and imposed illusion. Though it is natural for doctrinal systems to seek to induce pessimism, hopelessness and despair, reality is different. There has been substantial progress in the unending question for justice and freedom in recent years, leaving a legacy that can easily be carried forward from a higher plane than before.

Opportunities for education and organising abound. As in the past, rights are not likely to be granted by benevolent authorities, or won by intermittent actions — attending a few demonstrations or pushing a lever in the personalised quadrennial extravaganzas that are depicted as "democratic politics." As always in the past, the tasks require dedicated day-by-day engagement to create — in part re-create — the basis for a functioning democratic culture.

There are many ways to promote democracy at home, carrying it to new dimensions. Opportunities are ample, and failure to grasp them is likely to have ominous repercussions: for the country, for the world and for future generations.

— Excerpts from Failed States by Noam Chomsky 2006 by Harry Chomsky, reprinted by permission of Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Co., LLC."

Curiozitate placuta !

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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #1 : 07 Septembrie 2007, 07:57:43 »

"Mai eficientã chiar decât dictaturile

Spãlarea creierelor în libertate

Cumpãrarea marilor ziare - „Wall Street Journal“ în Statele Unite, „Les Echos“ în Franþa – de cãtre persoane bogate obiºnuite sã distorsioneze adevãrul conform propriilor interese (citiþi articolul Prãdãtori de presã ºi negustori de influenþã de Marie Bénilde), mediatizarea nelimitatã a Dl Nicolas Sarkozy, canibalizarea informaþiei de cãtre sport, meteo ºi fapt divers, totul însoþit de un dezmãþ publicitar: „comunicarea“ constituie instrumentul de guvernare permanentã a regimurilor democratice. Ea este pentru democraþii ceea ce propaganda reprezintã pentru dictaturi. În cursul unei convorbiri cu jurnalistul lui France Inter, Daniel Merme, intelectualul american Noam Chomsky analizeazã aceste mecanisme de dominaþie ºi le repune în contextul lor istoric. El reaminteºte, de exemplu, cã regimurile totalitare s-au sprijinit pe resorturile comunicaþiei publicitare perfecþionate în Statele Unite dupã primul rãzboi mondial. În plus, el evocã perspectivele transformãrii sociale în lumea actualã ºi cu ce ar putea sã semene utopia pentru cei care în ciuda pedagogiei neputinþei induse de media, nu au renunþat sã schimbe lumea.
de Noam Chomsky

Sã începem cu problema mass-media. În Franþa, în mai 2005, în perioada referendumului pentru adoptarea Tratatului Constituþiei europene, majoritatea presei era pentru, însã cu toate acestea 55% dintre francezi au votat „nu“. Acesta ar fi un semn cã puterea de manipulare a mijloacelor de informare în masã nu e chiar absolutã. Sã reprezinte votul cetãþenilor ºi un „nu“ adresat presei?

Studiul pe care Edward Herman ºi cu mine l-am fãcut referitor la manipularea mediaticã sau fabrica de consimþãmânt nu abordeazã problema efectelor mass-media asupra publicului (1). Subiectul este complicat, dar cele câteva cercetãri mai de profunzime sugereazã cã, în realitate, influenþa mass-media se manifestã cu mai mare pregnanþã asupra populaþiei cu gradul cel mai înalt de educaþie. Masa opiniei publice pare sã fie mai puþin tributarã discursului presei. Sã luãm, de exemplu, eventualitatea unui rãzboi împotriva Iranului: 75% dintre americani considerã cã Statele Unite ar trebui sã punã capãt intervenþiilor militare ºi sã încerce sã ajungã la un acord pe cale diplomaticã. Anchetele conduse de instituþiile occidentale sugereazã cã opinia publicã iranianã ºi cea americanã converg în privinþa unor aspecte legate de problema nuclearã: majoritatea zdrobitoare a populaþiei din cele douã þãri considerã cã zona care se întinde din Israel pânã în Iran ar trebui în întregime curãþatã de arme nucleare, inclusiv de cele pe care le deþin trupele americane aflate aici. Însã e nevoie de îndelungate cãutãri ca sã gãseºti genul acesta de informaþie în presã. În ceea ce priveºte principalele partide politice din cele douã state, nici unul dintre ele nu susþine acest punct de vedere. Dacã Iranul ºi Statele Unite ar fi niºte democraþii autentice, în care majoritatea influenþeazã în mod real politicile publice, actuala neînþelegere în problema nuclearã ar fi de mult rezolvatã. ªi mai existã ºi alte cazuri de acelaºi fel. Dacã ne gândim, de exemplu, la bugetul federal al Statelor Unite, majoritatea americanilor doresc reducerea cheltuielilor militare ºi, în schimb, mãrirea cheltuielilor sociale, a creditelor vãrsate în contul Organizaþiei Naþiunilor Unite, a ajutorului economic ºi umanitar internaþional ºi, în sfârºit, anularea reducerilor de impozite introduse de preºedintele George W. Bush în favoarea americanilor cei mai bogaþi. În toate aceste situaþii, politica dusã de Casa Albã este întru totul contrarã voinþei opiniei publice. Însã sondajele de opinie care aratã aceastã opoziþie publicã persistentã sunt rareori publicate în presã, iar asta înseamnã nu numai cã cetãþenii sunt þinuþi la depãrtare de centrele unde se iau deciziile politice, ci ºi cã li se ascunde adevãrul în privinþa adevã ratelor dorinþe ale oamenilor. Existã o îngrijorare la nivel internaþional referitoare la abisalul „dublu deficit“ al Statelor Unite: deficitul comercial ºi cel bugetar. Dar cele douã nu pot fi concepute decât în relaþie cu un al treilea: deficitul de democraþie, care se tot mãreºte, nu numai în Statele Unite, ci ºi, în general, în mai toatã societatea occidentalã.

De fiecare datã când un jurnalist vedetã sau prezentatorul unui jurnal important de ºtiri de televiziune este întrebat dacã se fac presiuni asupra lui, dacã este cumva cenzurat, el rãspunde întotdeauna cã este în întregime liber, cã nu dã glas decât propriilor convingeri. Cum funcþioneazã controlul gândirii într-o societate democraticã? Pentru cã ºtim cum se petrec lucrurile în cazul dictaturilor.

Când jurnaliºtii sunt puºi în cauzã, ei rãspund de îndatã: „Nimeni nu a fãcut presiuni asupra mea, scriu doar ce vreau“. E adevãrat. Numai cã, dacã poziþia lor ar fi contrarã celei dominante, ei nu ºiar mai scrie editorialele. Evident cã regula nu e absolutã: chiar ºi eu sunt publicat în presa americanã, iar Statele Unite sunt departe de a fi o þarã totalitarã. Însã cei ce nu satisfac anumite cerinþe minimale nu au nici o ºansã sã fie luaþi în seamã ºi sã câºtige rangul de comentatori de vazã. De altfel, aici se aflã una dintre marile diferenþe între sistemul de propagandã al unui stat totalitar ºi felul în care se petrec lucrurile în societãþile democratice. Exagerând puþin, în þãrile guvernate de dictaturi, statul hotãrãºte ce direcþie va fi urmatã ºi toþi trebuie sã se conformeze. În societãþile democratice se întâmplã altfel. „Linia“ nu este niciodatã enunþatã ca atare, ci subînþeleasã. Într-un fel, se face „spãlarea creierului în libertate“. ªi chiar ºi dezbaterile „pasionate“ din mass-media se situeazã în cadrul unor parametri consimþiþi implicit care marginalizeazã punctele de vedere contrare. Sistemul de control al societãþilor democratice este cât se poate de eficient: el face ca direcþiile de urmat sã fie respirate o datã cu aerul ce ne înconjoarã. Oamenii nu-ºi dau seama de asta ºi au de multe ori impresia cã asistã la niºte dezbateri foarte puternice. De fapt, sistemul funcþioneazã infinit mai bine decât cel din societãþile totalitare. Sã luãm, de exemplu, cazul Germaniei de la începutul anilor ’30. Mulþi poate cã au uitat, însã ea era pe atunci þara cea mai avansatã din Europa, în toate privinþele: în artã, în ºtiinþã, în tehnicã, în literaturã ºi în filosofie. ªi apoi, într-un timp foarte scurt, s-a produs o rãsturnare completã, iar Germania a devenit statul cel mai ucigaº, cel mai barbar din toatã istoria omenirii. Lucrurile s-au petrecut cu ajutorul fricii oferite în doze de ºoc: frica de bolºevici, de evrei, de americani, de þigani, în sfârºit, frica de toþi cei care, în viziunea naziºtilor, ameninþau însãºi temelia civilizaþ iei europene, adicã pe „moºtenitorii direcþi ai civilizaþiei greceºti“. Cel puþin aºa scria filosoful Martin Heidegger în 1935. Însã mass-media germane, cele care au bombardat populaþia cu acest gen de mesaje, au reluat tehnicile de marketing puse la punct de... specialiºtii în publicitate americani. Sã nu uitãm cum se impune întotdeauna o ideologie. Violenþa nu este de ajuns pentru a domina, e nevoie de o justificare de altã naturã. Astfel, atunci când o persoanã îºi exercitã puterea asupra alteia – fie cã e vorba de un dictator, de un colonist, de un birocrat, de un soþ sau de un patron –, ea are nevoie de o motivaþie care sã-i justifice acþiunile ºi care e mereu aceeaºi: dominaþia este „spre binele“ celui dominat. Cu alte cuvinte, puterea se prezintã mereu pe sine ca altruistã, dezinteresatã ºi plinã de generozitate. În anii ’30, regulile propagandei naziste erau, de exemplu, sã aleagã cuvinte simple, repetate fãrã încetare, asociate cu emoþii, sentimente ºi temeri. În momentul în care Hitler a invadat regiunea sudetã (în 1938), el a invocat pentru aceasta obiectivele cele mai nobile ºi caritabile cu putinþã: necesitatea unei „intervenþii umanitare“ pentru a împiedica „purificarea etnicã“ a germanofonilor ºi pentru a permite ca toþi cei de acolo sã trãiascã sub „aripa protectoare“ a Germaniei, având sprijinul puterii celei mai avansate din lume în domeniul artelor ºi al culturii. În materie de propagandã, cu toate cã într-un fel lucrurile nu s-au schimbat din vremea Greciei antice, tehnicile au fost totuºi perfecþionate. Instrumentele s-au rafinat foarte mult, mai ales, în mod paradoxal, în þãrile cele mai libere din lume: Marea Britanie ºi Statele Unite. În aceste þãri ºi nu în alte pãrþi s-a nãscut în anii ’20 industria relaþiilor publice, adicã fabrica de opinii sau propaganda. Cele douã þãri au înregistrat, într-adevãr, mari progres în materie de drepturi democratice (votul femeilor, libertatea de expresie etc.) atât de mult, încât statul nu mai putea stãvili aspiraþia spre libertate doar prin recursul la violenþã. Prin urmare, a trebuit sã inventeze tehnologiile „fabricii de consimþãmânt“. Industria relaþiilor publice produce, în sensul propriu al termenului, consimþãmânt, acceptare ºi supunere. Ea controleazã ideile, gândurile ºi spiritele. Prin comparaþie cu totalitarismul, suntem în faþa unui mare progres: e mai plãcut sã suporþi efectele publicitãþii decât sã te afli într-o camerã de torturã. În Statele Unite, libertatea de exprimare este apãratã de un decret pe care nu cred cã-l mai cunoaºte vreo altã þarã din lume. El este destul de recent. Din anii ’60 încoace, Curtea Supremã a ridicat foarte sus ºtacheta în materie de respectarea libertãþii cuvântului, ceea ce exprimã, dupã pãrerea mea, un principiu fundamental stabilit încã din secolul al XVIII-ea de cãtre iluminiºti. Poziþia Curþii este cã libertatea de exprimare este garantatã, singura limitã fiind ca oamenii sã nu se foloseascã de ea pentru a instiga la crime. Dacã, de exemplu, intru într-un magazin pentru a-l jefui, unul dintre complicii mei are o armã, iar eu îi spun: „Trage!“, acest enunþ nu este protejat de Constituþie. În rest, este nevoie de un motiv cât se poate de serios pentru ca libertatea de exprimare sã fie pusã sub semnul îndoielii. Curtea Supremã a reafirmat acest principiu chiar ºi în favoarea membrilor Ku Klux Klan. În Franþa, în Marea Britanie ºi am impresia cã ºi în restul Europei, libertatea de expresie este definitã într-un mod foarte restrictiv. Din punctul meu de vedere, întrebarea esenþialã este: are oare statul dreptul sã determine ce este adevãrul istoric ºi sã-l pedepseascã pe cel ce se abate de la el? Cine gândeºte aºa înseamnã cã se întoarce la niºte practici pur ºi simplu staliniste. Iar intelectualii francezi nu prea vor sã accepte cã ei sunt înclinaþi sã gândeascã astfel. Dar refuzul unei asemenea abordãri nu ar trebui sã cunoascã nici o excepþie. Statul nu ar trebui sã aibã la dispoziþie nici un mijloc de a-l pedepsi pe cel ce ar pretinde cã Soarele se învârteºte în jurul Pãmântului. Principiul libertãþii de exprimare are în el ceva cât se poate de elementar: fie este apãrat, în faþa opiniilor pe care le detestãm, fie nul apãrãm deloc. Chiar ºi Hitler ºi Stalin recunoºteau libertatea de exprimare a celor care le apãrau punctul de vedere. Voi adãuga cã e foarte trist ºi chiar scandalos cã mai trebuie sã dezbatem chestiunile acestea la douã secole dupã Voltaire, care, dupã cum se ºtie, declara: „Nu sunt de acord cu pãrerea dumneavoastrã, însã voi face tot ce-mi stã omeneºte în putere ca sã v-o puteþi exprima“. ªi e un mare deserviciu fãcut victimelor Holocaustului cã se adoptã una dintre doctrinele fundamentale ale cãlãilor lor.

Într-una dintre cãrþile dumneavoastrã, comentaþi fraza lui Milton Friedman: „A face profituri reprezintã însãºi esenþa democraþiei“…

La drept vorbind, cele douã lucruri sunt atât de opuse unul altuia, cã nici mãcar nu se poate face un comentariu… Scopul democraþiei. Realizarea de profit este o boalã a societãþilor noastre, sprijinitã de niºte structuri speciale. Într-o societate decentã, moralã, grija de a scoate profituri ar fi marginalã. Sã ne gândim la departamentul meu de la universitate (la Massachusetts Institute of Technology); acolo existã câþiva oameni de ºtiinþã care muncesc din greu ca sã scoatã profituri cât mai mari, dar sunt consideraþ i oarecum ciudaþi, sunt vãzuþi ca niºte indivizi cu ceva tulburãri psihice, cazuri aproape patologice. Spiritul care animã comunitatea academicã este mai degrabã de a încerca sã facã descoperiri, atât din interes ºtiinþific, cât ºi pentru binele tuturor.

În lucrarea ce vã este consacratã, la Editura Herne, Jean Ziegler scrie: „Au existat trei totalitarisme: cel stalinist, cel nazist, iar acum avem Tina (2) . „ Credeþi cã se poate face o comparaþie între cele trei totalitarisme?

Nu le-aº pune pe acelaºi plan. Ate lupta cu „Tina“ înseamnã a înfrunta un ascendent intelectual care nu poate fi pus pe acelaºi plan cu lagãrele de concentrare ºi cu gulagul. ªi, de fapt, politica Statelor Unite cunoaºte o puternicã opoziþie la scarã planetarã. În America Latinã, Argentina ºi Venezuela au dat afarã Fondul Monetar Internaþional (FMI). Statele Unite au fost nevoite sã renunþe la ceea ce reprezenta norma în urmã cu treizeci de ani: lovitura militarã în America Latinã. Programul economic neoliberal care a fost impus cu forþa pe tot acest continent în anii ’80 ºi ’90 este astãzi respins acolo pe scarã largã ºi se regãseºte aceeaºi opoziþie la scarã mondialã împotriva globalizãrii economice. Miºcarea globalã pentru justiþie, care ajunge în lumina proiectoarelor mediatice la fiecare Forum social mondial, nu-ºi înceteazã de fapt nici o clipã munca. Este un fenomen foarte nou în istorie, care poate cã marcheazã începutul unei adevãrate Internaþionale. Iar principalul sãu cal de bãtaie se referã la existenþa unei alternative. De altfel, nu-i Forumul social mondial cel mai bun exemplu de globalizare diferitã pe care l-am putea da? Presa ostilã îi numeºte pe cei ce se opun globalizãrii neoliberale „militanþi antiglobalizare“, deºi ei luptã de fapt pentru o altã globalizare, cea a popoarelor. Se poate lesne observa contrastul dintre unii ºi ceilalþi deoarece, în acelaºi timp, are loc la Davos Forumul Economic Mondial care lucreazã pentru integrarea economicã planetarã, însã doar în interesul bancherilor, al bãncilor ºi al fondurilor de pensii. Puteri care controleazã ºi mass-media. Dupã ele, integrarea globalã este necesarã, dar în interesul investitorilor. Presa dominantã considerã cã acest tip de integrare e singura care meritã, oarecum, denumirea oficialã de globalizare. Acesta este un exemplu elocvent al felului în care funcþioneazã propaganda ideologicã în þãrile democratice. Ea e atât de eficientã, cã uneori chiar ºi participanþii la Forumul social acceptã sã fie numiþi cu rea-voinþã „antiglobalizanþi“. Am luat cuvântul în cadrul Forumului de la Porto Alegre ºi am participat la Conferinþa mondialã a þãranilor. Ei reprezintã majoritatea populaþiei planetei...

Se considerã cã faceþi parte din categoria anarhiºtilor sau a socialiºtilor libertarieni. În democraþie, aºa cum o vedeþi dumneavoastrã, care ar fi rolul statului?

Trãim în aceastã lume nu într-un univers imaginar. Iar în aceastã lume existã instituþii tiranice: marile companii, care sunt tot ce poate fi mai apropiat de societãþile totalitare. Ca sã zicem aºa, ele nu au deloc de dat socotealã publicului, societãþii; acþioneazã ca niºte prãdãtori, iar prada lor sunt alte companii. Ca sã se apere de ele, oamenii nu au la dispoziþ ie decât un singur instrument: statul. Însã el nu e un scut prea bun, cãci, de obicei, se aflã mânã în mânã cu prãdãtorii. Cu o singurã diferenþã, dar una ce nu e de neglijat: chiar dacã General Electric, de exemplu, nu e nevoitã sã dea socotealã publicului, statul trebuie uneori sã se justifice în faþa cetãþenilor. În momentul în care democraþia se va fi lãrgit atât de mult încât cetãþenii vor controla mijloacele de producþie ºi de schimb, când vor lua parte la conducerea sa, ºi se vor implica în funcþionarea statului, atunci acesta va putea sã disparã încetul cu încetul. El va fi înlocuit de asociaþii voluntare situate la locurile de muncã ºi oriunde trãiesc oamenii.

Sovietele asta sunt..

Erau soviete. Însã primul lucru pe care l-au distrus Lenin ºi Troþki, imediat dupã Revoluþia din Octombrie, au fost sovietele, sfaturile muncitoreºti ºi toate instituþiile democratice. Din acest punct de vedere, Lenin ºi Troþki au fost cei mai mari duºmani ai socialismului în secolul XX. Ca marxiºti ortodocºi ce erau, ei au considerat cã o societate înapoiatã cum era Rusia epocii lor nu putea sã ajungã direct la socialism fãrã sã treacã mai întâi cu forþa prin industrializare. În 1989, când eºafodajul comunist s-a prãbuºit, am crezut cã asta reprezenta, în mod paradoxal, o victorie pentru socialism. Cãci socialismul, aºa cum îl înþeleg eu, implicã, repet, doar un control democratic al producþiei, al schimburilor ºi al altor dimensiuni ale existenþei umane. Totuºi, cele douã sisteme principale de propagandã au spus la unison cã sistemul tiranic instituit de Lenin ºi Troþki ºi transformat de Stalin într-o monstruozitate politicã este „socialism“. Conducãtorii occidentali nu puteau decât sã fie încântaþi de folosirea absurdã ºi scandaloasã a termenului, care timp de zeci de ani le-a permis sã defãimeze socialismul autentic. Cu un entuziasm identic, dar de sens opus, sistemul sovietic de propagandã a încercat sã exploateze în folosul lui simpatia ºi dorinþa de angajare pe care le trezeau în rândul maselor de muncitori adevãratele idealuri socialiste.

Nu e oare adevãrat cã toate formele de autoorganizare dupã principii anarhiste s-au prãbuºit în cele din urmã?

Nu existã „principii anarhiste“ fixe, nici un fel de catehism libertarian cãruia ar trebui sã i se facã jurãmânt de supunere. Anarhismul, cel puþin aºa cum îl înþeleg eu, este o miºcare de gândire ºi de acþiune umanã care încearcã sã identifice structurile de autoritate ºi de dominaþie, le cere sã se justifice ºi, dacã se dovedesc incapabile, ceea ce se întâmplã adesea, încearcã sã le depãºeascã. Departe de a se fi „prãbuºit“, anarhismul, gândirea libertarianã se simte foarte bine ºi se aflã la originea a numeroase progrese reale. Forme de opresiune ºi de nedreptate care abia dacã erau recunoscute ca atare nu mai sunt acceptate de acum înainte. Este o reuºitã, un pas înainte pentru omenire, în niciun caz un eºec.

*Interviu consemnat de Daniel Mermet, revizuit ºi corectat de autor
Noam Chomsky."

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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #2 : 07 Septembrie 2007, 08:08:27 »

Noam Chomsky - un autor incomod (I) , de Gheorghe CIONOIU
(Material propus pentru publicare la data de: 21-08-2006)

Referindu-se la democraþia din SUA, Noam Chomsky afirmã în "Necessary Illusion; Thought Control in Democratic Societies" urmãtoarele:

"Cauza socialã pe care o servesc mediile poate fi echivalatã ceea ce scrisese James Mill în secolul XVIII despre educaþia de stat. Aceasta "trebuie sã le insufle oamenilor supunerea faþã de guvern precum ºi faþã de ordinea socialã în general"...
Cultura noastrã politicã are o cu totul altã viziune asupra democraþiei decât episcopii brazilieni (care au cerut democratizarea mediilor din þara lor). În concepþia acestora, democraþia le oferã cetãþenilor accesul la informaþie, participarea la discuþii ºi la stabilirea de scopuri politice, precum ºi la transpunerea programelor în acþiune politicã. Modul în care înþelegem noi democraþia este mai limitat: cetãþeanul este consumator ºi observator, dar nu participant la activitatea politicã. Opinia publicã are dreptul sã ia poziþie faþã de propuneri care nu vin din interiorul sãu, însã dacã limitele sunt depãºite, apare o "crizã a democraþiei" care trebuie urgent rezolvatã...
Dupã cum a arãtat Thomas Ferguson, istoria politicã a SUA poate fi explicatã în bunã mãsurã printr-o teorie investivã a politicii. Considerãm cã democraþia a fost instauratã în statele dependente de noi atunci când societatea este dominatã de oligarhi locali ºi de oameni de afaceri aliaþi cu investitorii americani. De asemenea, forþele armate trebuie sã se supunã controlului nostru ºi guvernul trebuie sã fie condus de profesioniºti care executã prompt ordine ºi care servesc puterea din SUA. Dacã populaþia se revoltã împotriva acestei situaþii, SUA au dreptul de a folosi forþa pentru a reinstaura democraþia...
În mod corespunzãtor, mediile fac deosebirea dintre "democraþi" ºi "naþionaliºti". Primii servesc interesele SUA, ultimii sunt contaminaþi de boala numitã ultranaþionalism. Documente secrete ale administraþiei SUA explicã faptul cã interesele noastre sunt ameninþate de regimuri naþionaliste care transpun în practicã dorinþele populaþiei de ridicare a standardului de viaþã ºi de reforme sociale, în loc sã þinã cont de nevoile investitorilor din SUA...
Pentru a putea deveni fericiþi, oamenii nu au nevoie de libertate, ci de comunitatea de rugãciune. În epoca modernã zeul suprem este religia profanã a statului; în democraþiile occidentale învãþãtura esenþialã propovãduieºte subordonarea faþã de stãpânii economiei private, adicã acceptarea sistemului de câºtiguri private ºi subvenþii publice...
Pentru a putea trãi într-o fericire care nu poate fi oferitã de libertatea de a alege, "observatorii obiectivi" ai societãþii moderne se servesc de "iluzii necesare" ºi de "supersimplificãri emoþionale eficiente" pentru a disciplina ºi legãna în sentimentul mulþumirii masele neºtiutoare."

Referindu-se la perioada postmodernã, fãrã a folosi însã noþiunea de postmodernism, Noam Chomsky afirmã în acelaºi eseu urmãtoarele:

"...înainte de toate, a trebuit ca tinerii (anilor '60) sã fie convinºi de "cultura narcisismului" ºi aduºi în starea de a se preocupa în mod primordial de sine însãºi. Probabil cã mulþi ºi-au dat seama cã aceastã atitudine nu a fost corectã, dar câtã vreme omul nu ºi-a gãsit identitatea ºi locul propriu în societate este foarte tentat sã se adapteze normelor impuse de sistemul propagandistic."

"Noam Chomsky - un autor incomod (II) , de Gheorghe CIONOIU
(Material propus pentru publicare la data de: 28-08-2006)

Persoanele juridice nemuritoare dominã cu uºurinþã sistemele de informare ºi de formare a opiniei. Prin puterea ºi forþa lor financiarã acestea pot stabili limitele cadrului în care funcþioneazã sistemul politic; trebuie remarcat faptul cã aceste modalitãþi de control au devenit încã ºi mai directe, fiind susþinute de decizii recente ale Curþii Supreme de Justiþie care definesc banii ca pe o formã a exprimãrii. Un exemplu grãitor a fost oferit de alegerile din 1998. Aproximativ 95% din candidaþii câºtigãtori au cheltuit pentru campania electoralã mai mulþi bani proveniþi din donaþii decât concurenþii lor. Suma donatã de lumea afacerilor a fost de 12 ori mai mare decât cea oferitã de sindicate, iar suma donatã de persoane particulare a fost evident mai micã decât în trecut. Prin astfel de proceduri un segment infim al populaþiei reuºeºte sã îºi impunã candidaþii potriviþi. Este evident faptul cã aceastã evoluþie explicã atât cinsmul în creºtere ce caracterizeazã modul de guvernare cât ºi creºterea dezinteresul faþã de alegeri. Aceste consecinþe sunt salutate ºi susþinute de persoanele juridice, de mass-media subordonatã ºi de alþi agenþi aflaþi în slujba lor. Din aceastã direcþie au fost fãcute în general eforturi considerabile pentru a acredita ideea cã statul este un duºman de temut care meritã sã fie urât ºi nu instrumentul unei populaþii suverane.
Transpunerea în practicã a Declaraþiei drepturilor omului depinde în mod decisiv de drepturile care ºi-au gãsit reprezentarea în articolele 19 ºi 21. Este vorba pe de o parte « de a putea recepþiona ºi transmite informaþii ºi idei prin intermediul tuturor mediilor » ºi pe de altã parte de participarea « la alegeri autentice » care garanteazã cã « voinþa poporului formeazã baza autoritãþii guvernului ». Cei puternici au înþeles cât este de important sã limiteze dreptul de liberã exprimare ºi paticiparea democraticã. Istoria a consemnat numeroase preocupãri în aceastã direcþie, dar ele au devenit problemã de sine stãtãtoare abia în secolul 20., când « masele urmau sã devinã rege ». S-a afirmat cã aceastã tendinþã periculoasã poate fi contracaratã prin noi metode de propagandã propagate de « minoritãþi inteligente... care formeazã conºtiinþa maselor... ºi care dirijeazã conºtiinþa publicã exact cum o armatã dirijeazã corpurile soldaþilor ei ». Îl citez aici pe întemeietorul modernei industrii de relaþii publice, respectatul liberal New-Deal Edward Bernays, a cãrui concepþie este la fel de rãspânditã printre intelectualii de marcã ºi academicienii de orientare liberalã de stânga ca ºi la cadrele de conducere din economie.
Din aceste motive se fac eforturi considerabile pentru a dirija mediile ºi sistemele educaþionale. Se ºtie deja de mult cã organele puterii de stat nu sunt singurul factor de îngrãdire a libertãþii de informare. Pentru naþiunile industrializate ele nu sunt nici pe departe cel mai important factor, dupã cum au subliniat – pentru a numi douã exemple importante – John Dewey ºi George Orwell în scrierile lor. În 1946 renumita comisie Hutchins a atras atenþia asupra faptului cã « controlarea marilor medii de informare de cãtre corporaþii private » ameninþã libertatea presei, pentru cã sub influenþa proprietarilor ºi a inserenþilor (clienþii importanþi care susþin mediile respective plãtindu-ºi publicitatea) sunt practic inevitabile unilateralitatea ºi contorsionãrile în formarea opiniei. Comisia europeanã pentru drepturile omului a încriminat « concentrarea excesivã de pe piaþa presei » ca prejudiciere a libertãþilor garantate de articolul 19 ºi a cerut statelor sã împiedice abuzul. Aceastã poziþie a fost însuºitã ºi de organizaþia pentru apãrarea drepturilor omului Human Rights Watch, care a publicat în noiemrie 1998 studiul « Limitele toleranþei: libertatea de exprimare ºi dezbaterea publicã în Chile ».
Factorii de decizie din economie au avut deci toate motivele sã doreascã ca mediile sã fie controlate de cãtre proprietatea privatã, pentru a putea reduce prin intremediul lor gândirea la opinia comandatã. Aceeaºi factori de decizie încearcã totodatã « sã anuleze deprinderi pãstrate timp de secole » ºi, dupã cum explicã oameni de afaceri de frunte, sã creeze « noi concepþii despre aspiraþiile ºi dorinþele individuale ºi comunitare », pentru ca oamenii sã perceapã consumul de bunuri ca fiind þelul suprem al existenþei lor, în loc sã se preocupe de calitatea vieþii ºi a muncii pe care o presteazã. De asemenea oamenii nu trebuie în nici un caz « sã se implice în deciziile care le schimbã adesea în mod decisiv modul de viaþã », cum vor extremiºtii de stânga catolici. Întrucât în prezent mediile sunt controlate de câteva megaconcerne, se pare cã noile þeluri ale oligarhiei economice vor fi curând atinse. Concentrarea în sectorul mediatic a crescut într-un ritm foarte alert ºi datoritã mecanismelor de deregulare care au înlãturat ºi ultimele bariere pentru protecþia interesului public. Ben Bandikian relateazã în ultima ediþie a lucrãrii sale de referinþã ce abordeazã aceastã temã (« The Media Monopoly » – ed. 5., Beacon 1997) cã din 1984 pânã astãzi numãrul concernelor mediatice a scãzut de la 50 la 10. Printre acestea se numãrã imperii uriaºe ca Disney ºi General Electric ºi de câtva timp ºi Rupert Mudoch.
Bagdikian analizeazã ºi mult mai grava « manipulare a ºtirilor, prin intermediul cãreia trebuiesc urmãrite celelalte þeluri financiare ale proprietarului ºi inserenþilor, pentru a promova valori aºa-zis conservatoare ºi alte valori specifice concernului » printre care se numãrã ºi « consumul material », urmãrind totodatã « ca efectele negative asupra altor oameni sã fie considerate cu totul nesemnificative »...
În ultimul timp copiii au devenit þinta predilectã a industriei reclamei ºi a industriei mediatice, care îºi propun în final sã influenþeze întreaga omenire în sensul dorit. Mecanismele de control trebuie sã funcþioneze în întreaga lume ºi cuprind ºi noile medii care sunt create în cea mai mare mãsurã în sectorul de stat al economiei. O cercetare ºtiinþificã a constatat cã în faza lor de dezvoltare SUA « au avut grijã... sã þinã industria telecomunicaþiilor sub tutela mecanismelor de control ale statului ». Însã de când aceastã industrie a dobândit – datoritã subvenþiilor de stat – supremaþia mondialã, SUA cer ca toate celelalte þãri sã deschidã « porþile liberei concurenþe », astfel încât în final articolul 19 este anulat în întreaga lume..."

"Noam Chomsky - un autor incomod (III) , de Gheorghe CIONOIU
(Material propus pentru publicare la data de: 3-09-2006)

Noam Chomsky a elaborat împreunã cu Edward S. Herman o teorie a mediilor pentru societãþile democratice... În centrul acesteia se aflã „modelul propagandistic al mediilor”... În democraþiile capitaliste mediile stau cu totul benevol de partea celor puternici, întrucât ele însele aparþin cercului interior („inner circle”). Critica ocazionalã (ºi uneori foarte durã) a abuzului de putere nu este exclusã, însã este evident partizanatul principial cu un sistem cãruia mediile îi aparþin integral, atât din punct de vedere economic cât ºi politic.
„Modelul propagandistic” este relativ simplu. Pentru a deveni ºtire, materialul brut al datelor informaþiei trebuie sã treacã mai întâi prin cinci ”filtre” în care i se verificã utilizabilitatea. Determinante sunt:
a) mãrimea ºi gradul de concentrare a mediilor
b) reclama ca sursã de venit
c) apelarea la sursele ”oficiale” în faza de culegere a ºtirilor
d) modalitãþi de sancþionare pentru reprimarea ºtirilor nedorite
e) anticomunismul (astãzi mai degrabã ”antiterorismul”) ca ºi criteriu de marginalizare – eliminare
Pe baza unei analize cuprinzãtoare a ºtirilor referitoare la evenimente politice transmise de presã, radio ºi televiziune modelul ajunge la urmãtoarele concluzii, care sunt totodatã ºi prognoze pentru comportamentul viitor al mediilor:
1. Evenimente comparabile ca amploare sau gen sunt subordonate în modul de relatare a ºtirilor logicii prieten/duºman; aceasta înseamnã cã infracþiunilor sãvârºite de state care sunt considerate duºmani oficiali li se acordã mai multã atenþie decât infracþiunilor sãvârºite de propriul guvern sau de state considerate prieteni oficiali. În mod invers, ”fapte bune”, ca alegeri libere sau strãduinþa de a asigura garantarea drepturilor omului sunt evidenþiate mai pregnant atunci când se desfãºoarã în state prietene.
2. Critica la adresa mediilor, chiar ºi analiza autocriticã, se desfãºoarã în limitele unui îngust cadru liberal-consevator, unde nu este câtuºi de puþin loc pentru ”outsideri”.
3. „Modelul popagandistic” ºi alte teorii ”radicale” nu se înscriu în acest cadru ºi, în consecinþã, critica mediaticã nu le recepteazã ca puncte de vedere ce meritã sã fie discutate.
Chomsky ºi Herman susþin cã mediile servesc fabricãrii consensului (“manufactoring of consent”), funcþie care le-a fost stabilitã deja în anii douãzeci de cãtre renumitul jurnalist Walter Lippmann.

(Michael Haupt: fragment din eseul ““A stiga adevãrul de pe acoperiºuri”: Chomsky ºi politica” cuprins în volumul “Cine este Noam Chomsky?” (“Wer ist Noam Chomsky?”) Europa Verlag Hamburg-Wien septembrie 2003)

(Chomsky susþine cã) mediile se considerã independente ºi critice, dar de fapt nu sunt nimic altceva decât organe de propagandã ale guvernului. Mulþi oameni au considerat cã aceastã tezã este de fapt o teorie conspiraþionistã, dar Chomsky a argumentat cã nu are nevoie de nici o teorie conspiraþionistã. Trebuie doar sã fie luat în serios faptul cã mediile sunt produse pe o piaþã; afirmaþia cã presa reacþioneazã conform cu interesele elitelor ºi cu ale conducãtorilor acestora este la fel de puþin o teorie conspiraþionistã ca ºi afirmaþia cã managerii companiei General Motors ar acþiona în conformitate cu interesele investitorilor lor.

(Fragment din eseul biografic “Contabilul Diavolului” (“The Devil´s Accountant”) publicat de Larissa Macfarquhar în martie 2003 în “The New Yorker”- apãrut în limba germanã de asemenea în volumul menþionat anterior)"

Offline DamChrist169

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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #3 : 07 Septembrie 2007, 08:52:44 »
despre globalizare
"Q: Miscarea anti-globalizare este criticata pentru lipsa fundamentarii teoretice si a unor scopuri clare. Ce parere aveti despre aceste critici si cum apreciati Forumul Social Global de la Porto Alegre ?

NC: Termenul "globalizare" a fost insusit de Putere, atribuindu-i sensul de integrare economica, in care primordiale sint interesele investitorilor si numai foarte rar ale oamenilor.

De aceea, pentru miscarea care sustine alte forme de globalizare a fost folosit termenul "anti-globalizare"; si multi au acceptat, din pacate, acest termen, desi nu este altceva decit o parte a campaniei de propaganda indreptata impotriva lor. Nici un om normal nu se opune globalizarii, adica integrarii internationale. Cu siguranta ca nu o vor face acele miscari de stinga intemeiate pe principiile solidaritatii internationale - adica, nu se opun acelei forme de globalizare pentru care prioritatea o constituie drepturile omului, nu integrarea sistemelor de putere.

Nu exista "fundamente teoretice" serioase pentru nici o versiune de globalizare, inclusiv pentru cea care favorizeaza drepturile investitorilor. Economia mondiala este mult prea putin inteleasa pentru a fi posibila existenta unor teorii sistematice. Programele neo-liberale nu au nici o baza teoretica abstracta; iar realizarea lor concreta este un amestec de protectionism si liberalism, creat numai pentru a servi interesele celor care le promoveaza.

Intilnirea de la Porto Alegre a fost foarte serioasa, dezbaterile acoperind o gama larga de probleme de mare importanta pentru umanitate, de la arhitectura sistemelor financiare internationale si pina la drepturile fundamentale ale omului. Prin contrast, lucrarile Forumului Economic Mondial, desfasurat in acelasi timp la New York, au fost extrem de superficiale. Ceea ce este destul de normal.

Q: Credeti ca "anti-globalizarea" poate fi conceptul care sa stea la baza unei noi miscari de stinga la nivel global, opusa "celei de-a treia cai" a lui Blair?

NC: "A treia cale" este o varianta a programelor corporatiilor de integrare economica internationala, cu o fata umana. Miscarile populare care au aparut peste tot nu au fost create in opozitie fata de acest program; mai degraba, putem spune ca au adoptat o alta cale. Nu poate sta la baza lor un singur concept, intrucit sint vizate o mare gama de probleme umane. Dar toate abordarile se bazeaza pe conceptii similare despre justitie si libertate. Prin contrast, miscarile politice dominate de ideologii sint superficiale si neinteresante din punct de vedere intelectual, in afara de intelegerea relatiei lor cu Puterea centralizata.

Q: Care sint perspectivele depasirii diviziunilor dintre Sudul sarac si Nordul bogat? Conferinta de la Monterrey nu a produs rezultate. Este posibil ca mentinerea unui control militar asupra popoarelor sarace sa devina o povara prea mare pentru Vestul bogat, ducind la o impartire mai corecta a bogatiei?

NC: Comunitatea serviciilor speciale americane, cu colaborarea unor experti din lumea universitara si din lumea afacerilor, a produs recent o prognoza pentru urmatorii 15 ani. Se asteapta ca "globalizarea" (in sensul dat acestui termen de centrele de putere) sa fie aprofundata, conducind la instabilitate financiara si o mai mare diviziune economica. Instabilitatea financiara presupune o si mai mica crestere economica decit ultimii 25 de ani de "globalizare", care sint caracterizati prin degradarea indicatorilor macro-economici si sociali. Diviziunea economica presupune ca globalizarea nu se va face in sens tehnic (de exemplu, globalizarea raportului intre preturi si salarii), ci intr-un sens ideologizat (concentrarea bogatiei si puterii).

Planificatorii militari adopta aceleasi previziuni. SUA va militariza spatiul extra-terestru, violind flagrant tratatele internationale, pornind de la ipoteza ca va creste diferenta dintre saraci si bogati, ceea ce va face necesare noile forme ale fortei militare pentru a asigura "interesele comerciale si de investitii ale SUA" intr-o lume zguduita de dezordinile provocate de saraci. Toate acestea apar in documente facute publice inca in timpul guvernarii Clinton.

Ceea ce au planificat este cresterea polarizarii si dezvoltarea fortelor care controleaza acest fenomen in beneficiul celor bogati si privilegiati. Dar nimeni nu poate spune cu siguranta daca aceste planuri vor reusi. Factorii determinanti sint imposibil de prevazut: vointa si capacitatea de a opta.

Q: Intr-un recent interviu l-ati citat pe John Dewey, care spunea ca pentru ca o forma democratica sa aiba substanta trebuie ca in industrie sa fie schimbata "ordinea feudala cu una democratica din punct de vedere social", bazata pe controlul muncitoresc si libera asociere. Credeti ca unele caracteristici ale socilismului abandonat aproape peste tot vor putea fi folosite in viitor, cum ar fi auto-gestiunea socialista care a existat in fosta Yugoslvie?

NC: A vorbi de "socialism abandonat" presupune ca a existat undeva o forma de socialism si a fost abandonata. Asta este o uriasa exagerare. Au existat incercari timide de apropiere de idealul socialist traditional, asa cum l-a descris Dewey, pe care l-am citat pentru ca este cel mai important ginditor american actual. Astfel de incercari au fost distruse prin forta, nu numai in Vest. Primul lucru pe care l-au facut Lenin si Trotsky, atunci cind au luat puterea, a fost sa distruga comitetele de fabrica, sovietele si orice alta tendinta socialista care apucase sa apara inaintea loviturii de forta a bolsevicilor. De atunci si pina la prabusirea sa, tirania sovietica a fost o importanta forta anti-socialista la nivel global. Elementele de democratie si socialism (in sensul traditional al termenului, nu cel deformat de bolsevici) nu puteau functiona in contextul general al autoritarismului centralist.

- fragmente dintr-un interviu acordat camarazilor croati. preluat din "Alternativ" e-zine 22, iunie 2002
- tradus de Dan Grosu"

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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #4 : 20 Septembrie 2007, 17:24:55 »

"Cold War II
Noam Chomsky
ZNet, August 27, 2007

These are exciting days in Washington, as the government directs its energies to the demanding task of “containing Iran” in what Washington Post correspondent Robin Wright, joining others, calls “Cold War II.” [1]

During Cold War I, the task was to contain two awesome forces. The lesser and more moderate force was “an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost.” Hence “if the United States is to survive,” it will have to adopt a “repugnant philosophy” and reject “acceptable norms of human conduct” and the “long-standing American concepts of `fair play’” that had been exhibited with such searing clarity in the conquest of the national territory, the Philippines, Haiti and other beneficiaries of “the idealistic new world bent on ending inhumanity,” as the newspaper of record describes our noble mission. [2] The judgments about the nature of the super-Hitler and the necessary response are those of General Jimmy Doolittle, in a critical assessment of the CIA commissioned by President Eisenhower in 1954. They are quite consistent with those of the Truman administration liberals, the “wise men” who were “present at the creation,” notoriously in NSC 68 but in fact quite consistently.

In the face of the Kremlin’s unbridled aggression in every corner of the world, it is perhaps understandable that the US resisted in defense of human values with a savage display of torture, terror, subversion and violence while doing “everything in its power to alter or abolish any regime not openly allied with America,” as Tim Weiner summarizes the doctrine of the Eisenhower administration in his recent history of the CIA. [3] And just as the Truman liberals easily matched their successors in fevered rhetoric about the implacable enemy and its campaign to rule the world, so did John F. Kennedy, who bitterly condemned the “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy,” and dismissed the proposal of its leader (Khrushchev) for sharp mutual cuts in offensive weaponry, then reacted to his unilateral implementation of these proposals with a huge military build-up. The Kennedy brothers also quickly surpassed Eisenhower in violence and terror, as they “unleashed covert action with an unprecedented intensity” (Wiener), doubling Eisenhower’s annual record of major CIA covert operations, with horrendous consequences worldwide, even a close brush with terminal nuclear war. [4]

But at least it was possible to deal with Russia, unlike the fiercer enemy, China. The more thoughtful scholars recognized that Russia was poised uneasily between civilization and barbarism. As Henry Kissinger later explained in his academic essays, only the West has undergone the Newtonian revolution and is therefore “deeply committed to the notion that the real world is external to the observer,” while the rest still believe “that the real world is almost completely internal to the observer,” the “basic division” that is “the deepest problem of the contemporary international order.” But Russia, unlike third word peasants who think that rain and sun are inside their heads, was perhaps coming to the realization that the world is not just a dream, Kissinger felt.

Not so the still more savage and bloodthirsty enemy, China, which for liberal Democrat intellectuals at various times rampaged as a “a Slavic Manchukuo,” a blind puppet of its Kremlin master, or a monster utterly unconstrained as it pursued its crazed campaign to crush the world in its tentacles, or whatever else circumstances demanded. The remarkable tale of doctrinal fanaticism from the 1940s to the ‘70s, which makes contemporary rhetoric seem rather moderate, is reviewed by James Peck in his highly revealing study of the national security culture, Washington’s China.

In later years, there were attempts to mimic the valiant deeds of the defenders of virtue from the two villainous global conquerors and their loyal slaves – for example, when the Gipper strapped on his cowboy boots and declared a National Emergency because Nicaraguan hordes were only two days from Harlingen Texas, though as he courageously informed the press, despite the tremendous odds “I refuse to give up. I remember a man named Winston Churchill who said, `Never give in. Never, never, never.’ So we won't.” With consequences that need not be reviewed.

Even with the best of efforts, however, the attempts never were able to recapture the glorious days of Cold War I. But now, at last, those heights might be within reach, as another implacable enemy bent on world conquest has arisen, which we must contain before it destroys us all: Iran.

Perhaps it's a lift to the spirits to be able to recover those heady Cold War days when at least there was a legitimate force to contain, however dubious the pretexts and disgraceful the means. But it is instructive to take a closer look at the contours of Cold War II as they are being designed by “the former Kremlinologists now running U.S. foreign policy, such as Rice and Gates” (Wright).

The task of containment is to establish “a bulwark against Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East,” Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper explain in the New York Times (July 31). To contain Iran’s influence we must surround Iran with US and NATO ground forces, along with massive naval deployments in the Persian Gulf and of course incomparable air power and weapons of mass destruction. And we must provide a huge flow of arms to what Condoleezza Rice calls “the forces of moderation and reform” in the region, the brutal tyrannies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and, with particular munificence, Israel, by now virtually an adjunct of the militarized high-tech US economy. All to contain Iran’s influence. A daunting challenge indeed.

And daunting it is. In Iraq, Iranian support is welcomed by much of the majority Shi’ite population. In an August visit to Teheran, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad and other senior officials, and thanked Tehran for its “positive and constructive” role in improving security in Iraq, eliciting a sharp reprimand from President Bush, who “declares Teheran a regional peril and asserts the Iraqi leader must understand,” to quote the headline of the Los Angeles Times report on al-Maliki’s intellectual deficiencies. A few days before, also greatly to Bush’s discomfiture, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Washington’s favorite, described Iran as “a helper and a solution” in his country. [5] Similar problems abound beyond Iran’s immediate neighbors. In Lebanon, according to polls, most Lebanese see Iranian-backed Hezbollah “as a legitimate force defending their country from Israel,” Wright reports. And in Palestine, Iranian-backed Hamas won a free election, eliciting savage punishment of the Palestinian population by the US and Israel for the crime of voting “the wrong way,” another episode in “democracy promotion.”

But no matter. The aim of US militancy and the arms flow to the moderates is to counter “what everyone in the region believes is a flexing of muscles by a more aggressive Iran,” according to an unnamed senior U.S. government official – “everyone” being the technical term used to refer to Washington and its more loyal clients. [6] Iran's aggression consists in its being welcomed by many within the region, and allegedly supporting resistance to the US occupation of neighboring Iraq.

It’s likely, though little discussed, that a prime concern about Iran’s influence is to the East, where in mid-August “Russia and China today host Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a summit of a Central Asian security club designed to counter U.S. influence in the region,” the business press reports. [7] The “security club” is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which has been slowly taking shape in recent years. Its membership includes not only the two giants Russia and China, but also the energy-rich Central Asian states Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan was a guest of honor at the August meeting. “In another unwelcome development for the Americans, Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov also accepted an invitation to attend the summit,” another step its improvement of relations with Russia, particularly in energy, reversing a long-standing policy of isolation from Russia. “Russia in May secured a deal to build a new pipeline to import more gas from Turkmenistan, bolstering its dominant hold on supplies to Europe and heading off a competing U.S.-backed plan that would bypass Russian territory.”[8]

Along with Iran, there are three other official observer states: India, Pakistan and Mongolia. Washington’s request for similar status was denied. In 2005 the SCO called for a timetable for termination of any US military presence in Central Asia. The participants at the August meeting flew to the Urals to attend the first joint Russia-China military exercises on Russian soil.

Association of Iran with the SCO extends its inroads into the Middle East, where China has been increasing trade and other relations with the jewel in the crown, Saudi Arabia. There is an oppressed Shi’ite population in Saudi Arabia that is also susceptible to Iran’s influence – and happens to sit on most of Saudi oil. About 40% of Middle East oil is reported to be heading East, not West. [9] As the flow Eastward increases, US control declines over this lever of world domination, a “stupendous source of strategic power,” as the State Department described Saudi oil 60 years ago.

In Cold War I, the Kremlin had imposed an iron curtain and built the Berlin Wall to contain Western influence. In Cold War II, Wright reports, the former Kremlinologists framing policy are imposing a “green curtain” to bar Iranian influence. In short, government-media doctrine is that the Iranian threat is rather similar to the Western threat that the Kremlin sought to contain, and the US is eagerly taking on the Kremlin’s role in the thrilling “new Cold War.”

All of this is presented without noticeable concern. Nevertheless, the recognition that the US government is modeling itself on Stalin and his successors in the new Cold War must be arousing at least some flickers of embarrassment. Perhaps that is how we can explain the ferocious Washington Post editorial announcing that Iran has escalated its aggressiveness to a Hot War: “the Revolutionary Guard, a radical state within Iran's Islamic state, is waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible.” The US must therefore “fight back,” the editors thunder, finding quite “puzzling...the murmurs of disapproval from European diplomats and others who say they favor using diplomacy and economic pressure, rather than military action, to rein in Iran,” even in the face of its outright aggression. The evidence that Iran is waging war against the US is now conclusive. After all, it comes from an administration that has never deceived the American people, even improving on the famous stellar honesty of its predecessors.

Suppose that for once Washington’s charges happen to be true, and Iran really is providing Shi’ite militias with roadside bombs that kill American forces, perhaps even making use of the some of the advanced weaponry lavishly provided to the Revolutionary Guard by Ronald Reagan in order to fund the illegal war against Nicaragua, under the pretext of arms for hostages (the number of hostages tripled during these endeavors). [10] If the charges are true, then Iran could properly be charged with a minuscule fraction of the iniquity of the Reagan administration, which provided Stinger missiles and other high-tech military aid to the “insurgents” seeking to disrupt Soviet efforts to bring stability and justice to Afghanistan, as they saw it. Perhaps Iran is even guilty of some of the crimes of the Roosevelt administration, which assisted terrorist partisans attacking peaceful and sovereign Vichy France in 1940-41, and had thus declared war on Germany even before Pearl Harbor.

One can pursue these questions further. The CIA station chief in Pakistan in 1981, Howard Hart, reports that “I was the first chief of station ever sent abroad with this wonderful order: `Go kill Soviet soldiers’. Imagine! I loved it.” Of course “the mission was not to liberate Afghanistan,” Tim Wiener writes in his history of the CIA, repeating the obvious. But “it was a noble goal,” he writes. Killing Russians with no concern for the fate of Afghans is a “noble goal.” But support for resistance to a US invasion and occupation would be a vile act and declaration of war.

Without irony, the Bush administration and the media charge that Iran is “meddling” in Iraq, otherwise presumably free from foreign interference. The evidence is partly technical. Do the serial numbers on the Improvised Explosive Devices really trace back to Iran? If so, does the leadership of Iran know about the IEDs, or only the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Settling the debate, the White House plans to brand the Revolutionary Guard as a “specially designated global terrorist” force, an unprecedented action against a national military branch, authorizing Washington to undertake a wide range of punitive actions. Watching in disbelief, much of the world asks whether the US military, invading and occupying Iran’s neighbors, might better merit this charge -- or its Israeli client, now about to receive a huge increase in military aid to commemorate 40 years of harsh occupation and illegal settlement, and its fifth invasion of Lebanon a year ago.

It is instructive that Washington’s propaganda framework is reflexively accepted, apparently without notice, in US and other Western commentary and reporting, apart from the marginal fringe of what is called ‘the loony left.” What is considered “criticism” is skepticism as to whether all of Washington’s charges about Iranian aggression in Iraq are true. It might be an interesting research project to see how closely the propaganda of Russia, Nazi Germany, and other aggressors and occupiers matched the standards of today’s liberal press and commentators..

The comparisons are of course unfair. Unlike German and Russian occupiers, American forces are in Iraq by right, on the principle, too obvious even to enunciate, that the US owns the world. Therefore, as a matter of elementary logic, the US cannot invade and occupy another country. The US can only defend and liberate others. No other category exists. Predecessors, including the most monstrous, have commonly sworn by the same principle, but again there is an obvious difference: they were Wrong, and we are Right. QED.

Another comparison comes to mind, which is studiously ignored when we are sternly admonished of the ominous consequences that might follow withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. The preferred analogy is Indochina, highlighted in a shameful speech by the President on August 22. That analogy can perhaps pass muster among those who have succeeded in effacing from their minds the record of US actions in Indochina, including the destruction of much of Vietnam and the murderous bombing of Laos and Cambodia as the US began its withdrawal from the wreckage of South Vietnam. In Cambodia, the bombing was in accord with Kissinger’s genocidal orders: “anything that flies on anything that moves” – actions that drove “an enraged populace into the arms of an insurgency [the Khmer Rouge] that had enjoyed relatively little support before the Kissinger-Nixon bombing was inaugurated,” as Cambodia specialists Owen Taylor and Ben Kiernan observe in a highly important study that passed virtually without notice, in which they reveal that the bombing was five times the incredible level reported earlier, greater than all allied bombing in World War II. Completely suppressing all relevant facts, it is then possible for the President and many commentators to present Khmer Rouge crimes as a justification for continuing to devastate Iraq.

But although the grotesque Indochina analogy receives much attention, the obvious analogy is ignored: the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan, which, as Soviet analysts predicted, led to shocking violence and destruction as the country was taken over by Reagan's favorites, who amused themselves by such acts as throwing acid in the faces of women in Kabul they regarded as too liberated, and then virtually destroyed the city and much else, creating such havoc and terror that the population actually welcomed the Taliban. That analogy could indeed be invoked without utter absurdity by advocates of “staying the course,” but evidently it is best forgotten.

Under the heading “Secretary Rice’s Mideast mission: contain Iran,” the press reports Rice’s warning that Iran is “the single most important single-country challenge to...US interests in the Middle East.” That is a reasonable judgment. Given the long-standing principle that Washington must do “everything in its power to alter or abolish any regime not openly allied with America,” Iran does pose a unique challenge, and it is natural that the task of containing Iranian influence should be a high priority.

As elsewhere, Bush administration rhetoric is relatively mild in this case. For the Kennedy administration, “Latin America was the most dangerous area in the world” when there was a threat that the progressive Cheddi Jagan might win a free election in British Guiana, overturned by CIA shenanigans that handed the country over to the thuggish racist Forbes Burnham. [11] A few years earlier, Iraq was “the most dangerous place in the world” (CIA director Allen Dulles) after General Abdel Karim Qassim broke the Anglo-American condominium over Middle East oil, overthrowing the pro-US monarchy, which had been heavily infiltrated by the CIA. [12] A primary concern was that Qassim might join Nasser, then the supreme Middle East devil, in using the incomparable energy resources of the Middle East for the domestic. The issue for Washington was not so much access as control. At the time and for many years after, Washington was purposely exhausting domestic oil resources in the interests of “national security,” meaning security for the profits of Texas oil men, like the failed entrepreneur who now sits in the Oval Office. But as high-level planner George Kennan had explained well before, we cannot relax our guard when there is any interference with “protection of our resources” (which accidentally happen to be somewhere else).

Unquestionably, Iran's government merits harsh condemnation, though it has not engaged in worldwide terror, subversion, and aggression, following the US model – which extends to today’s Iran as well, if ABC news is correct in reporting that the US is supporting Pakistan-based Jundullah, which is carrying out terrorist acts inside Iran. [13] The sole act of aggression attributed to Iran is the conquest of two small islands in the Gulf – under Washington’s close ally the Shah. In addition to internal repression – heightened, as Iranian dissidents regularly protest, by US militancy -- the prospect that Iran might develop nuclear weapons also is deeply troubling. Though Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy, no one – including the majority of Iranians – wants it to have nuclear weapons. That would add to the threat to survival posed much more seriously by its near neighbors Pakistan, India, and Israel, all nuclear armed with the blessing of the US, which most of the world regards as the leading threat to world peace, for evident reasons.

Iran rejects US control of the Middle East, challenging fundamental policy doctrine, but it hardly poses a military threat. On the contrary, it has been the victim of outside powers for years: in recent memory, when the US and Britain overthrew its parliamentary government and installed a brutal tyrant in 1953, and when the US supported Saddam Hussein’s murderous invasion, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Iranians, many with chemical weapons, without the “international community” lifting a finger – something that Iranians do not forget as easily as the perpetrators. And then under severe sanctions as a punishment for disobedience.

Israel regards Iran as a threat. Israel seeks to dominate the region with no interference, and Iran might be some slight counterbalance, while also supporting domestic forces that do not bend to Israel’s will. It may, however, be useful to bear in mind that Hamas has accepted the international consensus on a two-state settlement on the international border, and Hezbollah, along with Iran, has made clear that it would accept any outcome approved by Palestinians, leaving the US and Israel isolated in their traditional rejectionism. [14]

But Iran is hardly a military threat to Israel. And whatever threat there might be could be overcome if the US would accept the view of the great majority of its own citizens and of Iranians and permit the Middle East to become a nuclear-weapons free zone, including Iran and Israel, and US forces deployed there. One may also recall that UN Security Council Resolution 687 of 3 April 1991, to which Washington appeals when convenient, calls for “establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery.”

It is widely recognized that use of military force in Iran would risk blowing up the entire region, with untold consequences beyond. We know from polls that in the surrounding countries, where the Iranian government is hardly popular -- Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan -- nevertheless large majorities prefer even a nuclear-armed Iran to any form of military action against it.

The rhetoric about Iran has escalated to the point where both political parties and practically the whole US press accept it as legitimate and, in fact, honorable, that “all options are on the table,” to quote Hillary Clinton and everybody else, possibly even nuclear weapons. “All options on the table” means that Washington threatens war.

The UN Charter outlaws “the threat or use of force.” The United States, which has chosen to become an outlaw state, disregards international laws and norms. We're allowed to threaten anybody we want -- and to attack anyone we choose.

Washington's feverish new Cold War "containment" policy has spread to Europe. Washington intends to install a “missile defense system” in the Czech Republic and Poland, marketed to Europe as a shield against Iranian missiles. Even if Iran had nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, the chances of its using them to attack Europe are perhaps on a par with the chances of Europe's being hit by an asteroid, so perhaps Europe would do as well to invest in an asteroid defense system. Furthermore, if Iran were to indicate the slightest intention of aiming a missile at Europe or Israel, the country would be vaporized.

Of course, Russian planners are gravely upset by the shield proposal. We can imagine how the US would respond if a Russian anti-missile system were erected in Canada. The Russians have good reason to regard an anti-missile system as part of a first-strike weapon against them. It is generally understood that such a system could never block a first strike, but it could conceivably impede a retaliatory strike. On all sides, “missile defense” is therefore understood to be a first-strike weapon, eliminating a deterrent to attack. And a small initial installation in Eastern Europe could easily be a base for later expansion. Even more obviously, the only military function of such a system with regard to Iran, the declared aim, would be to bar an Iranian deterrent to US or Israel aggression.

Not surprisingly, in reaction to the “missile defense” plans, Russia has resorted to its own dangerous gestures, including the recent decision to renew long-range patrols by nuclear-capable bombers after a 15-year hiatus, in one recent case near the US military base on Guam. These actions reflect Russia’s anger “over what it has called American and NATO aggressiveness, including plans for a missile-defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland, analysts said” (Andrew Kramer, NYT). [15]

The shield ratchets the threat of war a few notches higher, in the Middle East and elsewhere, with incalculable consequences, and the potential for a terminal nuclear war. The immediate fear is that by accident or design, Washington's war planners or their Israeli surrogate might decide to escalate their Cold War II into a hot one – in this case a real hot war.

[1] Wright, WP, July 29 07
[2] Correspondent Michael Wines, NYT, June 13, 1999. Doolittle report, Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: the History of the CIA, Doubleday 2007
[3] Ibid., 77.
[4] Ibid., 180.
[5] Paul Richter, LAT, Aug. 10, 2007. Karzai, CNN, Aug. 5, 2007.
[6] Robin Wright, “U.S. Plans New Arms Sales to Gulf Allies,” WP, July 28, 2007.
[7] Henry Meyer, Bloomberg, Aug. 16, 2007.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Hiro
[10] Weiner
[11] Schmitz, Weiner.
[12] Weiner. Failed States.
[13] Brian Ross and Christopher Isham, “ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran,” April 3, 2007; Ross and Richard Esposito, ABC, “Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran,” May 22, 2007.
[14] On Iran, see Gilbert Achcar, Noam Chomsky, and Stephen Shalom, Perilous Power (Paradigm, 2007), and Ervand Abrahamian, in David Barsamian, ed., Targeting Iran (City Lights, 2007). On Hamas, among many similar statements see the article by Hamas’s most militant leader, Khalid Mish'al, "Our unity can now pave the way for peace and justice," Guardian, February 13, 2007. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly taken the same position. See among others Irene Gendzier, Assaf Kfoury, and Fawwaz Traboulsi, eds., Inside Lebanon (Monthly Review, 2007).
[15] Kramer, “Recalling Cold War, Russia Resumes Long-Range Sorties,” Aug. 18, 2007. "

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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #5 : 20 Septembrie 2007, 17:26:34 »

A Just War? Hardly

Noam Chomsky
Khaleej Times, May 9, 2006

Spurred by these times of invasions and evasions, discussion of "just war" has had a renaissance among scholars and even among policy-makers.

Concepts aside, actions in the real world all too often reinforce the maxim of Thucydides that "The strong do as they can, while the weak suffer what they must" — which is not only indisputably unjust, but at the present stage of human civilisation, a literal threat to the survival of the species.

In his highly praised reflections on just war, Michael Walzer describes the invasion of Afghanistan as "a triumph of just war theory," standing alongside Kosovo as a "just war." Unfortunately, in these two cases, as throughout, his arguments rely crucially on premises like "seems to me entirely justified," or "I believe" or "no doubt."

Facts are ignored, even the most obvious ones. Consider Afghanistan. As the bombing began in October 2001, President Bush warned Afghans that it would continue until they handed over people that the US suspected of terrorism.

The word "suspected" is important. Eight months later, FBI head Robert S. Mueller III told editors at The Washington Post that after what must have been the most intense manhunt in history, "We think the masterminds of (the Sept. 11 attacks) were in Afghanistan, high in the al-Qaida leadership. Plotters and others — the principals — came together in Germany and perhaps elsewhere."

What was still unclear in June 2002 could not have been known definitively the preceding October, though few doubted at once that it was true. Nor did I, for what it’s worth, but surmise and evidence are two different things. At least it seems fair to say that the circumstances raise a question about whether bombing Afghans was a transparent example of "just war."

Walzer’s arguments are directed to unnamed targets — for example, campus opponents who are "pacifists." He adds that their "pacifism" is a "bad argument," because he thinks violence is sometimes legitimate. We may well agree that violence is sometimes legitimate (I do), but "I think" is hardly an overwhelming argument in the real-world cases that he discusses.

By "just war," counterterrorism or some other rationale, the US exempts itself from the fundamental principles of world order that it played the primary role in formulating and enacting.

After World War II, a new regime of international law was instituted. Its provisions on laws of war are codified in the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg principles, adopted by the General Assembly. The Charter bars the threat or use of force unless authorized by the Security Council or, under Article 51, in self-defense against armed attack until the Security Council acts.

In 2004, a high level UN panel, including, among others, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, concluded that "Article 51 needs neither extension nor restriction of its long-understood scope ... In a world full of perceived potential threats, the risk to the global order and the norm of nonintervention on which it continues to be based is simply too great for the legality of unilateral preventive action, as distinct from collectively endorsed action, to be accepted. Allowing one to so act is to allow all."

The National Security Strategy of September 2002, just largely reiterated in March, grants the US the right to carry out what it calls "pre-emptive war," which means not pre-emptive, but "preventive war." That’s the right to commit aggression, plain and simple.

In the wording of the Nuremberg Tribunal, aggression is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole" — all the evil in the tortured land of Iraq that flowed from the US-UK invasion, for example.

The concept of aggression was defined clearly enough by US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who was chief prosecutor for the United States at Nuremberg. The concept was restated in an authoritative General Assembly resolution. An "aggressor," Jackson proposed to the tribunal, is a state that is the first to commit such actions as "invasion of its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State."

That applies to the invasion of Iraq. Also relevant are Justice Jackson’s eloquent words at Nuremberg: "If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us." And elsewhere: "We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well."

For the political leadership, the threat of adherence to these principles — and to the rule of law in general — is serious indeed. Or it would be, if anyone dared to defy "the single ruthless superpower whose leadership intends to shape the world according to its own forceful world view," as Reuven Pedatzur wrote in Haaretz last May.

Let me state a couple of simple truths. The first is that actions are evaluated in terms of the range of likely consequences. A second is the principle of universality; we apply to ourselves the same standards we apply to others, if not more stringent ones.

Apart from being the merest truisms, these principles are also the foundation of just war theory, at least any version of it that deserves to be taken seriously.

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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #6 : 20 Septembrie 2007, 17:49:25 »
Carti editate in limba romana ale lui Noam Chomsky pentru cei interesati:

- State eºuate (Ed. Antet) 2007
- Ambiþii imperiale (Ed. Antet) 2005
- Hegemonie sau supravieþuire (Ed. Antet) 2004
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All warfare is based on deception. -- Sun Tzu, 600 BC

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« Răspuns #7 : 08 Februarie 2008, 04:00:01 »

                                                                 We Own The World

Noam Chomsky
ZNet, January 1, 2008

You all know, of course, there was an election -- what is called "an election" in the United States -- last November. There was really one issue in the election, what to do about U.S. forces in Iraq and there was, by U.S. standards, an overwhelming vote calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces on a firm timetable.

As few people know, a couple of months earlier there were extensive polls in Iraq, U.S.-run polls, with interesting results. They were not secret here. If you really looked you could find references to them, so it's not that they were concealed. This poll found that two-thirds of the people in Baghdad wanted the U.S. troops out immediately; the rest of the country -- a large majority -- wanted a firm timetable for withdrawal, most of them within a year or less.

The figures are higher for Arab Iraq in the areas where troops were actually deployed. A very large majority felt that the presence of U.S. forces increased the level of violence and a remarkable 60 percent for all of Iraq, meaning higher in the areas where the troops are deployed, felt that U.S. forces were legitimate targets of attack. So there was a considerable consensus between Iraqis and Americans on what should be done in Iraq, namely troops should be withdrawn either immediately or with a firm timetable.

Well, the reaction in the post-election U.S. government to that consensus was to violate public opinion and increase the troop presence by maybe 30,000 to 50,000. Predictably, there was a pretext announced. It was pretty obvious what it was going to be. "There is outside interference in Iraq, which we have to defend the Iraqis against. The Iranians are interfering in Iraq." Then came the alleged evidence about finding IEDs, roadside bombs with Iranian markings, as well as Iranian forces in Iraq. "What can we do? We have to escalate to defend Iraq from the outside intervention."

Then came the "debate." We are a free and open society, after all, so we have "lively" debates. On the one side were the hawks who said, "The Iranians are interfering, we have to bomb them." On the other side were the doves who said, "We cannot be sure the evidence is correct, maybe you misread the serial numbers or maybe it is just the revolutionary guards and not the government."

So we had the usual kind of debate going on, which illustrates a very important and pervasive distinction between several types of propaganda systems. To take the ideal types, exaggerating a little: totalitarian states' propaganda is that you better accept it, or else. And "or else" can be of various consequences, depending on the nature of the state. People can actually believe whatever they want as long as they obey. Democratic societies use a different method: they don't articulate the party line. That's a mistake. What they do is presuppose it, then encourage vigorous debate within the framework of the party line. This serves two purposes. For one thing it gives the impression of a free and open society because, after all, we have lively debate. It also instills a propaganda line that becomes something you presuppose, like the air you breathe.

That was the case here. This is a classic illustration. The whole debate about the Iranian "interference" in Iraq makes sense only on one assumption, namely, that "we own the world." If we own the world, then the only question that can arise is that someone else is interfering in a country we have invaded and occupied.

So if you look over the debate that took place and is still taking place about Iranian interference, no one points out this is insane. How can Iran be interfering in a country that we invaded and occupied? It's only appropriate on the presupposition that we own the world. Once you have that established in your head, the discussion is perfectly sensible.

You read a lot of comparisons now about Vietnam and Iraq. For the most part they are totally incomparable; the nature and purpose of the war, almost everything is totally different except in one respect: how they are perceived in the United States. In both cases there is what is now sometimes called the "Q" word, quagmire. Is it a quagmire? In Vietnam it is now recognized that it was a quagmire. There is a debate of whether Iraq, too, is a quagmire. In other words, is it costing us too much? That is the question you can debate.

So in the case of Vietnam, there was a debate. Not at the beginning -- in fact, there was so little discussion in the beginning that nobody even remembers when the war began -- 1962, if you're interested. That's when the U.S. attacked Vietnam. But there was no discussion, no debate, nothing.

By the mid-1960s, mainstream debate began. And it was the usual range of opinions between the hawks and the doves. The hawks said if we send more troops, we can win. The doves, well, Arthur Schlesinger, famous historian, Kennedy's advisor, in his book in 1966 said that we all pray that the hawks will be right and that the current escalation of troops, which by then was approaching half a million, will work and bring us victory. If it does, we will all be praising the wisdom and statesmanship of the American government for winning victory -- in a land that we're reducing to ruin and wreck.

You can translate that word by word to the doves today. We all pray that the surge will work. If it does, contrary to our expectations, we will be praising the wisdom and statesmanship of the Bush administration in a country, which, if we're honest, is a total ruin, one of the worst disasters in military history for the population.

If you get way to the left end of mainstream discussion, you get somebody like Anthony Lewis who, at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, wrote in retrospect that the war began with benign intensions to do good; that is true by definition, because it's us, after all. So it began with benign intentions, but by 1969, he said, it was clear that the war was a mistake. For us to win a victory would be too costly -- for us -- so it was a mistake and we should withdraw. That was the most extreme criticism.

Very much like today. We could withdraw from Vietnam because the U.S. had already essentially obtained its objective by then. Iraq we can't because we haven't obtained our objectives.

And for those of you who are old enough to remember -- or have read about it -- you will note that the peace movement pretty much bought that line. Just like the mainstream discussion, the opposition of the war, including the peace movement, was mostly focused on the bombing of the North. When the U.S. started bombing the North regularly in February 1965, it also escalated the bombing of the South to triple the scale -- and the South had already been attacked for three years by then. A couple of hundred thousand South Vietnamese were killed and thousands, if not tens of the thousands, had been driven into concentration camps. The U.S. had been carrying out chemical warfare to destroy food crops and ground cover. By 1965 South Vietnam was already a total wreck.

Bombing the South was costless for the United States because the South had no defense. Bombing the North was costly -- you bomb the North, you bomb the harbor, you might hit Russian ships, which begins to become dangerous. You're bombing an internal Chinese railroad -- the Chinese railroads from southeast to southwest China happen to go through North Vietnam -- who knows what they might do.

In fact, the Chinese were accused, correctly, of sending Chinese forces into Vietnam, namely to rebuild the railroad that we were bombing. So that was "interference" with our divine right to bomb North Vietnam. So most of the focus was on the bombing of the North. The peace movement slogan, "Stop the bombing" meant the bombing of the North.

In 1967 the leading specialist on Vietnam, Bernard Fall, a military historian and the only specialist on Vietnam respected by the U.S. government -- who was a hawk, incidentally, but who cared about the Vietnamese -- wrote that it's a question of whether Vietnam will survive as a cultural and historical entity under the most severe bombing that has ever been applied to a country this size. He was talking about the South. He kept emphasizing it was the South that was being attacked. But that didn't matter because it was costless, therefore it's fine to continue. That is the range of debate, which only makes sense on the assumption that we own the world.

If you read, say, the Pentagon Papers, it turns out there was extensive planning about the bombing of the North -- very detailed, meticulous planning on just how far it can go, what happens if we go a little too far, and so on. There is no discussion at all about the bombing of the South, virtually none. Just an occasional announcement, okay, we will triple the bombing, or something like that.

If you read Robert McNamara's memoirs of the war -- by that time he was considered a leading dove -- he reviews the meticulous planning about the bombing of the North, but does not even mention his decision to sharply escalate the bombing of the South at the same time that the bombing of the North was begun.

I should say, incidentally, that with regard to Vietnam what I have been discussing is articulate opinion, including the leading part of the peace movement. There is also public opinion, which it turns out is radically different, and that is of some significance. By 1969 around 70 percent of the public felt that the war was not a mistake, but that it was fundamentally wrong and immoral. That was the wording of the polls and that figure remains fairly constant up until the most recent polls just a few years ago. The figures are pretty remarkable because people who say that in a poll almost certainly think, I must be the only person in the world that thinks this. They certainly did not read it anywhere, they did not hear it anywhere. But that was popular opinion.

The same is true with regard to many other issues. But for articulate opinion it's pretty much the way I've described -- largely vigorous debate between the hawks and the doves, all on the unexpressed assumption that we own the world. So the only thing that matters is how much is it costing us, or maybe for some more humane types, are we harming too many of them?

Getting back to the election, there was a lot of disappointment among anti-war people -- the majority of the population -- that Congress did not pass any withdrawal legislation. There was a Democratic resolution that was vetoed, but if you look at the resolution closely it was not a withdrawal resolution. There was a good analysis of it by General Kevin Ryan, who was a fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard. He went through it and he said it really should be called a re-missioning proposal. It leaves about the same number of American troops, but they have a slightly different mission.

He said, first of all it allows for a national security exception. If the president says there is a national security issue, he can do whatever he wants -- end of resolution. The second gap is it allows for anti-terrorist activities. Okay, that is whatever you like. Third, it allows for training Iraqi forces. Again, anything you like.

Next it says troops have to remain for protection of U.S. forces and facilities. What are U.S. forces? Well, U.S. forces are those embedded in Iraqi armed units where 60 percent of their fellow soldiers think that they -- U.S. troops, that is -- are legitimate targets of attack. Incidentally, those figures keep going up, so they are probably higher by now. Well, okay, that is plenty of force protection. What facilities need protection was not explained in the Democratic resolution, but facilities include what is called "the embassy." The U.S. embassy in Iraq is nothing like any embassy that has ever existed in history. It's a city inside the green zone, the protected region of Iraq, that the U.S. runs. It's got everything from missiles to McDonalds, anything you want. They didn't build that huge facility because they intend to leave.

That is one facility, but there are others. There are "semi-permanent military bases," which are being built around the country. "Semi-permanent" means permanent, as long as we want.

General Ryan omitted a lot of things. He omitted the fact that the U.S. is maintaining control of logistics and logistics is the core of a modern Army. Right now about 80 percent of the supply is coming in though the south, from Kuwait, and it's going through guerilla territory, easily subject to attack, which means you have to have plenty of troops to maintain that supply line. Plus, of course, it keeps control over the Iraqi Army.

The Democratic resolution excludes the Air Force. The Air Force does whatever it wants. It is bombing pretty regularly and it can bomb more intensively. The resolution also excludes mercenaries, which is no small number -- sources such as the Wall Street Journal estimate the number of mercenaries at about 130,000, approximately the same as the number of troops, which makes some sense. The traditional way to fight a colonial war is with mercenaries, not with your own soldiers -- that is the French Foreign Legion, the British Ghurkas, or the Hessians in the Revolutionary War. That is part of the main reason the draft was dropped -- so you get professional soldiers, not people you pick off the streets.

So, yes, it is re-missioning, but the resolution was vetoed because it was too strong, so we don't even have that. And, yes, that did disappoint a lot of people. However, it would be too strong to say that no high official in Washington called for immediate withdrawal. There were some. The strongest one I know of -- when asked what is the solution to the problem in Iraq -- said it's quite obvious, "Withdraw all foreign forces and withdraw all foreign arms." That official was Condoleeza Rice and she was not referring to U.S. forces, she was referring to Iranian forces and Iranian arms. And that makes sense, too, on the assumption that we own the world because, since we own the world U.S. forces cannot be foreign forces anywhere. So if we invade Iraq or Canada, say, we are the indigenous forces. It's the Iranians that are foreign forces.

I waited for a while to see if anyone, at least in the press or journals, would point out that there was something funny about this. I could not find a word. I think everyone regarded that as a perfectly sensible comment. But I could not see a word from anyone who said, wait a second, there are foreign forces there, 150,000 American troops, plenty of American arms.

So it is reasonable that when British sailors were captured in the Gulf by Iranian forces, there was debate, "Were they in Iranian borders or in Iraqi borders? Actually there is no answer to this because there is no territorial boundary, and that was pointed out. It was taken for granted that if the British sailors were in Iraqi waters, then Iran was guilty of a crime by intervening in foreign territory. But Britain is not guilty of a crime by being in Iraqi territory, because Britain is a U.S. client state, and we own the world, so they are there by right.

What about the possible next war, Iran? There have been very credible threats by the U.S. and Israel -- essentially a U.S. client -- to attack Iran. There happens to be something called the UN Charter which says that -- in Article 2 -- the threat or use of force in international affairs is a crime. "Threat or use of force."

Does anybody care? No, because we're an outlaw state by definition, or to be more precise, our threats and use of force are not foreign, they're indigenous because we own the world. Therefore, it's fine. So there are threats to bomb Iran -- maybe we will and maybe we won't. That is the debate that goes on. Is it legitimate if we decide to do it? People might argue it's a mistake. But does anyone say it would be illegitimate? For example, the Democrats in Congress refuse to put in an amendment that would require the Executive to inform Congress if it intends to bomb Iran -- to consult, inform. Even that was not accepted.

The whole world is aghast at this possibility. It would be monstrous. A leading British military historian, Correlli Barnett, wrote recently that if the U.S. does attack, or Israel does attack, it would be World War III. The attack on Iraq has been horrendous enough. Apart from devastating Iraq, the UN High Commission on Refugees reviewed the number of displaced people -- they estimate 4.2 million, over 2 million fled the country, another 2 million fleeing within the country. That is in addition to the numbers killed, which if you extrapolate from the last studies, are probably approaching a million.

It was anticipated by U.S. intelligence and other intelligence agencies and independent experts that an attack on Iraq would probably increase the threat of terror and nuclear proliferation. But that went way beyond what anyone expected. Well known terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank estimated -- using mostly government statistics -- that what they call "the Iraq effect" increased terror by a factor of seven, and that is pretty serious. And that gives you an indication of the ranking of protection of the population in the priority list of leaders. It's very low.

So what would the Iran effect be? Well, that is incalculable. It could be World War III. Very likely a massive increase in terror, who knows what else. Even in the states right around Iraq, which don't like Iran -- Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- even there the large majority would prefer to see a nuclear armed Iran to any U.S. military action, and they are right, military action could be devastating. It doesn't mean we won't do it. There is very little discussion here of the illegitimacy of doing it, again on the assumption that anything we do is legitimate, it just might cost too much.

Is there a possible solution to the U.S./Iran crisis? Well, there are some plausible solutions. One possibility would be an agreement that allows Iran to have nuclear energy, like every signer of the non-proliferation treaty, but not to have nuclear weapons. In addition, it would call for a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. That would include Iran, Israel, which has hundreds of nuclear weapons, and any U.S. or British forces deployed in the region. A third element of a solution would be for the United States and other nuclear states to obey their legal obligation, by unanimous agreement of the World Court, to make good-faith moves to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely.

Is this feasible? Well, it's feasible on one assumption, that the United States and Iran become functioning democratic societies, because what I have just quoted happens to be the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the populations in Iran and the United States. On everything that I mentioned there is an overwhelming majority. So, yes, there would be a very feasible solution if these two countries were functioning democratic societies, meaning societies in which public opinion has some kind of effect on policy. The problem in the United States is the inability of organizers to do something in a population that overwhelmingly agrees with them and to make that current policy. Of course, it can be done. Peasants in Bolivia can do it, we can obviously do it here.

Can we do anything to make Iran a more democratic society? Not directly, but indirectly we can. We can pay attention to the dissidents and the reformists in Iran who are struggling courageously to turn Iran into a more democratic society. And we know exactly what they are saying, they are very outspoken about it. They are pleading with the United States to withdraw the threats against Iran. The more we threaten Iran, the more we give a gift to the reactionary, religious fanatics in the government. You make threats, you strengthen them. That is exactly what is happening. The threats have lead to repression, predictably.

Now the Americans claim they are outraged by the repression, which we should protest, but we should recognize that the repression is the direct and predictable consequence of the actions that the U.S. government is taking. So if you take actions, and then they have predictable consequences, condemning the consequences is total hypocrisy.

Incidentally, in the case of Cuba about two-thirds of Americans think we ought to end the embargo and all threats and enter into diplomatic relations. And that has been true ever since polls have been taken -- for about 30 years. The figure varies, but it's roughly there. Zero effect on policy, in Iran, Cuba, and elsewhere.

So there is a problem and that problem is that the United States is just not a functioning democracy. Public opinion does not matter and among articulate and elite opinion that is a principle -- it shouldn't matter. The only principle that matters is we own the world and the rest of you shut up, you know, whether you're abroad or at home.

So, yes, there is a potential solution to the very dangerous problem, it's essentially the same solution: do something to turn our own country into a functioning democracy. But that is in radical opposition to the fundamental presupposition of all elite discussions, mainly that we own the world and that these questions don't arise and the public should have no opinion on foreign policy, or any policy.

Once, when I was driving to work, I was listening to NPR. NPR is supposed to be the kind of extreme radical end of the spectrum. I read a statement somewhere, I don't know if it's true, but it was a quote from Obama, who is the hope of the liberal doves, in which he allegedly said that the spectrum of discussion in the United States extends between two crazy extremes, Rush Limbaugh and NPR. The truth, he said, is in the middle and that is where he is going to be, in the middle, between the crazies.

NPR then had a discussion -- it was like being at the Harvard faculty club -- serious people, educated, no grammatical errors, who know what they're talking about, usually polite. The discussion was about the so-called missile defense system that the U.S. is trying to place in Czechoslovakia and Poland -- and the Russian reaction. The main issue was, "What is going on with the Russians? Why are they acting so hostile and irrational? Are they trying to start a new Cold War? There is something wrong with those guys. Can we calm them down and make them less paranoid?"

The main specialist they called in, I think from the Pentagon or somewhere, pointed out, accurately, that a missile defense system is essentially a first-strike weapon. That is well known by strategic analysts on all sides. If you think about it for a minute, it's obvious why. A missile defense system is never going to stop a first strike, but it could, in principle, if it ever worked, stop a retaliatory strike. If you attack some country with a first strike, and practically wipe it out, if you have a missile defense system, and prevent them from retaliating, then you would be protected, or partially protected. If a country has a functioning missile defense system it will have more options for carrying out a first strike. Okay, obvious, and not a secret. It's known to every strategic analyst. I can explain it to my grandchildren in two minutes and they understand it.

So on NPR it is agreed that a missile defense system is a first-strike weapon. But then comes the second part of the discussion. Well, say the pundits, the Russians should not be worried about this. For one thing because it's not enough of a system to stop their retaliation, so therefore it's not yet a first-strike weapon against them. Then they said it is kind of irrelevant anyway because it is directed against Iran, not against Russia.

Okay, that was the end of the discussion. So, point one, missile defense is a first-strike weapon; second, it's directed against Iran. Now, you can carry out a small exercise in logic. Does anything follow from those two assumptions? Yes, what follows is it's a first-strike weapon against Iran. Since the U.S. owns the world what could be wrong with having a first-strike weapon against Iran. So the conclusion is not mentioned. It is not necessary. It follows from the fact that we own the world.

Maybe a year ago or so, Germany sold advanced submarines to Israel, which were equipped to carry missiles with nuclear weapons. Why does Israel need submarines with nuclear armed missiles? Well, there is only one imaginable reason and everyone in Germany with a brain must have understood that -- certainly their military system does -- it's a first-strike weapon against Iran. Israel can use German subs to illustrate to Iranians that if they respond to an Israeli attack they will be vaporized.

The fundamental premises of Western imperialism are extremely deep. The West owns the world and now the U.S. runs the West, so, of course, they go along. The fact that they are providing a first-strike weapon for attacking Iran probably, I'm guessing now, raised no comment because why should it?

You can forget about history, it does not matter, it's kind of "old fashioned," boring stuff we don't need to know about. But most countries pay attention to history. So, for example, for the United States there is no discussion of the history of U.S./Iranian relations. Well, for the U.S. there is only one event in Iranian history -- in 1979 Iranians overthrew the tyrant that the U.S. was backing and took some hostages for over a year. That happened and they had to be punished for that.

But for Iranians their history is that for over 50 years, literally without a break, the U.S. has been torturing Iranians. In 1953 the U.S. overthrew the parliamentary government and installed a brutal tyrant, the Shah, and kept supporting him while he compiled one of the worst human rights records in the world -- torture, assassination, anything you like. In fact, President Carter, when he visited Iran in December 1978, praised the Shah because of the love shown to him by his people, and so on and so forth, which probably accelerated the overthrow. Of course, Iranians have this odd way of remembering what happened to them and who was behind it. When the Shah was overthrown, the Carter administration immediately tried to instigate a military coup by sending arms to Iran through Israel to try to support military force to overthrow the government. We immediately turned to supporting Iraq, that is Saddam Hussein, and his invasion of Iran. Saddam was executed for crimes he committed in 1982, by his standards not very serious crimes -- complicity in killing 150 people. Well, there was something missing in that account -- 1982 is a very important year in U.S./Iraqi relations. That is the year in which Ronald Reagan removed Iraq from the list of states supporting terrorism so that the U.S. could start supplying Iraq with weapons for its invasion of Iran, including the means to develop weapons of mass destruction, chemical and nuclear weapons. That is 1982. A year later Donald Rumsfeld was sent to firm up the deal. Well, Iranians may very well remember that this led to a war in which hundreds of thousands of them were slaughtered with U.S. aid going to Iraq. They may well remember that the year after the war was over, in 1989, the U.S. government invited Iraqi nuclear engineers to come to the United States for advanced training in developing nuclear weapons.

What about the Russians? They have a history too. One part of the history is that in the last century Russia was invaded and practically destroyed three times through Eastern Europe. You can look back and ask, when was the last time that the U.S. was invaded and practically destroyed through Canada or Mexico? That doesn't happen. We crush others and we are always safe. But the Russians don't have that luxury. Now, in 1990 a remarkable event took place. I was kind of shocked, frankly. Gorbachev agreed to let Germany be unified, meaning join the West and be militarized within a hostile military alliance. This is Germany, which twice in that century practically destroyed Russia. That's a pretty remarkable agreement.

There was a quid pro quo. Then-president George Bush I agreed that NATO would not expand to the East. The Russians also demanded, but did not receive, an agreement for a nuclear-free zone from the Artic to the Baltic, which would give them a little protection from nuclear attack. That was the agreement in 1990. Then Bill Clinton came into office, the so-called liberal. One of the first things he did was to rescind the agreement, unilaterally, and expand NATO to the East.

For the Russians that's pretty serious, if you remember the history. They lost 25 million people in the last World War and over 3 million in World War I. But since the U.S. owns the world, if we want to threaten Russia, that is fine. It is all for freedom and justice, after all, and if they make unpleasant noises about it we wonder why they are so paranoid. Why is Putin screaming as if we're somehow threatening them, since we can't be threatening anyone, owning the world.

One of the other big issues on the front pages now is Chinese "aggressiveness." There is a lot of concern about the fact that the Chinese are building up their missile forces. Is China planning to conquer the world? Big debates about it. Well, what is really going on? For years China has been in the lead in trying to prevent the militarization of space. If you look at the debates and the Disarmament Commission of the UN General Assembly, the votes are 160 to 1 or 2. The U.S. insists on the militarization of space. It will not permit the outer space treaty to explicitly bar military relations in space.

Clinton's position was that the U.S. should control space for military purposes. The Bush administration is more extreme. Their position is the U.S. should own space, their words, We have to own space for military purposes. So that is the spectrum of discussion here. The Chinese have been trying to block it and that is well understood. You read the most respectable journal in the world, I suppose, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and you find leading strategic analysts, John Steinbrunner and Nancy Gallagher, a couple of years ago, warning that the Bush administration's aggressive militarization is leading to what they call "ultimate doom." Of course, there is going to be a reaction to it. You threaten people with destruction, they are going to react. These analysts call on peace-loving nations to counter Bush's aggressive militarism. They hope that China will lead peace-loving nations to counter U.S. aggressiveness. It's a pretty remarkable comment on the impossibility of achieving democracy in the United States. Again, the logic is pretty elementary. Steinbrunner and Gallagher are assuming that the United States cannot be a democratic society; it's not one of the options, so therefore we hope that maybe China will do something.

Well, China finally did something. It signaled to the United States that they noticed that we were trying to use space for military purposes, so China shot down one of their satellites. Everyone understands why -- the mili- tarization and weaponization of space depends on satellites. While missiles are very difficult or maybe impossible to stop, satellites are very easy to shoot down. You know where they are. So China is saying, "Okay, we understand you are militarizing space. We're going to counter it not by militarizing space, we can't compete with you that way, but by shooting down your satellites." That is what was behind the satellite shooting. Every military analyst certainly understood it and every lay person can understand it. But take a look at the debate. The discussion was about, "Is China trying it conquer the world by shooting down one of its own satellites?"

About a year ago there was a new rash of articles and headlines on the front page about the "Chinese military build-up." The Pentagon claimed that China had increased its offensive military capacity -- with 400 missiles, which could be nuclear armed. Then we had a debate about whether that proves China is trying to conquer the world or the numbers are wrong, or something.

Just a little footnote. How many offensive nuclear armed missiles does the United States have? Well, it turns out to be 10,000. China may now have maybe 400, if you believe the hawks. That proves that they are trying to conquer the world.

It turns out, if you read the international press closely, that the reason China is building up its military capacity is not only because of U.S. aggressiveness all over the place, but the fact that the United States has improved its targeting capacities so it can now destroy missile sites in a much more sophisticated fashion wherever they are, even if they are mobile. So who is trying to conquer the world? Well, obviously the Chinese because since we own it, they are trying to conquer it.

It's all too easy to continue with this indefinitely. Just pick your topic. It's a good exercise to try. This simple principle, "we own the world," is sufficient to explain a lot of the discussion about foreign affairs.

I will just finish with a word from George Orwell. In the introduction to Animal Farm he said, England is a free society, but it's not very different from the totalitarian monster I have been describing. He says in England unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force. Then he goes on to give some dubious examples. At the end he turns to a very brief explanation, actually two sentences, but they are to the point. He says, one reason is the press is owned by wealthy men who have every reason not to want certain ideas to be expressed. And the second reason -- and I think a more important one -- is a good education. If you have gone to the best schools and graduated from Oxford and Cambridge, and so on, you have instilled in you the understanding that there are certain things it would not do to say; actually, it would not do to think. That is the primary way to prevent unpopular ideas from being expressed.

The ideas of the overwhelming majority of the population, who don't attend Harvard, Princeton, Oxford and Cambridge, enable them to react like human beings, as they often do. There is a lesson there for activists.


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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #8 : 25 Februarie 2008, 23:14:37 »
DOMNILOR asta este literatura ,dar practic ,concret stiti care sunt metodele de spalat creierul? pai ca sa stii trebuie sa cunosti cum functioneaza motorul ternar.Sa stii cum sa produci disonanta cognitiva , cum sa lovesti si cu ce, in afectivitatea emotional sentimentala,cum sa creiezi starea de culpabilitate .cum sa inversezi si sa obturezi unimodal si in succesiune canalele senzoriale.......stop curs psiho....

Offline alx

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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #9 : 26 Februarie 2008, 09:23:17 »
DOMNILOR asta este literatura ,dar practic ,concret stiti care sunt metodele de spalat creierul?
DA!  metodele dumneavoastra!   1,2,3 si pac din degete! 

pai ca sa stii trebuie sa cunosti cum functioneaza motorul ternar.
cati timpi are?  cat consuma ?

Sa stii cum sa produci disonanta cognitiva
s-a explicat pe Discovery la emisiunea ''how it's made?''

cum sa lovesti si cu ce
   bata de baseball e buna?

cum sa creiezi starea de culpabilitate
   batandu-i la cap pe oameni cu mesaje aparent inteligente...

cum sa inversezi si sa obturezi unimodal si in succesiune canalele senzoriale
1,2,3   si pac din degete!

stop curs psiho....
acu am inteles!  cata marinimie din partea dvs,sa oferiti cursuri gratuite atunci cand nu aveti cursanti pe bani...

”O piatră nu cade din cer.Sau,daca se intamplă să cada,atunci nu mai e piatră,ci aerolit.”


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« Răspuns #10 : 26 Februarie 2008, 10:49:56 »

Offline DamChrist169

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Raspuns: Noam Chomsky
« Răspuns #11 : 03 Martie 2008, 09:04:37 »

"Noam Chomsky: Why is Iraq Missing from 2008 Presidential Race?

In a major address, Noam Chomsky says there has been little change in the conventional debate over a US invasion abroad: from Vietnam to Iraq, the two main political parties and political pundits differ only on the tactics of US goals, which are assumed to be legitimate. On the other hand, public opposition to war has also remained consistent, Chomsky says, but, whether Iraqi or American, ignored. Noam Chomsky, Professor of linguistics at MIT for over half a century, Chomsky is the author of dozens of books on US foreign policy. His most recent is called Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.

AMY GOODMAN: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will face off tonight in their final debate before the crucial primaries in Ohio and Texas next week. Over the past few days, the two Democratic candidates have traded barbs over trade, foreign and domestic policies, as the rhetoric from both campaigns heats up.

Since the presidential race began well over a year ago, Iraq has been one of many topics of debate. However, the war has not been the central issue of the campaign as it was in the midterm elections in 2006, and there are still more than 160,000 US troops deployed in Iraq. Why is this?

That was the subject of a recent talk by Noam Chomsky. A professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for over a half-century, Noam Chomsky is the author of scores of books on US foreign policy. His most recent is called Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. We spend the rest of the hour with Noam Chomsky. He recently spoke before a packed audience in Massachussetts at an event sponsored by Bikes Not Bombs.

      NOAM CHOMSKY: Not very long ago, as you all recall, it was taken for granted that the Iraq war would be the central issue in the 2008 election, as it was in the midterm election two years ago. However, it’s virtually disappeared off the radar screen, which has solicited some puzzlement among the punditry.

      Actually, the reason is not very obscure. It was cogently explained forty years ago, when the US invasion of South Vietnam was in its fourth year and the surge of that day was about to add another 100,000 troops to the 175,000 already there, while South Vietnam was being bombed to shreds at triple the level of the bombing of the north and the war was expanding to the rest of Indochina. However, the war was not going very well, so the former hawks were shifting towards doubts, among them the distinguished historian Arthur Schlesinger, maybe the most distinguished historian of his generation, a Kennedy adviser, who—when he and Kennedy, other Kennedy liberals were beginning to—reluctantly beginning to shift from a dedication to victory to a more dovish position.

      And Schlesinger explained the reasons. He explained that—I’ll quote him now—“Of course, we all pray that the hawks are right in thinking that the surge of that day will work. And if it does, we may all be saluting the wisdom and statesmanship of the American government in winning a victory in a land that we have turned,” he said, “to wreck and ruin. But the surge probably won’t work, at an acceptable cost to us, so perhaps strategy should be rethought.”

      Well, the reasoning and the underlying attitudes carry over with almost no change to the critical commentary on the US invasion of Iraq today. And it is a land of wreck and ruin. You’ve already heard a few words; I don’t have to review the facts. The highly regarded British polling agency, Oxford Research Bureau, has just updated its estimate of deaths. Their new estimate a couple of days ago is 1.3 million. That’s excluding two of the most violent provinces, Karbala and Anbar. On the side, it’s kind of intriguing to observe the ferocity of the debate over the actual number of deaths. There’s an assumption on the part of the hawks that if we only killed a couple hundred thousand people, it would be OK, so we shouldn’t accept the higher estimates. You can go along with that if you like.

      Uncontroversially, there are over two million displaced within Iraq. Thanks to the generosity of Jordan and Syria, the millions of refugees who have fled the wreckage of Iraq aren’t totally wiped out. That includes most of the professional classes. But that welcome is fading, because Jordan and Syria receive no support from the perpetrators of the crimes in Washington and London, and therefore they cannot accept that huge burden for very long. It’s going to leave those two-and-a-half million refugees who fled in even more desperate straits.

      The sectarian warfare that was created by the invasion never—nothing like that had ever existed before. That has devastated the country, as you know. Much of the country has been subjected to quite brutal ethnic cleansing and left in the hands of warlords and militias. That’s the primary thrust of the current counterinsurgency strategy that’s developed by the revered “Lord Petraeus,” I guess we should describe him, considering the way he’s treated. He won his fame by pacifying Mosul a couple of years ago. It’s now the scene of some of the most extreme violence in the country.

      One of the most dedicated and informed journalists who has been immersed in the ongoing tragedy, Nir Rosen, has just written an epitaph entitled “The Death of Iraq” in the very mainstream and quite important journal Current History. He writes that “Iraq has been killed, never to rise again. The American occupation has been more disastrous than that of the Mongols, who sacked Baghdad in the thirteenth century,” which has been the perception of many Iraqis, as well. “Only fools talk of ‘solutions’ now,” he went on. “There is no solution. The only hope is that perhaps the damage can be contained.”

      But Iraq is, in fact, the marginal issue, and the reasons are the traditional ones, the traditional reasoning and attitudes of the liberal doves who all pray now, as they did forty years ago, that the hawks will be right and that the US will win a victory in this land of wreck and ruin. And they’re either encouraged or silenced by the good news about Iraq.

      And there is good news. The US occupying army in Iraq—euphemistically it’s called the Multi-National Force–Iraq, because they have, I think, three polls there somewhere—that the occupying army carries out extensive studies of popular attitudes. It’s an important part of counterinsurgency or any form of domination. You want to know what your subjects are thinking. And it released a report last December. It was a study of focus groups, and it was uncharacteristically upbeat. The report concluded—I’ll quote it—that the survey of focus groups “provides very strong evidence” that national reconciliation is possible and anticipated, contrary to what’s being claimed. The survey found that a sense of “optimistic possibility permeated all focus groups…and far more commonalities than differences are found among these seemingly diverse groups of Iraqis” from all over the country and all walks of life. This discovery of “shared beliefs” among Iraqis throughout the country is “good news, according to a military analysis of the results," Karen de Young reported in the Washington Post a couple of weeks ago.

      Well, the “shared beliefs” are identified in the report. I’ll quote de Young: "Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the US military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of [what they call] ‘occupying forces’ as the key to national reconciliation.” So those are the “shared beliefs.” According to the Iraqis then, there’s hope of national reconciliation if the invaders, who are responsible for the internal violence and the other atrocities, if they withdraw and leave Iraq to Iraqis. That’s pretty much the same as what’s been found in earlier polls, so it’s not all that surprising. Well, that’s the good news: “shared beliefs.”

      The report didn’t mention some other good news, so I’ll add it. Iraqis, it appears, accept the highest values of Americans. That ought to be good news. Specifically, they accept the principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal that sentenced Nazi war criminals to hanging for such crimes as supporting aggression and preemptive war. It was the main charge against von Ribbentrop, for example, whose position was—in the Nazi regime was that of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. The Tribunal defined aggression very straightforwardly: aggression, in its words, is the “invasion of its armed forces” by one state “of the territory of another state.” That’s simple. Obviously, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan are textbook examples of aggression. And the Tribunal, as I’m sure you know, went on to characterize aggression as “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself all the accumulated evil of the whole.” So everything that follows from the aggression is part of the evil of the aggression.

      Well, the good news from the US military survey of focus groups is that Iraqis do accept the Nuremberg principles. They understand that sectarian violence and the other postwar horrors are contained within the supreme international crime committed by the invaders. I think they were not asked whether their acceptance of American values extends to the conclusion of Justice Robert Jackson, chief prosecutor for the United States at Nuremberg. He forcefully insisted that the Tribunal would be mere farce if we do not apply the principles to ourselves.

      Well, needless to say, US opinion, shared with the West generally, flatly rejects the lofty American values that were professed at Nuremberg, indeed regards them as bordering on obscene, as you could quickly discover if you try experimenting by suggesting that these values should be observed, as Iraqis insist. It’s an interesting illustration of the reality, some of the reality, that lies behind the famous “clash of civilizations.” Maybe not exactly the way we like to look at it.

      There was a poll a few days ago, a really major poll, just released, which found that 75 percent of Americans believe that US foreign policy is driving the dissatisfaction with America abroad, and more than 60 percent believe that dislike of American values and of the American people are also to blame. Dissatisfaction is a kind of an understatement. The United States has become increasingly the most feared and often hated country in the world. Well, that perception is in fact incorrect. It’s fed by propaganda. There’s very little dislike of Americans in the world, shown by repeated polls, and the dissatisfaction—that is, the hatred and the anger—they come from acceptance of American values, not a rejection of them, and recognition that they’re rejected by the US government and by US elites, which does lead to hatred and anger.

      There’s other “good news” that’s been reported by General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker that was during the extravaganza that was staged last September 11th. September 11th, you might ask why the timing? Well, a cynic might imagine that the timing was intended to insinuate the Bush-Cheney claims of links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. They can’t come out and say it straight out, so therefore you sort of insinuate it by devices like this. It’s intended to indicate, as they used to say outright but are now too embarrassed to say, except maybe Cheney, that by committing the supreme international crime, they were defending the world against terror, which, in fact, increased sevenfold as a result of the invasion, according to a recent analysis by terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank.

      Petraeus and Crocker provided figures to explain the good news. The figures they provided on September 11th showed that the Iraqi government was greatly accelerating spending on reconstruction, which is good news indeed and remained so until it was investigated by the Government Accountability Office, which found that the actual figure was one-sixth of what Petraeus and Crocker reported and, in fact, a 50 percent decline from the previous year.

      Well, more good news is the decline in sectarian violence, that’s attributable in part to the murderous ethnic cleansing that Iraqis blame on the invasion. The result of it is there are simply fewer people to kill, so sectarian violence declines. It’s also attributable to the new counterinsurgency doctrine, Washington’s decision to support the tribal groups that had already organized to drive out Iraqi al-Qaeda, to an increase in US troops, and to the decision of the Sadr’s Mahdi army to consolidate its gains to stop direct fighting. And politically, that’s what the press calls “halting aggression” by the Mahdi army. Notice that only Iraqis can commit aggression in Iraq, or Iranians, of course, but no one else.

      Well, it’s possible that Petraeus’s strategy may approach the success of the Russians in Chechnya, where—I’ll quote the New York Times a couple of weeks ago—Chechnya, the fighting is now “limited and sporadic, and Grozny is in the midst of a building boom” after having been reduced to rubble by the Russian attack. Well, maybe some day Baghdad and Fallujah also will enjoy, to continue the quote, “electricity restored in many neighborhoods, new businesses opening and the city’s main streets repaved,” as in booming Grozny. Possible, but dubious, in the light of the likely consequence of creating warlord armies that may be the seeds of even greater sectarian violence, adding to the “accumulated evil” of the aggression. Well, if Russians share the beliefs and attitudes of elite liberal intellectuals in the West, then they must be praising Putin’s “wisdom and statesmanship” for his achievements in Chechnya, formerly that they had turned into a land of wreck and ruin and are now rebuilding. Great achievement.

      A few days ago, the New York Times—the military and Iraq expert of the New York Times, Michael Gordon, wrote a comprehensive review, first-page comprehensive review, of the options for Iraq that are being faced by the candidates. And he went through them in detail, described the pluses and minuses and so on, interviewing political leaders, the candidates, experts, etc. There was one voice missing: Iraqis. Their preference is not rejected; rather, it’s not mentioned. And it seems that there was no notice of that fact, which makes sense, because it’s typical. It makes sense on the tacit assumption that underlies almost all discourse on international affairs. The tacit assumption, without which none of it makes any sense, is that we own the world. So, what does it matter what others think? They’re “unpeople,” nice term invented by British diplomatic historian [Mark] Curtis, based on a series of outstanding volumes on Britain’s crimes of empire—outstanding work, therefore deeply hidden. So there are the “unpeople” out there, and then there are the owners—that’s us—and we don’t have to listen to the “unpeople.”

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Noam Chomsky speaking in Arlington, Massachusetts. We’ll come back to that speech in a minute here on Democracy Now! And you can get a copy of this speech at Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: We return to Professor Noam Chomsky, teaches linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for over half-a-century. Noam Chomsky is the author of more than a hundred books on US foreign policy. He was speaking before a packed audience in Arlington, Massachusetts.

      NOAM CHOMSKY: Last month, Panama declared a Day of Mourning to commemorate the US invasion—that’s under George Bush no. 1—that killed thousands of poor Panamanians when the US bombed the El Chorillo slums and other poor areas, so Panamanian human rights organizations claim. We don’t actually know, because we never count our crimes. Victors don’t do that; only the defeated. It aroused no interest here; there’s barely a mention of the Day of Mourning. And there’s also no interest in the fact that Bush 1’s invasion of Panama was a clear case of aggression, to which the Nuremberg principles apply, and it was apparently more deadly, in fact possibly much more deadly, than Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, happened a few months later. But it makes sense that there would be no interest in that, because we own the world, and Saddam didn’t, so the acts are quite different.

      It’s also of no interest that, at that time of the time of Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, the greatest fear in Washington was that Saddam would imitate what the United States had just done in Panama, namely install a client government and then leave. That’s the main reason why Washington blocked diplomacy in quite interesting ways, with almost complete media cooperation. There’s actually one exception in the US media. But none of this gets any commentary. However, it does merit a lead story a few days later, when the Panamanian National Assembly was opened by President Pedro Gonzalez, who’s charged by Washington with killing two American soldiers during a protest against President Bush no.1, against his visit two years after the invasion. The charges were dismissed by Panamanian courts, but they’re upheld by the owner of the world, so he can’t travel, and that got a story.

      Well, to take just one last illustration of the depth of the imperial mentality, New York Times correspondent Elaine Sciolino, veteran correspondent, writes that “Iran’s intransigence [about nuclear enrichment] appears to be defeating attempts by the rest of the world to curtail Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.” Well, the phrase “the rest of the world” is an interesting one. The rest of the world happens to exclude the vast majority of the world, namely the non-aligned movement, which forcefully endorses Iran’s right to enrich uranium in accordance with the rights granted by its being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But they’re not part of the world, even though they’re the large majority, because they don’t reflexively accept US orders, and commentary like that is unremarkable and unnoticed. You’re part of the world if you do what we say, obviously. Otherwise, you’re “unpeople.”

      Well, we might, since we’re on Iran, might tarry for a moment and ask whether there’s any solution to the US-Iran confrontation over nuclear weapons, which is extremely dangerous. Here’s one idea. First point, Iran should be permitted to develop nuclear energy, but not nuclear weapons, as the Non-Proliferation Treaty determines.

      Second point is that there should be a nuclear weapons-free zone in the entire region, Iran to Israel, including any US forces that are present there. Actually, though it’s never reported, the United States is committed to that position. When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, it appealed to a UN resolution, Resolution 687, which called upon Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. That was the flimsy legal principle invoked to justify the invasion. And if you look at Resolution 687, you discover that one of its provisions is that the US and other powers must work to develop a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, including that entire region. So we’re committed to it, and that’s the second element of this proposal.

      The third element of the proposal is that the United States should accept the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a position which happens to be supported by 82 percent of Americans, namely that it should accept the requirement, in fact the legal requirement, as the World Court determined, to move to make good-faith efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons altogether.

      And a fourth proposal is that the US should turn to diplomacy, and it should end any threats against Iran. The threats are themselves crimes. They’re in violation of the UN Charter, which bars the threat or use of force.

      Well, of course, these four proposals—again, Iran should have nuclear energy, but not nuclear weapons; there should be a weapons-free zone throughout the region; the US should accept the Non-Proliferation Treaty; there should be a turn to diplomacy and an end to threats—these are almost unmentionable in the United States. Not a single candidate would endorse any part of them, and they’re never discussed, and so on.

      However, the proposals are not original. They happen to be the position of the overwhelming majority of the American population. And interestingly, that’s also true in Iran; roughly the same overwhelming majority accepts all of these proposals. But that’s—the results come from the world’s most prestigious polling agency, but not reported, as far as I could discover, and certainly not considered. If they were ever mentioned, they would be dismissed with the phrase “politically impossible,” which is probably correct. It’s only the position of the large majority of the population, kind of like national healthcare, but not of the people that count. So there are plenty of “unpeople” here, too—in fact, the large majority. Americans share this property of being “unpeople” with most of the rest of the world. In fact, if the United States and Iran were functioning, not merely formal, democracies, then this dangerous crisis might be readily resolved by a functioning democracy—I mean, one in which public opinion plays some role in determining policy, rather than being excluded—in fact, unmentioned, because, after all, they’re “unpeople.”

      Well, while we’re on Iran, I guess I might as well turn to the third member of the famous Axis of Evil: North Korea. There is an official story—read it right now—is that the official story is this, that after having been compelled to accept an agreement on dismantling its nuclear weapons and the facilities, after having been compelled to agree to that, North Korea is again trying to evade its commitments in its usual devious way. So the New York Times headline on this ten days ago reads “The United States Sees Stalling by North Korea on Nuclear Pact.” And the article then details the charges of how North Korea is not going through with its responsibility. It’s not releasing information that it’s promised to release. If you read the story to the last paragraph—and that’s always a good idea; that’s where the interesting news usually is when you read a news story—but if you manage to get to the last paragraph, you discover that it’s the United States that has backed down on the pledges made in the agreement. The United States had promised to provide a million tons of fuel and—

      What do I do? I couldn’t see you. I’m sorry.

      MODERATOR: Ten minutes.

      NOAM CHOMSKY: I should hurry up? Yeah, OK. Alright, just start screaming at me if I go on too long.

      The US just refused to supply it. It’s refused only—it’s supplied only 85 percent of the fuel that it promised, and it was supposed to improve diplomatic relations, of course not doing that. Well, that’s quite normal.

      If you want to find out what’s going on in the US-North Korea nuclear standoff, it’s better—you have to go to the specialist literature, which is uniform on it, nothing hidden, and in fact sort of sneaks out into small print in the press reports, as I mentioned. What you find is that North—I mean, North Korea may be the most hideous state in the world, but that’s not the point here. Its position has been pretty pragmatic. It’s kind of tit-for-tat. The United States gets more aggressive, they get more aggressive. The United States moves towards diplomacy and negotiations, they do the same.

      So when President Bush came in, there was an agreement—it was called the Framework Agreement that had been established in 1994—and neither the US nor North Korea was quite living up to it. But it was more or less functioning. At that time, North Korea, under the Framework Agreement, had stopped any testing of long-range missiles. It had maybe one or two bombs worth of plutonium, and it was verifiably not making more. Now, that was when George Bush entered the scene. And now it has eight to ten bombs, long-range missiles, and it’s developing plutonium.

      And there’s a reason. The Bush regime immediately moved to a very aggressive stance. The Axis of Evil speech was one example. Intelligence was released claiming that North Korea was carrying out—was cheating, had clandestine programs. It’s rather interesting that these intelligence reports, five years later, have been quietly rescinded as probably inadequate. The reason presumably is that if an agreement is reached, there will be inspectors in North Korea, and they’ll find that this intelligence had as much validity as the claims about Iraq, so they’re being withdrawn. Well, North Korea responded to all of this by ratcheting up its missile and weapons development.

      In September 2005, under pressure, the United States did agree to negotiations, and there was an outcome. September 2005, North Korea agreed to abandon—quoting— “all nuclear weapons and existing weapons programs” and to allow international inspection. That would be in return for international aid, mainly from the United States, and a non-aggression pledge from the US and an agreement that the two sides—I’m quoting—would “respect each other’s sovereignty, exist peacefully together and take steps to normalize relations.”

      Well, the United States, the Bush administration, had an instant reaction. It instantly renewed the threat of force. It froze North Korean funds in foreign banks. It disbanded the consortium that was supposed meet to provide North Korea with a light-water reactor. So North Korea returned to its weapons and missile development, carried out a weapons test, and confrontation escalated. Well, again, under international pressure and with its foreign policy collapsing, Washington returned to negotiations. That led to an agreement, which Washington is now scuttling.

      There’s an earlier history, an interesting one. You recall a couple of weeks ago, there was a mysterious Israeli bombing in northern Syria, never explained, but it a sort of hinted that this had something to do with Syria building nuclear facilities with the help of North Korea. Pretty unlikely, but whether it’s true or not, there’s an interesting background, which wasn’t mentioned. In 1993, Israel and North Korea were on the verge of an agreement, in which Israel would recognize North Korea and in return North Korea would agree to terminate any weapons-related—missile, nuclear, other—any weapons-related activity in the Middle East. That would have been an enormous boon to Israel’s security. But the owner of the world stepped in. Clinton ordered them to refuse. Of course, you have to listen to the master’s voice. So that ended that. And it may be that there are North Korean activities in the Middle East that we don’t know about.

      Well, let me finally return to the first member of the Axis of Evil: Iraq. Washington does have expectations, and they’re explicit. There are outlined in a Declaration of Principles that was agreed upon, if you can call it that, between the United States and the US-backed, US-installed Iraqi government, a government under military occupation. The two of them issued the Declaration of Principles. It allows US forces to remain indefinitely in Iraq in order to “deter foreign aggression”—well, the only aggression in sight is from the United States, but that’s not aggression, by definition—and also to facilitate and encourage “the flow of foreign investments [to] Iraq, especially American investments.” I’m quoting. That’s an unusually brazen expression of imperial will.

      In fact, it was heightened a few days ago, when George Bush issued another one of his signing statements declaring that he will reject crucial provisions of congressional legislation that he had just signed, including the provision that forbids spending taxpayer money—I’m quoting—“to establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of [United States} Armed Forces in Iraq” or “to exercise [United States] control of the oil resources of Iraq." OK? Shortly after, the New York Times reported that Washington “insists”—if you own the world, you insist—“insists that the Baghdad government give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations,” a demand that “faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, with its…deep sensitivities about being seen as a dependent state.” It’s supposed to be more third world irrationality.

      So, in brief, the United States is now insisting that Iraq must agree to allow permanent US military installations, provide the United—grant the United States the right to conduct combat operations freely, and to guarantee US control over the oil resources of Iraq. OK? It’s all very explicit, on the table. It’s kind of interesting that these reports do not elicit any reflection on the reasons why the United States invaded Iraq. You’ve heard those reasons offered, but they were dismissed with ridicule. Now they’re openly conceded to be accurate, but not eliciting any retraction or even any reflection.

      Well, there’s a lot more to say about good news, but I was told to shut up, so I will just say that thinking about these things really does give some insight into the famous “clash of civilizations” and its actual substance, topics that really ought to be foremost in our minds, I believe. Thanks."