An interview with Noam Chomsky on the UN-sponsored war crimes tribunal in Cambodia. While much of the Western media hail the trials as a “landmark genocide tribunal” holding out “hope” for justice for the Cambodian people, the genocidal crimes of the Nixon-Kissinger administration are dispatched down the Memory Hole.
March27, 2009 — Top Khmer Rouge (KR) leaders are going on trial in Cambodia. You have some history with Cambodia and have written extensively on the KR. Do you believe a United Nations trial is the best way forward, or should it be left to the Cambodian people?
I think it should be left to the Cambodian people. I can’t imagine a UN, international trial. But then it shouldn’t be limited to the Cambodians – after all, an international trial that doesn’t take into account Henry Kissinger or the other authors of the American bombing and the support of the KR after they were kicked out of the country – that’s just a farce – especially with what we now know about the bombing of Cambodia since the release of the Kissinger-Nixon tapes, and the release of declassified documents during the Clinton years. There has been a very different picture of the scale and intensity of the bombing and the genocidal scale of it. For an international trial to omit this would be scandalous.
Voniati: The international public opinion and especially the Muslim world seem to have great expectations from the historic election of Obama. Can we, in your opinion, expect any real change regarding the US approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
An interesting interview with Noam Chomsky. I must point out however that I find his answer to the Iran question less than convincing. In order to avoid mention of the Israel Lobby, unfortunately, this great man with such a phenomenal breadth of knowledge has to resort to fantastic mystification.
Noam Chomsky, author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, discusses the roots of U.S. imperialism, the often overlooked opportunity costs of empire, the exaggerated strength of U.S. economic rivals, the continuation of the Great Game into the 21st century, how the Western World’s observance of the Durand Line exacerbates problems in Afghanistan, the empire’s loss in Iraq, the U.S. doctrine of punishing Iran just to make an example out of them and the Israeli policy of incremental displacement of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories.
In this interview, Noam Chomsky offers his views on the current global economic crisis, exploding many of the myths, double standards and hypocricies of mainstream media commentary.
SAMEER DOSSANI: In any first year economics class, we are taught that markets have their ups and downs, so the current recession is perhaps nothing out of the ordinary. But this particular downturn is interesting for two reasons: First, market deregulation in the 1980s and 1990s made the boom periods artificially high, so the bust period will be deeper than it would otherwise. Secondly, despite an economy that’s boomed since 1980, the majority of working class U.S. residents have seen their incomes stagnate — while the rich have done well most of the country hasn’t moved forward at all. Given the situation, my guess is that economic planners are likely to go back to some form of Keynesianism, perhaps not unlike the Bretton Woods system that was in place from 1948-1971. What are your thoughts?
NOAM CHOMSKY: Well I basically agree with your picture. In my view, the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s is probably the major international event since 1945, much more significant in its implications than the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In his most recent commentary, an enraged Chomsky provides a detailed analysis of the latest Israeli massacre in Gaza – what he refers to as “politicide, the murder of a nation” – exposing the moral depravity of apologists for state terrorism:
The claim that “our side” never targets civilians is familiar doctrine among those who monopolize the means of violence.And there is some truth to it.We do not generally try to kill particular civilians.Rather, we carry out murderous actions that we know will slaughter many civilians, but without specific intent to kill particular ones.In law, the routine practices might fall under the category of depraved indifference, but that is not an adequate designation for standard imperial practice and doctrine.It is more similar to walking down a street knowing that we might kill ants, but without intent to do so, because they rank so low that it just doesn’t matter.The same is true when Israel carries out actions that it knows will kill the “grasshoppers” and “two-legged beasts” who happen to infest the lands it “liberates.”
Cambridge, MA – Prof. Noam Chomsky spoke to a capacity crowd of over 200 people yesterday at the Chomsky on Gaza Public Forum at the Wong Auditorium at MIT. The event was sponsored by the MIT Center for International Studies and its Program on Human Rights and Justice.