Fluke Skywalker -> RE: Egypt Protests (9/6/2011 9:25:08 PM)
ORIGINAL: Chief Wiggum
ORIGINAL: Fluke Skywalker
I'm sorry but just because he is an internationally renowned expert in linguistics does not mean he is incapable of commenting on US foreign policy. He is a deep political thinker and it's no wonder that so many in the West don't like him, because quite simply he lays out the facts (like John Pilger).
you miss my point, as somebody that studied IR, we quickly learnt that Chomsky is not the person to cite in essays or subjects. in fact I'm not sure that you would find Chomsky on any reading list for any decent university course in Politics. hell even in my "Globalisation and its malcontents" and "US Foreign Policy" modules he wasn't on either the required or the recommended reading lists.
that could me being snobby, or it could be an indictment on the quality of his work.
Or what does it say about the quality of your degree? The way you carry on it seems to me that you have been trained up to be another apologist for Western foreign policy. Have you read any John Pilger by the way, was he on any of the reading lists?
Have you examples of him using unreliable sources? Because he seems pretty well researched to me.
well lets start of with his statement that brought him back to prominence after years of slowly fading into insignigficance, in which he claimed moral equivilance between the events of september the eleventh 2001, an attack designed to kill as many civillians as possible, and the 1998 bombing of the al-shifa pharmaceutical factory (which happenned at night when most of the people working in the surrounding industrial area wouldn't have been there)
He alleges that this caused the deaths of 10,000 people through the decrease in the availability of medicines in Sudan. in this statement he cites the former German Ambassador and Human Rights watch with supplying this information.
Human Rights watch never produced any such information.
The German Ambassador, in the statement that chomsky cites, even admits that he was taking a guess.
looking at data from the aid agencies that work in Sudan, such as Oxfam, Medicines sans frontiers to name a couple. they reported no increase in deaths following the attack.
To be fair I've not read about this so I'd have to find out before getting back to you.
now should you look at september the 11th, the word bank has said that the lack of economic growth that resulted from the attacks cost the lives of 40,000 children.
so yeas I do find his moral equivilance a little nauseating.
Lack of economic growth caused the deaths of 40,000 children? Are you taking the piss here - do you know how many people have been actually killed by US foreign policy adventures as opposed to an estimate by an organisation which is a corporate neo-colonial tool? (According to former CIA agent John Stockwell about 6 million).
Nope he's a bona fide 100% intellectual.
in the field of linguistics, yes.
Still an intellectual - are you saying experts in one field cannot comment on subjects outside of their field with any degree of authority? That's rubbish and you know it.
Serbia is a really interesting case because the truth is so well hidden : Milosevic was a tyrant but the reason for the NATO attack was (like with so many other attacks) because he did not want to give up soverignty and bow down to IMF reforms, have a read of this eye opening piece by John Pilger which makes parallels with the lies surrounding Iraq.
You're saying he denied rape and murder took place?
Fluke do you remember Living Marxism, and how they disputed that Serbian concentration camps existed, and that an ITN story on the subject was wilfully misleading? Well Noam is of the opinion that LM was right, and that ITN should never have sued for libel, despite the fact that ITN were awarded so much damages that LM went out of business.
I also think that Marko Atilla Hoare puts it better than I ever could
In Chomsky's words, Turkey is guilty of "massive atrocities” against the Kurds; Indonesia of "aggression and massacre” of "near-genocidal levels” in East Timor; Israel of "murderous and destructive” operations in Lebanon; but there is no mention of Kurdish, East Timorese, or Palestinian atrocities. By contrast, Chomsky uses no such emotive language when discussing the Serbian killing of Albanians; they are a "response” and "reaction” to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) attacks. Meanwhile the KLA was guilty of "targeting Serb police and civilians”; "killing six Serbian teenagers”; the "killing of a Serb judge, police, and civilians”; and so on. The picture Chomsky consequently sketches is of atrocities by both sides and, since KLA actions were "designed to elicit a violent and disproportionate Serbian response”, the implication is that the Milosevic regime was less to blame than the KLA. When a US client massacres innocent civilians it is wholly to blame; when a 'socialist' regime does so it is the victims who are primarily to blame.
The KLA have recently been exposed as CIA backed organisation (as exist in many countries where civil war has taken place). Considering the CIA's history in knocking off governments you have to forgive me for buying Chomski's argument, there is a weight of evidence exposing how America's finest operate. In terms of balancing levels of killing, I think it's safe to say that in the examples you mentioned, the Palestinians, East Timorese and the Kurds have been the subject of significantly more aggression and suffered more death than the powers Chomsky is supposedly biased against, especially when you consider in all of these examples the power of state is brought against civilians.
I don't think I've ever heard him say he doesn't believe human rights abuses aren't occuring outside the West. It's pretty blatantly obvious they do occur.
Ok Fluke I'll admit that he does on occassion admit that HR abuses do occur outside of the west, but the admissions are normally couched. for an example lets take Cambodia.
he says that violence that came from Pol Pot's regime, was a response to the the brutality that had happenned when the US was in Vietnam, and the large amount of bombing that went on. well in that case how on earth does he explain the lack of bloodshed that happenned in Laos, after all we'e constantly reminded that more bombs were dropped in Laos than in WW2, but that didn't see massacres that saw the end of 25% of the population?
Are you saying because the same thing didn't happen in Laos it disproves the argument that America's illegal bombing of 650,000 Cambodians to their deaths had no impact on the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge? Completely ridiculous I'm afraid - once again look at that figure 650,000, - it's amazing when you consider something like 9/11 with 2,500 deaths will never be forgotten but US atrocities have been slowly whitewashed from the pages of history (and your Uni course).
Nope for example Operation Condor in South America and the rise of Suharto in Indonesia are both examples of where America were apparently fighting the 'Commie Threat', but once they'd got the dictators in power we saw the classic carving up of the wealth of the nations for US corporations. The Russians (like the War on Terror) were a useful excuse to propagate conflict and steal resources and pile on the defence spending.
well that's not really saying that the primary reason behind the deposing of democratic leaders was not the fear of communism, it's identifying that these things happenned afterwards.
Once again was it a fear of Communism or was it an excuse?
That's a pretty weak criticism - he has fundamentally exposed Western foreign policy for what it is and your problem is he (apparently) has no ideas for how to make the world a better place? Surely you can work that one out for yourself.
OK, so I actually checked out what he thinks would be a system of government and life that would be a good thing, turns out he advocates small, self controlled anarchic communities, that failed to work in the 30s.
he also cited that the collectivism and communalism of the great leap forward in China were a good way to go, but to be fair to him this was about 5 years before the reports came out saying that these were the greatest factors in the famine that caused the deaths of 30million chinese.
Have you got a link to this
Plus for once I'd like to ask you what you think of the numerous dictatorships the US has backed over the years, in South America, South East Asia, Africa, the Middle East. You seem to support all of these actions - how do you justify them?
Me? well I think they were despicable regimes, but necessary to prevent the spread of Marxism/Leninism across the globe, which I believe was responsible for more suffering in the last century than the crimes of the west.
Totally unbelievable comment - you're basically saying it was right to back brutal dictatorships who murdered and tortured their own people. And in terms of comparable suffering, millions of people in the Third World have died due to Western foreign policy, literally millions.
I also note that this, again is a typical chomskian tactic, if somebody alleges that the removal of a dictator that opposes the west is a good thing, the next step is generally to say "but what about x" which invariably is a western ally oppressing somebody (it doesn't even have to be that recent). which handily pushes the original point that the dictator is generally doing awful things away from the argument.
So Fluke, what makes you think that Milosevic, The Taliban, Hussein and now Gaddafi are such good examples of fair and modern government that they deserve to stay in power?
Take them all out, but a) do it for the right reasons (humanitarian), and b) don't pick and choose your fights. On both a + b the West falls down heavily and history has shown this time and time again. We back the dictators in our pockets, we attack those that aren't. It's happening right now across the middle east as we very speak - you can't find any more blatant evidence than that. It's right in front of your eyes mate!