Fluke Skywalker -> RE: Egypt Protests (12/6/2011 8:58:07 PM)
ORIGINAL: Chief Wiggum
going to stop the quoting - starting to make the thread look a little messy.
My degree was fine - one of the top ranked in the country in fact. Pilger wasn't on any of the reading lists, that's not to say that he's done some very fine work - his stuff from Cambodia brought to light huge amounts of suffering. however since the cold war ended he seems to have veered into the realm of anti-americanism rather than straight anti-imperealism.
That is because history does show us that the spear-head of imperialism over recent decades has been America - the evidence is there to show that.
I think you missed the point about the Al-shifa/9-11 comparison, apart from the dodgy sourcing it demonstrated that he is quite willing to use deaths that result after the fact of the event in one case, but in the event of another he keeps the deaths to the ones that happenned at the time. if you see what I mean.
Yeah kind of - once again need to research the exact events here.
In terms of the Linguistics/politics validity - the way I think of it is that it's like watching football. sure Brian Moore could probably tell you what's going on, but it would be better that he stick to Rugby (well, maybe not even that[;)]) and let John Motson get on with it.
I don't agree, he is a very serious thinker indeed. His work has parallels with the forementioned Pilger and the work of Naomi Kline whose Shock Doctrine focuses on the Chicago Boy Milton Friedman economic policies that US imposes on nations under it's control.
RE: the Khmer Rouge - my point wasn't that the US bombing didn't have an impact on their rise to power, and it wasn't Chomsky's. Chomsky is of the opinion (at least he was when the stories came out) that the violence itself was a response to the american bombing, which to me is a flawed argument when you compare it to other regimes that had a similar history and rise to power.
It was a society ripped to shreds by US bombing, it's perfectly possible this could have been the case. Either way it's indispitutable that the horrific level of bombing inflicted on that country helped the rise of the Khmer Rouge.
however the thing that makes me quite angry is your comment that, my response was completley unbelievable. it really is believable looking at the suffering caused by marxism/leninism/maoism over the years you are looking at TENS OF MILLIONS of deaths, through their policies, repression. not to mention the stifling of free speech, the dreaded midnight knock on the door.
I'm not denying at all that the Russians were pretty fucked up, but my point is we can't get on our high horses and pretend to be honourable and civilised if our response is to install brutal dictatorships, arm them and train them how to torture, kill and suppress their own populations.
I will quote this though...
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!
So you advocate that the US should use its military power to remove dictatorships and promote democracy? I presume that you'd prefer that if a country was making democratic reforms, or was willing to we should instead use aid and diplomacy to encourage them along the way.
The problem is there is so much going on behind the scenes, there's a mulitude of pressures on these nations being exerted from all angles, be it from the military, the secret services, organisations like the IMF and the World Bank. We simply do not allow democracy to take place, we actively try to make sure we can get someone who is in power who will do our bidding. My point about attacking people is not that we should do it, but if we are going to do it, it has to be carried out for the interests of the people of that nation not ours.
I completely agree with you on this, my problem is that I do not see it being possible to do this militarily at the same time so would rather see force be used on those regimes that haven't changed for 30+ years rather than those like Bahrain which have seen positive changes in the last 10 years. I tend to see Chomsky as advocating that the US be more isolationist, and allow Democracy to grow at its own pace throughout the world rather than intervening and acting as a catalyst for democratic change.
My central point is that we don't intervene for democratic change, we intervene to meet our own interests, and our foreign policy is riven with hypocrisy and double standards. Once again there's a mass of evidence to back this up. As I've said before it's time we started acting like the good guys instead of just pretending to be the good guys.
Chief is like Anakin Skywalker - clearly a talented fucker, but has gone over to the dark side!