Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chomsky

This is an excerpt from an old (August 29, 2002) Chomsky interview. It's a fairly comprehensive look at where Chomsky stands on the war, terrorism, international law, etc., though his views on the criminality of Israel's policies are only barely touched upon.

"Christopher Hitchens makes the point that while Saudi Arabia, Scowcroft, and Kissinger oppose war with Iraq because of its potential destabilizing effect in the region, the left should not care about the stability of the reactionary and corrupt regimes of the Middle East. Does this refute a commonly-heard objection to war?

It is hard to imagine what the point is supposed to be. The left has always been strenuously opposed to US support for "the reactionary and corrupt regimes of the Middle East," and would of course welcome their "destabilization" in favor of something better. On the other hand, if "destabilization" brought to power something even worse -- say, what Hitchens calls "Islamic fascism" -- then the left would oppose it, and I presume he would too. So what is the point?

I don't see how these considerations bear on any "objection to war," commonly heard or not, at least from the left. What Scowcroft and Kissinger may have in mind is another matter.
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7 Comments:

Blogger sexyretard said...

Jeff,

I suppose the very issue of our relationship with the Saudis is proof that we don't really have an American left, at least not one that's being represented by the Democrats.

My problem with the faux left is that they oppose wars and ignore the fact that we have open trade, indeed increasing oil trade (compared to, say, our oil trade with the sha'ria loving Canadians), with the most religiously repressive nation on earth.

To get snitty on the one hand (war) while ignoring the other (open trade with the nation that gave us 19 of the 20 hijackers and doesn't even let Jewish people into the "Kingdom") shows that liberal moral highground rests with, well, Chomsky.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"I suppose the very issue of our relationship with the Saudis is proof that we don't really have an American left, at least not one that's being represented by the Democrats."

That's basically why I posted the link, to give an idea of the difference between the left's (such as it is) attitude towards the war, and that of the Democrats, who obviously went along with it for the most part because of the country's mood at the time.

9:48 AM  
Blogger RaginCajun said...

Sexyretard,
Not that it changes the argument, but a small note on oil imports, Canada, sharia-lovin and not, is our number one source of petroleum and crude oil imports with Saudi Arabia number 2 or 3 depending on how one counts, followed by Mexico and Venezuela. Canada's exports to the US have increased over the last year, the Kingdom's have declined. Maybe a longer time horizon would tell a different story.

RC

12:02 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/ptb0504.html

I could have sworn I read something different on this same site two months ago. I stand here corrected, thanks Ragin'.

12:34 PM  
Blogger RaginCajun said...

Thanks for the link with the history.

4:18 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Thanks for correcting my Mongoloid self.

Haven't seen you around these parts: what's your opinion on our trading with Saudi Arabia? The war? The legalization of ferrets?

4:42 PM  
Blogger RaginCajun said...

I have lousy answers for all your questions.

I'm basically a pragmatist, but also a misanthrope. So, if I didn't do business with people I disliked, well, I very likely wouldn't do any business at all. But, I like to make money, so I grit my teeth and go ahead. The question to me is whether refusal to do business with a particular person/country, etc. has any effect? On the one hand, as the great Hillel asked, "If I am only for my self, what am I?". Or, as I like to remind myself, WWCS (What would Cato say? "Burn Carthage", no doubt.). But some commodities are very fungible so on the buy side it matters little what you do. For the time being, perhaps it's sensible to get the other side.

On the war, I think it was a mistake to go into Iraq. The popular rhetoric has clearly been wrong and deliberately misleading (by some): WMD, Hussein and al Qaeda ties. The public, but less popular, rhetroic about democratic imperialism by neocons like Wolfowitz could appear to have something behind it. The conservative in me wonders if there's not a little bit of truth in what they have to say, but what I feared was the ability or will to really prosecute the war and reconstruction. By the time we went into Iraq, we were already faltering on our obligations in Afghanistan. So far, our SecDef has appeared to be incompetent (though I grant a brillant rhetorician). Even if I might grant good intentions, I see a swift and straight road nicely paved to hell on this. I hope I'm wrong. I hope the election goes off well. At this point, we have a great responsibility to Iraq along the lines of an Iraqian Marshall plan. That will never happen though because while it seems we have the egos for an American democratic empire, we don't have the heart. That's not America bashing, that's just the fact of any great nation that's tried this - at least eventually.

On ferrets: well, I've never smoked any myself, but I'm basically a Goldwater conservative on this one. The drug war is a terrible waste of resources and miscarriage of justice.

9:47 PM  

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