.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Reblogged: Dimwits and Iraq
   Chomsky's Tiring Tirades

After being ripped asunder and accused of sophism by the Kennedy School of Government Student Newspaper, The Citizen, for his on-campus "War on Terror?" lecture in 2002, you would think Noam Chomsky would have long ago found a new paradigm upon which to launch his philosophies. I myself had rented this lecture from Netflix over the weekend and found his arguments to be less than equal to, but equally as maddening as, some of the more crude rhetorical exhibitions I have experienced on progressive blogs.

Yet, Noam is still plying his craft. From the Daily Star, a Lebanese newspaper (emphasis added),

[Daily Star's] Editor's note: Noam Chomsky's recent lecture at Beirut's Masrah al-Madina discussed U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran.

About what they [the US administration] have in mind, we have little information, [but] one reasonable speculation is that Washington planners may be seeking to inspire secessionist movements that the U.S. can then "defend" against the home country.

In Iran, the main oil resources are in the Arab areas adjacent to the Gulf, Iran's Khuzestan - and sure enough, there is now an Ahwazi liberation movement of unknown origin, claiming unspecified rights of autonomy.

Nearby Iraq and the Gulf states provide a base for U.S. military intervention.

In Venezuela, oil resources are concentrated mostly in a province near Colombia, the one reliable U.S. land base in the region, a province that is anti-Chavez and already has an autonomy movement, again of unknown origins.

In Bolivia, the gas resources are in richer eastern areas dominated by elites of European descent that bitterly oppose the government elected by the indigenous majority, and have threatened to secede. Nearby Paraguay is another one of the few remaining reliable land bases for the U.S. military.

The logical fallacy of that argument is, to quote Chomsky in his own unmistakable style, "so obvious that it takes real effort to miss it. In fact, I should go home right now because it is obvious."

With regards to Iran's declared need for peaceful nuclear energy,

Today, the standard claim is that Iran has no need for nuclear power, and therefore must be pursuing a secret weapons program.

Henry Kissinger explained that "For an oil producer such as Iran, nuclear energy is a wasteful use of resources." As Secretary of State 30 years ago, Kissinger held that "introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran's economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals," and the U.S. acted to assist the Shah's efforts.

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, the leading planners of the Bush 2 administration, worked hard to provide the Shah with a "complete nuclear fuel cycle - reactors powered by and regenerating fissile materials on a self-sustaining basis, precisely the ability they are trying to prevent Iran from acquiring today" (Washington Post).

U.S. universities were arranging to train Iranian nuclear engineers, doubtless with Washington's approval, if not initiative.

Kissinger was asked about his reversal, and responded with his usual engaging frankness: "They were an allied country." So therefore they had a genuine need for nuclear energy, pre-1979, but have no such need today.

The point is, only Chomsky is saying Iran "had a genuine need for nuclear energy, pre-1979". He can quote Kissinger out of context all he wants, but what Kissinger said was we let the Shah pursue it because he was a useful ally, not because the Shah actually needed nuclear energy. Nor was the Shah sponsoring proxy terrorists to target American interests. What the Shah did do for us is to counter Soviet political maneuvers in the Middle East.

But that seems so obvious.

Sometimes I can't tell if Chomsky is playing with us, or if he really takes himself seriously.


Post a Comment

<< Home