News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Chomsky in Newsweek

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Chomsky in Newsweek

Just having Noam Chomsky appear in a big-time news mag is news itself. While the press is known to consult innumerable hacks, cranks, and nincompoops--aka pundits--for their political advice, they rarely take the effort to get to know the ideas of a real thinker like Chomsky.

Needless to say, the "interview" barely scratches the surface of Iraq. You can see the editors trying to "boil" down Chomsky's remarks to an easily digestible morsel for what the editors consider to be Newsweek's readers' attention spans. ...

Anyway, Chomsky is allowed to observe the following:

The United States invaded Iraq because its major resource is oil. And it gives the United States, to quote [Zbigniew] Brzezinski, "critical leverage" over its competitors, Europe and Japan. That's a policy that goes way back to the second world war. That's the fundamental reason for invading Iraq, not anything else.
Whether that is new information for people or perhaps simply a confirmation of what people already suspect, having Chomsky confirm it might resonate with some readers. Whether they do anything about it or not is another question.

Most people are in a limbo of information overload and contradictory assertions over the war. The ethical paralysis caused by competing claims makes determining which statement is true an ever diminishing possibility. Chomksy's virtue is that he has the intellect and time to wade through all the news sources and to identify facts from propaganda.

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