ZNet Commentary: 09.30.01 Chomsky Interview – Part 4

The war on terror was first undertaken by Reagan, as a substitute for the cold war — that is, as a vehicle for scaring the public and thus marshalling support for programs contrary to the public’s interest
— foreign campaigns, war spending in general, surveillance, and so on. Now we are seeing a larger and more aggressive attempt to move in the
same direction. Does the problem that we are the world’s foremost source of attacks on civilians auger complications for carrying through this effort? Can the effort be sustained without, in fact, a shooting war?

Michael Albert: The war on terror was first undertaken by Reagan, as a substitute for the cold war — that is, as a vehicle for scaring the public and
thus marshalling support for programs contrary to the public’s interest — foreign campaigns, war spending in general, surveillance, and so on. Now we are seeing a larger and more aggressive attempt to move in the same direction. Does the problem that we are the world’s foremost source of attacks on civilians auger complications for carrying through this
effort? Can the effort be sustained without, in fact, a shooting war?

Noam Chomsky: The Reagan administration came into office 20 years ago declaring that its leading concern would be to eradicate the plague of international terrorism, a cancer that is destroying civilization.

They cured the plague by establishing an international terrorist network of extraordinary scale, with consequences that are — or should be —
well-known in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere — while using the pretexts, as you say, to carry out programs that were of considerable harm to the domestic population, and that even threaten human survival.

Did they carry out a “shooting war?”

The number of corpses they left in their wake around the world is impressive, but technically, they did not usually fire the guns, apart from transparent PR exercises like the bombing of Libya, the first crime of war in history that was timed precisely for prime time TV, no small trick considering the complexity of the operation and the refusal of
continental European countries to collaborate.

The torture, mutilation, rape, and massacre were carried out through intermediaries.

Even if we exclude the huge but unmentionable component of terrorism that traces back to terrorist states, our own surely included, the terrorist plague is very real, very dangerous, and truly terrifying.

There are ways to react that are likely to escalate the threats to ourselves and others; there are ample precedents for more sane and honorable methods, which we’ve discussed before, and are not in the
least obscure, but are scarcely discussed.

Those are the basic choices.

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Palestine 101: Palestinian Refugees & Washington’s Role In Mass Expulsions

http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=965


Palestine 102: “Barak’s Generous Offers” A Political Map of Israel’s Proposed Borders with Palestine –
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1404″

Osama
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Noam
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]

Author: Noam Chomsky and Michael Albert

News Service: ZNet

URL: http://www.zmag.org/albintchom.htm