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Where is the Grand Inquisitor When You Need Him?

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My take on Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post 9/11 World (featuring David Barsamian's interviews with Noam Chomsky)

Once Again "The Heretic" Takes the Empire to Task

As you read these words, I have little doubt that The Grand Inquisitor for the Bush regime is aching for a shot at The Empire’s ultimate heretic. Noam Chomsky has been a consistent intellectual thorn in the collective sides of the Machiavellians comprising the ruling elite in the United States for years. I recently had the pleasure of reading his latest, Imperial Ambitions: Conversation on the Post-9/11 World. Difficult as it is to imagine (if one has read Chomsky), I breezed through the nine chapters in about two hours. Throughout the 201 pages, interviewer David Barsamian poses probing questions, which serve to pry open the burgeoning treasure trove of knowledge and activate the analytical juggernaut comprising Avram Noam Chomsky's brain. With little prompting from Barsamian, Chomsky unleashes an onslaught of profound insights into how the world has changed since 9/11, and on America's role in shaping and effecting that change.

Glad he is only a "part-timer"

Best known for his contributions to the study of linguistics through his theory of generative grammar, this Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been the most intelligent, vehement critic of the US government during the current and the preceding centuries. Consistently writing (and speaking publicly) in a calm, thoughtful manner, for years Professor Chomsky charged America's ruling establishment and its obedient press corps with some of the most heinous crimes against humanity one could imagine. His political activism has spanned decades while his impressive list of books assailing the US government has continued to grow. His perception, insight, and presentation of evidence to support his dissidence are without equal. And activism is his "hobby". I feel assured that there are many amongst America's ruling elite who count their blessings that Dr. Chomsky has focused so much of his attention on his linguistics studies.

A Dead Civilian a Day Keeps the Terrorists at Bay?

"The new doctrine was not one of preemptive war, which arguably falls within some stretched interpretation of the UN Charter, but rather a doctrine that doesn't begin to have any grounds in international law, namely, preventive war. That is, the United States will rule the world by force, and if there is any challenge to its domination---whether it is perceived in the distance, invented, imagined, or whatever--then the United States will have the right to destroy that challenge before it becomes a threat. That's preventive war, not preemptive war."

Chomsky goes on to dissect the manner in which the Bush regime has implemented its doctrine of preventive war and "normalized it". By virtue of its sheer might and through the masterful propaganda which convinced its citizenry that invading Iraq was necessary to defend the “homeland”, the United States has established such a war of aggression as "acceptable behavior" for a legitimate government. Essentially, Chomsky concludes that the Bush administration, its collaborating wealthy elite and its supportive corporate leviathans imposed their will to expand the American Empire through instilling the fear in other nations that they could be in the cross-hairs of an incredibly powerful military, and by shamelessly telling unprecedented lies to the American people.

As a result, Chomsky asserts, "George Bush has succeeded within a year in converting the United States to a country that is greatly feared, disliked, and even hated."

What's happening on the home front?

Despite the glowing reports in the mainstream media about the economy's health and the woeful lack of honest coverage of the attack on democracy by the Bush regime, the truths about both the soaring wealth gap and the installation of tyrannical government mechanisms have been widely disseminated on the Internet. Chomsky commented on both at one point in the book when Barsamian asked him how the government could maintain perpetual warfare against multiple nations:

"Meanwhile they will have undermined social programs and diminished democracy---which of course they hate---by transferring decisions out of the public arena into private hands. Internally, the legacy they leave will be painful and hard, but only for a majority of the population. The people they're concerned about are going to be making out like bandits, very much like during the Reagan years. Many of the same people are in power now, after all."

Using the formidable tool of his piercing insight, Dr. Chomsky penetrates deeply into the lie-enshrouded Bush domestic agenda. Continuing to manipulate Americans through fear (a legitimate fear spawned by the actual collapse of the WTC and then elevated to an obscene level by propaganda of Orwellian proportions), the Social Darwinists who hold the reins of the US government continue in their "long term effort to destroy the institutional basis for social support systems, to eliminate the programs such as Social Security that are based on the conception that people have to have some concern for one another. The idea that we should feel sympathy and solidarity, that we should care whether the disabled widow across town is able to eat, has to be driven from our minds." Besides severely minimizing or eliminating social programs, the ruling elites have a more sinister agenda, which Dr. Chomsky unveils. Continued implementation of this agenda will enable the Social Darwinists to strip away social support systems while simultaneously enjoying the consent of many Americans. They are targeting both the programs and the impetus for their existence. Malevolent yet brilliant.

Speaking of terrorism....

Through Barsamian's prompting, Chomsky spends some time dissecting the phenomenon of fear in the United States. As Chomsky notes, America is the most secure nation in history. Readily capable of dominating the rest of the world's combined militaries with its tremendous arsenal while occupying a land mass flanked by vast oceans, America's citizenry has as little to fear as any nation on the globe. Dr. Chomsky notes that crime and drug abuse rates in the United States are about the same as those in other industrialized nations. Yet many Americans feel perpetually frightened and insecure. Chomsky does not reach a definite conclusion on the source of American anxiety, but does note that the US government exploits this potent emotion in a powerful way by employing propaganda through the mainstream media to shepherd its corrupt agenda through America’s “democratic system”.

As is usually the case, Chomsky comments extensively on the numerous acts of state terrorism perpetrated by the US government over the years. He refers to The Fog of War, a documentary in which Robert McNamara agrees with General Curtis LeMay's statement that if the US had lost WW II, they would have been prosecuted as war criminals. Chomsky notes that as McNamara reflected on his role as a key strategist in US imperialist actions which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, he pondered, "But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?"

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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