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Chomsky

Chomsky: Paris Attacks Show Hypocrisy Of West’s Outrage

After the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people including the editor and four other cartoonists, and the murder of four Jews at a kosher supermarket shortly after, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared "a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity." Millions of people demonstrated in condemnation of the atrocities, amplified by a chorus of horror under the banner "I am Charlie." There were eloquent pronouncements of outrage, captured well by the head of Israel's Labor Party and the main challenger for the upcoming elections, Isaac Herzog, who declared that "Terrorism is terrorism. There's no two ways about it," and that "All the nations that seek peace and freedom [face] an enormous challenge" from brutal violence.

Chomsky: The US Should Face Sanctions From The World

The US should face much harsher sanctions than those being sought against Russia for the ongoing presence of American forces in Cuba's Guantanamo, political thinker and MIT professor Noam Chomsky told RIA Novosti. Chomsky pointed to the occupation of Guantanamo Bay which he said was “stolen at gunpoint from Cuba in 1903 and still held despite constant Cuban efforts since independence to recover it.” In relation to Crimea the political philosopher added that, “the invasion and annexation were clearly unlawful, hence the referendum too, though no informed observer doubts that it was probably not too far from reality.” Chomsky added that he would “pay attention to those who call for sanctions [against Russia] when they call for much harsher actions against the US" for the only current case that he can think of "that’s at all comparable” is Guantanamo. In February, the Ukrainian parliament backed by far-right movements ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, amended the constitution and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25. The coup sparked concerns, including in Crimea, about the dangers of ultranationalist forces in the country's central government.

Noam Chomsky: Ecology, Ethics, Anarchism

There can be little doubt about the centrality and severity of the environmental crisis in the present day. Driven by the mindless "grow-or-die" imperative of capitalism, humanity's destruction of the biosphere has reached and even surpassed various critical thresholds, whether in terms of carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, freshwater depletion, or chemical pollution. Extreme weather events can be seen pummeling the globe, from the Philippines - devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in November of last year - to California, which is presently suffering from the worst drought in centuries. As Nafeez Ahmed has shown, a recently published study funded in part by NASA warns of impending civilizational collapse without radical changes to address social inequality and overconsumption. Truthout's own Dahr Jamail has written a number of critical pieces lately that have documented the profundity of the current trajectory toward anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) and global ecocide: In a telling metaphor, he likens the increasingly mad weather patterns brought about by ACD to an electrocardiogram of a "heart in defibrillation."

Noam Chomsky: Sabra & Shatila Massacre That Forced Sharon’s Ouster Recalls Worst of Jewish Pogroms

" It was almost a replica of the Kishinev massacre in pre-First World War Russia, one of the worst atrocities in Israeli memory, led to a famous nationalist poem by the main Israeli poet, Chaim Nahman Bialik, "City of Killing." The tsar’s army had surrounded this town and allowed the people within it to rampage, killing Jews for three days. They killed 45 people. That was—that’s pretty much what happened in Sabra-Shatila: Israeli army surrounded it, sent in the Phalangist forces, who were obviously bent on murder[…]Lebanese Christian terrorist force, allied with Israel. The soldiers watched as they illuminated it. They helped them enter. They watched for several days while they murdered, not 45 people, but somewhere—Israel claims 800, other analyses go up to several thousand. That’s the Sabra-Shatila massacre. The idea that Sharon had indirect—the tsar, incidentally, was bitterly condemned internationally for direct responsibility."

Noam Chomsky on the Legacy of Ariel Sharon: Not Speaking Ill of the Dead “Imposes a Vow of Silence”

"Well, you know, there is a convention that you’re not supposed to speak ill of the recently dead, which unfortunately imposes a kind of vow of silence because there’s nothing else to say—there’s nothing good to say. What both Rashid and Avi Shlaim have said is exactly accurate. He was a brutal killer. He had one fixed idea in mind, which drove him all his life: a greater Israel, as powerful as possible, as few Palestinians as possible—they should somehow disappear—and an Israel which could be powerful enough to dominate the region. The Lebanon War then, which was his worst crime, also had a goal of imposing a client state in Lebanon, a Maronite client state. And these were the driving forces of his life."

Chomsky Turns 85

The name Noam Chomsky is familiar to the world for so many reasons. It is hard to describe the character of his life in small words. The obvious one that bubbles to the surface is the word “revolutionary.” When I think of Noam Chomsky the name has a double-meaning for me. The first meaning is his work in the sciences. John Searle wrote in the New York Review of Books about “Chomsky’s Revolution in Linguistics.” It is revolutionary to produce work that changes the way the human species understands itself. It is impossible to recognize something in the history of the study of the mind today without the feeling that Chomsky has contributed a piece of his own. The second meaning of the name is radical social change: The flow of daily life free from authoritarian attitudes, the abolition of oppressive institutions, and the deepest reaches of our humanity in choosing to live decent and ethical lives. It is perhaps the most revolutionary act, in our time, to simply ask ourselves “what is the right thing to do?” It is a question Chomsky has answered all of his life.

Film: Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? Conversation With Chomsky

The refreshingly audacious "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?" is not so much a documentary as a rambling interview, almost all done in animation. It's like a cartoon version of "My Dinner With Andre," only the chatty participants are the no-nonsense intellectual Noam Chomsky and the film's playful director, Michel Gondry, who directed the equally inspired "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." On paper, Chomsky and Gondry seem like an eternal mismatch, but these two very smart people share an odd but genuine chemistry, as the director quizzes the philosopher-cognitive scientist on almost every topic under the sun, with the notable exception of politics (odd, perhaps, considering Chomsky's well-documented criticism of the U.S. government). One of the best scenes is when Gondry asks Chomsky, out of the blue, what makes him happy.

Chomsky: Syria Descends Into Suicide, Israel & US Enjoy The Spectacle

"Well, Syria is descending into suicide. It’s a horror story and getting worse and worse. There’s no bright spot on the horizon[...]. Meanwhile, Israel is looking by and enjoying the spectacle. If you look at the New York Times this morning there’s a quote by an Israeli official essentially expressing their joy at watching Arabs slaughter each other[...]For the United States, that’s fine, they don’t want an outcome either."
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