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Chomsky on 9/11, Syria’s “Bloody Partition” and Why U.S. Role Ensures Failure of Mideast Talks


Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, weighs in on today’s 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks and how the civil war in Syria appears destined to permanently break the country apart. "[9/11] was very significant, a major terrorist act, thousands of people killed," Chomsky says. "It’s the first time since the War of 1812 that U.S. territory had been attacked. The United States has had remarkable security, and therefore was, aside from the horrible atrocity, a very significant, historical event. And it changed attitudes and policies in the United States quite considerably. And in reaction to this, the government was able to ram through laws that sharply constrained civil liberties. It was able to provide pretexts for the invasion of Afghanistan, invasion of Iraq — the destruction of Iraq, with consequences that spread through the region. And it’s the basis for Obama’s massive terrorist war, the drone war, the most extreme terrorist campaign that’s underway now, maybe most extreme in history, and the justification for it is the same: the second 9/11, 9/11/2001. So, yes, it’s had enormous effects on society, on attitudes, on policies. Many victims throughout the world can testify to that." On Syria, Chomsky says the country "is plunging into suicide. If negotiations [don’t] work, Syria is moving towards a kind of very bloody partition."

AMY GOODMAN:General Wesley Clark, the retired four-star general who was the supreme allied commander of NATO during the Kosovo War. General Clark described how an unnamed Pentagon official, just after the September 11th attacks, talked about a memo that said the U.S. planned to take out seven countries in five years, including Syria. ?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> That was General Wesley Clark. I was interviewing him at the 92nd Street Y here in New York in 2007. Professor Noam Chomsky, if you could respond??

NOAM CHOMSKY: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Noam?

NOAM CHOMSKY: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> If I could interrupt for a minute to ask you about your reflections on this anniversary of the September 11th, 2001, attacks here in the United States? Your reflections on this anniversary, and also how it relates to Syria and the Middle East, and what needs to be done now?

NOAM CHOMSKY: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> How do you see the situation in Syria being resolved? And now, can you tie it in to the larger Middle East crisis? Talk about Israel-Palestine. Talk about the U.S. relationship with Iran and relationship with Saudi Arabia. ?

NOAM CHOMSKY: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> We have 15 seconds. ?

NOAM CHOMSKY: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> We have 15 seconds. ?

NOAM CHOMSKY: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Well, Noam, we want to thank you very much for being with us, spending the hour with us, Noam Chomsky, world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he’s taught for more than half a century, and has written more than a hundred books. And we will link to our past interviews with him at our website, democracynow.org. You can also go to our website to see a number of new interviews about the U.S.-backed coup in Chile that took place 40 years ago today, September 11, 1973. I just spoke with the judges who later arrested and indicted General Augusto Pinochet and with the forensic specialist who exhumed the bodies of ousted President Salvador Allende and singer Víctor Jara. Also on our website, you can see our interactive timeline of the voices of dissent surrounding the September 11, 2001, attack here at home. We showcase our archive of in-depth reports documenting the attacks and their aftermath. Also, we have a job opening hiring a Linux systems administrator. Go to our website at democracynow.org.

 

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