Powerful Antidote to Conventional Wisdom, Cowardice
How about a quick quiz on "terrorism"? What is the only nation ever found guilty of this crime by the
If you answered the
But such knowledge is unlikely to be gained from studying the "reality" as presented by CNN, "The Lehrer News Hour" and other major media. As CBS’s Dan Rather put it so simple-mindedly, "George Bush is the president –he wants me to line up, just tell me where."
The only reply to probing of the Bush administration’s conduct, as cartoonist Tom Tomorrow aptly points out, has been "Why do you hate
The human toll of 9/11 was horrific, inexcusable in any way, and the work of men with a twisted, primitive view of humanity, Chomsky unambiguously stresses. But he ventures beyond repeating the now-obvious truths. Merely focusing exclusively on Bin Laden’s atrocities misses the question of how
Chomsky dares to place the horrors of 9-11 in a framework that has been largely excluded from the commercial media: "Nothing can justify crimes such as those of September 11, but we can think of the United States as an ‘innocent victim’ only if we adopt the convenient path of ignoring the record of its actions and those of its allies, which are, after all, hardly a secret."
Quite bluntly, the use of terror has been an integral part of
The revelation of these inconvenient truths makes Chomsky’s work so vital at this moment. Some of Chomsky’s well-documented charges about
Chomsky stresses that the
Citing former CIA officials quoted by David Rose in the London Observer (discussed in more depth by Rose in the January Vanity Fair), Chomsky argues that the
Chomsky shreds the oft-repeated myth that the Sept. 11 atrocities were somehow an expression of "anti-globalization" sentiment. In numerous interviews, Bin Laden has never displayed any understanding –or resentment about –the re-shaping of the world economy and culture under the domination of transnational corporations and institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Ignorant of this dynamic, Bin Laden’s worldview is a harshly simplistic, narrow telescope limited by his brand of Islamic fundamentalism.
Meanwhile, the forces of economic fundamentalism –what Chomsky calls "investor-rights" globalization –are fanatically and unquestioningly worshiped by pundits and editorial writers for almost all the major media in the
"Such terrorist atrocities are a gift to the harshest and most repressive elements on all sides, and are sure to be exploited –already have been in fact –to accelerate the agenda of militarization, regimentation, reversal of social-democratic programs, transfer of wealth to narrow sectors, and undermining democracy in any meaningful form."
Roger Bybee is a Milwaukee-based writer and activis