Interventions
Interventions
Introduction by Greg Ruggiero




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Presidential 'Peacemaking' in Latin America

"Barack Obama, the fourth U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize, joins the others in the long tradition of peacemaking so long as it serves U.S. interests.

All four presidents left their imprint on 'our little region over here that has never bothered anybody,' as U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson characterized the hemisphere in 1945.

Given the Obama administration's stance toward the elections in Honduras in November, it may be worthwhile to examine the record."

-Noam Chomsky, In These Times Jan 5, 2010

Anti-war activist's works banned at prison camps

"Professor Noam Chomsky may be among America's most enduring anti-war activists. But the leftist intellectual's anthology of post 9/11 commentary is taboo at Guantánamo's prison camp library, which offers books and videos on Harry Potter, World Cup soccer and Islam.

U.S. military censors recently rejected a Pentagon lawyer's donation of an Arabic-language copy of the political activist and linguistic professor's 2007 anthology Interventions for the library, which has more than 16,000 items."

-Carol Rosenberg, The Miami Herald Oct 11, 2009

Unexceptional Americans: We Can't See the Trees or the Forest

"Murder, torture, abuse… and photos of the same. We've seen some of them, of course. Now, evidently under pressure from his top generals, President Obama has decided to fight the release of other grim photos from the dark side of the Bush years of offshore injustice -- on the grounds that their publication might inflame opinion in the Middle East and our various war zones (as if fighting to suppress their publication won't). In this way, just as the president is in the process of making Bush's wars his own, so he seems to be making much of the nightmare legacy of those years of crime, torture, and cover-up his, too.

The photos his Justice Department will fight to suppress (for how long or how successfully we don't yet know) are now officially "his"; next, assumedly, come those military commissions, suspended as Obama took office, which are evidently about to be reborn as Obama era tools of injustice. (This brings to mind, in grimmer form, the old saw about how military justice is to justice as military music is to music.) And with those commissions comes that wonderfully un-Constitutional idea of detaining chosen prisoners indefinitely either entirely without trial or with trials that will be mockeries. And with that, evidently, goes the idea of possibly setting up some sort of new "national security court" to try some detainees. (Keep in mind that the Obama administration is already hanging on tightly to Dick Cheney's "state secrets" privilege to block various lawsuits by those wronged in all sorts of ways in the Bush years.)"

-Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch.com May 19, 2009

Interventions Interview
"There is nothing inevitable in history. Predictions about human affairs hardly have a stellar record of accuracy, for very good reasons. Too much depends on will and choice. More important than speculation is action to help shape the future."
-Noam Chomsky, ZNet Mar 20, 2008

Noam Chomsky on U.S. Policy Towards Iran

"Suppose it was true that Iran is helping insurgents in Iraq. I mean, wasn’t the United States helping insurgents when the Russians invaded Afghanistan? Did we think there was anything wrong with that? I mean, Iraq's a country that was invaded and is under military occupation. You can't have a serious discussion about whether someone else is interfering in it. The basic assumption underlying the discussion is that we own the world."

-The Real News/Information Clearing House Nov 25, 2007

Iran Sanctions, Terrorism and Diplomacy
"Lableing Iranian government groups 'terrorist,' the Bush administration Thursday placed a new set of sanctions on Iran. Noam Chomsky is the author most recently of Interventions. He said yesterday: 'When we or our allies and clients carry out terror (or aggresion), it's the justified use of force (for stability, self-defense, etc.). When some official enemy does the same thing, it's terror (or aggression.)'"
-Kansas City Info Zine Oct 27, 2007

Derailing a deal
"Nuclear-armed states are criminal states. They have a legal obligation, confirmed by the World Court, to live up to Article 6 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which calls on them to carry out good-faith negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely. None of the nuclear states has lived up to it.

The United States is a leading violator, especially the Bush Administration, which even has stated that it isn't subject to Article 6."
-Noam Chomsky, Khaleej Times Online Oct 7, 2007

Noam Chomsky on Venezuela

"Chomsky on Language:

'Every time a language disappears that means the disappearance of the historical tradition, of cultural wealth, of an aural literary tradition, of a way of life, a piece of humanity is gone. It's not just the words. Languages are part of a living society. So a large part of humanity is being destroyed. It's tradition and it's cultural wealth. It's happening all over, people are not too aware of it. '"

-Eva Golinger, VenezuelaAnalysis.com Sep 27, 2007

Secret Sellers—Books that Just Keep Going
"It got me to thinking about what other books have done well without anyone truly registering quite how well. I asked around, and here's a not very scientific list of a few success stories. . .

10. Interventions, by Noam Chomsky (City Lights). Though it's a long, long way from 9-11 numbers, this collection of columns by the linguist and political commentator has been back to press twice since coming out earlier this summer. Now there are nearly 25,000 copies in print."
-John Freeman, Critical Mass, the blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of America Aug 24, 2007

Options on the table
"In Washington a remarkable and ominous campaign is under way to 'contain Iran,' which turns out to mean 'containing Iranian influence,' in a confrontation that Washington Post correspondent Robin Wright calls 'Cold War II.'

The sequel bears close scrutiny as it unfolds under the direction of former Kremlinologists Condoleezza Rice and Robert M Gates, according to Wright. Stalin had imposed an Iron Curtain to bar Western influence; Bush-Rice-Gates are imposing a Green Curtain to bar Iranian influence."
-Noam Chomsky, Khaleej Times Online Aug 23, 2007

Into It: Noam Chomsky
"What author and influential academic Noam Chomsky is reading, watching, and listening to."
-The Christian Science Monitor Aug 10, 2007

Democracy's Invisible Line
"The US writer Noam Chomsky talks about the mechanisms behind modern communication, an essential instrument of government in democratic countries – as important to our governments as propaganda is to a dictatorship."
-Noam Chomsky and Daniel Mermet, Le Monde diplomatique Aug 2, 2007

The Cold War Between Washington and Tehran
In the energy-rich Middle East, only two countries have failed to subordinate themselves to Washington’s basic demands: Iran and Syria. Accordingly both are enemies, Iran by far the more important.

As was the norm during the Cold War, resort to violence is regularly justified as a reaction to the malign influence of the main enemy, often on the flimsiest of pretexts. Unsurprisingly, as Bush sends more troops to Iraq, tales surface of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Iraq—a country otherwise free from any foreign interference, on the tacit assumption that Washington rules the world.
-Noam Chomsky, Znet Jul 28, 2007

'Interventions' Collects Chomsky's NYTS Columns
NEW YORK "Interventions," a collection of Noam Chomsky's New York Times Syndicate columns, has been released by City Lights Books.

 The columns -- which have been been published by many newspapers abroad but few in the U.S. -- include criticism of the Iraq War, American imperialism and hypocrisy, Israel's treatment of Palestinians, and more.

Chomsky is an author and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor.
Jul 23, 2007

Chomsky Intervenes
Chomsky Intervenes
Noam Chomsky answers questions from Jeremy Foster on his new book, Interventions, published by City Lights Open Media.

FLAK: The editors of Interventions echo some of your criticism of the American media, particularly mainstream newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, for their exclusion of political thought (including yours) they deem unacceptable. Has your opinion of the mainstream American newspaper press, in their reporting and their editorial coverage, changed over the years?

CHOMSKY: I don't recall having criticized media for excluding me, though I do use personal experiences as an illustration when asked about media subordination to systems of power. And I haven't been much concerned with their balance in opinion pages altogether (some media critics are, reasonably, but that hasn't been my particular concern). . . .
-Flak Magazine

Guillotining Gaza
The death of a nation is a rare and sombre event. But the vision of a unified, independent Palestine threatens to be another casualty of a Hamas-Fatah civil war, stoked by Israel and its enabling ally the United States.

Last month’s chaos may mark the beginning of the end of the Palestinian Authority. That might not be an altogether unfortunate development for Palestinians, given US-Israeli programmes of rendering it nothing more than a quisling regime to oversee these allies’ utter rejection of an independent state.
-Noam Chomsky, Khaleej Times Jul 18, 2007

Interview with Noam Chomsky
As one of the foremost political intellectuals and dissidents in the U.S. it's not surprising that Noam Chomsky's political work is often relegated to the margins of mainstream media in this country. It is surprising though, to learn that for the past few years the New York Times Syndicate has been distributing concise, approx. 1,000 word op-eds by Chomsky that the New York Times, the most powerful and influential paper in the U.S., did not touch. Despite wide distribution internationally, these essays have barely, if at all, seen light of day in the U.S. press...
-ZNet Jul 1, 2007

Letter from Noam Chomsky to Jan Tamáš
The installation of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe is, virtually, a declaration of war. Simply imagine how the US would react if Russia or China or Iran or in fact any foreign power dared even to think about placing a missile defense system at or near the borders of the US, let alone carrying out such plans. In these unimaginable circumstances, a violent US reaction would be not only almost certain but also understandable for reasons that are simple and clear....
-Znet Jun 25, 2007

Noam Chomsky interviewed by Sonali Kolhatkar
On June 1st, 2007, Noam Chomsky spoke with radio host Sonali Kolhatkar about his new book:

Kolhatkar: In your April 2004 op-ed entitled "Iraq: The Roots of Resistance," you describe the false pretext of democracy that the Bush administration used to justify its war and then in March 2005 you lauded the real success of the Iraqi elections in that the US had actually allowed them to take place. Now a few years later what is the status of real democracy in Iraq?
- ZNet Jun 8, 2007

Chomsky: Starving the Poor
The chaos that derives from the so-called international order can be painful if you are on the receiving end of the power that determines that order’s structure. Even tortillas come into play in the ungrand scheme of things. Recently, in many regions of Mexico, tortilla prices jumped by more than 50 per cent.
-Scoop May 24, 2007