Friday, May 12, 2006

Chomsky Gets Chummy With Hezbollah

I'm not sure what to make of the flash from yesterday's Drudge Report that detailed a meeting Noam Chomsky had in Beirut with the leader of the Hezbollah. I'm hesitant not because it doesn't sound exactly like Chomsky's drivel, but because the story is not sourced and it doesn't appear elsewhere. Anyway, grain of salt.

Drudge quotes Chomsky as saying Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah "has a reasoned argument and a persuasive argument" for maintaining an armed "deterrent to potential aggression." This aggression would presumably be from Israel, although the article does not state this explicitly. He also refers to the United States as "one of the leading terrorist states."

An alert reader might question Chomsky's anti-terrorism bona-fides, considering his chummy relationship with the leader of a group implicated in countless atrocities, including the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which killed 241 American marines. For Chomsky, "terrorism" is all a matter of perspective, an attitude that drips with irony considering that in the same interview he derides the U.S. for molding its definition of terrorism entirely to fit U.S. foreign policy goals.

He then goes on to blast the U.S. and Israel for "threatening to attack" Iran, threats which he calls "outright violations [of] international law and of the U.N. charter." He makes no mention whatsoever of Iran's threats to "wipe Israel off the map" (or, to appease Juan Cole, "erase Israel from the page of time"). That would appear to be a violation in its own right. Instead, Chomsky merely states that "Iran is in difficulty" and blames the U.S. for any failure to reach a settlement. Not to accuse him of pandering to nutjobs, but that explanation falls a little short of the mark.

Chomsky is one of the most prolific critics of the United States as a self-serving and duplicitous power. The fact that he is incapable of seeing those exact same traits in his own reasoning speaks volumes about him as a thinker and commentator. It also explains why he's so sure he's right.
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