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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » The Chomsky / Zinn Reader Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 14, 15, 16  Next
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Posted: Jul 30, 2014 - 11:15pm

Noam Chomsky: Israeli-Palestinian Negotiated Settlement Collapse (May 6, 2014 talk)
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Posted: Jul 24, 2014 - 11:41am


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Posted: Jul 8, 2014 - 3:33pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

The front page of The New York Times on June 26 featured a photo of women mourning a murdered Iraqi.

He is one of the innumerable victims of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) campaign in which the Iraqi army, armed and trained by the U.S. for many years, quickly melted away, abandoning much of Iraq to a few thousand militants, hardly a new experience in imperial history.

Right above the picture is the newspaper's famous motto: "All the News That's Fit to Print."

There is a crucial omission. The front page should display the words of the Nuremberg judgment of prominent Nazis - words that must be repeated until they penetrate general consciousness: Aggression is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

And alongside these words should be the admonition of the chief prosecutor for the United States, Robert Jackson: "The record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well."

The U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq was a textbook example of aggression. Apologists invoke noble intentions, which would be irrelevant even if the pleas were sustainable.

For the World War II tribunals, it mattered not a jot that Japanese imperialists were intent on bringing an "earthly paradise" to the Chinese they were slaughtering, or that Hitler sent troops into Poland in 1939 in self-defense against the "wild terror" of the Poles. The same holds when we sip from the poisoned chalice.

Those at the wrong end of the club have few illusions. Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of a Pan-Arab website, observes that "the main factor responsible for the current chaosis the U.S./Western occupation and the Arab backing for it. Any other claim is misleading and aims to divert attention (away) from this truth."

In a recent interview with Moyers & Company, Iraq specialist Raed Jarrar outlines what we in the West should know. Like many Iraqis, he is half-Shiite, half-Sunni, and in preinvasion Iraq he barely knew the religious identities of his relatives because "sect wasn't really a part of the national consciousness."

Jarrar reminds us that "this sectarian strife that is destroying the country ... clearly began with the U.S. invasion and occupation."

The aggressors destroyed "Iraqi national identity and replaced it with sectarian and ethnic identities," beginning immediately when the U.S. imposed a Governing Council based on sectarian identity, a novelty for Iraq.

By now, Shiites and Sunnis are the bitterest enemies, thanks to the sledgehammer wielded by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney (respectively the former U.S. Secretary of Defense and vice president during the George W. Bush administration) and others like them who understand nothing beyond violence and terror and have helped to create conflicts that are now tearing the region to shreds.

Other headlines report the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Journalist Anand Gopal explains the reasons in his remarkable book, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes.

In 2001-02, when the U.S. sledgehammer struck Afghanistan, the al-Qaida outsiders there soon disappeared and the Taliban melted away, many choosing in traditional style to accommodate to the latest conquerors.

But Washington was desperate to find terrorists to crush. The strongmen they imposed as rulers quickly discovered that they could exploit Washington's blind ignorance and attack their enemies, including those eagerly collaborating with the American invaders.

Soon the country was ruled by ruthless warlords, while many former Taliban who sought to join the new order recreated the insurgency.

The sledgehammer was later picked up by President Obama as he "led from behind" in smashing Libya.

In March 2011, amid an Arab Spring uprising against Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1973, calling for "a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians."

The imperial triumvirate - France, England, the U.S. - instantly chose to violate the Resolution, becoming the air force of the rebels and sharply enhancing violence.

Their campaign culminated in the assault on Gadhafi's refuge in Sirte, which they left "utterly ravaged," "reminiscent of the grimmest scenes from Grozny, towards the end of Russia's bloody Chechen war," according to eyewitness reports in the British press. At a bloody cost, the triumvirate accomplished its goal of regime change in violation of pious pronouncements to the contrary.

The African Union strongly opposed the triumvirate assault. As reported by Africa specialist Alex de Waal in the British journal International Affairs, the AU established a "road map" calling for cease-fire, humanitarian assistance, protection of African migrants (who were largely slaughtered or expelled) and other foreign nationals, and political reforms to eliminate "the causes of the current crisis," with further steps to establish "an inclusive, consensual interim government, leading to democratic elections."

The AU framework was accepted in principle by Gadhafi but dismissed by the triumvirate, who "were uninterested in real negotiations," de Waal observes.

The outcome is that Libya is now torn by warring militias, while jihadi terror has been unleashed in much of Africa along with a flood of weapons, reaching also to Syria.

There is plenty of evidence of the consequences of resort to the sledgehammer. Take the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly the Belgian Congo, a huge country rich in resources - and one of the worst contemporary horror stories. It had a chance for successful development after independence in 1960, under the leadership of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.

But the West would have none of that. CIA head Allen Dulles determined that Lumumba's "removal must be an urgent and prime objective" of covert action, not least because U.S. investments might have been endangered by what internal documents refer to as "radical nationalists."

Under the supervision of Belgian officers, Lumumba was murdered, realizing President Eisenhower's wish that he "would fall into a river full of crocodiles." Congo was handed over to the U.S. favorite, the murderous and corrupt dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, and on to today's wreckage of Africa's hopes.

Closer to home it is harder to ignore the consequences of U.S. state terror. There is now great concern about the flood of children fleeing to the U.S. from Central America.

The Washington Post reports that the surge is "mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras" - but not Nicaragua. Why? Could it be that when Washington's sledgehammer was battering the region in the 1980s, Nicaragua was the one country that had an army to defend the population from U.S.-run terrorists, while in the other three countries the terrorists devastating the countries were the armies equipped and trained by Washington?

Obama has proposed a humanitarian response to the tragic influx: more efficient deportation. Do alternatives come to mind?

It is unfair to omit exercises of "soft power" and the role of the private sector. A good example is Chevron's decision to abandon its widely touted renewable energy programs, because fossil fuels are far more profitable.

Exxon Mobil in turn announced "that its laserlike focus on fossil fuels is a sound strategy, regardless of climate change," Bloomberg Businessweek reports, "because the world needs vastly more energy and the likelihood of significant carbon reductions is 'highly unlikely.'"

It is therefore a mistake to remind readers daily of the Nuremberg judgment. Aggression is no longer the "supreme international crime." It cannot compare with destruction of the lives of future generations to ensure bigger bonuses tomorrow.



 
ayup.
RichardPrins
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Posted: Jul 8, 2014 - 2:00pm

The front page of The New York Times on June 26 featured a photo of women mourning a murdered Iraqi.

He is one of the innumerable victims of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) campaign in which the Iraqi army, armed and trained by the U.S. for many years, quickly melted away, abandoning much of Iraq to a few thousand militants, hardly a new experience in imperial history.

Right above the picture is the newspaper's famous motto: "All the News That's Fit to Print."

There is a crucial omission. The front page should display the words of the Nuremberg judgment of prominent Nazis - words that must be repeated until they penetrate general consciousness: Aggression is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

And alongside these words should be the admonition of the chief prosecutor for the United States, Robert Jackson: "The record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well."

The U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq was a textbook example of aggression. Apologists invoke noble intentions, which would be irrelevant even if the pleas were sustainable.

For the World War II tribunals, it mattered not a jot that Japanese imperialists were intent on bringing an "earthly paradise" to the Chinese they were slaughtering, or that Hitler sent troops into Poland in 1939 in self-defense against the "wild terror" of the Poles. The same holds when we sip from the poisoned chalice.

Those at the wrong end of the club have few illusions. Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of a Pan-Arab website, observes that "the main factor responsible for the current chaos is the U.S./Western occupation and the Arab backing for it. Any other claim is misleading and aims to divert attention (away) from this truth."

In a recent interview with Moyers & Company, Iraq specialist Raed Jarrar outlines what we in the West should know. Like many Iraqis, he is half-Shiite, half-Sunni, and in preinvasion Iraq he barely knew the religious identities of his relatives because "sect wasn't really a part of the national consciousness."

Jarrar reminds us that "this sectarian strife that is destroying the country ... clearly began with the U.S. invasion and occupation."

The aggressors destroyed "Iraqi national identity and replaced it with sectarian and ethnic identities," beginning immediately when the U.S. imposed a Governing Council based on sectarian identity, a novelty for Iraq.

By now, Shiites and Sunnis are the bitterest enemies, thanks to the sledgehammer wielded by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney (respectively the former U.S. Secretary of Defense and vice president during the George W. Bush administration) and others like them who understand nothing beyond violence and terror and have helped to create conflicts that are now tearing the region to shreds.

Other headlines report the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Journalist Anand Gopal explains the reasons in his remarkable book, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes.

In 2001-02, when the U.S. sledgehammer struck Afghanistan, the al-Qaida outsiders there soon disappeared and the Taliban melted away, many choosing in traditional style to accommodate to the latest conquerors.

But Washington was desperate to find terrorists to crush. The strongmen they imposed as rulers quickly discovered that they could exploit Washington's blind ignorance and attack their enemies, including those eagerly collaborating with the American invaders.

Soon the country was ruled by ruthless warlords, while many former Taliban who sought to join the new order recreated the insurgency.

The sledgehammer was later picked up by President Obama as he "led from behind" in smashing Libya.

In March 2011, amid an Arab Spring uprising against Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1973, calling for "a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians."

The imperial triumvirate - France, England, the U.S. - instantly chose to violate the Resolution, becoming the air force of the rebels and sharply enhancing violence.

Their campaign culminated in the assault on Gadhafi's refuge in Sirte, which they left "utterly ravaged," "reminiscent of the grimmest scenes from Grozny, towards the end of Russia's bloody Chechen war," according to eyewitness reports in the British press. At a bloody cost, the triumvirate accomplished its goal of regime change in violation of pious pronouncements to the contrary.

The African Union strongly opposed the triumvirate assault. As reported by Africa specialist Alex de Waal in the British journal International Affairs, the AU established a "road map" calling for cease-fire, humanitarian assistance, protection of African migrants (who were largely slaughtered or expelled) and other foreign nationals, and political reforms to eliminate "the causes of the current crisis," with further steps to establish "an inclusive, consensual interim government, leading to democratic elections."

The AU framework was accepted in principle by Gadhafi but dismissed by the triumvirate, who "were uninterested in real negotiations," de Waal observes.

The outcome is that Libya is now torn by warring militias, while jihadi terror has been unleashed in much of Africa along with a flood of weapons, reaching also to Syria.

There is plenty of evidence of the consequences of resort to the sledgehammer. Take the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly the Belgian Congo, a huge country rich in resources - and one of the worst contemporary horror stories. It had a chance for successful development after independence in 1960, under the leadership of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.

But the West would have none of that. CIA head Allen Dulles determined that Lumumba's "removal must be an urgent and prime objective" of covert action, not least because U.S. investments might have been endangered by what internal documents refer to as "radical nationalists."

Under the supervision of Belgian officers, Lumumba was murdered, realizing President Eisenhower's wish that he "would fall into a river full of crocodiles." Congo was handed over to the U.S. favorite, the murderous and corrupt dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, and on to today's wreckage of Africa's hopes.

Closer to home it is harder to ignore the consequences of U.S. state terror. There is now great concern about the flood of children fleeing to the U.S. from Central America.

The Washington Post reports that the surge is "mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras" - but not Nicaragua. Why? Could it be that when Washington's sledgehammer was battering the region in the 1980s, Nicaragua was the one country that had an army to defend the population from U.S.-run terrorists, while in the other three countries the terrorists devastating the countries were the armies equipped and trained by Washington?

Obama has proposed a humanitarian response to the tragic influx: more efficient deportation. Do alternatives come to mind?

It is unfair to omit exercises of "soft power" and the role of the private sector. A good example is Chevron's decision to abandon its widely touted renewable energy programs, because fossil fuels are far more profitable.

Exxon Mobil in turn announced "that its laserlike focus on fossil fuels is a sound strategy, regardless of climate change," Bloomberg Businessweek reports, "because the world needs vastly more energy and the likelihood of significant carbon reductions is 'highly unlikely.'"

It is therefore a mistake to remind readers daily of the Nuremberg judgment. Aggression is no longer the "supreme international crime." It cannot compare with destruction of the lives of future generations to ensure bigger bonuses tomorrow.


RichardPrins
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Posted: Jul 1, 2014 - 7:30am

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, America's Real Foreign Policy | TomDispatch
Whose Security? How Washington Protects Itself and the Corporate Sector
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Posted: Jun 18, 2014 - 7:33am



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Posted: Jun 17, 2014 - 10:43am


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Posted: Jun 15, 2014 - 5:39pm

(Video) Noam Chomsky: How I Became A Political Person

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Posted: Jun 10, 2014 - 1:20am


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Posted: Jun 2, 2014 - 9:55am

Noam Chomsky | Edward Snowden, the World's "Most Wanted Criminal"
In the past several months, we have been provided with instructive lessons on the nature of state power and the forces that drive state policy. And on a closely related matter: the subtle, differentiated concept of transparency.

The source of the instruction, of course, is the trove of documents about the National Security Agency surveillance system released by the courageous fighter for freedom Edward J. Snowden, expertly summarized and analyzed by his collaborator Glenn Greenwald in his new book, "No Place to Hide."

The documents unveil a remarkable project to expose to state scrutiny vital information about every person who falls within the grasp of the colossus - in principle, every person linked to the modern electronic society.

Nothing so ambitious was imagined by the dystopian prophets of grim totalitarian worlds ahead.

It is of no slight import that the project is being executed in one of the freest countries in the world, and in radical violation of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, which protects citizens from "unreasonable searches and seizures," and guarantees the privacy of their "persons, houses, papers and effects."

Much as government lawyers may try, there is no way to reconcile these principles with the assault on the population revealed in the Snowden documents. (...)


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Posted: May 23, 2014 - 11:37am

Noam Chomsky on class warfare: The rich think worker insecurity is a good thing


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Posted: May 10, 2014 - 12:29pm

On the Edge: Noam Chomsky
When I hear the phrase “on the edge,” the irresistible image is the proverbial lemmings marching resolutely to the cliff.

For the first time in history, humans are now poised to destroy the prospects for decent existence, and much of life. The rate of species destruction today is at about the level of 65 million years ago, when a major catastrophe, probably a huge asteroid, ended the age of the dinosaurs, opening the way for mammals to proliferate. The difference is that today we are the asteroid, and the way will very likely be opened to beetles and bacteria when we have done our work.

Geologists break up the history of the planet into eras of relative stability. The Pleistocene, lasting several million years, was following by the Holocene about 10,000 years ago, coinciding with the human invention of agriculture. Today, many geologists add a new epoch, the Anthropocene, beginning with the industrial revolution, which has radically changed the natural world. In the light of the pace of change, one hates to think when the next epoch will begin, and what it will be.

One effect of the Anthropocene is the extraordinary rate of species extinction. Another is the threat to ourselves. No literate person can fail to be aware that we are facing a prospect of severe environmental disaster, with effects that are already detectable and that might become dire within a few generations if current tendencies are not reversed. (...)

A few days ago the New York Times had an energy supplement, 8 pages of mostly euphoria about the bright future for the US, poised to be the world’s greatest producer of fossil fuels. Missing is any reflection of what kind of world we are exuberantly creating. One might recall Orwell’s observations in his (unpublished) introduction to Animal Farm on how in free England, unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force, not least because immersion in the elite culture instills the understanding that there are certain things “it wouldn’t do to say”—or even to think.

In the moral calculus of currently prevailing state capitalism, profits and bonuses in the next quarter greatly outweigh concern for the welfare of one’s grandchildren, and since these are institutional maladies, they will not be easy to overcome. While much remains uncertain, we can assure ourselves, with fair confidence, that future generations will not forgive us our silence and apathy.


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Posted: May 2, 2014 - 10:55am

The Politics of Red Lines
Putin’s takeover of Crimea scares U.S. leaders because it challenges America’s global dominance.

The current Ukraine crisis is serious and threatening, so much so that some commentators even compare it to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

Columnist Thanassis Cambanis summarizes the core issue succinctly in The Boston Globe: “{President Vladimir V.} Putin's annexation of the Crimea is a break in the order that America and its allies have come to rely on since the end of the Cold War—namely, one in which major powers only intervene militarily when they have an international consensus on their side, or failing that, when they're not crossing a rival power's red lines.”

This era's most extreme international crime, the United States-United Kingdom invasion of Iraq, was therefore not a break in world order—because, after failing to gain international support, the aggressors didn't cross Russian or Chinese red lines.

In contrast, Putin's takeover of the Crimea and his ambitions in Ukraine cross American red lines.

Therefore “Obama is focused on isolating Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world, limiting its expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood and effectively making it a pariah state,” Peter Baker reports in The New York Times.

American red lines, in short, are firmly placed at Russia's borders. Therefore Russian ambitions “in its own neighborhood” violate world order and create crises.

The point generalizes. Other countries are sometimes allowed to have red lines—at their borders (where the United States' red lines are also located). But not Iraq, for example. Or Iran, which the U.S. continually threatens with attack (“no options are off the table”).

Such threats violate not only the United Nations Charter but also the General Assembly resolution condemning Russia that the United States just signed. The resolution opened by stressing the U.N. Charter ban on “the threat or use of force” in international affairs.

The Cuban missile crisis also sharply revealed the great powers' red lines. The world came perilously close to nuclear war when President Kennedy rejected Premier Khrushchev's offer to end the crisis by simultaneous public withdrawal of Soviet missiles from Cuba and American missiles from Turkey. (The U.S. missiles were already scheduled to be replaced by far more lethal Polaris submarines, part of the massive system threatening Russia's destruction.)

In this case too, the United States' red lines were at Russia's borders, and that was accepted on all sides.

The U.S. invasion of Indochina, like the invasion of Iraq, crossed no red lines, nor have many other U.S. depredations worldwide. To repeat the crucial point: Adversaries are sometimes permitted to have red lines, but at their borders, where America's red lines are also located. If an adversary has “expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood,” crossing U.S. red lines, the world faces a crisis.

In the current issue of the Harvard-MIT journal International Security, Oxford University professor Yuen Foong Khong explains that there is a “long (and bipartisan) tradition in American strategic thinking: Successive administrations have emphasized that a vital interest of the United States is to prevent a hostile hegemon from dominating any of the major regions of the world.”

Furthermore, it is generally agreed that the United States must “maintain its predominance,” because “it is U.S. hegemony that has upheld regional peace and stability”—the latter a term of art referring to subordination to U.S. demands.

As it happens, the world thinks differently and regards the United States as a “pariah state” and “the greatest threat to world peace,” with no competitor even close in the polls. But what does the world know? (...)


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Posted: Apr 28, 2014 - 5:03pm


kurtster
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Posted: Apr 26, 2014 - 6:45pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Chomsky Says US Should Be Held Liable For Guantanamo Annexation | World | RIA Novosti

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. (...)



 
{#Yawn}

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Posted: Apr 26, 2014 - 1:17pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Chomsky Says US Should Be Held Liable For Guantanamo Annexation | World | RIA Novosti
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. (...)



 

Actually it is worse than that, at least most Crimeans actually consider themselves Russian.  Somehow I doubt that most residents of Guantanamo consider themselves American.{#Wink}


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Posted: Apr 26, 2014 - 1:12pm

Chomsky Says US Should Be Held Liable For Guantanamo Annexation | World | RIA Novosti
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. (...)


RichardPrins
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Posted: Apr 14, 2014 - 1:25pm


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Posted: Mar 4, 2014 - 4:31pm

Noam Chomsky | Security and State Power
This article, the first of two parts, is adapted from a lecture by Noam Chomsky on Feb. 28 sponsored by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara, Calif.

A leading principle of international relations theory is that the state's highest priority is to ensure security. As Cold War strategist George F. Kennan formulated the standard view, government is created "to assure order and justice internally and to provide for the common defense."

The proposition seems plausible, almost self-evident, until we look more closely and ask: Security for whom? For the general population? For state power itself? For dominant domestic constituencies?

Depending on what we mean, the credibility of the proposition ranges from negligible to very high.

Security for state power is at the high extreme, as illustrated by the efforts that states exert to protect themselves from the scrutiny of their own populations.

In an interview on German TV, Edward J. Snowden said that his "breaking point" was "seeing Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress" by denying the existence of a domestic spying program conducted by the National Security Agency.

Snowden elaborated that "The public had a right to know about these programs. The public had a right to know that which the government is doing in its name, and that which the government is doing against the public."

The same could be justly said by Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning and other courageous figures who acted on the same democratic principle.

The government stance is quite different: The public doesn't have the right to know because security thus is undermined - severely so, as officials assert.

There are several good reasons to be skeptical about such a response. The first is that it's almost completely predictable: When a government's act is exposed, the government reflexively pleads security. The predictable response therefore carries little information.

A second reason for skepticism is the nature of the evidence presented. International relations scholar John Mearsheimer writes that "The Obama administration, not surprisingly, initially claimed that the NSA's spying played a key role in thwarting 54 terrorist plots against the United States, implying it violated the Fourth Amendment for good reason.

"This was a lie, however. Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director, eventually admitted to Congress that he could claim only one success, and that involved catching a Somali immigrant and three cohorts living in San Diego who had sent $8,500 to a terrorist group in Somalia."

A similar conclusion was reached by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, established by the government to investigate the NSA programs and therefore granted extensive access to classified materials and to security officials.

There is, of course, a sense in which security is threatened by public awareness - namely, security of state power from exposure.

The basic insight was expressed well by the Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington: "The architects of power in the United States must create a force that can be felt but not seen. Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate." (...)


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Posted: Feb 19, 2014 - 10:00am

Psychopaths and Sociopaths

N.C.: Well there is a huge propaganda effort that we are all aware of to try to turn people into psychopaths who don't care about anyone but themselves.  That's not new actually.  They go back a hundred and fifty years, the early days of industrialization in the United States.  Working people were bitterly condemning the industrial system that was being imposed, the way it was taking away their freedom, and one of the things they condemned is what they called the new spirit of the age— 'Gain wealth forgetting all but self,'—  Exactly what you're describing.  That's a hundred and fifty years ago and ever since then there have been enormous efforts to drive these sociopathic attitudes into people's heads.  There are extreme cases like the Ayn Rand cult where it's kind of like, open but yeah we should be psychopaths, and there are, you read a lot of what's called libertarian shouldn't be called that, it's very authoritarian. But a lot of it is based on the same principles.  'Why should I pay taxes to send somebody else's kids to school or why should I support the disabled widow across town with, her social security is her problem, not mine "   That's pathological.  In fact there's an interesting book that just came out which maybe you've seen called The Sociopathic Society by a very good sociologist, Charles Derber and he's describing accurately the development of these things.  And we see them all the time.  

Take the huge attack on healthcare systems.  I mean, it is, Obama Healthcare system is nothing much to write home about, I mean it's much worse than other advanced countries have, but it's a slight improvement over our totally scandalous privatized system which really is an international scandal.  I mean it's more than twice the per capita cost of comparable societies and some of the worst outcomes.   Because it's privatized.  But even the mild attempt of the Obama system what the call Obamacare to try to modify some of this and deal with some of the problems that deprived, that has led to an extraordinary campaign of some of it just leading to almost comical lying.  What we saw recently is an interesting case.  I happened to  listen to the radio and I heard John Boehner giving a sober talk denouncing Obamacare because of these, the latest statistics that came out of the Congressional Research Bureau showing that maybe two and a half million people would stop working because of Obamacare.  

How did he present this?  Well the way the right wing is presenting it as showing that Obamacare is taking away jobs.  That's not what it said.  What it said is it's giving people freedom to free themselves from what amounts to slavery.  Keeping a job just because you -

R.K.: I wrote about that four years ago.  I wrote an article called Healthcare Slavery

N.C.: Yeah that's what it is. And this offers people the opportunity to free themselves.  You have to remember these people call themselves conservatives and what they're saying is people ought to be enslaved.  They ought to be trapped in work that they don't want because they can't survive otherwise.  They can't even get healthcare which in civilized countries is available to everyone.  

That's an extreme case of psychopathic behavior and it's institutionalized.  By now it's the doctrine of the so-called republican party which isn't really a political party anymore.  It's kind of off the spectrum of parliamentary parties.  But yes they're quite openly advocating that.  The same is true of the attack on public schools which is incidentally bi-partisan.  It's a major attack against public schools in all sorts of ways and I think the main driving force is that same issue. (...)

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