Headline, September05, 2013




Ladies and Gentlemen, Professor Noam Chomsky:

''After the war, interventions were routinely declared to be ''humanitarian'' or in self-defense and therefore in accord with the UN Charter: for example, Russia's murderous invasion of Hungary in 1956, justified by the Soviet Lawyers on the grounds that it was undertaken by the government of Hungary as a ''defensive response to foreign funding of subversive activities and armed bands, within Hungary for purposes of overthrowing the democratically elected government''; or, with comparable plausibility, the US attack against South Vietnam a few years later, undertaken in ''collective self-defense'' against ''internal aggression'' by the South Vietnamese and their ''assault from the inside''. 

We need not assume that these protestations are disingenuous, no matter how grotesque they may be. Often one finds the same rhetoric in internal documents, where there is no obvious reason to dissemble: for example, the argument by the Stalin's diplomats that   ''to create real democracies, some outside pressure would be necessary........We should not hesitate to use this kind of 'interference into the domestic affairs' of other nations.........since democratic government is one of the main guarantees of durable peace.''

Others agree, doubtless with no less sincerity, urging that:

'we should not hesitate before police repression of the local government. This is not shameful since the Communists are essentially traitors------It is better to have a strong regime in power than a liberal government if it is indulgent and relaxed and penetrated by Communists.' 

George Kennan, in this case, briefing US ambassadors in Latin America on the need to be guided by a pragmatic concern for ''the protection of our raw materials''----ours, wherever they happen to be located, to which we must preserve our inherent ''right of access,'' by conquest if necessary, in accord with the ancient law of nations.

It requires a heavy dose of intentional ignorance and loyalty to power to delete from memory the consequences of instituting and sustaining ''strong regimes.'' 
The same talents are needed to sustain faith in the appeal to national security invoked to justify the use of force, a pretext that can be rarely upheld for any state, on the inspection of historical and documentary record.

As these few examples illustrate , even the harshest and the most shameful measures are accompanied by profession of noble intent. An honest look would only generalize Thomas Jefferson's on the world situation of his day:

'We believe no more in Bonaparte's fighting merely for the liberties of the seas, than in Great Britain's fighting for the liberties of mankind. The object is the same, to draw to themselves the power, the wealth, and the resources of other nations.'  

A century later, Woodrow Wilson's secretary of state Robert Lansing   -who also appears to have had  few illusions about Wilsonian idealism-  commented scornfully on
''how willing the British, French or Italians are to accept a mandate'' from the League of Nations, as long as  ''there are mines, oil fields, rich grain fields or railroads''  that will  ''make it a profitable undertaking.''

These ''unselfish governments'' declare that mandates must be ''for good of mankind'' : they will do their share by administering  the rich regions of Mesopotamia, Syria & c.''   The proper assessment of these pretensions is  ''so manifest that it is almost an insult to state it.''

And manifest indeed it is, when declarations of noble intent are preferred by others.  For oneself, very different standards apply.

One may choose to have selective faith in the domestic political leadership, adapting the stance that Hans Morgenthau, one of the founders of modern international relations theory, condemned ''our conformist subservience to those in power,'' the regular stance of most intellectuals throughout history.

But it is important to recognize the profession of noble intent is predictable, and therefore carries no information, even in the technical sense of the term. Those who are seriously interested in understanding the world will adapt the same standards whether they are evaluating their own political and intellectual elites or those of official enemies. 

One might fairly ask how much would survive the elementary exercise of rationality and honesty.

All This From The World's Foremost Intellectual Activist.

The World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless will name one of its modules in reverence to this great human, Professor Noam Chomsky, for his distinguished life's great values and teachings.

Millions listened to him, and many like me learnt  from him. And I thank him. In the days ahead we will continue to publish excerpts from his writings.

With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers of Argentina. See ya ll on the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless : ''' Vision-Passion-Creativity '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!