Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Colin Grabow, Aug 9, 2002.
This is a heaping helping of "consider the source". It's like The Nation criticizing on the Libertarian Party. Wow, wouldn't THAT be a shock.
Here's a link to their parent organization if you want a good laugh:
Right. You could not have chosen a more right-wing publication. With article's like this:
Hardball with Terrorists | Bleeding heart advocates and journalists still don’t get that we’re at war.
11 June 2002
Also, the Hudson Institute..? Give me a break.
Well I guess we're 0 for 2 on posters willing to discuss the subject matter of the article, rather attacking the source for being -- ohmygawd -- right-wing.
All it did was attack Chomsky for being a dissenter. The book singled-out is merely a muckracking pamphlet. So what. Fact is, your source and others like it are afraid that many people (gasp) are getting their hands on it. That's unheard of for Chomsky who is not beholden to some large corporation setting up big paydays to speak on the ills of foreign policy in large public venues.
Hey it works for conservatives whenever anyone CITES Chomsky as a source on anything...
Reading comprehension really isn't your strong suit is it? It didn't attack Chomsky for merely being a dissenter, it attacked him for making ridiculous accusations that don't stand up to scrutiny, citing numerous examples ranging from his downplaying of atrocities perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge to the assertion that there is "no anti-Semitic implication in the denial of the existence of gas chambers or even in the denial of the Holocaust.”
But instead of debating these points, I suppose it is easier to brush it off because the source happens to be from the opposite end of the ideological spectrum -- truly the hallmark of intellectual rigor.
Really? You know, I could swear that you and I had a debate once about the media and you cited some model constructed by Mr. Chomsky that purported to show how the media was biased towards the right-wing. Did I dismiss it? No, I went and read up on it, even citing the website, and debated it. Apparently though it is too much to extend this courtesy in reverse.
First, thanks for the personal attack on my merits.
Second, you start the "debate" with an inflammatory title and then post a link. It's hard to take this seriously, which...
leads lastly to surmise that this thread will degenerate into the same ideology war that has been rehashed since that old WWII thread.
I don't start threads with "Damn Reactionaries" and then post something from In These Times, scurry back into my foxhole and wait for people to waste their breath dissecting the figurative land mines I just laid.
Right Said Fred dates Bill O'Reilly
...there. That settles it.
Wow, one instance of where a Chomsky argument was not dismissed out of hand around here. Now if we could only get every other conservative around here to do the same.
The Chomsky debate has gone on here before. After more than 30 years of his voluminous writing all his critics can muster is a few source errors that in no way detract from Chomsky's metatheses on how American business and government elites wield power at home and abroad. When I or someone else here cites Chomsky as a source or argument in a discussion it is almost invariably greeted by conservatives with "Well that's Chomsky and he's a liar blah blah blah" and the conservatives entirely duck whether the fact or argument cited is true or not. Chomsky said it and therefore it cannot be true and don't confuse conservatives with the facts.
Anyway, ideological bias does play a role in reporting things of this sort, especialy by an openly partisan magazine like the one you cited.
Really, I'd had given this article a more serious response if I hadn't seen everything in it 100 times before. Just for yucks I read the article again and there's really nothing new in it. In fact, if it wasn't for the preponderance of references to 9/11 instead of VietNam, East Timor or El Salvador this article could have been written by the usual Chomsky-bashers in 1972, 1982 or 1992 instead of 2002. I'm all-too-familiar with the usual M.O's and arguments of the Chomsky-bashers and I'm not exaggerating.
Like almost all Chomsky-bashing, this article has lots of overheated invective, lots of insults and no debunking of Chomsky's argument. Basically, what this article boils down to is "Chomsky says bad things about us so he must be a poo-poo head." How freaking insubstantial and frivolous can you get?
There's no specific discussion of how Chomsky's logic or facts in "9/11" (or any of his many other books or articles) may be wrong or any factual or logical refutation of any points Chomsky makes in his book.
Kanfer ignores the larger context of US business and government terrorism in which Chomsky places his comments (such as our support for evil murderous third world thugs, our training of terrorists in the SOA, our support of the terrorist contras in Nicaragua, etc. etc. etc.
The answers to all of the rhetorical questions the article asks can be found by anyone who, unlike Mr. Kanfer, has actually read Chomsky's works.
The article just hammers home again and again that Chomsky is a critic of American policies and therefore he cannot be sane solely because he dissents. Kanfer even trots out the stale and refuted "cambodia" stuff that is so old and decrepit that it puts even the most fervent Chomsky-bashers to sleep these days.
Jesus H Tapdancing Christ, Colin, I've delivered more substantial criticisms of Chomsky in this forum than this lazy-ass hitpiece does. and you ask me to take it seriously? Sorry, but I've already wasted too much time on it.
sounds like a serious case of sour grapes. it's like those soccer bashers who can't swallow the fact that this "foreign" sport is becoming popular in their mythical land of apple pie. i loved the "pierced, tatooed" remark. it's like when you watch coverage of wto protests, and all you see is a few thugs throwing rocks. what's conveniently left out is the thousands of people of all walks of life who've organized, and traveled from all over the country to show their concern. similarly, if a book which dares to criticize the government is becoming popular, then it must be all those crazy tattoed teenagers forking over their allowance so they can look cool at the coffee shop.
"Goodness. But if America is all about ignoring hungry children, why does the country spend billions in public and private funds every year on the poor? Does America deliberately seek to mis-educate and send to prison a “superfluous” population? Wouldn’t today’s knowledge-based economy benefit from as many decently educated people as it could find? What Third World countries does Chomsky have in mind where the discussion is more freewheeling and open than in the U.S.? Algeria? Cuba? Such puerile leftism is scarcely worthy of a college sophomore."
Come on, this is really, really silly. It is wrong to criticize the policies of a country when it has one of the worst if not the worst poverty rate of industrialized countries? It is wrong criticize to blame the policies of a country when it has an incarceration rate 6 to 10 times greater than most industrialized countries and is second only to Russia? No, let's put it on the people of America not the policies of the government. Obviously Americans are inferior to other industrialized countries citizens! Too lazy to get a job and they love to break the law! Boy, if leftism is questioning the effectiveness of our policies when they aren't working then please color me green.
Ok, consider yourself colored green. And, to top it off, we'll start referring to you as Gumby.
Fitting as I always saw you as the Pokey to my Gumby, Ian.
If the things Chomsky says are right, then how come the left can't find a better standard-bearer than someone who denies the occurance of the Holocaust, Cambodia's killing fields, and other genocidal acts? Why is Chomsky denounced as a lunatic even by other fringe leftists such as Alan Dershowitz? And don't say it's because of a government/media conspiracy to silence him--his book is on the best-seller list, so a lot of people are hearing what he has to say.
Is there even such a thing as a conservative intellectual to actually be eligible for this prize? Nyuk nyuk nyuk.
I nominate Bell Hooks, whose name I'm capitalizing in proper English form just on the off chance that she's reading this site and is able to be annoyed by it. Maybe not the dumbest professor in America, but anyone too pretentious to capitalize her name deserves some sort of notice. Her writing is also pretty unpleasant to plow through, and keep in mind I'm a lot closer to her target audience than a lot of people who make their careers trashing academia. The best example I can come up with is, is there anyone who cheers for the same team you do, that you just don't wanna spend any freaking time with whatsoever? That's kind of the way I feel about Bell. And, from what I can tell, the feeling would be mutual, if we were ever to meet. She's not a big fan of YT, if you know where I'm coming from.
Actually, there is a conservative intellectual, and not coincidentally, he's my nominee for dumbest professor in America. His name is Phillip Johnson, and he's a law professor at Boalt Hall in Berkeley. His most famous work, which ensures his enrollment here, is called "Darwin on Trial." He takes "Origin of Species" and Darwin's theories, and cross-examines them as if in a courtroom. Hopefully you don't have to actually be a scientist to see how laughably off-base this is.
Naturally, the Creationist Yahoo Coalition embraced Dr. Johnson with both arms, and has showered him with praise and money. Hm, maybe Johnson isn't so dumb after all - unless he really believes the crap he puts out, of course.
Ok, reffering to the original article, I own and appreciate Chomsky's "9-11", and I can also see how the book's success is merely a result of Chomsky's popularity...
how are these things mutually exclusive?!
Of course this book wouldn't sell diddley-squat if it didn't have his name on the cover. Does that mean it is not a valid view point worth at least reading or discussing once?!
In my own personal opinion, Chomsky represents that voice that tells us to look twice at the political landscape. Why can't I be thoroughly disgusted with the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and still believe our foreign policy has helped to create the situation?!
The only real divisions here are the ones that self proclaimed "liberals" and "conservatives" can dredge up in order to forge some identity for themselves.
So many of the "liberals" that defend Chomsky are the first to come up with lame excuses about his defence of Holocaust deniers and their freedom of speech or any other edgy (or un-PC) issue he chooses to write about.."but he was mis-quoted"...No he wasn't. He gave Faurisson (the grand daddy of holocaust denial) his full permission to quote him.
And so many "conservatives" would be so bored if they didn't have such a supposed nemesis.
He's one of those guys who let's you know that politics are not a forgone conclusion. And for that reason he is important to both "sides".
Because Dershowitz probably considers himself "leftist" to begin with.
Chomsky is beyond that.
He does not write in '9-11': the U.S. "should have been attacked", he more or less says "Don't be fooled...before you join the nationalistic holy crusade against terrorism, keep in mind that supporting terrorists has been our policy for decades and now it's turned around and bit us in the ass"(not a direct quote)...
He does not deny the holocaust, he holds up the rights of the deniers to print and espouse any opinion they like. And he (rightly) views the efforts to suppress those opinions as more dangerous to free speech than the opinions themselves.
There is a huge difference in both cases.
It is the self professed "liberals" and "conservatives" who try and conveniently fuse their own beliefs into the writings.
Chomsky is usually good for a few laughs, like his Cambodia denials despite PBS sitting actual POW's right in front of him with tears in thier eyes. He still thinks they were lying and he knows more about vietnam than anyone.
His anti-Clinton book was one of the best books I've ever read in the humor department of Borders.
As for the article, this is the best quote:
“I see no anti-Semitic implication in the denial of the existence of gas chambers or even in the denial of the Holocaust.” - Noam Chomsky
If I ever get around to paying for Bigsoccer, this should be mu signature.
What is exactly logically and technically wrong with his statement?
Someone may deny that the Holocaust existed, but that doesn't necessarily make him Anti-Semitic.
But by the connotative logic, if someone, like Hitler, DOES accept that the Holocaust existed, that means they're automatically NOT anti-semitic?
Yeah, everything you see on Amercian TV is 100% completely true. But seriously, I point you towards the fake CNN "town hall" meeting and the incredible PR campaign before the Gulf War which featured bogus stories about incubators told by "an average Kuwaiti girl". The Kuwaiti girl in particular made for some good emotional TV. There wasn't a dry eye in the house during that testimony. I mean, the girl is Kuwaiti! Surely she knows more about what was happening over there than we Amercians do. Right? But wait... That average Kuwaiti girl, strangely enough, turned out to be the Kuwaiti ambassador's daughter who wasn't even in Kuwait at the time and was carefully prepped and coached by an American PR firm. Ah, the funny old world of propaganda.
Anyway, you obviously know nothing about what Chomsky has said about Cambodia. According to Chomsky's ongoing critique, Pol Pot's gruesome massacre can only be properly understood in the context of years of U.S.-backed aggression and violence against civilians in Southeast Asia, including the five-year bombing of Cambodia. The CIA itself estimated that 600,000 people were killed through U.S. and U.S.-sponsored war efforts there. Chomsky has noted how there was no outrage in the US media about those hundreds of thousands killed by the US elites shifting the war into Cambodia prior to 1975 but suddenly the media outrage machine kicked into overdrive when it was the Khmer Rouge killing people. Funny, that.
Chomsky has also compared the outrage over the Khmer Rouge to the distinct lack of outrage over what was happened in East Timor at the same time. How odd that the media should focus all its attention and moral indignance on one mass slaughter and ignore another one. Isn't it? Oh, sorry, I forgot that Indonesia was "OUR" country and so therefore the media here couldn't make a big deal out of the murder going on there.
Anyway, when you look at the serious debate (as opposed to the silly overheated rhetoric) over what Chomsky and Herman may or may not have actually gotten wrong (the possible number of people killed by the Khmer Rouge which has never been and probably never will be "definitively" answered by anyone), you realize that it is a teapot tempest that does not destroy Chomsky's views on American elites' role in the region or his metatheses on how American elites wield power at home and abroad.
But this is the usual m.o. of Chomsky-bashers. After more than 40 years of poring over Chomsky's many books and countless articles with a fine-toothed comb looking for anything they can use to bash him with all they can find are a few source errors and a few doubts of Chomsky's take on events and things that cannot be "proven" one way or the other. Not since Ken Starr was charged with the task of trying to remove Clinton's lying ass from office has so much effort produced so little results. Chomsky-bashers remind me of people who scoop a few spoonfuls of dirt out of Mount Everest and promptly delcare proudly that they've levelled it. All you can do is laugh at their pretentions and self-delusion.
You probably think that anyone who disagrees with anything the Israeli government ever does is therefore by defenition some kind of raging anti-semitic Nazi baby-killer too.
At any rate, Mitre handled this one perfectly which shows why both he and Chomsky are clearer thinkers than you. I also point out that Chiomsky himself has described the Holocaust as "the most fantastic outburst of collective insanity in human history". It's up to the idiots who claim that Chomsky is a Holocaust denier to explain how something that he supposedly thinks never happened can be "the most fantastic outburst of collective insanity in human history".
This shows the danger of taking one isolated Chomsky quote completely out of context, as Chomsky-bashers are wont to do repeatedly. Chomsky's critique is not of wether the Holocaust actually happened but of how the Holocaust has been used "by apologists for Israeli repression and violence" as a blanket justification for anything the Israeli Right wishes to do. You are welcome to debate the argument that Chomsky actually makes but please stop promoting ridiculous lies by quoting him out of context.
Wow, Joe that really suprises me, you claiming victory for yourself in yet another argument. And then saying someone is a clearer thinker than me simply because you disagree.
The fact is that what you call simple source errors have been flat out lies. Claiming that the US was torchering Afghan prisoners and using AMnesty international as your source, and then finding that Amnesty International said "we never said that" is not a source error, it's a lie. A lie to make the US look bad, which is CHomsky's MO.
And Joe, of all the people who deny the Holocaust, how many are not anti-semites? Sure it is possible, but it's never that way. To think that Chomsky isn't an anti-Semite is laughable. Didn't Dershowitz call him the most anti-semetic man in America? Yeah, he is a Jewish Jew hater.
Maybe if Noam Chomsky's "sources" weren't incorrect so many times he would have more credibility outside of college campuses. And really, his denial of Cambodia is sad and pathetic. You honestly think there were no prisoners there?
This is comic, given that just a couple of paragraphs before you state that "the CIA itself estimated that 600,000" were killed by U.S. efforts in Cambodia. Ah, the irony.
You're right, Joe. There were no killing fields in Cambodia. All those people that Pol Pot alledgedly killed, really moved underground to create the world's first underground solar panel.
So, because the US bombed Cambodia, this forced Pol Pot to rise up and murder a third of the country's population on his own? Right.
But, I forgot, leftists are incapable of evil.
Actually, the US had suspended military ties with Indonesia until very recently BECAUSE of the crisis in East Timor. And I recall hearing a lot on the US news about East Timor--not as much as on BBC, which is understandable (BBC being the British news station and Australia, a member of the Commonwealth, being so involved in the peace process), but still quite a bit.
This is the biggest pile of crap I've ever heard. The man forwarded a book denying the Holocaust. The man denies that killing fields existed in Cambodia. He is a DELUSIONAL WHACKJOB, in the same league as that French guy that wrote a book about how the CIA was behind 9-11.
He was probably talking about the Communists and gays that got murdered, not the Jews, Poles, priests, and gypsies.
You have to love all these people who hate the US and they blame all the World's problems on the US.
Starving kids in Iraq: this is caused by UN sanctions forced by the US
Pol Pot killing people in Cambodia: Caused by the US
The Palestine suicide bombers: because the US supports Israel
The Aids problem in Africa: US has not funded enough Aids research/education
The Gulf War: US liberated Kuwait and killed thousand of Iraqi because of Oil
The Taliban in Afganistan: Because the US trained them
and so on....
Oh, yes, the USA is the evil country and everyone else are poor and mistreated and misundertsood.