Well, June 2007, but the article just came out this month. It talks about the unspoken assumptions behind our war in Iraq and our foreign policy in general. Kind of long but worth the read.
By 1969 around 70 percent of the public felt that the war was not a mistake, but that it was fundamentally wrong and immoral. That was the wording of the polls and that figure remains fairly constant up until the most recent polls just a few years ago. The figures are pretty remarkable because people who say that in a poll almost certainly think, I must be the only person in the world that thinks this. They certainly did not read it anywhere, they did not hear it anywhere. But that was popular opinion.
The same is true with regard to many other issues. But for articulate opinion it’s pretty much the way I’ve described—largely vigorous debate between the hawks and the doves, all on the unexpressed assumption that we own the world. So the only thing that matters is how much is it costing us, or maybe for some more humane types, are we harming too many of them?
However, it would be too strong to say that no high official in Washington called for immediate withdrawal. There were some. The strongest one I know of—when asked what is the solution to the problem in Iraq—said it’s quite obvious, “Withdraw all foreign forces and withdraw all foreign arms.” That official was Condoleeza Rice and she was not referring to U.S. forces, she was referring to Iranian forces and Iranian arms. And that makes sense, too, on the assumption that we own the world because, since we own the world U.S. forces cannot be foreign forces anywhere. So if we invade Iraq or Canada, say, we are the indigenous forces. It’s the Iranians that are foreign forces.
And the kicker:
Is there a possible solution to the U.S./Iran crisis? Well, there are some plausible solutions. One possibility would be an agreement that allows Iran to have nuclear energy, like every signer of the non-proliferation treaty, but not to have nuclear weapons. In addition, it would call for a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. That would include Iran, Israel, which has hundreds of nuclear weapons, and any U.S. or British forces deployed in the region. A third element of a solution would be for the United States and other nuclear states to obey their legal obligation, by unanimous agreement of the World Court, to make good-faith moves to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely.
Is this feasible? Well, it’s feasible on one assumption, that the United States and Iran become functioning democratic societies, because what I have just quoted happens to be the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the populations in Iran and the United States.
So am I the only one here who thinks Chomsky is–and has been–completely correct about the US’s role in the world? I disagree with a lot of the man’s ideas on how things should be, but his facts and his analysis of history are always airtight in everything I’ve ever read and every talk I’ve heard him give.
Chomsky basically says that the US does not support Democracy abroad, and is more often than not a direct enemy of Democracy. He also talks about how corporations are an illigitmate and fundamentally unhelpful form of power consolidation. These things ring so true to me that they’re self evident, but I don’t hear a lot of other people agreeing, or even talking about the question.
What do you guys think about Chomsky, and this article in particular?