In the following 25 second clip, logician Noam Chomsky (the most cited living scholar) uses logic to trap a hostile interviewer for state-controlled media of the former British Empire into admitting that he does not support US attacks on Islamic extremists in Afghanistan for their involvement in the murder of 3,000 US citizens on 9/11/01.
The interviewer momentarily stutters, trapped and confused, then is forced to make the logical concession, after which he immediately switches to another topic:
Whereas the above fallacious pretext for US aggression involves the murder of 3,000 US citizens, Obama’s fallacious ISIS pretext is mathematically one thousand five hundred times weaker on the same grounds, since ISIS has killed 2, as opposed to 3,000, US citizens.
Incidentally, in the cases of of both ISIS and the Taliban of Afghanistan, terrorist acts by the USA led to the creation of the groups. The rise and installment of the Islamic extremist Taliban was an intentional, carefully planned and openly executed US operation sustained over many years, until the Taliban was uncooperative about demands for US state/corporate control over dirty energy projects involving Afghanistan. In the case of ISIS, it is quite clear how the USA has knowingly given rise to and aided the movement through:
- the brutal, criminal destabilization of the entire region by the US
- Bush, followed by Obama’s continued insistence on arming groups in Syria that he knows are Islamic extremists and/or terrorists that are allied with ISIS (and here) and share their weapons and US training knowledge with ISIS. (In this video, the commander of the FSA’s northern front says he would like to see Sharia law implemented.)
Also not addressed in the logic of Western aggression is that the West is the aggressor, in fact a relentlessly genocidal aggressor. The USA has already killed countless millions of Middle Easterners, including by illegally assisting in the killings of hundreds of thousands of them in Syria. However, this is easily ignored since those are not “Americans”.
In the following 2 minute clip, which is from earlier in the same interview, the state-controlled media interviewer says he supports the USA’s bombing of Afghanistan. Chomsky then (correctly) tells him that he does not support the US argument for the bombing, and gives another uncontroversial example as illustration: that of the USA’s terrorist attacks against Nicaragua. For those terrorist attacks, the USA was convicted by the World Court and condemned by the Security Council and General Assembly, all of which the USA ignored, and instead increased its atrocities against the Nicaraguans.
Instead of paying approximately 17 billion in reparations to Nicaragua as the USA was legally required to do, the USA instead illegally forced Nicaragua to pay reparations to the USA, as the USA is also forcing Vietnam to do, to the present moment. (The interviewer at this point strenuously avoids answering Chomsky’s challenge, though moments later, in the first clip, above, he is forced to answer, and he concedes that Chomsky is correct that the interviewer does not support the US’s bombings.)
You decide: In this clear-cut case, did Nicaragua or any other country have the right to bomb the extremist group, the USA, or the US terrorist forces attacking Nicaragua, or their training camps in the USA, to stop the US atrocities against civilians and help the people of Nicaragua?
Keep in mind that the USA’s terrorist attacks against Nicaragua killed more Nicaraguans, per-capita, than US citizens killed in the US Civil War.
Here’s one more case to consider:
When the USA was teamed up with Saddam Hussein (along with other allies in this axis of evil) and they were waging a genocidal war of aggression against Iran and the Kurds, killing 1,000,000 Iranians and hundreds of thousands of Kurds, one of Hussein’s fighter jets bombed a United States ship, the USS Stark, and killed 37 US citizens.
Yes, Saddam Hussein bombed a US ship. This was 1987. The USA not only did not attack Hussein, but continued to support him as a “moderate” for three more years, to 1990, and then again after the “Gulf War” to help him smash an internal rebellion that likely would have overthrown him.
Some claimed, as in the case of Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty, that Hussein’s attack was mistaken and unauthorized, but no one really knows.
But what does the USA do when an attack is carried out that may have been accidental and, unlike in the USS Stark attack, which was known to have been perpetrated by Iraq, may or may not have been carried out by an enemy?
The US simply lies, says it knows for sure who carried out the attack, and seizes on the opportunity to justify attacking the enemy on whom the attack is dishonestly blamed. Hence, the USA immediately blamed Putin for the MH17 shoot-down, screaming it to the heavens in the shrillest terms, and started sanctioning Russia and increasing US foreign military presence overseas, as well as increasing illegal US nuclear weapons spending to 1 to 1.5 trillion dollars, the most of any US regime ever, while water is shut off to unfortunate residents of Detroit. (Not to mention that the USA itself shoots down civilian planes.)
But when Hussein killed 37 US citizens under equally questionable circumstances, nothing. No shrill condemnations or attack on Hussein for that.
Why? Hussein was committing far worse acts than Putin ever has or will, committing massive genocide against Iran and the Kurds. So why did the USA not use the incident as a pretext for attacking Hussein? Well, as noted before, because the USA was one of the accomplices in those genocides, thus the killings of US citizens was not used as a reason to attack US-ally Hussein and “protect” the people of Iran and Kurdistan from their attacker, the axis of evil of which the USA was a part.
The USA only attacks when the attack stands to expand the US empire. Any incredible atrocity that happens within the empire (usually committed by or with the US) is justified, downplayed, or outright silenced by US/Western government and corporate media, since corporations seek to expand, not contract.
Support for US terrorist attacks means support for expansion of the stranglehold of completely amoral (at best), absolute US power over the globe, which really means the planet would be run by US corporations, since the US is not a democracy, but a plutocracy.
The size of the US empire allows the US to get away with every crime it commits. The only way to put an end to this dynamic is to peacefully work towards a more balanced world, in which states/groups are equal enough such that they can’t attack other, smaller states/groups, because none are small and vulnerable enough that they can be easily slaughtered and bullied into submission by countries like the USA.
Remember: when chimpanzee groups of relatively equal size encounter each other, they either back off or have a minor, indecisive skirmish.
It is only when a group of chimps encounters a smaller group that it attacks. Well, every group is smaller than the US, militarily speaking. That’s why the US attacks other countries all the time, killing and torturing millions of people and profiting from them and their stuff. Because they’re smaller so it can.
If we dislike that ugly dynamic and enjoy peace more, we should work towards equalizing the balance of power in the world, not furthering the anti-democratic US stranglehold over it. (An example of the US anti-democratic, dictatorial stranglehold over the world is the 60+ year US campaign against Cuba, started by Kennedy, which is a campaign of terrorism and genocide intended to starve and kill Cuban civilians: every year, the entire world, literally every country in the United Nations [except of course Israel], tells the USA to stop, but the USA simply continues, preferring to shit on the notions of democracy, freedom, and human rights in its usual fashion.)
Do we want the US, a terrorist force that is essentially run by corporations and thus, alone in the world, rejects the universal right to food and universal rights of children, to further control the globe so it can keep starving people? Do we want the country that imprisons more of its own people than any other country (as a way to essentially re-institute African slavery) to further dominate the planet?
Because we don’t want the United States to dominate the world doesn’t mean we want Russia or China (which, incidentally, support universal rights to food, etc.) to dominate the world, either. That is not only a straw-man argument, but is so far from happening that it is absurd: Russia has 12 foreign bases. China has zero. The USA has around 1,000, which is more than any country in history, by far, which is why the USA is the most aggressive and ruinous state.
Let’s make it our long term goal to peacefully work towards balancing the distribution of power so some groups can’t go around the world terrorizing other groups and thereby expanding their illegitimate dominanation over us all.
As for ways to oppose atrocities in the Middle East, David Swanson has proposed the best solution: a global arms embargo on the United States. 79% of the weapons that are in the Middle East, not counting the US military’s weapons, come from the United States, which is the world’s biggest weapons dealer. Cut off the flow of US weapons to the region, and that alone takes about 80% of the weapons out of the equation. Boom. (Across the board, the number one biggest way for the US to stop horrible atrocities is to stop committing and participating in them. The one problem with the solution is the state doesn’t want to do it.)
Violence is supposed to be the last possible option after every single non-violent option has been exhausted. The US, of course, has not tried or suggested David Swanson’s idea. I wonder why…
The US state goal is not peace, but domination through violence. Non-violent solutions (that, as in this case, don’t somehow support US empire-expansion) will not be implemented unless we implement them ourselves.
Robert Barsocchini is an investigative journalist and writer for the film industry. Here is his blog. Also see his free e-book, Whatever it Takes – Hillary Clinton’s Record of Support for War and other Depravities. Click here to follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.