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The Post-Cold War in Central America

Program #CHON050. Recorded in Cambridge, MA on January 29, 1990.

The invasion of Panama was the first U.S. military action not justified by the threat from the Soviet Union. Noriega, a former Washington "asset" and "minor drug figure" was made into the "worst monster since Attila the Hun." The press, says Chomsky, "went along with appropriate jingoist hysteria and…rapturous enthusiasm." He traces U.S. policy in the region and elsewhere and predicts what is likely to follow absent the USSR. Washington's main concern was in the past, and still is "nationalist regimes which are responsive to the demands of their populations." This is Chomsky at his prescient best.


Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud. The legendary MIT professor practically invented modern linguistics. In addition to his pioneering work in that field he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. Chris Hedges says he is “America’s greatest intellectual” who “makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.” He is Institute Professor (emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Haury Chair in the Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. At 90, he still gives lectures all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, including Propaganda & the Public Mind, How the World WorksPower Systems and Global Discontents with David Barsamian.

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