The MIT Interviews
In Part One, Chomsky discusses the real reasons for the U.S. invasion of Panama, the process of how and why Noriega went from being a “good guy” to a “bad guy” who had to be deposed, the media support and cooperation with the Bush Administration and, most riveting of all, the grotesque hypocrisy of the “war on drugs.” He presents his views clearly and in a straightforward manner, illustrating his points with many examples.
In Part Two, he discusses the driving need of American policymakers to find an enemy in order to propel the Pentagon. Since the demise of the Soviet threat, there has been a scramble to develop credible and truly scary alternatives. So we careen from Libyan hit squads to the Sandinistas to Medellín drug lords to Noriega to Saddam. Nothing has quite the staying power of the “Evil Empire.” This segment contains fascinating personal information about Chomsky’s roots and early influences and provides insight into Chomsky, the man and his thought. February 1-2, 1990.
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 91, he is still active; writing and giving interviews to the media all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, including Propaganda & the Public Mind, How the World Works, Power Systems and Global Discontents with David Barsamian.