Collateral Language: War & Propaganda
Noam Chomsky examines the use of language during wartime. Reports in the corporate media reveal another victim of the invasion of Iraq: language. The use of words is a powerful tool in shaping public opinion. In military briefings repeated by the media, we have “collateral damage” instead of civilian deaths. There was no assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein, the military took advantage of a “leadership target of opportunity.” A “coalition of the willing” is a coalition of the bribed and coerced. It all makes the bloody reality of war a more palatable sell to the American public. Interview by David Barsamian.
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 Works, Power Systems and Global Discontents with David Barsamian.