War Crimes & Imperial Fantasies
When official enemies commit crimes, they must be punished. That is an unquestioned staple of public discourse. Occasionally, as in the torture and killing of prisoners in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan, a few bad apples tarnish the reputation of the United States but the doctrine of our basic goodness prevails. In an underreported revelation, recently released documents from the Nixon White House, unambiguously make clear that an order for genocide came directly from the Oval Office. Unhappy with the air force, Nixon tells Kissinger, “I want them to hit everything” in Cambodia. The faithful servant immediately conveyed the message to the Pentagon: “A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.” Rarely in history has a direct order for mass murder been discovered and published. The reaction from the political elites, the punditocracy and the media? Undetectable. These interviews by David Barsamian were recorded at MIT.
Part 1: 12 Feb 2004
Part 2: 11 June 2004
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. His contributions to modern linguistics are legendary. 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.” The New Statesman calls him “the conscience of the American people.” He is 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 93, he is still active; writing and giving interviews to the media all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, his latest are Consequences of Capitalism, Chronicles of Dissent and Notes on Resistance.