Lebanon & the Crisis in Middle East
The Middle East is a war zone. The region is drenched in conflict and the threat of conflict. According to the Bush administration, the evildoers Syria and Iran and their proxies in Iraq and in Lebanon are the “root cause” of the violence. It’s a relief to learn that the massive U.S. naval, air, and ground forces in and ringing the region are not a factor. And anyway, the White House adds, relying on the old standby, they hate us because of our freedom. Maybe the president didn’t see the Pentagon advisory panel report issued last year which said, “Muslims do not hate our freedom but rather they hate our policies,” adding “when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.”
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 is a major contributor to 21st century 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 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.