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Chomsky...I love you.

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Re: Chomsky...I love you.

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Re: Chomsky...I love you.

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Noam Chomsky - US Israeli crime against Palestine
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Re: Chomsky...I love you.

Post by weedguru_animal » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:19 am

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Noam Chomsky, The Eve of Destruction
Humanity Imperiled : The Path to Disaster

By Noam Chomsky

June 04, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - What is the future likely to bring? A reasonable stance might be to try to look at the human species from the outside. So imagine that you’re an extraterrestrial observer who is trying to figure out what’s happening here or, for that matter, imagine you’re an historian 100 years from now -- assuming there are any historians 100 years from now, which is not obvious -- and you’re looking back at what’s happening today. You’d see something quite remarkable.



WHAT about the future: Noam Chomsky from WHAT on Vimeo.

For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. That’s been true since 1945. It’s now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence.

And there are other dangers like pandemics, which have to do with globalization and interaction. So there are processes underway and institutions right in place, like nuclear weapons systems, which could lead to a serious blow to, or maybe the termination of, an organized existence.

How to Destroy a Planet Without Really Trying

The question is: What are people doing about it? None of this is a secret. It’s all perfectly open. In fact, you have to make an effort not to see it.

There have been a range of reactions. There are those who are trying hard to do something about these threats, and others who are acting to escalate them. If you look at who they are, this future historian or extraterrestrial observer would see something strange indeed. Trying to mitigate or overcome these threats are the least developed societies, the indigenous populations, or the remnants of them, tribal societies and first nations in Canada. They’re not talking about nuclear war but environmental disaster, and they’re really trying to do something about it.

In fact, all over the world -- Australia, India, South America -- there are battles going on, sometimes wars. In India, it’s a major war over direct environmental destruction, with tribal societies trying to resist resource extraction operations that are extremely harmful locally, but also in their general consequences. In societies where indigenous populations have an influence, many are taking a strong stand. The strongest of any country with regard to global warming is in Bolivia, which has an indigenous majority and constitutional requirements that protect the “rights of nature.”

Ecuador, which also has a large indigenous population, is the only oil exporter I know of where the government is seeking aid to help keep that oil in the ground, instead of producing and exporting it -- and the ground is where it ought to be.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died recently and was the object of mockery, insult, and hatred throughout the Western world, attended a session of the U.N. General Assembly a few years ago where he elicited all sorts of ridicule for calling George W. Bush a devil. He also gave a speech there that was quite interesting. Of course, Venezuela is a major oil producer. Oil is practically their whole gross domestic product. In that speech, he warned of the dangers of the overuse of fossil fuels and urged producer and consumer countries to get together and try to work out ways to reduce fossil fuel use. That was pretty amazing on the part of an oil producer. You know, he was part Indian, of indigenous background. Unlike the funny things he did, this aspect of his actions at the U.N. was never even reported.

So, at one extreme you have indigenous, tribal societies trying to stem the race to disaster. At the other extreme, the richest, most powerful societies in world history, like the United States and Canada, are racing full-speed ahead to destroy the environment as quickly as possible. Unlike Ecuador, and indigenous societies throughout the world, they want to extract every drop of hydrocarbons from the ground with all possible speed.

Both political parties, President Obama, the media, and the international press seem to be looking forward with great enthusiasm to what they call “a century of energy independence” for the United States. Energy independence is an almost meaningless concept, but put that aside. What they mean is: we’ll have a century in which to maximize the use of fossil fuels and contribute to destroying the world.

And that’s pretty much the case everywhere. Admittedly, when it comes to alternative energy development, Europe is doing something. Meanwhile, the United States, the richest and most powerful country in world history, is the only nation among perhaps 100 relevant ones that doesn’t have a national policy for restricting the use of fossil fuels, that doesn’t even have renewable energy targets. It’s not because the population doesn’t want it. Americans are pretty close to the international norm in their concern about global warming. It’s institutional structures that block change. Business interests don’t want it and they’re overwhelmingly powerful in determining policy, so you get a big gap between opinion and policy on lots of issues, including this one.

So that’s what the future historian -- if there is one -- would see. He might also read today’s scientific journals. Just about every one you open has a more dire prediction than the last.

“The Most Dangerous Moment in History”

The other issue is nuclear war. It’s been known for a long time that if there were to be a first strike by a major power, even with no retaliation, it would probably destroy civilization just because of the nuclear-winter consequences that would follow. You can read about it in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. It’s well understood. So the danger has always been a lot worse than we thought it was.

We’ve just passed the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was called “the most dangerous moment in history” by historian Arthur Schlesinger, President John F. Kennedy’s advisor. Which it was. It was a very close call, and not the only time either. In some ways, however, the worst aspect of these grim events is that the lessons haven’t been learned.

What happened in the missile crisis in October 1962 has been prettified to make it look as if acts of courage and thoughtfulness abounded. The truth is that the whole episode was almost insane. There was a point, as the missile crisis was reaching its peak, when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev wrote to Kennedy offering to settle it by a public announcement of a withdrawal of Russian missiles from Cuba and U.S. missiles from Turkey. Actually, Kennedy hadn’t even known that the U.S. had missiles in Turkey at the time. They were being withdrawn anyway, because they were being replaced by more lethal Polaris nuclear submarines, which were invulnerable.

So that was the offer. Kennedy and his advisors considered it -- and rejected it. At the time, Kennedy himself was estimating the likelihood of nuclear war at a third to a half. So Kennedy was willing to accept a very high risk of massive destruction in order to establish the principle that we -- and only we -- have the right to offensive missiles beyond our borders, in fact anywhere we like, no matter what the risk to others -- and to ourselves, if matters fall out of control. We have that right, but no one else does.

Kennedy did, however, accept a secret agreement to withdraw the missiles the U.S. was already withdrawing, as long as it was never made public. Khrushchev, in other words, had to openly withdraw the Russian missiles while the U.S. secretly withdrew its obsolete ones; that is, Khrushchev had to be humiliated and Kennedy had to maintain his macho image. He’s greatly praised for this: courage and coolness under threat, and so on. The horror of his decisions is not even mentioned -- try to find it on the record.

And to add a little more, a couple of months before the crisis blew up the United States had sent missiles with nuclear warheads to Okinawa. These were aimed at China during a period of great regional tension.

Well, who cares? We have the right to do anything we want anywhere in the world. That was one grim lesson from that era, but there were others to come.

Ten years after that, in 1973, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger called a high-level nuclear alert. It was his way of warning the Russians not to interfere in the ongoing Israel-Arab war and, in particular, not to interfere after he had informed the Israelis that they could violate a ceasefire the U.S. and Russia had just agreed upon. Fortunately, nothing happened.

Ten years later, President Ronald Reagan was in office. Soon after he entered the White House, he and his advisors had the Air Force start penetrating Russian air space to try to elicit information about Russian warning systems, Operation Able Archer. Essentially, these were mock attacks. The Russians were uncertain, some high-level officials fearing that this was a step towards a real first strike. Fortunately, they didn’t react, though it was a close call. And it goes on like that.

What to Make of the Iranian and North Korean Nuclear Crises

At the moment, the nuclear issue is regularly on front pages in the cases of North Korea and Iran. There are ways to deal with these ongoing crises. Maybe they wouldn’t work, but at least you could try. They are, however, not even being considered, not even reported.

Take the case of Iran, which is considered in the West -- not in the Arab world, not in Asia -- the gravest threat to world peace. It’s a Western obsession, and it’s interesting to look into the reasons for it, but I’ll put that aside here. Is there a way to deal with the supposed gravest threat to world peace? Actually there are quite a few. One way, a pretty sensible one, was proposed a couple of months ago at a meeting of the non-aligned countries in Tehran. In fact, they were just reiterating a proposal that’s been around for decades, pressed particularly by Egypt, and has been approved by the U.N. General Assembly.

The proposal is to move toward establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region. That wouldn’t be the answer to everything, but it would be a pretty significant step forward. And there were ways to proceed. Under U.N. auspices, there was to be an international conference in Finland last December to try to implement plans to move toward this. What happened?

You won’t read about it in the newspapers because it wasn’t reported -- only in specialist journals. In early November, Iran agreed to attend the meeting. A couple of days later Obama cancelled the meeting, saying the time wasn’t right. The European Parliament issued a statement calling for it to continue, as did the Arab states. Nothing resulted. So we’ll move toward ever-harsher sanctions against the Iranian population -- it doesn’t hurt the regime -- and maybe war. Who knows what will happen?

In Northeast Asia, it’s the same sort of thing. North Korea may be the craziest country in the world. It’s certainly a good competitor for that title. But it does make sense to try to figure out what’s in the minds of people when they’re acting in crazy ways. Why would they behave the way they do? Just imagine ourselves in their situation. Imagine what it meant in the Korean War years of the early 1950s for your country to be totally leveled, everything destroyed by a huge superpower, which furthermore was gloating about what it was doing. Imagine the imprint that would leave behind.

Bear in mind that the North Korean leadership is likely to have read the public military journals of this superpower at that time explaining that, since everything else in North Korea had been destroyed, the air force was sent to destroy North Korea’s dams, huge dams that controlled the water supply -- a war crime, by the way, for which people were hanged in Nuremberg. And these official journals were talking excitedly about how wonderful it was to see the water pouring down, digging out the valleys, and the Asians scurrying around trying to survive. The journals were exulting in what this meant to those “Asians,” horrors beyond our imagination. It meant the destruction of their rice crop, which in turn meant starvation and death. How magnificent! It’s not in our memory, but it’s in their memory.

Let’s turn to the present. There’s an interesting recent history. In 1993, Israel and North Korea were moving towards an agreement in which North Korea would stop sending any missiles or military technology to the Middle East and Israel would recognize that country. President Clinton intervened and blocked it. Shortly after that, in retaliation, North Korea carried out a minor missile test. The U.S. and North Korea did then reach a framework agreement in 1994 that halted its nuclear work and was more or less honored by both sides. When George W. Bush came into office, North Korea had maybe one nuclear weapon and verifiably wasn’t producing any more.

Bush immediately launched his aggressive militarism, threatening North Korea -- “axis of evil” and all that -- so North Korea got back to work on its nuclear program. By the time Bush left office, they had eight to 10 nuclear weapons and a missile system, another great neocon achievement. In between, other things happened. In 2005, the U.S. and North Korea actually reached an agreement in which North Korea was to end all nuclear weapons and missile development. In return, the West, but mainly the United States, was to provide a light-water reactor for its medical needs and end aggressive statements. They would then form a nonaggression pact and move toward accommodation.

It was pretty promising, but almost immediately Bush undermined it. He withdrew the offer of the light-water reactor and initiated programs to compel banks to stop handling any North Korean transactions, even perfectly legal ones. The North Koreans reacted by reviving their nuclear weapons program. And that’s the way it’s been going.

It’s well known. You can read it in straight, mainstream American scholarship. What they say is: it’s a pretty crazy regime, but it’s also following a kind of tit-for-tat policy. You make a hostile gesture and we’ll respond with some crazy gesture of our own. You make an accommodating gesture and we’ll reciprocate in some way.

Lately, for instance, there have been South Korean-U.S. military exercises on the Korean peninsula which, from the North’s point of view, have got to look threatening. We’d think they were threatening if they were going on in Canada and aimed at us. In the course of these, the most advanced bombers in history, Stealth B-2s and B-52s, are carrying out simulated nuclear bombing attacks right on North Korea’s borders.

This surely sets off alarm bells from the past. They remember that past, so they’re reacting in a very aggressive, extreme way. Well, what comes to the West from all this is how crazy and how awful the North Korean leaders are. Yes, they are. But that’s hardly the whole story, and this is the way the world is going.

It’s not that there are no alternatives. The alternatives just aren’t being taken. That’s dangerous. So if you ask what the world is going to look like, it’s not a pretty picture. Unless people do something about it. We always can.

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. A TomDispatch regular, he is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including Hopes and Prospects, Making the Future, and most recently (with interviewer David Barsamian), Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire (The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books).

[Note: This piece was adapted (with the help of Noam Chomsky) from an online video interview done by the website What, which is dedicated to integrating knowledge from different fields with the aim of encouraging the balance between the individual, society, and the environment.]

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook or Tumblr. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.

Copyright 2013 Noam Chomsky

This article was originally published at TomDispatch

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DrS · 1 day ago
The ME region will continue to remain the hot spot.

Israel will continue to be provocative as it presses on to GREATER ISRAEL.

China and Russia will certainly be interested in the actions of Israeli leaders.

America is earning the enmity/hatred of the world by protecting Israel.

Conflict, violence and war would appear to be our fate.

If conflict doesn't do us in certainly global warming will!

Mankind needs to work together for harmony/peace or indeed it will be too late.

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ariadna · 1 day ago
Why imagine you're an extraterrestrial trying to figure out humans, as Chomsky suggests? Why not imagine you are what I hope you are -- a sane person of avergae intelligence--reading Chomsky's article and wondering why this conscience paragon of the "left," all worked up about humanity being on the edge of self-destruction, primarily with nuclear weapons, has devoted 5 paragraphs to the ... Cuban crisis during JFK's presidency and 7 paragraphs to North Korea, yet words like Israel or Dimona never came to his mind while writing this. Not a single paragraph and not a word. He is so blatantly transparent as a gate keeper that they should think of recalling him and bringing fresh blood in

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8 replies · active 3 hours ago

DrS · 1 day ago
Canada is at the forefront of a disturbing global trend designed to ensure the wealthiest corporations have access to the planet's dwindling resources to the detriment of the most vulnerable people and our deeply stressed ecosystem.

Clearly the fight for scarce resources is increasing around the world. Our capacity to negatively impact our natural environment is growing through unprecedented advancements in technology, exacerbated by mass production/mass-consumption model that underpins the capitalist model.

The over-exploitation of our natural world is moving to unprecedented level and is increasingly geared towards meeting unsustainable lifestyles of the privileged.

We are running out of enough clean water, arable land and cheap energy to satisfy the very basic needs of humanity.

We are reaching a tipping point in terms of resilience of our planetary systems to absorb our impacts and this means we cannot even begin to predict what comes next.

In this uncertainty governments see these developments though the lens of continued growth, the economy and control of resources.

We are reaching the limits of sustainability.

The 'Green Economy' won't leave a positive legacy for our children.
Shameful.

We need ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY, and RESPONSIBILITY from all leaders/politicians/governments/corporate entities soon before it is too late!!!!!!

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2 replies · active 14 hours ago

David G · 1 day ago
Great article. It identifies the problems. They are many.

DrS says: We need ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY, and RESPONSIBILITY from all leaders/politicians/governments/corporate entities soon before it is too late!!!!!!

That's what is needed but it will never come from Leaders, politicians, governments or corporate entities.

It will only happen when the proletariat rise up and depose the predators!

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alexandra · 1 day ago
Barbara Tuchman had it right: The March of Folly - we seem to be well on our way and leaders either don't get it or don't care: Apres moi le deluge

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Coilin Well · 1 day ago
It's all about the usurers and the sooner humanity wakes up to it the better,

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len · 1 day ago
Isreal is a front -stage PUPPET in a strategic location that holds power
for oil and war......As Mr. Chomsky says (in not so many words) , we all are
being pulled into the quicksand of egomania and the lust for more riches.
We, the people are the ones to suffer before the rich.....Man has a propensity for spoiling..and he's working on it..so, good luck to us all (if we're lucky)...share and save

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Carl Street · 1 day ago
To give you some idea of the psychosis of those in power...

Just PRIOR to the detonation of the FIRST nuclear bomb in New Mexico, about 30% of the scientists involved advised AGAINST detonation as there was substantial mathematics that indicated a 10% chance the detonation would trigger an atmospheric chain reaction that would completely destroy the earth's atmosphere -- and, of course EVERY living thing -- forever.

BTW, their figures have NEVER been disproven so we MIGHT just have been uncannily lucky so far...

Anyhow, the powers that be decided to proceed because "it was worth the gamble"...

Imagine that, a bunch of psychotics posing as "responsible leaders" perfectly willing to bet all life on this planet -- just so they can retain their status, power, and privileges.

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we pigs can fly · 1 day ago
No mention of the real reasons Israel and the fascist west want their Iranian colony back.

Fail.

=In Northeast Asia, it’s the same sort of thing. North Korea may be the craziest country in the world. It’s certainly a good competitor for that title.=

Only a zionist or a similarly bigoted fascist would not see how that fails.

I'm embarrassed that I once thought this man was a credible source of information.

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ariadna · 20 hours ago
Benalbanach says to me:
"your particular bête noir is Israel and Chomsky didn't give it enough mention to satisfy you. Why trash the rest of his article ... his concerns are real and articulately voiced. ?"

I take it then that ben's particular"bête" is light blue: concealment of truth. He describes Chomsky's NEVER mentioning Israel --1. the ONLY nuclear power in the volatile ME; and 2. a rogue nuclear power who refuses to join any non-prolif. treaty or permit inspections--while going on and on (I quantified it) about ... Cuba and North Korea, as just not having mentioned Israel "enough." I guess technically 'never' is 'not enough.'
And what exactly about this article knocked ben's socks off? Must be Chomsky's CONCEALMENT of truth.
I think some of Chomsky's contributions to linguistics are well recognized. Where he gets short shrift and does not get "enough" recognition in the linguistics domain is in the specialized field of HASBARA.

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Re: Chomsky...I love you.

Post by weedguru_animal » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:20 am

Snowden Will be Granted the Full Protection of American Law

By Noam Chomsky

August 02, 2013 "Information Clearing House - On July 9, the Organization of American States held a special session to discuss the shocking behavior of the European states that had refused to allow the government plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales to enter their airspace.

Morales was flying home from a Moscow summit on July 3. In an interview there he had said he was open to offering political asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the former U.S. spy-agency contractor wanted by Washington on espionage charges, who was in the Moscow airport.

The OAS expressed its solidarity with Morales, condemned “actions that violate the basic rules and principles of international law such as the inviolability of Heads of State,” and “firmly” called on the European governments - France, Italy, Portugal and Spain - to explain their actions and issue apologies.

An emergency meeting of UNASUR - the Union of South American Nations - denounced “the flagrant violation of international treaties” by European powers.

Latin American heads of state weighed in, too. President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil expressed the country’s “indignation and condemnation of the situation imposed on President Evo Morales by some European countries” and warned that this “serious lack of respect for the law . compromises dialogue between the two continents and possible negotiations between them.”

Commentators were less reserved. Argentine political scientist Atilio Boron dismissed Europe as “the whore of Babylon,” cringing before power.

With virtually identical reservations, two states refused to sign the OAS resolution: the United States and Canada. Their growing isolation in the hemisphere as Latin America frees itself from the imperial yoke after 500 years is of historic significance.

Morales’ plane, reporting technical problems, was permitted to land in Austria. Bolivia charges that the plane was searched to discover whether Snowden was on board. Austria responds that “there was no formal inspection.” Whatever happened followed warnings delivered from Washington. Beyond that the story is murky.

Washington has made clear that any country that refuses to extradite Snowden will face harsh punishment. The United States will “chase him to the ends of the earth,” Sen. Lindsey Graham warned.

But U.S. government spokespersons assured the world that Snowden will be granted the full protection of American law - referring to those same laws that have kept U.S. Army soldier Bradley Manning (who released a vast archive of U.S. military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks) in prison for three years, much of it in solitary confinement under humiliating conditions. Long gone is the archaic notion of a speedy trial before a jury of peers. On July 30 a military judge found Manning guilty of charges that could lead to a maximum sentence of 136 years.

Like Snowden, Manning committed the crime of revealing to Americans - and others - what their government is doing. That is a severe breach of “security” in the operative meaning of the term, familiar to anyone who has pored over declassified documents. Typically “security” means security of government officials from the prying eyes of the public to whom they are answerable - in theory.

Governments always plead security as an excuse - in the Snowden case, security from terrorist attack. This pretext comes from an administration carrying out a grand international terrorist campaign with drones and special operations forces that is generating potential terrorists at every step.

Their indignation knows no bounds at the thought that someone wanted by the United States should receive asylum in Bolivia, which has an extradition treaty with the U.S. Oddly missing from the tumult is the fact that extradition works both ways - again, in theory.

Last September, the United States rejected Bolivia’s 2008 petition to extradite former president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada - “Goni” - to face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. It would, however, be an error to compare Bolivia’s request for extradition with Washington’s, even if we were to suppose that the cases have comparable merit.

The reason was provided by St. Augustine in his tale about the pirate asked by Alexander the Great, “How dare you molest the sea?” The pirate replied, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a little ship only, I am called a thief; you, doing it with a great navy, are called an Emperor.”

St. Augustine calls the pirate’s answer “elegant and excellent.” But the ancient philosopher, a bishop in Roman Africa, is only a voice from the global South, easily dismissed. Modern sophisticates comprehend that the Emperor has rights that little folk like Bolivians cannot aspire to.

Goni is only one of many that the Emperor chooses not to extradite. Another case is that of Luis Posada Carriles, described by Peter Kornbluh, an analyst of Latin American terror, as “one of the most dangerous terrorists in recent history.”

Posada is wanted by Venezuela and Cuba for his role in the 1976 bombing of a Cubana commercial airliner, killing 73 people. The CIA and FBI identified him as a suspect. But Cubans and Venezuelans also lack the prerogatives of the Emperor, who organized and backed the reign of terror to which Cubans have been subjected since liberation.

The late Orlando Bosch, Posada’s partner in terrorism, also benefited from the Emperor’s benevolence. The Justice Department and FBI requested that he be deported as a threat to U.S. security, charging him with dozens of terrorist acts. In 1990, after President George H.W. Bush overturned the deportation order, Bosch lived the rest of his life happily in Miami, undisturbed by calls for extradition by Cuba and Costa Rica, two mere pirates.

Another insignificant pirate is Italy, now seeking the extradition of 23 CIA operatives indicted for kidnapping Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, an Egyptian cleric in Milan, whom they rendered to Egypt for torture (he was later found to be innocent). Good luck, Italy.

There are other cases, but the crime of rendition returns us to the matter of Latin American independence. The Open Society Institute recently released a study called “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition.” It reviewed global participation in the crime, which was very broad, including among European countries.

Latin American scholar Greg Grandin pointed out that one region was absent from the list of shame: Latin America. That is doubly remarkable. Latin America had long been the reliable “backyard” for the United States. If any of the locals sought to raise their heads, they would be decapitated by terror or military coup. And as it was under U.S. control throughout the latter half of the last century, Latin America was one of the torture capitals of the world.

That’s no longer the case, as the United States and Canada are being virtually expelled from the hemisphere.

Noam Chomsky's is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
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Re: Chomsky...I love you.

Post by cutthecashflow » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:15 pm

Chomsky, the doctor of modern language. Keep them coming Animal.
Get busy living or get busy dying.

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Re: Chomsky...I love you.

Post by weedguru_animal » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:53 am

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WeedGuru_Flow
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Posts: 8728
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 5:41 pm
Location: Belgium
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Re: Chomsky...I love you.

Post by WeedGuru_Flow » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:46 am

I like how he speaks strongly on pseudo-taboo subjects.
Computer games don't affect kids. I mean, if Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we would all be running around darkened rooms, munching magic pills, and listening to repetitive electronic music.

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