Saturday, October 28, 2006

Chomsky On "Terrorism"

Chomsky On "Terrorism"
By Saad Sayeed10/26/06 "Excalibur"
-- -- Known in academic circles for his contribution to the field of linguistics, MIT professor Noam Chomsky is widely recognized as one of the most influential political dissidents of our time. In this interview, Chomsky talks about the roots of terrorism and the role of the intellectual in society. "The problem lies in the unwillingness to recognise that your own terrorism is terrorism" Excalibur (Ex): How important is an understanding of the role of states such as the U.S. and the U.K. when examining the question of terrorism? Chomsky (Ch): It depends on whether we want to be honest and truthful or whether we want to just serve state power ( . . . ) We should look at all forms of terrorism. I have been writing on terrorism for 25 years, ever since the Reagan administration came in 1981 and declared that the leading focus of its foreign policy was going to be a war on terror. A war against state directed terrorism which they called the plague of the modern world because of their barbarism and so on. That was the centre of their foreign policy and ever since I have been writing about terrorism. But what I write causes extreme anger for the very simple reason that I use the U.S. government's official definition of terrorism from the official U.S. code of laws. If you use that definition, it follows very quickly that the U.S. is the leading terrorist state and a major sponsor of terrorism and since that conclusion is unacceptable, it arouses furious anger. But the problem lies in the unwillingness to recognize that your own terrorism is terrorism. This is not just true of the United States, it's true quite generally. Terrorism is something that they do to us. In both cases, it's terrorism and we have to get over that if we're serious about the question...