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#474699 - 09/21/01 01:42 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
Charles Reece Offline
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Just to demonstrate the simplistic analysis of Chomsky’s opinion Hitchens offers (please read the whole interview at the site):

From www.counterpunch.com

Interviewing Chomsky

Radio B92, Belgrade

Q: Why do you think these attacks happened?

Chomksy: To answer the question we must first identify the perpetrators of the crimes. It is generally assumed, plausibly, that their origin is the Middle East region, and that the attacks probably trace back to the Osama Bin Laden network, a widespread and complex organization, doubtless inspired by Bin Laden but not necessarily acting under his control. Let us assume that this is true. Then to answer your question a sensible person would try to ascertain Bin Laden's views, and the sentiments of the large reservoir of supporters he has throughout the region. About all of this, we have a great deal of information. Bin Laden has been interviewed extensively over the years by highly reliable Middle East specialists, notably the most eminent correspondent in the region, Robert Fisk (London _Independent_), who has intimate knowledge of the entire region and direct experience over decades. A Saudi Arabian millionaire, Bin Laden became a militant Islamic leader in the war to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan. He was one of the many religious fundamentalist extremists recruited, armed, and financed by the CIA and their allies in Pakistani intelligence to cause maximal harm to the Russians -- quite possibly delaying their withdrawal, many analysts suspect -- though whether he personally happened to have direct contact with the CIA is unclear, and not particularly important. Not surprisingly, the CIA preferred the most fanatic and cruel fighters they could mobilize. The end result was to "destroy a moderate regime and create a fanatical one, from groups recklessly financed by the Americans" (_London Times_ correspondent Simon Jenkins, also a specialist on the region). These "Afghanis" as they are called (many, like Bin Laden, not from Afghanistan) carried out terror operations across the border in Russia, but they terminated these after Russia withdrew. Their war was not against Russia, which they despise, but against the Russian occupation and Russia's crimes against Muslims.

The "Afghanis" did not terminate their activities, however. They joined Bosnian Muslim forces in the Balkan Wars; the US did not object, just as it tolerated Iranian support for them, for complex reasons that we need not pursue here, apart from noting that concern for the grim fate of the Bosnians was not prominent among them. The "Afghanis" are also fighting the Russians in Chechnya, and, quite possibly, are involved in carrying out terrorist attacks in Moscow and elsewhere in Russian territory. Bin Laden and his "Afghanis" turned against the US in 1990 when they established permanent bases in Saudi Arabia -- from his point of view, a counterpart to the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, but far more significant because of Saudi Arabia's special status as the guardian of the holiest shrines.

Bin Laden is also bitterly opposed to the corrupt and repressive regimes of the region, which he regards as "un-Islamic," including the Saudi Arabian regime, the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist regime in the world, apart from the Taliban, and a close US ally since its origins. Bin Laden despises the US for its support of these regimes. Like others in the region, he is also outraged by long-standing US support for Israel's brutal military occupation, now in its 35th year: Washington's decisive diplomatic, military, and economic intervention in support of the killings, the harsh and destructive siege over many years, the daily humiliation to which Palestinians are subjected, the expanding settlements designed to break the occupied territories into Bantustan-like cantons and take control of the resources, the gross violation of the Geneva Conventions, and other actions that are recognized as crimes throughout most of the world, apart from the US, which has prime responsibility for them. And like others, he contrasts Washington's dedicated support for these crimes with the decade-long US-British assault against the civilian population of Iraq, which has devastated the society and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths while strengthening Saddam Hussein -- who was a favored friend and ally of the US and Britain right through his worst atrocities, including the gassing of the Kurds, as people of the region also remember well, even if Westerners prefer to forget the facts. These sentiments are very widely shared. The _Wall Street Journal_ (Sept. 14) published a survey of opinions of wealthy and privileged Muslims in the Gulf region (bankers, professionals, businessmen with close links to the U.S.). They expressed much the same views: resentment of the U.S. policies of supporting Israeli crimes and blocking the international consensus on a diplomatic settlement for many years while devastating Iraqi civilian society, supporting harsh and repressive anti-democratic regimes throughout the region, and imposing barriers against economic development by "propping up oppressive regimes." Among the great majority of people suffering deep poverty and oppression, similar sentiments are far more bitter, and are the source of the fury and despair that has led to suicide bombings, as commonly understood by those who are interested in the facts.

The U.S., and much of the West, prefers a more comforting story. To quote the lead analysis in the _New York Times_ (Sept. 16), the perpetrators acted out of "hatred for the values cherished in the West as freedom, tolerance, prosperity, religious pluralism and universal suffrage." U.S. actions are irrelevant, and therefore need not even be mentioned (Serge Schmemann). This is a convenient picture, and the general stance is not unfamiliar in intellectual history; in fact, it is close to the norm. It happens to be completely at variance with everything we know, but has all the merits of self-adulation and uncritical support for power.

It is also widely recognized that Bin Laden and others like him are praying for "a great assault on Muslim states," which will cause "fanatics to flock to his cause" (Jenkins, and many others.). That too is familiar. The escalating cycle of violence is typically welcomed by the harshest and most brutal elements on both sides, a fact evident enough from the recent history of the Balkans, to cite only one of many cases.
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#474700 - 09/21/01 01:45 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
Beck Atcha Offline
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Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 1053
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Knowles:
And this, I promise, is my last statement on the matter.


See you soon.

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#474701 - 09/21/01 01:46 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
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Jean-Marc, just for you.

Q: "The world will never be the same after 11.09.01". Do you think so?

Chomsky: The horrendous terrorist attacks on Tuesday are something quite new in world affairs, not in their scale and character, but in the target. For the US, this is the first time since the War of 1812 that its national territory has been under attack, even threat. Its colonies have been attacked, but not the national territory itself. During these years the US virtually exterminated the indigenous population, conquered half of Mexico, intervened violently in the surrounding region, conquered Hawaii and the Philippines (killing hundreds of thousands of Filipinos), and in the past half century particularly, extended its resort to force throughout much of the world. The number of victims is colossal. For the first time, the guns have been directed the other way. The same is true, even more dramatically, of Europe. Europe has suffered murderous destruction, but from internal wars, meanwhile conquering much of the world with extreme brutality. It has not been under attack by its victims outside, with rare exceptions (the IRA in England, for example). It is therefore natural that NATO should rally to the support of the US; hundreds of years of imperial violence have an enormous impact on the
intellectual and moral culture.
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#474702 - 09/21/01 01:48 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
Charles Reece Offline
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And, most importantly, why self-reflection is necessary during times of crisis:

Q: After the first shock, came fear of what the U.S. answer is going to be. Are you afraid, too?

Chomsky: The U.S. has already demanded that Pakistan terminate the food and other supplies that are keeping at least some of the starving and suffering people of Afghanistan alive. If that demand is implemented, unknown numbers of people who have not the remotest connection to terrorism will die, possibly millions. Let me repeat: the U.S. has demanded that Pakistan kill possibly millions of people who are themselves victims of the Taliban.

[emphasis Chomsky's, bold mine]


[This message has been edited by Charles Reece (edited 09-21-2001).]
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#474703 - 09/21/01 01:56 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
Jeff Zugale Offline
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Registered: 12/06/98
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Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Quote:
(I dunno about anyone else, but "Department of Homeland Defense" sounds very Soviet-like to me).


Well, maybe, if terrorist incidents weren't happening here...but since they are, it sounds very reasonable to me.


It sounds reasonable as long as it's a temporary measure. However, once a Cabinet-level bureaucracy is created, it rarely goes away.

The "Office of Homeland Security" is a very dangerous thing indeed; it will be a security organization created to keep an eye on Americans and on foreign nationals living in America who are suspected to be terrorists - and probably also anti-government agitators. If the OHS begins building its own corps of agents, it may become something of a Secret State Police/Investigative force, with extraordinary powers to investigate and mount surveillance on anyone suspected of being connected to any organization deemed to have a terrorist bent. Note that as a Cabinet-level position, the head of the OHS will be at the same level as the Attorney General (who leads the Department of Justice) and the Secretary of the Treasury (who controls the ATF, the Customs Service and the Secret Service), thus creating an autonomous security force under almost direct control of the President - with extraordinary powers granted under this "state of emergency" for as long as it lasts.

If I thought this terrorist problem was something that could be solved quickly, then I wouldn't have as much of a problem with this special new Office. However, the "war on terrorism" is likely to last for many years, possibly 10-20 years (!), and by the end of it, the OHS will be entrenched and likely thoroughly entwined in our lives. My guess is that the OHS is going to be permanent - and that will make it exploitable by the unscrupulous. They're going to be collecting information about an awful lot of people, perhaps on every American, and not necessarily within the already-established rules that bind the FBI and other agencies.

For that matter, why can't the Justice Department (and State (CIA) and Treasury) handle this with their existing assets and procedures? OK, maybe they dropped the ball before the attack, but don't they have the information resources and experience to take care of "homeland security"? There's a Justice division called "Office for State and Local Domestic Preparedness Support"; doesn't that sound like it would be applicable? In fact, look at its web page: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/osldps/ ; the mission statement is "Enhancing the capacity of state and local first responders to respond to incidents of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction." I think the DOJ, given some more budget and beefing up the number of agents etc. - expanding the resources - should be capable of attending to "homeland security."

So why a new office? Possible ulterior motive: to specifically create a new agency that monitors the American populace for (ostensibly) terrorists, which is NOT confined under the rules and laws that govern our other law enforcement and security agencies, but operates under its own rules. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but this makes my Spidey-sense tingle. And it should raise your Wolverine hairs too. It don't smell right. It seems "very reasonable," and that's what worries me. Lots of things seem "reasonable" on the face of them, and turn out to be something entirely else. Think about what it might mean in ten years.

When I hear "Homeland," I can't help but hear the echo "Fatherland"... and "Office of Homeland Security" sure rings like "Geheim Staatz Polizei" - better known as the Gestapo.

Let's keep a very close eye on this one, Americans. Let's not let this threat cause us to willingly give up civil freedoms that we may NEVER GET BACK.

------------------
Jeff Zugale
Pagan City Comics
www.pagancity.com
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#474704 - 09/21/01 02:19 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
Korvac Offline
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This is the Chomsky interview you implied was treasonous Chris K? This reasoned and insightful analysis of how the average Moslem's anger at American support of repressive regimes contributed to what happened on 9/11?

Maybe its because he turns around your unsubtle jabs at how 'all Moslem countries are undemocratic' to the reason why - U.S. support of repressive regimes.
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#474705 - 09/21/01 03:02 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
Pat ONeill Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 3064
Loc: PA, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by JM Lofficier:
Leaving our little internecine quarrels aside, I am increasingly worried by what I see:

-- the stark incomprehension displayed by Those in Power of the motives of the terrorists and, more generally, of those who hate America -- the Japanese used kamikaze pilots in WWII; they were educated, had families, etc, etc. what is so hard to grasp here?


I think the PTB completely comprehend the motives of the terrorists: They are opposed to anything that challenges their ability to control the thoughts and actions of their subjects (or those they would like to be their subjects). Nothing challenges that ability more than the American culture of openness, free elections, free trade, etc.

Which is why I am in almost total agreement with this:

Quote:
-- the total overeaction of the authorities, both in rethoric and in so-called safety measures verging on the fascistic -- maybe it's playing to the hysterics, maybe not -- when the current arsenal of laws etc. is quite sufficient to do the job, thank you. Ask the French and the British, they've been living with terrorism for three decades -- hell *I* grew up with the OAS trying to blow De Gaulle -- and they haven't had to worry about plastic knives either.


As Franklin put it: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759)

I am appalled at the number of places and people who now think it's perfectly OK to ask innocent people to prove their right to be somewhere--even a public building--by showing an ID card. This is nothing more than the fascistic demand that all citizens carry their "papers" at all times.

On the other hand,

Quote:
-- if we have reasonably convincing evidence of Bon Laden's involvement (and I'm sure we do) where the hell is it?! Why don't we put on a show for the world with blown-up photos, etc like we did at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis? What's wrong with making a case? Where's the downside?


I suspect we will make the case in private to the necessary people and authorities. Why not do it in public? Again, I suspect the government is concerned with tipping its hand as to sources of information.
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#474706 - 09/21/01 03:06 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
Talon T M Offline
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Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 702
Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Hogan:
Your reading comprehension is about as good as Samuel's.


And about as good as yours as well, I suppose. I had other people in mind besides Moore...Bill Maher being one. Regardless, my statement still stands...using this tragedy to attack anyone is slimy.

Quote:

It was a stupid thing to say, although not as stupid as saying that people you disagree with have angered God and caused him to remove his magic force field from the US.


Unless those people (who themselves disagree with God) have in fact done such. In any case, Falwell would do well to use the example of Jeremiah. He preached doom, gloom, and judgement from God (who would be using those pagan Babylonians) until it actually happened...THEN Jeremiah preached *hope* and forgiveness to a shell-shocked nation...and NOT "I told ya so!"

TTM
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#474707 - 09/21/01 03:37 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
ChrisW Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Pat ONeill:
Nah--it'd be a conspiracy theory only if I'd suggested the baseball owners had planned the terrorist attacks in order to create a climate in which they coulod put their "security" plans in effect.

IMO, they're just profiteering from the aftermath, not unlike the gas stations in some areas that immediately doubled prices. Difference is that the gas stations got called on it, and the baseball owners won't be.


Well shucks, that takes all the fun out of it. Nothing left to do I guess but go up on deck and rearrange the deck chairs.
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#474708 - 09/21/01 03:47 PM Re: Go watch the news, right now.
ChrisW Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
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Quote:
Originally posted by Talon T M:
Agreed. Everyone seems to be in the "better safe than sorry" mode right now. I hope this changes real fast.

Oh, and in the "Let's blame someone else" Department, from a source other than the disrespected NEWSMAX, comes this from the BOSTON GLOBE:

Allies, critics say Clinton fell short in terror fight

TTM


ditto, change that back. Football game last night, reportedly people had backpacks, purses, jackets, everything checked.

Also does anyone else find interesting the timing? The way Clinton was confessing to his wife that he got his dick sucked by a woman other than her, at the same time he made a really wussy strike on a self-proclaimed enemy of America?
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