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  1. Noam Chomsky, 9 11.
    p16 "[An] act of terrorism, means any activity that (A) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State; and (B) appears to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or (...)
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  2. Noam Chomsky, Aggression and Response.
    Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990 evoked a strong response from the industrial powers; in fact, two rather different responses. The first was an array of economic sanctions of unprecedented severity. The second was the threat of war. Both responses were initiated at once, even before Iraq's annexation of the invaded country. The first response had broad support. The second is pretty much limited to the U.S. and Britain, apart from the family dictatorships that had been placed in (...)
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  3. Noam Chomsky, A Century Later.
    Ten years before, Secretary of State James Blaine had observed that "there are only three places that are of value enough to be taken. One is Hawaii. The others are Cuba and Puerto Rico." Shortly after, the United States Minister informed Washington that "[t]he Hawaiian pear is now fully ripe and this is the golden hour for the United States to pluck it." In July 1898, troops imposed martial law followed by formal annexation. Celebrating their victory over the indigenous (...)
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  4. Noam Chomsky, A Dangerous Neighbourhood.
    The ad describes a programme, encouraged by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to sell heating oil at discount prices to low-income communities in Boston, the South Bronx and elsewhere in the United States — one of the more ironic gestures ever in the North-South dialogue. The deal developed after a group of US senators sent a letter to nine major oil companies asking them to donate a portion of their recent record profits to help poor residents cover heating bills. The only (...)
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  5. Noam Chomsky, America in Decline.
    Truthout, August 5, 2011 "It is a common theme" that the United States, which "only a few years ago was hailed to stride the world as a colossus with unparalleled power and unmatched appeal is in decline, ominously facing the prospect of its final decay," Giacomo Chiozza writes in the current Political Science Quarterly.
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  6. Noam Chomsky, An Island Lies Bleeding.
    Two years ago, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said that his government faced an important choice on East Timor, which had become "like a sharp piece of gravel in our shoes." Benedict Anderson, a leading specialist on Indonesia, took this to be one of many signs of second thoughts: "Alatas doesn't spell out what the choice is," Anderson commented, "but he's implying you should take your shoe off and get rid of the gravel.".
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  7. Noam Chomsky, A Just War? Hardly.
    Concepts aside, actions in the real world all too often reinforce the maxim of Thucydides that "The strong do as they can, while the weak suffer what they must" — which is not only indisputably unjust, but at the present stage of human civilisation, a literal threat to the survival of the species.
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  8. Noam Chomsky, A Modest Proposal.
    As history shows, it is all too easy for unscrupulous leaders to terrify the public. And that is the natural method to divert attention from the fact that tax cuts for the rich and other devices are undermining prospects for a decent life for the middle class and the poor, and for future generations. Economist Paul Krugman reported that "literally before the dust had settled" over the World Trade Center ruins, influential Republicans signaled that they were "determined to use terrorism (...)
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  9. Noam Chomsky, All Options on the Table?
    The Bush administration was widely praised for having shifted to a more conciliatory stand -- namely, by allowing a US diplomat to attend without participating -- while Iran was castigated for failing to negotiate seriously. And the powers warned Iran that it would soon face more severe sanctions unless it terminated its uranium enrichment programs.
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  10. Noam Chomsky, After Pinkville.
    more precise, this is what they heard if they heard anything at all. On the Boston Common, for example, they..
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  11. Noam Chomsky, A Visit to Laos.
    I arrived in Vientiane in late March, 1970, with two friends, Douglas Dowd and Richard Fernandez, expecting to take the International Control Commission plane to Hanoi the following day. The Indian bureaucrat in charge of the weekly ICC flight immediately informed us, however, that this was not to be. The DRV delegation had returned from Pnompenh to Hanoi on the previous flight after the sacking of the Embassy by Cambodian troops (disguised as civilians), and the flight we intended to (...)
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  12. Noam Chomsky, A Wall as a Weapon.
    Few would question Israel's right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks like the one yesterday, even to build a security wall if that were an appropriate means. It is also clear where such a wall would be built if security were the guiding concern: inside Israel, within the internationally recognized border, the Green Line established after the 1948-49 war. The wall could then be as forbidding as the authorities chose: patrolled by the army on both sides, heavily (...)
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  13. Noam Chomsky, Blinded by the Truth.
    Barak's plan was not given in detail, but the outlines are familiar: they conform to the "final status map" presented by the US-Israel as the basis for the Camp David negotiations that collapsed in July. This plan, extending US-Israeli rejectionist proposals of earlier years, called for cantonisation of the territories that Israel had conquered in 1967, with mechanisms to ensure that usable land and resources (primarily water) remain largely in Israeli hands while the population is administered by a corrupt (...)
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  14. Noam Chomsky, Bush's Bankrupt Vision.
    The trip had two principal destinations, each chosen to celebrate a major anniversary: Israel, the 60th anniversary of its founding and recognition by the United States, and Saudi Arabia, the 75th anniversary of US recognition of the newly founded kingdom. The choices made good sense in the light of history and the enduring character of US Middle East policy: control of oil, and support of the proxies who help maintain it.
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  15. Noam Chomsky, Beyond the Ballot.
    Within a few months this "single question" was answered the wrong way. Then, very quickly, the real reason for the invasion became Bush’s "messianic mission" to bring democracy to Iraq and the Middle East. Even apart from the timing, the democratisation bandwagon runs up against the fact that the United States has tried, in every possible way, to prevent elections in Iraq.
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  16. Noam Chomsky, Breaking the Israel-Palestine Deadlock.
    The "delegitimation," which is progressing rapidly, was carried forward in December by a Human Rights Watch call on the U.S."to suspend financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of Israel's spending in support of settlements," and to monitor contributions to Israel from tax-exempt U.S. organizations that violate international law, "including prohibitions against discrimination" -- which would cast a wide net. Amnesty International had already called for an arms embargo on Israel. The legitimation process also took a long (...)
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  17. Noam Chomsky, Cambodia.
    Our fear of Communism, partly as an expression of our general fear of the future, will continue to inspire us to aggressive anti-Communist policies in Asia and elsewhere, [and] the American people will be led to think and may honestly believe that the support of anti-Communist governments in Asia will somehow defend the American way of life. This line of American policy will lead to American aid to establish regimes which attempt to suppress the popular movements in Indonesia, Indochina, the (...)
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  18. Noam Chomsky, Can a Democrat Change US Middle East Policy?
    "Eighty-one per cent say when making 'an important decision' government leaders 'should pay attention to public opinion polls because this will help them get a sense of the public's views,"' reports the Program on International Policy Attitudes, in Washington.
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  19. Noam Chomsky, Clinton's Bottom Line.
    November 17 was a grand day in the career of Bill Clinton, the day when he proved that he is a man of firm principle, and that his "vision" -- the term has become a journalistic reflex -- has real substance. "President Emerges As a Tough Fighter," the New York Times announced on the front page the next day. Washington correspondent R.W. Apple wrote that Clinton had now silenced his detractors, who had scorned him for his apparent willingness to (...)
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  20. Noam Chomsky, Challenges For Barack Obama: Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    Diplomacy is the only sane alternative to the cycle of violence from the Middle East to Central Asia that threatens to engulf the world. A corollary is to recognize that violence only begets violence. It would also help if the Obama administration, and the West, faced up to the unannounced issues that drive policy in the region.
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  21. Noam Chomsky, Crisis in the Balkans.
    In the preceding year, according to Western sources, about 2,000 people had been killed in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo and there were several hundred thousand internal refugees. The humanitarian catastrophe was overwhelmingly attributable to Yugoslav military and police forces, the main victims being ethnic Albanian Kosovars, commonly said to constitute about 90 percent of the population. After three days of bombing, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, several thousand refugees had been expelled to Albania and Macedonia, the (...)
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  22. Noam Chomsky, Commentary: Moral Truisms, Empirical Evidence, and Foreign Policy.
    Many studies of world politics fail to take evidence seriously or consider basic moral truisms (for example, that the standards we apply to others we must apply to ourselves). This commentary illustrates these assessments in relation to two subjects which have attracted much interest in the West recently – terrorism and just war to combat terrorism. The evidence shows that the United States has engaged extensively in terrorism and that application of just war principles would entitle the victims of that (...)
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  23. Noam Chomsky, Chomsky on the Mind–Body Problem.
    Some people say that the founding document of twentieth-century cognitive science was Chomsky’s (1959) review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior. (Certainly it converted me.2) By any measure, Chomsky was a leading figure in the victory of cognitivism over behaviorism in psychology. In philosophy too, Chomsky led the attack against Quine’s behaviorism regarding language and language learning.3 Moreover, Chomsky’s (1957, 1965) expressly computational view of language processing was a major inspiration for Functionalism in the philosophy of mind, as founded by Hilary Putnam (...)
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  24. Noam Chomsky, Coups, UNASUR, and the U.S.
    It is instructive to compare the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) with that of the African Union (AU). The latter permits intervention by African states within the Union itself in exceptional circumstances. In contrast, the Charter of the OAS bars intervention "for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state." The reasons for the difference are clear. The OAS Charter seeks to deter intervention from the "colossus of the North" -- and has (...)
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  25. Noam Chomsky, Cold War II.
    During Cold War I, the task was to contain two awesome forces. The lesser and more moderate force was “an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost.†Hence “if the United States is to survive,†it will have to adopt a “repugnant philosophy†and reject “acceptable norms of human conduct†and the “long-standing American concepts of `fair play’†that had been exhibited with such searing clarity in the conquest of the national territory, (...)
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  26. Noam Chomsky, Distortions at Fourth Hand.
    Butterfield claims that "there is little verifiable information on the new economic zones -- no full-time American correspondents have been admitted since the war -- but they are evidently not popular." While it is true that American correspondents are not welcomed in Vietnam, there is nonetheless ample expert eyewitness testimony, including that of journalists of international repute, visiting Vietnamese professors from Canada, American missionaries and others who have traveled through the country where they worked for many years. Jean and Simonne (...)
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  27. Noam Chomsky, Dominance and its Dilemmas.
    invasion, “the petri dish in which this experiment in pre-emptive policy grew.â€1 And the campaign opened for the midterm congressional elections, which would determine whether the administration would be able to carry forward its radical international and domestic agenda.
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  28. Noam Chomsky, Deep Concerns.
    As for the outcomes, it will be a long time before preliminary judgments can be made. One immediate task is to lend what weight we can to more benign outcomes. That means, primarily, caring for the needs of the victims, not just of this war but of Washington’s vicious and destructive sanctions regime of the past ten years, which has has devastated the civilian society, strengthened the ruling tyrant, and compelled the population to rely on him for survival. As has (...)
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  29. Noam Chomsky, Domestic Constituencies.
    There is a "public arena" in which, in principle, individuals can participate in decisions that involve the general society: how public revenues are obtained and used, what foreign policy will be, etc. In a world of nationstates, the public arena is primarily governmental, at various levels. Democracy functions insofar as individuals can participate meaningfully in the public arena, meanwhile running their own affairs, individually and collectively, without illegitimate interference by concentrations of power. Functioning democracy presupposes relative equality in access to (...)
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  30. Noam Chomsky, Domestic Terrorism: Notes on the State System of Oppression.
    If we ask who might be interested in obtaining the stolen material, a plausible hypothesis suggests itself. The natural hypothesis gains support from the fact that persons whose names appeared on the stolen lists were then contacted and harassed by FBI agents, and a personal letter of resignation from the party, apparently stolen from headquarters, was transmitted by the FBI to the Civil Service Commission. Information that has since been obtained about FBI activities, including burglaries over many years, lends further (...)
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  31. Noam Chomsky, Drain the Swamp and There Will Be No More Mosquitoes.
    It is also the merest sanity, if we hope to reduce the likelihood of future atrocities. It may be comforting to pretend that our enemies "hate our freedoms," as President Bush stated, but it is hardly wise to ignore the real world, which conveys different lessons.
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  32. Noam Chomsky, Elections.
    Though significant in their consequences, the elections tell us very little about the state of the country, or the popular mood. There are, however, other sources from which we can learn a great deal that carries important lessons. Public opinion in the US is intensively monitored, and while caution and care in interpretation are always necessary, these studies are valuable resources. We can also see why the results, though public, are kept under wraps by the doctrinal institutions. That is true (...)
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  33. Noam Chomsky, Elections 2000.
    Under what conditions would we expect 100 million votes to divide 50-50, with variations that fall well within expected margins of error of 1-2 percent? There is a very simple model that would yield such expectations: people were voting at random. If tens of millions of votes were cast for X vs. Y as president of Mars, such results would be expected. To the extent that the simplest model is valid, the elections did not take place.
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  34. Noam Chomsky, "Exterminate All the Brutes": Gaza 2009.
    That surely includes the timing of the assault: shortly before noon, when children were returning from school and crowds were milling in the streets of densely populated Gaza City. It took only a few minutes to kill over 200 people and wound 700, an auspicious opening to the mass slaughter of defenseless civilians trapped in a tiny cage with nowhere to flee.1..
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  35. Noam Chomsky, Eastern Exposure: Misrepresenting the Peace Process.
    Rabin and Peres have been hailed as "visionaries," whose achievement is all the more remarkable in an era plagued by ethnic conflict. The achievement is real and significant, to be sure, but the imagery in which it is portrayed, even the direct reporting, is radically at variance with the reality. Finkelstein's new book greatly illuminates the historical and cultural roots of both the achievement and the portrayal and makes intelligible what is happening, in both domains.
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  36. Noam Chomsky, East Timor Questions & Answers Stephen R. Shalom,.
    In the aftermath of World War II, U.S. policy toward the Asian colonies of the European powers followed a simple rule: where the nationalists in a territory were leftist (as in Vietnam), Washington would support the re imposition of European colonial rule, while in those places where the nationalist movement was safely non leftist (India, for example), Washington would support their independence as a way to remove them from the exclusive jurisdiction of a rival power. At first, Indonesian nationalists were (...)
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  37. Noam Chomsky, East Timor Retrospective.
    Indonesia invaded the territory in December 1975, relying on US diplomatic support and arms, used illegally, but with secret authorisation from Washington; there were even new arms shipments sent under the cover of an official "embargo". There was no need to threaten bombing or even sanctions. It would have sufficed for the US and its allies to withdraw their active participation, and inform their close associates in the Indonesian military command that the atrocities must be terminated and the territory granted (...)
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  38. Noam Chomsky, Foreword.
    With these words, Bertrand Russell opened the second session of the International War Crimes Tribunal, in November 1967. The American people were given no opportunity, at that time, to bear witness to the terrible crimes recorded in the proceedings of the Tribunal. As Russell writes in the introduction to the first edition, ‘... it is in the nature of imperialism that citizens of the imperial power are always among the last to know - or care - about circumstances in the (...)
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  39. Noam Chomsky, Force and Opinion.
    We can trace such ideas to 17th century thinkers who reacted to the skeptical crisis of the times by recognizing that there are no absolutely certain grounds for knowledge, but that we do, nevertheless, have ways to gain a reliable understanding of the world and to improve that understanding and apply it -- essentially the standpoint of the working scientist today. Similarly, in normal life a reasonable person relies on the natural beliefs of common sense while recognizing that they may (...)
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  40. Noam Chomsky, From Central America to Iraq.
    Just last month, for example, John Negroponte went to Baghdad as US ambassador to Iraq, heading the world's largest diplomatic mission, with the task of handing over sovereignty to Iraqis to fulfil Bush's 'messianic mission' to graft democracy to the Middle East and the world, or so we are solemnly informed.
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  41. Noam Chomsky, Force to Overthrow a Government is Very High.
    For example, there is plenty of corruption in Washington -- there is favouritism and headlines one day after another, but that doesn’t justify a military coup.
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  42. Noam Chomsky, Green Light for War Crimes.
    "The evidence for a direct link between the militia and the military is beyond any dispute and has been overwhelmingly documented by UNAMET over the last four months. But the scale and thoroughness of the destruction of East Timor in the past week has demonstrated a new level of open participation of the military in the implementation of what was previously a more veiled operation.".
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  43. Noam Chomsky, "Good News," Iraq and Beyond.
    Iraq remains a significant concern for the population, but that is a matter of little moment in a modern democracy. The important work of the world is the domain of the "responsible men," who must "live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd," the general public, "ignorant and meddlesome outsiders" whose "function" is to be "spectators," not "participants." And spectators are not supposed to bother their heads with issues. The Wall Street Journal came close to the (...)
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  44. Noam Chomsky, Guilt of War Belongs to All.
    Visiting China in May, Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama marked the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war by expressing 'sincere repentance for our past... including aggression and colonial rule that caused unbearable suffering and sorrow for many people in your country and other Asian nations'.
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  45. Noam Chomsky, Gulf War Pullout.
    Hundreds of U.S. bombers are not "storming" Iraq to maintain cheap oil. (1) The cost of more expensive oil would be much less than the cost of the military operation. (2) Oil prices have a marked regulated cap anyhow. If oil producers raise prices too high for too long, users drift away which is self defeating for oil rich countries. (3) Insofar as high oil prices cause problems to industrialized economies, Europe and Japan are more vulnerable than the U.S., so (...)
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  46. Noam Chomsky, How America Determines Friends and Foes.
    A special responsibility is to wage war against terrorism, with the corollary that any state that harbours terrorists is a terrorist state and should be treated accordingly.
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  47. Noam Chomsky, Humanitarian Intervention.
    There is ample documentary material supporting the belief that states are moral agents, in fact uniformly so. Without having read the texts, I presume that when the invasion of Afghanistan began to go sour, pre- Gorbachev Pravda portrayed it as having begun with "blundering efforts to do good" though most people now recognize it to have been a "disastrous mistake" because Russia "could not impose a solution except at a price too costly to itself;" it was an "error" based on (...)
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  48. Noam Chomsky, Humanitarian Imperialism: The New Doctrine of Imperial Right.
    The end of the Cold War unleashed an impressive flow of rhetoric assuring the world that the West would now be free to pursue its traditional dedication to freedom, democracy, justice, and human rights unhampered by superpower rivalry, though there were some—called “realists†in international relations theory—who warned that in “granting idealism a near exclusive hold on our foreign policy,†we may be going too far and might harm our interests. [1] Such notions as “humanitarian intervention†and “the responsibility to (...)
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  49. Noam Chomsky, Hordes of Vigilantes & Popular Elements Defeat Mai, for Now.
    This is a follow up to my article on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) in the May issue . That went to press a few weeks before the April 27 target date for signing of the MAI by the OECD countries. At the time, it was fairly clear that agreement would not be reached, and it was not—an important event, worth considering carefully. In part the failure resulted from internal disputes—for example, European objections to the U.S. federal system and (...)
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  50. Noam Chomsky, His Right to Say It.
    In the fall of 1979, I was asked by Serge Thion, a libertarian socialist scholar with a record of opposition to all forms of totalitarianism, to sign a petition calling on authorities to insure Robert Faurisson's "safety and the free exercise of his legal rights." The petition said nothing about his "holocaust studies" (he denies the existence of gas chambers or of a systematic plan to massacre the Jews and questions the authenticity of the Anne Frank diary, among other (...)
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