Thursday, July 14, 2011
The Most Dangerous Moment in History
During the Cuban Missile Crisis U.S. destroyers attacked a Russian submarine. The submarine was given orders to launch its nuclear warheads against the U.S. This would have certainly precipitated a full retaliatory exchange and we would most likely not be here to discuss it. The submarine commander refused the order. I had never heard this story until I read it in one of Noam Chomsky’s articles. Though civilization was spared, the mind-set that brought us to that moment is alive and well. That mind-set is the subject of most of Chomsky’s books.
Interventions is a collection of short essays aimed at a broad readership, commissioned by the New York Times Syndicate after Noam Chomsky’s 2001 best seller 9 – 11. One of the author’s central claims is that the mainstream media confines debate to a narrow status quo, roughly Hysterical Right to Middle Conservative with few exceptions. As if to confirm Chomsky’s thesis the syndicate distributed the essays abroad but nary a one found its way into the U.S., neither in the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times etc;
Iraq is the primary topic, not surprising given the essays were written during what Chomsky calls a criminal invasion. He exposes administration lies about WMD, Al Queda/Saddam ties and involvement in 911, deconstructing U.S. claims to be promoting democracy - it being true when you take into account that in their minds democracy = plutocracy, being demonstrably false when you use a non-Orwellian definition. One example: polls showed that 90% of Turks opposed allowing the U.S. to invade Iraq through Turkey. The administration ferociously berated the Turkish military and government for following the wishes of the people.
Chomsky lays out an analysis of what’s going on that stands the mainstream propaganda machine on its head. U.S. intentions in Iraq are to set up a permanent military base in the center of the richest oil reserves area on the planet. Israel is a U.S. aircraft carrier maintained to aid the imperial quest (in return Israel gets the U.S. veto at the U.N.). U.S. policy toward Serbia/Kosovo and Cuba (well, the world really) is to vigorously discourage independence from U.S. centered Corporate rule or as they like to call it, the “free market”. In the history of this movement it came very close to triumph but was thwarted, partially and only temporarily by the election of Theodore Roosevelt. Laboring mightily since that defeat they now sense victory and are straining at the fetters of democracy, yearning to throw off at long last and forever that notion of equality that stands in the way of their absolute superiority.