Monday, April 20, 2009

CHOMSKY - Open Veins of Latin America

Iran is too independent and disobedient: Chomsky
April 20, 2009
by Kourosh Ziabari

Noam Chomsky needs no introductory note. He is inarguably the most significant sociopolitical analyst and lecturer of the contemporary era and .ranks with Marx, Shakespeare, and the Bible as one of the ten most quoted sources in the humanities, and is the only writer among them still alive. as said by the Guardian.

On Chomsky.s .Hegemony or Survival., the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking at the United Nations, .I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it..

Answering to a 2006 interview question by the New Statesman.s correspondent Andrew Stephen on what would he had done if he were the U.S. president, Chomsky proposed: . I would set up a War Crimes Tribunal for my own crimes, because if I take on that position [I would need] to deal with the institutional structure and the culture, the intellectual culture. The culture has to be cured..

In this interview I talked to Prof. Chomsky about Iran, nuclear issue, Washington-Tehran relations and the global impact of Zionist lobbies. An excerpt of this conversation was first published by the Iran.s leading English language daily Tehran Times.

Q: Prof. Chomsky; You have reiterated several times that the majority of world countries, including the members of Non-Alignment Movement, support the nuclear dossier of Iran, yet the American neo-cons are still trumpeting their hawkish mottos. Why?

A: Not only the non-aligned movement, but also the large majority of Americans believe that Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy. But almost no one in the U.S. is aware of this. That includes those who are polled, and probably think they are the only ones who hold these beliefs. Nothing is ever published about it. What appears in the media, constantly, is that the .international community. demands that Iran stop uranium enrichment. Almost nowhere is it brought out that the term .international community. is used conventionally to refer to Washington and whoever happens to go along with it, not just on this issue, but quite generally.

Q: Most of the analysts of international affairs cannot still digest the nuclear double standards of the U.S. government. While supporting the atomic arsenal of Israel, U.S. continuously pressures Iran to halt its civilian nuclear programs. What are the reasons? Does the IAEA have the authority to probe into the cases of Israel.s atomic weaponry?

chomskyA: The basic point was explained very candidly by Henry Kissinger. He was asked by the Washington Post why he now claims that Iran does not need nuclear energy so it must be working on building a bomb, while in the 1970s he insisted forcefully that Iran needs nuclear energy and the U.S. must provide the Shah with the means to develop it. His answer was pure Kissinger: .They were an allied country. so they needed nuclear energy. Now they are not an ally, so they do not need nuclear energy. As for Israel, it is an ally, more accurately a client state. So they inherit from the master the right to do as they please.

The IAEA has the authority, but the US would never permit them to exercise it. The new U.S. administration has given no indication that it is any different.

Q: There are 4 sovereign states which have not yet ratified the NPT and freely pursue atomic weapons. Will Iran be extricated from the frequent pressures; should it halt its ratification and withdraw from the treaty?

A: No, that would simply escalate the pressures. Apart from North Korea, all of these countries receive extensive U.S. support. The Reagan administration pretended it did not know that its ally Pakistan was developing nuclear weapons, so that the dictatorship could receive massive U.S. aid. The U.S. has agreed to assist India in developing its nuclear facilities, and Israel is a special case.

Q: What probable factors may hamper the establishment of direct talks between Iran and the U.S.? Is the influence of Israeli lobby over the corporate regime of America a major one?

A: The Israeli lobby has some influence, but it is limited. That was demonstrated in the case of Iran, once again, last summer, during the presidential campaign, the time when the influence of lobbies is at its peak. The Israeli Lobby wanted Congress to pass legislation that came close to calling for a blockade of Iran, an act of war. The measure gained considerable support, but then suddenly disappeared, probably because the White House made it clear, quietly, that it was opposed.

As for the actual factors, we do not yet have adequate internal records, so it is necessary to speculate. We do know that a large majority of Americans want to have normal relations with Iran, but public opinion rarely influences policy. Major US corporations, including the powerful energy corporations, would like to be able to exploit Iran.s petroleum resources. But the state insists otherwise. I presume that the main reason is that Iran is just too independent and disobedient. Great powers do not tolerate that in what they take to be their domains, and the world.s major energy-producing regions have long been considered the domain of the Anglo-American alliance, now with Britain reduced to junior partner.

Q: Will there be a tactical or systematical transformation in the approach of American mainstream media toward Iran during the tenure of Mr. Obama? Should we expect a cut-off in the mass of anti-Iranian black propaganda?

A: The media generally adhere fairly closely to the general framework of state policy, though policies are sometimes criticized on tactical grounds. A lot, therefore, depends on the stand that the Obama administration will take.

Q: and finally, do you believe that the U.S. President should follow the Iranian proposal and apologize for its historical crimes against Iran?

A: I think that the powerful should always concede their crimes and apologize to the victims, in fact go much farther and provide reparations. Unfortunately, the world is largely governed by the maxim of Thucydides: the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must. Slowly, over time, the world is becoming more civilized, in general. But there is a long way to go.

Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian media correspondent, freelance journalist and the author of Book 7+1. He is a contributing writer for websites and magazines in the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. He is a member of Stony Brook University Publications. editorial team and Media Left magazine.s board of editors, as well as a contributing editor for Finland.s Award-winning Ovi Magazine. As a young Iranian journalist, he has been interviewed and quoted by several mainstream mediums, including BBC World Service, PBS Media Shift, the Media Line network, Deutsch Financial Times, L.A. Times and Sky News. He is a contributing writer of Tehran Times newspaper. His articles and interviews have been translated into numerous languages, including Spanish, Italian, German and Arabic. Contact him at


Chavez effect creates bestseller

A book which the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez presented to US President Barack Obama at the Americas summit has become a bestseller in just two days.

The book, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, was ranked 54,295 on the sales charts of bookseller

Now, it has risen to number two.

Written by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, the book looks at the impact of foreign intervention in Latin America in the past five centuries.

It covers the continent's conquest by the Spanish nearly 500 years ago right up to the present day.

President Chavez presented his American counterpart with the book, a favourite of leftists, on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad on Saturday.

'Nice gesture'

President Obama looked surprised when Mr Chavez got up from his seat, handed him the book and then shook his hand.

It was a Spanish-language paperback copy inscribed with the message: "For Obama, with affection".

A little later, Mr Obama had this reaction: "Well I think it was a nice gesture to give me a book. I'm a reader."

However, for President Chavez it was a serious matter.

"This book is a monument in our Latin American history. It allows us to learn history, and we have to build on this history," the Venezuelan leader told reporters at the summit.

It is not the first time Mr Chavez's choice of reading matter has given authors a boost, the BBC's Greg Morsbach reports.

His speech at the United Nations three years ago helped to revive the fortunes of the American intellectual, Noam Chomsky.

Mr Chomsky's title, Hegemony or Survival, became the number one bestseller on Amazon after a plug from Mr Chavez during his address.

Bookshops in the US and Europe sold out of copies within days. Tens of thousands more copies were ordered in from the publishers.


The Bush Six to Be Indicted
Scott Horton

by Scott Horton - April 13, 2009

Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo. By Scott Horton.

Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday before the Spanish central criminal court, the Audencia Nacional, in Madrid. But the decision is likely to raise concerns with the human-rights community on other points: They will seek to have the case referred to a different judge...


The Devil's Advocate (with english subtitles)

As was posted a few days ago, Bin Laden was found not guilty by a 5 person civil jury in the Dutch TV show 'The Devil's Advocate'. Here's the show.

It's in four parts:


Connect the dots. According to the UN's latest report, under U.S. occupation 92% of the world's opium production comes from Afghan poppies. Most of the heroin going to Europe is manufactured in or transits Turkey. The exact value to Turkey of its heroin exports is unknown but experts estimate a range in the tens of billions of dollars per year. The neocons helped establish and remain closely associated with Turkish lobbying efforts in the U.S. The question is, then: does the seamy side of Turkish influence peddling involve, among other things, money laundering, narcotics trafficking, espionage, bribery of U.S. officials, nuclear proliferation, and aid to terrorist front groups (not to mention whatever motivated the previous administration to invade Afghanistan)? Put differently, how and to what extent has the Turkish "deep state" joined forces with the American "deep state"? To consider some of these questions, and others, I turned to Sibel Edmonds, the renowned whistleblower. It was great to talk with Sibel and I have the highest regard for her courage and principled stand. Total runtime an hour and sixteen minutes. A cover-up is not the answer!

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posted by u2r2h at 3:56 AM


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