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April 29, 2004

Comments

izzard /Ann

[The Izzard responded, but its tone was so nasty and condescending that I'm seriously editing it. Like, most of it.]

My apologies. I didn't realize I was debating with Ayn Rand. I will say toodle-oo and end my unwelcome cameo on your friends-and-family website with the following clarifications:

[No, sweetie, if you don't want to continue the discussion, it's up to you to NOT RESPOND. Since you want to be a coward and thumb your nose at me then run away, then I've decided to treat you like you deserve.]

Tom

Ann, I'm not a big chomsky fan and you don't understand the guy at all. Thankfully, you, obviously, won't object that I won't go into details because those would merely obscure my point, right?

Bo

I just happened upon your site, and felt like making a few points. "I don't keep this blog as a way to enlighten anyone or to change anyone's mind.' Then why have you committed so much time and effort into this post? You obviously don't like Chomsky, and seemingly don't like those who like Chomsky. You could have simply said this: I don't like Chomsky, but I won't bother explaing why, because I have no desire to change anyone's mind. Instead, in your initial post, you criticize Chomsky for his poor writing skills, as if this somehows discredits everything he is and what he has written.

Notwithstanding Chomsky's lack of writing ability, he is able to communicate his ideas. His ideas are what you need to challenge if you wish to show others why they shouldn't like Chomsky either.(But you have no desire to do so.)

Let me respond to the substance of your arguments. You seemingly slight Chomsky for applying general principles to U.S. foreign policy. All legal systems are based on general or universal principles. To judge each case according to different principles would not only be unfair but incredibly inefficient. Then you assert that Chomsky's general principle is that whatever the U.S. does is Bad, but what other nations do is not. If this is his principle it is not a general or universal principle, because it judges the U.S. differently than the rest of the world.

Does Chomsky judge the U.S. differently then the rest of the world? Where are your examples? I think the Chomsky judges the U.S. according to her own principles. These principles are generally applied in the U.S., but are obviously different from other nations. They are also very high minded principles, which hold the U.S. to higher standards. Democracy is a U.S. principle. The people should be able to choose their own leaders. Chomsky considers U.S. foreign policy in light of U.S. democratic principles. What we find is that the Guatemalan democracy in 1953, was deposed with assistance by the CIA, and a dictatorship was installed in its stead. The democratically elected President of Iran was deposed in 1958, with assistance by the CIA, and the Shah of Iran was installed in his stead. The U.S. has, in the past and today, financially assisted many government's which could only be called 'dictatorships', and certainly not democracies e.g. Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, Iraq, Saudia Arabi, and so on. The level of involvment varied from arms support to economic assistance, to waging war. In Vietnam, the U.S. prvented an election for fear that Ho Chi Minh would be elected. They installed Diem instead. This war cost the lives of somewhere between three and six million Vietmanese. As an American citizen living in an democratic nation, Chomsky bears responsibility for the what his government does around the world. He does not bear the same responsibility for what China does, or the U.S.S.R, or so on.

Does Chomsky make excuses for Communist dictatorships? I don't think he does. But he also does not take the simplistic view that they are pure evil, and must be destroyed at all costs. Lets just take Cuba as an example. When Castro took power he was not a Communist, he was a nationalist. The U.S. threatened by his nationalism label him a Communist. As the new leader of a tiny island country, he has little option but to turn to Russia for assistance. Otherwise, he would allow the U.S. gov't to continue to pull the strings in Cuba. Then the U.S. assists in attempted acts of aggression, such as the bay of pigs invasion, and terrorism, the numerous assisination attempts. So, Castro is left with a choice, keep his society open and allow it to fall back into the hand of the U.S., or take measures to prevent U.S. subversion. Obviously, Castro exploited the attempted U.S. aggression and subversion for his own ends. The U.S. provided Castro with a perfect rationalization to maintain authoritarian control.

Finally, you resort to classic conspiracy theory. Chomsky is a member of the liberal elite bent on world domination. He has no true concern with the welfare of people, he merely appears to, in order to grab power. This is remarkably similar to Hitlers paranoid delusion that the Jews controlled European democracies through the media. Or the Southern slave-owners who blamed social unrest among their slaves on the influence of "nigger-loving" nothern agitators. In the fevered brain of the conspiracy theorist, things are never what they seem. There are always hidden forces at work, which can never be seen. Conspiracy theories are often a projection of the theorist's own desires. There is never any evidence to support them, so they are very easy and convenient to make.

Paul

I was wondering when ann's shame would force her to delete Izzard's post. Ann only suports free speech for ideas she agrees with.

doodle

Five months later, and no response by Ann to Bo's intelligent defence of Chomsky. I'm not surprised. I don't think she's capable of rationally analyzing Chomsky

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