Chomsky on "is America over"?

Several gems in this piece, as usual – 

The first major successful resistance to US hegemony was in 1949. That’s when an event took place that, interestingly, is called “the loss of China”. It’s a very interesting phrase, never challenged. There was a lot of discussion about who is responsible for the loss of China. It became a huge domestic issue. But it’s a very interesting phrase. You can only lose something if you own it. It was just taken for granted: we possess China – and, if they move toward independence, we’ve lost China

So the principle on which the international system is based is that the US is entitled to use force at will. To talk about the US violating international law or something like that is amazingly naive, completely silly

Take a look at the year-end issue of Foreign Affairs, the main establishment journal. Its big front-page cover asks, in bold face, “Is America Over?” It’s a standard complaint of those who believe they should have everything. 

I’ve occasionally quoted one of my favourite illustrations of this, which is from a well-known, very good liberal foreign policy analyst, James Chace, a former editor of Foreign Affairs. Writing about the overthrow of the Salvador Allende regime and the imposition of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1973, he said that we had to “destabilise” Chile in the interests of “stability”. That’s not perceived to be a contradiction – and it isn’t. We had to destroy the parliamentary system in order to gain stability, meaning that they do what we say. So yes, we are in favour of stability in this technical sense

…our yearning for democracy, that’s about on the level of Joseph Stalin talking about the Russian commitment to freedom, democracy and liberty for the world. It’s the kind of statement you laugh about when you hear it from commissars or Iranian clerics, but you nod politely, and maybe even with awe, when you hear it from their western counterparts.

Barack Obama was a senator before he was president. He didn’t do much as a senator, but he did a couple of things, including one he was particularly proud of. In fact, if you looked at his website before the primaries, he highlighted the fact that, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, he co-sponsored a Senate resolution demanding that the United States do nothing to impede Israel’s military actions until they had achieved their objectives, and censuring Iran and Syria because they were supporting resistance to Israel’s destruction of southern Lebanon, incidentally, for the fifth time in 25 years. So they inherit the right (to use violence)

One should be grateful to people like Chomsky just for reassuring us that not conforming is not stupid (it can in fact, be brilliant) and every alternate theory need not be derided as a conspiracy theory (when in fact, it is the obvious truth!)


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