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Chomsky: Hegemony or survival

Samantha Power recenserar Chomskys senaste bok, "Hegemony or Survival", i New York Times:
"Drawing upon case after historical case of violent meddling (Iran, Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Kosovo, etc.), Chomsky argues that the Bush administration's war on terrorism builds upon a long tradition of foreign interventions carried out in the name of 'liberation' or 'counterterror'. (...) 'It is only natural,' he writes, 'that state policy should seek to construct a world system open to U.S. economic penetration and political control, tolerating no rivals or threats.'

Chomsky finds the Bush administration new in only two ways: the crassness of its motives is far more transparent, and it is now playing for far higher stakes. (...)

Chomsky's glib and caustic tone is distracting. He relies heavily upon quotations, but rarely identifies the speaker or writer. (...) When he agrees with a claim, Chomsky introduces it with the word 'uncontroversially' or credits it to 'distinguished authorities.' Those who don't share his viewpoint don't simply disagree; they are the 'prevailing intellectual culture' or the 'educated classes.' This is a thinker far too accustomed to preaching to an uncritical choir. (...)

But for all that is wrong with 'Hegemony or Survival', reading Chomsky today is sobering and instructive. (...) He seethes at the hypocrisy of Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Colin Powell, who invoked Saddam Hussein's 1988 gassing attacks in order to help justify the recent war, but who did not see fit to explain why the Reagan administration (which they served as senior officials) doubled its aid to Hussein's regime after learning of the gassings. (...)

And it is essential to demand, as Chomsky does, that a country with the might of the United States stop being so selective in applying its principles. We will not allow our sovereignty to be infringed by international treaty commitments in the areas of human rights or even arms control, but we demand that others should. We rebuff the complaints of foreigners about the 650 people who remain holed up in Guantanamo kennels, denied access to lawyers and family members, with not even their names released. Yet we expect others to take heed of our protests about due process. We have 'official enemies' - those whose police abuses, arms shipments and electoral thefts we eagerly expose (Zimbabwe, Burma, North Korea, Iran). But the sins of our allies in the war on terror (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Uzbekistan) are met with 'intentional ignorance.' Although he is typically thin on prescriptions, Chomsky offers 'one simple way to reduce the threat of terror: stop participating in it.' "
'Hegemony or Survival': The Everything Explainer"
Samantha Power var under kriget i Bosnien korrespondent på platsen, blev så frustrerad av vad hon upplevde att hon åkte hem, forskade och skrev boken "'A Problem From Hell': America and the Age of Genocide". Hon är nu verksam vid Carr Center for Human Rights Policy vid Harvard. Se Blind Höna-notisen Passion (april 2003) för länkar till och en recension i Svenska Dagbladet (kräver numera registrering, som dock är gratis). "A problem from hell" har vunnit flera priser, framför allt Pulitzer-priset 2003. (Se Harvard Gazette: Samantha Power wins Pulitzer Prize
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04 jan 2004


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