Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Chomsky: From Bolivia to Baghdad

From Bolivia to Baghdad: Noam Chomsky on Creating Another World in a Time of War, Empire and Devastation

Noam Chomsky spoke this weekend at an event titled, "What's Next? Creating Another World in a Time of War, Empire and Devastation." Chomsky spoke about the Iraq Study Group report, recent elections in Latin America, the current situation with Iran and much more.

NOAM CHOMSKY: There are efforts to try to extricate the US from the US power -- doesn’t matter much to the people, but US power -- from the catastrophes it’s created for itself. The most recent such effort, right on the front pages now -- so I’ll keep to that one -- is the Baker-Hamilton report, the Iraq Study Group report, which has some interesting features. Very interesting.

For example, one of its -- it doesn’t have much in the way of proposals -- but the thinking is interesting. So here's one paragraph, refers to recent polls in Iraq. The US government and polling agencies here take regular polls in Iraq. They care a lot about Iraqi opinion. And this points out that recent polling indicates that 79% of Iraqis have a mostly negative view of the influence that the United States has in their country, and 61% of Iraqis -- includes Kurds -- approve of attacks on US-led forces. Well, that's clearly a problem. And we have to deal with that problem by changing tactics, so they'll understand that we really love them and we’re trying to help them and they'll stop thinking they ought to attack us and hating us, and so on. OK, that was the proposal. There's something missing. The same polls that they cited have some other information, for example, that two-thirds of the people of Baghdad want US troops out immediately, and about over three-quarters of the whole population, including Kurds, again, wants a firm timetable for withdrawal within a year or less.

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