Friday, August 13, 2004

Noam and His Lies

A challenge has been made by a Chomskyte on Benjamin’s Blog to identify 10 of Chomsky’s lies. So here you go 10 (actually it is more since some of the links have multiple lies in them) lies by Chomsky:

  1. "I haven't read Horowitz. I didn't used to read him when he was a Stalinist and I don't read him today. Haven't seen it."

    If Chomsky has never read Horowitz, then how did he cite Horowitz in his 1972 book, Problems of Knowledge and Freedom? See here.

  2. "Since I never wrote a 'joint article' with Guillaume, I was curious, and after a search, found the book in question. Indeed, it contains the chapter 'Une mise au point', written in first-person singular by Guillaume, with no hint of any collaboration with me."

    Guillaume's book actually states: "The first version of the text which precedes comprised multiple errors of detail and an error of appreciation that Chomsky told us while reaffirming the constancy and the invariance of its position. We corrected in the text the errors which did not modify the reasoning." [Dhimmi: Translation by Google]

  3. As John Williamson, a contributor to the Anti-Chomsky Reader shows, Chomsky even lies about his own statements. In an email to Williamson Chomsky claimed that a statement of his quoted in a New Yorker profile by reporter Larissa MacFarquhar was "too ridiculous to merit comment...No one can seriously use this as a source...childish diatribes in journals attempting to discredit political enemies... almost all gosip...a ridiculous gossip column in the New Yorker." According to the New Yorker profile, Chomsky had made the comment to an MIT class that McFarquhar attended. Not ready to believe that anyone could be so brazen in lying about what he himself had said, Williamson contacted McFarquhar to check. She who told him that MIT had video-taped the class she had attended where Chomsky made the statement. Williamson obtained the tape and sure enough everything Chomsky had said -- every word -- was on the tape.

  4. "Plans are being made on the assumption that they may lead to the death of several million people. Very casually, with no comment and with no particular thought about it. It looks like what is happening is some sort of silent genocide."

    There was never any genocide, silent or otherwise.

  5. Chomsky's articles [on Cambodia] are full of learned sounding citations, in which he cites all sorts of impeccably respectable sources for all sorts of astonishing facts. Highly improbable facts. How does he do it? Easy. He makes it up.

  6. Chomsky does not hold truth in a high regard. Many are impressed by the long list of notes and sources in his books and articles, but few take the trouble to investigate how he uses them. But today Gellert Tamas pays attention to Chomsky’s defence of Diana Johnstone, who denies the Serbian mass murders in Bosnia. To show that critical Swedish commentators got it wrong, Chomsky writes that her book "has been very favorably reviewed, e.g., by the leading British scholarly journal International Affairs, journal of the Royal Academy". But Tamas read the review, and it was not very favourable, instead it explains that the book is full of mistakes, selective in its use of facts, and try to paint a revisionist picture of Milosevic as a multi-culturalist. Chomsky even gets the name of the reviewer wrong.

  7. Whatever the merits or demerits of [CIA Demographic Catastrophe Report], it is clear that Chomsky's description of the report is a string of lies. Chomsky made four easily checked lies -- lies that can be verified as such simply by reading the CIA report and require no further deep knowledge on the events in Southeast Asia.

  8. In a ... debate at the Harvard Medical School, Chomsky initially denied having advocated a Lebanon-style binational state for Israel, only to have to back down upon being confronted with the evidence.

  9. [Chomsky] tried to dispute the fact that he had authorized an essay he had written in defense of Robert Faurisson to be used as the forward to Faurisson’s book about Holocaust denial, but again had to back down.

  10. Chomsky took the position that he had no interest in "revisionist" literature before Faurisson had written the book. When confronted by Robert Nozick, a distinguished philosophy professor who recalled discussing revisionist literature with him well before the Faurisson book, Chomsky first berated Nozick for disclosing a private conversation and then he shoved him contemptuously in front of numerous witnesses.

63 Comments:

At August 14, 2004 at 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luka will probably respond shortly, but as for me, I've read most of this stuff years ago.

And am still not impressed.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 14, 2004 at 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And actually, Chomsky's prediction of famine in Afghanistan was just that: a prediction. Like most of the predictions of the now-deceased J. Dixon, it was wrong. So really it isn't a lie.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 14, 2004 at 1:54 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At August 14, 2004 at 1:55 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

The word 'happening' denotes present tense, and means something that is 'taking place'. There was no silent genocide 'happening' when Chomsky made the claim - it was not a prediction.

 
At August 14, 2004 at 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He also said it "looks like..." if we want to get nitpicky. But then Richard Pearle said that the Iraqis would greet us with flowers, and look where his prediction left us.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 15, 2004 at 4:39 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Here we go...
I'm studying for an exam so I'll have to go through this quickly - I'll just deal with the obvious ones, come back after the exam...

First, I'll say that I'm assuming these 10 are the 'best'[read easiest to prove] lies you could find.

1. We will have to get nitpicky, I guess.

'I haven't read' does not mean the same as 'I didn't read' or 'I have never read', does it?

Same goes for 'didn't used to read him' and 'didn't read him'.

The firt option includes the possibility of him reading Horowitz but on a very small scale.
Like a book or two.

As you said, the man is careful with his language.

But if we're not nitpicky we can say that Chomsky forgot he had read or reviewed Horrowitz, no?

But that would be giving the man a benefit of a doubt, which is impossible here.

2. This is part of the Werner Cohn debate, and you said you needed to clarify some things with him before continuing the debate on him and his work. So I'll hold my reply on this one.

Or I can just on the face of it say, thet you want us to take a what you call Holocaust denier's word over Chomsky's. If you would rather believe Holocaust deniers, that your perogative, I'll go with Chomsky on this one.

But I will wait for your Cohn clarifications to give my final answer.



3. Selected quotes from a private e-mail...
I'd have thought you wouldn't need to use dirty tricks like these since he's a 'pathological liar' [this is why the challenge was set up in the first place] and this would then be easily proven from the public record. But, it is your weblog, you do set the standards...

Unless the author posts the whole correspondence, it is impossible to determine what Chomsky said and in what context.

But again, on the face of it, the author seems to be accusing Chomsky of denying he made a qoute but does not show him doing so. Read the statements quoted. He did not deny saying anything.
I would suspect he was objecting to the whole tone of the article which was a hatchet job but you already know this so I won't repeat.

4. Strelnikov already covered this one. I'll just add that forcing Pakistan to stop food shipments to a coutry where 7 million people depended on them, and doing that just before winter could lead to genocide. And Chomsky's main point (which is omitted in all the discussion afterwards) was that nobody was talking about this, apart from the NGOs and UN people on the groun. It was a real possibility but was not even discussed.

5. Ah, James Donald again.
His ramblings have be thoroughlly refuted by Dan Clore here.

Oh wait, but you already know that.
How come you brought it up again?
The H word comes to mind.

8., 9. and 10.

Are all based on a column by Dershowitz. So we have to take his word for 8. and 10., 9. is easily refuted as you can see below.
So unless you can provide additional evidence for Dershowitz's claims, the burden of proof (which is on you) has not been met. But I'll wait for the evidence on those two to maku up my mind.

9. Dhimmy, as you know since we've discussed this before,
- Chomsky did not authorize the essay to be used for the book specifically but told them they could use it for anything they wanted. They used it as a foreword to Faurisson's book.

- the essay was not written in defence of Faurisson as Dershowitz is claiming (and so are you since you chose to cite him) but in defence of the right to speak.

So no lie here. At least not by Chomsky.

 
At August 15, 2004 at 5:14 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

[I wrongly said it was claimed he was a 'pathological lier'... The claim was that he has a 'habit of lying']

And there a nice criticism of Dershowitz's criticism you cite here.
[sometimes html doesn't work so here's a backup link:
http://discussions.rottenpumpkin.com/post.php?thread_id=37&view_user=no&view_post=yes]

After reading that, I think both 8. and 10. have gone out the window. But I'll let each reader decide for themselves.

So by my quick count, out of 10 'lies', we only have 2 left that I didn't address, 6 refutations and two 'waiting for more info before we can call them lies'.

Doesn't look good if you're gona prove Chomsky has a 'habit of lying' as was claimed in the post that provoked the challenge.

 
At August 15, 2004 at 6:34 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Checked out number six.

Seems the lie charge relies on the interpretation of whether an article in International Affairs on Diana Johnstone's book by one Gellert Tamas, who seems to disagree with Chomsky's interpretation that the review was favorable.

[I'll just add that determening what is favorable or not is subjective and you should have been more careful to find lies which can be objectively evaluated, but as I said, you set the standards]

When we follow the link provided, we find an interview with Tamas in what seems to be a Swedish magazine.

I don't speak Swedish and I'm assuming most of your readers don't because it's a secret language, you only read it if you inside the tribe.

So unless you can provide a translation or even better the original International Affairs article so we can decide for ourselves, you have not proven Chomsky to be lying.

 
At August 15, 2004 at 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'I haven't read' does not mean the same as 'I didn't read' or 'I have never read', does it?
Hahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahhaahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhaahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhhahahahahahahahahhahahahaha

 
At August 15, 2004 at 10:59 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At August 15, 2004 at 11:05 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 15, 2004 at 11:06 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At August 15, 2004 at 4:17 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

1. With regard to Luka’s statements I will say it is "too ridiculous to merit comment."(Just joking Chomsky style :) I am assuming that you are kidding right? The claim is too bizarre to actually be taken seriously. "I haven't read Horowitz. I didn't used to read him" means I haven’t ever read his work, it’s clear as day.

2. I think you are a little scared here. The problem with the Cohn paper was time discrepancies nothing to do with Cohn’s response. You know that. Also it is not a matter of taking someone elses word for it. Chomsky says Guillaume's book illistrates "no hint of any collaboration with me." The book actually says that Chomsky reviewed it and corrected errors before it was published and gave the man advice which he took an incorporated into the book. No need to take anyone’s word just look how Chomsky lies about what is said in the book.

3. Actually you should read the Anti-Chomsky Reader, to my best recollection, he does explain it in full there. (I would look it up myself but I lent it to a friend)

4. No one was talking about it because there was no impending genocide. What you people don’t get is that Chomsky makes an outright lie about how American’s don’t care about whether or not Afghans will starve and the whole world eats it up (no pun intended). The statement is what it is you can believe whatever you like. I believe I have a reasonable interpretation of it.

5. You call that a refutation? What a joke. The parody is beyond retarded. Plus the link inside of that article to the link regarding the statement that I am quoting is broken. So, as you like to say, the burden of proof is still on you.

8-10. The link you gave only says this about the relevant portions: "So many witnesses, apparently, that Dershowitz can't provide one." You know one eyewitness account is enough to convict a man of murder in America? Again Luka style "the burden of proof is on you."

 
At August 16, 2004 at 1:06 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

1. OK. I stand corrected. I really did think there is a difference. But since your english is far better than mine, I will trust you on that one.

And I would call it a mistake as I said, but as this is your site, we'll go with lie. That's 1/10 so far.

2. "The problem with the Cohn paper was time discrepancies nothing to do with Cohn’s response. You know that."

It was far more than that but I don't want to bring it up until you provide the reply you promised.

'Chomsky says Guillaume's book illistrates "no hint of any collaboration with me."'

And as you know, Chomsky was replying to Cohn's accusation that he co-wrote the article (Which Cohn retracted after 12 years and made a new accusation at the same time - the one you're making now). By collaboration Cohn originally implied co-authorship and this is what Chomsky was replying to.

Let me qoute the full passage where your (Cohn's) quote comes from:
Since I never wrote a 'joint article' with Guillaume, I was curious, and after a search, found the book in question. Indeed, it contains the chapter 'Une mise au point', written in first-person singular by Guillaume, with no hint of any collaboration with me. I am mentioned in it, and fragments of a letter of mine are quoted in which I discuss changes in the U.S. intellectual climate since the 1960's (with typical veracity, Cohn describes this as my 'comments on Guillaume's version of the Chomsky-VT relationship', which is nowhere mentioned). By Cohn's intriguing logic, I am also the co-author of his various diatribes -- perhaps in my third life, which he will expose in the next instalment. Cohn asserts that I found 'nothing to correct in Guillaume's' account. He has not the slightest idea what my reaction to the article is. Recall that this 'joint article' is his 'crucial source'.

So Chomsky does recognize that 'fragments of a letter of [his] are quoted'. But he is disputing the charge that he co-wrote the article.

So no lie here. And you should know this since we've already discussed it.

But it is a good example of selected quoting - quoting just the first part of the passage implying that Chomsky is saying there's nothing written about him in the article while Chomsky clearly says there is - so characteristic of Cohn and many others bashing Chomsky.

3. No I will not read the Anti-Chomsky Reader (unless I can find it in a library and have some time to waste - from the free passages I'm not impressed).

It is you who has to provide the evidence and if possible the full context and until you do, there is no lie.

4. "No one was talking about it because there was no impending genocide."
How do you know this?
You then disagree with the UN and NGO people on the ground whose predictions Chomsky was citing (note that it wasn't his prediction in the first place)?

It's easy to just dismiss something out of hand.

"Chomsky makes an outright lie about how American’s don’t care about whether or not Afghans will starve"

I think this is a straw man. Chomsky said nothing of the sort.

You may hold your opinion of course but anybody interested in the whole story and how Chomsky came to those conclusions, read this speech by him. That's where the quote Dhimmy provides is taken from (selectively for the agenda of the article writer - note that there are no elipses etc.) Dhimmy of course prefers to provide the quote within an article not written by Chomsky which makes a lot of wild claims. (guilt by assosiation?)
You can find the background there and see that this is no lie (unless you really really want it to be).

5. I should have been more careful. It seems James Donald changed the essay at the link you provided. I wonder why. The Dan Clore retort was to the original 'Chomsky lies' article which can be found here through the wayback machine. You will note that it is at the exact same address. I wrongly assumed it was still the same one, stupid me.

So read the original 'Chomsky lies' and Clore's retort and decide whether you find Donald credible. I do not. Especially after pulling tricks like this one.

I just did a quick check and I saw Clore is correct when he brandend Donald's arguments "argumentum ad nauseam (repeating over and over what has long since been proven false on many occasions, as if repetition will somehow give it credibility)".

Go to the original article and the current one and do a search for Far Eastern Economic Review and look at the arguments in both and Clore's retort to the first version.

I think it is safe to say that Donlad is discredited when it comes to calling Chomsky a liar.

Now if you expect me to go through Donald's 'new' rantings, well I've got better things to do.

8-10. Well, one has to provide an eyewitness to convict somebody of murder. As far as I know just saying that there are witnesses without providing one is not enough to convict a man of murder in America. Neither you nor Dershowitz has provided one. Until you do...



OK. Out of 10 lies, we now have:
- 1 confirmed (1.)
- 2 refuted (2., 9.)
- 2 with no or lacking evidence provided for them (3. 6.)
- 2 based on the say so of a known Chomsky 'hater' Dershowitz, claims for which he does not provide evidence so can be dismissed until he does (8.,10.)
- 1 based on an 'article' by James Donald, who has been discredited numerous times and is thus not a reliable source (5.)
- 1 in dispute (4.)
- 1 I haven't answered (7.)

To sum up, from the 9 what I am assuming 'best' lies you and others could find in over 90 books, thausands of articles and speeches we only have, even by your count, two confirmed lies (leaving aside the one I haven't answered).

The original comment that started the challenge was:
"I wonder what is the source of Chomsky's habit of lying."

While nobody is claiming that Chomsky is perfect and that he has never spoken an untruth in his life (which is not the same as lying) or even that he has never lied I think we've seen Chomsky does not have 'a habit of lying.' Do you disagree?

 
At August 16, 2004 at 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only problem, Luka, with reading "The Anti-Chomsky Reader" in a library is that a lot of libraries (especially county libraries) will not touch Horowitz's political books written after 1988 (somebody has to have standards.) Just wait a year, and the used booksellers at Amazon.com will be selling hundreds of copies at .99 cents each.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 16, 2004 at 1:01 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 16, 2004 at 1:05 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

The most bizarre phenomena that I have ever come across is this belief by Chomskyts that we all have to listen to Chomsky's alternative interpretation of world but no one can have an alternative interpretation on Chomsky and his views that contradict his followers.

Luka your above post typifies this. Take for example your conclusion, "I think we've seen Chomsky does not have 'a habit of lying.'" Who's we? I certainly have not seen anything that you have provided as solid fact. It's only you and your interpretation of what you think is correct here, not mine.

1. Nice to see you admit Chomsky lied here.

2. You haven't refuted anything. And I haven't selectively quoted anything. The reason I provide a link (to both articles) is so that people can read the quote for themselves and determine the context for themselves. As for the lie that was presented in the Chomsky article I will say this one last time. Chomsky said "no hint of any collaboration with me." The 'hint' was the fact that Chomksy had read the book before it was published and made corrections to it which Guillaume applied to the book. And if you are so inclined here is another lie by Chomsky; the mere fact that Chomksy doesn't bring up say anything regarding this passage by Guillaume and denies any knowledge of knowing who his French publishers where speaks volumes. "It [was] proposed to me [Guillaume] to publish Political Economy of Humans Rights, by Chomsky, and Khmer Rouge, by Serge Thion, two books which were in suffering, for lack of money, with the Editions of the Difference. Chomsky accepted without bargaining that his book was to be published in a collection that I directed." If Chomsky has a problem with this line than he should speak up.

3. & 6. The evidence is there you just are choosing to ignore it.

4. What makes this quote a lie is the mere fact that Chomksy presents his assumptions as genocides in the works. He is clearly trying to indicate that American's are plotting a war without regard of Afghan civilian lives, which he knows, is not true.

5. Let's assume for a moment here that the link that you provide refutes 46 out of the 47 claims made by James, which by no stretch of the imagination it does, but lets assume for arguments sake. Now that still leaves one lie that is not refuted, so as you like to say the burden of proof is on you. Unless you present a point-by-point refutation of James' work his comments still stand.

8. 9. 10. You have not refuted any of these. A distinguished law professor from Harvard said he saw the man lie three times. Any court of law would hold his testimony as legitimate evidence. You demonizing the man does not refute anything.

You and I both know I have presented more that 10 lies here. And you have yet to refute any of them. The man is a habitual liar. I really can care less if a fan of Chomksy can understand that or not. I think this all I will say on the topic.

 
At August 16, 2004 at 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"8. 9. 10. You have not refuted any of these. A distinguished law professor from Harvard said he saw the man lie three times. Any court of law would hold his testimony as legitimate evidence. You demonizing the man does not refute anything."


Lawyers are known for many things but honesty isn't high among them. With regard to Dershowitz, his whole article is a lie, including the title. First he claims Chomsky personally originated a petition to divest from Israel, when in fact he was against that aspect of the petition from the beginning. Furthermore, the petition was not originated by Chomsky - he simply signed it.

http://thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=255842

Who is the liar? Since many people were involved in organizing and signing that petition, it seems quite obvious personal motives are involved here. As far as Dershowitz' credibility goes, he may be a professor at Harvard but when it comes to certain subjects he is most definitely a kook and an extremist. What kind of mind would publicly advocate torturing a human being as he has? A very sick one.

JC

 
At August 16, 2004 at 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, JC for pointing out Dershowitz's less-than-savory qualities. I myself was going to add the fact that Dershowitz plagerized chunks of Joan Peters' "From Time Immemorial" for his "Case for Israel", but Dhimmi would probably have called that an ad hominem attack. But then, such attacks are all right, just so long as Chomsky or one of the "Chomskyites" is the target.

BTW Dhimmi, the man's given name is spelled "Reagan"; "Regan" was the family name of the Secretary of the Treasury during the fiasco that was the 1980's. I've never read a Reagan admirer on the Internet who could spell the man's name right...

- Strelnikov

 
At August 17, 2004 at 12:13 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"Who's we?"

I was talking about reasonable people who do not have an agenda...

1. Well, unlike some people I have s spine and a capability of conceeding

2. Yes, I have refuted your smear.
Your claim is that Chomsky denys any collaboration in Guillaume's essay/article. Yet in the very text he's supposed to be denying this, he says 'I am mentioned in it, and fragments of a letter of mine are quoted in which I discuss changes in the U.S. intellectual climate since the 1960's'. And it is very clear that the 'any collaboration' part is referring to Cohn claiming Chomsky and Guillaume co-wrote the article. But I'm repeating myslef.

Even if you don't accept the above, you are asking me and everybody else to believe a what you call known Holocaust denier's word over Chomsky's. I find it strange judging from your previous writings that you would choose to believe a Holocaust denier over Chomsky, who you admit is not a Holocaust denier. But hey, when it fits the agenda...

And don't be bringing in new 'lies'. We said 10, you chose them and we'll deal with these alone. Otherwise this will take forever.

"If Chomsky has a problem with this line than he should speak up."

No. Somebody accusing him of a liar does not make him a liar contrary to what you seem to believe. Especially if they have to employ selective quoting (and it was selective - or are you saying that the second part of the Chomsky quote has no bearing on the topic?).

3. No, there is no evidence as you have conceeded. Or I challenge you to spell it out.

6. The 'evidence' is an interview in Swedish which I don't understand as it's a secret language only spoken within the tribe.

Since 'Chomsky is a habitual liar' I assumed it would be easy to find 10 lies which could be verified in English and over the Internet as so much of his material is available. Just the fact that you had to choose 'lies' like these shows that you're either lazy and couldn't be bothered finding 'good' ones or that you couln't find them. I choose to believe the second, because it backs up my claim that he is not a habitual lier.

Unless you provide additional evidence, all we have is a claim by someone citing some Swedish guy saying that he doesn't agree with Chomsky's assesment of an International Affairs article. You only find this is enough to prove a lie if you have an agenda or a predetermined mind. Or do you understand Swedish?

5. Here's what would be nice. Pick one lie out of the 46 or 47 claims made by James that you find the most credible and we'll deal with that one. Apart from not having either the time or the will to go through James's rant (again), the challenge was to post 10 lies not 10 points with 47 'lies' each.

OK?

8.-10.

I specifically refuted no. 9.

8. and 10. are claims which would not hold up in court unless corroborated by witnesess. Unless you provide proof for those claims, they are just claims. Even if they are made by a Harward professor. Or do you want us to think that anything an Ivy league professor says is true? (Is MIT in the Ivy League?)

Write Dershovitz, I'm sure he'll be more than happy to help you out.

"You and I both know I have presented more that 10 lies here."

I asked for 10 deliberately because it's a number that's still small enough to discuss but big enough to represent a sample. And since I set the challenge, we'll stick with 10 and see what percentage we come up with.



"I really can care less if a fan of Chomksy can understand that or not. I think this all I will say on the topic."

This really sums it up, doesn't it. You've learned well from Benjamin. Making wild claims is much easier than backing them up.

 
At August 17, 2004 at 1:48 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Hey Strelnikov,

Get over the fact that my spelling is not so great. English wasn’t my first language. And if you care so much about spelling why don’t you correct Luka’s.

Luka,

Do you actually read my posts? Where did this come from, "there is no evidence as you have conceeded." When the hell did I ever conceded that? Truly bizarre.

 
At August 17, 2004 at 3:18 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"Do you actually read my posts? Where did this come from, "there is no evidence as you have conceeded." When the hell did I ever conceded that? Truly bizarre."

This is what I said in my first response:
"[O]n the face of it, the author seems to be accusing Chomsky of denying he made a qoute but does not show him doing so. Read the statements quoted. He did not deny saying anything."

To which you replied:
"Actually you should read the Anti-Chomsky Reader, to my best recollection, he does explain it in full there. (I would look it up myself but I lent it to a friend)"

Since you did not in any way disagree with what I said ('he did not deny anything') or you would have said otherwise, I concluded that you conceded the point (at least till you get the book back from your friend).

I thought we were reasonable enough not to have to spell everything out but, ok, here we go...

The author you cite (Williamson) supposedly showed that 'Chomsky even lies about his own statements'. So the claim is that Chomsky denied saying something Williamson atrributed to him by referencing the New York Post profile.

Yet in the very text you provide, we find that Chomsky claimed the statemed quoted was "too ridiculous to merit comment...No one can seriously use this as a source...childish diatribes in journals attempting to discredit political enemies... almost all gosip...a ridiculous gossip column in the New Yorker."

Please show where in these quotes is Chomsky denying he said what MacFarquhar quoted.

But as I said, this is just on the face of it, from the evidence we have on the table. If you provide further evidence to back up what you're saying, we'll evaluate it and see where it gets us. But until then, you have made an accusation (or cited one to be more exact) which is not backed up by anything.

A reasonable conclusion, I believe.

Anyway, you said you would not reply anymore. You seem to say that a lot and then reply anyway. Why?

 
At August 17, 2004 at 3:20 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

And about spelling...
The first interaction we had was you correcting my spelling over at Benjamin's. So you deserve some :)

 
At August 17, 2004 at 11:06 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 17, 2004 at 11:10 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Luka, I am really being to doubt if you read any of my posts. What I said was "I think this all I will say on the topic.' Which meant that I would not sit here and try to ague with you when facts are right in front of your face and you choose to ignore them. However, if you cared to read my reply I did not say anything on the ‘topic’ of the post, or argue the facts. I merely pointed out how you make such outlandish claims such as I conceded something when I clearly have not. If you want to believe making a reference to another source as some sort of admittance that there is no adequate material then I am really at a lose of words, for this is the most basic tenet of research. However, if you are too cheap? or maybe to lazy? to buy a book that that I have source this is your problem.

As for spelling, I only corrected yours when I quoted you. If you took that as offensive than I apologize. However, Strelnikov I have come to realize only does it because he has nothing else to offer, or maybe has no regard for others. Plus I never belittled you for your spelling mistakes; he on the contrary is very vulgar and obnoxious and frequently does so.

 
At August 17, 2004 at 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's some more grist for the "Chomsky lied!" mill. Chomsky often misrepresents his sources, making the various quotes or authorities he cites sound far more supportive to his arguments than they actually are.

At http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2496/future/chomsky.html#3.5 we see how Chomsky blatantly mispreprented an author's views in a book review.

At http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/archives/000155.html we see how Chomsky pretended that there was a body of "analyses by highly qualified specialists who have studied the full range of evidence available" showing that Khmer Rouge murders were at most in the thousands.

At http://archive.salon.com/people/letters/2002/01/22/chomsky/index.html and http://archive.salon.com/people/letters/2002/01/29/chomsky/ we learn how Chomsky incorrectly claimed that Human Rights Watch and the German Embassy to Sudan made estimmates that Clinton's bombing of the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant "probably led to tens of thousands of deaths." The HRW "estimate" was a press release released immediately after the attack which only warned of a potential crisis caused by disruption in UN aid. The German Embassy "estimate" was a wild guess made by the German Ambassador in an essay that only peripherially mentioned Sudan; the estimate was not an official report or estimate from the German Embassy.

Chomsky's sloppiness with sources is particularly disturbing since his reputation derives partly from his status as a noted scientist. I expect better from a scholar.

 
At August 18, 2004 at 4:24 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

I'm not the one that's not reading what you're writing...

You said:
"Do you actually read my posts? Where did this come from, "there is no evidence as you have conceeded." When the hell did I ever conceded that?"

which touches on the topic, does it not?


"However, if you are too cheap? or maybe to lazy? to buy a book that that I have source this is your problem."

Firstly, the source you gave for the lie was not a book, it was a Frontpagemag.com "article" (it's basically an advertisement for the Anti-Chomsky Reader; combined also with a special discount for another of their books 'Left Illusions'; don't know whether the free knife set comes with it if you order within 30 or 60 min).
So the book doesn't even matter when it comes to the original claim you made (cited). So much for the 'most basic tenet of research.'

Secondly, that would be because I'm too cheap. The only way I can get ahold of the book is by ordering it from overseas and that costs a lot if I only do it for one book. So I won't. You are the one that has to prove Chomsky is a habitual liar and by first posting 'evidence' and after it's pointed out the 'evidence' does not show Chomsky lying saying that I can find out about it in a book you lent to a friend... Unpersuasive.

OK. We can stop with the squabbling.

I'll just point out (again) that the charge was that Chomsky is a 'habitual lier'.
If that were true, you could go to www.chomsky.info where a shitload of his texts can be found (along with a few books of his) and fish out these lies, of which there must be many, many, many, since it's a habit of his. And these lies you could easily have uncovered would be checkable online by anybody and there would be no squabbling.

But you instead chose 'lies' with Swedish sources (do you speak Swedish so you could check them for yourself, by the way?), many times discredited sources, 'lies' based on the say so of a known critic of Chomsky, 'lies' based on the say so of what you call a known Hollocaust denier etc.

Hardly shows the guy has a habit of lying.

You're just making an __________ out of yourself by claiming otherwise.

But you can continue doing so, of course.
And as I said, I don't mind you correcting my spelling (omit the obvious typos but any major screwups, I would be glad to hear about as I don't mind learning).

 
At August 18, 2004 at 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that #4 might not technically be a lie. For a statement to qualify as a lie it has to be intentionally misleading. It is possible that Chomsky truly believed that a silent genocide was being planned and implemented. Now to non-Chomskyites that might be hard to understand but it should be taken into consideration. Although it is hard to believe that somebody could be making an honest assessment and be so absurdly wrong at the same time, it is possible.

 
At August 18, 2004 at 4:23 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

The most vulgar, disgusting and rude statements that I have encountered come from those who seek to defend Chomsky. It’s not enough that they can’t engage a debate rationally but they spew so much disgusting garbage. The irony of it all is the front that they put that they care about mankind and everyone else is a hate monger. Can you ever post an article with out being obnoxious?

 
At August 19, 2004 at 4:19 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

I can and I do but when it comes to you I choose not to.

I have to say I have never met a person as dishonest as you and it does show in my writings and my attitude.

 
At August 19, 2004 at 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 19, 2004 at 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, "[c]an you post an article with out [sic] being obnoxious?"

- Strelnikov

 
At August 20, 2004 at 4:55 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 20, 2004 at 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Chomsky lie? Here’s a good example.

The lie: In a 1997 letter to the New York Times that was not published, but is available at http://jim.com/Chomsky_lies_about_Anthony_Lewis.htm
Chomsky wrote:

Anthony Lewis writes (June 23) that I "refused to believe what was going on in Cambodia," and "put the reports of killing down to a conspiratorial effort by American politicians and press to destroy the Cambodian revolution." The second charge is an invention. The first is his rendition of my suggestion that in dealing with horrendous crimes, one should try to keep to the truth, whoever the agent: for Cambodia, that means during both halves of the "decade of genocide," as the years 1969-79 are described in the one governmental inquiry (Finland). At the time I reviewed these and many other cases, including the "grisly" record of Khmer Rouge "barbarity."

From that last sentence it appears that Chomsky had written earlier that there was a grisly record of Khmer Rouge barbarity. He is quoting himself, right? Putting himself on the side of those who denounced the Khmer Rouge at the time they were in power? That’s the impression he wants to give, but he is lying. Here is what he actually wrote in 1977, in Distortions at Fourth Hand:

Ponchaud's book is serious and worth reading, as distinct from much of the commentary it has elicited. He gives a grisly account of what refugees have reported to him about the barbarity of their treatment at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

Chomsky wasn’t quoting himself at all; he was quoting what Ponchaud said refugees said to him about the Khmer Rouge. And Chomsky worked hard to undermine Ponchaud’s reporting: Chomsky goes on in the article to say that Ponchaud “plays fast and loose with facts and numbers,” that a serious reader should be wary, that Ponchaud’s quotes cannot be easily checked, and that “Ponchaud's account seems at best careless, sometimes in rather significant ways.” To his everlasting shame, Chomsky also sought to cast doubt on the refugee accounts that Ponchaud relied on.

So much for Chomsky’s “review” of the “grisly” record of Khmer Rouge “barbarity.”

 
At August 25, 2004 at 12:23 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"Does Chomsky lie?"

No, the question was whether Chomsky is a 'habitual liar'.

Of course he lies from time to time (I'm assuming). He's human. But is he a 'habitual liar'?

 
At September 14, 2004 at 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entire debate seems suspect to me. Certainly it is important to seek out lies and ultimately discover the truth behind an issue. Discovering whether the source of your information is a 'habitual liar' or not can only produce limited gains. I think its interesting that the debate over Chomsky is rarely over the issues that he brings up - but rather it is often whether Chomsky is lying or a 'habitual liar'. I think it would be more productive to discover whether Chomsky is wrong on a particular issue, or indeed (as dhimm put, i believe) if an 'alternative view' of the world is closer to the truth. Debates over whether a particular source was misquoted or not, of course should not be ignored, but they do little to argue against the thrust of Chomsky's ideas, which are often ignored. Indeed, it seems that most of Chomsky's ideas are conceded in political discussions. I came to this website (and others) because I am intrigued by Chomsky's ideas, but I was looking for opposing views and critical discussions. It's difficult to find anything about Chomsky's ideas. It usually falls into familiar personal attacks. For instance, the "lies" discussed here. Even if most of these were granted as true, it would do little to detract from the vast majority of Chomsky's literature.

-Tyler

 
At September 24, 2004 at 2:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to find out where Chomsky claims (in an interview?) that Faurisson was nearly beaten to death by "Jewish thugs". To my knowledge, Faurisson's attackers were never identified. I am writing a text about the Faurisson case, and I would like to be able to quote that statement, but will not do unless I can show that Chomsky actually made it.

Has anyone seen this statement?

 
At September 24, 2004 at 2:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to find out where Chomsky claims (in an interview?) that Faurisson was nearly beaten to death by "Jewish thugs". To my knowledge, Faurisson's attackers were never identified. I am writing a text about the Faurisson case, and I would like to be able to quote that statement, but will not do unless I can show that Chomsky actually made it.

Has anyone seen this statement?

 
At September 30, 2004 at 12:18 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

Dear Anonymous,

he did not say Faurisson was 'nearly beaten to death by Jewish thugs' but that 'he was beaten practically to death by Jewish terrorists'.


If you need more info, go to www.chomsky.info and type it into the search box...

And do post your text or a link to it when you finish it.

 
At October 18, 2004 at 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chomsky-Haters

Logic and Reasoning: Inside the Mind of an anti-Chomskyite: The Play (Act 1)

B: Have you read Chomsky?

J: No, but I hate him.

B: How do you know?

J: He hates America, he’s a Pol Pot apologist, he thinks the Holocaust never happened, he hates America, he takes things out of context, his knowledge of history is piss-poor and he doesn’t even have a PhD. in history, he hates America, he never says anything good about the U.S., he always supports communists, he hates America, he’s loose with facts and uses questionable sources, and even his linguistics is shoddy. Oh, and did I mention, he hates America?

B: Oh, really? Forgive me for asking, but if you haven’t read him how do you know all of this?

J: Because….uuhhh……well……I….I…….I did read 15 pages of one book once…….and I can tell piss-poor scholarship when I see it. I don’t need to eat an entire pile of shit to know that it tastes bad after a few nibbles.

B: Really? Hmmm, That’s quite interesting. So you got all of this information from 15 pages of one book? Which book were the 15 pages from? I must have missed this one.

J: The book was called 501.

B: And you got all of this information from the first 15 pages of 501?

J: Well, no, of course, not stupid. I’ve gotten some of my information from others who have studied him more thoroughly.

B: Really? Like who?

J: Like Brian Carnell, Brad DeLong, Keith Windschuttle, David Horowitz, Werner Cohen, and many others. It’s so easy to find really great criticisms of Chomsky’s lame-ass work.

B: But none of the people you’ve named are historians. How would they know if they don’t have a PhD. in history?

J: Uhhhh…..well…….uhh…….Anyone can see! You’re being sarcastic! You’re not being logical or rational! Are you attacking me? You and all of the other Chomsky-lovers always do this. You’re taking what I’ve said out of context, just like your hero Chomsky.

B: Excuse me? What are you talking about? I never said anything about liking Chomsky. When and where were my comments not logical or rational? What am I taking out of context? Frankly, I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

J: It’s hopeless! I’ve tried and tried to make you understand, but you just don’t get it. You resort to ad hominem attacks and name calling. You and your type, who think they have some high moral authority, always speak condescendingly to those of us who are rational enough to see through Chomsky’s ignorance and his hatred for America. We have the greatest country in the world and everyone wants to come here. They’re all jealous of our way of life and freedoms. The terrorists want to destroy us and all that we stand for in the world. We only help other countries and they don’t even appreciate it. They spit in our faces and we still hold out a helping hand. Chomsky and his ilk are just encouraging the terrorists. He’s a terrorist! He should be kicked out of the country, or better yet, killed! I’m so pissed I can’t even see straight! Where’s my gun? Goddamnit! Barbara! Where’s my fucking gun?

W: I think it’s in the dryer dear……Oh! Here it is. It was next to the bible under your National Review.

J: Shut up woman! Did I tell you to speak?! Just give me the fucking gun!

B: J, are you okay?

J: Shut up you fucking commie! You hate America too, don’t you?

B: How did you come to that conclusion?

J: Well, look! All you’ve been doing is criticizing everything I say. You’ve made countless ad homenim attacks. You’re so blinded by your love of Chomsky that you can’t even be rational or logical. Why don’t you and your friends start your own ‘We Love the Infallible Chomsky’ blog where you can just sit around with each other and talk about how great Chomsky is? This way you don’t have to listen to voices of reason and you can use your sloppy logic to your hearts content. Why am I even talking to you? You don’t make sense.

B: Okay, thanks J. I’ll talk to you later.

J: Barbara! Bring me another beer and those Amazon.com negative Chomsky review prints. I wanna’ study!
END

Projective Test: Therapy with an anti-Chomskyite (Act 1)

T: Good afternoon J.

J: Sorry I’m late. I couldn’t get this dumb-ass Chomsky-lover off of my blog.

T: Oh, you have your own blog?

J: Sure do. You should check it out sometime. Maybe you’d get some more insight into my psyche. (chuckles)

T: Well maybe I’ll just do that. What’s it called?

J: ‘Deep Insight: Exposing the Lies of Noam Chomsky’

T: Wow! That’s a pretty impressive name. You must put a lot of work into it?

J: Not really. All I find myself doing is arguing with irrational, illogical, Chomsky-loving commies who like to make ad hominem attacks on me.

T: But I mean you must have had to spend a lot of time reading and studying Chomsky’s ideas so that you could argue with these folks, right?

J: Shall we start our therapy?

T: Uhhh….okay, sure. Today I’d like to give you what’s known as a word association projective test. I’ll just say some words and you say the first thing which comes to your mind. Try to answer with one word or a short phrase.

J: Okay.

T: Are you ready?

J: Fire away.

T: banana

J: Sandanistas

T: book

J: review

T: study

J: Amazon.com

T: gun

J: love….No! Peace, peace.

T: history

J: memory hole

T: ad hominem

J: hobby

T: terrorists

J: everyone else

T: hypocrisy

J: rap

T: Orwell

J: Citizen Kane Wait! Did you say oil well? Uhh...Beverly Hillbillies

T: logic

J: Huh?

T: TV

J: Martha

T: projection

J: What?! Are you accusing me of projection?! That’s what those fucking Chomskyites are always saying to me. Did they put you up to this?! What do you want from me?!

T: No, J. Just relax. It’s okay. No one wants anything from you. I only want you to continue with the test. Okay?

J: Well, okay. How much longer is it going to be?

T: Not too much longer. Shall we proceed?

J: Okay. Sorry.

T: Chomsky

J: WHAT?! What the fuck are you doing?! You American-hating-commie-sympathizing-Jewish-Holocaust-denying-liberal media loving-Dan Ratherite-60’s were good-anti-gun-pro-environmental-pro-affirmative action-Michael Moore idolizer! You mother-fu*”+*#+!+

T: Yes, J! Yes J! Express your feelings! Open up! Open up!

J: You son-of-a-bit*`”*#*”*#*”*………………………………..

(After about 15 more minutes of “expressing himself” J begins to calm down. He sits down and begins to shake. He puts his face in his hands and begins to cry uncontrollably.)

T: It’s okay J. It’s okay to let your feelings go. Would you like to talk about it?

J: (Still crying) I don’t know what happened. It just came out. I couldn’t control it. I’m not even sure I remember what we were talking about.

T: Well, I said Chomsky and…..

J: You fucking said what?! You goddamn son-of-a-*+”*#+!*”+#*!............................................................

(The therapist pushes the button under his desk to alert the orderlies. Two big men bust through the door just as J starts after the therapist. As the orderlies are helping J into his straitjacket he continues to yell and scream obscenities interspersed with comments about Stalin, ad hominem attacks, and Paris Hilton. The orderlies then pick him up and head for the door. As they’re going through the door his head turns toward the therapist’s bookcase. He sees that there are about 30 Chomsky books neatly lined up. He becomes speechless. He glances back at the therapist. The therapist gives him a wink and says….)

T: Take him to room 501!

J: No! No! Noooooooo…………………………………
END


History, Anger, and the Future of Education: An anti-Chomskyite’s Perpective

B: Hey J, how do you like your history class?

J: Well, you know, it’s the same old crap. The professor is the usual liberal type who makes sure to slip in little comments which denigrate the U.S. What happened to all the “real historians?”

B: Like who?

J: Like David Horowitz.

B: Who?

J: You know, that guy who wrote the ‘Anti-Chomsky Reader’. Now he’s a “real historian”. He exposed all of the lies put forth by that damn east coast Jewish commie liberal Noam Chomsky, who’s not even a historian anyway. Why aren’t we using Horowitz’s book in our class?

B: I don’t know. Why don’t you ask your professor?

J: He’ll just give me the same old crap about this not being a very good example of either history or scholarship. This is the same thing I get from all of the Chomsky-lovers.

B: But you can challenge him if you really think that the authors are onto something regarding Chomsky. You should try to show him how accurate the book is and how it should be taken seriously. Perhaps it will be on the required reading list next year.

J: Yeah, right! And I’m supposed to believe that the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein during the time he gassed his own people.

B: Well, we did.

J: See! They’ve gotten to you! I can’t believe it! You fell for it, too! Am I the only rational one on this campus?! Am I the only one who knows anything about history?!

B: What do you mean? Are you saying that we didn’t support Saddam during the time of the gassing of the Kurds?

J: Of course we didn’t support him. I mean, yeah, well, we were selling him guns and weapons, and, yeah, we were doing everything possible to keep him in power, and, yeah, after the gassings we didn’t do a damn thing about it, and yeah, we basically liked him, but it doesn’t mean we supported him.

B: It doesn’t?

J: Hell no! Why would we support a murdering dictator like Saddam? He had guns and weapons, all he wanted was to stay in power, and he gassed his own people.

B: But you just got through saying that we sold him guns and weapons, and that we tried to keep him in power, and that he gassed his own people with U.S. complicity, and that we liked him.

J: Are you calling me a liar?! I didn’t say that! You’re putting words in my mouth! I never said complicity! I don’t even know that word! You’re one of them! You’re one of them! Let me see your book bag! What do you have in there?! (J grabs B’s book bag and begins to look for some kind of “evidence”. He doesn’t find anything of interest.) Where are they?! Where are they?! Where are the books you’re using in your history class?!

B: Settle down J. People are beginning to stare.

J: Fuckem’! They’re all commies, too.

B: How do you know this?

J: Look at them! They’re all just sitting around reading and stuff. Look! Look! See that girl over there? She has Howard Zinn’s ‘A Peoples History of the United States’. Pure shit! Nothing but lies! Zinn takes everything out of context! Chomsky does the same! They’re liars, and these professors, who supposedly study history and know what they’re talking about, allow their students to read this vulgar propaganda! See?! Can’t you see?! Are you really that blind?! There are signs all over the place that this country is going to hell. And it’s because these liberal teachers are letting their students read shit like Zinn, Chomsky, Said, and all the others!

B: So where do you get all of your historical information?

J: Everyone knows this! This is just common sense! No sane person has to study what I’m talking about to know what I’m talking about! Are you calling me a liar?! This country is great and I’m damn proud to be an American!

B: Uhhh…..Okay. And what does this have to do with where you get your historical information?

J: There you go again! You really are trying to start a fight! You’re calling my patriotism into question, aren’t you?!

B: Not at all. I was just wondering……..

J: Wondering what?!

B: Wondering where you got your historical information from? That’s all.

J: I’m finished talking to you! You can’t be reasoned with. You really are one of them. You guys should all just go live in North Korea if you think it’s so great there!

B: What are you talking about? Who said anything about North Korea, or thinking it was great?

J: See you’re trying to get out of it now!

B: Trying to get out of what?

J: See, you’re too ignorant to even know what I’m talking about. The education in this country really is going to shit.
END

Preventive War or Preventive Thought?: The Logical Conclusion for an anti-Chomskyite

B: You look deep in thought J. What are you thinking about?

J: I was just thinking about preventive war and how it seems a good logical idea.

B: Really? You think it’s logical?

J: You don’t?! You can’t be that naïve. Of course it’s logical.

B: Please explain yourself.

J: Well, I mean if we just go kill the other people first, it will just save us the trouble of having to do it later after they attack us, and could possibly save many more lives than if we wait. And it’s probably cost efficient. Why would any intelligent person wait? It’s like preventive medicine. You don’t wait until you get the illness before you start taking preventive medicine. Otherwise, it’s not preventive medicine. How much simpler could it be?

B: Hmmm I’m not so sure you can apply the preventive medicine analogy when talking about human affairs and war. It’s a little more complicated than that, don’t you think?

J: Hell no! It’s not complicated! If we know that these folks may eventually do something to us, why shouldn’t we just go after them first? Killem’! Killem’ all!

B: How will we determine who may want to do something to us in the future?

J: See?! This is the perfect example! I can tell by the way you’re questioning me that it’s possible that you’ll probably want to attack me in the future.

B: You can tell that simply by the questions I’ve asked you?

J: There you go again! You’ve just proved my point! You are attacking me! I knew I should’ve kicked your red-ass after you recommended that therapist! You commies are always sneaking up on us just waiting to pounce when our guard is down.

B: Commies?! What are you talking about? I’ve asked you five simple questions and now you’re calling me a commie? You say that I’m attacking you? You say that I’m sneaking up on you? And you say that you should have kicked my red-ass earlier? And you said I’ve proved your point? What are you talking about?

J: Yes, you have proved my point.

B: How have I done that?

J: Well, if I would have just killed you earlier on I wouldn’t have to endure all this pain you’re inflicting on me. See?

B: I’m inflicting pain on you? What have I done?

J: You may as well have stuck a knife into my back you unappreciative, Che T-shirt wearing, traitor.

B: So what if everybody else decides to implement the preventive doctrine? What will keep them from killing you first?

J: Because I believe in God and country and…(BANG!)

(Just then a gun shot went off and J’s head splattered against the wall. Everyone turned around only to see Barbara, his wife, standing there wearing her NRA T-shirt, her Wal-Mart sneakers, holding a 12-pack of Diet Pepsi in one hand and the smoking gun in the other.)

Barb: Sorry, B. I heard what J said and thought he was going to kill you.

(Barbara drops her gun, opens a Pepsi, looks into my eyes and says…..)

Barb: Be sure to vote for Bush!
END

Presidential Debate with an anti-Chomskyite: Plus a Brief Analysis of Media Coverage

M: Okay, gentlemen, we will begin with the topic of national security. How do each of you intend to insure the security of the American people? B, you have 60 seconds.

B: I think….

J: Why does he get to go first?! This debate has been fixed by the liberal media!

M: Well, we flipped a coin and…….

J: I don’t remember flipping a coin! I didn’t even have a chance to look at it! It was probably the same on both sides!

M: But sir you were the one who……

J: There you go again! I knew I shouldn’t get involved in a debate which was engineered to make me look like an incompetent idiot!

(During this exchange the anti-Chomskyites in the audience stand up and begin cheering J. They begin yelling that the debate is fixed, that J’s statements have been taken out of context, that B is making ad hominem attacks on J, and that J’s winning the debate. They are removed from the hall and taken to a padded cell in the back of the auditorium which was constructed in anticipation of the usual outbreaks of angry irrationality which they often display. A few minutes later calm returns to the auditorium.)

M: I must apologize to our audience for the temporary interruption. Perhaps, we can now resume with the debate. Okay, gentlemen, are you ready?

(They both say yes.)

M: Now B, regarding national security, what would you do……..

J: What?! Even after all that’s happened here you’re going to let him go first?! This is the second time tonight I’ve been insulted! What the hell’s going on here?!

B: It’s okay, M. J can go first……………………….

J: Shut the hell up! I don’t need handouts from a welfare commie like you! I’m a self made man! I’ve done everything myself! I’ve never taken anything from anyone, and I’m not going to start now! Just shut the hell up! Both of you! Shut up and let me talk! I think I’d be a good leader because I said I would. That’s all the proof I need. And if you’re like me and my fellow anti-Chomskyites, that’s all the proof you’ll need too. If I’m president I’ll do everything in my power to make every other country in this world hate us. Then we can use preventive war and kill all the bastards. We also won’t have to worry about them invading this great country anymore and trying to take all of the things I’ve built myself, with my own hands. They’re jealous! They’re all fuckin’ jealous!
I’d bomb the U.N. first as it’s the symbol of giving a shit what others think around the world. Nothing could be more dangerous than this!

M: J, I’m afraid your 60 seconds is………

J: Shut the fuck up you Kim Jong Il-loving mother-fu!*#+*$+”*$+!!! I’ll say when 60 seconds is up! Shut the hell up! Just let me speak! You haven’t let me say anything! See, you and your state-controlled liberal media are doing everything you can to censor me! You’re trying to make sure that my dangerous ideas don’t reach the average folks like me.

B: Why don’t we just relax and ………

J: I’ve had just about as much of you as I can take! You and your condescending tone!
You’re always interrupting me, mocking me, laughing at me behind my back, calling me bad names, and worst of all, thinking that you know what Chomsky’s talking about just because you’ve read him and I haven’t. That really pisses me off!

M: Okay, gentlemen. Let’s …………………..

J: I’m leaving! This is ridiculous! This isn’t a debate! This is a lynching! I don’t need this kind of treatment, and I sure as hell don’t deserve it! I’m going home! For those of you who are more objective, and want to hear what I really think, you can check out my anti-Chomsky website tomorrow. ‘The Voice of Reezun: Publicly Spanking My Monkey’. Thank you! God Bless America! And good night!

(The next day B decides to check out how the media has covered the debate. First, he looks at J’s website. Needless to say, the top article was how J smashed B despite B having the media on his side, and how the media had not given him a chance to express his opinions. There was a picture of the anti-Chomskyites being taken to the padded cell which was confirmation that the media and the B people were totalitarian censors. There was a picture of B saying “I think…” and was used as proof that his thoughts were getting more attention. There was a picture of the M putting his hand in his pocket which was proof that he had switched the coins, even though one could tell by looking at the background of the photo that the M was in a night club somewhere and looked about 10 years younger. B then looks at all the other media outlets CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and even PBS. He found that they had all interpreted the events of the debate much the same way J had on his website, with a few minor exceptions. B then leaned back in his big soft recliner, patted his copy of ‘Manufacturing Consent’ as if it were a pet, and burst out into laughter.)
The End

Taking a Test-The anti-Chomskyite’s Dilemma: A Short Story

(It was first period on Friday morning and J was an hour early for class as usual. He despised all of the slacker students who came strolling in just before the bell. He thought of them as lazy, good-for-nothing, communist, hippies who were just at school to take drugs, pick up chicks, and pretend to be radicals by reading Chomsky. True, his classmates were only 14 years of age, but to J this didn’t excuse their lack of discipline. Perhaps his being their senior by at least 25 years had something to do with his frustration. Anyway, he was confident that this test was going to be easy. The test was to cover the works of Noam Chomsky, and J was sure it would be a breeze. Of course, he hadn’t studied for the test because, I mean, what would be the point? After all, all commies think alike, and Chomsky was just another of the leftover flotsam from the terrible 60’s. Plus, J had an allergic reaction just at the thought of opening up one of Chomsky’s books. His body would break out into hives which could only be soothed by a thorough scrubbing with a wire brush and the William Buckley Jr. soap figurine he got from his father for learning to ride a bike two years earlier. Anyway, a few minutes later, the teacher walked in and told the students to clear their desks and take out a pencil. Upon hearing these instructions J took his copy of ‘The Complete Idiots Guide to Being an anti-Chomskyite’ off his desk and slipped it into his backpack. He then reached further down into his pack only to be shocked that his pencil wasn’t where he always kept it. He began searching frantically. He began to sweat profusely as the teacher came nearer. J was still digging as the teacher stopped next to his desk with test in hand…..)

T: So, J, did you forget your pencil again?

J: It was right here a second ago. I know it’s here somewhere. It’s got to be……………

T: Is it really that difficult to keep track of your pencil? And don’t try to blame Skippy for taking it again.

(The week before J had forgotten his pencil too. When confronted by the teacher, he began yelling that Skippy and all the other students were in a conspiracy against him and that Chomsky was behind it. He was sent to the principal’s office where he had to write ‘I will read more than 15 pages of Noam Chomsky before I’m fifty years old’ 200 times on the blackboard. When J finished this assignment two days later he decided to sue the school for excessive punishment. Anyway, back to the story.)

T: Will somebody let J borrow a pencil?

(Nobody offered a pencil. The teacher then looked a B.)

B: Why should I lend him a pencil? Last week when I did he started screaming that he wouldn’t accept handouts and that he wasn’t on welfare. And when he finally did take it he ate the eraser.

(There was a short pause and then B grudgingly gave J a pencil to use. It was the same pencil that he had eaten the eraser off of the last time. J took this as a direct attack. His face turned red, his hands began to shake, and he started mumbling something about Kissinger having a nice butt and saturation bombing. He was stuck. What was he to do? If he attacked B he’d probably have to write the Chomsky sentences 500 times, but if he didn’t kick B’s ass everyone would think he was a wuss. The teacher, seeing that J was about to blow, handed him an eraser hoping to diffuse the situation. It worked, but all that J could think about was kicking B’s ass after school. The teacher finished handing out the tests and the students began.)

The Test: J’s Test to be Precise

1. After having read the 8 Chomsky books you were assigned, do you believe Chomsky:

a. Hates America

b. Is a Pol Pot apologist

c. Is a Holocaust-denier

d. All of the above XXXXXXXXXX

e. None of the above

2. Chomsky’s critics often accuse him of sloppy scholarship and being selective with his sources. Do you think this is:

a. True

b. False

c. Don’t understand the question

d. Both a and c XXXXXXXXXXX

3. Some anti-Chomsky critics feel that it’s not really necessary to have to read his work to know what his thoughts are. Do you think this is:

a. True. There is no reason to read him to know what he thinks.

b. False. In order to understand his thought you should read his works.

c. Are you thinking that if you choose answer (a) to this question it’ll probably be the wrong answer, but to admit that it’s necessary to read Chomsky before you understand his thought and choose answer b would simply be too unbearable and not worth the point?

d. You wish you’re pencil had an eraser to eat.

e. All the above except b XXXXXXXXX

4. What best describes the Faurisson Affair?

a. It was the incident in which a Chomsky statement on the freedom of speech was used by a Holocaust-denier as the forward to his book. This was then interpreted by a few dumb-asses to mean that Chomsky supported the views included in the book.

b. It was the incident where Chomsky knowingly offered his statement on free speech to a Holocaust-denier because he hates Jews too and doesn’t really think the Holocaust happened either.XXXXXXXXXXXXX

c. It was the incident where a gay French fashion designer was caught making love with J’s wife because he thought she was a man.

(J had already circled b to the last question before reading c. Upon reading answer c J jumped from his desk and headed for the teacher, who incidentally is B’s father. T picked up his big thick copy of ‘Deterring Democracy’ and slammed J upside the head with it. A few hours later J began to wake up and realized that he was in the principal’s office. He was still a little dazed, but soon realized that his hands were handcuffed behind his back. He also realized that he was nude. He could turn his head just enough to see that there was a copy of Chomsky’s ‘Keeping the Rabble in Line’ sticking out of his butt. A policeman, the principal, T, B, and Skippy were all standing around laughing and pointing. J thought he had died and gone to hell. He then closed his teary eyes, began trying to click his heels together, though it was difficult because of the book in his butt, and repeating to himself ‘There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.’
(For those anti-Chomskyites of you who thought J scored 100% on the test above because you would have answered the same, sorry, the answers are e,b,b,a)
END
Kropotkin Beard

 
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At October 2, 2005 at 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Chomsky Paradigm

To understand Chomsky's critique, you must begin with his methodology and the assumptions interlaced with his volatile claims. Here is an attempt to mention a few of those assumptions, though this is hardly an exhaustive list:

• Our policies are anti-democratic and anti-freedom. The military industrial complex is a tool of political and business elites who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. To ensure the status quo is maintained, these elites and the military have projected American power abroad in highly destructive ways, including against the working class and peasants in other countries.

• Censorship is common. Opposition to such policies within the United States is stifled because corporate elites control the information that is disseminated to the broader public. We are all victims of mass manipulation, apparently. Chomsky calls this process "manufacturing consent."

• Our enemies are always illusory. Communism posed no real threat to human rights or freedom. Chomsky maintains this position throughout his work, though on occasion he will concede that the Soviet Union was an imperial power. The massive human rights violations perpetrated by the Soviet regime, Communist China, North Korea's communist regime, the Cambodian communists or the Ethiopian communist regime, just to mention a few, are at best afterthoughts and irrelevant in the Chomsky paradigm. In many instances, he refuses to even identify communist guerillas and insurgents as such, but would have readers believe that the victims of American power have all been innocent peasants minding their own business tilling their fields. In some instances this might be true, in others not, but an historian who would claim to be reputable has a responsibility to differentiate, which Chomsky almost never does.

• We are guilty by association. Any American relationship with a dictator, regime or government = U.S. control. Thus, Chomsky implicates the United States in acts of state violence in which we are not the primary mover or shaper of said policy or in which we have no involvement at all. "U.S. supported" is the operative phrase. So, if we sell weapons to the Turkish government this means, according to Chomsky, that we support the oppression of Turkish Kurds. If we brought Suharto into power in Indonesia, we also are responsible for every action that his government later perpetrates. Because the United States, naturally, has relations with virtually every nation in the world at some level, there is no end to the crimes with which Chomsky can accuse us.

• Even when we are right, we are wrong. That we liberated Germany and Japan, after a great war we did not start, and set those nations on a path toward freedom and democracy does not impress Chomsky, who presents our actions in both instances as an attempt to keep those nations within the "American system." This is the "Open Door" school's influence. Spearheaded by William Appleman Williams and Walter LaFeber, these historians argue that economics is the primary moving force in American foreign policy. But even though Williams and LaFeber can be tough American critics, they are fairer and less crude in their formulations than Chomsky. (Schlesinger argues against their paradigm in "America and Empire," included in his collection of essays, The Cycles of American History.)

• Chomsky never provides context. He gives a long list of violent actions by "U.S. supported" governments or regimes, but he never documents the violence that was ongoing before American intervention. In Central America, for example, where it must be conceded our policies have been in some instances questionable, it is nevertheless true that the region was in a state of turmoil long before the United States was a determining force. The ruling classes, mostly of Spanish origin, were at war routinely with peasants, revolutionaries and native populations, many of whom themselves were prepared to do great violence in an effort to expand power and control. Moreover, to ignore the great violence done by Communists and to portray only the violence perpetrated by the United States or its allies in opposition is to misrepresent history so maliciously as to destroy credibility.

In reading a dozen of his books I have yet to stumble across an instance in which Chomsky gives the United States the benefit of the doubt. Not only do we deserve no credit for rebuilding Europe or Japan, we were likewise wrong in Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, and now in Iraq. We were wrong when we supported Saddam (albeit tepidly), and just as wrong when we toppled his regime. All the pain and suffering inflicted on millions of people around the world by the enemies of the United States is ultimately the fault of the United States, according to Chomsky, as our enemies react in fear or uncertainty because of America's imperialist designs. The Soviet Union's decades of terror, Gulags, forced starvation and international aggression can all be traced back to a minor American intervention in Russia during the 1st World War. The communist regime in Cambodia came to power and ruled with violence and terror because the United States destabilized the country during the Vietnam War. Saddam was a murderer who had U.S. support, so argues the dean of the left, and yet it is Chomsky who steadfastly argued against any meaningful attempt to curtail that violence. He opposed the first Gulf War and the liberation of Kuwait, just as he later opposed sanctions and, of course, the decision finally to bring the criminal regime to an end.

Much of this is ably documented in the recently published book, The Anti-Chomsky Reader. The book, again, is the handiwork of Peter Collier and David Horowitz, best-selling authors and reformed leftists turned rightward. Since 1988, Horowitz has served as president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and as editor of FrontPageMag.com. As a former leftist himself, Horowitz knows all too well the motivations of the hate-America crowd. His own break with the left began when a close friend was murdered by members of the Black Panther party. Horowitz was dismayed by the cover up that followed and later by the inability of many on the left to acknowledge their own misjudgments with respect to the communist regime in Hanoi.

The essays collected in The Anti-Chomsky Reader are useful palliatives to the non-stop anti-American venom spewed by Chomsky, all of it presented in the guise of scholarship. Several of the authors, for example, deconstruct Chomsky's slick use of footnotes in order to appear a rigorous researcher. In many instances, his footnotes lead you back to his own writings. As you dig into his notes, you find that the sources for much of the volatile information Chomsky purports to document are highly suspect and even invisible.

Stephen Morris takes on Vietnam and Cambodia, arguing that Chomsky's inability to admit the failings of both communist regimes -- in the face of overwhelming evidence -- is itself an appalling act of non-scholarship.
The weight of the scholarly evidence makes clear, beyond any shadow of doubt, that the Khmer Rouge leaders carried out a radical communist revolution that led to the death of over one million, perhaps as many as two million. This dreadful situation was not a product of the world isolating Cambodia. It was the result of the Khmer Rouge dictatorship isolating Cambodia from the world while it pursued irrational economic policies, including collectivist agriculture, depopulating the cities, forcibly overworking the population, stopping private commerce, abolishing money, exterminating most of the nation's educated people, exporting to foreign countries the rice needed by the starving populace, closing down all hospitals, and refusing foreign offers of medical assistance. These facts were known at the time the Khmer Rouge were in power, as was their explanatory relevance. But Chomsky refused to believe them, and attacked the integrity of those who tried to tell the world the truth. (ACR, p. 28)
(Readers looking for a detailed account of the Cambodian tragedy might consider Elizabeth Becker's tough but fair book, When the War Was Over.) Morris' indictment continues: "Why would Chomsky write essays and books that attempt to whitewash the repressive policies of dictatorships, using methods that are such a travesty of academic standards? The answer is unfortunately a simple one. As a radical political ideologue, he is crippled by an intense emotional commitment to the cause of anti-Americanism." (ACR, p. 29)

Vietnam: A Case Study

Chomsky established his reputation as major intellectual player during the Vietnam era. He joined a host of intellectuals and writers who opposed US involvement, which he himself has called criminal. He wrote several books and a number of essays on the war, most notably American Power and the New Mandarins, At War with Asia and For Reasons of State.

The most influential was of these works was the first, American Power and the New Mandarins. The book is a prototype for much of his later work, for it melds his invective style with his pretense of academic and theoretical rigor. He displays early on the kinds of distortions that are typical in his work. Take this comment, noted by other reviewers when the book first appeared: "Three times in a generation American technology has laid waste a helpless Asian country." (NM, p. 4) How could any writer of history who would claim to have credibility call imperial Japan "helpless?" In fact, Japan "laid waste" Pearl Harbor and much of mainland China and Southeast Asia.

Did we "lay waste" Korea? Chomsky fails to mention the offensive launched by the North Korean communists, which triggered the Korean War. Not even Chalmers Johnson, a harsh critic of American policy in Asia, denies this basic historical fact. And if North Vietnam was helpless, how did it manage to defeat the all powerful hegemonic United States (and without any significant support from the Soviets or China, if you want to believe Chomsky)? The government we opposed in North Vietnam is still a dictatorship. South Korea, meanwhile, is proudly democratic and at times defiantly anti-American, despite the decades-long presence of American troops. There is a message there for anti-American critics, though they are averse to getting it.

Americans, Chomsky observed in NM, are gullible where the mythologies of U.S. power are concerned. Nevertheless, he argues, "There is hope that the struggle against racism and exploitation at home can be linked with the struggle to remove the heavy Yankee boot from the necks of the oppressed people throughout the world." (NM, p. 4) Chomsky cautions those who would embrace his perspective that they might be:
...cut off by domestic repression or its `functional equivalent,' to use a favorite term of the present administration: the dominance of a liberal technocracy who will serve the existing social order in the belief that they represent justice and humanity, fighting limited wars at home and overseas to preserve stability, promising that the future will be better if only the dispossessed will wait patiently, and supported by an apathetic, obedient majority, its mind and conscience dulled by a surfeit of commodities and by some new version of the old system of beliefs and ideas.
-- NM, p. 5
This is the Chomsky paradigm in a nutshell. What are the assumptions implicit in this litany of claims? First, the public is easily manipulated or duped; second, our foreign policy is driven by a need to repress rather than liberate; third, there is a concerted effort, in which most major media participate, to perpetuate myths about the benevolence of American power.

That the Vietnam War remains one of the most controversial chapters in U.S. foreign policy history is unarguable. Our nation was deeply divided. Diggins, a respected historian, suggests that two-thirds of the country came to oppose a war that wrought great destruction without any clear path toward victory or resolution. Three schools of thought dominated the debate. There were those who felt we were right to be in Vietnam. They argued that North Vietnam, with the help of the Soviet Union and China, both communist nations, was determined to subjugate the people in the south. The result would be a repressive regime that would further destabilize Asia and encourage communist forces around the globe who were enemies not only of the United States but of freedom.

Chomsky does not allow for this possibility, however, and in some instances goes so far as to suggest that even debating the issue does a disservice to morality. He claims the United States "invaded" South Vietnam, that there was no significant support for our presence, nor was there a government in place that could have legitimately invited the United States to act on its behalf. In short, we intervened not only without the consent of the South Vietnamese, but against the wishes of the Vietnamese people.

Alas, Chomsky runs up against reality and does not fare that well. As Morris explains, Chomsky, once confronted by the boat people fleeing North Vietnamese rule, first denies and then seeks to discredit or ignore the witnesses of North Vietnamese tyranny and repression. In the end, he retreats to his usual position and blames the usual scapegoat -- the United States. If only we had not intervened and radicalized the communist north, things would have gone better in Southeast Asia. Not even former Viet Cong and North Vietnamese operatives buy this reasoning, but Chomsky and his cadre of academic leftists embrace it.

During a Firing Line interview with William F. Buckley Jr. in 1969 Chomsky acknowledged that he had purposely focused only on the behavior of the United States, not the actions of the communists, nor the Vietnamese against whom we were fighting, or, for that matter, the South Vietnamese for whom we fought. This is a startling admission. It reveals a conscious desire to judge the United States by standards never applied to other nations or actors on the geopolitical stage. If we ignore relevant information, such as the fact that the other side had guns and was killing tens of thousands of people who opposed their rule, it becomes easy to portray even acts of legitimate self defense as brutal. Chomsky routinely does this. During the Firing Line interview, he denies that purges in China killed a million people. He should take the matter up with his comrade in anti-American scholarship, Chalmers Johnson, an Asia expert who has documented the toll of Chinese terror and policies. (This is noted even in his book, Blowback, which is harshly critical of the United States.)

Buckley, of course, tried to make the case for those who believed (and still do) that our efforts in Vietnam were noble, that, in fact, the communist regime in North Vietnam sought to subjugate the people of South Vietnam and impose on it a totalitarian system known to have brought about the deaths of millions of people around the globe. This leads to an interesting exchange in which Chomsky agrees that a moral calculation is, at times, necessary. That is to say, if the sum of human suffering is reduced by an exercise in military action, can a case not be made for intervention, even if there is a human cost associated with it?

This brings us to the second group, who opposed the war, but not because it was wrong as a matter of principle, but because the costs of liberating the Vietnamese from communist rule was simply too high to justify our intervention. Chomsky finds this a distasteful discussion because it takes his moral high ground and reduces it to practical calculation. He refuses to even entertain the idea that North Vietnamese rule of the south might turn out to be repressive, violent or a threat to freedom, which in fact it was. He goes even further, arguing "the health of our system would have been demonstrated by a change of policy caused by a recognition that what we have done in Vietnam is wrong, is a criminal act, that an 'American' victory would have been a tragedy." (NM, p. 11).

This reasoning leaves only one acceptable conclusion -- that American intervention by definition was a criminal act. Chomsky reveals in his reasoning that he is an extreme proponent of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which enshrined the notion of national sovereignty. Apparently, no crimes or potential crimes can justify the intrusion of outside forces into the internal affairs of another country. By this reasoning, of course, Hitler could have killed all the Jews he wanted without recourse to international response provided he did it within German borders. This is, in principle, the position Chomsky takes in his essay "The Logic of Withdrawal."

Let me quote him directly: "The simple fact is that there is no legitimate interest or principle to justify the use of American military force in Vietnam." (NM, p. 221). But his prohibition against intervention is not situational, as he reveals when he discusses Neal Sheehan's writings on the war: "He (Sheehan) is disillusioned only because of the devastating consequences, for Vietnam and its people, to which this attempt led. But he still does not question that we had a perfect right to use military force to determine the structure of South Vietnamese society and to defeat and insurgent movement which we had decided `would subject them to a dour tyranny.'" (NM, p. 245.)

Some supporters of the war have had second thoughts. My own reading of the war's history suggests that by around 1966 or so, when the South could not piece together a respectable ruling government, the cause was lost. Perhaps a phased withdrawal was the only reasonable path. But there is no doubt what the looming consequences of defeat were. The human rights record of Soviet and Chinese-inspired communism had by the mid-1960s brought about the deaths of tens of millions of people and the annihilation of human and political rights for tens of millions more. Chalmers Johnson, again, one of the toughest critics of American foreign policy in Asia, documents that Mao brought on the starvation of some 30 million peasants because of his extreme collectivist agrarian policies (The Great Leap Forward). Millions more died in the purges inspired by the Cultural Revolution. If none of this could warrant intervention as a matter of principle (as opposed to practical calculation), one can certainly appreciate why Chomsky fails to see the logic of our intervention in North Vietnam. But intervention, right or wrong, was an attempt to save Vietnam from the horrors of communist rule and to discourage such rule in other parts of the world.

Chomsky is not content to argue that the principle of non-intervention is the only way to ensure a reasonably stable world-system of nations. He goes further, touting the heroic resistance of the North Vietnamese against American intervention, as if the crimes and oppression committed by communists were all a fantasy of American cold warriors. In short, his sovereignty sensitivity is triggered mainly with respect to those who oppose the United States. Chomsky did not rush to the defense of Kuwait, for example, a sovereign nation whose rights Chomsky effectively dismisses as soon as the United States sought to defend them.

Chomsky never hesitates to document, in gory detail, every crime committed by anti-communists, from the right-wing death squads in El Salvador to those committed by American troops in Vietnam. But you get barely a passing reference about the crimes against humanity committed by communist or communist-inspired troops. In Chomsky nomenclature they are "peasants" and democrats simply going about the business of trying to restructure their own societies. Nor can he bring himself to admit what has been well documented by many historians -- that both China and the Soviet Union, despite their own differences, provided North Vietnam with financial and military support. This is hardly an oversight, but a systematic effort to indict one side and exonerate by silence the other.

The rest of this "brilliant" book is more vintage Chomsky, who even goes so far as to suggest that de-Nazification of the United States is in order because some Americans enjoyed playing an insensitive video game. He argues that American indifference to the oppression experienced by minorities is the equivalent of our indifference to the suffering of the unfortunate in other parts of the world. And here Chomsky begins to show his true colors, for what we really fear, he implies, is not that the North Vietnamese will fail, but rather that the socialist model might succeed in the way, as one writer he quotes puts it, China and the Soviet Union succeeded. (Emphasis added.)

That the United States has committed crimes and made mistakes is no doubt true, but that we have helped liberate much of the world is also true. But Chomsky cannot concede even this, and so consequently he attacks any American supporter, including the Czechoslovakian president Vaclav Havel, who appeared before the United States Congress and praised the United States for its commitment to freedom. In a vicious letter to Alexander Cockburn, Chomsky brings Vietnam and Eastern Europe together: "I don't mean to equate a Vietnamese villager to Vaclav Havel. For one thing, I doubt the former would have had the supreme hypocrisy and audacity to clothe his praise for the defenders of freedom with gushing about responsibility for the human race. It's also unnecessary to point out to the half dozen or so sane people who remain that in comparison to the conditions imposed by US tyranny and violence, East Europe under Russian rule was practically a paradise…." (As quoted in ACR, p. 61. Emphasis added.)

If you think Chomsky was having an exceptionally bad day when he wrote the above, consider these comments made in his book, Deterring Democracy:
…a different conception was needed as a rationale for the policies then being implemented to maintain US global domination and to provide a needed shot in the arm to high technology industry: the picture of a fearsome Soviet Union marching from strength to strength and posing an awesome challenge to Western Civilization. These illusions lacked credibility at the time, and became completely unsustainable through the next decade. (p. 2)
It is worth recalling what was transpiring in the 1970s, the decade to which Chomsky alludes in these sentences. The Soviet Union had supported a victorious communist government in Hanoi, which soon imposed tyranny on the south and invaded Cambodia. The communists in Cambodia had unleashed genocide. Soviet troops were discovered in Cuba and the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan. In fact, the "hegemonic power," to use Chomsky's characterization of the United States, had watched, incapacitated, as communism stretched its muscles in Ethiopia, Angola, Nicaragua, Chile and El Salvador. A workers movement in Poland was starting to emerge, but was being repressed by the communist government there. There was little sign, in the 1970s, that the Soviet Union's appetite for meddling and outright repression had been satiated. Only a few years before, Soviet tanks had rolled into Prague.

Even on those rare occasions when Chomsky criticizes the Soviet Union, he argues for Soviet exceptionalism -- that is, what they did was distort the socialist/communist agenda, not carry it out. Thomas Nichols, in The Anti-Chomsky Reader, sheds light on Chomsky's inability to grasp basic geopolitical realities.
…Chomsky also has a pressing tactical reason for avoiding the thickets of ideology. Specifically, if he were to grant that the Soviet leadership ever acted out of a real commitment to a Communist ideal, it would then force him to accept that it logically follows that the USSR was more of a danger than he has depicted -- and perhaps more intimately related to his own putatively progressive agenda than he would like to admit. More damaging, it would also open the possibility that American policy might therefore have been grounded in the actions of men and women who were likewise motivated by their own set of ideals, an explanation that Chomsky, as a matter of first principles, has already excluded from consideration. (p. 40)
Central America

Central America is arguably the place where American foreign policy has been most self-serving and destructive. If there is a place where the Chomsky paradigm has some validity, it is probably here and particularly in the period prior to World War II. Various studies, including the much acclaimed book by Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions, suggest that our military and our foreign policy were grossly manipulated by special interests and big business at the expense of our nation's reputation and its long-term strategic interests.

But even here, the truth is far more complex than Chomsky concedes, so let us take a few moments to review the history of that troubled region. For starters, as LaFeber makes clear, the region was in constant turmoil long before the United States was playing a particularly important military or strategic role. Power struggles between strongmen in Guatemala and Nicaragua were ongoing. Peasant and native Indian rebellions were common. The first and most devastating colonization of the region was an exercise in Spanish power. The economic and political systems evolved over centuries, during which time disproportionate wealth accumulated to the few at the expense of the many. Those of Spanish ancestry were favored. (This was true not only in Central America, but also in the Philippines.)

Early American intervention was aimed less at subduing the region for economic or political purposes than it was to minimize the encroachment of the European powers into the affairs of the Western Hemisphere. It was not until the end of the 19th century that big business interests saw an opportunity to exploit the instability of the region. These business interventions involved a variety of players: the United Fruit Company, Major Keith, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Lee Christmas, and others who conspired with local elites to control valuable land for the production of cash crops. Peasants who had once subsisted off the land were often reduced to homeless migrant workers. Tobacco, bananas, coco and coffee generated great wealth for the region, but also consolidated the control of the economy in the hands of local elites and some American business interests.

A turning point came when the Nicaraguan rebel leader, Augusto Cesar Sandino, revolted in the 1920s against the American occupation of his country. After successfully bringing about the withdrawal of American troops, he was murdered by Anastasio Somoza, who eventually imposed his family's dictatorship on the country. This may well have been a missed opportunity for American foreign policy. Had the United States condemned the murder and insisted that the negotiations then underway continue, the situation might have been stabilized and improved. That is at best speculation, however, for the region -- with the exception of Costa Rica -- had little tradition of stable governance. In any case, short-term business and political interests prevailed and the Somoza regime survived for almost half a century.

Likewise, our interference in Guatemala in 1954 was questionable. Worried that the reform-minded Jacobo Arbenz government was weakly subservient to Soviet interests, the United States toppled a democratically elected government and helped destabilize an already shaky nation. On the other hand, Arbenz did not spend his exile years in Paris, but rather in the Soviet Union and in Cuba, a nation that less than a decade later would allow 40,000 Soviet troops on its soil and would begin positioning nuclear missiles aimed at the United States. That was precisely the kind of scenario that worried the Dulles brothers and Eisenhower when they chose to overthrow Arbenz. One can argue that it was the wrong thing to do, just as they could argue that Allende posed no real threat to democracy or freedom in Chile. But it is intellectually dishonest to pretend that the United States had no reason to be concerned about communist rule in such countries. Chomsky refuses to grant that such concerns were rooted in real-world events and a documented history of oppression. Nor will he point out that Chile evolved into a democracy under the hated Pinochet and that once Arbenz was removed from power, the United States withdrew its support of the United Fruit Company. Chomsky can't concede this because it would require admitting that perhaps US actions in the region have not been driven solely by the narrow business or power interests he cites as our motivation.

By the 1970s and 1980s, things began to come to a head. In Nicaragua, the Ortega brothers began to consolidate power, pushing aside democrats who had supported the toppling of the brutal Somoza regime. Even so, the Carter administration offered aid to Nicaragua, which the Sandinistas rejected as they secured their power and turned to a Soviet model. This was a standard and well-documented practice on the part of communists around the world.

The Sandanista regime did not -- or was not allowed to -- compile the kind of dismal human rights record of many other leftist governments, or some right-wing forces in Central America. Constant pressure put on the government by the United States and opposition forces, some of them democratic and others holdovers from the Somoza days, kept the regime on the defensive. Even so, the Sandanistas had made overtures to the Soviet Union for arms, had imprisoned opponents and abolished a variety of basic freedoms, including freedom of the press. The regime lost power in a free election in 1990. Since then, several elections have been held and Daniel Ortega has continued to participate freely in the political affairs of the country as a candidate and leader. He has been allowed to run openly on a progressive/reformist agenda, though he is still openly hostile to the United States. Nicaragua is not a perfect place, but it remains a relatively free and stable country. Chomsky, as Horowitz observes in his article, "Noam Chomsky's Anti-American Obsession," also misrepresents the American intervention in Grenada, which was welcomed by most of the governments in the region and which liberated that nation from a radical-left Marxist government hell-bent on welcoming Soviet influence in the region.

El Salvador also has had a tumultuous history and Chomsky always lists this country when he compiles his list of American crimes. The United States, he would have readers believe, was the major reason for the violence in that impoverished, war-torn nation. But even a left-minded historian like LaFeber rejects this notion. LeFaber's observes that U.S. interest in El Salvador was not very significant prior to the 1960s when "North American investment and aid poured in. U.S. military aid more than doubled during the Alliance decade. But the North Americans arrived at a bad time. Already enduring one of the world's widest gaps between rich and poor, El Salvador was about to explode in bloodshed. Washington officials were caught in the middle of that explosion." (IR, p. 243).

In short, the United States did not seed the conflict that would embroil El Salvador for twelve years and lead to horrific violence. And for all the attempts by some on the left to lay this tragedy at the feet of the United States, the truth is that the Reagan administration brokered a compromise that helped save El Salvador. Chomsky and many on the left dismiss those efforts, calling the candidate supported by the United States, Jose Napoleon Duarte, a figurehead who acted as a U.S. proxy. But Duarte's victory over Roberto D'Aubuisson, a right-wing killer, helped stabilize the situation in El Salvador. The United Nations then had the opportunity to step in and negotiate an agreement that ushered in elections, dismantled death squads, and allowed the FMLA, leftist armed revolutionaries, to participate openly and freely in the electoral process, which it had previously refused to do. Today, the two major parties -- Arena and the FMLA -- are in close competition to rule the nation. Problems persist, but neither a right-wing repressive dictatorship nor a totalitarian left-wing government of the sort in Cuba came to power. Only through the distorted lens of Chomsky would such an outcome be unwelcome.

Chomsky always calls those who are supported by the United States terrorists (including those who opposed Castro), but the communists who overthrew Batista he calls guerillas, armed revolutionaries, liberators, democrats and even peasants. He deserves credit for consistency, if not accuracy. Why does Chomsky call Cubans trying to liberate their country from communist rule "terrorists" but refuse to use that term to describe those who would impose communist rule? Horowitz sums up the mindset of Chomsky and those who are his disciples. In their view, "Those who oppose socialism, Marxism, Communism, Chomskyism embody evil; they are the Great Satan himself. Chomskyism is, like its models, a religion of social hatred." (ACR, p. 197).

9/11

Chomsky published a bestseller, 9/11, in which he set forth his views that this unprovoked attack on the United States was unique only because the victims were Americans. After all, America, as he has argued for four decades, has been waging war against the oppressed people of the world since Europeans first stepped on the continent.

As we have shown, even acts that most of the world community considered legal and proper, such as the liberation of Kuwait and the toppling of the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, Chomsky considers criminal. That is because Chomsky considers America a criminal government. To offer one recent and timely example, Chomsky (and many on the left) tries to implicate the United States in the behavior of Saddam Hussein because we gave him minimal support during the 1980s and the Iraq/Iran war. To read Chomsky, you would think the United States brought Saddam into power and kept him there, which is itself a falsehood. Nor does he inform readers that France, Russia and Germany were much more entangled with the regime than the United States. We are, by association, guilty of the crimes Saddam committed during that period. No allowance is made for efforts to soften regime behavior, to offset greater evils (the Iranian fundamentalist revolution threatened the region) or to pursue legitimate national interests. If you carry his logic to its natural end, the United States would be forced to disassociate from virtually every government on the planet in order to avoid being blamed for their policies or crimes.

But as Horowitz and Ronald Radosh show, Chomsky's hatred of the United States is so severe that he presents even our liberation of Afghanistan, which virtually the entire world community supported, as an attempted genocide. That it prevented mass starvation, rid the country of a despotic regime, and put on the defensive one of the most notorious terrorist networks in history is all incidental to Chomsky. Chomsky endorses sovereignty for repressive regimes in Cuba, North Vietnam, Kosovo and Nicaragua under the Ortega brothers, but not for Suharto or the Saudis, or for Marcos, or for any other U.S. ally who has been a less than perfect democratic regime. Those who side with the United States are, by definition, anti-democratic and anti-human rights, a crude formulation that turns the truth upside down.

Incidentals at Home and Abroad

In a collection of interviews called the Chronicles of Discontent, we get a good glimpse of typical Chomsky logic. He calls Columbus one of the great genocidal monsters in history, even worse than Hitler, and makes no distinction between intentional acts and unintentional consequences. While it is true that some of the early explorers were brutal in their treatment of the native populations in America, it is also true that most of the deaths that occurred over the centuries were the result of European diseases that killed indiscriminately, including tens of thousands of Europeans. It is certainly true that the Aztecs and the Incas were subjected to brutal treatment from the Spaniards. It is also true that virtually no one in this country endorses those policies or actions, but Chomsky intends to draw a far-fetched but direct correlation between long ago history and current policies of the United States government.

Chomsky's views of the media also are dissected in The Anti-Chomsky Reader. This is important. After all, if the United States government does all these things, it must do so with the consent of its people, right? Several of his books and pamphlets claim that our government and its power elites "manufacture consent" through the use of public relations, message control and the subtle but nevertheless determined quashing of radical and dissenting views. Two of his works in particular are worth exploring briefly in this regard. Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, and Manufacturing Consent.

Chomsky would have us believe there is a cadre of top power brokers trying to control what is said and read in American society, or at least limiting access to dissenting views. While we are a consumer society a little too prone to be manipulated by sophisticated marketing, it is also the case that Chomsky's books are for sale in every major bookstore in the country, not to mention huge corporately-run online bookstores. His books have been and continue to be reviewed, though surely not with the regularity he would like. Of course, he gets reviewed a great deal more than most conservatives authors who might seek notice in the New York Times. Chomsky is, as one writer claims, arguably the most quoted intellectual in the world.

Now all of this begs a simple question. If big capitalist elites in the United States are so effective at manufacturing thought in this country, how is it that Chomsky has been so successful? The answer cuts to the core of Chomsky nonsense: there is no conspiracy to control thought in the United States and even if there were, it would never succeed because of the open nature of our society. The market, not a centralized power structure driven by ideology, controls this issue. And the market is not an ideologically monolithic creature, but a mass of opinion, ideas and products competing for market share. How else can Chomsky explain the dozens and dozens of books slamming Bush and the United States now in every bookstore in the country? If this be a conspiracy to quiet the anti-American crowd, it is about as effective as America's anti-terrorism policy prior to 9/11. To recap: Chomsky's own success is an argument against his position. Even so, let us quote him on the kind of information culture he claims those in power seek.
It ought to be a system in which the specialized class is trained to work in the service of the masters, the people who own the society. The rest of the population ought to be deprived of any form of organization, because organizations just cause trouble.
-- Media Control, p. 21
Who is the specialized class? How does it deprive the rest of the population of its capacity to organize? How does Chomsky explain the widely disparate views of America's role in the world found among both media elites and major corporate leaders? None of this is explored because this would require Chomsky to question some of his own assumptions. To quote Eli Leher, writing in the Anti-Chomsky Reader: "Nearly all of Chomsky's work on the media begins with a restatement of his propaganda model. There is never an attempt to investigate the subject or in the spirit of inquiry to see if the facts fit the model. It's always the other way around: the facts are shoehorned into the theory." (p. 79).

America: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

So is there a tough, reasonable critique of American power? Of course there is, but you don't get it from Chomsky. Those who believe the United States is intent on global dominance are often confusing ends with intention. America is a dominant power, but that is not the same as conceding that America has imperial designs. Our economy, our military might and our obligations as a free nation ensure that our impact will be felt, but this is a far-cry from the arguments put forward by critics, left and right, that a small cadre of "imperialists" are plotting to rule the world for their own nefarious or self-interested reasons.

In fact, our "empire" has to some extent been accidental, to quote the phrase often applied to Britain. Our system is dynamic and free and has unleashed forces -- both good and not -- that defy control. How can one explain an Egyptian medical student listening to Elvis Presley while driving through the City of the Dead or the desire of people to drink Coca Cola rather than their own, healthier, local drinks? If people don't want American culture, than don't buy it. It is not that complicated. I can say for certain that Paul Wolfowitz did not reach into Cairo or China and force individuals to enjoy these distinctly American brands.

On the other hand, listening to Roger Hedgecock filling in for Rush Limbaugh, I had to wonder if our critics -- such as Buchanan -- don't raise a valid point. Has a Wilsonian pipe dream high-jacked the realistic conservatism we expected from Bush and his policy team? Hedgecock was lamenting the genocide in the Sudan and argued that the inability of the United Nations to stop it is evidence that coalition efforts are bound to fail. He was making a point in defense of Bush's unilateral decision-making, but interestingly his example runs precisely counter to the hard-nosed neoconservative position espoused by Charles Krauthammer years ago. Krauthammer argued that the United States should project its power around the world only when specific national interests are at stake, but Hedgecock, who might consider himself a disciple of Krauthammer, would have America intervene to stop human tragedies that are occurring around the globe. There is in this reasoning no calculation of the limits of American power, the complexity and costs of such operations, and the unintended consequences sure to arise. Does the United States have the means or the stomach for embroiling itself endlessly in such campaigns, however well intended? And who could argue for such a policy without grasping the implications for our military and our children?

Buchanan believes the United States is a nation that has done much good, but makes its most regrettable mistakes when it bites off more than it can chew. He supported the Cold War and our intervention in Vietnam, not because he wanted us to rule the world, as Chomsky would argue, but because he believed a world that increasingly embraced communism posed a real threat to the freedoms and liberties of the American people. Buchanan goes overboard on some issues -- including immigration and Israel, which undercuts some of his more reasonable "Republic" arguments.

In calling the United States a "rogue" nation, Prestowitz lends credibility to harsh, one-sided critics like Chomsky and Johnson. And his own reasoning betrays biases that suggest that he has imbibed knee-jerk anti-Americanism. For example, he takes Bush to task for supporting Taiwan. In recounting the history of that island, he takes the trouble to describe its flaws and human rights abuses. Yet, he has nothing to say about the much worse human rights abuses that have characterized the mainland Chinese government under communist rule. One has to question whose influence Prestowitz, who calls himself a conservative, has come under. He makes a huge issue of our withdrawal from the Kyoto Treaty because of concerns about crippling the American economy. But as Prestowitz himself acknowledges, we have made more progress reducing the Carbon Dioxide emissions in question than any other government in the world.

While I happen to share his concerns about U.S. arms trafficking, which needs to be curbed, it might not hurt for Prestowitz to spend a little time noting that many other countries produce and sell weapons, including European states most critical of our policies. Should the United States work to stop the proliferation of conventional weapons? Yes. Should we support measures to eliminate weapons that cause long-term suffering to civilians -- land mines, cluster bombs and the like? I would support measures to move in that direction sooner rather than later.

But the United States has burdens that no other nation in the world has to shoulder. Agree or disagree with a given policy, the fact remains that the only real hope victims facing catastrophic repression or genocide have is the United States. It is troubling that so much of the world leaps to criticize our nation for exercising its military muscle, irrespective of whether it be for a good cause or for our national interests. And in either case, we are not performing geopolitical calculations outside what is normal in the world community.

The United States has made mistakes, but those who would judge our behavior and our record should look to real historians and real historical contexts, not the fabricated conspiracies of Noam Chomsky and his ilk. Richard Hofstadter, hardly an uncritical historian where the United States is concerned, wrote an essay on the Philippines and Cuba that leftists might revisit. He does not exonerate the United States but he does observe that America's embarkation into the world at large as an "imperial" power began with the best of intentions -- to liberate the Cuban people from despotic Spanish rule. Moreover, for all our tragic fumbling in the Philippines, that country was granted its independence by the 1930s. Indeed, the list of countries that have gained their independence while under the umbrella of American protection and support is long. Any reasonable historian seeking to weigh the pluses and minuses of America's record would take this into account. Chomsky, unfortunately, is not such an historian or commentator. That is what Horowitz and his authors are arguing, and that is what most Chomsky critics, even those on the left (e.g. Christopher Hitchens) are starting to appreciate and conclude.

Bush's stated aim in 2000 of a humble foreign policy was on the mark and reassuring. It should be revisited, but then how many of us had anticipated 9/11? And I would add this addendum: how ironic that just as Buchanan, Anonymous and dozens of others critics have published their books about our imperial ambitions, President Bush announced his long-term goal of withdrawing tens of thousands of troops from Europe and Asia. The empire ends -- yet again -- almost as soon as it begins.

 
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At August 11, 2006 at 3:44 AM, Blogger Aaron Agassi said...

While it remains entirely conceivable that it is Guillaume who actually lied in acknowledging Chomsky's meticulous writing assistance, the question and the credibility remains begged and skirted by Chomsky. Masses of just such picayune ambiguity, time wasting convolution and misdirection are the typical vexing hallmark of Chomsky's slippery dissembling handily utilized with such aptitude by his sycophantic apologists.

Chomsky deliberate time wasting is only another strategy of misdirection. Chomsky is the favorite straw man of the right. Chomsky is indeed Orwell's renegade Liberal. Chomsky is worse than Lyndon LaRouche, because while LaRouche scams, bilks and brainwashes democrat supporters, Chomsky's fifth column is systematically destroying the left. Joe Lieberman displays greater integrity! Likewise, who the Hell is Chomsky really working for? Why, Chomsky even trivialized Ohio votergate! http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=90&ItemID=6751

Instead of playing Chomsky's game, instead let us discuss George Soros, because George Soros, unlike Chomsky on the one hand or the Neocons in the other, does not play favorites in fighting oppression. And because George Soros represents the best alternative to violence in going the job successfully and cost effectively. That is why George Soros is demonized both on the right and on the left.

 
At January 10, 2007 at 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just started with the first and quit.

The reason is that why the first part of the argument,
is clear. Chomksy said that and you can find
that in his own website. The second part
is what Horowitz says of Chomksy (I mean
that is where the link send you). That is,
you are using the word of the prosecutor
as evidence against the defendant. That does
not make sense. You should help the reader
by attaching a PDF file somewhere of the
actual document written by Chomksy.

I suspect the other 9 are of the same style.

Just face the truth.

 
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At August 16, 2011 at 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so dreary to have to wade through the Chomsky cult's dreary little sentences. Chomsky is an old-time Communist propagandist who has about as much use for the truth as a man does for a used condom.
What's funny is how seriously his followers take him. Let me break it down for you, morons, Chomsky is a Jew who is and has been in massive angry rebellion against the doctrine of the Chosen for his entire life. He has a mission and that mission has nothing to do with democracy. Democrats don't consort with neo-Nazis. Democrats don't give praise to Hezbollah - (and don't try to wriggle around that one when there's a you tube video of him which I have watched with my own two eyes, giving a speech to a Hezbollah gathering and praising them.)
The man is no better than garbage. He seeks to supply the intellectual ammunition to fuel hatred against the state of Israel and the United States. Truth and balance don't enter into this. Communism which seeks ostensibly to crush hierachies and make humans into something they are not - equal in ability - is seen by Chomshit as a countermeasure to being Jewish, and therefore taught that he was one of the Chosen. The irony of course is that Chomsky's superior intellect is a gift from his Jewish genes. Hence the self-hatred.
Any Jew who would write the forward for a neo-nazi is a deeply, deeply effed-up human being and if you are someone who cannot understand the plain truth of this then you are a brain-dead moron who belongs in the Chomshit cult.
As for this Strelnikov c-nt. Who gives a daman if you're impressed or not? You may have read this all years ago but it obviously just bounced off your thick skull without making any indentation on that mulch you have mistaknely labelled brain tissue for all this time. Stop picking at sentences and step back and see the whole picture, halfwit.
God these cultists are annoying.
As for that "playwright" who had filled up the comment column with all that pro-Chomsky trash . . . I don't have to read the Una bomber's manifesto in detail to know he's a fruitcake . . . I don't have to read Andries the Norwegian massacre nut's 1500 pages plus pore over his references in order to know he's scum . . . and likewise I only have know that Chomsky runs to neo-nazis and hezbollah to see what he is, I don't have to pick through his interminable and unreadably stupid sentences in order to see that he is mentally ill in some crucial sense. Kind of like you and your interminable and exceedingly badly written garabage.
God - readin you people in the Chomsky cult makes me understand how the Soviets got away with their crimes for so long. You'll do backflip contortions to explain away what is as as obvious as the sun in the sky to any sane person.


This is what drives him to skillfully spread hatred against

 
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