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Fri Mar 29, 2019, 04:53 AM

Venezuela and the Half-Truths of Noam Chomsky

Published on March 25, 2019
Venezuela and the Half-Truths of Noam Chomsky
written by Clifton Ross

As a young socialist, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism by Noam Chomsky and his late collaborator Edward S. Herman helped to convert me to the worldview of the anti-Imperialist Left. I remained a member of this political tendency, for whom Chomsky has become an unrivaled intellectual hero, for most of my adult life. That is, until I was confronted by the gap between its doctrines and an unfolding reality I really knew something about.

I continue to respect some of Chomsky’s writing on topics such as the devastation of East Timor by Indonesia. But the more one knows about a subject, the more apparent the selectivity of Chomsky’s analysis becomes. When Chomsky argued that the 9/11 atrocities were morally equivalent to President Clinton’s rocket strike on the Al Shifa medicine factory in Sudan (and that “we” should therefore hesitate before judging “them”), his erstwhile admirer Christopher Hitchens observed that, “Noam Chomsky does not rise much above the level of half-truth.” This, Hitchens went on to complain, had “lately become his hallmarks.”

In retrospect, a writer as intelligent as Hitchens might have noticed this habit earlier. In Chomsky’s writing on Cambodia (which Hitchens defended), the Balkans, and various other conflicts, complexity was reliably collapsed into a simplistic indictment of the West in general, and America in particular (irrespective of the sitting president’s political affiliation). Simplicity can be seductive, especially when it encourages moral outrage, and it wasn’t until I saw Chomsky’s half-truths deployed in defense of the Bolivarian regime that I began to question Chomsky’s honesty and interest in objectivity.

Today, Chomsky heads a list of radical academics calling themselves the Committee to Save Venezuela who signed and circulated an open letter in January “opposing the US-backed coup attempt” there. “The United States government,” the letter sternly begins, “must cease interfering in Venezuela’s internal politics, especially for the purpose of overthrowing the country’s government.” On March 2, 2019, Chomsky appeared on KFPK Los Angeles’s Ralph Nader Radio Hour. After 45 minutes of congenial chat about the malevolence of America, Israel, and powerful corporations, Nader turned to the topic of Venezuela.

more @ https://quillette.com/2019/03/25/venezuela-and-the-half-truths-of-noam-chomsky/

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Reply Venezuela and the Half-Truths of Noam Chomsky (Original post)
Oele Mar 2019 OP
creeksneakers2 Mar 2019 #1

Response to Oele (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 08:47 PM

1. Very informative.

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