Chomsky the Linguist Noam Chomsky Term Paper
- Length: 10 pages
- Subject: Terrorism
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #52359588
Excerpt from Term Paper :
It is however as if the United States government was looking for needy terrorists to supply with arms. When Turkey's need was met, Colombia became the leading recipient of arms from the United States. This country is well-known for being an atrocious human rights violator, especially during the 1990s. Chomsky's premise that the United States government is essentially terrorist in nature does not appear to be far from realistic.
Indeed, according to interviews conducted with Chomsky by Barsamian (2001), Chomsky elaborates on the more subtle practices perpetrated by the U.S. government in order to coerce its public into obedience. The Reagan administration for example put barriers in place in order to boost the U.S. industry rather than providing its citizens with the best possible products available. Thus, overseas dealers were barred to the point of impossibility while the public funds were put to use in order to keep the local industry alive (Barsamian 17).
Chomsky accuses the American education system of producing automatons from curious and creative children (Barsamian 19). Schooling in the United States then is designed to provide a mold according to which children are taught to behave, stop thinking and remain out of trouble. This produces an obedient number of efficient producers who never ask questions and never to change the order of things. Americans are taught to accept things as they are and join the consumerist society. This is a particularly subtle way that the government uses to subdue its public into docile obedience. Once again, this is reminiscent of the most tyrannical of dictatorships.
Another of Chomsky's main premises is that the United States is accutely aware of its own power, and enjoys this knowledge (Barsamian 38). It is also not an empty knowledge, as a threat of force from the United States is certainly something to be taken seriously. The United States thus use the power it is fully aware of having in order to intimidate those with less power to conced to the more powerful country's demands. Furthermore the American government does not hesitate to demonstrate its power to those who dare oppose it.
This is true of everyone harboring "anti-American" sentiments. One of the examples mentioned by Chomsky (Barsamian 166) is Bertrand Russell, one of the few intellectuals who opposed World War I. Ending up in jail, he was furthermore criticized in american circles as a crazy old man. The problem with him was that he actually stood behind what he believed in by means of action rather than only words. This was something that could not be tolerated in a society that advocated non-action and compliance rather than thinking for oneself.
Chomsky uses the example of Albert Einstein as opposed to Russell to demonstrate his point.
Einstein was essentially in agreement, especially on nuclear weapons, with Russell. Nonetheless, when the time for demonstration and opposition actually arrived, Einstein played the role of a typical intellectual and fled the field to continue his studies. Russell remained in the streets with those who opposed atrocities such as the Vietnam war. He also became an active agent in opposing nuclear weapons, which both he and Einstein believed could destroy the human race. Russell, because he opposed the American ideal of war at all cost and for the purpose of furthering the American image, was denounced as anti-American. Einstein on the other hand, who did not oppose any of the political atrocities committed by his country, was deemed a hero. This further proves that the United States government approves a unitary, single-minded approach, completely compliant with the government and its policies. It is therefore not a true democracy, and the preached ideals of liberty and the "American way of life" are simply disguises for the true despotic government leading the country.
Chomsky uses his linguistic skills to indict the United States government for its use of constructed ideals to create the appearance of correctness for the crimes committed against humanity. This, according to Chomsky, is a "standard technique of belief formation" (Barsamian 167). A framework is constructed to make what the American government is doing in its own interest appear right or even moral. The same is true of other oppressive governments. Some eastern governments for example use religion to oppress women.
It is therefore obvious that the American government has proved itself to be a terrorist state. Its actions both abroad and domestically have shown that they have a hidden agenda of terrorism both against perceived enemies and their own population. The government acts only in its own self-interest and with the aim of furthering its own monopoly of power.
In an interview with Gabric, Chomsky addresses the issue of the United States and its involvement in the Middle East. The United States is backing a major military power against the defenseless Palestinians. Once again, the situation is typically terroristic. The United States helps a major force to occupy and abuse the rights of a minor country with few resources. The U.S.-Israel coalition has also been guilty of violating the Fourth Geneva Convention by settling the areas of occupied territories and controlling the water resource of the West Bank. The Israelis have been able to accomplish this only because of the major power of the U.S. In backing them with military, economic, dimplomatic and ideological support (Gabric).
It appears that all U.S. involvement with such conflicts leads to violence. Indeed, Chomsky mentions the latest offensive that resulted in an international scandal because of its violence and destruction. This is a classic case in which the United States government is using its power to create a reality from a lie. Sharon has for example been described as a "man of peace" even while being provided with all the means necessary to perpetuate the violence. Furthermore, the humiliation of the national Palistinian figure, Arafat, has served its purpose to further degrade an already vulnerable country. Indeed, degredation has been part of the United States' violent and oppressive history since its inception. This could be testified by all oppressed groups, including American Indians, African-Americans and other minority groups.
In terms of the events of September 11, 2001, this great national disaster has also been used for the gain of the government more than anything else. It has been seen above that President Bush's "war on terrorism" has spawned a number of human rights violations, such as persons singled out for searches and detention when they have committed no crime other than being of Arabian or similar origin. This is blatant discrimination as a result of religion and culture, and should not be tolerated in a society that prides itself on its policies of democracy and freedom.
President Bush used the vulnerability of the American people to impose policies of discipline and obedience, terrorising the population with unannounced house searches and the like. The same vulnerability was exploited to implement domestic programs opposed by the population, under the guise of patriotism (Gabric). Patriotism according to this definition requires Americans to keep quiet while accepting whatever atrocities the American government imposes upon them. The same was done in Israel and in Chechnya, where repressive activities were intensified as a means of "fighting against terrorism."
Chomsky (Gabric) voices his surprise that the September 11 events had a rather abrasive effect on the American people. Indeed, there is a tedency towards more critical consideration of issues that were previously accepted without question. These include the U.S. role in the Middle East and local issues relating to human rights and freedoms. The press of course is attempting to suppress this upsurge of protest by denying it. Chomsky however cites a variety of examples of demands for talks, the engagement of audiences and the sale of books promoting the idea that the government is engaging in terrorist activities that should be addressed if indeed the American way of life is to be preserved.
According to Chomsky, the "fight against terrorism" so highly prized by Bush is in truth non-existent. Chomsky cites the definitions of terrorism mentioned above to support this claim. Terrorism has become part of state policy in the United States. The phenomenon has thus been embraced rather than opposed, and the country has gathered allies around itself to prove this, including the United Kingdom, Russia, China and Turkey. All these are countries that have been guilty of terrorism on a greater or lesser scale (Gabric).
Chomsky further addresses the issue of Saddam Hussein and the true reason why the United States so keenly sought to overthrow him. This is considered in the light of the fact that both America and Britain supported the dictator when he was in full power and when his atrocities against human rights were at their most intense. Indeed, Bush himself sent a Senatorial delegation to Iraq to convey his good wishes to Hussein during the early 1990s. The planned attack on Iraq then have been said by many to not be focused on Hussein, but rather on the oil reserves contained within the country.…