Who agrees with Noam Chomsky? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

This guy is probably the most quoted when it comes to politics, but I'm curious to know why a lot of people continue to draw so much from his work without realising there's limits to his arguments as well?

O.K., he backs his words with cold hard facts and it's credit to him he's done the research. But what good does that do if he's selective with what he researches on? He needs to support his arguments, yes, but his work becomes way too biased because of it.

I'm no fan of the U.S. government, but I can see he goes overboard when he takes them to task.

- He blames them for the lack of democracy because they keep dictators in power so the oil is much easier to obtain;

- He blames them for setting a chain reaction by not abiding to Article VI of the Nonproliferation Treaty;

- He blames them for pushing Israel to dig deep into Hezbollah heartland by invading Lebanon;

- He blames them for the lack of free-market models that makes modernisation so hard to achieve.

But why doesn't he look on the other side and realise that maybe the U.S. isn't to blame for all the troubles?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

Btw, I'm referring to Noam Chomsky's analysis of the ME situation.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

Im no expert but I dont like him at all - id have to check up cause i have poor memory of him - but what i do remember is left wingers love him for his angry stance against Israel, so i dont like him, but respect his opinions and his labours.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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Im no expert but I dont like him at all - id have to check up cause i have poor memory of him - but what i do remember is left wingers love him for his angry stance against Israel, so i dont like him, but respect his opinions and his labours.
He calls Israel an "American pro-xy". Basically the Israelis won't do anything without America's blessing. No matter what Israel does, it's because America encourages it to do so.

There's no good grace for the U.S. in his book. He somehow finds a way to weave some complicated pattern that always ties back to the U.S. one way or another. He does not even account for Islamic fundamentalism being a major obstacle
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

erm, i'm sorry, but this is a very poor interpretation of noam chomsky's work.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

i find the person who reads his audiobooks to be gravely annoying. i cant get more than 10 minutes in. i only read print books if i know its going to be good, otherwise its audio or no go. if he gets a better reader i will check him out.

"racism is dead, it died when MLK walked on a bridge and freed the slaves. Now we have a socialist Kenyan president who is not an American and if anyone mentions race they are a reverse racist (while racism is dead, reverse racism is alive and well.) #whattheyteachyouatfox"
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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erm, i'm sorry, but this is a very poor interpretation of noam chomsky's work.
He explains the lack of "free" institutions in the Middle East in terms of U.S. exploitation in the Middle East.

He basically says that the U.S. isn't interested in promoting "democracy" in the Middle East because that would be counterproductive to its "economic strategy", which is it secure access to oil reserves by controlling the Persian Gulf.

He does not outright say Islamic fundamentalism is not a factor for what's going on in the Middle East, but he does give A LOT (almost all) weight to U.S. policy alone.

He also says that the situation should be looked at as a result of great power politics. It's not Islamic fundamentalism that's the problem; it's the threat that America poses to other countries that's the problem.

Is that not his argument?
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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He calls Israel an "American pro-xy". Basically the Israelis won't do anything without America's blessing. No matter what Israel does, it's because America encourages it to do so.

There's no good grace for the U.S. in his book. He somehow finds a way to weave some complicated pattern that always ties back to the U.S. one way or another. He does not even account for Islamic fundamentalism being a major obstacle
HANG THE TRAITOR!
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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He explains the lack of "free" institutions in the Middle East in terms of U.S. exploitation in the Middle East.

He basically says that the U.S. isn't interested in promoting "democracy" in the Middle East because that would be counterproductive to its "economic strategy", which is it secure access to oil reserves by controlling the Persian Gulf.

He does not outright say Islamic fundamentalism is not a factor for what's going on in the Middle East, but he does give A LOT (almost all) weight to U.S. policy alone.

He also says that the situation should be looked at as a result of great power politics. It's not Islamic fundamentalism that's the problem; it's the threat that America poses to other countries that's the problem.

Is that not his argument?
not exactly. for example, he explicitly says that the goal of the us policy in the middle east is not to secure access to oil reserves there. it's not about the access and not really about the economy, but it is about control. he does say that the us is the major player in the power politics in the middle east having replaced britain after the ww2, but i think you will need to dig a little bit deeper to understand what exactly that means.

he is not the only one who sees the situation in this way and he is being given a bit too much credit imho, simply because he is a famous person. but these views are usually marginalised and therefore not very well understood and often presented in a simplified way in order to be ridiculed easily. at the same time this approach is widely used in history when talking about old european empires for example.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

well when i took media relations....in my first year at university....i pretty much agreed with everything that was dished at me in his book.....his facts are really straight up and u cannot disagree with that.


but i dont know bout him being selective bout what he researches....that could well be true....but i think even after considering that i support his stuff...cuz they are liberalesque

I'm not young enough to know everything.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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not exactly. for example, he explicitly says that the goal of the us policy in the middle east is not to secure access to oil reserves there. it's not about the access and not really about the economy, but it is about control.
Control = access; basically what I was getting at before.

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Originally Posted by azdaja
he does say that the us is the major player in the power politics in the middle east having replaced britain after the ww2, but i think you will need to dig a little bit deeper to understand what exactly that means.
Britain manipulated the Middle East right after WWI so it could divide the area between itself and France. The Sykes-Picot Agreement being an example of a treaty born out of false promises.

I'm guessing he's trying to say that the U.S. is doing the same thing as Britain when it comes to securing its goals - lying through its teeth.

He makes this point in We must act now to prevent another Hiroshima (2005), saying that the U.S. invents the right to wage war by coming up with a doctrine of "anticipatory self-defence". Basically "self-defence" = bombing the shit out of Iraq, not "defending" the U.S. heartland per se.

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Originally Posted by azdaja
he is not the only one who sees the situation in this way and he is being given a bit too much credit imho, simply because he is a famous person. but these views are usually marginalised and therefore not very well understood and often presented in a simplified way in order to be ridiculed easily. at the same time this approach is widely used in history when talking about old european empires for example.
Of course not. There's plenty of left-wing authors who see the U.S. as the ultimate evil. Tariq Ali being one of them.

Chomsky's famous because he's written so much (tabloid) and again the amount of work he does should be recognised.

My beef with his work is that when he tries to explain WHY the Middle East is in such chaos, he points the finger squarely at the U.S. instead of accounting for other things that have just as much impact.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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well when i took media relations....in my first year at university....i pretty much agreed with everything that was dished at me in his book.....his facts are really straight up and u cannot disagree with that.


but i dont know bout him being selective bout what he researches....that could well be true....but i think even after considering that i support his stuff...cuz they are liberalesque
I tend to see him along the same lines as Michael Moore: both of them are great at using stats and all to make their points, but their arguments fall short because they don't account much for culture being a big factor. It's just the bare essentials for them; not much scope for questioning or analysis.

For example, Samuel Huntington makes a very good point when he says that rather than just look at power politics and ideologies, culture should be decisive because it's been developed for centuries. Maybe it's not so much U.S. policy that's the root of the problem; it could be that Islam just isn't compatible with democracy.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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I tend to see him along the same lines as Michael Moore: both of them are great at using stats and all to make their points, but their arguments fall short because they don't account much for the uniqueness of Islamic culture being a factor.

For example, Samuel Huntington makes a very good point when he says that rather than just look at power politics and ideologies, culture should be decisive because it's been developed for centuries. Maybe it's not so much U.S. policy that's the root of the problem; it could be that Islam just isn't compatible with democracy.
oh common.....id give him some more credibility than michael moore......

naom is a scholar

I'm not young enough to know everything.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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Control = access; basically what I was getting at before.
hmm, again not really. well, if you really did understand what he means by this, tell me why has this policy been implemented primarily?

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Britain manipulated the Middle East right after WWI so it could divide the area between itself and France. The Sykes-Picot Agreement being an example of a treaty born out of false promises.

I'm guessing he's trying to say that the U.S. is doing the same thing as Britain when it comes to securing its goals - lying through its teeth.
which is what every major power does. nothing spectacular in my opinion.

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He makes this point in We must act now to prevent another Hiroshima (2005), saying that the U.S. invents the right to wage war by coming up with a doctrine of "anticipatory self-defence". Basically "self-defence" = bombing the shit out of Iraq, not "defending" the U.S. heartland per se.
he is talking about the concept of "preventive" wars introduced by the bush administration a few years ago and subsequently adopted by russia as well. the purpose of the iraq war in this context would be to establish a legal precedent for future wars based on potential rather than real threat. and i think we all know there was no real threat. there was some discussion about this in "foreign affairs" if you happen to ever read stuff like that. i think this aspect of the war was neglected by most people. consequences could be serious, this is true.

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Of course not. There's plenty of left-wing authors who see the U.S. as the ultimate evil. Tariq Ali being one of them.
neither of them sees the us as the ultimate evil. that's just a vulgar insult being thrown at them.

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Chomsky's famous because he's written so much (tabloid) and again the amount of work he does should be recognised.

My beef with his work is that when he tries to explain WHY the Middle East is in such chaos, he points the finger squarely at the U.S. instead of accounting for other things that have just as much impact.
he does account for other things. it should be also noted that he believes that as an american his own country should be his primary concern. this is his "moral truism" - we are responsible for predictable consequences of our own actions. he does occasionally mention "evil" deeds of other countries, but he feels as an american he should clean his own backyard first. for that he deserves respect, not abuse.

of course there are limits to his arguments, but i seldom see honest criticism of his work. and i still don't have the impression you understood him correctly.

Last edited by azdaja; Nov 9th, 2006 at 03:24 PM.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Who agrees with Noam Chomsky?

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oh common.....id give him some more credibility than michael moore......

naom is a scholar
Yeah, Michael Moore is a media whore, but the gist of his work is along the same lines as Chomsky. The basic difference between the two is that one uses the camera to make a point whereas the other writes books and articles to do the same thing.

But if we're talking about prestige and all, then yes I'd pick Chomsky any time of the day. That still doesn't mean I agree with most of what he has to say though
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