Catalog # SKU0415
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Noam Chomsky



by Noam Chomsky

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Editor's note: (page 9)
What follows is a set of interviews conducted with Noam Chomsky by a variety of interviewers during the first month following the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The interviews were conducted largely via email, many with foreign journalists who speak and write English as a second language. Although some interviews were conducted as early as eight days after the attacks, edits, additions, and revisions consistent with the latest news continued up until the book left for the printer on October 15. As a result, interviews dated September may contain references to October events. Furthermore, in the process of editing, sections were cut in which questions or answers were repeated between interviews. However, occasionally a repeated fact or point has been intentionally left in, for emphasis.

As Chomsky wrote me during the editing process, "These facts have been completely removed from history. One has to practically scream them from the rooftops."

Greg Ruggiero
New York City

Do you condemn terrorism? How can we decide which act is terrorism and which one is an act of resistance against a tyrant or an occupying force? In which category do you "classify" the recent strike against the U.S.A.?

I understand the term "terrorism" exactly in the sense defined in official U.S. documents: "the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature. This is done through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear." In accord with the - entirely appropriate - definition, the recent attack on the U.S. is certainly an act of terrorism; in fact, a horrifying terrorist crime. There is scarcely any disagreement about this throughout the world, nor should there be.

But alongside the literal meaning of the term, as just quoted from U.S. official documents, there is also a propagandistic usage, which unfortunately is the standard one: the term "terrorism" is used to refer to terrorist acts committed by enemies against us or our allies. This propagandistic use is virtually universal. Everyone "condemns terrorism" in th sense of the term. Even the Nazies harshly comdemned terrorism and carried out what they called "counter-terrorism" against the terrorist partisans.

The United States basically agreed. It organized and conducted similar "counter-terrorism" in Greece and elsewhere in the postwar years. [Editor's note: The interviewer here is a Greek journalist, thus Chomsky's references to Greece.] Furthermore, U.S. counterinsurgency programs drew quite explicitly from the Nazi model, which was treated with respect: Wehrmacht officers were consulted and their mauals were used in designing postwar counterinsurgency programs worldwide, typically called "coounter-terrorism," matters studied in important work by Michael McClintock, in particular. Given these conventions, even the very same people and actions can quickly shift from "terrorists" to "freedom fighters" and back again. That's been happening right next door to Greece in recent years.

Soft bound, 126 pages, 5" x 7"

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