Chomsky on the war situation.......

Mike Ballard swillsqueal at yahoo.com.au
Fri Dec 6 15:39:41 MST 2002


A Modest Proposal
The NY Times Internationally Syndicated Version

By Noam Chomsky

The dedicated efforts of the Bush administration to
take control
of Iraq
-- by war, military coup or some other means -- have
elicited
various
analyses of the guiding motives.

Offering one interpretation, Anatol Lieven, senior
associate of
the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in
Washington, D.C.,
observes that the Bush efforts conform to "the classic
modern
strategy
of an endangered right-wing oligarchy, which is to
divert mass
discontent into nationalism" through fear of external
enemies.

The administration's goal, Lieven says, is "unilateral
world
domination
through absolute military superiority," which is why
much of the
world
is so frightened.

The administration has overlooked a simple alternative
to
invading Iraq,
however. Let Iran do it. Before elaborating on this
modest
proposal,
it's worthwhile to examine the antecedents of
Washington's
bellicosity.

Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, Republicans have used
the
terrorist
threat as a pretext to push a right-wing political
agenda. For
the
congressional elections, the strategy has diverted
attention
from the
economy to war. When the presidential campaign begins,
Republicans
surely do not want people to be asking questions about
their
pensions,
jobs, health care and other matters.

Rather, they should be praising their heroic leader
for rescuing
them
from imminent destruction by a foe of colossal power,
and
marching on to
confront the next powerful force bent on our
destruction.

The Sept. 11 atrocities provided an opportunity and
pretext to
implement
long-standing plans to take control of Iraq's immense
oil
wealth, a
central component of the Persian Gulf resources that
the State
Department, in 1945, described as a "stupendous source
of
strategic
power, and one of the greatest material prizes in
world
history."
Control of energy sources fuels U.S. economic and
military
might, and
"strategic power" translates to a lever of world
control.

A different interpretation is that the administration
believes
exactly
what it says: Iraq has suddenly become a threat to our
very
existence
and to its neighbors.

So we must ensure that Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction and
the means
for producing them are destroyed, and Saddam Hussein,
the
monster
himself, eliminated. And quickly. The war must be
waged this
winter.
Next winter will be too late. By then the mushroom
cloud that
National
Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice predicts may have
already
consumed us.

Let us assume that this interpretation is correct. If
the powers
in the
Middle East fear Washington more than Saddam, as they
apparently
do,
that just reveals their limited grasp of reality.

It is only an accident that by next winter the U.S.
presidential
campaign will be under way. How then can we achieve
the
announced goals?

One simple plan seems to have been ignored, perhaps
because it
would be
regarded as insane, and rightly so. But it is
instructive to ask
why.

The modest proposal is for the United States to
encourage Iran
to invade
Iraq, providing the Iranians with the necessary
logistical and
military
support, from a safe distance (missiles, bombs, bases,
etc.).

As a proxy, one pole of "the axis of evil" would take
on
another.

The proposal has many advantages over the
alternatives.

First, Saddam will be overthrown -- in fact, torn to
shreds
along with
anyone close to him. His weapons of mass destruction
will also
be
destroyed, along with the means to produce them.

Second, there will be no American casualties. True,
many Iraqis
and
Iranians will die. But that can hardly be a concern.
The Bush
circles --
many of them recycled Reaganites -- strongly supported
Saddam
after he
attacked Iran in 1980, quite oblivious to the enormous
human
cost,
either then or under the subsequent sanctions regime.

Saddam is likely to use chemical weapons. But the
current
leadership
firmly backed the "Beast of Baghdad" when he used
chemical
weapons
against Iran in the Reagan years, and when he used gas
against
"his own
people": Kurds, who were his own people in the sense
that
Cherokees were
Andrew Jackson's people.

The current Washington planners continued to support
the Beast
after he
had committed by far his worst crimes, even providing
him with
means to
develop weapons of mass destruction, nuclear and
biological,
right up to
the invasion of Kuwait.

Bush No. 1 and Cheney also effectively authorized
Saddam's
slaughter of
Shi'ites in March 1991, in the interests of
"stability," as was
soberly
explained at the time. They withdrew their support for
his
attack on the
Kurds only under great international and domestic
pressure.

Third, the U.N. will be no problem. It will be
unnecessary to
explain to
the world that the U.N. is relevant when it follows
U.S. orders,
otherwise not.

Fourth, Iran surely has far better credentials for
war-making,
and for
running a post-Saddam Iraq, than Washington. Unlike
the Bush
administration, Iran has no record of support for the
murderous
Saddam
and his program of weapons of mass destruction.

One might object, correctly, that we cannot trust the
Iranian
leadership, but surely that is even more true of those
who
continued to
aid Saddam well after his worst crimes.

Furthermore, we will be spared the embarrassment of
professing
blind
faith in our leaders in the manner that we justly
ridicule in
totalitarian states.

Fifth, the liberation will be greeted with enthusiasm
by much of
the
population, far more so than if Americans invade.
People will
cheer on
the streets of Basra and Karbala, and we can join
Iranian
journalists in
hailing the nobility and just cause of the liberators.

Sixth, Iran can move toward instituting "democracy."
The
majority CK of
the population is Shi'ite, and Iran would have fewer
problems
than the
U.S. in granting them some say in a successor
government.

There will be no problem in gaining access to Iraqi
oil, just as
U.S.
companies could easily exploit Iranian energy
resources right
now, if
Washington would permit it.

Granted, the modest proposal that Iran liberate Iraq
is insane.
Its only
merit is that it is far more reasonable than the plans
now being
implemented -- or it would be, if the administration's
professed
goals
had any relation to the real ones.



The above has already appeared internationally via the
NY TIMES
Syndicate. An early response follows...

------

Chomsky's "A Modest Proposal" Causes Head-scratching
among
Policy
Planners

Lyle Jenkins

Alternative Press (AP) - 12/02/02

Planning for the war in Iraq was thrown topsy-turvy
today, as
planners
feverishly studied a new plan put forward by former
Bush
administration
critic, Noam Chomsky.

Chomsky, the latest convert to the doctrine of Pax
Americana,
dropped a
bombshell into the laps of war planners today, in a
brief paper
on
strategic planning entitled "A Modest Proposal." The
proposal
calls for
the U.S. to "encourage Iran to invade Iraq," with the
U.S.
providing
logistic support and weapons.

William Kristol, of the American Enterprise Institute,
hailed
Chomsky's
paper. "I think that Chomsky now realizes that
shibboleths like
'do unto
others as you would have done unto you,' laudable as
they may
have been
in a biblical economy, are hopelessly outdated in our
new global
economy." Asked to elaborate, Kristol pointed to
studies ongoing
at the
American Enterprise Institute that show that the "do
unto
others" policy
is fiscally irresponsible. E.g., Vice President Dick
Cheney
received a
20 million dollar golden parachute along with 6
million dollars
in stock
options for his five years of work in the oil
industry.
"Macroeconomic
calculations show that it would be unfeasible to share
the oil
wealth in
the Mideast to improve living standards there. There
simply
aren't
enough stock options to go around," Kristol noted.

Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and
International
Studies, commented on the military implications of "A
Modest
Proposal."
"A welcome side-effect of Chomsky's proposal,"
Cordesman said,
"is that
it will help us to avoid an unpopular draft in this
country, so
that we
don't risk life and limb of young red-blooded
Americans."
Cordesman
added that it would also spur U.S. arms sales to Iran,
which
have
languished ever since the missiles-for-hostages
scandal.

Christopher Hitchens, formerly of the Nation, noted:
"Chomsky's
proposal
has the added advantage of not only canceling our
moral debt to
Iraq,
but also our moral debt to Iran for overthrowing their
democracy
and
installing the murderous regime of the Shah" [1].

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times cautiously
lauded
Chomsky's
hard-headed proposal. "The plan to partition Iran
afterwards
sounds
intriguing," said Friedman, "but without knowing more
about
Israel's
role in the administration of post-partition Iran,
skepticism is
in
order."

Most enthusiastic about the Chomsky plan was Israel's
Prime
Minister
Ariel Sharon, who had proposed attacking Iran
immediately after
attacking Iraq in an interview for the London Times
Online [2].
Sharon
also pledged to liberate South Africa next from the
"Negro
terrorist"
Nelson Mandela and to resurrect apartheid and restart
exports of
Israeli
atomic bomb technology to white supremacists there
[3].

Asked if the President had seen Chomsky's proposal,
Ari
Fleischer,
Bush's press secretary, said that although the
President had not
actually read the paper, he did release the following
statement:
"My
feeling is that Chomsky's plan probably suffers from
the same
flawed
idealism of similar humanitarian plans in the past,
such as the
ill-conceived effort in 1729 to aid the children of
poor people
in
Ireland, now in the dustbin of history [4].

 -----------

[1] On canceling "the moral debt" to Iraq by removing
Saddam,
see
Chistopher Hitchens, "So Long, Fellow Travelers,"
Washington
Post, Oct.
20, 2002.

[2] On Sharon's proposal to attack Iran, see Stephen
Farrell,
Robert
Thomson and Danielle Haas, "Attack Iran the day Iraq
war ends,
demands
Israel," London Times Online, Nov. 5, 2002,
<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-469972,00.html>http://www.tim
esonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-469972,00.html.

[3] On Israel's support of apartheid in South Africa
and
Sharon's role,
see A. and L. Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison,
HarperCollins: New
York,
1991.

[4] On the proposal to aid "the children of poor
people in
Ireland," see
Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal for preventing the
children
of poor
people in Ireland from being a burden on their parents
or
country, and
for making them beneficial to the publick," 1729,
<http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html>
http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html.

 Lyle Jenkins, correspondent to the Alternative Press
(AP), can
be
reached at
<mailto:ljenkins2 at attbi.com>ljenkins2 at attbi.com



=====
"Man first begins to philosophize when the necessitites of life are supplied."  Aristotle

"determinatio est negatio"  Spinoza

"There are no ordinary cats."  Colette

http://au.profiles.yahoo.com/swillsqueal

__________________________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
http://mailplus.yahoo.com

~~~~~~~
PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.



More information about the Marxism mailing list