Friday, March 25, 2016

Chomsky. Transcript. Orpheum Theatre, Madison, Wisconsin. 06 Apr 2009.

[omitted] Aren’t they recruiting? Aren’t they?
They’re recruiting for the CIA, they’re not recruiting for the Microsoft or, you know, Wall Street. This concentration on CIA Atrocities is one of the techniques that’s used to avoid the critism of the Government, a real Power. If you can blame on the CIA, this kind of rogue outfit, you do exactly what the Government wants you to do. The CIA is there for what’s called Plausible Deniability, it’s the phrase that’s used inside. Washington wants to overthrow the Government of Indonesia, you say OK, the CIA did it. We had nothing to do with it, that’s just that rogue outfit if something goes wrong. The CIA is an Agency of the Executive Branch of the Government. They do what the Executive Branch of the Government tells them to do. There’s a long record, rich record. There are some exceptions, but overwhelmingly the CIA is just an Agency of the Executive, which acts in ways to provide Plausible Deniability to sort of keep us clean if something goes wrong, and you blame them if something goes wrong. That’s after case after case. When you talk about the CIA, you should think of that as a metaphor. It’s a way of describing what the Executive Branch of the Government is doing, and the corporate backers of the Executive Branch, and they’ve got this Agency which carries out the ugly stuff for them. And that’s what Secret Agencies are like in most States. So I think one should be cautious about that. It’s not Wrong to blame CIA for this and the other thing, but remember they’re the hands, not the brain.

Do we question about Obama’s sincerity and veracity in saying that he’ll be working day and night for Peace for Palestinians and the Middle East?
Yeah, he probably said it somewhere. That’s like one of the statements like Hitler statement that we invaded Poland to protect themselves from the wild Terror of the Poles. These are perfectly predictable statement by every Leader. I’m going to be working for Peace and Justice, trust in me, and so on. So those are the kind of statements you ignore, because they’re meaningless. They’re predictable. Every powerful Leader all say the same thing, and they do. So you can go back and pay attention to what he actually said. Well, turns out that comes down to practically nothing. His campaign was very well designed so that it would be vacuous. His managers ran an extremely good Campaign, it was so good that Advertising Industry, which gives an award every year for the best marketing Campaign of the year, and they gave it to the Obama Campaign last year. Tie Executives were quoted in the Business Press, were saying really exultant. They said, We’ve been marketing candidates like Commodities ever since Reagan, and this is the best we’ve ever done. It’s going to change the atmosphere in Corporate Boardrooms, new new ways of doing Things, and so on. And it sells in Europe, too. If you watched the exultant Campaign. If you read the New York Times for example a coule of days ago, there was a front-page picture of different dresses that Michelle Obama wore. In the morning, she wore dress from this fancy designer, afternoon, it was some other fancy designer. Oh, young People loved it. They wanted to touch Obama, so on. Yeah, that’s good marketing Campaigns. It was same right through the Campaign. If you paid attention, you’d know. It was basically vacuous. On Israel-Palestine, literally the only statement he made was the one I quoted on Sderot, other than usual vacuous platitudes. I’ll talk tomorrow about Obama and the Middle East, so I won’t go into it now. Put it simply, he’s probably more hawkish than Bush.

If I understand, what’s the current situation of the Norman Finkelstein case?
Does he have anything forthcoming?
Oh, yeah.
Well, the situation is, he’s written extensive and outstanding Work on Israel-Palestine, International Law and other thing, and he’s coming up in tenure at dePaul University, and there was huge attack on him. Kind of like jihad, trying to destroy him. And he became very close to being appointed despite it, but at the last minute, for whatever reason, the administration overturned the Faculty recommendation to promote him to tenure. Now, that is an attack on Academic Freedom, of course. But it’s a very special case. Special case has to do with the lunatic at Harvard Law School named Alan Dershowitz, who makes old-fashioned Stalinism look pale literally. I won’t go through it. Finkelstein made the mistake of writing a book – he’s a very meticulous and careful scholar, nobody ever found anything Wrong with what he’s said - but he wrote a book in which he ran through Dershowitz’s best-selling apologetics for Israel and showed that it was a tissue of lies and fabrications and slanders, support for the Atrocities, and so on. And it was a very careful, meticulous Job. Dershowitz is a lawyer, he actually wrote a book called something like Advice to Young Lawyers. He gives some Good advice. He says, If you can have a client and you know that he’s guilty as Sin, what you should do is anything you can up to outright violation of Law to clear him. Dershowitz has two clients, himself and Israel, and he acts on his own advice. He knows he can’t respond to what Finkelstein wrote. So therefore he launched into a Campaign of vilification and slander of the kind I’ve never seen. I don’t think you can find this in the Stalinist literature. Just to give you an example, Norman’s mother, whom he reveres, is a survivor of Auschwitz. So [Dershowitz] actually published an article in which he says she survived Auschwitz because she was a Kapo, a collaborator of Nazis. See if you can find anything like that in the Stalinist literature, or anywhere. That’s the kind of thing that was going on. And he probably managed to mobilise the funders and others, and the most vulgar parts of the Jewish Community got involved. A Catholic University is vulnerable, because they can be accused of anti-Semitism. That’s one of the background Weapons, anti-Semitism. Somebody mentioned this before, I don’t know, maybe you. This use of notion of anti-Semitism is extremely cynical, and it’s conscious. So leading Israel stateman, most admired statesman, Abba Eban, admired particularly because he had an Oxford accent, that always helps. He was considered very distinguished, aristocratic Englishman. He wrote an article once in one of the American Jewish Journals, Congress Bi-Weekly in which he explained – this was like thirty years ago. He explained to the American Jewish Community what their task was. He said, Their task is to show any criticism of Zionism, which means the criticism of Israel, is either anti-Semitism or the result of neurotic Jewish self-Hatred, okay? That amounts to 100%, okay? So that’s your task. So that’s exactly what they do. Incidentally, he gave two examples of neurotic anti-Jewish self-Hatred. I was one, and the other was I.F. Stone, who was a dedicated Zionist all his life. Because we were critical of Israel. In fact in Hebrew, there are two terms for Propaganda. There is a word that means Propaganda, which is used for everybody, and the word they use for themselves, which translates as explanation. The assumption is everything we do is obviously correct, all we have to do is to explain to the goyam, to the non-Jews, then they’ll understand. That’s the line constantly, you read the stuff. That’s Abba Eban’s advice. Every criticism is either anti-Semitism or Jewish self-Hatred. What else could they be, since everything they do is obviously Right? Finkelstein, he’ll have a very hard time teaching after this, because he’s been defamed badly. But he’s getting on, he’s writing a lot, very Good stuff, he’s giving hundreds of talks all over the place. He’s got a new book almost out, pretty soon will be out, both here and abroad. It’s not the best situation in the World, but he’s making out okay.

What is the source of inspiration?
Source of inspiration? What People have done. Take say, the Palestinians. They survived, it’s astonishing. That’s a source of inspiration. They survived an Attack like this that goes back a century, it’s been intensifying in recent years, they’re struggling to get your voice heard, just like Rita [Giacaman] is doing. People do that all over the World. Here, too. Just take here, where the struggle is much easier. But a lot has been achieved. Take say the presence of this Audience. A couple of years ago, you could barely get ten [homosapiens] to hear about this. And if you had them, the Talk would be broken up. I can give you examples from my own background. Take the last Election. I didn’t like any of the candidate, that’s probably clear to you, but nevertheleess just consider the fact that Democratic Party had two candidates, a woman and an African-American. Forty years ago, you couldn’t dream of that. Ten years ago, you couldn’t dream of it. Where did it come from? It came from activism, mostly of young People, engaged, dedicated People, who just made the Country more civilised, far more civilised. Take my own University, MIT. When I got there fifty years ago, if you walk down the halls, it was obedient, white males, well-dressed, doing their Work, deferential, so on. You walk the halls today, it kind of looks like this. Half women, third Minorities, informal Relations among People. A lot of, not as much as I’d like to see, but a lot of activism in all kind of Things, that’s happened all over the Country. The issues that now concern People didn’t even exist 30 years ago. Take Solidarity Movements, which grew around Central American in the 1980s. Mostly not in the Elite centres. Churchs in Kansas, that kind of thing, a lot of it from Evangelicals. That’s a breakthrough in the History of Imperialism. Nothing like that has ever happened. Nobody in England, France, Germany, whatever, ever dreamed of going to the targets of imperial Attack, living in the Villages, trying to help People, even to offer some Protection with the white face. Thousands of Americans did that in the 90s. That’s really significant. It’s reflexion of major cultural change. You’re never going to read about this in the Newspapers, it’s the last thing they want. It changed the Society. Well, that’s inspiring. These People faced a lot of danger, not the kind of danger you face in the Third World, but real. Put aside easy, lucrative Careers to devote themselves to these Things. That’s inspiring, and you go on and on.

Before the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which killed maybe 20,000 People, destroyed much of southern Lebanon and Beirut. Incidentally, this was always with the backing of the United States. In Gaza, the Invasion of Lebanon, US provides the Arms, US vetoes the Security Council Resolution to try to call for cease-fire. Just steady, constant support for the Atrocities and Violence. There was a pretext for the 1982 Invasion, too. And you can read it in everything you read, you see the same thing, New York Times, Government, it’s universal. Israel invaded because they had to protect themselves from Attacks by the PLO [] from Lebanon, which is making Life impossible for People in the Galilee. Even more dramatic case than this one of how the repeated lying can turn truth into its opposite. Fact of the matter at that time, there’s no dispute about it, in the historical record at least, is that there was US-sponsored cease-fire in the Summer of 1981, and the Palestinians kept to it rigorously, nothing. Israel on the other hand was constantly bombing, severely, killing a lot of People. Plainly trying to elicit some kind of Palestinian response, which could be used as a planned Invasion. Couldn’t get a pretext, so they finally just invaded, pretext so ludicrous you can hardly keep from collapsing in ridicule. It was not concealed it in Israel, not just by Ha’aretz, the Government conceded it. This is a War for the West Bank. We have to stop the Palestinian offers of Negociations and Diplomacy, which are embarassing. We don’t want Diplomacies, we don’t want Negociations, so we’ve go to drive them out of Lebanon. And we’ll call the Operation Peace for Gailee, which was what it was called, and we’ll count on the intellectual Community, the Media, so on, to reverse the story, which was pretty much what happened. Israel bombing were occasionally reported, it was extremely revealing, so there was one bombing, major bombing, I think around April or so, where they killed a couple of dozen People. And the Washing Post actually reported it, for once. And said something like, this is not a time for Sermons, it’s a time for compassion for Israel’s anguish, when they kill a couple of dozens more Palestinians with no pretext. You can go on with this over and over. It’s not just the Media, it’s the intellectual Community, it’s the Government, and so on.

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