Just before going on leave I picked up a couple of books to read while I was away. I’ve never read a ‘Noam Chomsky‘ (apparently he’s one of those must read human beings before you die) and found this one, “Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World“. I chose it because it’s written in conversation style (interview by David Barsamian) around issues pertaining to the US imperial ambitions for the rest of us.
“I think not only the region (Middle East) but the world in general correctly perceives the U.S. invasion as a test case, an effort to establish a new norm for the use of military force.”
It felt like it could be an easy ‘slide’ into Noam, and it was. What surprised me was that it didn’t turn out to be a monster, thud-factor, academic read that I was going to have to work hard at getting my mind around. It turned out to be a straight forward, in your face, heck of an interesting read. He, in fact, spoke regularly of academics and I enjoyed his abuse of them and their role in making things more complicated than they should be.
If you’re looking for an easy to read overview of Noam Chomsky’s view of the world post-911, and haven’t read anything of his before, then I’d recommend this as a good starting place.
His book left me with a few paradoxical thoughts. One being that on one hand the voice of the average person has never counted for more and has the ability to change things; sharply contrasted with the idea that there are powerful people and governments out there, and that if they can take out an entire country, they don’t even work up a sweat when contemplating me.
“The new doctrine was not one of pre-emptive war, which arguably falls within some stretched interpretation of the UN Charter, but rather doctrine that doesn’t begin to have any grounds in international law, namely, preventative war. That is, the United States will rule the world by force, and if there is any challenge to its domination-whether it is perceived in the distance, invented, imagined, or whatever-then the United States will have the right to destroy that challenge before it becomes a threat. That’s preventative war, not pre-emptive war.”