Recorded at Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 18, 2001.
Recording information: Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Cambridge, Engla (10/18/2001).
While public figures habitually avoid controversial matters, Noam Chomsky seems to seek them out. His political views, however, are firmly grounded in radical tradition and never come across as half-baked. While The New War on Terrorism is first and foremost interested in September 11, Chomsky's analysis probes a number of essential questions surrounding the event. What exactly is terrorism? What are the origins of September 11? And what are the policy options that will help avoid such crimes in the future? Chomsky's answers are far from comforting. He begins by showing that terrorism is seldom defined as such by nations instigating military action. He offers a detailed look at the United States' military action in Nicaragua during the Reagan administration, actions which the World Court declared as an "unlawful use of force." "Unlawful use of force," Chomsky notes, is another phrase for terrorism. He discusses the CIA's role in training Al-Qaeda during the 1980s and how the organization turned against the U.S. when permanent American military bases were established in Saudi Arabia. He suggests that one way the United States can decrease the risk of violent acts is by ceasing to train terrorist's organizations around the world. While Chomsky's analysis may strike certain listeners as overly critical of United States policy, his criticisms, along with his ideas for possible solutions, are thought-provoking. The New War on Terrorism broadens the dialogue surrounding the events of September 11 and offers an in-depth analysis that seems increasingly rare in public forums. ~ Ronnie Lankford, Jr.