Chomsky on media/Pol Pot

William S. Lear rael at
Wed Oct 7 12:00:50 PDT 1998

On Wed, October 7, 1998 at 01:45:24 (-0700) Brad De Long writes:
>>the most extreme accusations were
>>adopted and proclaimed with a great
>>show of indignation over Communist
>>atrocities, the integrity of which
>>can be measured by comparison to the
>>reaction to phase I of the genocide
>>and U.S. responsibility for it;
>Can I say that there is something really weird about claiming that person
>x's condemnation of genocide y lacks "integrity" because person x did not
>sufficiently condemn genocide z?
>Genocide is a bad thing, no matter who it is done by, no matter where, no
>matter when. Condemnations of acts of genocide are always welcome. They
>never lack "integrity."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The integrity Chomsky refers to has to do with condemning atrocities for which you bear some responsibility and which you are in a position to do something about. The intelligentsia here, privileged and not threatened, chose to support state massacre by turning a blind eye to that which we practiced, while condemning it elsewhere.

>Those who condemn the Nazi slaughter of Jews do not lack "integrity" if
>they have not sufficiently condemned the slaughter of the Australian
>aborigines. Those who condemn Israeli policy in the occupied territories of
>the West Bank and Gaza lack "integrity" because they have spent
>insufficient time condemning the failure of the PLO to remove those clauses
>of its charter calling for the abolition of Israel...

Again, by effacing the relationship of those doing the condemning to those perpetrating the slaughters, you reduce things to a fourth-grade level of absurdity. Is all this anger really over Chomsky's condemnation of Israeli terror, far greater in scale than that practiced by the Palestinians, and something which we are in a position to change? He has been, incidentally, very critical of the Palestinians, but since you don't bother to read what he writes, and prefer ugly caricature, I don't expect you to know that Palestinian and their supporters have criticized him because he has dared to say a critical word about Arafat and about the terrorism they have practiced.

Chomsky has always operated on the basic principle that you are responsible for your own actions, and that includes actions of a state that is supported by your tax dollars, the policies of which you have some (if marginal) control over.

This is Basic Stuff, Brad. You probably should read Barsky's bio if you are so incapable of seeing this --- he lays it all out very simply, so I think you might be able to stomach it if you drop your deluded anger for a moment.


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