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Chomsky: right or wrong?

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Poll Question: Do you agree with Chomsky?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 09:29
I didn't catch this earlier, my apologies to pinguin. Gosh i am apologizing so much lately that i am starting to think that i am one very sorry person. Anywho...

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:



But you ARE an empire. Otherwise, how come the U.S.A. has so military bases around the world? And how come it invades countries at will?

It is shocking that Americans don't realize what they really are.




I can't believe i almost bought into this vile propaganda in the last decade! No we are not an empire. The way the government is set up, it is a federal republic guided by constitutional principles. Any attempt at empire has been immediately squashed by those very principles and the public. Anyways, i can't believe you are asking me why we have bases around the world, treating the past as if it never happened, as if the 2nd world war and the cold war was some sort of figment cooked up in Fomenko's imagination. Forget about the conspiracy theories!

Further, S.O.F.A.? Look it up and become familiar with it. You really think we would still be entertaining the thought of having our guys and gals in the military helping to guard another country's sovereignty if they did not want it? Yes of course, an element of our self interest plays a part in it as well. Personally, i would love nothing better than too pull our military out of places where it is not wanted or is counter productive to both countries interests, starting first and foremost with Pakistan and then closely followed with Okinawa. Perhaps once the treaties and leases are up we will leave? The sooner the happier everyone will be.

It is indeed really shocking what people presumptuously think they know about the US.


Edited by Panther - 14 Mar 2011 at 09:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 10:59
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Exceptionalism? Why you avoid to used the word imperialism?
Dufferent things. You can be imperialist without believing you are exceptional. And you can believe your country is exceptionally good without being imperiakist. For instace the Swiss come to mind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 11:04
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Exceptionalism? Why you avoid to used the word imperialism?


For the obvious enough reason that we are not an empire, yet... and hopefully never!
People define 'empire' in their own terms to make their own points. Reagan called the Soviet Union an 'evil empire': if the SU was an empire then the US is one too, without consideriing any territory outside the fifty states.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 11:19
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

I didn't catch this earlier, my apologies to pinguin. Gosh i am apologizing so much lately that i am starting to think that i am one very sorry person. Anywho...

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:



But you ARE an empire. Otherwise, how come the U.S.A. has so military bases around the world? And how come it invades countries at will?

It is shocking that Americans don't realize what they really are.




I can't believe i almost bought into this vile propaganda in the last decade! No we are not an empire. The way the government is set up, it is a federal republic guided by constitutional principles.
Doesn't stop it being an empire. The British empire (ignoring India which was a separate empire) was a kingdom with constitutional principles. It was still an empire even though there was no Emperor. What the issue boils down to is whether the US had the power to make other countries do what it wanted: the Athenian empire existed as long as it had that power. That's the only important basis on which to evaluate whether something is an empire or not.
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Any attempt at empire has been immediately squashed by those very principles and the public.
Some maybe.
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Anyways, i can't believe you are asking me why we have bases around the world, treating the past as if it never happened, as if the 2nd world war and the cold war was some sort of figment cooked up in Fomenko's imagination. Forget about the conspiracy theories!
The question is why does the US still have those bases?
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Further, S.O.F.A.? Look it up and become familiar with it. You really think we would still be entertaining the thought of having our guys and gals in the military helping to guard another country's sovereignty if they did not want it?
Yes. Certainly while we have the example of Iraq and Afghanistan before us. Of course military intervention is usually preceded by instigating a cry for help from some of the people involved. And he Japanese have certainly been vocal enough about wanting the US out of Okinawa.
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 Yes of course, an element of our self interest plays a part in it as well. Personally, i would love nothing better than too pull our military out of places where it is not wanted or is counter productive to both countries interests, starting first and foremost with Pakistan and then closely followed with Okinawa. Perhaps once the treaties and leases are up we will leave? The sooner the happier everyone will be.
I don't think anyone was talking about you personally.
 
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It is indeed really shocking what people presumptuously think they know about the US.
It doesn't help to ignore incidents like Grenada or the coup against Allende.
 
Mind you pinguin should certainly have said '..some Americans....' not implied 'all' 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 13:58
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Exceptionalism? Why you avoid to used the word imperialism?
Dufferent things. You can be imperialist without believing you are exceptional. And you can believe your country is exceptionally good without being imperiakist. For instace the Swiss come to mind.
All empires have always believed they are exceptional:
 
The Romans claimmed they were spreading "civilization".
The Turks believed they were spreading "Islam".
The Spaniards believed they were spreading "Christianity".
The Germans (nazis) believed they were building the "Great Germania".
The soviet believed they were fighting for the triumph of the "Working class".
The American Empire believe they are spreading "Freedom".
 
What is the difference? Empires always have excuses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 14:11
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Exceptionalism? Why you avoid to used the word imperialism?
Dufferent things. You can be imperialist without believing you are exceptional. And you can believe your country is exceptionally good without being imperiakist. For instace the Swiss come to mind.
All empires have always believed they are exceptional:
 
The Romans claimmed they were spreading "civilization".
The Turks believed they were spreading "Islam".
The Spaniards believed they were spreading "Christianity".
The Germans (nazis) believed they were building the "Great Germania".
The soviet believed they were fighting for the triumph of the "Working class".
The American Empire believe they are spreading "Freedom".
 
What is the difference? Empires always have excuses.
That's merely distinguishing beween goals (and not without objection). That's not what exceptionalism is about. 'Exceptional' means 'not like the others' and Ameican exceptionalism is based on the belief that has been summarised as the shining city on the hill or whatever. The Swiss believe in Swiss exceptionalism because they believe the Swiss are more trustworthy and more democatic than anyone ele. Israel believes in Israeli exceptionalism because it is the only Jewish state.
 
In fact many if not most countries see themselves as 'exceptional' in some ways, empires or not. I'm reasonably sure though that, say, the Imperial Powers meeting at the Congress of Vienna didn't see themselves as particularly exceptional, but more as similar entities with similar motives.


Edited by gcle2003 - 14 Mar 2011 at 14:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 14:20
Americans may believe whatever they wish, but who judge them are the victims of its imperialism.
 
As Jesus said.
 
"by theirs fruit you will recognize them" (Mattew 7:16)
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 14:29
I wasn't commenting on whether the US is or was imperialistic - you need a definiion of imperialist for there to be any point in that. I was just clarifying that imperialist and exceptionalist are different things.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 16:05
GCLE, in re:  "Of course military intervention is usually preceded by instigating a cry for help from some of the people involved. And he Japanese have certainly been vocal enough about wanting the US out of Okinawa."

So, you subscribe to the 'Pentagonismo' theory. We manipulate some of the people involved into asking for our intervention? Sorry, Mate, but that won't stand up to any serious analysis. The classic case is the Dom Rep invasion of 1965, which no Dominicans wanted or ever asked for. It was a diplomatic disaster. Grenada? Perhaps our best intervention. No one asked us to intervene there (discounting those American relatives of any students), but the great majority of the population was totally grateful we did. Yes, there were often parties within the nations we intervened in who did actively desire our intervention, but they had their own reasons and were hardly "puppets on a string."

As to why we still have bases. Frankly, we are far more capable of setting things up than dismantling them. We have those bases for the same reason we still have Puerto Rico. Despite the drain on the economy they represent, no one has come along in government with any real plan to divest ourselves of them. Why are we still in NATO? Why are we still in Korea? Why do we still have over-ranked and staffed regionally oriented military commands? The simple answer is: congressional and bureaucratic inertia. We only get great presidents and Secretaries of War or Defense every fifty years or so. We're long overdue for another, but Obama wasn't the answer, and neither was Rumsfeld. And our prospects for another of either with any original ideas any time soon are dismal. 


Edited by lirelou - 14 Mar 2011 at 16:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 16:36
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

GCLE, in re:  "Of course military intervention is usually preceded by instigating a cry for help from some of the people involved. And he Japanese have certainly been vocal enough about wanting the US out of Okinawa."

So, you subscribe to the 'Pentagonismo' theory. We manipulate some of the people involved into asking for our intervention? Sorry, Mate, but that won't stand up to any serious analysis. The classic case is the Dom Rep invasion of 1965, which no Dominicans wanted or ever asked for. It was a diplomatic disaster.
I didn't say 'always' just usually. I was of course thinking of Iraq and Afghanistan, but you can throw in the Lebanon in the '50s, Mexico in 1913, Cuba in 1898... and incidentally I didn't say my remark applied only to the US. The US is just another country that operates much the same way as most, and my 'usually' included things like the Russians and Austrians in the Balkans. 
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Grenada? Perhaps our best intervention. No one asked us to intervene there (discounting those American relatives of any students), but the great majority of the population was totally grateful we did.
Hmmm....
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 Yes, there were often parties within the nations we intervened in who did actively desire our intervention, but they had their own reasons and were hardly "puppets on a string."

As to why we still have bases. Frankly, we are far more capable of setting things up than dismantling them. We have those bases for the same reason we still have Puerto Rico. Despite the drain on the economy they represent, no one has come along in government with any real plan to divest ourselves of them. Why are we still in NATO? Why are we still in Korea? Why do we still have over-ranked and staffed regionally oriented military commands? The simple answer is: congressional and bureaucratic inertia.
It comes over as just a handy excuse. Inertia doesn't seem to be a problem when it comes to building new bases.
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We only get great presidents and Secretaries of War or Defense every fifty years or so. We're long overdue for another, but Obama wasn't the answer, and neither was Rumsfeld. And our prospects for another of either with any original ideas any time soon are dismal. 
True of Britain as well - and Britain is kind of a role model for bureaucratic inertia - but Britain still got out of most of its overseas bases fast enough.


Edited by gcle2003 - 14 Mar 2011 at 16:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 20:20
Oh those nasty little "bases", what would the whackos of the International Left do without them? After all, those installations give them a "cause" to go into "protest" mood much to the chagrin of the burghers in the regions of their location. Imagine the handwringing if the US unilaterally declared its withdrawal from NATO or for that matter declared disinterest in "defending" Japan in the event of attack by an irate neighbor. After all, the persistence of the post World War II defense structure grows ever more irelevant with each passing day and to a sanguine individual their perdurance is but ample evidence of the fears expressed by Eisenhower with respect to the Military-Industrial Complex. Imagine if for some reason a new fervor arose in following George Washington's dicta in his leaving the presidential office: Avoid entangling alliances!
 
 
However, we've wandered woefully off-topic since the subject is Chomsky...who in a sense is an atavism within the context of American life and representative of the mentality eagerly fostered within the ambiance of the New School in the 1930s as haven for the wonkisms of European emigres and the leftist politics of that milieu.
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 14 Mar 2011 at 20:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 21:04
If the US withdrew frm NATO now there wouldn't be anything like as much handwringing among the burghers as there woud have been fifty years ago, and it gets less as time goes by. Even iin Kaiserslautern or Landstuhl. Even NAMSA doesn't contribute as much to the Luxembourg economy as it once did: America doesn't spend the money it used to.
 
NATO was based on fear of the Soviet Union. Russia alone is a different proposition in that (a) it's not so hostile as it was, (b) its chief source of influence is now based on the provision of energy resources, and (c) its population is little more than a quarter that of the EU - less than Poland and Germany alone.
 
As you say, "the post World War II defense structure grows ever more irelevant with each passing day."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 23:21
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Doesn't stop it being an empire. The British empire (ignoring India which was a separate empire) was a kingdom with constitutional principles. It was still an empire even though there was no Emperor. What the issue boils down to is whether the US had the power to make other countries do what it wanted: the Athenian empire existed as long as it had that power. That's the only important basis on which to evaluate whether something is an empire or not.


I tend to disagree with the view that the US has such a power over another country. We do, like every other country on the planet, try to influence the actions of another countries government and with mixed results. Sometimes they take our advice and other times they ignore us completely.



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The question is why does the US still have those bases?


Good question. A unique opportunity passed us up in Europe during the 90's to shut down those bases there. However in Asia and the Pacific area, there is still the matter of North Korea and the possible rise of China.

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Yes. Certainly while we have the example of Iraq and Afghanistan before us. Of course military intervention is usually preceded by instigating a cry for help from some of the people involved. And he Japanese have certainly been vocal enough about wanting the US out of Okinawa.


No, they are not good examples at all. If anything, they represent the complexities and horrendous failures of the international community. For a recent example, take the matter of Libya. While i have modified my stance on a no fly zone being implemented there, i refuse to endorse the US taking the lead in this case and if we have to be involved, then it ought to be in a supportive minor way to Europe's lead. There is no way i could agree to us being suckered into another Iraq scenario so soon. That is what Libya would be for us, just another long and drawn out affair like Iraq had been prior to the 2003 invasion! Thanks, but no thanks. I would rather this country of mine take a break from being the international communities whipping post.


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I don't think anyone was talking about you personally.


I know. I was just pointing out not only my desires, but for the desires of a particular host country's as well.


 
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It doesn't help to ignore incidents like Grenada or the coup against Allende.
 


Duly noted. It also doesn't help an argument to ignore cold war policies. Granted, the Soviets did what they thought was best, as they perceived us a threat from up close and afar, and we did what we had to do, as we perceived the Soviet threat from afar and in a few instances, up close.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2011 at 13:14
Let's get back to "man of the hour" Chomsky and his patent pathologies in petulant political pomposities as found in Failed States: the Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy and his repeated resort to what, for lack of a better term, may be called "devious ambiguity".
 
Why not start with his oft overlooked take on the "Responsibility to Protect" Doctrine (the international consensus on the right of intervention premised upon humanitarianism) since it is now currently in the frying pan with respect to Lybia. For him, such is little more than a pretext for imperialist intervention because it is only applied at the behest of America's "corporate" elite in pursuit of their own imperial agenda. Well we have Lybia and we have oil, but hey the silence from the halls of Exxon et al is deafening. How can that possibly be?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kowalskil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2011 at 02:36
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Let's talk about Chomsky. Do you agree or not with his ideas.

This question is too general. Present a specific idea and then I might say what I think about it.

Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
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Ludwik Kowalski author of Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality.

http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

Diary kept in the USSR, Poland, France, and the USA
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kirghiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2011 at 03:19
Castrated!
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