Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday Drive By

Alternet has an interview with Noam Chomsky. Some of my favorite snippets:
The fact of the matter is that there is no War on Terror. It's a minor consideration. So invading Iraq and taking control of the world's energy resources was way more important than the threat of terror.


There is almost no serious discussion, I'm sorry to say, across the spectrum, of the question of withdrawal. The reason for that is that we are under a rigid doctrine in the West, a religious fanaticism, that says we must believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq even if its main product was lettuce and pickles, and the oil resources of the world were in Central Africa. Anyone who doesn't believe that is condemned as a conspiracy theorist, a Marxist, a madman, or something. Well, you know, if you have three gray cells functioning, you know that that's perfect nonsense. The U.S. invaded Iraq because it has enormous oil resources, mostly untapped, and it's right in the heart of the world's energy system.


Now, any discussion of withdrawal from Iraq has to at least enter the real world, meaning, at least consider these issues. Just take a look at the commentary in the United States, across the spectrum. How much discussion do you see of these issues? Well, you know, approximately zero, which means that the discussion is just on Mars. And there's a reason for it. We're not allowed to concede that our leaders have rational imperial interests. We have to assume that they're good-hearted and bumbling. But they're not.


China isn't any kind of threat. We can make it a threat. If you increase the military threats against China, then they will respond.

Like Chomski says, if you have three functioning brain cells, even if you haven't studied the key Project for the New American Century policy documents, you know darn good and well that the Bush machine invaded Iraq for the oil. Denying that truth because the head spin merchant says its unpatriotic is clear and present symptom of national insanity.

Equally insane is the administration's Sino-phobia. China has no plans to overtake the United States militarily. Nobody does. Why bother? Better to sit back and let America squander its national treasure on high dollar defense systems that have little or nothing to do with the real security threats it faces, and watch as it permanently transforms itself into a military industrial welfare state.


I just caught Senator Feinstein on Face the Nation referring, once again, to the President's "plenary" (absolute) powers. I wish she'd stop that. "Plenary powers" is a red herring buzz phrase cooked up by former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo. Nothing in the Constitution or the law gives a President absolute powers, wartime, peacetime, or any time. But every time someone like Feinstein barks "plenary powers" in the media, it reinforces the perception in the public subconscious that he does have absolute powers, even though that's contrary to the point they're trying to make.


  1. Hi Jeff, I just came across your blog and rather like it. Places like this are necessary.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  2. I wish she would say "absolute powers" so that the American public would understand what's going on. How many people know the word "plenary"?

  3. Meribeth6:09 AM

    Thanks for posting about Noam Chomsky. I just wish he would expain why this country is under such a rose colored fog of denial. Are we that freightened and hungry for a hero and a savior that we can't use our brains? I'm going to read the interview. Thanks again...I needed that.

    And Doug, the use of the word "plenary" is so much better. It helps keep the fog going...and it works. Unfortunately, it seems like the Dems want the fog also.

  4. Niall,

    Thanks for dropping in and for the nice words.


    I think that's precisely why Yoo used the word "plenary." So it would sound grand and make his desired point without scaring too many people off the idea,


    I couldn't say for sure, but I think a lot of people don't want to face the reality of our current situation.

  5. Anonymous6:28 AM

    Jeff, I can say for sure: people don't want to face it. Someday when future scholars analyze what went wrong, they'll point to the focus on privatization ... privatization of thoughts, of feelings, of life. From my blogging experience, I can vouch for the reality of privatization. Anyone that dares to speak up against the conservative bullshit is labeled "brave" or "courageous." Political commentary is only for the professionals, everyone else is expected to keep quiet ... private, if you will.

    The people of these united states have been intentionally divided and cowed. To what end? It becomes clearer every day.


  6. Yes, Kerstin, and it was all part of the plan. Respectful criticism only!