Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Chomsky Interview on Iraq regime change
"No one has a right [to enforce regime change], and if you don't have a right, you don't have a responsibility. Undoubtedly, there are plenty of regimes that need to be changed, and Saddam Hussein's is one. But there's a long list. For example, let's take the United States -- a great deal of the world regards the US as a "menace to itself and the world." I'm quoting a senior member of the Carnegie Foundation writing in a mainstream British newspaper.

"Incidentally, there's nothing new about regime change. That's an old, old policy. Just last October there was a commemoration of the Cuban missile crisis. Arthur Schlesinger who attended the high level meetings in Havana pointed out accurately that it was the most dangerous moment in the history of the world -- so that was not a minor event. But where did it come from? It grew out of an effort at regime change.

"The US was committed to overthrowing the government of Cuba, first by terrorism; when that didn't work, then by invasion; and when that didn't work, more terrorism, which led up to the missile crisis and practically destroyed the world. That's a dramatic case, but there are many others like it. Efforts at regime change are an old story."

Chomsky also argues in this November 2002 interview that no one will stand up to the US and that the UN Security Council has zero relevance. But somewhat to everybody's surprise, including no doubt the surprise and dismay of the Bush administration itself, this has not quite proved to be the case. A combination of the brutal nakedness of the proposed US aggression, genuine concern about the risks and dangers of such an attack, and immense popular resistance to the war means France and Germany are (temporarily) standing up to the US and the Security Council has become relevent, although it has always been (and remains) unlikely that the aggression could ever be actually stopped.

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