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Showing posts from August 10, 2008

Chomsky Interview: American Foreign Policy After Bush, 8/1/08

Untitled interview Noam Chomsky interviewed by Thordur Sveinsson, Campaign Against Militarism in Iceland E-mail correspondence, August 1, 2008

SVEINSSON: Do you think that American foreign policy might change after the presidential elections in November, and does it matter in that respect whether McCain or Obama will be elected? CHOMSKY: The political spectrum is quite narrow, and it is of some significance that on a host of major issues, both political parties are well to the right of the general population. Nevertheless, there are differences, and in a system of huge power, small differences can have large effects. The Bush administration is far to the radical ultranationalist extreme of the spectrum, and it has caused so much damage to the interests of state-corporate power that there is likely to be a shift towards the center, less so with McCain than with Obama, who will probably be a Clinton-style centrist Democrat. SVEINSSON: Do you think that threats against Iran a…

Chomsky Interview: The Bush Administration Endgame, 8/1/08

Untitled interview Noam Chomsky interviewed by Wissam Matta, Assafir newspaper (Lebanon) E-mail correspondence, August 1, 2008

MATTA: How do you thing president Bush is preparing to close his administration's file, few months before he left the white house, in term of internal and foreign policies (energy, economy, Middle East, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Northern Korea)? CHOMSKY: One cannot predict with any confidence. They have demonstrated extreme irrationality and ignorance. Virtually everything they have touched has turned to disaster. They are desperate to salvage something from the wreckage they have created at home and abroad, and for that reason alone, are unpredictable. On North Korea, the prominent Korea scholar Bruce Cumings writes accurately that "Bush had presided over the most asinine Korea policy in history," undermining diplomatic efforts that were making some progress, and leaving North Korea with a greatly enhanced nuclear weapons capacity. The…

The Way of the World: Ron Suskind on How the Bush Admin Deliberately Faked an Iraq-al-Qaeda Connection and Undermined Diplomacy, Democracy in Pakistan

Amazing revelations in this book; Suskind is the real deal. (I'm going by Suskind's interviews: haven't read it yet.)

Will the Democrats act on this information? Don't hold your breath.

More on the book here, including transcripts of interviews with sources, some of whom are engaging in "non-denial denials," as Suskind notes.

Patrick Cockburn on Muqtada, interviewed by James Zogby on C-SPAN

Will next Israeli leader attack Iran? TRNN

Blurb:The decision by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to step down amid corruption allegations has left many questions in Israel and in the region. There are two main contenders to replace Olmert as leader of the Kadima party. The front-runner Tzipi Livni, is a former Mossad operative and current foreign minister. She was a protégé of Ariel Sharon in the Likud and jumped with him to Kadima when it was formed. Her main Kadima rival is Shaul Mofaz, a hawkish former general and current transportation minister. The Iranian born Mofaz is famous for his ruthless crushing of the Palestinian uprising in Jenin and other West Bank towns in 2000, first as military chief of staff and later defense minister. Livni is favoured in opinion polls by 8 to 18 percent to win the Kadima leadership. Calls have come from Israeli opposition leader Benyamin Netanyahu of Likud for a general election. The elections would probably come in February or March, which would see Olmert remain prime minister till th…

All options on the table? Noam Chomsky

NUCLEAR threats and counter-threats are a subtext of our times, steadily, it seems, becoming more insistent. The July meeting in Geneva between Iran and six major world powers on Iran's nuclear programme ended with no progress.The Bush administration was widely praised for having shifted to a more conciliatory stand — namely, by allowing a US diplomat to attend without participating — while Iran was castigated for failing to negotiate seriously. And the powers warned Iran that it would soon face more severe sanctions unless it terminated its uranium enrichment programs.Meanwhile India was applauded for agreeing to a nuclear pact with the United States that would effectively authorise its development of nuclear weapons outside the bounds of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), with US assistance in nuclear programmes along with other rewards — in particular, to US firms eager to enter the Indian market for nuclear and weapons development, and ample payoffs to parliamentarians who si…